Home barista techniques that the pros shun (and vice versa) - Page 3

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks.
puffinjk

#21: Post by puffinjk »

Thanks rapidcoffee, I tried this method and WOW, got great results, best naked shots ever.

Jim :D

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RapidCoffee
Team HB

#22: Post by RapidCoffee »

Thanks for the kind words. I've learned so much from the great folks on this site and CG, it's wonderful to give back a little.

- John

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shadowfax

#23: Post by shadowfax »

John, I've been drifting off on CG and here, but I still check the Look out JonR! thread... I'm always amused and jealous at how perfect all the shots you ever post have been. I seem to remember in your earlier days, before you were such a "big naked sensation," that you suggested the method you and Dan just described and you were criticized quite a bit on CG for a method that "seemed like it would produce very inconsistent results" or something to that effect.

Now I'm starting to feel like I should go to the biochemistry lab and maybe swipe a dissecting needle...

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RapidCoffee
Team HB

#24: Post by RapidCoffee » replying to shadowfax »

Thanks Nick! Sorry to read about your Valentina woes; hope you can get them resolved.

I do not wish to make overblown claims for this method. If you already have well-developed dosing/distribution skills, it may not help. If your grinder doses in a nice even pattern, ditto. It's probably not going to work well with mid-dose tamp regimens such as JonR's naked triple technique. If speed is your goal, work on Stockfleth's instead (which I've never mastered).

But... if you are having trouble with clumping grounds or uneven distribution, it might be worth a try. I have a couple of old dissecting kits from my biomedical science days; email me your address and I'll send you a dissecting needle. I'd hate to see you turn to a life of crime :-). Heck, if there's any interest, I'll order a batch and send them out on request. They're inexpensive, but the S&H cost for one would be ridiculous. You're on your own wrt the yogurt funnel (I like yogurt, but not THAT much).

puffinjk

#25: Post by puffinjk »

John, could you share the photos you posted of your method on cg? I'm sure everone would find them quite helpful.

Thanks Jim

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RapidCoffee
Team HB

#26: Post by RapidCoffee » replying to puffinjk »

Sure. Here is the CG link (part of the monster "Look Out JonR" thread). Tim B (Cajun_brew) posts his methods on the previous page; definitely check that out as well - he posts one absolutely bee-yoo-tiful pour after another.

Here is the collage I posted on CG:

Image

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barry

#27: Post by barry »

HB wrote:Ah yes, the Chicago Chop. Before you deride the moniker, recall that Intelligentsia's crew took four of the top six positions at the 2006 Great Lakes Regional Barista Competition.

iirc, not a single Intelly competitor used the Chop at the 2006 GLRBC.


--barry "tech/head judge, 2006 GLRBC"

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another_jim
Team HB

#28: Post by another_jim »

barry wrote:iirc, not a single Intelly competitor used the Chop at the 2006 GLRBC.


--barry "tech/head judge, 2006 GLRBC"
I'm not surprised. Shot making is a physical skill. In every skill I've acquired, the techniques were verbal descriptions one used to train beginners. By the time anyone gets good, the technique has morphed into something idiosyncratic that works for that person. Trouble is, these expert idiosyncrasies can't be easily described or taught, so techniques are necessary, if only for basic training.

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shadowfax

#29: Post by shadowfax »

RapidCoffee wrote:Thanks Nick! Sorry to read about your Valentina woes; hope you can get them resolved.
Thanks for the kind wishes, I just insulated the boiler and got the cycle to go from 90 seconds to 180 seconds... And I started earnestly revisiting my packing & brewing methods, inspired by the strange behavior of my pump and this thread.
I do not wish to make overblown claims for this method. If you already have well-developed dosing/distribution skills, it may not help. If your grinder doses in a nice even pattern, ditto. It's probably not going to work well with mid-dose tamp regimens such as JonR's naked triple technique. If speed is your goal, work on Stockfleth's instead (which I've never mastered).
who has a grinder with an even pattern? the only people I know of are those b******ds with the Versalab grinder. I have an old super jolly with the front-end of a Mazzer Mini-E. It's easier to clean than a doser, but not any more even.

I looked over Stockfleth's again this weekend with a more experienced eye, and it's working a whole lot better for me. The thing that's key for me is pushing the mound down gently NSEW after doing the rotational bit. Otherwise I tend to get weaker side seals and the flow comes only out the NW side of the basket.
But... if you are having trouble with clumping grounds or uneven distribution, it might be worth a try. I have a couple of old dissecting kits from my biomedical science days; email me your address and I'll send you a dissecting needle. I'd hate to see you turn to a life of crime :-). Heck, if there's any interest, I'll order a batch and send them out on request. They're inexpensive, but the S&H cost for one would be ridiculous. You're on your own wrt the yogurt funnel (I like yogurt, but not THAT much).
Thanks for the offer, but I found a sharp little pecan pick that went with my roommate's long-abandoned pecan-cracking-thingy, and it seems to work. Maybe something thinner like a needle would be preferable. I don't have the yogurt bottom thing yet (it's on the grocery list), but I rolled up some paper and taped it in place just to try out the concept.

And now, the point of my post. I tried the stir that Dan recommended (half-radius circles along the circumference of the basket) and then some more general stirs. They all seem to work in terms of really, really even pours, except for one key problem: I get 0 side seal when I do any more than a tiny bit of stirring, and doing just a bit of it doesn't seem to help evening out the distribution. It's almost depressing, I pulled a good 6 or 7 sink shots last night playing around with it -- you see the pull start, and it all starts coming out the edges--very evenly, though. and before it cones, you can see that it's coming out all over the puck rotationally evenly as well. There's just NO side seal, and I couldn't for the life of me figure out why. At first I thought it was because I was covering the sides of the basket with the rolled paper, but then I held it above the sides and that didn't help. I'll try it again when I get new beans and a real yogurt cup, but, yeah... If I waste any more coffee I will run out of it before my next caffe Fresco shipment arrives (Brown Brindles PNG & Guatemalan SHB, I am stoked).

When you were developing this little trick, did you have trouble with side seals? As I mentioned with the regular stockfleth's move that I worked on this weekend, doing a bit of NSEW pushing at the end seemed to fix the problem there, but not so much with the stirring method.

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RapidCoffee
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#30: Post by RapidCoffee »

shadowfax wrote:When you were developing this little trick, did you have trouble with side seals? As I mentioned with the regular stockfleth's move that I worked on this weekend, doing a bit of NSEW pushing at the end seemed to fix the problem there, but not so much with the stirring method.
Not that I can recall - and I stir quite vigorously to break up clumps. I started experimenting with this method to eliminate problems associated with uneven distribution. Even with a good distribution of grounds, you could break the side seal in a couple of ways: polishing with pressure on the puck and overdosing. The brew group on my Rancilio L7 allows more updosing than the E61 group on my Vetrano (maybe the old gaskets swelled, or else just a different design). I have to be more careful with dosing on the Vetrano, or I can feel the puck hit the shower screen as I lock in (particularly noticeable on singles). That could cause rim channeling.

Other suggestions: When you remove the funnel, shake the PF back and forth a few times to better distribute the surface mound. Tap downwards lightly once or twice on the countertop to settle the grounds before leveling. Sweep the grounds back and forth NS then EW to level (or use Stockfleths). I've also found a convex tamp to be helpful in eliminating rim shots.

Sorry about the wasted coffee! Hope this helps - John