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Thread: Feedback on Pullman Tampers...

  1. #1
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    Feedback on Pullman Tampers...

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    For those who have posted here before, what are your follow-up thoughts now youve had the tamper for a while? First impressions are great, but lasting improvements are really what were looking for.

    Greg

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    Re: new pullman tamper

    What can I add after having used three for three different machines:
    * they work!
    * they are pretty!
    * the lines around the base make checking on dose easy
    * the lines around the base make checking on flatness of tamp easy
    * the others all look pretty ordinary- hard to just ify high prices for something not custom fit and with no particular redeeming or identifying features

    Love them
    Brett

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    NEW Pullman Tamper

    I got mine in the Mail Today and yes straight into making the first shot. I was amazing how much a difference it made.

    Easy to keep level with the rings as guidance. Great weight and handle design. Fits my hand lovely.

    I have made three espressos now and all were really good. Thanks Robin and Greg for the prompt service and excellant wrokmanship.

    Im sure this will certainly increase the odds of perfecting the perfect shot.

    Oh by the way I got the Jarrah and Flat Base.

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    Re: new pullman tamper

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Pullman link=1155203314/60#64 date=1184826072
    For those who have posted here before, what are your follow-up thoughts now youve had the tamper for a while? First impressions are great, but lasting improvements are really what were looking for.

    Greg
    I still love it, thats not likely to ever change.
    The rings are a great guide, I use them every time.
    The rest is second nature now.

    I love showing it off too.
    People think Im crazy for having a custom made fitted tamper but I just tell them it shows Im serious.

  5. #5
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    Re: new pullman tamper

    Picked mine up from Greg on Friday.
    Took a couple of shots to get used to it. But now I love it.
    I got one of the special Jarrah ones and a flat base.

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    Re: new pullman tamper

    Im still very happy with my tamper. *After using it for 8 months I just glance at the rings on the base and know whether Ive dosed correctly or not. *And it still looks like new, with a fair amount of use and only normal care taken. *I use a generic stainless steel tamper at work, and while I can still get a fair gauge of my dosage it just isnt as accurate. *The work tamper doesnt feel anywhere near as comfortable to use either, and is just a little too small for the PF. *There is a definite difference with the Pullman. *:)

  7. #7
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    Re: new pullman tamper

    I still love mine! You cant beat the look of timber and stainless.


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    Re: new pullman tamper

    Ok Im doing something wrong here....

    Just received my new GP tamper. Looks great. First tamper and I couldnt twist my tamper out as the LM basket was spinning around in my Rancilio portafilter (LM basket came with GP tamper). Shot only came through on one side. On inspection there was a gap in grinds in the basket. Tasted bitter.

    Changed beans. LM basket still spinning in portafilter. Looks like potholes in the basket - maybe I dont have enough? Shot didnt come through.

    Changed grind. Didnt know how much to put into my new LM basket - saw that first tampering was uneven and part of the inside lip of the LM basket showed through. Potholes still present. Added more into the basket, tampered although looked patchy, came through evenly, tasted bitter....

    Cleaned machine with solution (it was due).

    Ground into LM basket, still dont know how much to put in (what guide should I use?). Patchy or pothole effect, basket spins in silvia portafilter. Turned it upside down to wipe off excess, and it all fell out!

    Ground again...added heaps in, thinking that it fell out becuase I didnt have enough. Patchy effect. Put so much *in that it wouldnt fit into the group....removed some. Pulled a shot, came out beautifully but still not tasting as creamy as I was having last week.

    So my questions are -
    • how much grind should I put in the LM basket?
    • how do I stop it looking patchy/potholey after tampering?
    • how do I stop the LM basket spinning when I try and twist the tamper out of the Rancilio portafilter?
    :-?

    Coffee is fresh and good quality (five senses roasted last week)

    Im still new at all this, so go easy!

    Thanks!

  9. #9
    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: new pullman tamper

    Hi Joe

    If the coffee is falling out when you tip it upside down, it suggests to me that you have under-dosed the basket.

    What I think is happening is that because there isnt enough coffee in the basket, the tamper is able to make its way deeper into the basket as you tamp. The sides of the basket arent dead square and as you go deeper, the tamper can wedge itself against the sides - hence the spinning.

    If youve filled correctly, you should be able to see a slight imprint from the screw of Silvias shower screen. Hope this is of some help!

