How necessary is WDT? - Page 2

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks.
HotLava

#11: Post by HotLava »

I stopped using the WDT. Since owning the Niche Zero I initially started doing it but soon realized the Niche grinds so fine and even that it's not necessary.

My technique is now quick and simple. I grind into my 58mm cup. I flip the cup on to the portafilter. I give it a cocktail shaker shake then a soft forward and back to level the grinds. Then a slight tap on the side until even. Next i tap 3x straight down on my granite counter. Lasty i spin my distribution tool a few times until it spins freely. No tamping as I set the distribution tool as deep as a ramped dose.

Much easier than stirring distributing and tamping.
Joe

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cerone

#12: Post by cerone »

I find it helpful to break up clumps if my RDT isn't dialed in. If my RDT is dialed in the WDT isn't always necessary.

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grind727

#13: Post by grind727 »

I only WDT when it's wicked humid and my grounds get clumpy, like now after a week of rain.

I use a high end custom made WDT tool/art piece*. :wink:


*wine cork with paperclip pieces stuck in it

spearfish25

#14: Post by spearfish25 »

I've found WDT is pretty straight forward. Like anything in espresso, you can make it sexy and expensive. But the paper clip is the jazz-less option that works just fine.
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guijan12

#15: Post by guijan12 »

grind727 wrote:I only WDT when it's wicked humid and my grounds get clumpy, like now after a week of rain.

I use a high end custom made WDT tool/art piece*. :wink:
*wine cork with paperclip pieces stuck in it
+1 for both remarks. :D
Regards,

Guido

thirdcrackfourthwave

#16: Post by thirdcrackfourthwave »

Depends. I don't generally do it. As Mr. Pratt says in the video when he does it, 'not really necessary.' YMMV. In those instances when I do it I use a paper clip.

Maak

#17: Post by Maak »

WHY EVEN ASK? Try it. Does it make a difference to taste? If so the decision is easy for you

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Plinyyounger
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#18: Post by Plinyyounger »

I certainly do not have enough experience to say one way or another if it is necessary. But in my experience with an atom 65 which is excellent but still could be better, wdt made my shots channel much more then non wdt. I think my double counter tap is much more useful, lol. Besides, I do not want to wdt after trying it, I want it all simple and tasty!!
Bought a Max, used a Max, then sold the Max. We are splitting hairs.

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RapidCoffee
Team HB

#19: Post by RapidCoffee »

Some background on WDT:

I started to get serious about espresso in 2005. The bottomless portafilter had just been introduced, and folks like Jon Rosenthal were publishing wonderful espresso porn photos on CoffeeGeek. My early efforts in that direction were pretty bad, for a variety of reasons. After trying a number of ways to improve my extractions, I stumbled upon Chris Tacy's blog, in which he emphasized the importance of grinds distribution in the puck: "Distribution is the most misunderstood, neglected and really critical variable within your control."

So I began experimenting with ways to improve distribution. At the time, the general focus was on grooming techniques (like Stockfleth's) and tamping (like Staub). But these methods only impact the surface of the puck, and did not help much. Eventually I decided to try stirring the grinds. This made a mess on the counter, so I added a basket collar (or funnel). And so WDT was born.

Here are some things that WDT cannot do:
* improve poor coffee
* compensate for a deficient grinder
* compensate for an inadequate espresso machine

Here is what WDT can do:
* break up clumps in the coffee grinds
* ensure even distribution of coffee grinds in the puck

Is WDT necessary? Of course not! If your grinder produces clump-free, evenly distributed coffee grinds in the basket, WDT is superfluous. But if not, there's a good chance that WDT will improve your extractions.

Are there alternate techniques? Of course there are. For example, some people prefer to dose into a cup and shake up the grinds, before transferring them to the basket. This seems to work. However, I remain skeptical of any "distribution" tool that only impacts the surface of the puck.

For espresso, I use a grinder (dosered Robur) that is unlikely to require grinds redistribution. However, I still apply WDT to every puck, using a "can't hurt and might help" approach. When I stagger downstairs for my first cup of coffee in the morning, it's easy enough to screw up. A few extra seconds to guarantee good puck prep - and that's really all it takes - seems well worth it to me.

WDT is fast, simple, and effective. My advice: try not to overcomplicate matters. There's no magic stirring pattern, stirring speed, or number of stirs. Use an implement that is easy to hold and has relatively thin wires. You can make your own, or purchase a dissecting needle (one wire) or keycap puller (4 wires) for under $10. As I've stated on many other occasions, I do not recommend chopsticks/skewers (too fat) or paper clips (poor ergonomics).

