Grind consistency of column with weight vs. stock hopper

Grinders are one of the keys to exceptional espresso. Discuss them here.
mitch236

#1: Post by mitch236 »

I want to ask if anyone has done an experiment comparing these two techniques:

1- The stock hopper

2- A column of beans with a weight to hold the top.

Like this:




The reason I ask is because this weekend I decided to switch back to the hopper because of convenience but found I had to change the grind setting 4 notches finer for the hopper compared to the column/weight. I don't mind where I set the grinder, I wonder if anyone has compared the taste profile of these two methods. If equal, I would think the column/weight method would give me better consistency since as the hopper empties, the weight of the beans compressing into the throat would change the grind whereas the column would remain consistent.

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Marshall

#2: Post by Marshall »

mitch236 wrote:I want to ask if anyone has done an experiment comparing these two techniques:

1- The stock hopper

2- A column of beans with a weight to hold the top.
3. The stock hopper with a column of beans.

#3 is how they were designed to be used and works quite well for most owners.
Marshall
Los Angeles

mitch236

#3: Post by mitch236 » replying to Marshall »

That's what was meant by my #1- stock hopper.

I know it works well, I just wanted to know if anyone has done a proper experiment comparing the two techniques. Many techniques work well for the commercial environment that can be made better for the home user, like weighing grinds and shots. We home users have a lot more time (usually) and so can jump through more hoops to make every shot count.

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Marshall

#4: Post by Marshall »

mitch236 wrote:That's what was meant by my #1- stock hopper.

I know it works well, I just wanted to know if anyone has done a proper experiment comparing the two techniques.
How I Avoid Single Dosing
Marshall
Los Angeles

mitch236

#5: Post by mitch236 »

I think you misunderstood my question. I wasn't questioning whether single dosing works, what I want to compare is whether one can taste the difference between a shot pulled with a grinder/hopper (more than 1/2 full) and a column/weight setup. Neither method is true single dosing. Both techniques would be weighed to the 0.1 gm. Both worked for me but I had to readjust the grind setting between the two techniques. I wonder if any of the golden tongue tasters can tell the difference? Not whether one can taste the difference with a 0.3 gm variation in dose.

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RapidCoffee
Team HB

#6: Post by RapidCoffee »

mitch236 wrote:... this weekend I decided to switch back to the hopper because of convenience but found I had to change the grind setting 4 notches finer for the hopper compared to the column/weight.
4 notches is a huge grind change on the Robur. Perhaps your minihopper weight is a lot heavier than the bean weight in the standard hopper, at least in the grinder throat. I haven't compared the standard hopper to a minihopper, but I have compared single dosing to bean columns in a minihopper. On my Robur, 4 notches finer is a grind setting change typically associated with single dosing.
John

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cafeIKE

#7: Post by cafeIKE »

A Tamper is Too Heavy for Grinder Anti-Popcorn Remedy
Of course, there is some controversy.

mitch236

#8: Post by mitch236 » replying to cafeIKE »

Ian, that was exactly what I was looking for! I'm in the column camp but might have to find a lighter weight!

Thanks!!

mitch236

#9: Post by mitch236 »

RapidCoffee wrote:4 notches is a huge grind change on the Robur. Perhaps your minihopper weight is a lot heavier than the bean weight in the standard hopper, at least in the grinder throat. I haven't compared the standard hopper to a minihopper, but I have compared single dosing to bean columns in a minihopper. On my Robur, 4 notches finer is a grind setting change typically associated with single dosing.
Yes, my weight is much heavier than the beans in a hopper. I wonder if that negatively affects taste? I don't mind setting the grinder to whatever works, I only want rock solid consistency and great taste every time (which is why I'm spending so much time on this)!

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Marshall

#10: Post by Marshall »

mitch236 wrote:I only want rock solid consistency and great taste every time (which is why I'm spending so much time on this)!
"Rock solid consistency" is a myth. Even during a single day: beans age, humidity changes, ambient temperature changes, and the state of the brewpath changes. City water content changes month by month. The best we can hope for is "reasonable consistency" with periodic tweaks. Chasing after "rock solid consistency" will just drive you crazy and waste your time and money.
Marshall
Los Angeles