Author Topic: Re: A conversation about brew pressure  (Read 4187 times)

Offline vindibona1

  • Grizzled GUG Veteran
  • *****
  • Posts: 131
    • GC purchased November 2016 (USA) not sure which model
    • Baratza Sette Grinder
Re: A conversation about brew pressure
« on: November 15, 2017, 05:17:17 PM »
Perhaps one of the least discussed things in these types of conversations is pressure regulation.  I bring this up because of my contrasting experiences with my GC/Sette combination vs my old Saeco Sirena and Cuisinart grinder.

Dumb and happy, I used my Sirena/Cuisinart for years with excellent results, even with standard Starbucks beans. I had shimmed the grinder to produce fine grinds, though not as consistent as my Sette.  I never used the pressurized PF with the Sirena. No need to.  My pulls were consistently about 25 seconds and I want to believe the taste was as good or better than what I am achieving with my GC with all it's adjustments and upgrades.  But I think PRESSURE is the key.  The Sirena had to have a relatively low pressure for me to get the kind of timing needed without the pressurized basket.

OTOH, my unadjusted GC with the same Cuisinart grinds would just blow coffee out of the PF even with the pressurized basket and the same grinds as with my Sirena.   Initially my GC would have a 2 oz in about 10 seconds.  It wasn't until I got my Sette and adjusted the OPV that I could get a decently timed pull with or without the pressure cap.

It seems that it's taken me nearly a year, with all the accessory upgrades (sans bottomless PF) to get close to what I was getting with my dumb/happy Sirena/Cuisinart setup.   Perhaps I haven't experimented enough with the OPV?   But again, how much has pressure got to do with results?   Was it the lower pressure of the Sirena that allowed me to skate buy with an "inferior" system?

Offline D4F

  • Global Moderator
  • Grizzled GUG Veteran
  • *****
  • Posts: 1734
    • Gaggia Classic w PID
    • Baratza Forte-AP
Re: Re: A conversation about brew pressure
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2017, 06:11:49 PM »
The Sirena came with a Jura Invesys pump and or ULKA EX5 from what I can find (PartsGuru diagrams and replacement parts)/  Some old Gaggia machines did also IIRC.  All of the pumps are capable of similar pressures.  All are/were used on machines that came with pressurized systems and require high pressure, so pressures may have been similar.  Safety valves/pressure valves would have been adjusted for pressurized.  But old worn pump or valving could have caused lower pressure. 

Dial the pressure down on the Gaggia and see how it works.  Some brew at lower pressures and like the results.

Offline The Big L

  • Grizzled GUG Veteran
  • *****
  • Posts: 429
    • Gaggia Classic (Raspberry PiD)
    • Pharos
Re: A conversation about brew pressure
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2017, 07:41:07 AM »
vindibona1, I'm not discounting the possibility that some combination of your old equipment + beans resulted in coffee that tasted as good or better to you than your current setup.  Personal taste is a funny thing, and it's quite plausible that your tastebuds simply prefer the (technically) inferior coffee you used to brew.

Certainly a more capable grinder and ability to better control temperature in your current setup will allow extractions with a wider array of flavors -- some of which you may be averse to.  Starbucks roasts tend to be pretty dark, and espresso resulting from such roasts have a particular "roasty" flavor profile that lacks much of the subtlety found in extractions from lighter roasts.  Based on what I remember from your posts along your Gaggia espresso journey, most of your complaints have been about characteristics more common in lighter roasts -- sour, acidic, bright, fruity.

As D4F says, lower the pressure and see what happens.  What do you have to lose?

I'd also recommend trying other beans/roasts.  A lot of us enjoy Redbird, but perhaps it's just not your cup of....tea (grrr, sorry).  If you haven't done this already, try something a little darker, a little closer to what you used to enjoy.  I'm not an expert in this area, but I really liked Ladro Diablo.

Offline The Big L

  • Grizzled GUG Veteran
  • *****
  • Posts: 429
    • Gaggia Classic (Raspberry PiD)
    • Pharos
Re: A conversation about brew pressure
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2017, 08:04:13 AM »
Also consider that you were 'dumb and happy' with your previous espresso results.  You weren't giving it much thought or consideration, and you were happily surfing along with the status quo.  Something triggered your interest in better coffee, and since then you have been intensely focused on every minute detail of the espresso-making process.  You've spent probably $700+ on the equipment, and posted more than 100 times on this forum alone, so don't try to deny your obsession.  :D

With the results of your cup constantly under such a powerful microscope, no wonder you're noticing flaws that you never noticed before.  No wonder your perception has changed from "glass half full" to "glass half empty".  This is not an indictment -- I think most of us have experienced something similar on our espresso journeys.

It's completely reasonable and expected that your perception of something changes (often for the worse) when you start paying close attention to the details.  Particularly when you start measuring your daily success against an elusive 'god shot'.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2017, 09:58:46 AM by SusanJoM »

Offline JojoS

  • Global Moderator
  • Grizzled GUG Veteran
  • *****
  • Posts: 684
    • Pre-2015 Gaggia Classic + PID Control(brew and steam)
    • Eureka Mignon Manual
Re: A conversation about brew pressure
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2017, 01:04:32 PM »
My dumb and happy era was with percolated Liberica coffee that kept me wide awake. That was decades ago. Now it is more of coffee appreciation like wine. Different origins of coffee are like different vineyards. Espresso can be very tricky to the palate. The same bag of coffee will taste a little different as it ages. Depending on origin, the flavor can be at it's best at 10 days post roast and some even longer. The window is not always clear.

