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  • VST Baskets under dosing

    I purchased 3 baskets from Greg Pullman 15g, 18g and 20g. And I was very happy with the service, thanks Greg!

    Im having an issue with my machine where I have to under dose in order to not hit the shower screen. With these baskets what is the story with under dosing. I remember trawling through the forums about these guys that they are very sensitive when it comes to over and under dosing. If I was to under dose the 18g basket to fit 15g of grinds will I have an issue with taste and quality?

    I did try but gave up pretty quickly because I didnt have much beans to last me until my next visit to the roasters.


    Im using a Bezzera BZ35e machine and the shower screens needs atleast 6-8mm clearance from the lip of the basket.



    -Brendon

  • #2
    Re: VST Baskets under dosing

    That interesting that you need to underdose....

    I found with my 18 & 22g VST`s that I neded to up dose to approx 20 & 24g to get the results I wanted with the Expobar

    I don`t think it matters how many grams you fit in the basket just make sure the volume is correct

    The amount of coffee you use will vary between beans a roast levels

    Use the five cent peice test to check your level

    The VST`s are sensitive to dose and distribution, I have switched back to using my standard type baskets which I prefer .

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: VST Baskets under dosing

      I havnt had an issue with dosing with my vst but I have found that a finer grind and a very light tamp helped to improve consistancy and a more even extraction

      Have you tryed a set of Scotty dosing tools? it might help with your clearance issue





      Comment


      • #4
        Re: VST Baskets under dosing

        No I havent tried the 5c trick yet although, I have tried quite a few blends and different roasters over the past couple KGs Ive put through the machine so I havent made life easy having to adjust the grinds back and forth to suit the different roasts.

        The current roast Im using I have to have my BCG800 almost at its finest setting which has made me second guess whether I may need to upgrade. Although the last blend I used which was a much darker roast I almost had to have the grinder in its halfway grind level which was a huge jump. I just cant get a decent cup out of this current roast which is very frustrating.

        So at the moment Im going to put it down to the current beans Im using and Ill try get the scales out tonight and put a few cups to trial it out more and make sure Im using the correct dose to eliminate my theory of dosage.

        -Brendon

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: VST Baskets under dosing

          Ive had similar experience to MNSTA, I have to dose my 18g basket at more like 20g to get the right volume in the basket for Silvia.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: VST Baskets under dosing

            Originally posted by 6C7C6B606A61697D0E0 link=1341197814/0#0 date=1341197814
            Im having an issue with my machine where I have to under dose in order to not hit the shower screen.

            Consider it this way.
            You are not under dosing for your machine basket combo, ignore the amount printed on the basket and dose correctly to your setup.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: VST Baskets under dosing

              Originally posted by 3424333832393125560 link=1341197814/3#3 date=1341206592
              The current roast Im using I have to have my BCG800 almost at its finest setting which has made me second guess whether I may need to upgrade
              Try adding shims to the grinder. I use 19 grams in the vst 20 gram basket at a very fine setting.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: VST Baskets under dosing

                My understanding from VST and materials they have published is that ± 1 gram is a guideline. Its good not to exceed +1 gram because that will restrict flow, and force a coarser grind, encouraging under-extraction. So, if you tend to use 19 - 20gr, its advisable to use a 20-gr filter, not to over-fill an 18-gr filter, for example.

                Going up to about 2-g under is usually w/in adjustment range of most good grinders with sharp burrs to maintain flow rates and yields.

                The head room is not critical, as long as its ~1 - 5 mm. The key is not to jam the espresso up against the screen which encourages channeling because of turbulence and erosion. If that happens when within nominal fill levels, then the group screen location will require a user to go to a deeper basket in order to increase the separation distance.

                Most users have reported good results using 19-21g in a 22 gr basket (which holds 23-24 grams of higher density S.O. coffees) in such cases because you have both the grind and amount of coffee to work with to adjust flow rates and thus contact time, while filling to a level that is below the dispersion screen.

                Some machines have adjustments for this, such as the new Nuova Simonelli Aurellia II T3. Others, such as LM, Synesso, Kees van der Westen and many E61 groups are at similar dimensions from the group dispersion screen, and work perfectly as-is with the VST filters. The gasket thickness can usually be adjusted ± 1-1.5mm also, as another way to mover the filter up/down. As always, YMMV, but all manufacturers recommend the grinder be in proper working order, clean and with sharp burrs.

                Greg

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                • #9
                  Re: VST Baskets under dosing

                  Thanks Greg for the in depth comment. I did read something similar to what you have said elsewhere. Infact I probably read another one of your posts floating around the internet!

