[Homeroast] Re : Sour espresso taste

Bryan, Compass Coffee bryan at compasscoffeeroasting.com
Mon Jun 18 16:11:01 CDT 2012


Your equipment is clean right?  If you have spouts on your portafilter make sure that you are cleaning them after each session.  Scrub the screen with a Purocaff soaked towel after each session as well.  Contrary to a lot of talk out there, pulling just one shot and the letting a hot machine cool off is more than enough coffee oil to turn a machine's screen rancid.

Clean up your portafilter really well if you haven't and then give it another go.  Also, what grinder did you say you were using?  If you did tell us, it was long ago enough that I've forgotten.

I'd stop basing your shot's success on the crema.  Crema doesn't mean a damn thing.  Close your eyes from the time you turn on your pump until you drink your shot.  What does 50% crema taste like?  75%?  100%?  If anything, crema is the most unappealing flavor component of the shot.

Push for a 16g dose, 28 seconds to a 28g yield (around 1.5 ounces).  Stir in the crema, let the shot sit for 3 minutes and then tip it back and evaluate the flavor.  Try this with that Brazil once it has hit day 7 and I bet you will have a much different opinion of your espresso shots.

Regarding the comment about 30g being a spot on shot for a 14g dose... it would help to look at Counter Culture's suggested parameters before correcting me.  They recommend an 18.5g dose yielding 1.5-1.75 ounces (or about 27-28g yield).  Considering he's dosing 14-15g he should be aiming for about 1-1.25 ounces per Counter Culture's recommended parameters.  Ristretto is not at all an "advanced" method of producing espresso.  Quite the contrary.  Ristretto is much easier to coax sweet, predictable flavors from than a normale.  The longer you let a shot run out the more variables your are letting enter the equation.  This is why pretty much all ristretto shots taste the same: sweet chocolate leading to a slightly salty caramel flavor with a tart cherry finish, wrapped up in a syrupy mouthfeel.  Sound familiar?  It's because this is how nearly every ristretto-uber ristretto shot on the planet is going to taste.  It has more to do with the % of
 solubles in the finished cup than a simple Yield/Dose=Brew ratio equation.  You can't evaluate based on these parameters because as your dose increases your coffee bed depth increases as well, changing the ratio of surface area to bed depth.  This is why a shot on a 53mm machine will taste different than a shot with the exact same parameters on a 58mm machine.

-bry

________________________________
 From: denis bordeleau <bomerlo at yahoo.ca>
To: "A list to discuss home coffee roasting. There are rules for this list, available at http://www.sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html" <homeroast at lists.sweetmariascoffee.com> 
Sent: Monday, June 18, 2012 12:11 PM
Subject: [Homeroast] Re :  Sour espresso taste
 
Hello Mike.     You are still looking for a good espresso shot but without success.  This is normal.     You enjoy the taste of two days since roasted single origin Brazil beans made from an Aeropress.   What is the torrefaction degree?  I told you about the fact that a paper filter can keep the oil from the cup and some coffee drinkers like it that way.   I made a research on Google by typing:  -aeropress paper filters- and got on the Aerobie Aeropress (tm) FAQ site and the metallic taste was the first subject. You should try a french press or any non espresso non paper filter method to be sure that you can enjoy a coffee with the oily elements still in.    About the crema, since we are most of us homeroasters, we are also home blenders and I found it difficult myself to get nice crema with a single origin materia.  Most of the time we have to roast the beans we put in our espresso blends one by one to be sure that each of it will get
the best of itself and we may add some robusta, plus other secret tricks...        It is very hard to resolve the equation of a good coffee without  unvoluntarily adding another variable.    At least, you should have another taster to be sure you are not the only one to have this metallic taste like we see in some common  curable medical conditions .      So, find another guinea pig besides your own gustatory receptors.  Check a brew without paper filter.    Keep it simple and you'll have good stew without the PID.         Denis



________________________________
De : Mike Wilkens <mike.wilkens at gmail.com>
À : homeroast at lists.sweetmariascoffee.com 
Envoyé le : vendredi 15 juin 2012 14h47
Objet : Re: [Homeroast] Sour espresso taste
  
Thanks again to all who have made suggestions.  I can banish the sour taste (sour as in sour cream) by raising temperature.  I get almost no crema with my shots, and I'm told I should see 50% or more crema by volume once the pull is finished.  I tried fresh Brazil beans today, 2 days since roasted, and got almost zero crema.

John, I think you're right to bring up pressure.  I'm told low pressure can cause less crema, and I understand that lever machines, which use less pressure are known for giving smoother shots with less crema.  I spent a few hours experimenting with the OPV on the Gaggia, but no difference in taste or crema.  Yes, I've done many experiments with the styrofoam cup!  That's how I found out that pulling water was lowering the temperature significantly.  That said: for all I know it could be low pressure and not low temperature that was "causing" the sour taste.  There's more than one way to fix an issue, and espresso is sensitive to the combination of temperature and pressure.

Yesterday I decided to give up on espresso for now.  Even when I can salvage a shot as a cappuccino, it has an unpleasant metallic-chemical taste that actually makes me feel a little sick, and sticks around as an aftertaste.  The espresso, which is probably comparable to what you can get in most cafes, is really not enjoyable.  I'm sure something is still wrong, but at this point it looks like a PID is necessary for brew temperature, and a pressure gauge is next.  It seems like there's always another problem, another variable, another piece of equipment to buy with espresso.

I brewed the Brazil in the Aeropress, and it has a surprisingly good taste, delightful and different.  I can get good coffee out of the espresso machine, but at its best it is a murky, muddy simulacrum of what I get in the Aeropress.

-Mike


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