Different Baskets = Different Grind Settings?

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jgoodman00
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#1: Post by jgoodman00 »

I have the LM 14, 17 and 21g baskets which I believe are almost identical to the more expensive VST variants?

I recently got a niche which has made grind/dose adjustments much easier but it confirmed something I have noticed when switching between basket sizes.
I thought using the equivalent dose in each basket (14g, 18g, 21g) would require the same grind setting and at the same ratio it would produce the same extraction with the only change being the amount of espresso produced.

With my equipment (and my taste buds) I get my best extractions around 2.0-2.3:1 so I tested this and the results surprised me:



1. Despite maintaining (close to) the same ratio I got an increasing TDS with dose. I expected this to be similar?
2. As dose was increased I needed to grind coarser in order to maintain reasonable extraction time. This was the biggest surprise, I thought they should all require the same grind and produce the same ratio in the same time?
3. EY with the 20g basket was considerably higher, I dont know why this would be?

Taste wise the 14g and 18g shots were very similar. The 21g shot was best with a much heavier mouthfeel and sweeter taste.

Is this behaviour expected or do I need to buy the real vst baskets in order to get the same extraction from different doses?


Thanks,

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Jeff
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#2: Post by Jeff »

As far as I know, there's no expectation that the grind size will stay the same. As I recall the history, one marketed advantage was that each basket was the same at a given size; all groups have the same flavor with the same grind and ratio. Though the hole pattern may be tailored to expected flow rates, you're changing the depth of the puck significantly. I believe that will dominate over the subtle changes in hole pattern and sizes.

On the apparent EY% change, statistical variation? Do you filter or centrifuge or just take the measurement?

1/2Caffed
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#3: Post by 1/2Caffed »

Thanks for posting the chart. I was wondering if other HBers were having a similar experience to myself, but it seems like very few users actually pull both singles and doubles.

I have regularly switched between the stock single and double baskets on my Breville BDB over the last eight years. I recently upgraded to a Lelit Bianca and have been spending time testing out the stock single (9-11 g), the stock double (16-18g) and a vst (18g). Both machines perform similarly when changing baskets. The singles require a coarser grind than my double baskets due to the restricted flow rate of the single.

The taste of the single is completely different almost as if it's a different brew method. To be clear, I weigh both my dose and my espresso and I keep ratios consistent for comparison sake. With the double, the flavours are distinct and more complex being noticed separately on the tounge despite being balanced. With the single, the flavours blend with neither the acidity or roasty taste separating on the palate. The single have much less body and it looks like your TDS data is supportive of what I am tasting.

The difference between the stock double and the VST baskets are similar with minor nuances. The VST flows faster and requires a finer grind. When I keep the exact same does weight, I prefer the VST for light and medium roasts and the stock for medium dark espresso blends. I can make the baskets taste similar by updosing the VST and grinding at the same setting as the stock double.

I prefer the taste of the double on most occasions, but I am happy for the variety. God shots don't exist for atheists.

Hope other users who pull both singles and doubles chime in. Given I am working with 58mm baskets which have extreme shape differences between the baskets , I would be curious if those who work with a smaller groups have such a noticeable difference between a single and double. It also had me curious if the IMS superfine filtering baskets might taste like the singles I pull.

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baldheadracing
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#4: Post by baldheadracing »

1/2Caffed wrote:... Hope other users who pull both singles and doubles chime in. Given I am working with 58mm baskets which have extreme shape differences between the baskets , I would be curious if those who work with a smaller groups have such a noticeable difference between a single and double. It also had me curious if the IMS superfine filtering baskets might taste like the singles I pull.
On my 49mm Streitman baskets - even if the holes are sized to compensate and the shape is the same, the key point for taste is bed depth.

For 58 mm baskets:

7g VST w/Tidaka funnel & tamper, and 15g VST - same grind setting, pretty much the same bed depth, pretty much the same taste. My daily baskets.
20g VST - same grind setting, different bed depth, different taste.

LF (IMS) replacement for the old LM Strada 7g, etc. ... pretty much as the 7g VST above; just a bit less straight-sided than the VST.

The current LM single basket (see video below) and 14g in a 15g VST - same grind setting, close but not quite the same taste. Big advantage is the LM single will extract pretty decently when using a 58mm tamper.

IMS "The Single" basket and an IMS precision that takes 2x the coffee of the single - same grind setting, different taste.

All extractions 1:2, both lever profile (Strega) and straight 9-bar pump (Silvia). Note I find that 9-bar pump is more likely to channel with any of the single baskets.

