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Thread: VST Filter Basket - Whats Your Experience Been Like?

  1. #51
    enjoy black coffee JamesM's Avatar
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    Re: VST Filter Basket - Whats Your Experience Been Like?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Personally I think matched tampers are a load of crap. Youll probably get the same extraction with a 57mm tamper. I laugh at the folk with machine matched to their baskets tampers. I suppose this could be a debate or argument ;)

    You said you are grinding so fine that your burrs are almost touching. Is the puck channeling? Maybe its too fine? You could try a courser grind with a firmer tamp.

    I must say, my VST "blondes" sooner than some of my other baskets. Id have to guess its due to fact that the extraction is occuring more quickly because of the straighter sides and more holes in the VSTs. (my non-scientific thoughts)

    I like my VSTs and for me its the result in the cup that sings its song, not the look of the extraction.

    Im still stuffing around with different dose and tamp techniques with these baskets, I am actually enjoying it.

    Mind you, I have (a few times) pulled an insanely long, dark and thick pour from my 18gm basket for a long-black. The drinker really enjoyed the brew too.

    My current dose and tamp technique is to grind in to the basket a mound, tap on bench, grind more, tap, then level (flat) with a sweep, and then tamp, gently, then firmly, wipe the grinds off the rim and brew. Previously (non VSTs) I wouldnt level/sweep the mound, Id just tamp.

    Taking lots of advice from around the place, I also decided to grind quite a bit finer, but found it did nothing much more than cause severe channeling in the pucks and sudden blonding.

    Lots of varying techniques and results around the place, thats for sure!

  2. #52
    Senior Member Pavoniboy's Avatar
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    Re: VST Filter Basket - Whats Your Experience Been Like?

    I agree with JamesM in that if you have a 58mm tamper, a fitted one isnt going to solve your problems. If it were the typical 7+mm undersized piece of plastic that comes with a lot of machines, I would say you need a new tamper. But I dont think that is the case for you.

    Play around with variables and techniques a bit more as JamesM states. They do need some playing with to get optimal results, but Im very happy with what I get from mine now.

    I do have a fitted tamper, because I knew I wanted a Pullman, so why not fitted? But I dont think its necessary.

  3. #53
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    Re: VST Filter Basket - Whats Your Experience Been Like?

    I guess well all have our point of view. To me the logic is pretty simple. Why do we tamp? To compress the coffee grounds to resist the high pressure water and thus achieve proper extraction. This being the case, why tamp only some of the coffee? Surely this will create an uncompressed path for the water to escape through.

    (Thats in a nutshell, I know there are arguments against tamping but thats a separate issue)


    Wiffle: Yep sure do, we measure all the VST baskets that come through our doors. Just supply us the serial number of your basket with your order and we can make a tamper to suit. You might also want to try a different grinder if you have a friend or someone, in case your burrs are past their best.

    Greg

  4. #54
    Senior Member saoye's Avatar
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    Re: VST Filter Basket - Whats Your Experience Been Like?

    Just my bit on fitted tampers. I think the proof is in the pudding so to speak. I had a straight 58mm tamper with a measured basket at 59.2mm. essentially the same as a 57mm tamper with a 58mm basket. Due to the extra play it was easy to get a crooked tamp and plenty of untempt edge which promoted channeling down the sides. With my now 58.25mm tamper and 58.4 basket I definitely am getting more consistent even tamping and an immediate improvement in crema and viscosity. So I leave it to experience. Theory or not, I stand by having a fitted tamper to lessen the variables. There are plenty of other variables to worry about.

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    Re: VST Filter Basket - Whats Your Experience Been Like?

    Thanks for the feedback gents. Dont have a naked PF so cant be certain of no channeling, but the pucks look uniform and unbroken when knocked out. I also think I tamp pretty hard; nonetheless I may try the courser grind/hard tamp trick. JamesM, my weighed dose actually sits a few mm below the rim before i tamp; do you think I should try dosing even higher?
    At the end of the day (or start!), Im also happy with the flavour of the coffee produced, just thought that if I could get it to blond later it should be even better...

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    Re: VST Filter Basket - Whats Your Experience Been Like?

