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Thread: Updosing and grinders

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    Updosing and grinders

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Ive been having a recurring conversation lately that Im sure will spark good debate/discussion here.

    When Bassett won the WBC in 2003 it sparked the whole up dosing revolution. A lot of barista jumped on board and in the last 6 years it has become very common amongst specialty coffee folk to utilize this technique. Over the past year or more I have noticed barista experimenting with down dosing and when Scotty released his dosing tools the idea started developing at a higher rate. At Pioneer we down (regular) dose for our blends and only really up dose for certain origins.

    What a lot of people have not thought about is the grinder and its role in this scenario. The popularity of conical burr grinders started gaining momentum around the time that up dosing did. Bassett developed the up dosing technique around the conical burr grinder. So now that a lot of barista are down dosing again, do we need to look at big flat burr grinders? I was talking to Sal from ECA yesterday and he had some interesting thoughts on this. They are looking to bring in some 84mm Flat blade grinders with ceramic blades from anfim, which is mazzer major burr size. We are about to start playing with our Malkhoning flat burr deli grinder with our espresso machine to see what happens.

    Has anyone done any experimentation on this? I can see this becoming a hot topic...

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    Re: Updosing and grinders

    Yeah good topic! One of the first variables I play around with when I get a new coffee is alter the dose/grind to see what plays better.

    What is your reasoning for having a lower dose for the blends and not the single Os?

    One of the other things associated with down dosing with a finer grind is the freshness of the beans. Ive heard around the tracks that to get the best out of uber-fresh beans is to fine it up and down dose.

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    A_M
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    Re: Updosing and grinders

    Yes an interesting approach and topic...

    However to play the skeptic and to understand more..... *Questions have to be asked...

    A: *Some one..... some where, came up with a Dose Volume, a grind size and along with some other factors (Temp etc) agreed that *30ml in 30sec obtained the optimum from the coffee grinds.

    1: * *Flavor / Cost */ Technology / Puck size / Time *Vs market and profit?

    2: * *Physics clearly demonstrates in many fields that Surface area is important... *Finer grind = more surface area thus the water has more opportunity to provide a carrier / transport function for teh oils.

    3: * *Trade off = *carrier / transport function is still subjected to physics. *Tamp and *Heat *has a direct impact on the ability of the water to flow, and the grind sizes being smaller means the heat has more profound impact on their mass.... and their ability to release oils.

    4: * It also means that as the grinds are smaller, they can be stripped of their oils quicker and thus over extracted... *A deep puck can and will show a color difference from top to bottom... *You may need to look with a system that enhances you eye sight... *But I could see a marked difference under a microscope of the grinds in the top layer Vs the bottom.

    5: For me a true under dose ends up with a sloppy puck *::)

    I guess the story is about breaking the rules *8-) *and trying different things to see what works best... * AND then there is the scientist in some of us, that needs the deeper explanation to assist in understanding what is going on..

    For me.... *I have been grinding finer for some time and tamping light, with a full dose... * BUT I also pull most of my shots short...

    What I have just started to do is use a single basket and grind even finer with a full dose..

    NOTE: *Having used some of the small units... *I would again have to suggest that there is a pronounced difference between the small diameter and depth of the PF * VS *a large dia but shallow PF in the commercial systems.. * Again it comes back to teh physics and the chemistry that impacts on the carrier / transport function of the water...


    Up dose / down dose / grind size / water temp / beans... they are all variables and dynamic... *Thus one has to play continually to get the output one wants... *

    Bloody *)(&&* *coffee road is #$%6 *long and ^%#$# windy, * *good thing I am not in a %#@%% rush ;D

    [edit]Tried to correct speeling but some words do not work correctly *:o[/edit]

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    Re: Updosing and grinders

    Sorry to revive such an old thread, but did anyone notice the grinder Scottie was using at the national comps. 2 big flat burr grinders. While talking to Scottie backstage he said that he just couldnt get the flavours he wanted out of the BNZ or Robur.

