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  • grinding vs tamping

    hi again,

    what is the difference between grinding course and tamping hard to grinding fine and tamping soft?

    Tal

  • #2
    Re: grinding vs tamping

    Im sure someone will give a more scientific explanation, but suffice to say in my experience the former leads to lots of channelling and sour, watery tasting coffee while the latter can lead to an overextracted brew with burnt bitter flavours.

    The tamp pressure is undoubtedly the easiest of the two variables to eliminate, so I think its really a matter of getting that consistent and then fine-tuning the grind.

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    • #3
      Re: grinding vs tamping

      I guess at the extreme ends of what is considered ideal, what M@ says is reasonably close. However, one does not normally try and extract espresso at these extremes as a normal everyday thing.

      If you have a decent grinder, it is possible to shift the "style" of the shot across a narrow spectrum of acceptability with everything else remaining equal. For example, if today you have a preference for slightly sweeter shots with a smidgen more body to the shot, then you could adjust your grind setting to the equivalent of one small step coarser but do everything else exactly the same and your shot will pour a little more quickly before blonding occurs (stopped before this occurs of course).

      Tomorrow, you may prefer a shot with a bit more complexity and kick...... Just set your grinder to grind a little more fine than the optimum and stop it around the 30 seconds mark (35 seconds Max.). This will be close to a Ristretto shot and as you may have read, lots of CSers prefer their shots poured this way.

      I guess the main thing to remember, is to only change the grind setting a very small amount at a time and DONT modify the way you tamp, otherwise youll have absolutely no idea what-so-ever of how the shot is going to turn out and have less likelihood of being able to repeat it should you want to replicate the outcome in the future. Once you find a tamping method and force that you are able to replicate reliably ad infinitum, then I would not try to change it... just makes life more complicated than it needs to be. All the best ,

      Mal.

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      • #4
        Re: grinding vs tamping

        I believe that you can only offset a courser grind to a certain limit with a harder tamp; after all, you can only tamp so hard.
        Greg Pullman posted an explanation a short while back giving a more scientific explanation of just that.

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        • #5
          Re: grinding vs tamping

          I have recently gone from a Sunbeam to a Rocky grinder. It took me a while to get accustomed to Rocky but now I have sorted out my grind and with Pullman tamper and Synesso db producing consistently good shots. I had to adjust grinder last blend as beans were quite hard and had to set grind finer, I then changed blends and left on same grind and almost backflushed Sylvia, after adjusting setting out came a lovely shot.
          Fascinating this world of coffee and its many subtleties.........................!!!

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          • #6
            Re: grinding vs tamping

            Originally posted by greenman link=1196920754/0#4 date=1196934113
            Fascinating this world of coffee and its many subtleties.........................!!!
            It sure is gm ;D..... The main aim of the game though is to have all aspects of the process as consistent as you can manage it, so that in the end, all you need to adjust to produce those perfect espressos, is the grind setting. Trying to muck around changing the tamp force or any other variable only leads one down the path of a disappearing spiral of frustration.... no fun in that .

            Mal.

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            • #7
              Re: grinding vs tamping

              hi all,
              thanks for the replies and the advice. im desperately trying to eliminate early blonding in my shots. this has certainly helped.
              its quite annoying when a pour starts out beautifully (honey like consistency and tiger stripes etc) only to end in light brown (blond) coloured shot.

              any comments on crema colour? should it be dark or light?

              thanks
              Tal

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: grinding vs tamping

                what kind of coffee are you using? has it been freshly roasted?

                as the supermarket bought stuff is often up to 2 years old and is not the way to produce fresh coffee!

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                • #9
                  Re: grinding vs tamping

                  Originally posted by talbashan link=1196920754/0#6 date=1196957938
                  hi all,
                  thanks for the replies and the advice. im desperately trying to eliminate early blonding in my shots. this has certainly helped.
                  its quite annoying when a pour starts out beautifully (honey like consistency and tiger stripes etc) only to end in light brown (blond) coloured shot.

                  any comments on crema colour? should it be dark or light?

                  thanks
                  Tal
                  Sounds like youre doing it right  -- shots start off dark, finish lighter.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: grinding vs tamping


                    Talbashan,

                    Fresh Coffee & Good Grinder are a must, then you need a good well fitted tamper [eg. see site sponsor Pullman Tampers]. Then comes technique.

                    Have a read through this link, when I was starting out I found using WDT an excellent way to eliminate channelling & delay the onset of blonding.
                    It is especially iseful if your grinder is inconsdistant or has largish steps.


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

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: grinding vs tamping

                      Originally posted by talbashan link=1196920754/0#6 date=1196957938
                      hi all,
                      thanks for the replies and the advice. im desperately trying to eliminate early blonding in my shots. this has certainly helped.
                      its quite annoying when a pour starts out beautifully (honey like consistency and tiger stripes etc) only to end in light brown (blond) coloured shot.

                      any comments on crema colour? should it be dark or light?

                      thanks
                      Tal
                      Gday Tal,

                      It certainly is a balance:
                      * If your grind is too coarse the water will just run between the coffee particles without generating much pressure and itll blond very early
                      * If your grind is too fine, youll generate more pressure than you should and that pressure will find any weak points in the puck from poor dose or tamp operations, and cause the water to drill through those; these channels will be overextracted and produce blonding, even though perhaps 95% of the puck is hardly extracted at all. Also, since the pour is too slow, the coffee may get scalded.

                      After an even dose, distribution and tamp, the ideal extraction speed results in just enough pressure to extract the oils and flavours from the coffee and to keep the liquid moving through the puck. The espresso will always get lighter through the shot, but this should be a gradual and consistent lightening - you shouldnt be getting blond streaks running parallel to the otherwise relatively dark espresso. Stop the shot once they appear.

                      http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1174123753/ is the thread TG is referring to, it might help out a bit.

                      Greg

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