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Increasing dose for older beans?

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  • Increasing dose for older beans?

    Hi all,

    I have read that as your coffee beans age you should increase the dose a bit to compensate. A few questions about this:

    1) Is this correct ?!
    2) How can I tell when I should start increasing the dose? Should I go by taste? Do slightly older beans will produce slightly under-extracted espresso when using a grind/dose/tamp that produced great espresso a week or two earlier? Is there some other variation in taste I should be watching for.
    3) How old is old? I try to use my beans within 3 or 4 weeks of roasting, so does this rule of thumb apply in the 4th week or the 3rd week? Or not till much later?
    4) How much increase of dose is usually needed? If I usually use 14 grams for 60mL, should I increase to 16 grams or is that too big/small a step?

    I expect a lot of this will depend on the particular home setup and particular beans however I would be interested to hear what others do.

    For context, I am using a Gaggia Classic and a Eureka Mignon grinder.

    thanks in advance!

  • #2
    As roasted beans age you will find you need to grind them a little finer, it's a gradual thing, sneaks up on you, I find about a week after roasting I have a (hmmm seems to be running a bit fast moment) and adjust the grind just a touch finer.

    Changes in weather also affect the grind.

    I don't change the dose to compensate, just very small changes to the grind.

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    • #3
      Ok great, much appreciated. Solution is a lot simpler than I was thinking it might be.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Yelta View Post
        Changes in weather also affect the grind.

        This is not to be underestimated! The cafe I work at is quite open to the elements and we regularly have to adjust our grind to accommodate the fluctuation as a result. In the winter months, because the sun follows a lower trajectory it hits our counter (where the grinders are located) and you could almost put a stop watch to the exact time in the afternoon after the sun slips behind the skyline and when our 'pour' shifts; sometimes as much as a ten second change!

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Caneurysm View Post
          This is not to be underestimated!
          Interesting. I had no idea it could be that significant. What happens when the pour shifts. Does it go faster or slower?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Caneurysm View Post
            This is not to be underestimated! The cafe I work at is quite open to the elements and we regularly have to adjust our grind to accommodate the fluctuation as a result. In the winter months, because the sun follows a lower trajectory it hits our counter (where the grinders are located) and you could almost put a stop watch to the exact time in the afternoon after the sun slips behind the skyline and when our 'pour' shifts; sometimes as much as a ten second change!
            We get similar depending on how many people are in the cafe and if the front door is open. It can happen with very little warning. One minute your pours are good, the next it's choked, because our machine cuts the shots according to time it's a fairly urgent correction when all of a sudden we are only getting 10mls in a latte.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by neon View Post
              Interesting. I had no idea it could be that significant. What happens when the pour shifts. Does it go faster or slower?
              Depends on what the weather does, hot/dry weather produces faster pours, humid/cooler weather slows things down.

              The change needed to the grind is usually very small, on my Mazzer typically 1/2 to 1 notch on the scale.

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