    Ill probably play with the variables a bit more, but if things dont change I reckon Ill just have to try the tamper and find out for myself. Still,cheapest change first. ;)

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    Re: VST Filter Basket - Whats Your Experience Been Like?

    This is all way off topic now but, my two-bobs worth.... ;) ::)

    Any decently fitting Tamper will make it easier to achieve a reasonably tamped coffee-puck from one shot to the next.

    A properly fitted Tamper though, allows one to develop a much more consistent technique with the expenditure of very little effort and the need for ongoing practice. This is particularly helpful for relative newcomers to the espresso form of the brew, so why not take advantage of the availability of custom fitted Tampers? It just makes sense to eliminate one of the variables from ones technique, in such a simple move... :-?

    Ive been using Gregs custom Tampers for many years now and would never go back to any of the mass produced ones, no matter what material it is made from. There are other really excellent Tampers available on the market too of course, but I have only used Gregs so am unable to comment on any of the others....

    Mal.

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    Senior Member Pavoniboy's Avatar
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    Re: VST Filter Basket - Whats Your Experience Been Like?

    Dont get my opinion wrong here. I own two fitted Pullmans for machines that take different sized baskets. If I got another machine with yet again a different size basket (Oh Lord wont you buy me...an Izzo Pompei!) I will buy a third fitted Pullman tamper.
    I wouldnt be without my fitted Pullmans now that I have tried them. But I dont think theyre necessary to pull good shots through the VST - just highly desirable and make the process a bit easier.

  9. #59
    enjoy black coffee JamesM's Avatar
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    Re: VST Filter Basket - Whats Your Experience Been Like?

    Great comments on tampers guys, for the record, I have nothing against fitted (precision) tampers, or gregs tampers (which are exceptional), I just dont think its a variable worth playing with in order to fine tune espresso making, theres so many other areas to concentrate on and improve before considering a precision fitting tamper.

    Im not a professional coffee maker, nor have I even been making espresso for very long (only around 4 years), as with most people here, we speak and write based on our own experiences and experimentation. Its part of our journey that might help others along their way also!

    Maybe one day Ill try buy a precision tamper and shock myself! In the meantime, my tampers include a flat 58 and a euro-spec convex 58, both RB. (PS Greg, feel free to send me a precision tamper to try, *giggle*)

    While on the subject of tampers and VST baskets... a good friend who is a Saturday barista at a bakery swears by the VST baskets with a RIPPLE tamper!!! google that one!

    When I pull a shot which results in an outstanding tasting espresso, Ill do my best to replicate whatever I did for that shot again and again. I suppose this is the basic concept and rule that we are all following, however theres always the devil on the shoulder saying "try it differently next time, it might be even BETTER!" haha, will it end?

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    Re: VST Filter Basket - Whats Your Experience Been Like?

    Quote Originally Posted by 59676868626B0E0 link=1310342134/49#49 date=1322619513
    The shots are good, but blonding is starting around 25sec
    Whats wrong with that? Cut it at 25s and enjoy :)
    Hildy and daveqld like this.

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    Site Sponsor pullman's Avatar
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    Re: VST Filter Basket - Whats Your Experience Been Like?

    +1

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    Re: VST Filter Basket - Whats Your Experience Been Like?

    Well, yesterday I put my Synesso basket back in, and first shot was a gem; so was second, third, and fourth. I suspect my grinder is a large part of the problem, but Ive just bought a 2nd hand Compak K6 which Ill clean today, and after getting it dialled in for the Synesso basket Ill give the VST another try.

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    Re: VST Filter Basket - Whats Your Experience Been Like?

    Quote Originally Posted by 0B353A3A30395C0 link=1310342134/61#61 date=1323310527
    was a gem
    describe how this "gem" shot differs to the VST shot?

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    Re: VST Filter Basket - Whats Your Experience Been Like?

    Bearing in mind this is a home setup; the last time I made coffee for money was in 1999.

    Shot volume/time: on the Rockys finest grind setting with the VST, blonding would start or be already started at 25s with a volume of 80mL. With the Synesso a very slightly courser grind and no blonding until 30s with a volume of 60-65mL.

    Appearance: VST= approx 5-6mm crema, some "guinness effect" on settling. Synesso= approx 10mm crema, pronounced guinness effect.