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    Re: new pullman tamper

    Cool thanks Dennis I thought so, and thats why I added some more, but obviously too much. Where should the GP tamper sit in a perfectly tampered LM basket??

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    Re: new pullman tamper

    Quote Originally Posted by joe7238 link=1155203314/60#73 date=1187935041
    Cool thanks Dennis I thought so, and thats why I added some more, but obviously too much. Where should the GP tamper sit in a perfectly tampered LM basket??
    If the tamper hits the ridge in the basket when you tamp, then you havent put enough in the basket and will be unable to get the coffee evenly tamped. It should be filled so the tamped level is just slightly above the ridge. Ive been using 18gm which brings the level to about the middle depth marker on the pullman tamper. If you fill too high youll notice extra resistance when you lock the portafilter in position.

    Oh, try this - put your tamper in to an empty basket and see what level depth marker the tamper goes in to. On mine its somewhere near the top marker. Youll need to fill slightly above that level, but not too high that the portafilter offers more resistance than usual to lock it in.

    When youve got the level right, then you need to adjust you grinder so that you get 50-60ml from a double basket in 25-30sec. Then you should be pretty close to the optimum setting.


    Bill

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    Re: new pullman tamper

    Hi,

    With our tampers the level of the puck should generally be 7mm below the lip of the basket.... which means the first line on the edge of the base will be level with the baskets edge.....

    With the LM ridged baskets the tamper will not enter the basket more than about 9-10 mm (the centre line of the three on the side is 9 mm)....

    When tamped the surface of the puck should just touch the showerscreen.... which equates to about 20-21 grams of coffee in an LM double basket.

    The LM double basket needs a lot more coffee than the Silvia double (The Silvia is typically about 14 grams).

    JavaB (Pullman Tampers)

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    Re: new pullman tamper

    ok, I think there is something strange going on...

    It doesnt seem like the tamper or basket is even at all. When the basket is empty, one side of the tamper has the top line aligned with the top of the basket, but the other side has the middle line of the tamper aligned with the top of the basket...

    Ill take photos

  14. #14
    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: new pullman tamper

    Cant wait to see the pics....maybe Joe has been tamping at 150kg rather than 15kg?

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    Re: new pullman tamper

    Quote Originally Posted by joe7238 link=1155203314/75#76 date=1187940668
    It doesnt seem like the tamper or basket is even at all. When the basket is empty, one side of the tamper has the top line aligned with the top of the basket, but the other side has the middle line of the tamper aligned with the top of the basket...
    Joe,

    The tamper wont be the problem but the basket is more likely the cause.

    Baskets are just pressed out of a sheet of metal..... and then the ridge is pressed into the side..... if it isnt perfectly aligned then it could be at a slight angle to the rim of the basket.

    The other possibility is the tamper has been forced into the basket during shipping by Aussie Post..... I received one back (for resizing for a different basket) which had been dropped (or maybe run over by a truck) where the tamper base had been forced to the bottom of the basket..... This was a tapered non ridged basket. I had to hold the stud of the tamper base in a vice and drive the basket off the base with a pine block and a hammer :o :o.

    This type of damage is unlikely in your case (unless the packing box was really, really damaged).

    It is more likely the ridge is not true with the rim. Even if this is the case it wont affect the operation of the tamper.... as you should NEVER be tamping that low.....

    With a Pullman you use one tamp - and one tamp only..... no need for tamps with a partially filled basket..... (and if you do you have a FAR greater chance of channelling). Fill the basket, tap to settle the grinds, refill if necessary, level and tamp. The top of the resultant puck should be well above the level of the ridge so the fact that it is slightly out compared to the rim wont be an issue.

    Ive just checked a couple of other new baskets.... and the ridge on those is also not perfectly aligned with the rim.

    Pressing metal is always less than a perfect process (with size variations in the width of the baskets (within one batch) greater than 0.6mm. That is why we hand match the baskets before the tamper is made...... and these are genuine LM baskets..... you should see the variation in some of the others :o :o

    JavaB (Pullman Tampers)

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    Re: new pullman tamper

    Ok here is a photo that shows the top line closer to the basket on the left hand side than the right hand side

    N.B.
    Images resized to 600x450 to facilitate easier viewing in most browsers,
    Mal.



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    Re: new pullman tamper

    this second pic shows the side that has the top line closest to the basket


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    Re: new pullman tamper

    the third and final pic shows the side where the top line is furthest away from the basket.

