Spot the distribution technique

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks.

Which video is the Weiss Distribution Technique (WDT) pour?

Video 1
21
22%
Video 2
67
70%
Don't know
8
8%
 
Total votes: 96

User avatar
HB
Admin

#1: Post by HB »

For the uninitiated, the Weiss Distribution Technique is a popular method for addressing the problem of uneven distribution of coffee grounds in the filter basket, which leads to extraction flaws and the attendant unbalanced and undesirable flavors in the cup.

The WDT is especially effective at dealing with clumping, although as you can read in the thread Why don't pros use the WDT?, not everyone agrees it's necessary. So as part of my research on the Macap M4 Electronic Doserless, I prepared espressos using the WDT and the Stockfleths Move (a rotational re-distribution technique).

Can you tell which is the WDT pour?

Video 1
«missing video»

Video 2
«missing video»

Note: These videos were not "cherry picked" for beauty. They're acceptable looking pours, but certainly not flawless. Each video was proceeded by one practice extraction to confirm the grind setting. Thus the videos above represent espresso number 2 and 4 of the session. The pour volume was approximately 1.6 ounces in both cases. The filter basket is the Faema-style ridged type and was slightly downdosed to 16.5 grams.
Dan Kehn

User avatar
cannonfodder
Team HB

#2: Post by cannonfodder »

I have been doing something new lately. The Elektra does not perform well with up-dosed baskets. However distribution with a down dosed basket can be problematic and have given rise to some unusual new distribution devices.

I have rotated my portafilter left and right while dosing for some time, but lately instead of simply rotating the handle I have begun moving the portafilter in a circular motion while I dose. My end goal was to have the doser throw the grinds not in the center of the basket, but along the perimeter of the basket. That gives me a very uniform dose in the basket and only requires a tap down on the tamper stand to settle the grounds before tamping.

I will have to do a video to help demonstrate.
Dave Stephens

User avatar
HB
Admin

#3: Post by HB »

SPOILER WARNING - SPOILER WARNING - SPOILER WARNING


If you wish to play "spot the distribution technique," vote before reading further! Note this message was cross-posted to the Bench review Macap M4 Electronic Doserless vs. Mazzer Mini E Espresso Grinder.

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(This is your last chance to take the "spot the distribution technique" poll above).

In keeping with the exploratory nature of HB's review process, I took videos of all the extractions of the session, including the ones preceding grind adjustments. The extraction below was the first of the session using the WDT:

WDT first shot (too fast)
«missing video»

Whoa Nelly, slow down girl! Tightened the grind adjustment 1-1/2 full turns:

WDT after grind adjustment
«missing video»

Still poured a tiny bit fast, but acceptable. For those keeping track of seconds, I add 3-4 seconds to "normalize" a bottomless pour. So for example, a 24 second bottomless portafilter extraction is approximately equivalent to a 27 second spouted portafilter extraction.

For the next two extractions, I used the same amount of coffee, but redistributed using the Stockfleths Move.

Stockfleths Move first shot
«missing video»

Argh, typing this up now, I see that I accidentally included the post-adjustment WDT video and the pre-adjustment Stockfleths Move video in the poll. Seeing the poll results, 70% are correctly spotting the WDT video. I think the results would have been closer if voters saw this post-adjustment video. Oh well, too late to correct the poll. Next time I'll pay closer attention to which video I link! :oops:

To complete the series, I tightened the grind 1/2 turn. A very small adjustment yielded a nicer looking extraction:

Stockfleths Move after grind adjustment
«missing video»

For the record, I believe the WDT is a miracle worker for grinders that produce lots of clumps. But I did learn from this session that a well practiced Stockfleths Move is less labor intensive and the results are very close, in appearance and most importantly, in taste.
Dan Kehn

User avatar
Jasonian

#4: Post by Jasonian »

I got it right, but I still would have gotten it right had you not messed up the poll in the first place based on color alone.
Owner - AJ Coffee Company
HB Rocks!

User avatar
Fullsack

#5: Post by Fullsack »

cannonfodder wrote:I have been doing something new lately. The Elektra does not perform well with up-dosed baskets. However distribution with a down dosed basket can be problematic and have given rise to some unusual new distribution devices.

I have rotated my portafilter left and right while dosing for some time, but lately instead of simply rotating the handle I have begun moving the portafilter in a circular motion while I dose. My end goal was to have the doser throw the grinds not in the center of the basket, but along the perimeter of the basket. That gives me a very uniform dose in the basket and only requires a tap down on the tamper stand to settle the grounds before tamping.

I will have to do a video to help demonstrate.
I saw it done this way at Ritual Coffee Roasters in San Francisco and have been using this technique ever since. It works great with my Semiautomatica. My only variation is that I took the spring out of the pf and dose with the basket removed. I think it's easier that way.
LMWDP #017
Kill all my demons and my angels might die too. T. Williams

User avatar
woodchuck

#6: Post by woodchuck »

The doser on my M4 does a good job of "throwing" the grinds out as well. I use a bottomless pf all the time so its easy to move it around and I get quite a uniform distribution as its filling. A quick tap on my "hockey puck" tamping stand, a tamp and we're away to the races.

Cheers

Ian

ant

#7: Post by ant »

I work with naked portafilters m-f and I can honestly say that if you have a grinder that drops well, like a BNZ conical or one of those Anfim super caimanos (saw it on grumpy vince youtube video) then you can basically forget about wdt-ing stuff. Stockfleths is quite a marvelous and showy move, but being crammed in the corner where I am it's not really suitable for work. I've found results the same irregardless of basket size, from the stock 14-16g doubles to the 21g baskets, and count the convex campos tamper and our dosing style (tapping to settle either mid or post dose) to be what makes the difference.
Anthony Lau

User avatar
Fullsack

#8: Post by Fullsack »

cannonfodder wrote:I have been doing something new lately. The Elektra does not perform well with up-dosed baskets. However distribution with a down dosed basket can be problematic and have given rise to some unusual new distribution devices.

I have rotated my portafilter left and right while dosing for some time, but lately instead of simply rotating the handle I have begun moving the portafilter in a circular motion while I dose. My end goal was to have the doser throw the grinds not in the center of the basket, but along the perimeter of the basket. That gives me a very uniform dose in the basket and only requires a tap down on the tamper stand to settle the grounds before tamping.

I will have to do a video to help demonstrate.
I was looking forward to this video. Is it on another thread? Does this technique work better with a doserless than with a doser?
LMWDP #017
Kill all my demons and my angels might die too. T. Williams