Greetings one and all.  Trying to get to the root of why I get nice crema but if it sits for 3 secs it kinda goes flat on me.  What would some of your thoughts be?

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There are other factors as well that may come into play here: what is the current brew pressure setting on your machine? Could be too high judging from the ultra-yellowy looks of the crema.
I agree with Kim on the tamping. The pf knock isn't necessary and I've found that it's very counter intuitive to the coffee puck's integrity. But man, I heard a quote a while back on Coffeed I believe where someone stated that "giving up the tap is like giving up cigarettes". Those words couldn't be truer and highlights the fact that sometimes old habits are very hard to break. I actually have a theory that it was none other than the Italians themselves back in WWII who started indoctrinating foreigners with the tap so as to ensure that nobody else would ever be able to replicate their espresso 100%, basically giving everyone the wrong advice.

Really though, a naked portafilter is your friend. Using that and posting up the results on YouTube will help immensely with the diagnosis.
Quitting the knock is easy enough. I also read how useless it was. I should have a naked pf sometime today, when I get time to make it. I think I have to grind where it needs to be.

Thanks Kim!
Is that 11.5 grams in the Cremina single basket? Just kidding although it might fit! I enjoy using my Cremina and have tinkered alot with dosing, etc. and have found 15-16 grams to be a great weight for my taste. Have no idea if I'm using the stock basket though. Can't complain because the machine cost a whole $3.

Jeff Jaworski said:

Peter Milne said:
I know the pf was leaking, I didnt tighten it enough, it doesnt normally leak. I really cant updose on this. 14g is the limit...and that is whats in the basket.

From the looks of things in that vid it seemed like eighteen or twenty grams was loaded into that basket. I'm currently pulling 13.5 grams on an E61 and 11.5g on a 49mm Cremina lever, so at your current dose of fourteen I'd say you're spot on.
Yeah I cringe everytime I see somebody dinging the portafilter. Makes me want to knock them in the head with it. Serves no purpose from what I see and I have never done it. A few stray grounds on the sidewall aren't going to change a thing.

Peter didn't you say this was a new SO espresso of sorts? How light is the roast level?

Shadow said:
Is that 11.5 grams in the Cremina single basket?

I'm using the Elektra MCAL double with that smallish dose believe it or not. I use to dose around 15, but I was applying so much force to the lever when trying to pull a shot and I'd always end up getting around one ounce of espresso max. Also the grind setting between my E61 and the Cremina would be like a whole five notch difference on the Mazzer, which really sucked because it meant that I couldn't just hop back and forth between the two machines like I'm doing now(I prefer the E61 to wake up with and the Cremina for that afternoon cup).

Updosing in my opinion is just a stupid trend that quickly became nothing but a pissing match between WBC contenders in recent years.
Temperature can cause this. A dirty group head can cause this kind of behavior too. How often do you back flush the machine and what is the temperature of the water coming out of the group head? If this is a hX unit then the flow restrictors could be clogging with scale and restricting the thermosyphon. Is there a water filter on the unit? How hard is your local water?
The roast was 462 degrees. I fiddled around a bit today. Tightened the group head a little bit, made a big difference. One of the issues is my grinder isnt as consistent as it needs to be. I will dig a hand grinder out and use that I think. I put the pf on a mill today and made a bottomless out of it. It should me a whole world of things. One was it was channeling some. Another was it was going too fast.

Anyways, these are the best 2 shot I came up with [sigh]. I was using a few different beans and roast levels. Granted the first one was real blonde. I let them go long too, just to see what they would do.

Well water, excellent soft water. I put a thermometer in a shot glass. When the water came out of the head and hit the glass, it was 185. Backflush every day.
The second shot was a HUGE improvement over the first one!
Isn't well water notorious for being hard? Is your machine on a softening system? And 185 sounds pretty low to me. I would want to see 194-198 exit temp. You'd be surprised what 10 degrees will do. I don't think your water is working hard enough for you. A little more temp and you'll see a lot more action.
Well water in a 3 mile circle here, [for all 50 people] is the best water one could find. No softener or filters needed. 275' of pure pea gravel and sand. Tell me exactly how to take the temp of the water. I will do it again tomorrow. Should I just hold it under the group head and let the water trickle down on it?
Hi Peter - Where are you outside of Kalispell? I lived there for a bit. Born in Bozeman...

Have you taken hardness readings on your well water? Certain kinds of well water can taste great but wreak havok on the insides of an espresso machine. Scale builds up at joints and junctures where the water changes temperature rapidly, like inside the group head flow restrictors where the hot water from the heat exchanger meets the thermal mass of the grouphead. When these flow restrictors get clogged the group heads begin to cool down because the hot water from the hX (heat exchanger) doesn't flow as quickly and keep the group head up to temp. You can turn up the temp on your brew water marginally by turning up the P-stat to increase the temperature inside the steam boiler. If your hX's are working correctly you'll see good results from this but if they are clogged then you'll see almost no movement in water temp with a p-stat adjustment.

A good way to temp your water is the "Styrofoam Cup Method". Run some water into a small styrofoam cup, maybe two ounces, and take a reading with a digital thermometer. This number will be roughly 7-10 degrees less than the water in the boiler and 4-7 degrees lower than the water that first hits the coffee. It will give you some ballpark results but still usefull. You want the water that first hits the coffee to be 196+.
Hey Mike,

I am 120 miles west of Kalispell, near Thompson Falls.

The water has been checked, no build up, scales or anything have ever been caused from it. The machine has been well maintained by a service guy. I spoke with him prior to buying this and he said it was a fine machine. I will check this tomorrow if time allows.

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