Your Grinder has Narrow Sweet Spots Too, Right? - Page 2

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

#11: Post by Stuggi »

My thoughts exactly, I can't really see how the dose would affect the grinders ability to produce a certain range of particle sizes. One caveat would be if it's related to the infamous bean-column, but that could be dealt with by filling the hopper properly.
Sebastian "Stuggi" Storholm
LMWDP #136

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michaelbenis

#12: Post by michaelbenis »

Jim simply commented that with conicals you get more of an adjustment sweet spot, so it's easier to dial in what you want to get the extraction/taste profile right. Smaller planar grinders require a minute change compared to a large conical.

I don't remember him stating that was the whole story.

And I agree with John, about not confusing the effects of grind and dose. Let's face it, Anfim have just built their brand around that. :wink:

Stuggi: if you are getting inconsistent performance from your Europiccola with the same fresh beans and the weather is fairly stable at the moment, you need to take a look at:

distribution
grind
tamping

and probably in that order.

Cheers

Mike
LMWDP No. 237

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coffee.me (original poster)

#13: Post by coffee.me (original poster) »

RapidCoffee wrote:Interesting, and a bit confusing. When I speak of the grinder sweet spot, I'm referring to grind setting, not dose. . . . .You seem to use one definition (grind setting) when discussing vac pot, but a different one (dose) for espresso.
Let me make sure this is clear, when I say "20g mark", I basically mean the grinder setting that gives me a dose of 20g with the correct flow. So, it's always grind setting for both VacPot on the SJ and espresso on the Versalab.

RapidCoffee wrote:I'm really surprised to read these comments about dose. The vast majority of my doubles are pulled at doses in the 14-18g range, which I consider to be ideal for most normale doubles. Are you seriously suggesting that it's impossible to pull a good 15g shot with certain grinders? Maybe I'm having an attack of the stupids, but that makes no sense to me at all. Dose should be associated with the espresso machine (basket and grouphead geometry, brew water temp and pressure, etc.), not the grinder.
EXACTLY! And that's why I'm posting my question. Let' me rephrase: why do my 14-18g grind setting shots suck compared to my shots with the grinder set on the 12g or 20g position, even when using different machines, extraction profiles and coffees? Also on the SJ VacPots: why do I get more fines when I go slightly finer or coarser than a certain mid-coarse setting? Is it only me? Did this happen to someone else and they fixed it somehow?

Stuggi wrote:I can't really see how the dose would affect the grinders ability to produce a certain range of particle sizes.
Me neither! But I have no other explanation as this is consistent with different machines, extraction profiles and coffees! Any guesses?
another_jim wrote:If all you do is comfort food blend and light roasted SOs, your sweet spots will be 12-13 and 18-20 grams even on the ultimate grinder at the end of rainbow.
Can you please elaborate? I have a dark&oily ash Guatemala on hand that tastes like ash around the 16g mark on my Versalab; when I change the grinder setting to the 20g mark, I get no ash whatsoever, only slight sweetness and caramel. Such improvement also applies to other coffees --but I mentioned that earlier.

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coffee.me (original poster)

#14: Post by coffee.me (original poster) »

cafeIKE wrote:I frequently find a dose suffers a meltdown and requires a drastic change, even though the identical dose on a similar coffee was delish.
To clarify, just in case, correct flow is not the issue here, this whole thread is only about taste.

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Stuggi

#15: Post by Stuggi »

michaelbenis wrote:Stuggi: if you are getting inconsistent performance from your Europiccola with the same fresh beans and the weather is fairly stable at the moment, you need to take a look at:

distribution
grind
tamping

and probably in that order.

Cheers

Mike
That was my idea at first, but my first shot is always in the same ballpark, then it moves a tad coarser every shot after that in the same session. Maybe I don't let it heat up enough...
Sebastian "Stuggi" Storholm
LMWDP #136

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another_jim
Team HB

#16: Post by another_jim »

Let me make myself very clear.

In the TGP, I noticed that the smaller burr grinders measured up better at standard Italian doses than at higher doses. This is not surprising, since the grinders, along with the machines and baskets, are designed to operate at these doses. Basically, the big conicals do markedly better when taken beyond their design parameters.

But if you get amazing taste at 14 and 20 grams, but not between, I simply cannot see how it's the grinder, basket, or machine. The coffee is the only thing that's non-linear enough to cause this.

Finally, if you get amazing flow at 14 and 20 grams, get a big conical or work on your levelling.

And, Ian, I would dearly love to give you a break; especially at all the times when you opine based on what appears to be zero experience.
Jim Schulman

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RapidCoffee
Team HB

#17: Post by RapidCoffee »

coffee.me wrote:To clarify, just in case, correct flow is not the issue here, this whole thread is only about taste.
In that case, Jim is right on target:
another_jim wrote:If all you do is comfort food blend and light roasted SOs, your sweet spots will be 12-13 and 18-20 grams even on the ultimate grinder at the end of rainbow.
I hope Jim will forgive this elaboration.

Lightly roasted, acidic beans may make a lovely vac pot, but produce an overly sour espresso. Downdosing allows you to use these beans for SO espressos.

Some espresso blends tend towards the chocolate/vanilla/caramel taste spectrum, rather than the fruity acidic side, These are often referred to as "comfort food" espressos, and in many cases are designed for updosing.

So again: dose has little to do with the grinder, but a lot to do with the espresso machine and (as Jim pointed out) the type of coffee bean.
John

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hperry

#18: Post by hperry »

coffee.me wrote: My Versalab for espresso
Amazing shots happen around the 20g mark and the 12g mark. Between 14-18g, it almost always brings the worst in coffee and masks the best.
I cannot pull 20 gram shots with the Dalla Corte. 18 is the maximum. And I get great shots at 17 to 18 grams with the Versalab depending on the coffee. So part of what is happening may be the characteristics of the grinder and espresso machine together and not just the grinder alone.
Hal Perry

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michaelbenis

#19: Post by michaelbenis »

Totally agree, Hal.

I also get very different results with different beans - not so much in terms of optimal grind setting so much as in acceptable dose range.

I'm drinking an Ethiopian Bale Wild Bean at the moment that is brilliant (though quite different) at anything from a 7g single to 14g+ ristretto. Londinum have roasted it just 1 degree lighter and it's even better.

I got similar interesting variations and versatility from a Javan SO I was drinking 10 days or so ago.

Both beans also have a very evident "superior" sweet spot, but are fairly forgivable on grind.

Conversely, a Peruvian SO I was drinking in between the two really only gave its best when dosed towards the upper end of the scale. It also had a wide acceptable grind range with well-delineated sweet spot (you didn't have to think twice about whether you were there).

Sometimes sweeping generalisations raise so much dust it's difficult to see clearly :D
LMWDP No. 237

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michaelbenis

#20: Post by michaelbenis »

Stuggi wrote:That was my idea at first, but my first shot is always in the same ballpark, then it moves a tad coarser every shot after that in the same session. Maybe I don't let it heat up enough...
I'm not sure what you mean? You have to loosen up the grind, is that what you are saying?
LMWDP No. 237