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Thread: Dosing techniques for VBM domo

  1. #1
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    Dosing techniques for VBM domo

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    I have been getting some minor channeling on the sides of my coffee puck.

    Dosing technique:

    Dose, collapse, Dose, level, brush off excess, tamp, light tap, tamp

    I have gone to the extent of filling my basket very slowly and collapsing/leveling evenly making sure theres no uneven distribution...

    My guess would be the tap before my last tamp...might agitate the side of the puck...

  2. #2
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    Re: Dosing techniques for VBM domo

    Gavin
    I am also learning fast, a similar but a different machine:
    Add to you technique
    Vertical tap on bench to settle the grinds
    Side tap after a light tamp to settle the edges. I would not tap after a heavy tamp, I also heavy tamp twice and check the tamper is level - the grinds are level - in the filter basket.

    Then occasionally with my finger I press around the inside of the basket to check the evenness of the tamp.

    I am using the restricted double shot technique - uses a lot of grinds but oh so creamy and sweet. *So The above my not quite apply but may help

    dumiya

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    Re: Dosing techniques for VBM domo

    Hmm doesnt seem to be very different ... ill keep practicing...

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    Re: Dosing techniques for VBM domo

    Hi gavin,

    First up, when you say that there is channeling, what are the symptoms? Are you seeing it with a bottomless pf? Is it just a chip in the top of the puck? Is the flow suddenly gushing? Are you tasting it?

    I suspect that youre right about the side tap. Let us know what its like if you get rid of it. The only other thing that springs to mind is that perhaps the puck might be ripping up on the shower screen? You can test this by inserting the handle with the prepared puck and then removing it. I seem to remember having to lower my dose for the VBM. If thats the problem, you could always get a deeper basket.

    If neither of those things is the problem, I think that it might just be a case of keeping it simple. Forget all of the distribution, slow dosing, etc, and see what happens. You might be surprised. In fact, you might want to just try that anyway - it might save you a lot of time!

    Cheers,

    Luca

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    Re: Dosing techniques for VBM domo

    You did not mention what grinder you have. Some grinders create clumps that can cause problems in your attempts to get an even distribution. Try the WDT (Weiss Distribution Technique):

    1- overfill the basket
    2- use a straightened paper clip or make a tool by pushing a sewing needle into the rubber eraser on a pencil Use the tool to "stir" the grounds in the basket. Stir in overlapping circles and go all around the basket. This will fluff up the coffee, break up any clumps, and even out the distribution.
    3- Level off the coffee mound with a straight edge across the top of the basket.
    4- gently tap the portafilter assembly downwards on the counter or suitable surface two or three times to settle the grounds.
    5- Tamp

    If we can assume that you have a proper-fitting, flat-bottom tamper, then this should really help if distribution or clumping is the source of the problem.

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    Re: Dosing techniques for VBM domo

    Grinder is mazzer mini. no clumping.

    As with symptoms, I dont have a naked PF. The shot starts off thick but when is starts to get lighter, there are slight signs of blonding all the way through the entire shot. Puck gets chiped slighty at the corner and sometimes visible hairline cracks again at the corner.

    Will give it all a try. thanks guys!

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    Re: Dosing techniques for VBM domo

    I should buy a naked pf..... now im at 50 post! I had a laugh

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    Re: Dosing techniques for VBM domo

    Quote Originally Posted by Gavin1 link=1208869276/0#6 date=1208900813
    I should buy a naked pf..... now im at 50 post! I had a laugh
    That you should Gavin ;)

    Coffeeparts and DiBartoli both sell them and at very keen prices as well 8-)

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    Re: Dosing techniques for VBM domo

    Ok...the last couple of shots were better actually...no more cracks on the side of the puck...this is what I did:

    Dose(tap against the fork as I dose), level, light tamp, tap, tamp, twist....

    But....I ran out of my usual beans and had to swap to another and I started getting a gush as the shot lightens.....probably needs a finer grind......now I dont have time to play anymore as I have to leave.....

    hmm.....

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    Re: Dosing techniques for VBM domo

    Looks like it was the tap that was causing the side channeling.....

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    Re: Dosing techniques for VBM domo

    Yup,

    Makes sense Gavin.... Anything in your technique that disturbs the integrity of the puck or its adhesion to the basket is going to cause trouble. Consistency coupled with the simplest approach seems to nearly always win out in the end.

    Great to have everything back under control, eh.... 8-)

    Mal.

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    Re: Dosing techniques for VBM domo

    Yeap!

    last shot I pulled from andys freshly roasted beans into these sexy looking bodum pavina espresso glasses looked incredible......coffeeporn

    mmmm

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    Re: Dosing techniques for VBM domo

    I just recently thought about it and could it be that my tamper is not a PERFECT fit and that the tiny tiny tiny little gap is creating less pressure in that area causing the side channel?

    hmmm ill experiment with my nekkid when it gets here later

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    Re: Dosing techniques for VBM domo

    Dont worry about getting a PERFECT fit....it does not matter as much as you think it does. Its more important to get a perfect distribution of coffee in your handle and a perfectly level tamp. A little bit of ride up on the edge of the basket is perfectly acceptable and will not effect your extraction to the point where it becomes an unacceptable extraction.

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    Re: Dosing techniques for VBM domo

    Nekkid PF just came into the mail....Extraction was very even....obviously no more side channeling from all the dosing changes.

