What are these "puck rake" and "puck cap" things?

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks for making espresso.
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Worldman

#1: Post by Worldman »

I see people using some "puck rake" in the porta-filter before it is tamped to stir the ground coffee. It seems to have perhaps 8 wire fingers. What is it and where can I get one?

Also, I see other folk using a cap on top of the tamped puck inserting it just before pulling the shot(s). What is it and what is it supposed to do?
Len's Espresso Blend
www.lensespressoblends.com

salvia

#2: Post by salvia »

Hey Len,
They're Weiss Distribution Technique (WDT) tools. Many people make their own with a cork and some acupuncture or printer nozzle cleaning needles. As an aside, WDT is named after our Home-Barista's own John Weiss (@RapidCoffee).

If you're going to buy one, I'm quite like the one made by Levercraft:
https://levercraftcoffee.com/collection ... ion-tool-1

As for the "cap" on the puck, I believe you're referring to a puck screen. I haven't used one, but some people feel they help to more evenly distribute water on top of the puck and may help fight channeling. Here's one made by BPlus: https://www.bplus.biz/products/lower-sh ... uck-screen
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Nunas
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#3: Post by Nunas »

salvia wrote:<snip> As for the "cap" on the puck, I believe you're referring to a puck screen. I haven't used one, but some people feel they help to more evenly distribute water on top of the puck and may help fight channeling. Here's one made by BPlus: https://www.bplus.biz/products/lower-sh ... uck-screen
I was a skeptic, but found some inexpensive puck screens on AliExpress to play with. They are actually quite good, and I now use them daily for every shot. They definitely reduce channeling. They keep the group head from ingesting backflushed coffee on pressure release, they result in a nice dry puck that's easy to knock out. More recently, I noticed that the shower screen on the group and the distribution nut above that stay very clean. Also, my drip tray and discharge hose to the sink drain remain clean. I used to have to clean these often. The only down-side I've discovered is that the e61 is kept so clean that I have to lube the cam more often, as very little to no coffee oil gets sucked back up to lube it "naturally". As for workflow, dropping one on takes two tenths of no time at all. Getting it off is a simple matter of pressing on an edge with the tip of a spoon, to pop it free, then inverting the PF over the sink where it falls into a shallow pool of water (if you don't have a sink, you could use a shallow dish). I expected that they would become funked up with coffee solids. For some reason, they don't. I've soaked in Cafiza and got very little out. Recently, I put them in my ultrasonic cleaner and, again, got nearly nothing out. So, I just give them a rinse and dry them off with a cloth and leave them on the drip tray. Sometimes, I hold them with tongs and give them a blast of steam or hoe water; I don't think this is necessary.

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Worldman (original poster)

#4: Post by Worldman (original poster) »

Thank you guys very much. As far as the distribution tool, I have used a single finger, a.k.a. wire for ~10 years. For me it does eliminate channeling.
Len's Espresso Blend
www.lensespressoblends.com

fliz

#5: Post by fliz »

accupuncture needle based tools like the levercraft, sworksdesign, or the cheap 3d printed ones work better than the alternatives because the needles are very thin (<.4mm).

There's a $10 one on etsy (after shipping if you're in the US) that's worth the meager cost.