    Now I bought the tamper and basket together from Pullman tampers, so I was hoping that it would all work together well. Does this explain why the basket spins in the portafilter?


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    Re: new pullman tamper

    Joe,

    The tamper SHOULD NEVER go that far into the basket.... the lowest line on the tamper 7mm or somewhere between that and the second 9mm is the greatest depth the top of the puck should be from the rim....

    These baskets are designed for about 20 grams of coffee..... unlike the Silvias own baskets (14 grams only)....

    Put in 20 grams, then tamp once and all will be well!

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    Re: new pullman tamper

    Joe,

    Is there a spring in your PF to hold the basket?

    Are you polishing (I assume that is how it is spinning) with just the weight of the tamper - which is all that is required to polish (I dont polish at all).... or are you applying weight?

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    Re: new pullman tamper

    ok, Im still doing something wrong... When using my original plastic tamp that came with the silvia my tamp is smooth.

    But since getting the pullman tamper, my tamp keeps looking like roadworks i.e. its patchy and holey across the top...Not blaming the pullman, but just want to know where its going wrong so I can fix it.

    just tried the plastic again and its smooth.

    why is the LM basket spinning in the portafilter? I cant get the tamper out easily (with a slight twist at the end). I think this is why I am getting the tamp to look like roadworks.




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    Re: new pullman tamper

    Quote Originally Posted by joe7238 link=1155203314/75#84 date=1187944598

    why is the LM basket spinning in the portafilter? I cant get the tamper out easily (with a slight twist at the end). I think this is why I am getting the tamp to look like roadworks.
    Joe,

    How far in is the tamper? If it is somewhere between the bottom and middle lines level with the rim (after tamping) - if so you should be able to tamp to 13.5KG, take the weight off, give the tamper a quick flick with your wrist without pressing down (if you want to polish the puck) - it should spin freely on the surface of the puck and then you should be able to just lift it out..... without any resistance.

    The other possibility was the basket was damaged somehow in shipment and is now oval....

    Was there any damage to the shipping box?

  23. #23
    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: new pullman tamper

    Hi Joe

    Hang in there!

    The basket does look like its distorted to me, particularly in the first pic.

    Java, I think Joe was just placing the tamper in the basket without coffee to demonstrate the distortion.

    Joe, I suggest that you get the original basket and GENTLY place the tamper into it, checking that it is a close fit (my tamper fits very closely to all the baskets I have). If ti does, fill the basket with your normal dose of coffee and try the pullman with your original basket. If there are no probs, then you can be pretty sure the prob is with the lm basket.

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    Re: new pullman tamper

    Quote Originally Posted by JavaB link=1155203314/75#75 date=1187938329
    Hi,

    With our tampers the level of the puck should generally be 7mm below the lip of the basket.... which means the first line on the edge of the base will be level with the baskets edge.....
    Well that may work with other machines, but not with the Silvia. The portafilter wont lock in to position if the basket is filled that high.


    Quote Originally Posted by JavaB link=1155203314/75#75 date=1187938329
    When tamped the surface of the puck should just touch the showerscreen.... which equates to about 20-21 grams of coffee in an LM double basket.
    Again, not with the Silvia it doesnt. 21gm would be impossible to lock in! Its starting to risist locking in with 19.5gm and above. 17.5gm is the minimum that I can compress without hitting the ridge, so 18-19gm is about ideal in my machine.


    Bill

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    Re: new pullman tamper

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill link=1155203314/75#87 date=1187947160
    Quote Originally Posted by JavaB link=1155203314/75#75 date=1187938329
    Hi,

    With our tampers the level of the puck should generally be 7mm below the lip of the basket.... which means the first line on the edge of the base will be level with the baskets edge.....
    Well that may work with other machines, but not with the Silvia. The portafilter wont lock in to position if the basket is filled that high.


    Quote Originally Posted by JavaB link=1155203314/75#75 date=1187938329
    When tamped the surface of the puck should just touch the showerscreen.... which equates to about 20-21 grams of coffee in an LM double basket.
    Again, not with the Silvia it doesnt. 21gm would be impossible to lock in! Its starting to risist locking in with 19.5gm and above. 17.5gm is the minimum that I can compress without hitting the ridge, so 18-19gm is about ideal in my machine.


    Bill
    That largely depends on your group gasket configuration. There are a number of different thickness gaskets out there and a number of different hardnesses, and these will have a huge effect on how much you can get in the basket before you start getting gasket resistance. The gaskets that came with my machine and the ones I replaced them with caused a big difference in this regard on my Silvia, so to a degree it depends on the individual machines configuration.