Offline The Big L

  • Grizzled GUG Veteran
  • *****
  • Posts: 429
    • Gaggia Classic (Raspberry PiD)
    • Pharos
Re: A conversation about brew pressure
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2017, 02:08:02 PM »
vindibona: if you're still following along, Ladro has free shipping (on 2+ items) at the moment.  I recommend the Diablo blend, and in fact I just bought a couple packages myself.  I've had nothing but RedBird for the last 1-2 years, and it's time to mix it up a little!

Offline vindibona1

  • Grizzled GUG Veteran
  • *****
  • Posts: 131
    • GC purchased November 2016 (USA) not sure which model
    • Baratza Sette Grinder
Re: A conversation about brew pressure
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2017, 02:42:49 PM »
vindibona1, I'm not discounting the possibility that some combination of your old equipment + beans resulted in coffee that tasted as good or better to you than your current setup.  Personal taste is a funny thing, and it's quite plausible that your tastebuds simply prefer the (technically) inferior coffee you used to brew.

Certainly a more capable grinder and ability to better control temperature in your current setup will allow extractions with a wider array of flavors -- some of which you may be averse to.  Starbucks roasts tend to be pretty dark, and espresso resulting from such roasts have a particular "roasty" flavor profile that lacks much of the subtlety found in extractions from lighter roasts.  Based on what I remember from your posts along your Gaggia espresso journey, most of your complaints have been about characteristics more common in lighter roasts -- sour, acidic, bright, fruity.

As D4F says, lower the pressure and see what happens.  What do you have to lose?

I'd also recommend trying other beans/roasts. A lot of us enjoy Redbird, but perhaps it's just not your cup of....tea (grrr, sorry).  If you haven't done this already, try something a little darker, a little closer to what you used to enjoy.  I'm not an expert in this area, but I really liked Ladro Diablo.

You know, it could in fact be my taste preferences.  I've gone though about 11 pounds of Redbird and at best I'd peg my satisfaction rate at 85%.  Just two days ago my GF brought some Nizza from La Colombe home. Instantly it was better.  Now the one thing that's bothering me is that initially I used the same grinder settings as the Redbird but the pull was around 18 seconds, but tasted really good. I was thinking that it needed a longer brew time so I bumped up the grind which put me at 24 seconds or so, but didn't taste as good. Should I ignore the time and what seems logical for what I prefer in terms of taste, even though theoretically the pull time is too short?  Either way I'm preferring the La Colombe over the Redbird, and while a bit more expensive I don't have to buy 5 pounds at a time to underwrite the shipping and keep the price per pound down.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2017, 08:01:37 PM by SusanJoM »

Offline SusanJoM

  • Administrator
  • Grizzled GUG Veteran
  • *****
  • Posts: 2410
    • Classic
    • Compak K-10
Re: A conversation about brew pressure
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2017, 08:03:33 PM »
Should I ignore the time ... for what I prefer in terms of taste, even though theoretically the pull time is too short?

Absolutely.
“Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.”
Attribution in Dispute

Offline The Big L

  • Grizzled GUG Veteran
  • *****
  • Posts: 429
    • Gaggia Classic (Raspberry PiD)
    • Pharos
Re: A conversation about brew pressure
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2017, 08:20:58 PM »
Either way I'm preferring the La Colombe over the Redbird, and while a bit more expensive I don't have to buy 5 pounds at a time to underwrite the shipping and keep the price per pound down.

Forget about the cost (within reason) -- drink what you like!  I don't think that's RedBird.  And like Susan said, if a course-grind 18s pull tastes better to you, then that's perfectly OK.  It's probably a little weird to some of us who pull for 40+ seconds, but so what?  You'd probably hate what we're pulling.  Vive la différence!

Offline JojoS

  • Global Moderator
  • Grizzled GUG Veteran
  • *****
  • Posts: 684
    • Pre-2015 Gaggia Classic + PID Control(brew and steam)
    • Eureka Mignon Manual
Re: A conversation about brew pressure
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2017, 01:20:47 AM »
A shot time lasting only 18 seconds that is to your liking may improve when pulled at a lower brew pressure. 7 Bar static will be a good start. Keep the grind setting, dose weight and yield the same. Compare!

 

LIBRARIES

Reference Library

Owners Manuals, Parts Diagrams, Wiring Diagrams, and How-To-Do-Stuff Articles.

 

+-Recent Topics

The Forum is Shutting Down, closing as of Jan 1, 2018 by SusanJoM
December 31, 2017, 08:39:24 PM

Coffee Deluxe by SusanJoM
December 31, 2017, 11:47:12 AM

(Questions) - Homemade pressure gauge for adjusting pressure by SusanJoM
December 29, 2017, 03:19:19 PM

Nice OWC restoration at HB by D4F
December 27, 2017, 04:27:49 PM

Pump leaking from plastic by wjm
December 24, 2017, 05:37:39 PM

Using Thermoblock as preheater by jerryseabridge
December 24, 2017, 11:00:25 AM

Use OWC OEM portafilter for DIY pressure and/or temp gauge? by rcfitz86
December 22, 2017, 03:02:00 PM

Classic, solenoid or pump issue - help needed! by DG Classic
December 15, 2017, 11:32:58 AM

Gaggia Classic Solenoid Spring Question by SusanJoM
December 15, 2017, 10:59:51 AM

Dosing on Gaggia Classic Stainless Steel boiler by benm
December 13, 2017, 06:15:59 AM

Powered by EzPortal