Tried and failed to love VST baskets - Page 6

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nsuster

#51: Post by nsuster »

Spitz.me wrote:I think that that's a good way to view the basket, or any part of the workflow. Literally, we MUST believe that everything connected to pulling that shot make a difference in some way, whether it's in the cup or in feelings. I think that considering different baskets should be for very specific reasons that would be outlined by the basket maker, like VST. If it's just a difference between baskets because of low precision basket manufacturing than I would say that's a negative.
Definitely agree. You cannot keep all other variables the same and then "test" the differences between baskets. The differences inherent with the baskets will require a different grind/dose/extraction etc. to yield positive results.

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Almico (original poster)

#52: Post by Almico (original poster) »

nsuster wrote: You cannot keep all other variables the same and then "test" the differences between baskets.
Sure you can. As a matter of fact, that is the only way to compare baskets. If you change anything else, you are no longer testing just the baskets.

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RapidCoffee
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#53: Post by RapidCoffee »

Almico wrote:I have found that to not be true. I think the lighter coffees associated with VST baskets is what necessitates the finer grind.
...
Only when I try to use a light roast do I have to change the grind setting.
This has not been my experience. Certainly different beans and lighter roasts require a change in grind settings. But different baskets generally do not have the same extraction characteristics (flow rate and brew ratio). In my tests, for a given dose and grind, the 18g Decent basket flows faster than the similar height "14g" EP basket. And the shorter 15g Decent basket (dosed at 15g) requires a significantly finer grind than the 18g Decent basket (dosed at 18g), to achieve a similar extraction.

I'm not sure what causes this: individual hole size, total hole area, hole pattern, basket shape, head space... but I do find differences.
John

nsuster

#54: Post by nsuster »

Almico wrote:Sure you can. As a matter of fact, that is the only way to compare baskets. If you change anything else, you are no longer testing just the baskets.
I understand your point. My point was if the baskets are another tool in the workflow then if their physical properties change then you will need to adjust (maybe) based on flavor.

One analogy would be grind setting across two grinders. You can't just set both grinders to the same settings to get the same flavor/extraction. You will need to adjust based on the physical differences between those two grinders (particle size, uniformity, fines, particle profile based on burr geometry, etc).

Another analogy would be airflow across an F1 car. You can't just keep all aerodynamics the same and make a change to one component. It will throw off the entire aerodynamic efficiency of the car. You need to consider the entire workflow not just 1 specific aspect when physical changes are involved.

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#55: Post by walr00s »

I'm finding that combining the VST with the steel burrs on my Vario produces a much more finicky flow than the ceramic burrs. While with the EPHQ14, the flow always looks quite nice regardless of which burrs I am using. My wife could reliably identify the burrs used in a blind taste test, but not the basket changes. Using Brandywine Ethiopean Decaf

bakafish

#56: Post by bakafish »

Almico wrote:I'm not a fan of anything "volumetric" dosing. If it does it's thing based on time, I find it invariably inaccurate. I do use a bulk brew grinder that weighs by time and I live with the fluctuations, but my espresso grinder doses by weight and lever espresso machines have a fixed volume amount. Big advantage over pump machines in my thinking.
I remember it was the Linea PB with the flow meter volumetric dosing. I believe it was the human error to have so big variance of the shot time.

The lever espresso machine is also not so precise if you check it only by eyes. The small difference of the lever angle may lead to some grams difference of the espresso weight. The springs tension may different, etc.

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Psyd
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#57: Post by Psyd »

Almico wrote:Sure you can. As a matter of fact, that is the only way to compare baskets. If you change anything else, you are no longer testing just the baskets.
I mean, scientifically, I agree with the sentiment, but in this case it's like trying a short sidewall tire vs a tall one and suggesting that the same tire pressures and rims be used for both. The point of a short sidewall is that you can use lower pressures, and the same size inner diameter will give you a rather smaller outer diameter if you keep the same rim size. OTOH, if you keep the same outer diameter, the tires wont fit the same sized rims. The only way to see if you can appreciate the advantages of a shorter sidewall tire is to use larger rims and lower the tire pressure. Yes you are changing three different parameters at once, but you still have only two variables to contend with: Do I like a shorter sidewall set-up or the taller one?

In other news, I ended up with four of the EP precision baskets as they had doubled my order, and when I brought it to their attention, gifted me the second pair. I've used them exclusively since, and never looked back. I think that I may need to start tasting my other baskets. Thanks for the eye opener, ever'buddy!
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PeetsFan
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#58: Post by PeetsFan »

JohnB. wrote:I have a slightly smaller VST collection gathering dust. The Espressoparts HQ ridgeless baskets are my favorites.
Drats! I just spent $60 on a pair of their baskets.

VST seems remarkably obsessive about their baskets, too.

Jeff
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#59: Post by Jeff »

An EPNW HQ 14, dialed in, behaves very differently than a VST 18, also dialed in. Both baskets are effectively the same size and dosed the same with the same coffee and Niche Zero grinder. There are notable differences in how the flow progresses, when seen in a DE1. The EPNW seems to be more impacted by "fines migration" in the shape of the flow curve. This is different, consistent, and neither proven good or bad by itself. The differences in the cup come down to personal preference.