What can I benefit by using a 15g VST basket instead of a 18g VST basket to grind 14-15g of coffee?

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks for making espresso.
kast0r

#1: Post by kast0r »

Hi!

Question is in the title. Are there any benefits? At the moment I use the 18g VST basket with 15g of coffee and I don't seem to have any problem except sometimes that the coffee flow is not as stable as with 18g of coffee.

The coffee is good despite everything.

Thanks a lot !

User avatar
Randy G.

#2: Post by Randy G. »

Less head room (usually) = less soupy puck to deal with.
www.EspressoMyEspresso.com
*20th Anniversary 2000-2020*
★ Helpful

Artisan Plus: complete coffee greens inventory management service
Sponsored by Artisan Plus
kast0r (original poster)

#3: Post by kast0r (original poster) »

Is it the only matter?

User avatar
Jeff
Team HB

#4: Post by Jeff »

A VST 15 has, as I recall, less hole area than an 18. If this is still true, to get the same flow rate at a given pressure, I'd expect this to partially mitigate the change in grind. No matter the marketing claims, real-world experience is that you can't use the same grind in a 15 that you do in an 18 and get the same flow characteristics.

If the question is "Should I invest in a 15 in addition to an 18 for an occasional 15 g shot?", I'd probably say no. If you're pulling 15 g shots regularly and they fit nicely into a 15 (different blends and roast levels can have very different volumes of grinds), it might be a good, long-term investment. Baskets last me years and years, with none that I've retired due to wear in home use.

kast0r (original poster)

#5: Post by kast0r (original poster) »

If the question is "Should I invest in a 15 in addition to an 18 for an occasional 15 g shot?", I'd probably say no. If you're pulling 15 g shots regularly and they fit nicely into a 15 (different blends and roast levels can have very different volumes of grinds), it might be a good, long-term investment. Baskets last me years and years, with none that I've retired due to wear in home use.
Thanks Jeff, I guess I'll wait for now. I'm mostly dosing 17-18g.

User avatar
Peppersass
Supporter ❤

#6: Post by Peppersass »

FWIW, VST recommends +/- 1g for all of its basket sizes.

But if you get good pours with no channeling, and the taste is what you want, then I see no reason not to use the 18g basket for a 15g dose. It may be better for light roasts because you'll have to grind finer.

User avatar
cafeIKE
Supporter ★

#7: Post by cafeIKE »

All serious H-B'rs should have a drawer full of baskets in various capacities and shapes from multiple manufacturers...
and if you're really twisted, shower screens of various heights... at least on an e61

I shudder to think how many tons of coffee have been wasted because poor schlubs believed the marketing hype*. :cry:

* VST recommends ±1g for all of its basket sizes :roll:

CafelatStore: home of Cafelat products online
Sponsored by CafelatStore
DamianWarS
Supporter ♡

#8: Post by DamianWarS »

kast0r wrote:Hi!

Question is in the title. Are there any benefits? At the moment I use the 18g VST basket with 15g of coffee and I don't seem to have any problem except sometimes that the coffee flow is not as stable as with 18g of coffee.

The coffee is good despite everything.

Thanks a lot !
a larger headspace exposes the puck to more water and longer before full pressure is applied and is a type of preinfusion in itself. if you remove this extra headspace then this pre-preinfusion will be absent or at least less and you may notice it in the cup. the extra headspace may result in increased clarity where a reduced headspace may have an increased mouthfeel or more complex but that would need to be tested on your machine and the difference may be too little to matter. In the end you may like it better or you may not so you can't really know one way or the other unless you try iy because it's so subjective, however I would expect the results to be different. one benefit I would expect is drier pucks so if sloppy pucks annoys you in your current setup it may be worth it to switch to the the 15g dose in a 15g basket.