bcparfitt wrote:One follow-up question... I find that 17g in this larger basket to be just a touch on the low side for this size basket. i.e. The mound of ground coffee is just barely above the rim of the portafilter, making it difficult to level with the side of my finger. I have been tapping the side of the pf to level the mound, but it doesn't always go perfectly. Should I increase the dose to make leveling easier and ensure consistent filling across the pf?
My solution was to get the 103 or 104 basket (18g, can't remember the part number off the top of my head), which has more vertical sides and is better suited to 17g doses than either the 102 (14g max on our machines) or the triples, which often have oodles of excess perforated area on the bottom, although I'm not sure this is a bad thing...
At any rate, even with the 18g basket, 17 to 17.5 grams is nowhere near the top of the basket prior to tamping, but is the absolute max I can fit without hitting the shower screen, which is why I made this
Were I slightly less of a cheapskate, I'd have bought a quality distribution tool, but I don't think the science is in their court when used as they typically are. I do think that they serve a purpose when the bed of grounds is below the rim of the basket and my results have been far better using the tool than without. I don't do WDT, but I highly suspect that if I did, I would stop using my tool altogether. One thing at a time...
If the top of your puck is soupy, chances are that you can increase your dose with little-to-no negative results. You can also increase your yield whilst maintaining the same brew ratio if you go this route. Let the headspace guide you to the maximum dose you can get in your basket and let your taste and preference for basket prep guide how little you use. If you have the factory slotted head machine screw securing your shower screen, you can use it as a guide for maximum dose. Dont be afraid to see an imprint of the screw on a spent puck, but you should be able to lock your portafilter on and pull it back off without seeing anything more than just a slight mark on the top of the dry puck. If there's a hole punched in the puck, you've got too much in the basket. I know VST baskets have a reputation for being unforgiving of variations in dose, but I suspect the truth is that they are unforgiving to changes in headspace... not sure why too much headspace would be problematic, but more than a few folks have found that dosing too little in a VST causes more harm than good. I don't use VST baskets (yet
), but even so, I tend to dose as much as I can without hitting the shower screen.
Have you done the flat shower screen mod yet? I highly recommend it for maximizing dose in a given basket. Your shot video looks pretty solid to my untrained eyes. At this point, it's all about TASTE.