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Thread: Overgrind / overdose / overtamp?

  1. #1
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    Overgrind / overdose / overtamp?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hey guys,

    Probably a stupid questions but just curious as i'm not 100% certain my tamping is correct..

    What would brew better? - A pull that was too course but tamped much harder, or a very fine grind that was tamped less? If that makes sense... I find that sometimes my pulls come out slower or faster without much adjustment to the grind, so I'm trying to narrow it down to find out if I get a fast pour... should I leave the grind and tamp harder and dose more? or change the grind, try and again and then possibly tamp less / dose less?

    Feel free to tell me im an idiot! haha

    Thanks

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    Hi rockethouse,

    Its more likely that the changing in flow is due to a change in dose. The tamping pressure will have relatively little effect. A firm tamp, about the same every time is all that's needed. How are you dosing?

    As to what it better, that depends on your coffee, machine, and preferred tastes. There is lots of information about how to adjusting the grind/dose will affect the shot. Google is your friend.

    You're trying to make good espresso, so how could you possibly be an idiot????

  3. #3
    Life-long Learner DesigningByCoffee's Avatar
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    Hi Rockethouse

    Second on the dosing - depending on the technique you're using, collapsing the mound once or twice can have a huge impact on how much will fit and how fast it will pour. FWIW - I prefer a slightly finer grind and lighter tamp, with a nice slow drippy pour for my home-roasted beans…

    As to taste? Depends on your beans
    Lightly roasted beans will often like a slower pour to extract maximum flavour (otherwise they can taste more sour & acidic) - and more darkly roasted beans a slightly faster pour to prevent bitterness.

    Best way to sort out your personal preference - drink espresso and see what impact each change makes

    Let taste be your guide!

    Cheers Matt
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    G'day mate...

    Hard to go past Chris' simple procedure here...
    Been using this basic system for probably the last 5-6 years and always works a treat. KISS is a great principle to work by, and this one will work for pretty well any machine you want to name. Cuts out the need for anything other than just adjusting the grind to achieve the perfect pour...

    Mal.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by DesigningByCoffee View Post
    Hi Rockethouse

    Second on the dosing - depending on the technique you're using, collapsing the mound once or twice can have a huge impact on how much will fit and how fast it will pour.
    I didn't think that would be the case at all, why is this? (Not disagreeing, I'm curious)
    I would have though collapsing is collapsing, whether you give it one hard whack or 10. I mean, you tamp and effectively squash the coffee down after that anyway. I always though collapsing was just a means of getting a full basket before levelling off.
    Unless you are collapsing once or twice instead of levelling to get differing amounts of coffee in the basket?

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    Quote Originally Posted by depecid View Post
    I didn't think that would be the case at all, why is this? (Not disagreeing, I'm curious)
    I would have though collapsing is collapsing, whether you give it one hard whack or 10. I mean, you tamp and effectively squash the coffee down after that anyway. I always though collapsing was just a means of getting a full basket before levelling off.
    Unless you are collapsing once or twice instead of levelling to get differing amounts of coffee in the basket?
    You need to read the procedure again.
    Fill to a mound, collapse twice then refill and scrape off level, then tamp.
    if you collapse more than twice, you will get more grinds in when you refill an level , giving a bigger dose.
    ...and less if you only single collapse !
    Consistency is the key.

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    Yea you're right, I missed a few keys words. "Will depend on how much will fit". Ok makes sense now. My aim has always been to collapse until the coffee was completely settled, whether that takes a couple of hard taps or lots of lighter taps, and then level off.

    When initially figuring out my ideal dose, I would see If my puck hit the shower screen and would level by using a curved dosing tool or bent finger to reduce the amount of coffee if needed. I guess the end result is the same, just different ways of getting there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by depecid View Post
    My aim has always been to collapse until the coffee was completely settled, whether that takes a couple of hard taps or lots of lighter taps, and then level off.
    you can only do that if you use timed dose or single dose weighed beans.

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    Or weighed grounds.

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    I weigh my shots. I use 18.5 grams in a shot. I have tried varying tamp pressure and found that it can make as much as 5 secs difference to produce the same volume shot. Personally I find quite a firm tamp works for me.

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    The type and freshness of the coffee beans seems to make a huge difference. I Ve had my technique, tamp, dose down pat for a range of beans, only to obtain some great Timor organic fresh beans to have to change everything.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stafe View Post
    I weigh my shots. I use 18.5 grams in a shot.
    So do I. But my (limited) understanding is that correct dose is a volume thing, and so as you vary the grind and/or tamp pressure you may need to add or subtract grams to get the right dose, i.e right volume.

    (People may then ask why bother weighing? One reason is because once you have it set for a given roast & grind, you get a highly level of consistency. Also because I'm single dosing at the moment.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by DesigningByCoffee View Post
    Hi Rockethouse

    Second on the dosing - depending on the technique you're using, collapsing the mound once or twice can have a huge impact on how much will fit and how fast it will pour. FWIW - I prefer a slightly finer grind and lighter tamp, with a nice slow drippy pour for my home-roasted beans…

    As to taste? Depends on your beans
    Lightly roasted beans will often like a slower pour to extract maximum flavour (otherwise they can taste more sour & acidic) - and more darkly roasted beans a slightly faster pour to prevent bitterness.

