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Thread: Consistent tamping

  1. #1
    Senior Member Shotgun's Avatar
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    Consistent tamping

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Im at it again, trying to improve my knowledge and understanding.

    My perception is that tamping is the greatest inconsistency in my barista endeavors. I can get the grind right and score a perfect extraction occasionally, but the next three shots might just be crap in comparison.

    I dont think the nature of the beans will change that quickly so it must be my packing and tamping. I reckon my packing is reasonably consistent so Im staring right down the barrel of inconsistent tamping.

    For all of you pros and experts, is there a way, other than years of experience or expensive equipment, I can tamp with consistent pressure? Maybe a procedure or something that might help me achieve that 15kg tamp consistently.
    Thanks once more all.
    Tony

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    Re: Consistent tamping

    Quote Originally Posted by 5A61667D6E7C67090 link=1260003568/0#0 date=1260003568
    Im at it again, trying to improve my knowledge and understanding.

    My perception is that tamping is the greatest inconsistency in my barista endeavors. I can get the grind right and score a perfect extraction occasionally, but the next three shots might just be crap in comparison.

    I dont think the nature of the beans will change that quickly so it must be my packing and tamping. I reckon my packing is reasonably consistent so Im staring right down the barrel of inconsistent tamping.

    For all of you pros and experts, is there a way, other than years of experience or expensive equipment, I can tamp with consistent pressure? Maybe a procedure or something that might help me achieve that 15kg tamp consistently.
    Thanks once more all.
    Tony
    1: I dont use 15kg... I use what I need.. Dependant on the beans / grind etc

    2: Use a fancy spring loaded tamper...

    3: Your method is faulty.... Go and spend some time with a Sponsor...

  3. #3
    Senior Member trentski's Avatar
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    Re: Consistent tamping

    Try just tamping with the weight of the tamper and see what happens, there is a school of thought that considers the tamp fairly irrelevant, I was reading threads about it last night so a quick look through this forum section should find it

    and it did

    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1255338119

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    Re: Consistent tamping

    Hey Tony,

    If youre getting inconsistencies between shots in a single session, Id probably investigate the amount youre packing. I bought some jewelry scales off feebay which measures in .1 grams. I then measured each shot before extracting for a couple of weeks and was surprised to find that the level Im packing was quite different each time - up to 1.5 grams difference each time.

    1.5 grams may not sound like a lot, but it can mean the difference between a gusher and a good shot, or a choked extraction.

    While Im not making enough coffees to really get a good trend happening, I think my dosing has improved.

    If youre still keen on improving your tamping, you can either get a fancy spring loaded tamper as AM suggests or get a pressure sensitive tamping mat. My understanding is that the mats can be configured for different weights, whereas the tampers cannot.

    -ACog

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    Re: Consistent tamping

    Quote Originally Posted by 2B2D3A312B2C34365F0 link=1260003568/2#2 date=1260010227
    there is a school of thought that considers the tamp fairly irrelevant
    Ive heard of this. While Ive not played around with tamping too much, I do know last week I accidently ripped the surface of the puck before locking the GH in. I was in a hurry, so proceeded despite, and what came out was one of my best shots pulled this year. Later on I had a look at the spent puck and there was no signs of fractures that youd expect from a bad surface.

    Just another one of those things to keep us guessing and in pursuit of the perfect espresso.

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    Re: Consistent tamping

    Quote Originally Posted by 3A3F383225372F2437560 link=1260003568/5#5 date=1260011186
    - gravity is constant
    Bwahaha. Love it.

    But what about the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow? :D

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    Re: Consistent tamping

    African or European swallow? ;)

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    Re: Consistent tamping

    Oh, I pressed send before adding anything useful.

    ShotGun - Im with ACog (and whoever) in saying that dosing (the amount of coffee) and distribution (how evenly it sits in the basket) are more likely the problem.

    Since you have a Mini - and Im assuming you mean manual (ie. it has a doser) - you have a slight advantage here. Thats because the best way to dose consistently - incidentally killing the distribution bird with the same stone - is to fill the basket until its full (ie. full at the edges and mounded up in the middle). You then tap the handle on the bench (or something) X* number of times. Then, gently swipe the remaining "mounded" coffee back into your doser for the next dose (assuming itll be made immediately - otherwise chuck the grounds out) and tamp. Doesnt really matter how heavily you tamp, in my opinion; just make it consistent.