                  My question is generally asking for the following situations:

                  I prefer (at the moment) the taste Im getting out of using a 15g basket with 15g of coffee being used. I know for a fact that when I tighten the group handle to its final point that the coffee is touching the shower screen. It isnt effecting the taste because Im getting a very nice pour 9 times out of 10.

                  My query is probably more along the lines of this, considering Im happy with the taste out of 15g of coffee should I put 15g into the 18g basket which will give me plenty of clearance to the lower shower screen on my machine. Or is the science behind these baskets taking into account the amount of empty space between the top of the puk and the shower screen? Is there an issue with the amount of volume between those 2 points?

                  If they apparently put in so much endless hours of testing and developing surely there is a reason they supply so many different sizes 7g, 15g, 18g, 20g and 22g otherwise wouldnt it be wise to just make say a 15g and a 20g?



                  Look I should probably be doing some trial and error work but I just dont have the beans on hand this week to do so, hence why Im asking the question.

                  -Brendon

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: VST Baskets under dosing

                    Originally posted by 0212050E040F0713600 link=1341197814/8#8 date=1341298510
                    It isnt effecting the taste because Im getting a very nice pour 9 times out of 10.
                    I think you have answered your own question. If you are happy with what is it the cup, it sounds like you are winning.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: VST Baskets under dosing

                      Originally posted by 37322B2B2A2629470 link=1341197814/7#7 date=1341233659
                      The head room is not critical, as long as its ~1 - 5 mm.
                      Sorry that should be ~1.5mm. As coffeechaser said if youre happy with the taste thats the main thing. Its not ideal if the puck is scraping on the showerscreen when you load so you could always look at dosing say 16g into an 18g basket if you wanted to try a bit of clearance. But as said if the taste is good then...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: VST Baskets under dosing

                        Ok guys,

                        Well I gave it a go yesterday with 15g in an 18g basket and the results were questionable.

                        Same grind, same dose, same tamp, same everything and I got a very watery tasting shot. I tried it again and I got the same result so I am doubting the idea so far. When I top up on beans Ill try and fine the grind up more for this and see how it goes.

                        So far, no joy.

                        -Brendon

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: VST Baskets under dosing

                          Originally posted by 7A6A7D767C777F6B180 link=1341197814/11#11 date=1341527121
                          Well I gave it a go yesterday with 15g in an 18g basket and the results were questionable.
                          Are you getting a sloppy puck ?

                          With my 18g VST if put anything less than 18g its well underdosed with far to much headroom

                          Using fresh roasted beans that are approx CS9 roast level

                          Because of the finer grind needed with the VST you fit more in than a basket

                          I played around with alot of dose levels settling on approx 19.5g in the 18g basket

                          But thats just me and my machine :

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: VST Baskets under dosing

                            Each screen height varies so each machine with a given basket will have variation. I am finding on my 1grp 1.5g up dosing works but that is for mine so a comparison is maybe a little pointless?

                            I have tried dosing down to the rated g rating and it just didnt work at all.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I'm using a different laser cut basket at my work (not the VST but very similar) - and the coffee is coming up a treat!

                              I dont find I need to fine the grind any finer than usual though, as the small(er than usual) holes in the baskets become clogged quite easily - so extra fine grind is of no help here

                              Yes I get sloppy pucks - but so what? I'm still putting 20g of coffee into the basket - but the gap between the top of the (dry) puck is closer to 5ml - whereas on my 'old' baskets the gap at the top of the basket was minimal

                              So what I'm finding is that water pools on top of the puck, evenly saturating it prior to extraction - what I would call a 'natural' pre-infusion

                              And the resulting crema is gloopier, has better depth and body, and a darker / richer colour than the coffee produced by my old baskets - which means that it bonds better with the milk as well

                              The main thing I'm finding with the laser cut baskets I use is that they need to be cleaned and rinsed more often during service to prevent them from clogging

                              I also find the baskets more sensitive to tamp and grind - which means that you have to be on the ball when it comes to grind settings

                              But the bigger baskets lend themselves to up-dosing (I havent measured but I reckon the ones I use could easily hold 30g - but why you would wanna use that much coffee per extraction in a commercial setting is beyond me...) - which is great for pulling tight shots for short and long blacks etc

                              I'm also loving the enhanced aromatics and pronounced honeysuckle / confectionary aromas that I'm getting out of my espresso blend at the moment with these baskets

                              Are they messy to use? Yes, most definitely

                              And do they require more maintenance than your 'average' basket? I'm finding this to be the case

                              Small price to pay for enhanced crema and improved aromatics though!

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