    Solution: Forgot about all your fancy schmancy dosing techniques and just put coffee in there, even it out, tamp and extract.....superb

    much easier to spot blonding on the nekkid.....gawsh my shots are tasting heaps better

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    Re: Dosing techniques for VBM domo

    Quote Originally Posted by Gavin1 link=1208869276/0#14 date=1209020168
    gawsh my shots are tasting heaps better
    Terrific Gavin, thats what we like to hear [smiley=thumbsup.gif]

    Mal.

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    Re: Dosing techniques for VBM domo

    Quote Originally Posted by Gavin1 link=1208869276/0#14 date=1209020168
    Nekkid PF just came into the mail....Extraction was very even....obviously no more side channeling from all the dosing changes.
    Thats a good thing, eh? Nice to hear. The naked PF is not only a good tool to diagnose problems in the cup, its just beautiful to watch the extraction.

    I personally found that the relatively flat bottom of the VBM portafilter bodies held a lot of coffee, even after being allowed to drain. I invariably had drips across the counter when moving from the machine to the knock box which is located right next to the machine. My solution? A hole saw chucked into the drill press. About fifteen minutes of drilling, filing, and clean up, and I had a VBM naked PF!

    Solution: Forgot about all your fancy schmancy dosing techniques and just put coffee in there, even it out, tamp and extract.....superb
    To test your dosing and tamping skills, after the final tamp, turn the portafilter upside down over the doser or a bowl. I do this out of habit to remove the loose grounds on and in the portafilter, and once in about every 40 or 50 doubles the tamped coffee will fall out of the portafilter indicating a problem with either the dose or the tamp.

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    Re: Dosing techniques for VBM domo

    I also took to one of my VBM handles with a holesaw on the machines arrival.. that brass is thicker than I thought it was! with a blunt holesaw it took a good half hour I had a laugh.

    Anyway, I also have the occasional channeling problem on the VBM because I have a habit of overdosing and ripping the puck, but compared to the dosing techniques Im reading on here I dose a lot less, my technique is: fill to the line where the basket starts to taper right at the bottom (like 1/3 or 1/4 full), shake to level then tap, then fill to the top with a bit of a light shake to stop it mountaining, then tap and tamp.

    I use a rocky grinder, and LM double basket with fitted pullman tamper. Even with that technique its often an overdose so I dont know how some of you get away with filling tapping filling tamping filling tamping etc repeatedly!

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    Re: Dosing techniques for VBM domo

    I am still experimenting.
    At present I have stopped the WDT technique and am using a couple of taps to settle while filling.
    I know its not about looks but if you see uneveness happening in the Bottomless PF it still bothers me.
    I cannot get a good looking shot without using the WDT yet !! but like everything its just practice i guess.....

    No I cannot taste the difference but if I drank blue orange juice it would make me think I could.........I had a laugh

    Cheers,

    CB.

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    Re: Dosing techniques for VBM domo

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy G. link=1208869276/15#16 date=1209058223
    To test your dosing and tamping skills, after the final tamp, turn the portafilter upside down over the doser or a bowl. I do this out of habit to remove the loose grounds on and in the portafilter, and once in about every 40 or 50 doubles the tamped coffee will fall out of the portafilter indicating a problem with either the dose or the tamp.
    Ive got into the habit of spinning my PF in my hand once to ditch the loose grounds... Ive always wondered though if it is affecting my puck... just a side note. Its harder when I use the 15deg La Marz PF though; spinning it on a 15deg axis haha. Even my Minore PF has a slight angle to the handle.

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    Re: Dosing techniques for VBM domo

    I have just today started to get good shots, where i went back to basics,
    Dose on demand, over filling basket
    Tap twice
    level off with the back of a knife
    light tamp, knock the PF with the top of the tamper
    tamp at about 10-15kgs, twist 90 degrees with no pressure
    Repeat last step, then clean the rest of the basket, and hopefully a good shot

    Any advice on this procedure?

  22. #22
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    Re: Dosing techniques for VBM domo

    Sounds like what I do.

    I strongly suggest a naked portafilter. Improved my shots HEAPS.

    I didnt like leveling off with my plastic knife. Seemed to give me channeled shots for some reason. Once I swapped to doing the stockfleth or similar, it was gone...wierd


  23. #23
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    Re: Dosing techniques for VBM domo

    I found the best way to get even shots was to weigh my beans before grinding. (I assume you could weigh after grinding as well.)
    18 gms in the VBM double basket is just enough so that the puck isnt disturbed on lock-up, but expands to touch the shower screen during extraction. A straight tamp and a brief polish is all I do. 19 gms always gives me torn-up puck on lock-up.
    I havent splurged for a bottomless PF yet, but Im planning on it soon.
    Greg

  24. #24
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    Re: Dosing techniques for VBM domo

    Weighing beans or weighing after dosing is good to assure consistency but you shouldnt have to do that every shot. Your dosing should be refined to such a point where every move you do if consistent (eg. two taps on the fork to settle grinds).

    I dose up to 20/21g sometimes and the puck is still in good shape.


  25. #25
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    Re: Dosing techniques for VBM domo

    I just realized my channeling is from when I lock in, it seems like I have to be very careful locking in the PF, if its on a bit of an angle for example i think the screen hits and disturbs the puck... I use the side of my plastic measuring spoon.. maybe I should give that stockfleth thing some practise...

  26. #26
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    Re: Dosing techniques for VBM domo

    Shots are still good even if the puck touches the screen. This will happen eventually when u pull the lever. As long as you dont lok PF in, take it out, lock it back in, extract, most of my shots turn out well. I can still feel the puck touching the screen slightly, but the shot is still good.



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