How necessary is WDT? - Page 7

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

#61: Post by RapidCoffee »

I like the metal keycap puller shown in this post, but unfortunately the linked items are no longer available. There are zillions of the flat black plastic ones on ebay.
John

PIXIllate
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#62: Post by PIXIllate »

pcrussell50 wrote:You're missing some steps, mate.
I'll insert them in bold...
Yes, I agree that potentially the grind into the cup idea and shake to death could be helpful given my less-than-Kafatek grinder. I will try more tapping after removing the funnel.
pcrussell50 wrote:Show me a link to the key removal tool. I hadn't heard of that one before. Always happy to learn about something cool. :)

-Peter
Post #15 in this thread by Mr.WDT himself:

WDT tool?

Ebay link:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Mechanical-Key ... 2749.l2649

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pcrussell50

#63: Post by pcrussell50 »

PIXIllate wrote:Yes, I agree that potentially the grind into the cup idea and shake to death could be helpful given my less-than-Kafatek grinder. I will try more tapping after removing the funnel.
Thanks for that link. Always on the lookout for fresh ideas.

Interestingly, for me, grinding into a separate grinds catcher transcended my Monolith FlatSSP. Here's how it went with me:

1) before I had flow profiling, and before I had a Monolith, I had a basic ceramic Vario, I used VST baskets to enable fine grinding without choking the machine. Since VST baskets are finicky and spritz-prone, I found I had better luck with the process I described

2) then along came flow profiling and I didn't need VST and it's finicky channely handling any more, so I went to high quality baskets with more conventional flow rates

3) then I got a Monolith FlatSSP and the spritzing and channeling came back, even with conventional baskets, so I went back to the "full Monty" prep routine again. So even a Monolith did not spare me from having to do meticulous prep.

-Peter
LMWDP #553

PIXIllate
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#64: Post by PIXIllate »

pcrussell50 wrote:Thanks for that link. Always on the lookout for fresh ideas.

Interestingly, for me, grinding into a separate grinds catcher transcended my Monolith FlatSSP. Here's how it went with me:

1) before I had flow profiling, and before I had a Monolith, I had a basic ceramic Vario

-Peter
So this is now a major question for me. What did you find in-the-cap difference when you switched from the Vario to the Flat? $3500 CAD is a big jump. Given your first hand experience is the taste really different? I'm all for buying my last one next when it comes to pretty much everything but I would like to know if I'm buying more than lifetime build quality and user experience. Especially since I have little to no interest in lighter roasts. How many pounds did you find it took to break in to a point you could go back to your more straightforward WDT prep or does that requirement never really go away for bottomless shots?

pcrussell50

#65: Post by pcrussell50 » replying to PIXIllate »

I should say first that I sold my FlatSSP and bought a Max (which comes with SSP burrs. I had to pay extra for SSP on the Flat). Why did I sell? I'm not sure. Simply because I lucked into the opportunity to buy the Max, I suppose. I was happy with the Flat.

(I use mostly light roasts)
Taste:
1) Vario, not aligned, and with ceramic burrs. Highly versatile. Very good grinder for medium roast and even light. Mine was almost ten years old and still going strong without a single failure when I got my Flat. Aggressive mixing required for use with VST baskets.

then I got a...
2) FlatSSP. I had flow profiling, and was therefore no longer using VST baskets (not needed with flow profiling). BUT the FlatSSP was prone to ugly bottomless pours with light roasts, UNLESS I did the same kind of aggressive mixing required with VST baskets. So, aggressive mixing with VST and aggressive mixing with FlatSSP.

Sold my FlatSSP, got a Max, and aligned my Vario (and put in the two key metal Forte bits)..
3) Same Vario, this time with Monolith-level alignment and steel burrs.
4) Monolith Max

I am still testing these head to head, but the Vario in this form, it's mind blowingly good for what it is, and for what I like. I can't categorically pick one that I like better in the cup yet. The Max is obviously worlds better in terms of refinement and coolness factor, but as for cup difference, it's too early for me to say. Again, light roasts.

