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  • Weighing coffee

    Hi there,
    As a happily experimenting newbie, one thing I want to do is make sure my dose is consistent. I'm using a Macap M2M and VBM Junior HX. Loving them both, but still need a lot of practise.

    I've got a Hario scale with 0.1g increments, but am curious as to what methods people like to use to weigh their beans.

    Option 1) - keep the grinder bin empty, weigh the beans pre-grind and grind straight to the portafilter. Probably the most accurate method, but a little tedious.

    Option 2) - dose into the portafilter and then weight. This doesn't seem to me to be a good idea since the scale is only accurate within 3g at weights above 500g.

    Option 3) - grind into another container, weigh this, then tip to the portafilter. This is what I'm doing so far, but it's very messy and I usually end up spilling grinds everywhere.

    My ultimate goal is to get to the level where I don't need to weight every single dose, but can grind into the portafilter at a consistent level.

    Thoughts anyone?

  • #2
    You can quite easily make (or buy) a funnel to transfer the ground coffee into the portafilter. I use a 1.25L bottle with the top and bottom cut so it fits just inside my Silvia basket. The bottle naturally tapers anyway and is a good 5-10cm tall so there is no spillage. Then even out the grinds in basket as per your method, tamp and go. If I wasn't a student again I would buy something shiny and stainless but it works perfectly and no spills!
    Ben

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    • #3
      Hello mjoyce.

      I suggest that you experiment to see what gives you good and consistent results.

      I haven’t weighed for a while. I measure my beans with a small scoop into the empty grinder. That way I keep them fresh.

      I expect that you have access to some great local beans there in Jakarta. Let us know what it is like.

      Enjoy your coffee.

      Barry

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      • #4
        Hi Mjoyce. I have the same set up as you. I weigh before I grind and keep my hopper empty. Basically I single dose.

        I always pull double shots so about 18grams in the double filter basket.

        I've become pretty consistent and only adjust my grinder based on the bean and freshness.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by mjoyce View Post

          My ultimate goal is to get to the level where I don't need to weight every single dose, but can grind into the portafilter at a consistent level.

          Thoughts anyone?
          While this may give you a consistent level, in my experience the M2M produces more consistent grind size with a full chute and some beans in the hopper. Single dosing allows more 'popcorning'. Whether that impact is detectable to you I can't say.

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          • #6
            I dose and weigh the PF + grinds. With my naked PF, and triple basket, total weight is 412g for an 18g dose.

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            • #7
              There is an option 4: take the basket out, dose directly into the basket, weigh, and then pop it in the PF. When I'm having struggles getting a good shot I often weigh my dose, and this is the method I use. It is the neatest, fastest, and most accurate way I've tried.

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              • #8
                Used to use your option 3. Grind retention was an issue.

                i cut the base out of a take away short black cup to use as a funnel. Worked perfectly.

                now happy owner of an hg1, and weigh beans before grinding. Much easier. (At only 6 times the cost!)

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by gibberblot View Post
                  There is an option 4: take the basket out, dose directly into the basket, weigh, and then pop it in the PF. When I'm having struggles getting a good shot I often weigh my dose, and this is the method I use. It is the neatest, fastest, and most accurate way I've tried.
                  Then maybe you should try option 2.

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                  • #10
                    A double spout portafilter does not fit on to my scales. Even if it did, accuracy of 1g is pretty low for consistent espresso.

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                    • #11
                      Cut off the spout then

                      Surely the method is equally inaccurate if weighing the basket without the portafilter.

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                      • #12
                        Just my two cents... I single dose beans into the hopper by volume (spare basket) and grind them into the basket with a slight excess. Grinds are then scraped level with a chopstick, tapped flat on a teatowel/edge of bench 2-3 times to settle (too much unevenly distributes them), and tamped. I've weighed it and it seemed to be about a gram over the basket rating, but produces consistent results every time. This is with a 15g VST with naked PF.

                        I expect that a uniform, level surface won't be achievable without scraping flat - in which case what is the purpose of weighing the grinds?

                        p.s. my dosing routine has changed many many times, and probably will again

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                        • #13
                          (Option 5.) Buy a another set of scales that can read 0.1gm up to a kg. That way you can weigh the group handle, basket and coffee after tamping. Quick easy and no mess. Look on ebay they're very cheap.

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                          • #14
                            The scales I have still give 0.1 g readouts with a portafilter in place (which weighs about 560g), but the manual states they are only accurate to +-3 g between 500g and 2000g. I will do some experiments on the weekend to see how precise they are at the 500-600g range. Precision is more important than accuracy. I don't need to compare my dose of coffee against a block of platinum in France, I only need to compare it against the last dose I made. So as long as "my" 14g of coffee is the same as my previous 14g of coffee, I'm set.
                            Failing this, I think making a funnel and option 3 sounds good.
                            Attached Files

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                            • #15
                              I use option 1.
                              Currently weighing 18g into an 18g VST basket.

                              Barry O I shut the hopper gate on my Macap to hopefully reduce popcorning.
                              Even if that doesn't actually work, I can't see it. ;-)

                              I also change the weight rather than adjust the grinder.

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