    Taste: VST= Sometimes either too bitter or too acidic, good about 1 in 2; undertones quite distinct. Synesso= bitterness without being bitter, lively without being acidic, undertones present but not as distinct (win for the VST here).

    Like I said I havent given up on the VST, just waiting to dial in the new grinder tomorrow to give it another go. Just my personal thoughts on my own experience to date.

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    Re: VST Filter Basket - Whats Your Experience Been Like?

    The Rocky may not be up to the job of handling the VST basket. As you upgrade one part of your setup you tend to discover deficiencies in other parts (i.e. something else becomes the weak link). Realise that unlike VSTs, Synessos like basically every other basket vary from basket to basket so what works for someones Synesso basket may not for anothers. Its possible the holes on your particular Synesso basket are on the small side meaning the basket is acting a bit like a pressurised basket, so a variation in particle size / proper tamping isnt quite as much of a problem. The VST may be manifesting a deficiency in your equipment / technique. Do you have anyone with a better grinder / tamper to at least test if its that? Have you looked at your dosing technique?

    I just flagged this post with Vince (the guy who makes VST baskets) and this is what he came back with:

    In my experience, tamping edge-to-edge does in fact make it less likely to have channeling down the side walls of the filter.* Channelling down the edges can cause under-extration that can be confirmed both by taste as well as measurements, and usually can be seen by early blonding or watery flow during the extraction. This can be more of an issue with finer grinds, where the cake offers much more resistance to flow than a more coarse grind.
    Ultimately use what works for you and if thats the Synesso then go with that. Just realise that there are better results to be had from the VST if / when you take you equipment to the next level.

    Greg
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    Re: VST Filter Basket - Whats Your Experience Been Like?

    Just dialled in my new/2nd hand compak k6 for the synesso basket; wow, what a difference a grinder makes ;-). Was using previously written-off Peru 4 weeks from roast date to dial it in, and the grinder actually brought some decent life back into it! In a few days when todays batch of yirgacheffe is ready to drink Ill retry the VST with the new grinder and report back. Its all good fun ;D

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    Re: VST Filter Basket - Whats Your Experience Been Like?

    Hi Greg,
    Have you heard the 20g VST ridgeless are coming soon?
    Do you have any?
    ::)

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    Site Sponsor pullman's Avatar
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    Re: VST Filter Basket - Whats Your Experience Been Like?

    Yes they are coming soon but no I dont have any yet. Theyve been held up a bit in manufacture and then they have to pass imaging (which isnt as easy as it sounds - even with all the tight QC in manufacture, VST still toss away a heck of a lot of baskets that dont meet spec when they get imaged).

    Well be getting some as soon as VST have them.

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    Re: VST Filter Basket - Whats Your Experience Been Like?

    I had been using an 18g ridgless. my experience dittod yours and in fact for the time being have now switched back to the synesso, which I find produces more chocolate characteristics as opposed what I term citrus nuances of the vst.

    I was doing 22g to get a nice extraction but as stated the water pass through seemed to be much more. Nevertheless a finer adjustment at this point left a drip, drip extraction; so the tolerances are very narrow.

    sad really bc they are really well made which is obvious when your holding one.

    I believe the synesso is more suited in a domestic situation as with one group head your only dialing in for one and perhaps in a commercial situation with multiple groups the Vst shines, both in consistency between groups and length of pour.

  20. #70
    Site Sponsor pullman's Avatar
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    Re: VST Filter Basket - Whats Your Experience Been Like?

    You dont need 22g in an 18g basket to get a good extraction from a VST; they are designed to work at their best at the rated capacity +/-1g. If youre having to updose that much to get a good extraction theres something else wrong in your setup (grinder, distribution as starting points, I think fresh beans are a given!)

    The only reason I can think of that other baskets could be better in some domestic situations is because they mask problems brought about by the (generally) lower quality of equipment and technique. Im not sure thats a good thing generally speaking, but in some setups it may in fact produce a better tasting result. This is a exaggerated comparison but to explain the point... a cup of coffee extracted from pre-ground coffee will probably taste better from a pressurised basket than a non-pressurised. The pressurised basket is not better than the unpressurised given the right conditions, but in that less-than-ideal situation the pressurised does produce a better result. If freshly ground fresh coffee isnt an option for that person then the pressurised basket may end up being the best solution.