    * - the number of times you tap the handle on the bench will determine how much the coffee settles down on itself. Since you are then swiping off the excess, it will ultimately determine how much coffee ends up in the basket. The "correct" amount will depend on your machine and what-not, but for me its when the spent puck (after the shot) feels somewhat springy to the touch (not hard, not squishy or wet). Once you have the dose right, and a consistent tamp, fine-tuning the grind should be the main thing you fiddle with.

    Thats how I handled it, anyway.
    Cheers
    Stuart.

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    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Re: Consistent tamping

    Quote Originally Posted by 45474B43434D4A57240 link=1260003568/3#3 date=1260010494
    I bought some jewelry scales off feebay
    Did you buy them locally of from an overseas supplier? spoke to another CS the other day who bought a similar scale, weighs to 1kg in .1 increments, he paid around A$10 post paid from Hong Kong, pretty darned cheap. :o

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    Re: Consistent tamping

    ACog has given you great advice, IMHO.

    Cheers,
    Luca

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    Re: Consistent tamping

    Jon,

    They came from HK. Cheap and fast shipment.

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    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Re: Consistent tamping

    Quote Originally Posted by 787A767E7E70776A190 link=1260003568/10#10 date=1260067969
    Jon,

    They came from HK. Cheap and fast shipment.
    Thanks ACog. :)

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    Senior Member Shotgun's Avatar
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    Re: Consistent tamping

    Hello all and thanks once more.
    OK a lot to digest here. Firstly, I use a grinding/dosing system based on this http://www.espressocompany.com.au/grinding-dosing-video.htm and thats why I thought my dosing was probably OK. I try to follow the same procedure each time but the way the Mini doser loads my basket when the doser is only partly full can be inconsistent in itself. Sometimes it doses very small amounts of coffee and then out of the blue it will dump a huge pile on, so I basically do the best I can by trying for a consistent workflow.

    Thats why I thought it must be my tamping but I really dont want to go out and spend more money and commandeer even more of our limited kitchen space.

    Is this video good practice and when youre grinding/dosing on demand and only have small amounts of coffee in your doser, how can you dose consistently?
    Cheers and thanks again guys.
    Tony

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    Senior Member Luke_G's Avatar
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    Re: Consistent tamping

    The video looks about right to me. It depends on what your espresso machine likes though and they are all different.

    For me personally when i was using a doser model i would collapse the coffee down with 1 tap after 3/4 filling the basket then dose a mound over the top of the basket, collapse again, level off then tamp.

    The pressure of the tamp is as important as it being level and consistent. If you can maintain a consistent tamping routine then you can adjust the grind to suit the different conditions.

    The guy in your video is doing a bit too much collapsing in my opinion but thats just me :)

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    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Re: Consistent tamping

    Quote Originally Posted by 5F6463786B79620C0 link=1260003568/12#12 date=1260069290
    Hello all and thanks once more.
    OK a lot to digest here. Firstly, I use a grinding/dosing system based on this http://www.espressocompany.com.au/grinding-dosing-video.htm and thats why I thought my dosing was probably OK. I try to follow the same procedure each time but the way the Mini doser loads my basket when the doser is only partly full can be inconsistent in itself. Sometimes it doses very small amounts of coffee and then out of the blue it will dump a huge pile on, so I basically do the best I can by trying for a consistent workflow.

    Thats why I thought it must be my tamping but I really dont want to go out and spend more money and commandeer even more of our limited kitchen space.

    Is this video good practice and when youre grinding/dosing on demand and only have small amounts of coffee in your doser, how can you dose consistently?
    Cheers and thanks again guys.
    Tony
    Good link Tony. :)

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    Senior Member Shotgun's Avatar
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    Re: Consistent tamping

    I read the link in another thread that someone pointed to that spoke of tamping pressure http://cleanhotdry.com/coffee/basics-part-1-tamp/ and tried tamping with almost no pressure, simply polishing the surface of the coffee in the basket.

    I was very surprised to find that the dosed basket passed the upsidedown test and the resultant extraction looked very good. Unfortunately, the coffee tasted like crap. Im not sure if its me (I have very bad sinus at present) or if the blend isnt too good.

