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How to use doser as intended

Postby bowie on Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:52 pm

I despised the doser on the Mini (currently in the basement) when I was starting out so much that I ponied up for the god-forsaken funnel. When I found a cheap Major it had a grocery spout so the funnel was immediately transferred. These days I only make any real adjustments on the Major when I feel like playing around. And with the MOC ("Mother of Child") taking two or three shots along with me every morning and afternoon, I've started to think about revisiting the doser.
The Mini funnel on the Major does not work even remotely as well for me as I've seen others discuss it (and I respectfully ask that one does not suggest the proper funnel in reply, it didn't work well on the Mini either). I weigh the dose, grind, pulse numerous times, sweep the chute, sweep the bulk of the coffee which has collected on the side of the funnel (which is most of the shot), then physically slap and bang the funnel multiple times to dislodge most of the rest. It is a relatively faster process than it appears described above...but it still sucks. I'm starting to wonder why I do all this when grinders through the ages came equipped with mechanical devices that did all of this for you.
But my question pertains to how dosers work. I fully understand how many have modded/or applied theirs for single dosing, however:

My little daydream here is that I would weigh out enough beans for three doubles (36gs for discussion) and grind it all into the doser and viola! I've three doses waiting for me in the doser (which I would most likely use within 15 minutes despite the fact that I call BS on the 10-15 minute rule).

Unfortunately I have not been able to discern if this is possible from the posts and whatnot I've read that loosely pertain to it. It appears that the doser must be continually replenished before all the wedges are empty in order to dispense a remotely accurate dose?

BTW, I plan on picking up a doser body from EPNW and transferring the mini internals inside if any of you can confirm that my dream is a possibility.

PS. Yes this post was far easier than digging out the mini and trying it out. Plus I feel like I'm contributing!
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Postby Clint Orchuk on Tue Aug 09, 2011 12:16 am

The doser needs to be at least half full to work the way it was designed to work.
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Postby another_jim on Tue Aug 09, 2011 12:22 am

Maybe even a little more than half. The doser works by having each wedge overfilled, and then the wedges being leveled by the metal shelf over the hole. The autofill dosers fill to two stories high.
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Postby Randy G. on Tue Aug 09, 2011 1:01 am

+1 to what Jim said.

Additionally, loading three doubles worth of beans will mean a changing grind, because the mass of the beans will be deeper at the start and be popcorning at the end. For consistent results, you would be advised to either keep the hopper partially full, or just load and grind one dose at a time, and use the doser as a device to to improve distribution and not as a measuring dispenser. Yes, small loads like that are a compromise, but grinding one dose at a time is a consistent compromise.
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Postby RapidCoffee on Tue Aug 09, 2011 1:18 am

bowie wrote:My little daydream here is that I would weigh out enough beans for three doubles (36gs for discussion) and grind it all into the doser and viola! I've three doses waiting for me in the doser...

+1 to what Randy said: keep the bean load reasonably consistent. Otherwise your last shot will pour noticeably faster. Also, 36g is very little for three doubles. I tend to dose 15g per double on my Spaz.

bowie wrote:I despised the doser on the Mini (currently in the basement) when I was starting out so much that I ponied up for the god-forsaken funnel.

How soon we forget. Dosers suck for home use. :evil:
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Postby jonny on Tue Aug 09, 2011 1:19 am

why not use the doser the way I've seen most (good) coffee shops use the doser. Full hopper, grind timer (or using your own judgment), and rotate the doser continuously until the portafilter is filled to the desired amount, level and tamp. After the last dose is ground, manually sweep out the doser so you are ready for tomorrow. This seems to be a decent compromise and it seems to work well for multiple shots in a row as proven by the third wave shops I've been to.
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Postby bowie on Tue Aug 09, 2011 1:56 am

Thanks everybody, the thought did seem a little too convenient...would be nice though...

BTW, What can I say? I'm a total trad doser, though I'll bump her up to 14.5-16.5gs in the afternoon sometimes...
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Postby David R. on Tue Aug 09, 2011 7:38 am

Underfilled dosers don't work well for dosing, but they are very convenient for dispensing. I've been using dosing grinders this way for home espresso over 20 years, and can't imagine going back to a grinder without a doser (though I have experimented for very short times with doserless mods on two grinders, a Rocky and a SJ).
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Postby another_jim on Tue Aug 09, 2011 11:51 am

+1 on David's distinction between dosing and dispensing (wish I had thought of it).

That thwacking doser is a fast and tidy declumper.
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Postby RapidCoffee on Tue Aug 09, 2011 12:49 pm

Sorry, gotta disagree on this. IMHO a thwacking doser is a slow, noisy, messy PITA.

I've got a Mazzer Robur with the stock doser (well, not quite - I disabled the autogrind and removed the metal flap over the chute) and a Mazzer Major, ghetto-rigged to doserless. I use the Robur for espresso and the Major for non-espresso brewing. The doserless Major is significantly quieter (no thwacking), with less mess and effort (easier access for brushing out chute, and no need to clean the doser). I've left the doser on the Robur for a variety of reasons, but I really dislike it. Yes, thwacking dosers help with declumping, but there are alternatives...

Note to bowie: PM me if you are interested in trading your doserless funnel for a stock Major doser.
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