    Joe, when you say the basket is spinning in the portafilter, try putting it in the portafilter with no coffee and see how hard it is to spin by hand compared to your original Silvia baskets. My LM is slightly easier to spin than my Silvia basket but not by much, and both present moderate spinning resistance. It may be that:
    1. the spring on your portafilter may be weaker than normal, preventing a good grip in which case both will spin similarly
    2. the basket is slightly deeper than normal allowing it to bottom out on the bottom of the portafilter and thus not be gripped properly
    3. the ridge is uneven (see below)

    If theres any moisture in the beans or on the tamper, polishing normally allows this to be smoothed out and for the tamper to be removed without affecting the surface; but if the tampers not moving relative to the puck due to the basket spinning instead, you may get a bit of coffee sticking to the tamper base in some instances which will result in a torn surface as I think youre describing with the roadworks. Do you get any coffee stuck on the tamper base when this happens? The tamper surface itself, as you can see, has a high quality smooth finish so theres nothing inherent in the base itself to cause the coffee to stick to it.

    As JavaB mentioned, you shouldnt ever be tamping so deep that the tamper bottoms out on the ridge so check your dose, but if the basket isnt being held properly in the first place for whatever reason then you may get the basket spinning even if your dose is right and the puck surface possibly sustaining damage.

    As far as the shape of the basket itself, the ridge should be perpendicular to the top and bottom of the basket. Ive not come across any before that arent even in this way, however as the dies at the factory wear out they are replaced, so there can be subtle differences between baskets even of the same manufacturer. So long as these are limited to size, that doesnt overly affect our operations as we match the tamper to the basket before its sent out so even if the baskets a bit bigger than some others, the base we supply will be a good fit to that basket regardless. However weve never had the need to check ridge alignment as thats never been an issue in the past. It may be there are some some faults with this batch affecting things in this way.

    Can you measure the distance from the top of the ridge to the top on the basket around the outside of the basket? If the baskets uneven such that it stops the spring working correctly, then this is a problem for LM to resolve so send it back at our cost and well arrange for it to be replaced with a properly sized one. There may be a little delay in the changeover as we check through the rest of our remaining stock and as I liaise with LM about the quality of what theyll be sending us to replace it, if it is indeed the basket.

    HTH!

    Greg

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    Re: new pullman tamper

    Can you measure the distance from the top of the ridge to the top on the basket around the outside of the basket?
    Greg I think I know where you mean, but can you show me a diagram so I correctly measure the right area.

    try putting it in the portafilter with no coffee and see how hard it is to spin by hand compared to your original Silvia baskets.
    The LM basket is much harder to spin by hand than the silvia basket with no coffee in the basket. The LM basket is a much tighter fit than the silvia basket and takes considerable effort (i.e. use of fingernails) to get it out. Sometimes I think of resorting to using a utensil to get it out...

    Do you get any coffee stuck on the tamper base when this happens?
    Yes and no. Some coffee does get stuck (just speckles) but the patches in the puck are much bigger than the coffee that is stuck. If I use my thumb to hold onto the basket, I can stop it spinning and be able to remove the tamper. Without using my thumb, the tamper feels stuck in there and feels difficult to lift out.

    I just had another go and managed to get the tamper right - the bottom line of the tamper was align with the ridge of the basket all the way around. However when I looked at the impression in the puck after I pulled the shot, the left wall was eroded - which makes me think that I didnt tamper it properly....

    In order for me to get enough coffee into the basket to make the bottom of the line on the tamper align with the top of the basket, I have to grind, lightly tamper, grind, lightly tamper, grind, lightly tamper, grind and properly tamper. Is what Im doing right or wrong? This way I get the right amount of coffee into the basket and manage to pull a shot 25-30s.

    Thanks for everyones help so far...!

  27. #27
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    Re: new pullman tamper

    Hi Joe,

    Unfortunately an LM basket wont fit into my La Cimbali.... so I cant try with one - but the genuine La Cimbali baskets are almost exactly the same depth and diameter as the LMs (its the ridge on the LMs which wont fit into the PF).

    When I dose the La Cimbali baskets (which take 20 grams) I dose so the grinds are just slightly mounded above the rim of the basket.... then tap on the bench to settle the grinds in the basket.