If it helps, great. If not, don't use it. Simple as that.
Plinyyounger wrote:I certainly do not have enough experience to say one way or another if it is necessary. But in my experience with an atom 65 which is excellent but still could be better, wdt made my shots channel much more then non wdt. I think my double counter tap is much more useful, lol. Besides, I do not want to wdt after trying it, I want it all simple and tasty!!
Sigh. It would be nice, after nearly 15 years, to see WDT-bashing come to an end. For whatever reason, WDT has fostered controversy ever since the methodology was published on H-B. Early WDT haters scoffed and called it a cheat. There were claims that it reduced flow; this is absolutely true, because WDT helps eliminate channeling. Now we have a claim that WDT increases channeling (and thereby increases flow). I am not sure what to make of this, because I have never experienced it, cannot reproduce it, and quite frankly cannot understand it.

Ken, if you want to diagnose the issue, provide more extraction details, and I'll try to help. BTW, I don't believe tapping does much, other than collapse air pockets. It is not a grinds redistribution technique. But if you're happy with your double counter tap, tap away and enjoy the results.
John

Plinyyounger
Supporter ♡

#20: Post by Plinyyounger »

RapidCoffee wrote:Some background on WDT:

I started to get serious about espresso in 2005. The bottomless portafilter had just been introduced, and folks like Jon Rosenthal were publishing wonderful espresso porn photos on CoffeeGeek. My early efforts in that direction were pretty bad, for a variety of reasons. After trying a number of ways to improve my extractions, I stumbled upon Chris Tacy's blog, in which he emphasized the importance of grinds distribution in the puck: "Distribution is the most misunderstood, neglected and really critical variable within your control."

So I began experimenting with ways to improve distribution. At the time, the general focus was on grooming techniques (like Stockfleth's) and tamping (like Staub). But these methods only impact the surface of the puck, and did not help much. Eventually I decided to try stirring the grinds. This made a mess on the counter, so I added a basket collar (or funnel). And so WDT was born.

Here are some things that WDT cannot do:
* improve poor coffee
* compensate for a deficient grinder
* compensate for an inadequate espresso machine

Here is what WDT can do:
* break up clumps in the coffee grinds
* ensure even distribution of coffee grinds in the puck

Is WDT necessary? Of course not! If your grinder produces clump-free, evenly distributed coffee grinds in the basket, WDT is superfluous. But if not, there's a good chance that WDT will improve your extractions.

Are there alternate techniques? Of course there are. For example, some people prefer to dose into a cup and shake up the grinds, before transferring them to the basket. This seems to work. However, I remain skeptical of any "distribution" tool that only impacts the surface of the puck.

For espresso, I use a grinder (dosered Robur) that is unlikely to require grinds redistribution. However, I still apply WDT to every puck, using a "can't hurt and might help" approach. When I stagger downstairs for my first cup of coffee in the morning, it's easy enough to screw up. A few extra seconds to guarantee good puck prep - and that's really all it takes - seems well worth it to me.

WDT is fast, simple, and effective. My advice: try not to overcomplicate matters. There's no magic stirring pattern, stirring speed, or number of stirs. Use an implement that is easy to hold and has relatively thin wires. You can make your own, or purchase a dissecting needle (one wire) or keycap puller (4 wires) for under $10. As I've stated on many other occasions, I do not recommend chopsticks/skewers (too fat) or paper clips (poor ergonomics).

If it helps, great. If not, don't use it. Simple as that.



Sigh. It would be nice, after nearly 15 years, to see WDT-bashing come to an end. For whatever reason, WDT has fostered controversy ever since the methodology was published on H-B. Early WDT haters scoffed and called it a cheat. There were claims that it reduced flow; this is absolutely true, because WDT helps eliminate channeling. Now we have a claim that WDT increases channeling (and thereby increases flow). I am not sure what to make of this, because I have never experienced it, cannot reproduce it, and quite frankly cannot understand it.

Ken, if you want to diagnose the issue, provide more extraction details, and I'll try to help. BTW, I don't believe tapping does much, other than collapse air pockets. It is not a grinds redistribution technique. But if you're happy with your double counter tap, tap away and enjoy the results.
Excellent info, thanks for the background. I certainly wasn't bashing the process so if my post came across that way I apologize, prob one too many craft beers last night may have had something to do with it, lol. However I was just indicating that at this time with my current set up I don't get a benefit is all, nothing more. I am almost certain that when I buy the single dose grinder I want, I'll implement wdt because it will be more necessary.

Thanks for the post.
Bought a Max, used a Max, then sold the Max. We are splitting hairs.