jrling If a 1:2.3 is too bright, a shorter ratio isn’t going to help and would be the wrong direction.
Longer ratios often work better for medium/lighter roasts, in my experience. I used to try to stick to a 1:2 almost religiously, after so many experts/videos relayed it constantly, but have found that generally for 17/18g in, I need to be around 40g out, often more towards 50.
Indeed, when I visited a local roastery and they pulled one of the beans for me, I was ‘shocked’ that they pulled an 18/50 but it was so wonderfully balanced, and when subsequently trying at home, although my settings weren’t quite the same (obviously) it was still ‘best’ as a longer ration around that region.
As mentioned before experimentation is always important, but I lock my dose at 17, start with around 94 and 40g and go from there… Grind on my C40 is usually within 3 or 4 clicks from the last - sometimes the same, and is only used for ‘mouthfeel’ for me, unless the shot clogs or runs really fast.
There’s definitely a huge element of “find your own workflow”. The end result may be in a similar ballpark to the recommended but it also may not be. And may change over a few days. And be affected by what you’ve eaten, how you’re feeling, and many other things.
For me, that’s part of the journey, and the fun.