    Certainly, based on my very limited experiment, I now feel that the grind and dosing is more important than the tamp.

    Any others on this?
    T

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    Re: Consistent tamping

    Quote Originally Posted by 300B0C1704160D630 link=1260003568/15#15 date=1260177406
    now feel that the grind and dosing is more important than the tamp.
    That has always been my opinion.

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    Re: Consistent tamping

    Quote Originally Posted by 4A444946514746280 link=1260003568/16#16 date=1260180366
    Quote Originally Posted by 300B0C1704160D630 link=1260003568/15#15 date=1260177406
    now feel that the grind and dosing is more important than the tamp.
    That has always been my opinion.
    Indeed mine as well, for a long time now. Tamping is a good way of keeping things in general just clean. But in my experience, Dose + Grind > Tamping. All factors considered, the experience differs with your setup.

    But if I tamp 5kg, and pull a good shot and then tamp 10kg on the next and pull a good shot. What exactly does this tell me?

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    Re: Consistent tamping

    Quote Originally Posted by 4344455142445742515E44300 link=1260003568/7#7 date=1260016549
    Since you have a Mini - and Im assuming you mean manual (ie. it has a doser) - you have a slight advantage here. Thats because the best way to dose consistently - incidentally killing the distribution bird with the same stone - is to fill the basket until its full (ie. full at the edges and mounded up in the middle). You then tap the handle on the bench (or something) X* number of times. Then, gently swipe the remaining "mounded" coffee back into your doser for the next dose (assuming itll be made immediately - otherwise chuck the grounds out) and tamp. Doesnt really matter how heavily you tamp, in my opinion; just make it consistent.
    I have been reading alot of opinions about distribution, leveling, weighing and tamping. On one website there was endless argument regarding the significance :) of each. I agree that the levelling *method described above will help significantly in achieving a consistent result in terms of dose and is an alternative to weighing every dose.

    As the owner of a Mazzer Mini E and therefore having a chute rather than a doser, using this levelling off method would result in significant waste over time. I was wondering what other owners of doserless grinders do? Do you use this technique and just cop the wasted grounds? What about baristas in a commercial environment with for example a Robur E...do they just rely on the timer or on their eye for comnsitent dosing or do they still level off and trash the remaining grinds?



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    Senior Member Luke_G's Avatar
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    Re: Consistent tamping

    I use a Mahlkonig grind on demand grinder at work that grind by time straight into my basket.

    I find the dose very good but from time to time a small amount will roll off the top of the basket due to some slight clumping issues. No biggie!

    I take a grinds catching plate thingy and tip it into a tupperware container and use it in the morning to season the heads of my machine before running and drinking shots from it.

    Not that you would get a lot of wastage but its just a suggestion as to what you can use your excess grounds for after chemical flushing your machine?

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    Re: Consistent tamping

    Quote Originally Posted by 40796769534B0C0 link=1260003568/19#19 date=1260191813
    I use a Mahlkonig grind on demand grinder at work that grind by time straight into my basket.

    I find the dose very good but from time to time a small amount will roll off the top of the basket due *to some slight clumping issues. No biggie!

    I take a grinds catching plate thingy and tip it into a tupperware container and use it in the morning to season the heads of my machine before running and drinking shots from it.

    Not that you would get a lot of wastage but its just a suggestion as to what you can use your excess grounds for after chemical flushing your machine?
    So I guess that means you tamp straight after dosing without levelling? I am thinking of getting the Mahlkonig K30...is *that the one you use at work? There are very few reviews of this grinder online. Have you tested the timers consistency by weighing the doses?

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    Senior Member Luke_G's Avatar
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    Re: Consistent tamping

    I havnt done any weighing but ill take my scales to work and give it a test. It seems very consistant and from what i hear they have revised the chute and added a declumping device of some sort.

    I use the k30twin at work and have sole a couple of the k30singles to custamers. After setting them up i would have to say that they are a pretty good grinder but they have stepped adjustments on them so micro adjusting them isnt possible without removing the stepped mechanism.

    Its a large unit and almost overkill for a home set up despite Mahlkonigs excellent reliability and the fact it looks the part too.
    I would look at the Ditting Vario..a lot smaller and uses Mahlkonig internals and ceramic burrs. They are also grind on demand via timed and are also programable with 3 memory slots. best of all...they arent huge!