So here's what I think about Monoliths with SSP burrs (and to an extent, an aligned Vario with the steel burrs)... They are very good at a narrow band of prefrence, namely well developed light roasts, with grounds within a narrow "hump" on a curve of grind sizes. This tends to bias toward clarity, at the expense of rich mouthfeel, which is at least partially offset by extracting ristretto. So a lot of conventional rules broken here: No more VST (no need with flow control). No more 18in/45out ratios that are all the rage at the shops, in pursuit of EY. The tradeoff is that as you get away from your well developed light roasts and move in the darker direction, the benefits of these grinders in the cup, begin to drop off. That is probably why good conicals like Niche and HG1 (which I also have), are still so good for comfort blends and mainstream espresso. And of course they hold their own with lights as well. Unless you are a committed light roast type, I'd consider in no particular order: a Niche, an HG1, a Monolith conical, Vario with Forte grind chamber and alignment and ceramic burrs (swap back and forth with steel burrs too). They will all punch very high in the cup. It then be will be up to you do decide which balance or price, look and feel, exclusivity, etc... Are worth it to you. BTW, I wouldn't give a second thought to perceived durability in the case of the Vario/Forte. Baratza supports them fully, with parts that are available, inexpensive, easy to replace, and with a whole grip of their own factory YouTube videos to guide you. Mine never needed it in ten years, (now eleven) without a single failure to grind, and very minor maintenance. But it definitely does not play in the same arena of look and feel as my Monoliths or brushless DC speed controlled HG1, even though it compares well in the cup.

Sorry for the late response. I was about to board a flight and got only partway through this until now.

HTH

-Peter
LMWDP #553

PIXIllate
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#66: Post by PIXIllate »

pcrussell50 wrote: Sold my FlatSSP, got a Max, and aligned my Vario (and put in the two key metal Forte bits)..
3) Same Vario, this time with Monolith-level alignment and steel burrs.
4) Monolith Max

I am still testing these head to head,

-Peter
Wow. Thank you for such a detailed and thoughtful comparison. Very helpful indeed. I wish there were a clearer description/video of the Vario alignment procedure becuase I'm dying to give it a shot but since the Vario is my only espresso grinder I'm reluctant to tear it apart in case I screw it up. I think Baratza has stopped selling the parts for now and I had heard that they may be developing some kind of kit that includes the upper Burr carrier and whatever the other piece is along with some instructions. Maybe I'll get brave enough if its clearer. The Monoliths are very appealing to me intellectually but it sounds like if I can get my Vario aligned and I stick mostly with Medium roasts with classic profiles I wouldn't be missing a ton in the cup. Once I replace the money in my bank account I just spent on the Profitec 600 maybe I'll make the jump. It seems like the only sensible upgrade as I don't want to buy more than one more grinder and if it stops me thinking about upgrades it will be cheaper in the long run.

I'm going to try to find a vessel to do some more aggressive mixing with and see if I can get a spritz free pout out of my Vario. Thanks for the advice and encouragement that's its not JUST horrible techniques on my part. I'll report back on any progress.

PIXIllate
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#67: Post by PIXIllate »

I ended up taking the Vario apart and flipping the flapper. That resulted in MUCH nicer fluffier grinds.



I was hoping it would help with getting a spritz free bottomless pour but it was just as bad as ever. I think my new WDT tool should be here this week and I'm still choosing a grinds cup and have yet to do the Vario alignment so maybe there's still hope for me.

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pcrussell50

#68: Post by pcrussell50 » replying to PIXIllate »

Probably to be expected. If your spritzing is due to not enough mixing, having the flapper out of the way might make it worse. I did the flapper flip several years ago, and I do RDT for static and aggressive mixing... Whether Monolith or super-aligned Vario.

-Peter
LMWDP #553

PIXIllate
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#69: Post by PIXIllate » replying to pcrussell50 »

So as luck would have it Kafatek just released their grinds bin. I ordered one. Twice as much as the Acaia but you only live once. And if I ever buy a Monolith I'm already matched up.

I figure if mixing is my issue then grinding into that and then shaking it around and flipping it directly into the PF should be a solution. Not sure how quickly Denis ships once a product is released but I'm looking forward to removing another variable.

fliz (original poster)

#70: Post by fliz (original poster) »

PIXIllate wrote:Kafatek just released their grinds bin.
Link plz!

Edit: Nevermind. Found it: https://www.kafatek.com/index.php/index ... catch-cup/