[Homeroast] Water retained in the portafilter **Followup**

michael brown disracer at msn.com
Mon Jan 25 10:10:20 CST 2010


Calibrated the grinder last night to grind finer.  First shot this morning i went as fine as it would go with one tamp.  Well actually it was two.  i'm using a 52mm Tamp that still has a lot of wiggle room so i tamped, knocked the grinds off the side of the PF and tamped again.  I contacted several websites who said a 52 with a little wiggle room would be fine...i thought it should be a snug fit, but anyway.  Drip drip drip.  Too fine!?!?  

Second shot, two clicks courser, same tamping style/technique.  AMAZING SHOT.  Might be the first time i've actually got a amber, dark brown crema.  i went 25seconds and it was a beauty!  So thanks for all the tips and tricks.  All the way from unpressurizing the PF to calibrating the grinder, to the "sneeze" affect of the Estro.  Great start to the day.

Michael B

> From: koenig.mike at gmail.com
> Date: Sun, 24 Jan 2010 21:10:22 -0500
> To: homeroast at lists.sweetmariascoffee.com
> Subject: Re: [Homeroast] Water retained in the portafilter
> 
> Michael,
> 
> A few points here:
> 
>  - your Estro doesn't have a solenoid valve, so it will take some time for
> the head pressure to dissipate after you pull your shot.  Give it a minute
> to calm down and you won't get the "sneeze" you get if you pull the
> portafilter right after your shot.  If you are still getting a sneeze after
> a minute, you may be grinding too fine, and choking your machine.  A soupy
> puck can be expected in this type of machine unless you give it a few
> minutes to dry.  (remember that the goal is to make espresso, not nice
> pucks, and you will tolerate this much better).
> 
> - Typical tamping pressure is about 30 pounds.  If you have a bathroom
> scale, you can use that to train your arm to the amount of force you need.
> Try to keep the pressure constant, and adjust your grind for the shot time
> you are trying to achieve (I usually shoot for 25 seconds).
> 
> - I wouldn't recommend tamping more than once,  you run the risk of
> disturbing the nice puck you formed with your first tamp.  A firm even tamp
> the first time is the best approach.
> 
> - Make sure your distribution in the basket is even before you tamp.  In my
> opinion this is far more important than the tamping itself.
> 
> --mike
> 
> 
> 
> On Sun, Jan 24, 2010 at 2:24 PM, michael brown <disracer at msn.com> wrote:
> 
> >
> > So i unpressurized my portafilter in the Estro machine.  Took out the
> > spring and ripped out some kind of stopper thingy.  I use a Virtuoso.  At
> > first it was going through way too fast.  So i tightened down the grind and
> > ended up at the finest setting before i could get it to come out at a rate
> > that was suitable and produced good crema.  I usually tamp three times.  Now
> > when i stop the shot (via switch) there's a lot of water that remains in the
> > portafilter.  So much so, that after the shot is done and i try and remove
> > the portafilter there's a suction noise and the water thats in the
> > portafilter explodes around the edges and grounds go everywhere.
> >
> > thoughts?  should i loosen up on the grind and just tamp harder?  Maybe i
> > need a machine that produces a finer grind that'd i'd only have to tamp
> > twice and play with the tamp to grind ratio?  i dunno, looking for ideas.
> >  it seems like water would be not be able to make it through at the end of
> > the shot because tamp is too hard or not enough pressure is being produced
> > to force it through the puck.
> >
> > Michael B
> >
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