    It may be that in your situation the Synesso is giving a better result, but appreciate why that is. You may not be in a position to pursue the cause of the problem further at this point in time, but if / when you were to do so Im sure youd find the results are worth it.

    As a side note for anyone else reading this, while there are certainly some that have had these types of experiences, weve had feedback from a number of customers saying they had reservations about switching (based on these sorts of reports) and found an immediate and consistent improvement. So dont assume you have to be Scottie Callaghan or Will Priestly to pull a good shot out of these baskets.

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    Re: VST Filter Basket - Whats Your Experience Been Like?

    Just bought an 18g VST and I am really enjoying it. I have an Oscar and a Smart Grinder - so hardly top of the line equipment, but I am seeing improvements. But its a learning curve which Im still at the bottom of (I still need to dial in my group pressure when I get Gregs gauge, and need a multimeter to get an idea of what brew temp is doing).

    Quote Originally Posted by 7C796060616D620C0 link=1310342134/69#69 date=1324598763
    a cup of coffee extracted from pre-ground coffee will probably taste better from a pressurised basket than a non-pressurised. The pressurised basket is not better than the unpressurised given the right conditions, but in that less-than-ideal situation the pressurised does produce a better result.
    Good illustration - my old Synesso was masking flaws in my technique which Im working on, but I just pulled a long double shot of about 80 ml (after reading http://coffeegeek.com/opinions/markprince/04-29-2011 I wanted to see how a long shot went...). Didnt have the normal instant coffee taste that a long synesso shot would have.

    Really pumped to keep working on my skills and seeing what I can get out of it.

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    Re: VST Filter Basket - Whats Your Experience Been Like?

    Ive been using a VST18g ridge less with my Sylvia for the last few weeks (arrived Christmas eve). Ive however never been able to knock out the puck in one piece. Im assuming that its just my knocking action Ive learned after having issues with it getting stuck right on the edge (now days as it usually breaks in half and I can pick up the two halves), and the shots Im getting seem pretty decent. (If I look at the puck when knocking it out, it looks like one side gets stuck with the puck sitting on an angle due to the depth of the puck+straight edges of the VST basket).

  23. #73
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    Re: VST Filter Basket - Whats Your Experience Been Like?

    I have started using an 18g VST ridgeless basket on my Giotto. (Thank you Santa). Everything works well, and Im getting the hang of it. Get lovely consistent crema, although waiting to see if its truly due to the basket or some other variation such as how soon after roasting.

    However one thing that I have found to be different, is that the puck seems less compressed to what I was used to, and falls apart more often than not in the knock box. It does not seem to alter the outcomes in the cup however. I just wondered if it was because I appear to now have a larger clearance between the coffee and the shower screen, so the puck gets to expand more, and if its only me that has experienced this?

    Note: Oops, just noticed the previous post has a similar story, so obviously Im not the only one.

    GrahamK

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    Re: VST Filter Basket - Whats Your Experience Been Like?

    So, time for an update! After a few weeks of working on my technique with the Synesso basket, I switched back to the VST today. Only pulled 1 shot, but it came out really nicely, especially considering I had to take a guess as to the dose and grind settings. In the cup it produced aromas of strawberries which had been absent with the Synesso basket, and the flavour also showed some fruit/acid, almond and vanilla flavours which I hadnt noticed before. There wasnt quite as much of the bitter chocolate/burnt finishing flavours, but still plenty enough; overall Id have to say the flavour was more balanced and enjoyable.

    I did need to grind finer than with the Synesso basket, but only by a small amount, and I can use about 10% less coffee per dose, which is definitely a win in my book.

    Id say my previous issues came down to two factors; 1) the Rocky (with aging burrs) just isnt up to the task. Ill get new burrs for it in a few weeks and try again, however the K6 which Im using now is a much better grinder in every way, and 2) My technique, especially levelling/distribution, was too variable. Ive now got a technique sorted which seems to work well (weigh dose/Weiss/tap/level/tamp), and Ill be sticking to it.