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    TC
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    Re: Updosing and grinders

    Quote Originally Posted by 566F69686363745954696775726374060 link=1238106913/3#3 date=1265238456
    Sorry to revive such an old thread, but did anyone notice the grinder Scottie was using at the national comps. 2 big flat burr grinders. While talking to Scottie backstage he said that he just couldnt get the flavours he wanted out of the BNZ or Robur.

    It was an Anfim supplied by site sponsor ECA

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    sco
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    Re: Updosing and grinders

    Not to mention Anfims have awesome dosing chambers. Im looking at you Mazzer!

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    Senior Member Koffee_Kosmo's Avatar
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    Re: Updosing and grinders

    Reading over the past few months on the WWW
    The Anfim Super Lusso has titanium blades

    Will this have an grind impact or is it that they stay sharp longer
    (could be both?)

    I dont over or under-dose at all

    KK


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    Re: Updosing and grinders

    Quote Originally Posted by 457C7A7B7070674A477A7466617067150 link=1238106913/3#3 date=1265238456
    Sorry to revive such an old thread, but did anyone notice the grinder Scottie was using at the national comps. 2 big flat burr grinders. While talking to Scottie backstage he said that he just couldnt get the flavours he wanted out of the BNZ or Robur.
    I was also impressed that Scott showed that he still remembers how to free dose and do so consistently!

    I think its a skill which is in danger of danger of disappearing with the electronic grinders

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    Re: Updosing and grinders

    Quote Originally Posted by 6E5B56516579555C5C5F5F3A0 link=1238106913/7#7 date=1265260427
    I was also impressed that Scott showed that he still remembers how to free dose and do so consistently!
    Whats "Free Dosing" Chris?

    Mal.

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    Re: Updosing and grinders

    Quote Originally Posted by 06333E390D113D34343737520 link=1238106913/7#7 date=1265260427
    I was also impressed that Scott showed that he still remembers how to free dose and do so consistently!
    Its not something he would forget.

    Scottie counted the clicks on the grinder.
    26 for espresso & 27 for cap if my memory serves me correctly.

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    Re: Updosing and grinders

    my missus counted em.....amazing, very thorough is Scottie, a perfectionist for lack of a better word.

    Mal i could be wrong(and im sure someone will correct me if im wrong ;))but, i believe free dosing is just hitting go on your dosered grinder and twacking straight away as teh coffee is ground, the coffee falls basically straight through the doser, essentially using the doser purely to break up any clumps? so basically what we try and do everyday.......

  12. #12
    levercrema
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    Re: Updosing and grinders

    Quote Originally Posted by 797D5B424247584F402E0 link=1238106913/10#10 date=1265278163
    my missus counted em.....amazing, very thorough is Scottie, a perfectionist for lack of a better word.

    Mal i could be wrong(and im sure someone will correct me if im wrong ;))but, i believe free dosing is just hitting go on your dosered grinder and twacking straight away as the coffee is ground, the coffee falls basically straight through the doser, essentially using the doser purely to break up any clumps? so basically what we try and do everyday.......
    This is what I do - didnt know it was called free dosing but anyway I almost have the hang of it... grinding and dosing exactly what I want without leaving dross in the doser. Not easy with a Faema EPN monster.

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    Re: Updosing and grinders

    Quote Originally Posted by 3632140D0D0817000F610 link=1238106913/10#10 date=1265278163
    Mal i could be wrong(and im sure someone will correct me if im wrong *;))but, i believe free dosing is just hitting go on your dosered grinder and twacking straight away as the coffee is ground, the coffee falls basically straight through the doser, essentially using the doser purely to break up any clumps? so basically what we try and do everyday....... *
    So all this time I have been free dosing and I thought that it was just normal * :o

    Quote Originally Posted by 0D041704130213040C00610 link=1238106913/11#11 date=1265279517
    I almost have the hang of it... grinding and dosing exactly what I want without leaving dross in the doser. Not easy with a Faema EPN monster. *
    This thwacking while grinding method is what prompted me to make the doser exit chute on my Mazzer Major to guide the ground coffee straight down into the basket

    KK

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    Re: Updosing and grinders

    Quote Originally Posted by 7144494E7A664A43434040250 link=1238106913/7#7 date=1265260427
    I was also impressed that Scott showed that he still remembers how to free dose and do so consistently!

