Dosing less than level with the rim of the basket - Page 2

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks.
Abe Carmeli
Team HB

#11: Post by Abe Carmeli »

DC wrote:Yeah, I had been tapping the pf quite a lot whilst dosing (I never used to do that - weird how bad habits slip into your technique under the radar).


Just for the record, I did not mean to say you should never tap. Tapping is good and used to take out air pockets and control dosage. So it generally improve distribution if you apply it properly. But over-tapping will create an overdose, as you have realized.
Abe Carmeli

J_R

#12: Post by J_R »

If you have a naked pf and notice you're getting "donuts," make your grind finer and your tamp lighter.
I have been getting lots of "donut" extractions with my new Vetrano/Macap m4 stepless. That is, there's often a dead spot in the middle.

Tell me where I'm going wrong...

I dose from the grinder into the portafilter until the coffee is heaping up a bit above the rim of the basket.
Then I use a needle for the WDT, fluffing up the grounds and breaking up clumps.
Then I level off the grounds with my finger, not (intentionally) compressing at all.
Do a very light tamp, then clean off the rim of the portafilter.
Then do a 30lb tamp with the Espro.
Flush a few seconds beyond the end of the water dance, then lock in filter and brew.

I'm regularly getting about 1.5-1.75 ounces in 25-30 seconds, but often with that center dead spot.

So what variables should I adjust? Would up-dosing help? If so, how do I do it while still using the WDT? Should I WDT so that coffee is above rim of basket, then tap the portafilter so that the coffee settles down into the handle?

Fullsack recommends a lighter tamp, but I'd prefer to keep the tamp a constant 30lbs and adjust another variable if possible.

Thanks in advance for your advice.

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dsc

#13: Post by dsc »

Ola

Abe: that vibrating, spinning toothbrush would be cool:) but even without it it works quite nice, you can fluff the coffee a bit, move it around, without actually moving too many grounds and basically level it, before tapping and tamping.

Cheers,
dsc.

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HB
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#14: Post by HB »

J_R wrote:Should I WDT so that coffee is above rim of basket, then tap the portafilter so that the coffee settles down into the handle?
That's what I would do, i.e., tap tap the portafilter before removing the yogurt "funnel." The grounds would settle enough to allow a nice Stockfleths move distribution for any minor divots. You may want to weigh the coffee to assure you're consistent shot-to-shot with this approach by removing the portafilter retaining clip and dropping in the basket after a quick weight check. Once your donuts extractions subside, go back to volume dosing with occasional recalibrations (related topic: Exercises for tuning your barista techniques).
Dan Kehn

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Fullsack

#15: Post by Fullsack »

Fullsack wrote:If you have a naked pf and notice you're getting "donuts," make your grind finer and your tamp lighter.
I was too hasty to recommend this adjustment as a fix for donuts. It worked well for the best part of a half pound of Monkey, but when I switched to Dolce I got spits, splatters and sub par espresso. I don't know why it worked with the Monkey and why I couldn't duplicate the results with the Dolce, maybe I was just lucky with the Monkey. Regardless, I'm going back to the basics, WDT.
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RapidCoffee
Team HB

#16: Post by RapidCoffee »

J_R wrote:I have been getting lots of "donut" extractions with my new Vetrano/Macap m4 stepless. That is, there's often a dead spot in the middle.
You might try a different tamper. In particular, if your Espro has a flat base (as mine does), try a tamper with a convex base. I'm not sure why, but my extractions tend to be slightly more even when I use a convex tamper.
________
John

J_R

#17: Post by J_R »

HB wrote:That's what I would do, i.e., tap tap the portafilter before removing the yogurt "funnel." The grounds would settle enough to allow a nice Stockfleths move distribution for any minor divots. You may want to weigh the coffee to assure you're consistent shot-to-shot with this approach by removing the portafilter retaining clip and dropping in the basket after a quick weight check.
Thanks to all for these good suggestions. Dan, you recommend removing the basket for a weight check. But I'm not able to remove the basket from the handle. It's the naked portafilter from 1st-Line. Could it be that the basket is somehow permanently attached to the handle? Also, should I assume from your response that you believe that up-dosing may ameliorate the "donut" extraction problem?

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RapidCoffee
Team HB

#18: Post by RapidCoffee » replying to J_R »

You should be able to pry out the basket by inserting a flat bladed screwdriver under the rim while you push up from the bottom. It's probably just held in by the retaining clip. Ridgeless baskets are convenient because they pop in and out of the portafilter very easily.

My guess: updosing will increase the probablility of edge channeling, not decrease it. Something is preventing even flow in the center of the basket. Adding more coffee grounds does not seem likely to help this.
________
John

ChrisC

#19: Post by ChrisC »

Just a quick note in response to the original question, I've read about people using a butter knife with a curved blade and using that to level with, in order to get a more consistent underdose.

Cheers,
C

Grant

#20: Post by Grant »

I dose and level with the RIM, but if I HAD to level lower down, I would probably just get something like a popsickle stick, or a thin piece of plastic or something and shape/cut it out like the black portion of this (sorry for the really bad picture). Distribute well, and then a careful spin of this inside the basket may level it nicely....sort of like a concrete spreader...



Have the smaller part fit just inside the PF basket, and by simply spinning it around, it should level it pretty well...like an inside Stockfleths sorta kinda....

Grant

Edit....here is an equally bad side view.....painting is fun!