As far as 58mm single baskets go, this LM video is pretty spot on IMO.
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1/2Caffed
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#5: Post by 1/2Caffed »

I ended up purchasing both a ims/eb lab superfine 16g and the 15 gram vst. Getting back to the original poster's question, my 15 gram vst basket requires a finer grind than the 18 gram vst when dosed at their labelled weight (4 mico settings on a baratza vario to maintain the same extraction time for 1:2 brew).

The e&b lab superfine 16 grams is much faster flowing than I expected. When dosed at 15.5 grams it is pretty much on par to the 18 gram vst in terms of grind setting. It does not taste anything like my tapered single baskets as I thought it would prior to purchasing.

I haven't done any blind tasting and have only had the baskets for less than a week so haven't tested on a variety of coffee. I would say all three baskets taste similarish. The 15 gram vst is tasting over extracted despite no visible channeling or early blonding. I am getting tasty shots on the superfine, but they have noticeably less body than the 18 gram vst.

I wish VST would offer a variety of flow rate/hole size/hole area option for purchasers.

Thanks for review of all your various baskets and tip on the lm baskets. I'll definitely want to try out the lm basket as I would like to reduce my dose size to keep my caffeine consumption in check and do not want to waste coffee by pulling a double and dumping half. The minimum I want to pull is three shots daily and i definitely get the jitters drinking three 18 gram doubles before noon.

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cannonfodder
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#6: Post by cannonfodder »

In short, yes, different baskets with different geometry and different perforations will require different grind settings even if the baskets use the same dose. I have half a dozen different basket.
Dave Stephens

atao
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#7: Post by atao »

jgoodman00 wrote: 3. EY with the 20g basket was considerably higher, I dont know why this would be?
I've been observing the same, that when i go from a 15gr dose in a 15gr basket to a 19gr dose in a 20gr basket, and if i keep the ratio and timing similar, i get 1-2% higher extraction. I found this odd because at one point, the recommendation was to *lower* the dose on difficult to extract coffees :).

lloito
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#8: Post by lloito »

Same observation here, 17g LM Advanced Precision required Niche set at 16 while 21g LM Advanced Precision required Niche setting at 20 to maintain similar extraction times and taste profile. Do not have a TDS but the triple felt punchier.

Had to bump up temperature 3 degrees to compensate for boiler thermal drop due to higher pull volume. Dosing at basket nominal, WDT or (deep puck raking) with 58.5mm flat tamp. Running a CC1 pulling 2.25:1 to 2.5:1.

To note is that the 21g is more prone to channeling and the grind window is much smaller than for the 17g. Less than one tick up or down on the Niche and it goes from choking the machine to gushing the shot in less than 15 sec. Might be that the 21g extraction is pushing the limits of the CC1 or more probably it's my lack of skills of puck prep with the 21g basket.

jmotzi
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#9: Post by jmotzi »

jgoodman00 wrote:...Despite maintaining (close to) the same ratio I got an increasing TDS with dose...EY with the 20g basket was considerably higher, I dont know why this would be?..
Take a look at the mass balance. The amount of water in the first two is somewhat similar (as is the EY), but the amount of water in the third one is greatest. The more water through the puck, the higher the total extraction will be. More water means more coffee removed.

IF the pucks were the same weight then more water means lower TDS & higher total extraction. However since the puck weights are not the same, the TDS relationship will not hold, but the extraction will be greatest with the most water.

JM
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CrashClint
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#10: Post by CrashClint »

lloito wrote:Same observation here, 17g LM Advanced Precision required Niche set at 16 while 21g LM Advanced Precision required Niche setting at 20 to maintain similar extraction times and taste profile. Do not have a TDS but the triple felt punchier.

Had to bump up temperature 3 degrees to compensate for boiler thermal drop due to higher pull volume. Dosing at basket nominal, WDT or (deep puck raking) with 58.5mm flat tamp. Running a CC1 pulling 2.25:1 to 2.5:1.

To note is that the 21g is more prone to channeling and the grind window is much smaller than for the 17g. Less than one tick up or down on the Niche and it goes from choking the machine to gushing the shot in less than 15 sec. Might be that the 21g extraction is pushing the limits of the CC1 or more probably it's my lack of skills of puck prep with the 21g basket.
This really explains a lot to me. I have been using 17g LM Strada basket for years, and I have it dialed in perfectly. On recommendation from a barista at a coffee shop, I bought a 20g VST to try, which is the same one they use at the coffee shop. After wasting almost a pound of coffee, I came to the conclusion, the 20g VST is rubbish. I was getting gushers and frustration so I pulled the basket. I bought a 18g Barista Pro basket to try. I used the same grind as my 17g LM Stada, and water gushed through. I went a lot finer on the grind (Ceado E6P) and got a good, not great shot, but I am still tweaking. I may come back to the 20g at a later time, but I just installed a flow control on my Profitec 700. Once I get more time on the FC, I may try the 20g basket again.
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