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  • Replace stock basket or change to bottomless PF?

    What is a better upgrade, replace stock filter basket with something like a VST, or replace portafilter with bottomless type?
    Cheers

  • #2
    I think the filter basket might provide a better end result but it depends on what basket you have now. If you are having trouble with your pours, the bottomless portafilter might be a better investment.

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    • #3
      I have the stock ECM 18-20 grm basket. I'm still improving my tamp / extraction technique. I guess the portafilter would offer insight into how well my technique is going as that would effect how well the basket can perform.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by squibcakes View Post
        I have the stock ECM 18-20 grm basket. I'm still improving my tamp / extraction technique. I guess the portafilter would offer insight into how well my technique is going as that would effect how well the basket can perform.
        If you are trying to improve technique, then definitely go naked!

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        • #5
          My vote would definitely go to a naked portafilter.

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          • #6
            VSTs are great but they're pretty unforgiving. Perfect your technique first with a naked.

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            • #7
              Any advice re improving technique? Currently using a coffee distribution/ tamper tool (not the original ONA make but similar in function). Hoping to upgrade to a VST/ naked portafilter soon

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              • #8
                What grinder, machine, tamper, and basket are you using rustykrab?

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                • #9
                  Currently using a Mahlkonig Vario, generic tamper from CoffeeParts and the Profitec supplied double basket.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by squibcakes View Post
                    What is a better upgrade, replace stock filter basket with something like a VST, or replace portafilter with bottomless type?
                    Cheers
                    G'day squibcakes

                    I suggest you do both as they work well together (true synergy in action). Also, both together will help you hone you technique faster. Doing just one of them will mean more "unlearning" later - I have the scars to prove that one...

                    TampIt

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by TampIt View Post
                      G'day squibcakes

                      I suggest you do both as they work well together (true synergy in action). Also, both together will help you hone you technique faster. Doing just one of them will mean more "unlearning" later - I have the scars to prove that one...

                      TampIt
                      Thanks TampIt, I picked up the ecm bottomless filter but haven’t used it yet. Is there any other premium baskets to consider over the Vst? And does it matter ridge vs non ridged? I want to choose the right type for that synergy you speak of, but I think ridged 18 gram would suit.

                      Also, in meantime, the basket that came with the PF is huge! I think it’s triple shot. How many grams normally in triple shot?

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                      • #12
                        Tampit, would you recommend the 18 gram vst or go smaller like 15 gram?

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by squibcakes View Post
                          Tampit, would you recommend the 18 gram vst or go smaller like 15 gram?
                          G'day squibcakes

                          A gen2 or gen3 Vario will easily be able to grind the "1/3 finer than standard espresso" a VST really needs. That means you will get about 50% more flavour whack (i.e extraction ratio) in the cuppa compared to a standard basket. FYI, I had ignored my single baskets since the mid 70's until, after buying a couple of complete sets of VSTs, I ended up using mainly the 7g single. Balancing a shot with even the 15g resulted in way more volume than a 250ml latte glass... and I prefer sipping 150ml (afrogatos and iced) or 250ml (normal latte) of coffee to drinking via tankards. YMMV.

                          In your case, I can only say that if I was happy with the flavour quantity of the 18-20g Pesado and I could only choose one basket, I would suggest the 18g. Rationale: the Pesado is supposed to be capable of higher extraction ratios than standard baskets, so the difference may not be as great as 50%. It is easier to dilute a shot than strengthen it. Mind you, Murphy's law also states that a 50% chance = 100% "real world failure rate" so the other 15g is probably the correct answer...

                          Of course, this is all assuming milky drinks - if you are into neat espresso shots all bets are off.

                          These days I tend to use the 15g for most coffees for my few surviving chain smoking friends. I also use the 22g for large espresso shots when making "Russian Black Rye" bread (it has a lot of coffee and chocolate in it) - mainly because I need about 180ml of espresso per loaf and it is faster to make fewer shots. I cannot remember the last time i used either the 18g or 20g.

                          I hope this helps.


                          TampIt

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                          • #14
                            Hi TampIt,

                            Thanks for your thoughts. Sounds like there is a basket for every occasion.. ;-) Are the ECM baskets made by Pesado?

                            I've picked up the 18 gram (vst) basket. Comparing the holes under magnifier between the stock ecm and vst I couldn't see much difference. Most noted difference as you are aware, is the non tapered vst basket and more holes to the outer edge.

                            Straight off the bat, the grind was way to coarse and shot pulled very quick. I've ground finer with the Niche, and finding I can slow the shot down, but seeing channeling (like two main mouse tails) occasional gushers in the process. The crema is now really thick and syrupy but I just can't find to get a nice pour from the naked filter like I did with the stock basket. This is a lot harder than I thought and it seems the vst has a very narrow GW compared to stock.

                            Any tips to speed things up... lighter tamp and grind finer. Grind more, tamp harder etc? I'm trying not to get too many scars in the process....
                            Thanks!

                            Squib

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                            • #15
                              Hey squib,
                              i have the 18g vst. Generally don't have too much channelling issues.
                              Recently I have been using a cut to size aeropress filter in the bottom of portafilter, and also trialing another filter above.
                              The filter paper above, may help you as it might hold the top of the cake together a bit more for you.
                              It will require a grinder setting change if you use a filter below, as it might stop bits of coffee sitting hard against the holes in the basket. It provides a porous layer for the espresso to flow in, under the cake.

                              Worth trialling I think...

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