Hario Skerton best setting for espresso

Grinders are one of the keys to exceptional espresso. Discuss them here.
mchodson
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Postby mchodson » Thu Jan 10, 2013 4:14 am

I am having a killer time trying to dial in my Skerton for espresso. Everything was going fine until I got some ultra fresh beans and now the setting that worked is giving me a fast and thick pour with crema that doesn't last. I tried tightening it up a bit and choked the puck. I am having a hard time finding the happy medium. Any tips?

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TomC
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Postby TomC » Thu Jan 10, 2013 4:36 am

You're using a very unforgiving grinder that isn't ideally suited for espresso preparation. The "sweet spot" is incredibly small, and a jerky rotation speed on a small burr like that greatly affects the grind particle outcome and hence, your espresso grind.
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allon
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Postby allon » Thu Jan 10, 2013 7:52 am

Not that I think the skerton is well suited for espresso but I have never seen a correlation of uneven grinding speed with particle distribution. Please explain.

IMO, the skerton is ill suited for espresso because it is stepped.
Holding the grinder against a knee it is easy to grind continuously and smoothly - not with jerky movements.
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Postby pacificmanitou » Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:30 pm

I used a skerton when I first started making espresso. The lack of settings made only one viable placement for espresso, and the result was poor. If you intend on using a hand mill (for cost or whimsical reasons), antique german box mills are much more likely to yield a good result. The skerton is designed as a companion to the V60 pourover set, and it does a good job there, but drip coffees are much more forgiving than espresso in terms of the grind. It cannot be stressed enough that the grinder is the most important piece of equipment in your rig, and the skerton is a weak link.
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Postby yakster » Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:54 pm

With the Skerton, you may find the best results by leaving the grinder setting along and adjusting the coffee dose to dial in the flow if a grinder upgrade is not practical.

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Postby mchodson » Thu Jan 10, 2013 1:36 pm

So I would reduce my dose if it is running too fast and increase if i am choking? Or do I have that backwards?

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Postby pacificmanitou » Thu Jan 10, 2013 2:39 pm

You have it backwards, a faster flow needs to be slowed, either through a finer grind or higher dose, slow flows need a either a coarser grind or a lower dose. Often, these are done in conjunction when dialing in a coffee, but with inadequate equipment, the dose may be the only viable method of adjusting the flow.
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Postby cmin » Thu Jan 10, 2013 3:32 pm

If one click is gushing and next choking, go back to the gushing click and use more beans or vice versa (less w/ choking). Are you measuring your beans? IE on the Hario Slim I had to dose like another 2-3 grams to get a good pull, 14 gushed, 17+ pulled good though on same setting.

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Postby Burner0000 » Thu Jan 10, 2013 5:13 pm

mchodson wrote:I am having a killer time trying to dial in my Skerton for espresso. Everything was going fine until I got some ultra fresh beans and now the setting that worked is giving me a fast and thick pour with crema that doesn't last. I tried tightening it up a bit and choked the puck. I am having a hard time finding the happy medium. Any tips?



Option 1: Set to the second setting from 0 and tamp lightly maybe 3-5lb with 14g of coffee.

Option 2: Go out and buy a Nylock nut to replace the stepped mechanism. I currently have my set to about 10 o'clock from 0, 6 o'clock facing me. If you have a digital caliper I can give you an exact measurement setting. For .75 cents it's a great steppless mod. :)

PM if you need more info.

Cheers!
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