PortafilterProcrastinator Once you’ve dialled in a bean as it were, do you find the output is pretty consistent for a given brew time (so your 25-30 sec and stop it in that range) or do you always aim for the ‘increased boil noise’ you mentioned to be within that range and adjust dose/ grind size to meet the desired brew time?
It’s the second version of what you said. The increased boil noise is the end of the brew time, and I’m going for 25-35s.
The way the 9Barista works is like a Moka pot, except that there’s a valve between the lower chamber where the water is and the upper chamber where the espresso comes out. As the water heats up, the valve remains closed until the pressure reaches 9 bar, like a conventional espresso machine. Unlike an espresso machine, the only parameters I can control are the grind and dose.
I don’t have direct control over the extraction time. Once the valve opens, it stays there until the hot water finishes coming through. This is not like an espresso machine, where I could start the extraction and hit the stop button after 30s, or whatever I’m aiming for. I also don’t have control over how much liquid comes through, although the ratio is pretty consistent.
Instead, I have indirect control over the extraction time. The grind and dose determine the extraction time, with coarser grinds and lower doses decreasing the extraction time, and finer grinds and higher doses increasing it. By adjusting those parameters, I aim to get to an extraction time of 25-35s. Regardless of the actual dose I’m using, if I get the extraction time to 25-35s, the ratio is pretty consistently 1:2.2-1:2.4.
I’ve now had enough experience with the 9Barista that I can predict how the espresso will taste just based on the extraction time. In the 25-35s range, the results are really excellent, regardless of what bean I’ve used. dThe only exception have been a few medium roast beans that never tasted good to me, even when hitting my target extraction time.
Closer to 25s, I’ll get more brightness and acidity. Closer to 35s, and the flavor is more intense, and some bitterness comes in. Less than 25s, and the espresso becomes too sour to enjoy. Going long on the extraction is more forgiving. I’ve had espresso that extracted over close to 60s, and it still wasn’t terrible. Dialing the extraction time down to the 25-35s range certainly improved things, though.
Hope that makes sense.