Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Tamping: The Myth and The Magic

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Tamping: The Myth and The Magic

    Hi guys,

    From reading a few threads around here, it looks like a lot of people are doing the whole 25 minute knock, tamp, knock, tamp, tamp N, tamp S, tamp E, tamp W, knock, repeat, knock, tamp, tamp, lean on tamper and polish with all your might routine. OK, so thats probably a bit of an exaggeration ;D

    I did a bunch of testing with the naked portafilter after we got the Synesso at the beginning of the year and we were all getting a bit of spurting. I tried a whole bunch of different techniques and the one that was by far the best was making sure that the coffee was evenly distributed at the top, then tamping once, and once only. Anything else seems to fracture the puck. I must have made 50 picture-perfect naked double shots this way so far, all without a single channel.

    Polishing under pressure was a gamble that seemed to fracture the seal relatively often, but polishing using just the weight of the tamper was OK, as was just inverting the PF to dislodge loose grounds. Tampers that were a bit loose didnt seem to be problematic, and loose grounds on top of the puck doesnt seem to be that much of an issue insofar as taste and channelling is concerned. BUT, Id still try and get the best fitting tamper possible just to cut down on the possibility of grounds making their way over onto the gaskets and getting mashed in ... although I dont know if it really makes that much difference; presumably loose grounds just get forced into the puck by incoming water.

    Kinda wish that Id taken some photos, but whatever ...

    Anyhoo, has anyone done any similar experiments on other machines? Is this a principle of general application?

    Cheers,

    Luca

  • #2
    Re: Tamping: The Myth and The Magic

    Oh yeah, just a few resources:

    Chris Tacys Naked PF page. Chris led the charge on using naked pfs for training and diagnosis.

    Perfecting the naked extraction. Obviously I dont agree with Dans tamping technique, but Chris Tacys contribution was pretty good.

    The Weiss Distribution Technique. John Weiss redefines anal. Havent tried to see if it works ... seems to have quite a following.

    Cheers,

    Luca

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Tamping: The Myth and The Magic

      Thanks Luca,

      Ill give it a try and see how I go, anything that might work, and saves a bit of time is worth trying.
      I presume the single tamp is a fairly hefty one?

      Regards
      Bullitt

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Tamping: The Myth and The Magic

        No; single tamp is just the standard 15kg. In a cafe you just cant put your whole body weight on each tamp; youll die from RSI!

        The one thing that I forgot to note above is that that experimentation was all with the standard ridged La Marzocco basket, which has sides that go in a fair bit. It might be that LM designed the basket like that specifically to make it more forgiving.

        Cheers,

        Luca

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Tamping: The Myth and The Magic

          Luca thanks for that post - those links were full of interesting reading. Tamping is one area I havent known too much about.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Tamping: The Myth and The Magic

            Thanks for the tip Luca. Tried this method a few times today and am definitely getting more consistant pours. Takes a bit of getting used to just tamping once and not being tempted to do a quick polish ;-) Im using a Expobar single basket.

            Belinda

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Tamping: The Myth and The Magic

              Originally posted by Corretto link=1158499987/0#5 date=1158553454
              Thanks for the tip Luca. Tried this method a few times today and am definitely getting more consistant pours. Takes a bit of getting used to just tamping once and not being tempted to do a quick polish ;-) Im using a Expobar single basket.

              Belinda
              Whoa! Single basket?! Yeah, Id imagine that it would help more with a single. The rancilio single is the absolute extreme. Holds about 1 gram and creates this ridiculously thin puck that cracks the instant you do anything to it. Id imagine that leaving that well alone would be really important. The gaggia single that I use at work is a lot more forgiving. Havent seen the expobar single. You can polish if you like, but just dont do it with any downward pressure. Spin the tamper around with your index finger and thumb if you want to be sure that theres no pressure. I do it every now and then, but I dont really see what that does that flipping the PF upside-down wouldnt do.

              Good to hear that its working out for someone other than me!