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    Re: Consistent tamping

    Quote Originally Posted by 1A233D330911560 link=1260003568/21#21 date=1260193301
    I havnt done any weighing but ill take my scales to work and give it a test. It seems very consistant and from what i hear they have revised the chute and added a declumping device of some sort.

    I use the k30twin at work and have sole a couple of the k30singles to custamers. After setting them up i would have to say that they are a pretty good grinder but they have stepped adjustments on them so micro adjusting them isnt possible without removing the stepped mechanism.

    Its a large unit and almost overkill for a home set up despite Mahlkonigs excellent reliability and the fact it looks the part too.
    I would look at the Ditting Vario..a lot smaller and uses Mahlkonig internals and ceramic burrs. They are also grind on demand via timed and are also programable with 3 memory slots. best of all...they arent huge!
    I think The two companies merged, so its called the Mahlkonig K30 or Ditting KE 640. I understand that the K30 "vario" model is stepless. I am looking to buy for a cafe in Phuket as my desired grinder Mazzer Robur is not sold here. Anyway be interesting to hear the result of the weight test!

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    Senior Member Shotgun's Avatar
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    Re: Consistent tamping

    OK I did some experimenting this morning and wasted a bit of coffee. I used the same grind and dosing method as per http://www.espressocompany.com.au/grinding-dosing-video.htm and used a variety of tamping pressure. Guess what.... the tamping pressure really didnt change the shot characteristics until I jumped up and down on my tamper ;D Seriously, until I used excessive pressure all my shots were pretty well the same.

    So, what does that tell me???? Hmmm! I guess I learned something here and Ive sort of realised that tamping wasnt the issue in the first place.

    What a world we live in now eh! If it hadnt been for technology and this site and all the obsessive souls that inhabit it, Id still be going around in circles.

    Thanks all.
    Tony

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    A_M
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    Re: Consistent tamping

    Quote Originally Posted by 4A71766D7E6C77190 link=1260003568/23#23 date=1260232366
    OK I did some experimenting this morning and wasted a bit of coffee. I used the same grind and dosing method as per http://www.espressocompany.com.au/grinding-dosing-video.htm and used a variety of tamping pressure. Guess what.... the tamping pressure really didnt change the shot characteristics until I jumped up and down on my tamper *;D *Seriously, until I used excessive pressure all my shots were pretty well the same.

    So, what does that tell me???? Hmmm! I guess I learned something here and Ive sort of realised that tamping wasnt the issue in the first place.

    What a world we live in now eh! *If it hadnt been for technology and this site and all the obsessive souls that inhabit it, Id still be going around in circles.

    Thanks all.
    Tony

    The trick is getting the density the same..

    My wife and daughter do not like to lean on the tamper and as they are vertically challenged (WRT the bench) ... *The answer for them / me (My excuse is that I am old) is a finer grind...

    I have had others pop over.. Dose and tamp (the hulk in action and sweat beads on forearms) and then the machine chokes..

    The go off and say grind is to fine... Need to have 20kg or it will not work.. * I smile... *My daughter makes a shot and they comment as to how good the shot is...

    It is the density and the restriction of the water flow... *Note... Grind size also affects the amount of swelling and thus dose level may also have to be managed..

    2 + 2 = 5

    Keep up teh good work... It is a rocky road is it not *:D

    Maybe we need to catch up when I am up teh coast as it appears there are a fes CSs around teh sunshine coast..


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    Senior Member Shotgun's Avatar
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    Re: Consistent tamping

    Quote Originally Posted by 022D2426310E222D2224262E262D37430 link=1260003568/24#24 date=1260233640
    Maybe we need to catch up when I am up teh coast as it appears there are a fes CSs around teh sunshine coast..
    That would be nice, Id enjoy that.
    Shoot me a PM if you want my contact details because we live up here almost permanently now.
    Tony

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    Re: Consistent tamping

    Tamping becomes less of an issue when the particle size of the grind is adjusted as well as/along with the dosage.

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    Re: Consistent tamping

    0.3 grams is enough to change the dynamics of a pour. Ive done lots and lots of experimental work with grinder timers and measuring how much coffee goes in and how it affects the pour. Anything more than a 0.5 gram variance in dose is too much imho.

