Catching Vessels for Monolith Grinders?

Grinders are one of the keys to exceptional espresso. Discuss them here.
coffeekid
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Postby coffeekid » Aug 12, 2017, 12:17 pm

Though the Kafetek Monolith grinders are used primarily for direct distribution into portafilter baskets for espresso, Denis Basaric advertises their ability to "grind from the finest Turkish coffee to French Press, Espresso, Mocha, and Filter coffee." After owning a Monolith Flat for a short time, I can corroborate that it produces excellent pour over, Aeropress, french press, and even drip. Owning a Kruve sieve system, I have sifted these various grounds and was not surprised to discover they all have far narrower particle distributions than my old, yet reliable Baratza Virtuoso. Denis has designed not only an incredible espresso grinder, but a tremendously versatile one overall. This is great news for people who, like me, are limited on space and would like a single grinder that can produce high-quality results across the coffee spectrum.

However, what all of these non-espresso uses of the Monolith require is a catching vessel for ground coffee, which is notably missing from Denis' otherwise comprehensive and over-the-top array of free grinding accessories he ships with his grinders. I have temporarily resorted to using the old grounds bin from my Baratza, but for a number of reasons it does not work well.

I write to ask if anyone has found or made any good catching vessels for the Monoliths. Though not entirely necessary, what I have envisioned is a container that utilizes the holding forks by mimicking a 58mm portafilter's prongs, and sits as closely to the chute as possible to minimize spilling. Though this would exclude non-58mm setups, this would allow for versatility across the Conical and Flat models, which have different total clearances. Naturally, other sizes could potentially be made as well.

What would be a bonus would be if there is a vessel that could be used both as a catching container and as a cup for performing RDT and dosing into the Monoliths as well as other narrow brewing devices after grinding, such as Aeropress. For example, it could be asymmetrical with one end being larger (facing toward the grinder) to catch grounds and the other side (facing away from the grinder) being tapered like the pouring spout of a pitcher. I purchased a small glass pitcher (pictured) with the specific RDT purpose in mind, but it is proving less viable for dosing into the Monolith Flat than anticipated.

For anyone interested in either searching or manufacturing something to address this need, I've taken measurements and pictures of various clearances for the Monolith Flat, which may help in identifying viable options. I could be mistaken, but I believe the Flat is more restrictive in its sizing than the Conical, which has a taller total height clearance; so, I'm fairly certain it would make more sense to have the Flat's measurements in mind, to ensure dual compatibility. (This may be overkill or unnecessary.) Of course, the fork height is adjustable, but these measurements are taken from Denis' stock setup, which works well with his and many other portafilter funnels.

Thankful for any thoughts or suggestions. Perhaps we could even encourage Denis to create this as an accessory.

Max height: 125mm
Max width (at forks): 72mm
Max depth (if round): 50mm [45mm if rectangular, fitting flush into back of forks]
Clearance above forks: 36mm
Max width inside forks: 82.5mm
Height of any PF-style prongs for vessel: 6.6mm

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ds
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Postby ds » Aug 12, 2017, 12:27 pm

This is catch cup I am using with my Monolith Flat, I have posted this before check it out, perfect fit.

coffeekid
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Postby coffeekid » Aug 12, 2017, 12:45 pm

ds wrote:This is catch cup I am using with my Monolith Flat, I have posted this before check it out, perfect fit.


Thanks for the suggestion, David. I'll likely invest in something like this in the short run. Though, something more tailored to the Monoliths would be nice. I imagine you experience some spillage with that distance from the chute?

rogersta
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Postby rogersta » Aug 12, 2017, 1:37 pm

Coffee kid,

I know this is off topic, but I too plan on using my flat for a wide range of coffee brews. What settings are using for drip, aeropress, vacuum siphon? I noticed your yellow sticker for drip sitting at the 5 position in your images.

coffeekid
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Postby coffeekid » Aug 12, 2017, 2:39 pm

rogersta wrote:Coffee kid,

I know this is off topic, but I too plan on using my flat for a wide range of coffee brews. What settings are using for drip, aeropress, vacuum siphon? I noticed your yellow sticker for drip sitting at the 5 position in your images.


A little off topic, but I almost wanted to start a separate thread on this, actually.

As others have noted, the numbers are arbitrary points of reference. More still, you can rotate the entire funnel 360 degrees and effectively have the same number with drastically different grind sizes.

