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  1. #1
    gaw
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    Breville 870xl -under 18 sec shot time & under an ounce of espresso - What's wrong

    I'm a new Breville Barista Express BES870xl owner. I have not been able to get close to a 25 second shot time or 1 ounce of espresso. Always between 15-18 second shot time (under extracted ?) and .75 ounce of espresso (over extracted ?) all in the same pull...regardless of the grind, regardless of the freshness of beans. Have called Breville three times with no luck. Any advice? Ready to return it before my 30 days are up. THANKS - GAW

    - New machine - less than 3 weeks old; have used maybe 30 times mostly trying to pull a good shot.
    - At 6,350 ft in altitude - I have read mixed posting as to whether this matters or not
    - Single shot, using single wall filter basket
    - 9-10g of coffee (in many combinations of grind and amount; but always 10g)
    - I have used 3 day from roast beans and 7.5 week from roast beans; not much different in results except for better crema in the new batch; I also know I should let the new beans sit for a few more days, but live in a rural community and it is either super fresh or 4+ weeks old
    - I have used grind settings from 1 - 13 for the 3 day old beans and 1-5 for the 7.5 week old beans. All between 9-10 g. Same results: under an ounce of espresso all under 18 seconds. At the lower grind it will get to the 12 o'clock spot on the pressure dial.

    - I've tried increasing the shot volume but it gets to 1 ounce still under 20 seconds. If I let the shot volume run until 25 seconds then I get way over an ounce of espresso.

    - Sometimes puck dispenses easily from portafilter, sometimes it is stuck and I need to get it out with a dull knife. Never seems dry, nor overly wet. Just damp.

    - when single shot run without any coffee or portafilter, 1 1/3 ounces of water is released.

    - Lots of water in the drip tray.

  2. #2
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    Sounds like you've really tried all sorts of things to figure this out, BUT I'd recommend getting rid of the single basket. Honestly singles are a joke and usually lead to frustration/wasted coffee. Problem is most singles baskets have an aggressive taper and require meticulous puck prep/tamping/finer grind to get close to being usable. Switch to a non-pressurized (standard) double basket and enjoy something worth drinking. If you're looking for less volume simply extract the double short.

    I'm not a fan of the appliance grade stuff Breville pushes and honestly think they know little regarding espresso regardless of who works for them.
    Last edited by shadow745; 08-10-2019 at 06:35 AM.
    I'm a legend among my own kind... you my friend are just a legend in your own mind. Later!

  3. #3
    gaw
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    I moved to a double shot with still mixed results.
    I also adjusted the conical burrs down one spot to a finer setting (from a 6 to a 5) so I could get finer grinds.
    I weighed my beans and ran them through the Breville grinder manually until empty.

    size 4 grind; 17g of beans; 1.5 oz of espresso; 38 second shot time
    size 5 grind; 17g of beans; 1.875 oz of espresso; 22 second shot time
    size 4 grind; 16g of beans; 1.5 oz of espresso; 27 second shot time

    Can't seem to be able to get the full 2 oz and a 25 to 35 second shot time.

    Thoughts?

  4. #4
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    Is the machine volumentric? Can you adjust the amount of water it uses?

  5. #5
    gaw
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    Quote Originally Posted by Musicphan View Post
    Is the machine volumentric? Can you adjust the amount of water it uses?
    Yes. I can let the water flow more.

  6. #6
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    I know some get caught up in trying to achieve ____ oz. in ____ seconds, but there are so many variables involved with espresso that every coffee is going to be different. Instead of focusing on numbers how did those extractions taste, as that's what really matters? Getting the flavor profile/texture you like from particular coffees is key, then trying to duplicate it once you lock onto what works for you.

    Based on lots of posts/complaints on various forums the 870's integrated grinder does hold it back in terms of really dialing things in. I know some have calibrated it to grind finer and did achieve better results, but that would be your call on going a step further.

    You say your coffee is either really fresh or a bit stale due to your location, etc. When you have experimented as per the numbers mentioned how was the coffee stored, grinder cleaned before/after each daily use, etc.? Those things are often overlooked and even a few grams of stale coffee can seriously throw off extractions.
    I'm a legend among my own kind... you my friend are just a legend in your own mind. Later!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by gaw View Post
    Yes. I can let the water flow more.
    So the numbers of 1.5 oz & 1.875 was manually stopped? I'm trying to understand how you are operating your machine. From my understanding when you select the 1 or 2 shot functions on that machine its volumetric and will dispense X amount of liquid.

  8. #8
    gaw
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    Quote Originally Posted by Musicphan View Post
    So the numbers of 1.5 oz & 1.875 was manually stopped? I'm trying to understand how you are operating your machine. From my understanding when you select the 1 or 2 shot functions on that machine its volumetric and will dispense X amount of liquid.
    I can do a custom program to let more water distribute. And in theory if I let it go longer, I'll increase the shot time and the amount of liquid dispersing. I'm going to try that and see how it goes.

    I'm just concerned that there is something wrong with the machine that it is not putting out enough pressure for the right amount of time. It does go to the 12 o'clock spot on the pressure gauge. It just doesn't stay there very long. Appears I can fix the ability to grind the beans more with the burr adjustment that comes with the newer 870XLs.

    Just want to make sure I don't have a lemon.

  9. #9
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    So are you using the auto or manual?

  10. #10
    gaw
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    Quote Originally Posted by Musicphan View Post
    So are you using the auto or manual?
    I am using auto. But I'm going to start fresh in the morning and just use manual and weigh my shots. I'm going to shoot for 1:2 (ground beans:espresso output) in a 25-35 second time range using a double shot basket (but single walled). Something like 17g:34g. I'll see how things taste at that point.

 

 
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