    Looks like Im back on the VST bandwagon, and happy about it, too! [smiley=thumbsup.gif]

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    Re: VST Filter Basket - Whats Your Experience Been Like?

    Only just received my 15g VST ridgeless today, but still managed to make 5-10 coffees just to "try" it out...

    I found that it was a little more forgiving in the grind dept. Initially I left it as per my synesso basket and it poured nearly the same..

    I was able to then fine up the gring maybe 1/2 notch on my mazzer, and got a little more out of the beans,* slightly more crema and a smoother taste,* which I hadnt experienced before..This was without slowing down extraction time.

    Big enough difference???? Im not really sure, but its worth the $$ to find out

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    Re: VST Filter Basket - Whats Your Experience Been Like?

    I received my 18g VST from Greg yesterday with a matched Nexus flat base.

    I have been using an 18g ridgeless Synesso up until now with a naked portafilter.

    Upon intial inpection of the VST Basket I could clearly see and feel the quality difference in the VST. It feels heavier and compared to the Synesso it tapers less at the botton of the basket. The holes look more uniformed when held up to the light, even with the naked eye.

    I pulled two shots this morning using some Yemen Mocha Sanaani . I didnt touch the grind setting on the first shot and as expected it ran a little fast. The flow started with 3 seperate drips, then consolidated into one after about 10 seconds.

    For the second shot I tightened the grind by a couple of notches and got a much better flow, slower than the first and with a little more adjusting this wont be an issue. The second shot started with 2 seperate drips, then consolidated into one after about 6 seconds. I did notice with both shots that the blonding occured a little earlier than with the Synesso.

    The puck knocked out cleanly and in one piece, though was a little more resistant in coming out than with the Synesso.

    In the cup (milk based this morning) both my wife and I commented on the difference, her words were "broader flavour" than the Synesso, which I agree with.

    Time will tell as its early stages for me but I think that the investment in the VST has been well worth it and look forward to experimenting further with this new basket.

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    Re: VST Filter Basket - Whats Your Experience Been Like?

    Quote Originally Posted by 4049571213230 link=1310342134/75#75 date=1326755099

    The puck knocked out cleanly and in one piece, though was a little more resistant in coming out than with the Synesso.
    I posted a little earlier wondering about this. As with nearly everything else coffee wise - a lot of it is technique related. What used to work with the old basket, does not work with the straight edges of the Synesso. The old whack, plus a tap does it for me now. (Or a single ever living belting that breaks it up and knocks it out in one go :D).

  28. #78
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    Re: VST Filter Basket - Whats Your Experience Been Like?

    I didnt reply because I hadnt experimented enough with different techniques. Ive noticed some of this in my setup. I think the puck must stick tighter to the walls of the VST basket than with the Synesso and with the greater adherence theres a consequential greater chance of the puck breaking on removal.

    While messier, greater adhesion to the basket walls is in my view a good thing because theres less likelihood of peripheral channelling than in a case where the puck basically falls out, which would suggest a loose connection between the puck and the basket and more avenues for that peksy high pressure water to escape! ;D

    Greg

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    Re: VST Filter Basket - Whats Your Experience Been Like?

    Im getting a (small) bit of chanelling with my 18g VST, but its the only basket Ive ever used on this combo so I dont know if its VST or grinder or me (most likely). I have a K3T with Giotto and with milk it tastes great, but as a short black theyre a bit sour. (Im also looking into the machine pressure about that). I use a Pullman, and its definitely a level tamp.

    Anyway, theres often a hole or two about 5mm in from the edge, and I can follow it easily with a toothpick to the bottom. I usually grind, tap, grind, level, tamp. Last night I tried about 6 shots of playing with WDT before tamping (which got rid of any evidence of chanelling) and changing the dose but I didnt notice much of a taste difference. Maybe because I didnt spend enough time getting the grind right for the new dose.

    One thing is for sure - my worst coffee at home beats the hell out of the Delonghi.

