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KISS principle in action

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  • KISS principle in action

    Well the story goes like this:

    Someone I know well has a Baratza Preciso grinder. For those that are unfamiliar with this model, it has a push button on the front to pulse the grinder and a mechanical timer on the side to do a timed grind. The mechanical timer is very imprecise, and really only enables you to make sure the grinder turns off if you have to go to the loo in a hurry (or whatever).

    So, the owner of the device had been using it in a single dose fashion - just dumping a PF-full of beans in the top and grinding them all. He discovered that the dose was varying too much, so he said to himself, "why don't I make a timer module?" A few minutes later he'd ordered a $7 digital timer incl delivery from China, and he spent the next little while planning how the timer would work.

    A couple of hours later I felt like a coffee, err.. I mean HE felt like one. He went to the grinder, and noticed for the first time that on the wall immediately above the grinder is a clock with a sweep second hand. It had only been there for five years or so. Now, the incredibly crafty mind of the owner suddenly realised that it would be fairly easy to observe the aforementiond sweep second hand and push the grinder button for the required time. Doh! Accuracies within 1 second should be achievable, and over the 13 secs required for a double PF any variation should be small.

    So now the owner is happy, having got the result without having to build a timer. Except for the fact that a timer will arrive from China in a couple of weeks...


    KISS.

    Gonzo

  • #2
    Nice one, pragmatism at work. I have resisted the impulse to buy a fancy looking timer (an anti ... "must have toys" syndrome), to track my espresso pours for years for exactly the same reason. A big wall clock in the kitchen with a second hand works a treat, I just wait for it to hit the next main marker (every 5 secs), and start the pour. I reckon accurate enough for the case in hand.

    GrahamK

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    • #3
      Morning gentlemen, yep I'm a member of the same club, have a clock with sweep second hand at eye level above my work station, have been using it for years to time my shots.

      I'm a weigh each dose of beans person, so as far as grinding is concerned, weigh 18 grams, dump into hopper, turn machine off when finished and brush out ready for next shot, don't use a timer or walk away during this process.

      Guess you can automate or design a device for almost any physical action, but to what end, as you say Gonzob keep it simple, nothing to break down and cause you grief, of course there are those among us who revel in complexity and all of the drama that comes with it.

      This is one of my favorites The Most Useless Machine EVER! - YouTube

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      • #4
        Geez, sounds like a lot of stuffing around to me. I just chew a handful of roasted beans and drink some hot water.

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        • #5
          I just count under my breath. And if I'm unhappy with the speed of the pour I count a bit faster or slower (sad, but true).

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          • #6
            on a very similar note..
            i have several grinders, latterly timed doserless types, and the latest a very cleaver electronic touch pad display..yada, yada, yada grinder.
            But i dont like leaving beans in the hopper overnight, and infact i dont like the hopper much either, so i also single dose by weight, with no hopper at all.
            Initially i used scoops and scales, then a electronic "weigh spoon"..all well and good, until i noticed a plastic "test tube" of sweets that someone had given me.
            its about 15mm dia and 200mm long.
            After much "calibration" using the scales and my regular beans i now have a calibrated tube scoop that quickly gives me precisely the 20 gms needed by simply dipping into the beans and a light tap to settle..precise to within 2-3 beans ! and so much quicker/simpler than weighing.
            The small diameter is the key, minor variations in volume/weight are easily noticed by a significant change in fill level.
            Obviously all the cleaver timer grinder systems are now unnecessary.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by blend52 View Post
              Initially i used scoops and scales, then a electronic "weigh spoon"..all well and good, until i noticed a plastic "test tube" of sweets that someone had given me.
              its about 15mm dia and 200mm long.
              After much "calibration" using the scales and my regular beans i now have a calibrated tube scoop that quickly gives me precisely the 20 gms needed by simply dipping into the beans and a light tap to settle..precise to within 2-3 beans ! and so much quicker/simpler than weighing.
              The small diameter is the key, minor variations in volume/weight are easily noticed by a significant change in fill level.
              All well and good if you use beans of a similar type all the time, however if you set up/calibrate your measure using a medium grade bean like Monsoon Malabar, then attempt to measure a Yemen or Ethiopian Maragogype the weights will vary dramatically.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Barry O'Speedwagon View Post
                I just count under my breath. And if I'm unhappy with the speed of the pour I count a bit faster or slower (sad, but true).
                Whatever works for ya Barry.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Yelta View Post
                  All well and good if you use beans of a similar type all the time, however if you set up/calibrate your measure using a medium grade bean like Monsoon Malabar, then attempt to measure a Yemen or Ethiopian Maragogype the weights will vary dramatically.
                  Yep ! .. just as you would have to adjust the timers on the grinder...i would put another "bean calibration" on my tube.
                  ..but i tend not to change beans very often anyway.

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                  • #10
                    All good points above.

                    The thing that set me on this path was that I had a "old calibrated PF" which I used to single dose the grinder, but when I switched to Volcan Galeras Supremo, the beans were much bigger, and so I had to recalibrate, and then I discovered that there was a lot of variation, and then I thought of a digital timer.....

                    Gonzo

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Yelta View Post
                      Whatever works for ya Barry.
                      It's a good thing that I just stop it when it starts blonding.

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                      • #12
                        Grind to slightly overdose a triple basket. Slightly underdose a double. Tamp. Pour to blond.
                        Change of beans - adjust the grind after the first 'trial' to get back to Step 1

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                        • #13
                          And if you have DBC's pallet, and use coffees roasted to a similar degree, no worries. Otherwise, your dose/grind/pour parameters might be different.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Pete39 View Post
                            And if you have DBC's pallet, and use coffees roasted to a similar degree, no worries. Otherwise, your dose/grind/pour parameters might be different.
                            Too true - but this will impact upon any timed/weighed method too
                            Guess the lesson to be learnt is that one KISS principle is just different to the next guys!

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                            • #15
                              Someone should invent a small sweep hand time piece you can wear on your wrist.

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