A Tamper is Too Heavy for Grinder Anti-Popcorn Remedy - Page 2

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks.
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gyro

#11: Post by gyro »

From my experience (at least on conicals), less weight on the beans results in a coarser grind. I keep a small weight of beans in the hopper, and I can even notice the coarser grind visually before the shot confirms it if I have neglected to replenish the hopper and its starting to run low. I also suspect its to do with the feed rate change. On the few occasions where I have actually filled the hopper, I have noticed more coffee in the basket for the same grind and grind time than with my 'normal' (albeit small) bean weight.

Cheers, Chris

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Marshall

#12: Post by Marshall »

One of the unsung advantages of the Cimbali Max is the tube built into the hopper, which allows you to maintain a column of beans above the throat of the grinder.

Marshall
Los Angeles

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cafeIKE (original poster)

#13: Post by cafeIKE (original poster) »


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RapidCoffee
Team HB

#14: Post by RapidCoffee »

+1. Large commercial grinders are obviously designed to be operated with a large mass of beans above the burrs, but that's impractical for home use. My solution is to use a mini-hopper filled with several shots worth of beans (at least 50g, preferably more). I've found that grinding time and extraction characteristics begin to vary significantly when the bean mass drops any lower than this. Like Ian, I don't believe that using a tamper eliminates this problem.

It would be interesting to run particle size distributions on the grinds from the last, say, 5 shots as the hopper empties, and try to quantify these observations. Maybe someday...
John

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another_jim
Team HB

#15: Post by another_jim »

I'm mystified by the constant repetition of this non sequitur. Of course, the grind and flow changes as the hopper empties. Of course, the taste will be worse if you don't make the required adjustments.

This proves nothing about single dosed shots, since these shots do have the proper adjustments.

When this issue first came up, I compared shots side by side single dosed and from a full hopper on my Compak, and on some of the Titans, and on the Vario, when they were here. In these comparisons, I did make the required adjustments. I could taste no consistent short term difference between the shots.

As far as I can tell, the only thing this observation of different hopper fills or tamper pressures proves is that if you don't adjust the grind and dose properly, shots are worse. In fact, your observations actually are an endorsement of single dosing. When I single dose, the grinder is in an identical state every single shot. If you don't refill the hopper to the same weight after each shot, your grinders are not the same state, and the grind adjustment/dose drifts further and further from optimal with each shot. :P
Jim Schulman

akallio

#16: Post by akallio »

another_jim wrote:This proves nothing about single dosed shots, since these shots do have the proper adjustments.
Are you sure that the effect can be completely reversed by changing the grind setting? Because what we are saying here is not that the average coarseness varies, but instead the distribution of different particle sizes. You get more fines with weight on beans. Depending on your grinder it is either a good thing or a bad thing, but more often good I suppose.

When I single dosed the Mini-E, the grind setting needed to be fine and it caused occasional blocking of the anti-static grid. With timed dosing I don't get that any more. So maybe the grinds are not identical, but on average coarser with additional fines so that pour times are identical.
If you don't refill the hopper to the same weight after each shot, your grinders are not the same state, and the grind adjustment/dose drifts further and further from optimal with each shot.
Actually it happened right after I read the original post of this thread and went to brew an espresso. Yesterday the shot had poured a bit too slowly, so I had dialled the grinder a bit coarser. To my surprise, there was no flow. So the effect of dialling the grinder was reversed. Then I realised that I had poured the rest of the bean bag into hopper and it had such a major effect.

I find myself dialling the grinder as the hopper empties. I have contributed this to beans getting older and losing moisture, but it might actually be mostly about the hopper getting empty.

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another_jim
Team HB

#17: Post by another_jim »

Are you sure that the effect can be completely reversed by changing the grind setting?
Effect? Reverse? Do you mean can the ill effects of filling the hopper be reversed by setting the grind coarser, or the ill effects of emptying the hopper by setting it finer?

When there's no systematic taste difference, there's no effect, and nothing to reverse.
Jim Schulman

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akallio

#18: Post by akallio »

Effect? Reverse? Do you mean can the ill effects of filling the hopper be reversed by setting the grind coarser, or the ill effects of emptying the hopper by setting it finer?
Both. Can the weight on beans (or lack of it) be fully compensated with changing the grind setting?
When there's no systematic taste difference, there's no effect, and nothing to reverse.
It might well be. cafeIKE argued that there is a systematic taste difference, but I guess no one has comprehensively tested it.

darrensandford

#19: Post by darrensandford »

I single-dose grind doubles with my major and I can confirm that 20g of beans just reaches the top of the bottom burr spindle, and the tamper doesn't get anywhere near that because of the taper of the throat. All it does is stop chunks of bean being spat out across my kitchen.

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RapidCoffee
Team HB

#20: Post by RapidCoffee »

another_jim wrote:Of course, the grind and flow changes as the hopper empties. Of course, the taste will be worse if you don't make the required adjustments.
Jim, rest assured that I understand. Of course I'm talking about properly adjusted grind settings. The question is, even when the grind setting has been properly adjusted to the same flow rate/extraction time, is there a difference in particle size distribution that translates into taste changes in the cup? I don't believe this has been studied well enough for any definitive conclusions. In my experience (and we're talking anecdotal evidence here, not scientific), I get a more consistent result when there is an adequate bean mass in the hopper. (Of course I could be wrong. :))
John