    I then tamp once - to 13.5 Kg (you can check that on a set of bathroom scales)- and then remove the tamper (Ive also tried the quick spin polish - but dont normally do that)..... When the tamper is in the basket with 13.5 Kg applied the lowest ring on my tamper is just above the level of the basket rim.

    Im guessing here, but maybe your grind is a bit too coarse. What sort of grinder are you using? My grinds only pack down about 6mm under 13.5 Kg force and if you require the grinds to be a bit lower for the PF to lock in properly - grinds level with the top of the basket should compress to about the correct level.

    Tamping several times - even with just a little pressure sets the puck up in layers.... those layers result in an uneven puck.... and there is greater likelihood of channelling- especially horizontal channelling.

    Multiple partial tamps are sometimes used to make a denser puck - to slow down the extraction rate..... whilst this works - it is not the best solution. The answer is to grind finer until, after tamping once at 13.5 Kg, you get the desired 60 ml in 25-30 seconds.

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    Re: new pullman tamper

    Hi Joe,

    Either of the pictures below will do (but try to find a ruler that isnt broken like this one!). Its probably more reliable to stick the corner of the ruler on the ridge inside the basket and then line your eye up with the rim of the basket (get down to eye level) and measure 4-6 points around the basket diameter to see what you get. Thatll tell us if the ridge is unlevel relative to the top of the basket, and by about how much.

    Speckles are OK, its clumps Im concerned about. Are you definitely pushing the tamper in straight? If your tamp is really uneven the tamper may jam against the sides of the basket since we generally use quite a close tolerance, but normally theres enough clearance to allow it to go a bit offline without jamming. Also are these roadworks on the puck immediately after tamping (as I have presumed) or once youve pulled the shot and removed the portafilter from the machine? If the latter then its likely to be insufficient dose or grind-related.

    Try this; grind, fill the basket above the rim all the way to the edges (youll get some overflow wasteage but put up with it for now). Gently tap the portafilter three times on something like the portafilter rest on the grinder if you have one, or just on the bench or something to settle the grinds. At this point the heap of coffee should still be above the top of the rim all the way to the edges, but it should be lower than it was before tapping as this will settle some of the grinds. Then run the back of a knife across the top of the basket to sweep off the excess and get the surface level. You should now have freshly ground coffee evenly distributed throughout the basket and sitting level with the top. Now tamp once firmly until the bottom truetamp ring is level with the top of the basket, release the pressure and spin the tamper with your fingers to polish the surface. Now remove the tamper and photograph what you have in the basket and post it for us. Then youre welcome to run the shot and see how you go.

    This should give a clean true puck, from which you can adjust the grind to get the flow speed right.

    Let us know how you go. Please also post a photo of the roadworks to make sure were picturing the same thing.

    Greg

    P.S. what grinder do you have?


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    Re: new pullman tamper

    Greg - now I have had my Tamper a few months I guess I should give you some feedback.

    It is fantastic!!!

    It took me a wee while to get used to the flat base and the weight as I was over tamping at first and getting really hard pucks and choking the machine. It has taken away the need to double tamp.

    I have a few friends who are woodworkers and cabinet makers and they loved the quality, and the cost - "you paid how much...???" We all loved the Redgum tortoise shell handle too.

    This has become one of my most treasured posessions as I feel like it is a work of art that is also practical.


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    Re: new pullman tamper

    Thanks Greg I am still looking into this - it has me stumped. I know that the basket is uneven (its obvious from my first photos), but I just havent found a way to measure where it is uneven....[scratching head]

    In the meantime, is the tamper supposed to come with care instructions, or instructions for use, etc? Its just that I didnt even know that I was supposed to tamp to the bottom/middle line until someone on here told me. Was I supposed to receive something in the mail with the tamper?

    Thanks

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    Re: new pullman tamper

    The lines are mainly to check levelness. They arent for measuring depth.

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    Re: new pullman tamper

    Joe,

    What Nunu said is mainly correct. There is no universal correct depth to tamp to (middle line or whatever) because it will vary depending on grind, machine type and tamp pressure at the very least.

    Having said that, I do promote them as being for depth as well as for alignment, and this is because in an individuals configuration, or in a group configuration where other variables are controlled, you CAN use them to measure depth once youve worked out something that works for you. You can thus ascertain that, for your configuration of variables, youre aiming for, say, the top ring to be level with the top of the basket, and if you find your results have dropped and you find youre tamping to only the middle line, youll know youre not tamping hard enough.

