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  • Tamping: Tap and Twist?

    Just wondering how many of you tap and twist to polish when tamping? Seems to be differing schools of thought. And when you polish, how much pressure do you apply?

    And while were at it,  do you worry about leaving a gap between the puck and showerscreen? On my Giotto, Ive noticed if I remove the group handle before the shot, theres already a light impression on the puck. Evidently Im updosing, but Im not sure if this is bad or not. Noticing a bit of pitting at the sides sometimes, maybe the start of a channel. Not sure whether thats overdosing, bad tamping or what.

    Cheers

  • #2
    Re: Tamping: Tap and Twist?

    My routine is
    Dose to fill the basket
    Tap grouphandle to settle grounds
    Dose to form a mound
    Tap to settle again
    Level off using NSEW action
    Tamp lightly using just the weight of the tamper
    Lightly tap tamper against the side of the gh to loosen grounds caught on the edge of the basket
    Tamp firmly and polish the top of the puck by a bit of a twist
    Insert into grouphead and pour the shot.

    There should be very slight resistance of the puck against the shower screen when inserting.. Its not a good idea to remove the gh before the pour as you may (ie probably will) damage the puck and get channeling

    The level of dosing depends on several factors - atmospheric conditions such as humidity being critical.

    The grounds will expand when wet so seeing an impression should be normal. Not seeing an impression means underdosing - especially if the extraction is too quick. Channeling (pitting at the sides) means you need to improve distribution. Work on ensuring the edges of the basket are properly filled, especially where the handle meets the filter holder.
    If you keep having this problem, and it took me a while to get right, consider investing in a naked gh. It will show you how good/bad your distribution is.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Tamping: Tap and Twist?

      I used to be a tap and twist until I did David Makins course and they dont tap at Vaneziano.  The school of thought there is that tapping after you have tamped can loosen the grinds down the side of the filter from the shock of the tap and allow for channeling.

      I am not sure if it does or not, but not tapping has not effected my shot quality at all so I dont do it just in case. 

      I fill the basket
      Collapse twice
      Fill the basket a bit more
      Level off and distribute to edges
      Tamp
      Twist

      For me it is about repeating the same thing everytime.

      The twist to polish is only very light for me, I just like to see the grounds even across the top.

      I have an expobar that has a low shower screen and i tend to up dose anyway as my beans that I roast are usually only a few days old and fresh and tend to blond quickly.

      It tends to leave a slight impression from the screen on the puck, the puck is firm and springing though when finished and the pour is a nice mouse tail with the 25 to 30ml in about 25 seconds.

      Its also worth remembering that the fresher the bean, the more C02 it will release and this too can cause the puck to rise a bit like a cake during extraction and press up on the shower screen.

      I used to drive myself nuts worrying about all of the little nuances, but I now just worry about the end product.  If the coffee tastes good to me and the people I am making it for, then I am happy.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Tamping: Tap and Twist?

        Two shots I pulled this morning turned out pucks like this (both the same puck in pic). Pitted and fairly wet.

        Pour started around 8-9 seconds, some drops, some rat tails, and what appeared to be blonding maybe as early as 15 seconds.

        Not sure if this is significant but the 58mm espro tamper seems pretty sloppy in the standard Giotto double basket.



        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Tamping: Tap and Twist?

          Originally posted by 545E4B5C5C534741320 link=1251582681/1#1 date=1251586787
          If you keep having this problem, and it took me a while to get right, consider investing in a naked gh. It will show you how good/bad your distribution is.
          Think I will do that, and maybe Scotties dosing tools. Which basket do you use with the naked GH?

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Tamping: Tap and Twist?

            If you buy a naked gh from coffee parts, it comes with a triple basket included.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Tamping: Tap and Twist?

              They sound like the same sort of problems I was having while trying to get my dose-distribute-tamp right. A perfectly fitting tamper will help to eliminate poor tamping around the edges but nit what you have experienced. You are more likely to see wormholes.

              I suspect you are underdosing a bit FT which will result in wet pucks. But I also see dry areas oin the NW section suggesting that you need to work on your distribution.

              I use a straight edge (small steel ruler, actually) and chop up the grinds so there are no clumps. Then sweep the grinds NSEW across the top of the basket ensuring that all the edges are evenly filled
              If you havent done so, attend a home barista course - one where they will allow you to use your own machine (or one of their GPPs).

              The naked handle helps. I could see the areas of least resistance that revealed poorly distribution - mainly around the south to SE area of the basket.

              I always use a double basket - a Synesso that came with my Pullman. I now mostly use the naked gh with the blind filter for water and chemical backflushes.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Tamping: Tap and Twist?

                Originally posted by 32312222353C500 link=1251582681/5#5 date=1251590501
                If you buy a naked gh from coffee parts, it comes with a triple basket included.
                So not only is it triple, its a single shot for one cup. A cup you might throw out.

