The Weiss Distribution Technique is NOT a 'cheat'! - Page 2

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks.
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jrtatl

#11: Post by jrtatl »

All of this is making me wonder where my needle is. I'm still using my toothpick (with great results). John, did you get my SASE?

Thanks,
Jeremy

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RapidCoffee
Team HB

#12: Post by RapidCoffee »

jrtatl wrote:All of this is making me wonder where my needle is. I'm still using my toothpick (with great results). John, did you get my SASE?
Yes I did, and mailed it back promptly. Other early adopters have also experienced delays, and some received envelopes that were stamped 13 cents postage due. The needles are very light, and it just didn't occur to me that more than 39 cents would be required. Darn USPS...

Anyway, my apologies. If you don't receive them by midweek, let me know and I'll send you a couple more.

- John

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RapidCoffee
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#13: Post by RapidCoffee »

HB wrote:Cheat can also mean to deliberately violate accepted conventions.
I prefer to think of it as innovative use of available technology - in this case, an old dissecting kit and an empty yogurt container. :)

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jrtatl

#14: Post by jrtatl »

RapidCoffee wrote:Yes I did, and mailed it back promptly. Other early adopters have also experienced delays, and some received envelopes that were stamped 13 cents postage due. The needles are very light, and it just didn't occur to me that more than 39 cents would be required. Darn USPS...

Anyway, my apologies. If you don't receive them by midweek, let me know and I'll send you a couple more.

- John
Thanks John. I thought about the amount of postage only AFTER I sent it to you. It should get to me anyway. I listed my address as the sender's return address as well. I'll have $.13 ready for the postmaster just in case. ;-)

Thanks again, and I'll post some comparisons with my toothpick method.
Jeremy

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RAS

#15: Post by RAS »

Well, then, call me a cheater! :twisted:

John, with a weekend came the opportunity to try the needle. As an espresso hobbyist, who only fires up the Andreja on weekends, this is a welcome tool to help improve my distribution and "NPF" shots. Worked like a charm the first time I tried it. I do not consider myself a barista by any means (and I've got the technique to prove it!), and this little "cheat" immediately improved my results.

There may come a time when I'll have more time to practice various "legitimate" distribution techniques, but while I've still got other interests in my life, this is a great aid.

Thanks John!

Bob
Bob

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cannonfodder
Team HB

#16: Post by cannonfodder »

I have not tried this yet. I am still fighting the urge; I don't have much desire to make my espresso process more complicated. I don't think I have a bad dosing problem. My espresso tastes pretty darn good to me.

After spending a night watching Barry and his barista crew slap shots out of his Mazzer, I started doing the same. Whacking that doser as the machine grinds really does break up most of the clumps. I don't let me mini doser handle slap back quite as hard but I do keep it moving as I grind. My little Gaggia MDF that I have at work benefited even more from the practice. I don't get anything that looks remotely similar to John's boulder spewing spout. :lol:

A direct vertical drop from the burrs would probably reduce most clumping. The Versalab M3 dream grinder uses a direct vertical drop from the burrs and produces a wonderfully fluffy looking bed of grounds. Unfortunately, it is way out of my price range.

I would not call this a 'cheat', it is simply another method. Not all tamp or level methods work for everyone. You have to experiment around to find what works best for you and your equipment. The technique I use at home with my Isomac and MM do not work for the MDF and Factory lever machine I have in my office.

Sometimes the best solution comes from the most unexpected places. Who would have thought a biology dissecting needle would one day turn into an espresso dosing aid. Has anyone tried using a vibrating surface to break clumps and settle the grounds? Something like an electric toothbrush or engraving needle, just hold the PF against the device and let the harmonics break down the clumps. They use something similar when pouring concrete in rebar. The vibration settles the slurry into the rebar mesh and burps up any air pockets.
Dave Stephens

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RapidCoffee
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#17: Post by RapidCoffee »

cannonfodder wrote:Has anyone tried using a vibrating surface to break clumps and settle the grounds? Something like an electric toothbrush or engraving needle, just hold the PF against the device and let the harmonics break down the clumps. They use something similar when pouring concrete in rebar. The vibration settles the slurry into the rebar mesh and burps up any air pockets.
Hi Dave. There was a post several weeks ago on CG, describing the use of an electric scribing pen for settling the grounds. I was intrigued enough to haul out an old massaging vibrator (don't ask :)) and give vibration a try. It didn't work very well, but an engraving needle or electric toothbrush might work better.

If you change your mind, email me your address and I'll ship you a couple of needles. Stirring really doesn't complicate the process much.

- John

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cannonfodder
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#18: Post by cannonfodder »

Appreciate the offer but I have quite a few similar tools. I do quite a bit of shooting and have quite a few different sizes of angle probes. It makes getting into the receiver grooves and barrel lugs to clean much easier. Although the powder solvent may give the shot an off taste. :? One other trick, get yourself a 22 caliber nylon barrel brush and a short pistol cleaning rod. The brush cleans out a steam wand like a champ.

I was thinking of something like a test tube ultrasonic mixer. A little square box with a rubber pad topped platter. It oscillates so fast that you can place the bottom of a test tube on the pad and in a matter of seconds completely mixes its contents. A two or three second contact with something like that may be perfect (and more expensive than a new Mazzer).
Dave Stephens

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Psyd
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#19: Post by Psyd »

cannonfodder wrote: I was thinking of something like a test tube ultrasonic mixer. A little square box with a rubber pad topped platter. It oscillates so fast that you can place the bottom of a test tube on the pad and in a matter of seconds completely mixes its contents. A two or three second contact with something like that may be perfect (and more expensive than a new Mazzer).
Well, I noticed that I get a bit of vibration from the Mazzer Major, and I still get clumping.
I'm not sure if it keeps with the intent of the WDT, but I dose into a small tupperware container. I found one that sits in the forks of the major and *just* clears the doser, and will sit there during the grind, and the opening is just smaller than 58mm. I use an opened safety pin to stir the grounds, and then turn them over into the PF, and then use Stockfleth's move to distribute them into the filter basket. I'm guessing that, other than breaking up clumps, I'm not getting the full benefit of the Weiss of distribution. RapidCoffee, do you stir while the yoghurt cup is still in place, or after it's removed? Do you see a benefit either way other than the yoghurt cup keeps grounds from straying over the side?
Espresso Sniper
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RapidCoffee
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#20: Post by RapidCoffee » replying to Psyd »

Hi Psyd. The yogurt cup is an integral part of this technique. This improvised funnel allows you to stir as vigorously as you'd like, without spraying coffee grounds all over the countertop. Stirring with a safety pin in another container, and then dumping the grounds in the filter basket - I agree with your assessment. This will break up clumps effectively, but will probably not distribute the grounds as evenly. OTOH, if you're getting good results with Stockfleth's, you may not notice any difference in the cup.

I've still got dissecting needles to send out if you'd like to give this a try. You'll find them easier to handle than a safety pin.

- John