    I think its a skill which is in danger of danger of disappearing with the electronic grinders *
    I think what Chris might mean by free dosing is the ritual associated with a manual doser ie dose, tap, distribute/level, etc. and how with an electronic doser this is not necessary. You simply use the timed electronic doser to dispense your dose (once youve worked out the amount) and then just tamp the mound. No distribution, levelling, yad, yad, yad. Im sure Chris will chime in (and correct me *;D).

    Javabeen

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    Re: Updosing and grinders

    But getting back to the topic *::)

    Ive moved to down dosing simply because I find the bigger conical Kony-e produces a much brighter cup. By down dosing (16-17g doses) I get a sweeter more balanced cup.

    Having said that, with the Kony its opened my eyes to play around with the dose depending on the bean/roast profile and age of the bean ie younger roasted/less rested beans pour better and taste less bright at lower doses as do lighter roasts. As they age I can increase the dose (slightly) if I notice the flavors dropping off.

    Darker roasts on the other hand are OK at higher doses ie produce less acidity however they still taste sweeter at a lower dose.

    At least this has been my experience in the past 3 months with the Kony. Interested to hear others peoples experiences with playing with dose levels...

    Javabeen

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    Re: Updosing and grinders

    Quote Originally Posted by 6F4B424241417B6F4B57494B240 link=1238106913/12#12 date=1265282389
    So all this time I have been free dosing and I thought that it was just normal * :o
    Well, there you go.... Didnt know I was doing this all these years either ;D

    Mal.

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    Re: Updosing and grinders

    Quote Originally Posted by 292235222126262D430 link=1238106913/14#14 date=1265285336
    Interested to hear others peoples experiences with playing with dose levels...
    Still got the trainer wheels on with mine but its a lot of fun experimenting. I still cant get over good it is and just how easy it is to use.... ;D 8-)

    Ive never really consciously over-dosed or under-dosed, have always tried to ensure that the dose and distribution was just high enough in the basket to avoid crushing the puck against the shower-screen after a 10-12Kg tamp. Mainly, I have always just played around with the grind size to slightly speed up or slow down a pour.

    Anyway, when Im ready to let go of the trainers, Ill be sure to contribute more useful info though.... ;)

    Mal.

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    Re: Updosing and grinders

    Quote Originally Posted by 646F786F6C6B6B600E0 link=1238106913/13#13 date=1265284339
    Quote Originally Posted by 7144494E7A664A43434040250 link=1238106913/7#7 date=1265260427
    I was also impressed that Scott showed that he still remembers how to free dose and do so consistently!

    I think its a skill which is in danger of danger of disappearing with the electronic grinders *
    I think what Chris might have mean by free dosing is the ritual associated with a manual doser ie dose, tap, distribute/level, etc. and how with an electronic doser this is not necessary. You simply use the timed electronic doser to dispense your dose (once youve worked out the amount) and then just tamp the mound. No distribution, levelling, yad, yad, yad. Im sure Chris will chime in (and correct me *;D).

    Javabeen
    Ah, you could be right there, id love to give this a go with a naked........see the results, i did notice scotty wasnt using his dosing tools, he made a comment that they had "all sold out" I had a laugh ;D

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    Re: Updosing and grinders

    While we are talking "up" dosing and "down" dosing what do we really mean? I think there is some room for some clarification

    If we consider that optimum dose is what gives the best taste in the cup then does up dosing mean more than the optimum and down dosing mean less than optimum?
    Do we mean we adjust the dose to obtain certain characteristics that we may want?
    For example, the nominal dose for a double basket is say 14, 15, 16, 17, 18g etc, and we are adjusting the actual dose to get the best taste? Which would mean we are dosing the optimum amount, rather than up or down dosing wouldnt it?
    Or does it mean we adjusted the optimum dose or the nominal dose by more than say... 2g?
    Or am I just clouding the issue?

    Bullitt

  20. #20
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    Re: Updosing and grinders

    Quote Originally Posted by 566178787D6060140 link=1238106913/18#18 date=1265334852
    am I just clouding the issue?
    Possibly.