    Any comments youve heard from people such as you should tamp to the xth line is general information which may work and probably does for them, but youd have to have your other variables the same before it becomes directly relevant to you. Nunus response was in this context.

    Greg

    P.S. Ive checked my remaining LM baskets and have verified the problem so will be discussing options with LM.

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    Re: new pullman tamper

    Oh sorry people have asked me earlier - I use a rancilio rocky (doserless) to grind.

    As the LM basket is very deep, its hard to grind so much using the rocky without making a mess! The plastic guard on the rocky is great but I think that it causes the grind to overflow before I have the right amount to tamp. Thats why I grind, tap/shake, grind lightly tamp (to disperse it evenly), grind, lightly tamp, grind and properly tamp.

    Without the light tamps to disperse the grind, I cannot fit the portafilter under the plastic guard of the rocky, and will not get enough grind into the basket. Does anyone else have this problem?

    I guess I could grind into a container and scoop it in, or remove the plastic guard....

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    Re: new pullman tamper

    " I guess I could grind into a container and scoop it in, or remove the plastic guard...."

    Good idea. A friend has a Rocky DL, and does just that -- grinds into a
    container and then into the PF. Can then dose by weight if you want to.

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    Re: new pullman tamper

    Can always hold the PF under the spout.

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    Re: new pullman tamper

    Run through my instructions further up, I think wed all be interested to see the results. For the sake of diagnosing the problem, you might have to put up with a bit of mess for now! :D

  37. #37
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    Re: new pullman tamper

    Update: The problem with the LM baskets is not actually that the top of the ridge is misaligned to the top, but rather that the bottom half of the ridge isnt consistent in shape. One side comes inwards quite sharply, the other side is more rounded, and this allows the tamper to drop down on one side.

    This explains a lot. It explains why you couldnt pick any problems in your measurements, which I suspect you did from the outside, because from the ridge up everything is fine. It would also explain the problem with the basket spinning, since this may be allowing the tamper to skew as in the picture and bind on the sides of the basket. As far as results go, Im not sure how much of an impact this will have if your dose is right, but if its too low you may find this shape anomaly prevents the grinds from being evenly compressed, which will lead to channeling.

    LM have been informed and Im awaiting their response.


  38. #38
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    Re: new pullman tamper

    Greg that is exactly right. I have seen that there are some fabrication markers around the ridge. They start as two parrallel lines on one side, but as you follow them around the basket, they narrow to a single point and then expand out again.

    I think this may be why we are finding it difficult to use the tamper! From all the reviews here I eas expecting it to work like magic, and Im sure that it does, but not with this basket...

    My husband wont use it. Hes reverted to using the plastic tamper with the silvia basket until we sort this out. I, on the other hand, persist [with gritted teeth]!

  39. #39
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    Re: new pullman tamper

    Precisely what Ive found re the parallel lines separating. LM have informed me that a technician will be returning my call as far as my options from here. Does the tamper fit in your Silvia basket? If so you can use that in the meantime until this is resolved so at least he can use the tamper!

  40. #40
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    Re: new pullman tamper

    Unfortunatley the tamper doesnt fit into my silvia basket.

    By the way things are going, it looks like I might have to send my basket and tamper back to you - right?

    I am looking forward to having a perfect cup! [smiley=beer.gif]

  41. #41
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    Re: new pullman tamper

    Yep well change it over for you, Ill send you the details via email.

  42. #42
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    Re: new pullman tamper

    My LM double basket and beautiful Pullman tamper :) are proving a bit finicky.
    I dose to overflowing, tap the (now naked portafilter) to settle, then scrape the excess with the curved cover from the Mini Mazzer. This leaves the coffee concave. The problem is the tamper hits the ridge in the basket, so obviously? Underdosed? If I scrape it holding the lid at 45 deg (I’m trying for something I can replicate here) the coffee is less concave but the tamp is still very close (maybe touching ) the ridge and now the portafilter is tight to apply. If I level the coffee with a straight edge (not much difference to the curve at 45 deg) the coffee holds the gasket clear – not good.
    What am I missing here? :o

    Skypig

  43. #43
    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: new pullman tamper

