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Thread: VST basket and tamper fit

  1. #1
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    VST basket and tamper fit

    Howdy folks, i've got a 15g vst basket, and a 58mm generic tamper. Am experiencing some side channeling/spitting, am wondering if the fact that the tamper is slightly loose in the basket is resulting in coffee at the edges not being compressed evenly with the rest, allowing water to move more easily at the extremities of the basket? After the initial tamp, i'm having to slide the tamper around to get the edges flat too, not ideal.

    Have tried a few different dose sizes and grind settings, seem to be in the sweet spot at around 16.7g, took about 5-6 pours with grind adjustment to get the flow rate where i wanted it to be. initially i had a very fast pour, probably 12-15 seconds with only 15g coffee, have dialed the grind even finer, and increased the dose, now the flow rate is good, but i'm getting some very slight spitting at the edges. Have had to tighten up the grind size considerably compared to using a stock filter. The puck is always a lot wetter in the VST after a pour than in the stock filer too.

    I've been unable to work out if VST baskets are all exactly the same size, I know Pullman do matching tampers to baskets which leads me to think there's tolerance on different sizings, unfortunately my budget for tampers is nowhere near that level. Most seem to recommend a 58.38mm tamper, has anyone changed up to a 58.38 or even 58.5 with the VST and found an improvement over a stock 58mm?

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Janus View Post
    Am experiencing some side channeling/spitting, am wondering if the fact that the tamper is slightly loose in the basket is resulting in coffee at the edges not being compressed evenly with the rest, allowing water to move more easily at the extremities of the basket?
    Yes it does. To get picture perfect pours, you may also want to start doing some sort of distribution technique (stirring the coffee bed with needle etc, look up on 'WDT technique') or a grinder that distribute evenly from the get go.

    Quote Originally Posted by Janus View Post
    Have had to tighten up the grind size considerably compared to using a stock filter. The puck is always a lot wetter in the VST after a pour than in the stock filer too.
    This is normal too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Janus View Post
    I've been unable to work out if VST baskets are all exactly the same size
    As far as their consistency claims go, it only extends to the holes diameter, not the basket diameter. My 18g VST inner diameter is a tad smaller than the 15g VST - evident by 58.5mm tamper that binds on the 18g, but not 15g. If you want 100% matching fit, it's best to send it in. If 99% fitting is ok, up to 58.4mm is almost guaranteed to fit. Regardless, 58.3-58.4mm will be an improvement over generic 58mm tamper (which is typically sized a hair under 58.0mm).
    Janus likes this.

  3. #3
    Site Sponsor Leaf_Bean_Machine's Avatar
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    Using 58.4mm tamper will definitely improve your pours in a VST basket. It fits in there TIGHT and there is not much room for error in your tamping technique.

    I've not tested it scientifically but have used the pullman 58.4 in many many VST baskets - anecdotally some baskets seem to be tighter than others with the same tamper. I don't taste that it's a huge issue when it's one of the 'looser' fits.

    Maybe one of the Barista Hustle tampers is a better price for you?
    greenman and Janus like this.

  4. #4
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    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    They do look more in my price range however appear to be sold out everywhere, will keep an eye out for when they are back in stock.

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