    Best way to sort out your personal preference - drink espresso and see what impact each change makes

    Let taste be your guide!

    Cheers Matt
    G'day Matt

    Thx. One of the best CS posts I have read. Spot on.

    Quote Originally Posted by Holyfrog View Post
    The type and freshness of the coffee beans seems to make a huge difference. I Ve had my technique, tamp, dose down pat for a range of beans, only to obtain some great Timor organic fresh beans to have to change everything.
    Yes Holyfrog, see above: it does! Also, the same beans vary a lot from day 1 to 4 (also main degassing time), traditionally considered to be at their best from day 4 to 11 and then slowly deteriorate. The only problem is the type of bean and the particular roast can throw that tenet way into the twilight zone. Back to tasting & tinkering...

    Quote Originally Posted by depecid View Post
    My aim has always been to collapse until the coffee was completely settled, whether that takes a couple of hard taps or lots of lighter taps, and then level off.
    Hi depecid, I cut out some of your post. Tapping is the fastest / easiest way to create channeling. I hope you meant tamping. Mainly posted so CSrs do not tap, unless they are using a naked and want to cover their kitchen with "paint a la coffee"!

    Quote Originally Posted by stafe View Post
    I weigh my shots. I use 18.5 grams in a shot. I have tried varying tamp pressure and found that it can make as much as 5 secs difference to produce the same volume shot. Personally I find quite a firm tamp works for me.
    I thought it may be helpful to other CS readers to do a little potted summary at this point. Given my handle, it is one of my pet subjects...

    CoffeeGeek - Tamping Science, Theory and Practice, Part One

    has a lot of info about tamping, unfortunately he became mired in controversy (flames from the die hard traditionalists according to one "outside poster") so part 2 & 3 have not happened (yet).

    Yes stafe, you can actually vary the pour from gusher to choked by tamping "fewer and lighter" or "more, progressively and harder". Not to mention Weiss, Staub, nutating etc to fine tune the top of the puck.

    Given a pair of correctly fitting tampers you can vary the pour a lot by using the smaller tamper to tamp the first mil of coffee harder / lighter (also prevents spraying when using a naked) and then use a second tamper at the end to finish it off. Adding additional steps can affect the pour speed.

    The base of the tamper also has an effect (i.e. US Convex, Euro Curve, Stepped etc) as does the tamper fit (hence Weiss et. al. to correct for poor tamper fit). Both of those factors affect the flow noticeably.

    Also some baskets have higher / lower nascent flow rate. For example, VSTs flow faster than any other I know, and hate curved tamper bases. My old Synessos clearly preferred a Euro curve.

    Back to Matt's post: "Let taste be your guide!".


    Hope this helps


    TampIt

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by depecid View Post
    My aim has always been to collapse until the coffee was completely settled, whether that takes a couple of hard taps or lots of lighter taps, and then level off.
    Quote Originally Posted by TampIt View Post

    Hi depecid, I cut out some of your post. Tapping is the fastest / easiest way to create channeling. I hope you meant tamping. Mainly posted so CSrs do not tap, unless they are using a naked and want to cover their kitchen with "paint a la coffee"!


    TampIt
    Yeah, but there's tapping and then there's tapping? Depecid, isn't clear about what he taps on or with.....

    perhaps for depecid, as for many others, tapping = collapsing?

    I've used a naked for a while now, grind, dose, tap then tamp. No, repeat no, channeling..... which means no

    coffee squirting anywhere.

    I don't, of course, tap the pf on the bench or anywhere else but with the knuckle of my thumb.

    A common technique.

    One of the nicest brews I've ever had, away from home , was on an old lever.... dose, tap level, pull shot. No tamp, it was a divine shot.
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    When I refer to tapping I mean a couple of gentle taps onto a rubber tamping mat to settle the grinds so I may fit more into the basket.

    I was always taught to grind, fill to a mound, tap twice onto the metal edge of the dosing chamber (but I have a k3p, so tap on the mat), overfill, level off using a dosing tool, tamp, pull.

    I have since been told that tapping on the bench is not taught in coffee training as it promotes channeling, but was unsure if that was one coffee companies policy or widely accepted.

  16. #16
    Senior Member chokkidog's Avatar
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    As in the Derek Prince post on Tampit's CG link, there has been a (mostly past) practice to tap the pf on the bench, after tamping,

    to dislodge grinds still adhering to the wall of the filter. I have only ever seen it done once, in a professional/ commercial setting.

    I hope to never see it again!

    Derek Prince refers to multiple 'bounces', on the grinder pf forks, to achieve pretty much what you do on the mat, or what others do

    with their thumb knuckle; i.e. to collapse the grinds as the filter fills. I wouldn't have thought that your technique would result in channeling.

    Using a naked pf precludes tapping on the bench as it dislodges the filter if it protrudes past the lower rim of the pf.

  17. #17
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    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Yea I must admit I'm guilty of doing the couple of hard taps on the side of the pf with the tamper, post tamp, to dislodge the grinds.

    Those days are behind me though, but I still see it occasionally.



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