    Quote Originally Posted by 566178787D6060140 link=1238106913/18#18 date=1265334852
    For example, the nominal dose for a double basket is say 14, 15, 16, 17, 18g etc, and we are adjusting the actual dose to get the best taste?
    This is where I think the starting point is; the nominal amount.
    To me up dosing or down dosing starts at the nominal point.
    The best taste is a subjective thing, therefore an individual may need to up dose or down dose to find their individual optimum point (on any given day considering all other variables such as bean age, humidity, state of mind etc).


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    Re: Updosing and grinders

    Quote Originally Posted by 75425B5B5E4343370 link=1238106913/18#18 date=1265334852
    While we are talking "up" dosing and "down" dosing what do we really mean?I think there is some room for some clarification

    If I overdose my group handle "will not lock in"
    I dose on my machine to its allowable maximum
    That level is a hairs whisker under the water dispersion screen
    Overdosing and forcing in the group handle will squash & damage the shower screen

    Now if I want a stronger coffee its prudent to use a larger capacity basket and stick to the allowable maximum for ones machine

    KK

  22. #22
    levercrema
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    Re: Updosing and grinders

    Quote Originally Posted by 290D040407073D290D110F0D620 link=1238106913/20#20 date=1265339911


    If I overdose my group handle "will not lock in"
    I dose on my machine to its allowable maximum
    That level is a hairs whisker under the water dispersion screen
    Overdosing and forcing in the group handle will squash & damage the shower screen

    Now if I want a stronger coffee its prudent to use a larger capacity basket and stick to the allowable maximum for ones machine

    KK
    I agree. My E98 Faema has such a low dispersion screen there is no tolerance for overdosing at all. 1mm too much after finger levelling - ie; level with the top of the basket instead of 1mm below - and the group handle just baulks at locking in.

    Force it then remove to see whats going on and half the puck is stuck to the screen >:(. Lousy shot.

    After a good lock and shot though, the puck has a slight imprint of the middle retaining screw. Grind and tamp for this machine is the key.

    I use the double basket if I need an extra kick.

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    Re: Updosing and grinders

    Quote Originally Posted by 61687B687F6E7F68606C0D0 link=1238106913/21#21 date=1265345164
    Quote Originally Posted by 290D040407073D290D110F0D620 link=1238106913/20#20 date=1265339911


    If I overdose my group handle "will not lock in"
    I dose on my machine to its allowable maximum
    That level is a hairs whisker under the water dispersion screen
    Overdosing and forcing in the group handle will squash & damage the shower screen

    Now if I want a stronger coffee its prudent to use a larger capacity basket and stick to the allowable maximum for ones machine

    KK
    I agree. My E98 Faema has such a low dispersion screen there is no tolerance for overdosing at all. 1mm too much after finger levelling - ie; level with the top of the basket instead of 1mm below - and the group handle just baulks at locking in.

    Force it then remove to see whats going on and half the puck is stuck to the screen >:(. Lousy shot.

    After a good lock and shot though, the puck has a slight imprint of the middle retaining screw. Grind and tamp for this machine is the key.

    I use the double basket if I need an extra kick.
    I think the fact that you are using a single basket is a probable explanation for why it seems so sensitive to over-dosing. Back when I once tried out my single basket ::) I had to level completely differently (level with a more significant indentation) than with the double.

  24. #24
    levercrema
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    Re: Updosing and grinders

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    Quote Originally Posted by 7C747B7D752F2A1E0 link=1238106913/22#22 date=1265345829

    I think the fact that you are using a single basket is a probable explanation for why it seems so sensitive to over-dosing. Back when I once tried out my single basket *::) I had to level completely differently (level with a more significant indentation) than with the double.
    Youre probably right. Its big learning curve for me using this machine and Im trying to eliminate some variables. The tamper on the Faema grinder has a heavy Euro curve - like half a tennis ball almost. If I overdose and use this and polish with the flat tamper I get a different result again. Almost acceptable but just more stuff to do before I make a shot.

    The big MPN flat burrs just give a simpler, less fluffy dose than the conical thats easier to work. Certainly a lot easier to underdose for my wifes preferred weak cappas.




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