    Just how much "should" you dose into the VST? Exactly the baskets stated amount? Can you line this up with some level on the basket so that I can tell how much is in there without weighing it? I have no problems with consistency, just not sure whether its a consistent 17g, 18g, 19g, 20g or whatever.

    thanks :)

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    Re: VST Filter Basket - Whats Your Experience Been Like?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5A525A5D5751330 link=1310342134/78#78 date=1326847844

    Just how much "should" you dose into the VST? Exactly the baskets stated amount? Can you line this up with some level on the basket so that I can tell how much is in there without weighing it?* I have no problems with consistency, just not sure whether its a consistent 17g, 18g, 19g, 20g or whatever.

    thanks :)
    I believe the VSTs are meant to operate within one gram of the nominal size, so your dose should be between 17-19gm. IME different coffees seem to have slightly different densities, so an 18gm dose on one coffee may have a different volume to another. I tend to put as much coffee in as I can without the tamped puck contacting the screen, weigh the dose, and then repeat that dose for that coffee.

  31. #81
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    Re: VST Filter Basket - Whats Your Experience Been Like?

    VST state each basket is designed to work within a +/-1g dose to achieve a correct extraction as measured on a refractometer. Im not sure how the variable of showerscreen height comes into play (Ill ask Vince next time Im in touch) but if youre having to dose more than a smidgen outside this range to get good results theres probably something wrong somewhere in the setup.

    Greg

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    Re: VST Filter Basket - Whats Your Experience Been Like?

    Call me old skool if you like, but Ive always been of the opinion that part of this craft is the time taken in learning the art.

    I have experienced plenty of godshots in great coffee places and quite a few by my own hand. Not a one of them required the purchase of a balance capable of weighing to 1/1000th of a gram, nor electron microscope nor much else to be honest. Great cafes have much if any of this gear? Nup... Anyone weighing doses in the WBC? Nup... They have trained and dose pretty (very) consistently.

    For me, if its reduced to only Science, I really couldnt be bothered dicking around.

    When I had a play with them, my thoughts were: e-61- suit yourself, breville DB- definite improvement, saturated group- they sucked.

    I think if we look to this gear, were chasing the panacea or the golden goose. Great grinder, coffee and skill coupled with a good machine will always win in my opinion. If you cant pull 10 very similar shots back to back, its pretty hard to gauge placebo effect or not. :-?

  33. #83
    Site Sponsor pullman's Avatar
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    Re: VST Filter Basket - Whats Your Experience Been Like?

    Youre quite right. That is part of the craft indeed. I dont think anyones denying the importance of the rest of the setup or that excellent results can be had without all this. I likewise have had some great shots from all sorts of setups. But was the next shot or the one after just as good as the godshot? Probably not. Why not? Err...........

    I dont think the question should be Can I sometimes great shots without xyz? because the answer will almost always be yes - depending on how often the sometimes is. I think we should be asking Will xyz help me get great shots more often than I currently do?* If so then its something we should be prepared to look at and potentially embrace.

    Thats where some of this gear can help. That godshot might have fluked it by having an uneven in-basket distribution that just happened to line up with irregularities in the basket to produce nirvana. No wonder the next shot was off even though the barista thought they did everything the same. Any other number of subtle changes could similarly have* effected the change.

    No-ones claiming this gear is ever going to be the silver bullet / golden goose / insert metaphor of choice to make every shot a godshot; but were always banging on here about the importance of consistency and removing variables from the technique and thats exactly what VST baskets do. Refractometers may not be necessary but by telling you exactly whats in the cup it gives you something concrete rather than relying purely on sensory means.

    Theyre all tools in the toolkit which can help improve consistency, and are part of the "great grinder, coffee, skill and a good machine". Understand what they do, use them as designed and they can help to make those godshots less few and far between! Perhaps in time these sorts of things will show up in great cafes and WBC too to make the great even greater.

    Greg

    Disclaimer: I sell both VST basket and refractometers. Decide for yourself if that makes this post inaccurate.

  34. #84
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    Re: VST Filter Basket - Whats Your Experience Been Like?

    The reason I ask about things like "should I aim for 18g" is because it cuts a lot of time out of experimenting. If I start (as I have) from just dosing whatever I think is necessary and tweaking it mg by mg its going to take me weeks to get from 20g to 18.5g where it might taste better. Whereas if someone says "aim for 18g, 30s, 60mL, etc. it will vastly reduce the time it takes me to get a great shot, or solve some of my problems.

