Blind Shaker - Shaken Never Stirred?

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks.
BaristaBob

Postby BaristaBob » Feb 07, 2019, 10:36 pm

Hi All,

I been performing WDT for more than a year with excellent results. However, on a quest for...can we do even better...I just recently purchased, and received, a Blind Shaker from Craig Lyn Design Studio. Quality is top notch, but that aside, how do those that own this "coffee grounds homogenizer" actually use it? Using it the last two days, on three different coffees, I think I can taste a flavor improvement on two of the three (no difference on the third coffee). I've been completely turning it on its side and shaking the living daylight out of it...is this what most of you do...shaken never stirred? 8)
Bob "hello darkness my old friend..."

mountmustache

Postby mountmustache » Feb 07, 2019, 11:24 pm

Funny, I just posted this on another thread

I owned a Fiorenzato F4, a great grinder otherwise, I could WDT for 10 minutes and not a damn thing changed its distribution into the portafilter and subsequent one-sided extraction. The only thing that helped my distribution was the Lyn Weber blind shaker. Grind into it, a couple shakes right side up, a couple shake upside down, distribute, a tap against my hand laterally on either side of the portafilter to settle the circle, tamp and perfect extraction.


I did the shaking right side up and upside down because of vaguely remembering some stuff about particle size distribution. It worked well for me, especially when WDT did not for my one sided extraction

chipman

Postby chipman » Feb 07, 2019, 11:49 pm

I always found that shaking from right to left works best. That is unless you are left handed, then I guess the opposite would work better.

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BaristaBoy E61

Postby BaristaBoy E61 » Feb 08, 2019, 12:09 am

I used to Shake Rattle & Roll but no more. The lid is only used when putting it away. Now I place the Shaker & Stopper on a tared scale along with a $3 plastic canning funnel from Walmart that just barely & perfectly fits inside a 58mm basket. So the Canning funnel inside Blind Shaker with Stoper, on top of tared scale. Then grind a few seconds at a time into Portafilter basket and pour contents into canning funnel. No mess is created. When desired weight is measured, the funnel is removed and Blind Shaker is placed on naked Portafilter, stopper is removed to allow coffee to fall into Portafilter basket. I then hold the Portafilter with Blind Shaker pressed tightly on top of it and bang hell out of the two of them together on the tamping matt to settle the coffee in the Portafilter basket.

Next I remove the Blind Shaker and use the small end of a chemistry curret to break up any clumps that are usually small. After that it's onto my Mahlgut Palm Dozer & Mahlgut Flat 58.4mm Palm Tamper.

The end result with line pressure pre-infusion is usually a great shot with no shpritzing and a machine that requires much less cleaning as a result.

If I wasn't away on vacation I would include pictures. I hope I've created a clear enough narrative.
"You didn't buy an Espresso Machine - You bought a Chemistry Set!"

chipman

Postby chipman » Feb 08, 2019, 1:32 am

All kidding aside, I always thought the blind shaker was supposed to make the"work flow" easier and most of all, faster. I've used mine the way it was originally designed. It has worked flawlessly that way ever since I received one of the original EG-1.

To answer the original question. I just give it a quick shake. I do have to tap the lid once just in case there is some grounds stuck.

cunim

Postby cunim » Feb 08, 2019, 8:59 am

Recently, I went from grinding into the PF (18 or 22 g) to grinding into my weighing vessel (a large shot glass type of thing). Then I just dump the grounds into a naked PF with a Decent funnel. No shaking. Next is thorough WDT (stirring entire depth) with a whittled chop stick, finishing up by using the tip to move grounds away from the edge of the sides of the funnel. At that point the coffee surface is a bit uneven but there has been no tapping or other action to settle the grounds.

Taking the funnel away was messy the first couple of times but no longer. If the PF surface is very uneven I may do one tap on the bench. Tamp and go. I find that I am getting very nice flow with this little ritual. Much more consistent that with all of the tapping and hand hitting I was doing before, and the tools were cheap/free - other than the Decent funnel but I had that anyway. My redistribution itch is scratched.

BaristaBob

Postby BaristaBob » Feb 08, 2019, 9:10 am

chipman wrote:All kidding aside, I always thought the blind shaker was supposed to make the"work flow" easier and most of all faster. I've used mine the way it was originally designed. It has worked flawlessly that way ever since I received one of the original EG-1.

To answer the original question. I just give it a quick shake. I do have to tap the lid once just in case there is some grounds stuck.


Indeed... I want both worlds...easier work flow and better espresso. I think the Blind Shaker will do this, just perfecting my routine. Time will tell.
Bob "hello darkness my old friend..."

Moxiechef

Postby Moxiechef » Feb 08, 2019, 12:43 pm

I used to use the tumbler with a walnut lid I turned for it to turn it into a shaker. I'd give it three or four twist of the wrist like opening a doorknob. Then set the tumble on the portafilter and pull the plunger. Then a few taps to level and then tamp.

I then switched to the shaker. The way the shaker drops the grounds into the basket created donut extractions for some reason. So after I grind and twist/shake, I spin the lid to get rid of the grinds that stick to it. I then set it on the portafilter funnel that came with the Monolith, pull the plunger, gently tap the sides of the portafilter to level, then tamp.

I find that shaking too hard causes clumps and I can't tap to level as well.

BaristaBob

Postby BaristaBob » Feb 09, 2019, 1:22 pm

Moxiechef wrote:So after I grind and twist/shake, I spin the lid to get rid of the grinds that stick to it.
I find that shaking too hard causes clumps and I can't tap to level as well.


"Spin the lid"...that's a golden nugget!!

Thanks Jonathan. Not sure why I didn't think of that myself. :shock:
Bob "hello darkness my old friend..."

Moxiechef

Postby Moxiechef » replying to BaristaBob » Feb 09, 2019, 2:16 pm

And there is something very gratifying about spinning it too!!!!!