Are "fluffier" coffee grounds better? - Page 4

Grinders are one of the keys to exceptional espresso. Discuss them here.
jpender

#31: Post by jpender » Sep 11, 2019, 1:45 pm

Elegance? Logic? Superstition? Whenever it's hard to get at the truth about what actually works and why I think most of us practice something akin to this.

pcrussell50

#32: Post by pcrussell50 » Sep 11, 2019, 3:21 pm

AssafL wrote:The first and second parts of the sentence seem at some odds...

RDT is a phenomena of dryness and humidity in the beans that helps dissipate the static charges associated with triboelectric charge generation during grinding. If you live in a high humidity area RDT doesn't really add anything to you (except making damp beans even more damp). So the logic being - RDT could help in cases of low humidity and charge generation.

WDT is a function of grinder. Nestle doesn't WDT and Nespresso still works fine. Actually their grinder's do the WDT. They call it normalization. So there is nothing remotely normal about humans doing it.
The fact that grinder don't normalize is even less elegant. You have a $2000 grinder that needs a swizzle stick at the end? What if blenders needed some stirring at the end?
Not sure what to make of your Nespresso example and how it applies in this case. Are you saying that if people grind into a vessel and jostle it around the way a Nespresso capsule might in transit from the factory to your home, that that is not some form of WDT? But especially as far as this thread title goes, I cannot grind into a portafilter without a funnel, and then remove the funnel without first stirring the grounds pile down to a safe enough level where spillage is no longer a risk. I call that action WDT. And to my sensibilities, doing without it would be inelegant. Others opinions and their tolerance for varying degrees of spillage in the name of elegance, are free to vary.

Re RDT... Kafatek publishes a gram weight of retention to expect if you do RDT, and a larger number to expect if you don't. It is left to the user's value judgement of elegance to decide how he wants to use that information. "Low retention" designs with short chutes and no static dissipating obstructions being more prone to static-caused retention. I do not regard this as a design flaw, so much as a design choice. I happily RDT, to obtain the smaller number but one doesn't have to. Agreed that other variables also contribute to static.

-Peter
LMWDP #553

TheMadTamper

#33: Post by TheMadTamper » replying to pcrussell50 » Sep 11, 2019, 3:52 pm

Maybe a secondary piece of data needed when talking WDT+fluffy grounds is how much you dose and what dose your basket is rated for? You're describing funnels and stirring to get the pile down, and spillage. Even with my ultra-fluffy Kony my dose isn't that high that there's any spillage, and where it does get piled above the edge, it's still in the basket and simple taps levels the fluffy grinds to a safe level. No funnels and certainly no stirring required for that. But if you're doing 18 in an 18g VST basket or above the rated dose, then I can see how fluff could create a spillage problem, and yes, some solution would be required to avoid spillage unless you're doing finger-strike/stockfleth rather than a fixed dose.

I'm starting to understand INEI better now. "14g, no exceptions!" :D

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AssafL

#34: Post by AssafL » Sep 12, 2019, 1:27 am

pcrussell50 wrote:Not sure what to make of your Nespresso example and how it applies in this case. Are you saying that if people grind into a vessel and jostle it around the way a Nespresso capsule might in transit from the factory to your home, that that is not some form of WDT? But especially as far as this thread title goes, I cannot grind into a portafilter without a funnel, and then remove the funnel without first stirring the grounds pile down to a safe enough level where spillage is no longer a risk. I call that action WDT. And to my sensibilities, doing without it would be inelegant. Others opinions and their tolerance for varying degrees of spillage in the name of elegance, are free to vary.
My point is that Nestle doesn't need WDT. And no - I think that the grounds are not free to "move" in the capsule. They are held down firmly so they don't slowly sift the homogeneity of the puck.

I'll concede a point that it makes no sense for a grinder to dose by weight. It is hard to do well. It is out of grinder makers expertise fiddling with load cells and portafilter moments. So it is done manually. Or some external apparatus like an Orion.

But for grinds to need an additional manual "swirl"? One more rotation of a paddle that comes after the burrs??? What is the elegance of stopping the grinder motor one revolution too early (and dismissing the paddle altogether???). It is not as if all of the grinder makers don't make these same contraptions for their industrial systems. It just that they skimp on the hobbyists. That isn't elegant.

Would it be elegant if Vitamix or Blend-tec required users to "beat the results with a whisk for homogeneity?" Jamba juice employees would be so happy....

Re RDT... Kafatek publishes a gram weight of retention to expect if you do RDT, and a larger number to expect if you don't. It is left to the user's value judgement of elegance to decide how he wants to use that information. "Low retention" designs with short chutes and no static dissipating obstructions being more prone to static-caused retention. I do not regard this as a design flaw, so much as a design choice. I happily RDT, to obtain the smaller number but one doesn't have to. Agreed that other variables also contribute to static.
These "published guidelines" make no sense to me since it depends on RH and temp (they are related) and bean humidity. It isn't just a number.

Static in non-conductive powders (fresh coffee is such) is a technology and engineering issue. Not addressing it isn't just lack of elegance, it is engineering ineptitude. In the electronics component industry, there are specs for the humidity you are allowed to open packaging. To allow soldering to work properly. Also for static discharge purposes. Maybe grinders need a humidity rating depending on their configuration?