    Any time anyone wants to pay the airfare, feel free to drop in with all your equipment and well compare notes ;)

  35. #85
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    Re: VST Filter Basket - Whats Your Experience Been Like?

    I would say start with 18g and adjust your grind to get the right pour time. Youll need to weigh it the first couple of times but once youve got a dosing technique that gives you the 18g you shouldnt need to reweigh apart from occasional checks. Thats where Scotties tools are handy to make fine dose changes.

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    Re: VST Filter Basket - Whats Your Experience Been Like?

    Quote Originally Posted by 10150C0C0D010E600 link=1310342134/84#84 date=1326866342
    I would say start with 18g and adjust your grind to get the right pour time. Youll need to weigh it the first couple of times but once youve got a dosing technique that gives you the 18g you shouldnt need to reweigh apart from occasional checks. Thats where Scotties tools are handy to make fine dose changes.
    which brings me back to

    Quote Originally Posted by 0901090E0402600 link=1310342134/78#78 date=1326847844
    Can you line this up with some level on the basket so that I can tell how much is in there without weighing it?
    looks like "no" is the answer. Not that I need a set of scales for making coffee, but it will be an interesting experiment to see what difference a measured 18g dose makes... and to see how much I actually dose where I think its right.

  37. #87
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    Re: VST Filter Basket - Whats Your Experience Been Like?

    Sorry missed that. If you have a ridgeless basket then theres definitely nothing to line it up with! ;D If its ridged you could probably work something out with that after tamping but by then its too late. I found a standard dose, smooth, light tap then dose to refill and sweep off gave me the placarded dose without too much variation so nothing particularly scientific needed. But Scotties tools do make it easier if that doesnt work in your setup.

  38. #88
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    Re: VST Filter Basket - Whats Your Experience Been Like?

    Quote Originally Posted by 2A756D7B707B777E7E7D7D757976180 link=1310342134/81#81 date=1326853137

    When I had a play with them, my thoughts were: e-61- suit yourself, breville DB- definite improvement, saturated group- they sucked.
    When you said "when I had a play with them" what was the "them"? The VST? What happened with the saturated group?

  39. #89
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    Re: VST Filter Basket - Whats Your Experience Been Like?

    I should have mentioned that the dose Im using for the 4 SOs and 2 blends Ive tried in the VST so far is between 15.2 and 15.5gm (with a 15gm basket); thats just where it turned out to give the appropriate headspace above the puck, but indicates (to me at least) that VSTs recommemdations regarding dose are pretty on the money.

    Re: Weighing dose- I dont like to waste my coffee nor make too much of a mess when brewing at home, so accurately measuring the dose with scales allows me to (doserless) grind just the right amount of coffee to fill the basket without wastage.
    In a commercial environment where youd probably have the top off the doser and scrape/level any excess grinds back into the doser youre also avoiding wastage because your throughput of coffee means the scrapings will be in another cup before they get a chance to stale; in most domestic environments I dont think this is the case.
    Also bear in mind that the latest "grind on demand" commercial grinders are measuring the dose automatically; the fact that its done by the machine rather than by hand, or that the lengthy setup process to determine the correct dose usually occurs when customers arent watching, doesnt mean that the dose isnt measured accurately.

    Any repetitive process where we anticipate a consistent output of that process is inherently scientific by definition; however different setups/environments (and priorities) will dictate a different scientific process. Just my second crack...

  40. #90
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    Re: VST Filter Basket - Whats Your Experience Been Like?

    Have had the 15g ridgeless VST and matched Pullman Nexus tamper for a couple of weeks now, and very happy with them. For me the key has been avoiding overdosing (the shower screen on my Diadema is reasonably low). After a few chokes when adjusting dose, the results have been pretty good (though I need a blind test with same coffee in other basket to confirm)
    BOSW

  41. #91
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    Re: VST Filter Basket - Whats Your Experience Been Like?

    Hi Greg, I have one of your tampers its quite a few years old now do they have s/n on them? Id like to order a vst ridgeless from you but dont want to have it be to tight or loose?

    Thanks
    Jono

  42. #92
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    Re: VST Filter Basket - Whats Your Experience Been Like?