    Quote Originally Posted by skypig link=1155203314/105#105 date=1188552149
    My LM double basket and beautiful Pullman tamper :) are proving a bit finicky.
    I dose to overflowing, tap the (now naked portafilter) to settle, then scrape the excess with the curved cover from the Mini Mazzer. This leaves the coffee concave. The problem is the tamper hits the ridge in the basket, so obviously? Underdosed? If I scrape it holding the lid at 45 deg (I’m trying for something I can replicate here) the coffee is less concave but the tamp is still very close (maybe touching ) the ridge and now the portafilter is tight to apply. If I level the coffee with a straight edge (not much difference to the curve at 45 deg) the coffee holds the gasket clear – not good.
    What am I missing here? :o

    Skypig
    I suggest that you tap down the PF once or even twice while filling. Personally, I use the edge of a short ruler to scrape down excess rather than the lid, and keep it straight. I think that approach might make it easier to be consistent.

  44. #44
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    Re: new pullman tamper

    The technique I use is mentioned on the previous page but essentially similar to Dennis suggestion except I normally do three taps at the end rather than spreading it out throughout the dose. But either will work. Importantly, either way it gets the grounds settled so when you tamp you wont get as much compression as with a completely unsettled tamp.

    While the LM is preferred by many, unfortunately the shape below the ridge does limit how far you can tamp so its important to have well settled grounds, scraped off level and then tamped. This works on my Silvia without jamming on lock and load or bottoming out, and Silvias have a notoriously low showerscreen so it should work on others.

    Greg

  45. #45
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    Re: new pullman tamper

    Well, certainly taping to settle while filling has improved things. :)Still a fine line between hitting the ridge (under dosed) and not getting the handle locked on (over dosed) though. :-?

    Getting a 60ml double in about 24 seconds, good crema and tasty but sometimes tiny (messy) “squirts” from the naked portafilter. Just not “settled” enough? It’s tamped quite firmly. :-/

    Any suggestions?

  46. #46
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    Re: new pullman tamper

    Yep maybe try settling it a bit more. Also try moving the grind a bit either way and see if this affects the gushers. Its all a balance between volume of settled coffee in basket vs grind vs tamp vs bean type and you can get similar extraction times with different combinations of these factors, but with different tasting results.

  47. #47
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    Re: new pullman tamper

    Quote Originally Posted by skypig link=1155203314/105#108 date=1189639877
    Well, certainly taping to settle while filling has improved things. :)Still a fine line between hitting the ridge (under dosed) and not getting the handle locked on (over dosed) though. :-?

    Getting a 60ml double in about 24 seconds, good crema and tasty but sometimes tiny (messy) “squirts” from the naked portafilter. Just not “settled” enough? It’s tamped quite firmly. :-/

    Any suggestions?
    Hi Skypig,

    First up, if your shots taste good, I dont think that you have much of a problem. The naked portafilter is great for seeing how consistent you are. The clothed portafilter is better for forcing you to focus on what matters - the taste.

    The e61 group is very forgiving. You can get decent shots out of it by basically just tamping with your hand. Its ridiculous! I know that the VBM group looks a bit different from some of the other common ones, but I bet that it would still give you quite a bit of leeway. Perhaps the spurts are being caused by there being too much coffee in the basket? I know that I had terrible problems when I experimented with tamping, dosing more and then tamping again. Perhaps the rapping to settle whilst dosing technique is having a similar effect? If you dose a little bit less, perhaps you will get more of the forgiveness factor from the group? I would try dosing and striking off level without collapsing at all ... just for kicks. It might not work, but it will, at least, give you a feel for what changing that variable can do.

    Cheers,

    Luca

  48. #48
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    Re: new pullman tamper

    Hi all

    Im new to the complex world of coffee & have some questions that you guys can probobly answer pretty quickly. *I have just ordered a Pullman tamper & a number of sites I have visited suggest that after a light tamp the PF should be tapped on the side with the handle (not the base) of the tamper, & re-tamped more firmly.

    My questions are:

    1) *Is this to settle loose grounds around the edge of the basket, and
    2) *Would this be wise to do with the wooden handle on a Pullman tamper.

    Thanks in advance for your help! :-)

    Warm Regards
    Andrew

  49. #49
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    Re: new pullman tamper

    Hi Andrew,

    Yes, the tapping with the handle is to settle loose grounds around the edge if you have a poorly fitting tamper.

    With a Pullman that wont be necessary as you wont get the loose grounds around the edge (and also you will damage the handle :()....

    So neither necessary or desirable!

  50. #50
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    Re: new pullman tamper

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Thanks again for your help JavaB



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