Dosing: Weighing vs. overfilling basket... - Page 2

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks.
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another_jim
Team HB

#11: Post by another_jim »

malachi wrote:While it sounds like a lot of home baristas do what you describe, I've actually never seen a professional barista doing this in a production environment. Instead, most dose by eye even at low or down doses and distribute by hand. Honestly, it's not as hard as some people make it sound.
I don't have as much commercial experience as Chris, but I don't know of any 3rd wave place in North America that doses their production blends at 14 to 16 grams, i.e. a level below the basket. Without the practice of doing dosing like this all day, I have a hard time seeing how it can be done consistently. According to Luca, the curved dosing tools are apparently more standard in Australia, where lower doses are used in some places. I don't know if anyone in Scandinavia or GB can consistently eyeball dose at 14 to 6 grams.

In Italy, they actually use fill the doser to do this (which is where the 1/3 gram standard Chris mentions comes from)
Jim Schulman

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drdna

#12: Post by drdna »

Now that all the heavyweights have chimed in, I will add my two cents as well.

Weighing is a good practice to get into, as a way of refining your technique. If you are extremely systematic about how you dose and distribute your coffee, the amount will be virtually the same from basket to basket. I like to dump the ground coffee out after dosing and distributing just to check the weight and I am nearly almost always within a few tenths of a gram. If this is not the case, you have to look at your technique and see what can be improved. With espresso, it's all about a consistent system.

Once you have got the weight right, I think it helps you to examine other variables, like the roast, the humidity, etc. and how they impact the extraction.

I personally hate the finger method. To get straight across the top, I use a toothpick or a Popsicle stick.

And instead of those fancy curved plastic tools, I just use the lid from a jar like I talked about here. This gives you a very accurate way of adjusting your dose, and it works especially well for "below the rim" dosing.
Adrian

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TimEggers

#13: Post by TimEggers »

I'm hoping that reliable (and high quality) timers on grinders (like the Vario) will make a lot of the issues discussed here moot.

Will a precise timer help?
Tim Eggers
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Ken Fox

#14: Post by Ken Fox »

I was getting ready to post something on this thread, but then I remembered how several frequent posters here have accused me and my posts of being very predictable, especially as regards this topic. I've also been accused of anality (a word I have just coined to serve as an adjective for being "anal").

Since I suffer from predictability, not to mention anality, I'm going to just let you imagine what it is you think I would have posted here, and leave it at that.

ken
:mrgreen:
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Alfred E. Neuman, 1955

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drdna

#15: Post by drdna »

TimEggers wrote:I'm hoping that reliable (and high quality) timers on grinders (like the Vario) will make a lot of the issues discussed here moot.

Will a precise timer help?
But, Tim, there is aaaaaaaaaalways SOME coffee grounds left in the doser and in the grinder, unless you use the VersaLab. I still have not figured out a way around this issue. Maybe the Vario addresses this is some way in which I am not familiar. I always end up overfilling the baskets and sweeping off the extra.
Adrian

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shadowfax

#16: Post by shadowfax »

Why yes Ken, but how do you feel about updosing Oolong? :mrgreen:
TimEggers wrote:I'm hoping that reliable (and high quality) timers on grinders (like the Vario) will make a lot of the issues discussed here moot.

Will a precise timer help?
Yes.*✝

* Not all grinders work well with timers.
✝ Even with a grinder with a timer that operates consistently within a session, there can be significant drift session to session and day to day.


The Vario is probably a list-topper for me in terms of being a grinder that's consistent on dose using the timer. I surmise that this has more to do with the grinder's low speed and short grind path than anything else that is special in its design; with that said, most if not all precise timer-grinders also suffer from being quite sensitive to grind adjustments. I suppose that's neither surprising nor interesting, though--adjusting the grind will also confound visually judging dose. I think it will be a long time before grind-on-demand with precision timers is completely up to par (independent of adjustment, 'drift,' and variations in bean density), and it will be something more advanced than a simple timer.

On another note, this discussion of "overfilling the basket" highlights an advantage of some of the Titan grinders that produce a fluffy grind--the Robur, for example, will generally let you dose a noticeably lower amount with the leveling-off method, when compared to a smaller flat-burr grinder that compacts the grinds coming out a lot more.
Nicholas Lundgaard

Vad

#17: Post by Vad »

Just a quick info :)

I have now tried to do a 7 g espresso in a Rancilio single basket. No go. Bad idea.
As for the 14 g in a double basket by Rancilio-I am doing it all the time-no problem.
Also I have a La Marzocco double basket, ridgeless-way worse for 14 g. Should be packed with more coffee, to avoid chanelling.

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michaelbenis

#18: Post by michaelbenis »

shadowfax wrote:On another note, this discussion of "overfilling the basket" highlights an advantage of some of the Titan grinders that produce a fluffy grind--the Robur, for example, will generally let you dose a noticeably lower amount with the leveling-off method, when compared to a smaller flat-burr grinder that compacts the grinds coming out a lot more.
I found the same thing moving from the Mazzer Super Jolly to the Elektra Nino.
LMWDP No. 237

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Arpi

#19: Post by Arpi »

In my case, I've found that filling a double basket all the way up, and using it as a single shot, produces an unpleasant thick flavor. Same goes if it is too thin and watery (blonds early). The best flavor for me is in the middle of the two extremes. I usually get to that point either by using a double basket and underdosing (below the line mark) or by using a single basket. Weight 'underdosing' have given me better results than playing with temperature but it may be related to the grinder. When I upgraded from ascaso mini to the K10, my shots didn't blond as easy, which I think allows my to use less coffee.

zin1953

#20: Post by zin1953 »

TimEggers wrote:I'm hoping that reliable (and high quality) timers on grinders (like the Vario) will make a lot of the issues discussed here moot.

Will a precise timer help?
Ah, but which Vario? :wink:
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