    I may be in the minority, but I decided to give it one final go this week with a 20g ridgeless/naked combo in the LM. Sorry, but they just dont do it for me. Perhaps if you weigh and dose, maybe....but for we trad dosers, nope. With the 20, more coffee, finer grind, more time and not a zac in the cup over a synesso- in fact not as good.

    I have a few 18s and this 20. Look for them all in a bag* in the for sale section soon. Other than in the Breville when I was playing with it, I reckon theyre damn fiddly and with less latitude.

  43. #93
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    Re: VST Filter Basket - Whats Your Experience Been Like?

    Hi Greg,

    I found the s/n its 1030.

    I just made a double espresso using my kony and duetto with a 18g vst ridged. I didnt even swipe the loose grounds just measured the 18 grams and tamped got a perfect 27 sec pour, slightly wet puck on top but the puck came out in one nice piece.


  44. #94
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    Re: VST Filter Basket - Whats Your Experience Been Like?

    I just made another double but I tried my poorer fitting espro tamper and got some slight chanelling right on the edge of the puck, but I didnt bother with any distribution or using my sc tools, just tamp and pulled the shot, and still the taste was OK.

  45. #95
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    Filter baskets

    Hi there,

    Im new to this board (and coffee making in general).
    I have a Diadema Junior machine and a MACAP m4 grinder. I am trying to get the best extraction I can and was wondering if anyone can tell me the difference between standard filter baskets that come with the machine and VST baskets.
    It seems many people think a better extraction is better with VST baskets.

    Could I get some words of wisdom from experienced member please.

    - cheers Neil

  46. #96
    Senior Member David8's Avatar
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    Re: Filter baskets

    Quote Originally Posted by 4155471A1F2F0 link=1331698052/0#0 date=1331698052
    Hi there,

    Im new to this board (and coffee making in general).
    I have a Diadema Junior machine and a MACAP m4 grinder. I am trying to get the best extraction I can and was wondering if anyone can tell me the difference between standard filter baskets that come with the machine and VST baskets.
    It seems many people think a better extraction is better with VST baskets.

    Could I get some words of wisdom from experienced member please.

    - cheers Neil
    Hi! Check out Greg Pullmans info... here: http://thingscoffee.com.au/product_info.php?cPath=40_25&products_id=234

    specifically the "Baskets aint baskets" section. Basically the VST allows for even and optimum extraction. :)

  47. #97
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    Re: Filter baskets

    A quick search on VST baskets >>>^^^ returns plenty of hits- including http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1310342134. I just ditched all seven of mine for a hundy. Dun like em.

  48. #98
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Re: Filter baskets

    Quote Originally Posted by 6C595453677B575E5E5D5D380 link=1331698052/2#2 date=1331702756
    I just ditched all seven of mine for a hundy. Dun like em.
    Ummmm, whats a hundy? :-[ As a matter of interest Ive been using a VST 18g for quite some time, this post prompted me to dig out my La Marzocco 18g ridgeless basket to make a direct comparison, pulled two long blacks back to back, the result, no discernible difference, both equally good.
    If I had the opportunity to carry out the test prior to ordering the VST I wouldnt have bothered. :)

  49. #99
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    Re: Filter baskets

    Quote Originally Posted by 5E626B7366070 link=1331698052/3#3 date=1331708244
    whats a hundy?
    Hundy=$100....

    I was happy to see the back of them. Ill take a Synesso in preference any day.

    I know plenty like them but I failed to get even placebo effect in the cup. Way too much d!cking around to get even a passable result IMHO.

  50. #100
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Re: Filter baskets

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Quote Originally Posted by 67525F586C705C55555656330 link=1331698052/4#4 date=1331711422
    Hundy=$100....
    New one on me, perhaps an Eastern states term. :-/
    Quote Originally Posted by 67525F586C705C55555656330 link=1331698052/4#4 date=1331711422
    I know plenty like them but I failed to get even placebo effect in the cup.
    I often wonder about the placebo factor when it comes to some of the minor changes we Snobs make then go on at length about perceived improvements in the cup, in the words of a famous Aussie Darryl Kerrigan "dreamin" ;)



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