[Homeroast] Sour expresso taste

John Stewart johns_webmail at yahoo.com
Wed Jun 13 18:42:09 CDT 2012

I have one comment and one question.

I have a PIDed Silvia - so my environment is different - but, I was surprised how high I had to set my PID to get the right temperature to the portafilter.  To discover the correct temperature setting, I used the styrofoam cup method.  The method in short is cut a styrofoam cup so it fits roughly where the portafilter does.  Poke a hole in the cup with your thermometer and carefully hold it in place while you collect a couple of ounces of water via the extraction cycle.  Be careful  -  don't burn yourself.  I found that a PID setting of about 232 gets me 2 ounces of 200 degree water in the cup.  I used 30 minutes of warm-up with the portafilter in place before running my test.  I did a little experimenting without running any water through the group head, and running 2 ounces 2 minutes before the test or 5 minutes before the test and didn't find any difference. 

Now for the question.  At what point does pressure come into the discussion?  Is it not in the discussion so far because the machine in question doesn't have easy pressure controls?  Or in other words, will a case of coarser grind and lower pressure produce a more sour shot versus a case of finer grind and higher pressure - each producing the same volume of shot in the same time?


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