                Sounds like youd go through a lot of beans trying to tune your technique. Is that really useful?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Tamping: Tap and Twist?

                  Originally posted by 5D574255555A4E483B0 link=1251582681/6#6 date=1251591181
                  I always use a double basket - a Synesso that came with my Pullman.
                  Does the synesso differ greatly from the Giotto basket, in that its worth getting one?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Tamping: Tap and Twist?

                    They sound like the same sort of problems I was having while trying to get my dose-distribute-tamp right. A perfectly fitting tamper will help to eliminate poor tamping around the edges but nit what you have experienced. You are more likely to see wormholes.

                    I suspect you are underdosing a bit FT which will result in wet pucks. I also see a dryish area in the NW section suggesting that you need to work on your distribution.

                    I use a straight edge (small steel ruler, actually) and chop up the grinds so there are no clumps. Then sweep the grinds NSEW across the top of the basket ensuring that all the edges are evenly filled
                    If you havent done so, attend a home barista course; one where they will allow you to use your own kit (or one of their GPPs). The instructor can watch you and see where your technique can be improved.

                    The naked handle helps. I could see the areas of least resistance that revealed poorly distribution - mainly around the south to SE area of the basket. I use a double basket with the naked - a Synesso that came with my Pullman. I now mostly use the naked gh with the blind filter for water and chemical backflushes.

                    Just to go back to your point about twisting the tamper (polishing the puck). I dont know if it will improve the pour but I actually just give it a little spin without applying any pressure. If the tamp is even, the tamper should spin easily, if its lopsided, it may not but that also depends on how closely fitting your tamper is to the basket.

                    The tamper is actually one of the least critical aspects of preparing the shot. When I was demonstrating my last machine (VBM Piccolo) to the buyer  I prepared a shot and tamped it with the crappy plastic tamper that came with the VBM. Theres a gap of about 3 or 4 mm between the tamper and basket. The resulting extraction was one of the best I ever made on the VBM - a perfect pour! I momentarily wondered whether I should have upgraded after all  :-/

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Tamping: Tap and Twist?

                      Originally posted by 5F6C7D7E7C6D6B6C7A727C6B190 link=1251582681/8#8 date=1251591431
                      Does the synesso differ greatly from the Giotto basket, in that its worth getting one?
                      No, the Giotto basket is good and thats the one I nearly always use for extractions . I wouldnt say the Synesso is better.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Tamping: Tap and Twist?

                        Originally posted by 555F4A5D5D524640330 link=1251582681/9#9 date=1251591775
                        I use a straight edge (small steel ruler, actually) and chop up the grinds so there are no clumps.
                        Ah ha, so youre a Chicago Chopper! I wondered about that technique. If clumping really is an issue, is only breaking up the clumps above the rim line enough to solve uneven distribution or would you need to go to the extremes of raking through it with a needle of some sort (Weiss method)? All the latter did for me was create an even bigger mess of grounds on the bench.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Tamping: Tap and Twist?

                          Originally posted by 487B6A696B7A7C7B6D656B7C0E0 link=1251582681/11#11 date=1251593401
                          Ah ha, so youre a Chicago Chopper!
                          ;D Is that what its called? Sounds like I need to plead guilty to that charge. Should I be using a switchblade instead of a ruler??

                          Using the CC not only breaks up clumps but ensures a more ven distribution in my experience.

                          Ive used the Weiss technique (WDT) before and it does help but its a bit of a nuisance. Think of it as remedial and instructive, not a persistent distribution technique.

                          Another idea to reduce clumping is to dose through the doser. I only add enough beans for a shot to the hopper and then, while grinding, thwack the doser lever so the grinds go straight into the basket and dont sit in the hopper => fewer clumps

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Tamping: Tap and Twist?

                            Originally posted by 685B4A494B5A5C5B4D454B5C2E0 link=1251582681/8#8 date=1251591431
                            Originally posted by 5D574255555A4E483B0 link=1251582681/6#6 date=1251591181
                            I always use a double basket - a Synesso that came with my Pullman.  
                            Does the synesso differ greatly from the Giotto basket, in that its worth getting one?
                            I also got a synesso basket with my Pullman - when compared visually, the synesso basket has deeper sides, so should hold a gram or two more coffee. I havent measured this - just looks bigger  

                            As for the twist at the end to polish - I just use the weight of the tamper.

                            My experience with the GPP is that if you overdose you can barely get the group handle to lock. If you are getting a light impression before extraction, this sounds about right, but are you applying enough pressure when tamping?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Tamping: Tap and Twist?

                              Dont assume getting a perfectly fitted tamper/basket combo will fix all of your extraction woes. When you think about it no Pro uses a tamper that is fitted to 1/10th of a millimetre to the basket (three or more baskets has too much variation).

                              Comment

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