You happily offset ineptitude of engineering as elegance. But as an engineer, this is demeaning to my art: ineptitude is rarely "elegant".

Now one may say that there is elegance in old designs - in fact - I build steam engines which are obviously inelegant by modern standards - but that is okay for nostalgia. At the end of the day a modern grinder should utilize the best practices to overcome the shortcomings of older designs.

/end rant
Scraping away (slowly) at the tyranny of biases and dogma.

TheMadTamper

#35: Post by TheMadTamper » Sep 12, 2019, 11:15 am

The discussion including the mechanisms on industrial grinders as well as talking about stopping the motor too early, static etc, etc also brings to mind another point. Is this discussion of the necessity of WDT presuming a single dosing configuration? Most commercial grinders we're talking about already take static into account with anti-static mesh, silicone-rubber flaps, or steel forks. The pacting of grinds in the (hopefully short) chute also addresses some amount of homogeneity. Compared to flat burrs where the rotation speed of the burrs ejects the grinds, on the large conicals, the burrs deposit grinds into the chamber, where a sweeper bar passes through and stirs the grinds out of the chamber almost like a mini-doser.

If used as intended most of what people area talking about don't actually seem relevant to a modern commercial grinder.

pcrussell50

#36: Post by pcrussell50 » Sep 12, 2019, 11:45 am

TheMadTamper wrote:Is this discussion of the necessity of WDT presuming a single dosing configuration? Most commercial grinders we're talking about already take static into account with anti-static mesh, silicone-rubber flaps, or steel forks.
I single dose. Only. I think Assaf does too (Versalab, non?)

Bolded part... correct. These clunky homogenizing things in the exit path are "static reducers". And they are not just in commercial machines. The LWW HG1 has a scraper in the drop funnel that is (thankfully), easily removed. While they manage static and static-caused retention well, (reducing the need for RDT), they increase the tendency to physical retention and in some (not all) cases, make grinds less fluffy. The Sette, which forces the grinds through circumferential restrictions, still manages to make fluffy grinds, although not without some retention, if the forum discussions are correct.

So re elegance... pick your poison: Elegant workflow in exchange for inelegance in your grinder, or elegant grinder in exchange for RDT/WDT. Kafatek (and I) have clarity on this issue and prefer the latter. Fortunately, we are free to pick our poison.

-Peter
LMWDP #553

TheMadTamper

#37: Post by TheMadTamper » replying to pcrussell50 » Sep 12, 2019, 2:58 pm

So I think the two points of import when discussing fluff and WDT definitely need to include single dosing or no, and dose weight/basket rating. Otherwise a lot of confusion occurs as to just what problems people are trying to manage.

In my case, I'm using normal commercial grinders in the normal way the grinders are designed to be used: Load the hopper, grind dose by timing, doses are accurate within spec. It's what the machine is meant to do. Yes, I have to purge some beans at the start of the session. Unless it's a Robur the purge is a single or so. Retention is pretty overstated IMO. All the static screens/flaps/whatever are factory normal. Grinds are fluffy (on my particular grinders.)

The K10PB is an outlier. I really got that for single dosing and did all the chute mods etc, but found the routine drove me crazy. Currently I'm committing the highest crime one can commit on HB. I'm actually using my doser...... as a doser! Since the morning hustle is 7 doubles, I use my darkroom timer to grind for about 26 seconds - yes, 26 seconds on a 68mm conical.....that's roughly 4oz of coffee - 1/4lb. (I admit I have a guilty pleasure just sitting and watching the beans pour down the hopper into a huge pile....) Technically because I'm not maintaining a full doser it's also a pain. After the first 2 shots or so, I have to keep clacking a little out to redistribute the piles bigger in the back of the doser star. Works well enough but I'm working on replacing that process with another timed grinder. The K10 will go back to being a single doser for rare SOs or something - or maybe use it as a makeshift coarse grinder for a Hario. I'd never sell it, but it has trouble fitting my routine for the moment.

I haven't used a single-dose-by-design grinder, so I'm not sure what the WDT requirements are or aren't for those, and I don't know about single dosing doserless traditional grinders. I do imagine you'd run into some undesired distribution that way, but that's to be expected using a grinder in unintended configurations. Short of the chute sweep nightmares, in that regard, I do love the K10PB for single dosing. I know the Monolith Conical uses (used?) Kony burrs, so I can't imagine it does much worse in that regard than a real Kony, but I can't say for sure. The Cedo with the billows seems like an interesting, if awkward, solution to the problem.

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AssafL

#38: Post by AssafL » Sep 12, 2019, 5:40 pm

I wonder how many WDT practitioners lose EY points compared to letting the grinder do it.

I am sure some (with bad grinders, or very dry days, or the very meticulous WDT practitioners) would gain EY pointsmost of the time. But some may very well lose some extraction.
Scraping away (slowly) at the tyranny of biases and dogma.

jpender

#39: Post by jpender » Sep 12, 2019, 8:33 pm

I have never ever done an RDT. Never. There's no reason to do it at all. Period.

For my environment.


So much of what's being posted here is personal.

belegnole

#40: Post by belegnole » Sep 12, 2019, 8:38 pm

So true.

My only concern is if it tastes good.

If it doesn't, what do I need to change to make it taste good.