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VST baskets dosing technique/survey

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  • VST baskets dosing technique/survey

    Hi all,

    I want to know how you guys do it hence the question. Let me explain... A few months back, a friend of mine gave me the Scott Callaghan dosing tool and since I got it for free, I started using #3/4 for dosing. I found that even with the naked PF, I am getting a consistent result throughout my baskets (15g,18g,20g). I use the "Chicago chop" method... :P always gets a laugh when I say it.

    However, I then started to weigh my beans each shot, to save some beans... and I notice after accounting for some wastage, the bean weight variation is still huge! The Maui that I got from beanbay for example, being tiny and lighter in nature, I found I had to up-dose to almost 23-24g to get it levelled using the dosing tool.

    This brings me to the question of this topic. Whether you use the 5cent test, level with your fingers or using the dosing tool, it's quite different to going by weight. If you go by weight which is what some VST advocates would do, then doing the Maui would look super weird. Almost looks like under-dosed in the 20g basket...

    Before you say "you can tell by what's in the cup", I'd like to say, being not so refine with my palette yet, I'd like to understand some science behind it... So put that aside and tell me what you think?

    By weight or by level dose? Assuming technique is fine... what do you guys think?

    p.s. let me tell you a "cheating answer" all the world barister champions do level dosing... :P

  • #2
    Consistent volume leads to good results for me. Weight is confounded by density.


    • #3
      Isn't it the other way around where density would affect the consistency of volume used?


      • #4
        They are interdependent really. Volume is certainly more difficult to measure consistently. That said, it depends on what the important factor is as to which is more reliable when changing beans.

        Presumably the key factor is resistance to flow (from a mass transfer point of view), you could probably find consistency with either, but they will likely result in different grind fineness and tamp pressure.

        That is to say, the same mass of two different beans may require different grind fineness and tamp pressure to provide the same pour resistance - but the same should be true of volumetric measurements (its just harder to make equal volumetric measurements consistently).
        Last edited by MrJack; 19 August 2013, 11:03 AM.


        • #5
          If you go by weight the actual amount used will vary one bean to the next.

          Java "It depends!" phile
          Toys! I must have new toys!!!


          • #6
            Define 'actual amount'


            • #7
              It's a balancing act between the variables of volume/weight/grind/basket size.

              There have been many threads covering dosing techniques over the years, a bit of research will provide the answers.


              • #8
                Originally posted by Yelta View Post
                It's a balancing act between the variables of volume/weight/grind/basket size.

                There have been many threads covering dosing techniques over the years, a bit of research will provide the answers.
                Also seems to be dependent on what barristers, baristers and baristas get up to when making coffee. (see OP) ;-D
                Last edited by chokkidog; 19 August 2013, 05:29 PM.


                • #9
                  What the un-tamped coffee (for a particular bean) looks like in the basket depends a lot on the grinder and how it got there (direct, via some other vessel, WDT, ...), so any scraping techniques for dosing will vary quite a bit between users. However, it seems with practice most people can end up with a consistent result from shot to shot by scraping/sweeping whatever you want to call it. If you weigh your dose and weigh your shot you can compare shots with another person and be a lot more sure you are comparing apples and apples. I used to get really concerned about dosing in terms of 5 cent tests etc on the idea that the puck would expand onto the shower screen and provide and even bed for extraction. I don't subscribe to this view at all anymore, and recently viewed a video of a transparent PF showing that the puck expands very little (if at all) during the extraction. I have found initially weighing doses and then using a timed grind once a "good" dose (by taste) has been established, works well and is repeatable.



                  • #10
                    My question is what sort of extraction did you get with the Maui when you updosed so that you could match the level you were after using the tool?

                    Also, which set of tools? The full set or the home set (numbers are different).

                    I used to measure by volume fairly accurately by hand but have changed to weighing.
                    After the first shot with a new bag of beans I adjust either the grinder or the bean weight to vary the pour.


                    • #11
                      Wow. Many and varied replies! Thanks for all the input. I personally feel that using the dosing tool gets me a more consistent outcome to be honest. I have a Macap M4 manual. And I feel that with the volumetric method I can make sure the dose is even. If I go by weight. Quite often the grind is less that what I can "wipe off" and I'm not a fan of WDT. So I am paranoid that just be tapping it to settle the dose is not good enough to distribute it.

                      Come to think of it, I didn't really make a huge difference on the Maui. If I updose, I'll just have to go coarser...

                      Just javaphile says... It depends.