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Replace stock basket or change to bottomless PF?

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  • squibcakes
    replied
    I must admit I had to google those tamp methods as I had never heard of them but realise that I had been trying the wdt method with not a lot of luck.

    Ive had some good results now with the vst. The shots are pouring evenly now with no major channeling issues I had at first. What is working for me is that I have set the level of my rotating distribution tool a lot lower. So now I slowly rotate it down to compress and distribute the puck throughout about 4 turns. I don’t need to use the hand tamp to compress but have used it to clean the inside rim of the basket. For me this is at least giving me great consistency in the pour and taste. The puck is a little soggy than before, comes out mostly as a cake in the knock box but wet, I think that is because my dose is a little lower.

    Still learning as I go and appreciate the advice from fellow snobs.

    Leave a comment:


  • TampIt
    replied
    Originally posted by squibcakes View Post
    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
    G'day squibcakes

    "Any tips to speed things up... lighter tamp and grind finer.": Yep - good start, good thinking. I also tend to do at least one preliminary tamp of circa 2mm of "coffee fluff" - if I get that tamp level I do not get channeling.

    FWIW, I used to do all sorts of arcane distribution techniques (Weiss, Staub, nutating etc.) - when I went back to what I call "progressive tamping" all need for that faffing around vanished. That means I can concentrate on the actual balance of the shot once I sort out the grind texture.

    Have fun

    TampIt

    Leave a comment:


  • Jackster
    replied
    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...

    Leave a comment:


  • squibcakes
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:


  • TampIt
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:


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

    Leave a comment:


  • squibcakes
    replied
    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?

    Leave a comment:


  • TampIt
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:


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

    Leave a comment:


  • level3ninja
    replied
    What grinder, machine, tamper, and basket are you using rustykrab?

    Leave a comment:


  • rustykrab
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:


  • level3ninja
    replied
    VSTs are great but they're pretty unforgiving. Perfect your technique first with a naked.

    Leave a comment:


  • SanderP
    replied
    My vote would definitely go to a naked portafilter.

    Leave a comment:


  • flynnaus
    replied
    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!

    Leave a comment:


  • squibcakes
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:

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