What I believe is more helpful is to look at these as RELATIVE markings to one another, with a common point of reference. The method I've decided to use is to have different markings for different grind settings so that when I have the markings centered (technically in the "5" position), I achieve my desired grind. I'm actually waiting on my espresso machine (from Decent Espresso), but I did was move Denis' red arrow to the center position the moment it arrived, which is what he considered to be dialed in for espresso--I believe on a single-group Slayer. What this means is that my preferred drip grind is five units coarser than Denis' preferred espresso grind, which is actually far fewer units closer than I expected. Granted, I like a rather fine drip grind, but, for more a more objective reference, this gave me a rather centered distribution between 400 and 800 microns using the Kruve. Though not pictured, my Aeropress setting is roughly two units finer than drip, and my french press is roughly five units coarser than my drip. I don't have or use a vacuum siphon unfortunately. I am still very much "in progress" with this all, in that I'm having to readjust all of my brew recipes to accommodate the better grind.

What may make things more objective would be to mark the point where the burrs are just starting to chirp from touching or being "zeroed," and then begin using that as a reference point. That is, even though the numbers are arbitrary, it is safe to assume that as long as the thread machining on the funnels and printing on the top caps are consistent across machines, then the difference between units should be the same, at least from conical to conical and flat to flat (though, unlikely from flat to conical). Perhaps, if I may suggest an innovation, we can call this units "Coarser than Zero," or CTZ. To the best of my ability, I believe Denis' default espresso grind was approximately 8 CTZ, which would make my Aeropress 11 CTZ, my drip 13 CTZ, and my french press 18 CTZ. To be clear, these numbers are likely to change.

I hope this is helpful. As I think of it, one very inexpensive though very useful accessory Denis might include in future generations of Monoliths would be a series of labelled sticky arrows for creating these references. He could pre-label the zero point, his preferred setting for espresso, but then also offer stickers for various brew types.

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Peppersass
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Postby Peppersass » Aug 12, 2017, 2:45 pm

ds wrote:This is catch cup I am using with my Monolith Flat, I have posted this before check it out, perfect fit.

I use it too and it works great. Thanks, ds!
Dick Green

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Peppersass
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Postby Peppersass » Aug 12, 2017, 2:57 pm

coffeekid wrote:I hope this is helpful. As I think of it, one very inexpensive though very useful accessory Denis might include in future generations of Monoliths would be a series of labelled sticky arrows for creating these references. He could pre-label the zero point, his preferred setting for espresso, but then also offer stickers for various brew types.

Of course, you'll need different colors for different grind settings.

I picked up an inexpensive packet of stickers from Michaels and used one to mark my preferred position for vac-pot brew.

Here's the original sticker at a typical setting for a medium-roast espresso:

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Here's the new sticker, set to my preferred position for vac-pot brew:

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And here's where the new sticker ends up when the grinder is set to espresso grind. It's not visible from the side -- I had to lean over the counter to get it in the photo:

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Dick Green

skilled in the art of grinding
Sponsored by Baratza - skilled in the art of grinding
coffeekid
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Joined: Jul 12, 2016, 3:54 pm

Postby coffeekid » Aug 12, 2017, 3:10 pm

Peppersass wrote:Of course, you'll need different colors for different grind settings.

I picked up an inexpensive packet of stickers from Michaels and used one to mark my preferred position for vac-pot brew.

Here's the original sticker at a typical setting for a medium-roast espresso:


This is helpful to see. Many thanks for sharing. It's interesting to see what I'd probably guess is around 12 units difference between espresso and vac pot for you. Again, once I play around a bit more, I might want to try to get a bit more analytical with this method. It might be helpful to others to note, for example, what are typical ranges of units people use for various brew types (e.g. - "Most people find espresso to range between 5 and 10 CTZ"), and perhaps even what mean particle size in microns one might expect at various CTZs.

jaredw
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Postby jaredw » Aug 12, 2017, 6:12 pm

I have been using the lyn webber blind tumbler. The forks hold it perfectly.

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Almico
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Postby Almico » Aug 12, 2017, 7:44 pm

I use this ss cup https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000QKQ936/re ... Jzb7N6K3B3 for my Fuji Royal and it also happens to fit perfectly for my MonCon.

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It fits in with the smallest bit of pressure so it can even be held higher.

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I was using a small tupperware container with my K10 for dosing and pouring into the PF. I was nice because you could squeeze it to form a spout.

 
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