              Luca

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Tamping: The Myth and The Magic

                Yeah luca thanks for the tip.
                Ill be able to try it out soon.
                I have the LM double basket now and will be sending it off for a Pullman Tamper.
                To what level is your tamped coffee relative to the ridge?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Tamping: The Myth and The Magic

                  I am using the EM0480 and EM6900. The degree of tamp seems to be strongly coupled to the grind setting. For example, using the single basket and filling just a few mm short of the rim, if I use the tamper to just level the coffee without any more force than the weight of the tamper itself, I would need a grind of about 8 or less to get *anywhere* near the yellow zone on the gauge of the EM6900. If I fill the basket up and tamp the bejesus out of it, about 10 will do it. If I do the whole sherbang and put in some, tamp with force, put in more, tamp with force, etc up until a few mm short of the rim, then I can use 11 or 12 - any lower and it can go into the red momentarily.

                  Having said all that, I find with the EM6900 the degree / number of tamps also controls how quickly the quality of pour changes. If I want a real good hit where the gauge shoots just into the black *and stays there* I have to do the whole sherbang. If I dont, the gauge drops really quick no matter what the grind setting so the first few mm will be grogeous but it quickly turns into lolly water.

                  The point of all this? In my experience, the grind setting is strongly dependent on the tamping technique - the smaller the particles, the closer they come together under pressure and thus the greater the extraction so your grind setting is directly dependent on your tamping style. Is it linear? I have not yet made enough to know....

                  I am no analytical chemist of process engineer, so does this make sense to you good people or am I talking out of my backside? (typed with a mouthful of nescafe gold - I have to wait until I get home for the good stuff today)

                  DrT





                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Tamping: The Myth and The Magic

                    DrT,

                    Im experiencing the same....

                    At the moment (My gauge is stuffed so I dont use it as my guide) Im dosing, either tap the PF or get a pointy object and stir the grinds to settle the grinds and declump then dose again until I have a nice mountain in the PF (Way past the rim of the basket) and then flatten with finger, level it and tamp... I have found my channelling is slowly going away and Im getting such a different, sweeter tasting drink - it really is amazing... a Naked PF is the big tell tail... SO glad Im using it until I get the technique right...

                    Marc

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Tamping: The Myth and The Magic

                      Originally posted by DrT link=1158499987/0#8 date=1159412295

                      If I want a real good hit where the gauge shoots just into the black *and stays there* I have to do the whole sherbang. If I dont, the gauge drops really quick no matter what the grind setting so the first few mm will be grogeous but it quickly turns into lolly water.
                      If you want to try an interesting test, collect your shot into 3 equal portions as it pours (10ml per sample from a single)

                      Taste each one (use the last sample first)... If you have a good pour it will be bitter, slighly unpleasant to taste, the middle third will be better and the first third brilliant!!!

                      If you are getting a lot of blonding, the last third of the pour will be absolutely revolting > - not lolly water- and that is going into your "shot".....

                      This method of testing comes from a professional barista course!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Tamping: The Myth and The Magic

                        Hmm, naked PF?

                        Is that when the plastic base is removed from inside the PF? (Mine is black)

                        If yes, then consider mine "clothed".

                        How do you get the damn thing out without breaking it? I have tried but it has a flexible rubber skirt and anytime you try to pull it up out of the PF it grabs a hold of the wall and will not let go.

                        DrT


                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Tamping: The Myth and The Magic

                          DrT, screw in a screw that is slightly larger than the hole and then pull the plastic thingy out... Why Sunbeam put that it is beyond me.. someone needs to be sent to the rubber room on that on... Dont worry if your break it.... Mine saw the garbage bin long ago :-)

                          Naked PF is the Spouts removed and the complete bottom of the PF is drilled out so you can see only the buttom of the basket......

                          Like this...

                          http://www.coffeeparts.com/accessories/nakedpf.html

                          http://www.home-barista.com/weiss-distribution-technique.html

                          See, the journey to a perfect espresso continues...

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Tamping: The Myth and The Magic

                            Aye carumba!

                            Will get rid of that black thing later today methinks.

                            All of this takes me to a point where I can better analyse the results from different techniques - many thanks for pointing it out !

                            Might have to save up the dough to get one of these naked thingys though - what make/model are you using marcstolk?

                            DrT

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Tamping: The Myth and The Magic

                              Also read
                              How To Cut Your Own Naked Portafilter:- http://www.home-barista.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=1437
                              Perfecting the Naked Extraction:- http://www.home-barista.com/naked-extraction.html

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X