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    Re: Consistent tamping

    Should the puck have any impression of the showerscreen in it after a pour? Mine does but I dont have any trouble getting the group handle in to the head. The pours are still a little too fast though - 60ml in 20 seconds or less for a double shot.

    Im guessing I should dose slightly less but adjust to a finer grind. Am I on the right track?

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    Re: Consistent tamping

    [s]You should see an impression of the showerscreen so you should be dosing more and leaving the grind as is for the moment. Once you get the dose about right then adjust the grind to achieve the pour you are after. There is a lot more detailed info in the forum with a bit of reading, goodluck grasshopper it is a wonderful journey you have started.[/s]

    I really do need to read others posts better :-[

  31. #31
    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    Re: Consistent tamping

    Quote Originally Posted by 3F2A0F233F31223522500 link=1260003568/28#28 date=1261196142
    Im guessing I should dose slightly less but adjust to a finer grind. Am I on the right track?
    That sounds right. Have a search for the 5 cent piece technique for dose.

    Greg

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    Senior Member simonsk8r's Avatar
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    Re: Consistent tamping

    I guess the general purpose of tamping is to compress the grinds closer together so that the water forced through it has to work to extract a proper quality/amount from the coffee.

    According to good ol Wikipedia: "Increasing the tamping pressure will increase the brew time of a shot of espresso, and thus increase the extraction from the coffee - hence the need to maintain consistency."

    Tamping pressure depends on the fineness of the grind (in terms of getting the right 25-30 second extraction)... but one question id like to pose: if one grinds finer and tamps with less pressure, will that equal the same flavour/body extraction (the exact same) as grinding coarser and tamping with more pressure (assuming that the extraction time is equal for both)?

    So i guess tamp consistency in relation to grind fineness is the equation/method thats important... but im curious to see if theres an answer to my question... May do some research...

    A level tamp to me is also important, just thinking of the consequences of a diagonal unperpendicular tamp, im sure that would create a sort of channeling effect...

    My 2 cents ;)

  33. #33
    Senior Member Shotgun's Avatar
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    Re: Consistent tamping

    IMHO and limited knowledge. Grind and dosing are more important than tamp pressure. What I have found however, is that tamping consistently is far easier using my new Pullman Barista Tamper / Synesso basket. Its easier to get a level tamp and I dont have to go around the edges to tamp as I did with my old tamper.

    Its well worth the money.
    Tony
    PS: By the way, my Pullman is a convex model and it works beautifully.

  34. #34
    A_M
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    Re: Consistent tamping

    Quote Originally Posted by 142F2833203229470 link=1260003568/32#32 date=1261624544
    IMHO and limited knowledge. Grind and dosing are more important than tamp pressure. What I have found however, is that tamping consistently is far easier using my new Pullman Barista Tamper / Synesso basket. Its easier to get a level tamp and I dont have to go around the edges to tamp as I did with my old tamper.

    Its well worth the money.
    Tony
    PS: By the way, my Pullman is a convex model and it works beautifully.
    I think the issue is really one of... Grind and Dose is complemented by a good tamp... But first and for most is FRESH BEANS ;D

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    Senior Member simonsk8r's Avatar
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    Re: Consistent tamping

    I second that :D:D:D

    What do you think of my question AM? Would there be an actual different coffee extraction between the two, even though the brew time and volume are the same between them?

  36. #36
    Senior Member simonsk8r's Avatar
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    Re: Consistent tamping

    Quote Originally Posted by 6463627665637065767963170 link=1260003568/7#7 date=1260016549
    Thats because the best way to dose consistently - incidentally killing the distribution bird with the same stone - is to fill the basket until its full (ie. full at the edges and mounded up in the middle). You then tap the handle on the bench (or something) X* number of times.
    I havent studied this too much... is there a certain number of taps that must be performed to properly fill the basket? Is it not properly packed and full of grounds if you just keep dosing into the basket, not tap, sweep level and tamp? ive seen different methods... i usually just fill the basket at least 3/4ish full, and tap the filter with my hand then fill till theres a mount, sweep level, sweep off grounds off the side bits,*tamp and go.

