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Uneven flow through puck, is it normal?

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  • Uneven flow through puck, is it normal?

    I haven't had a naked PF all that long.

    I've been trying really hard to get grind/dose/tamp right.

    What I've been noticing often lately is that as the pour comes thru the naked PF, one side will get most of the flow to begin with and the other has less.
    So my mousetail might be a bit off centre and the other side is dripping slowly.
    Then after a while bit with the most flow blonds slightly, earlier than the other side, but the flow moves more to the other area so that by the end of the pull, most of the puck seems to have had more or less the same volume of water through it.

    Any pointers as to whether this a normal thing or a sign that I'm not tamping evenly enough?

    I will try to get a vid next weekend...

  • #2
    Your tamp might be uneven, or you might be dosing more to one side. Maybe look at how you distribute the grinds?


    • #3
      Classic lopsided tamp, IMHO. I'd dose, tamp and before removing the tamper get down to eye-level with your PF and see if your tamper is actually sitting perfectly level. Check from as many angles as you can.

      I had the same symptoms as you described and sure enough my tamp was weighted to one side of the PF. A simple tweak to my technique brought my tamping back to perfectly level.


      • #4
        OK thanks for the replies.

        I definitely dose to one side as only one side fits under chute.
        I try to counter that by rotating PF the full range of motion so that grinds get spread as evenly as possible.

        I also have some issues tamping evenly I think because the naked PF doesn't sit flat on the bench. I need an improved technique there by the sound of it.


        • #5
          Try putting the end of the PF on a thick chopping board/edge of bench so you can keep it level while you tamp. I find the naked PFs easier to tamp evenly than regular ones doing it this way!


          • #6
            I rest on my knockbox. Works well.


            • #7
              +1 on resting the portafilter on the knock box when tamping. Even though I have a nice cafelat tamp stand I still use the knock box just because I'm already there when I distribute the grind in the portafilter.

              Regarding the uneven flow, see if this helps.

              Coffee Distribution and Tamping Nutating / Nutation for espresso - YouTube


              • #8
                Just remember to wipe off any grinds on the bottom of the PF after tamping. Don't want them falling into the cup.


                • #9
                  What you need is one of these KS3, makes tamping a breeze.


                  • #10
                    Hmm Nutating, interesting idea, I"ll give it a try.

                    I like the looks of that wooden tamp holder too. I have a nice lump of hardwood, I might try to make one.


                    • #11
                      I regularly nutate or rotate my tamper to evenly spread the coffee and remove channelling.

                      I also use my naked portafilter most of the time.



                      • #12
                        i had a chat with my local roaster this morning, and mentioned that I seem to be getting some channelling either in the middle of my puck or around the edge when using my VST basket in my Silvia... I use my Super Jolly and use a little paper clip to stir out the clumps (if any)

                        he mentioned one of his other customer suggested the following
                        - Don't tap after a tamp (which most of us seems to agree)
                        - layer tamping... dose a little, minor tamp... dose a little, minor tamp... dose the rest, and normal tamp... not sure of this, because I did read somewhere that its not recommended to do this, specially if it is not a straight basket. But I seem to be able to get a very nice even puck with no channelling with the Breville as I do 2 single dose with a minor tamp in the middle... will test that out tonight...
                        - When tamping, don't twist when pressed down. only twist without pressure on top... as the pressured twist may "break" the puck??

                        Will be interesting to see if these suggestions would help with the channelling


                        • #13
                          I used to layer tamp... it caused lots of issues for me.


                          • #14
                            My super jolly has a tendency to chuck the grind to the left so I position my PF off centre to the left ( ie not directly under the doser chute) and then do the NSWE distribution to spread the coffee ground mound evenly in the basket... Hope this helps


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Bazooka View Post
                              My super jolly has a tendency to chuck the grind to the left so I position my PF off centre to the left ( ie not directly under the doser chute) and then do the NSWE distribution to spread the coffee ground mound evenly in the basket... Hope this helps
                              When I had the doser on my SJ, I made a small funnel using a plastic cup and fit on the outlet which help with centering the dose... after changing it to a doserless, it works really well for me to single dose evenly in the center, and quick and easy to clean too

                              After my last post, I have tried the suggestion of my roaster...
                              - layering doesnt work well for me... can't seem to do it consistent with a doserless grinder... maybe with a doser you can tap tap a few times, then light tamp, then finish up... but with the doserless, its a little bit of a gamble on how much you have in PF before you do a light tamp :P

                              - The no twist while tamping seems to give me the best result I just tamp it till I feel my Espro click, release and lightly twist to polish... everytime I forget not to twist with weight on top, I get chaneling around the middle of my puck... now I get a consistent shot, with blonding only at the end of the shot... with the 20g VST, I can do a longer pull without blonding to 2X 1.5 shot