  37. #37
    Senior Member Shotgun's Avatar
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    Re: Consistent tamping

    Hi Simon,
    There are any number of opinions about tapping while dosing it seems. As AM frequently says with espresso 2+2=5 a lot of the time. Some say tapping introduces another variable that makes consistent dosing more difficult while others use it Im sure to settle the dose in the basket.... See http://www.espressocompany.com.au/grinding-dosing-video.htm
    Ive taken my cue from the video and have tried to use the tapping method. One reason for that is due to my manual Mazzer dosing quite unevenly into my basket.

    As it stands, while I still have a long way to go, Im (generally speaking) very happy with my results now. Im not suggesting for a minute that my way is best or correct, Im saying its now working for me.
    Cheers
    Tony

  38. #38
    Senior Member simonsk8r's Avatar
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    Re: Consistent tamping

    Cheers! Ive tried the tapping on that video, found that it puts WAAAY too much coffee into the basket.. so i tried with two (or one) solid tap after filling the basket, then refilling, sweeping, and tamping, and found it produced an AMAZING shot! (btw, this got me about 19-20grams of ground coffee in the basket).

    Am just trying to figure out what exact weight is a good weight to have in the basket, i tend to go nuts and like to measure every variable XD

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    Re: Consistent tamping

    Its funny Simon but Im using a Synesso ridgeless double basket and if I dont do the Tap Tap thing as per the video, my shots are WAY too fast????

    My grind seems (by feel) to be fine enough and I only ever use the freshest of beans so Im not sure what my problem is???

    Im getting some help from a pro barista next month so Im hoping to sort it out. Grinding and Dosing are my biggest problem methinks.

  40. #40
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    Re: Consistent tamping

    Quote Originally Posted by 7F4443584B59422C0 link=1260003568/38#38 date=1264402123
    My grind seems (by feel) to be fine enough and I only ever use the freshest of beans so Im not sure what my problem is???
    If you dont "Tap Tap" then you need to go finer.
    Either way will work.
    You just have to be consistent.


  41. #41
    Senior Member simonsk8r's Avatar
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    Re: Consistent tamping

    Its funny Simon but Im using a Synesso ridgeless double basket and if I dont do the Tap Tap thing as per the video, my shots are WAY too fast????
    hmmm interesting... I find that if i collapse, fill collapse, fill etc, i cant even fit the portafilter in the group head without slicing some coffee out... maybe if i grind coarser, collapse like the vid, i will be able to pack it all in? Or... grinding finer would make more sense if im trying to fit more in the basket...... *head..... spinniiiing..... :S*

  42. #42
    Senior Member
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    Re: Consistent tamping

    Remember weight isnt everything, the density of a bean will dramatically change your volume/weight, i have some panama carmen that is twice as heavy for the same volume of some of my other SOs ;)

  43. #43
    Senior Member tasadam's Avatar
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    Re: Consistent tamping

    OK, sorry but time is short, only read about half this...
    For me, consistency is the key. Grind, dose (mound), tap twice on side of basket with tamp, level with finger, tamp, lock & load.
    Usually use the same pressure, a firm push and a bit of a twist.
    If you always use the same techniques you should in theory be able to produce something similar. Your OP says the 1st comes out ok, then the next 3 are not so good. Is this one after the other? Reason for asking is whether perhaps your machine might be suffering a loss of brew temp, so if the 1st comes out ok & the others taste not so good, maybe something needs adjusting up (and a good cooling flush so the 1st shot also remains good).

    So if the problem is not temp, and the shots are not 1 after the other, its something else. As you say, it could be tamp pressure. But I have found I can still end up with a reasonable coffee with varying pressures in tamp, so long as its close. Gotta be tamping level or most of the extraction will be on one side of the basket, = blonding early.

    Just scrolled up & saw machine, VBM super, so another factor is -
    if the shots are not straight after each other, are you doing proper cooling flushes? When the machine hasnt been used for a while, remove the PF & open her up, listen to & watch the water bubble & steam away for a few seconds = too hot. If youre not cooling flushing after long idle times, the brew temp could be too hot, spoiling the shot.

    Just floating some ideas out there, to see whether the problem might not be tamping.

  44. #44
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    Re: Consistent tamping

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    coming to this a bit late........

    whats your distribution like?

    how many times are you collapsing in each shot? are you mounding, edging or centralising your distribution? using a barista tool like a swerve or scottie? how much coffee are you taking out each time?

    you might want to get a reference bean or blend and buy a few kg of it. get all your glasses warm, and your station set out, then pull shot after shot and vary your parameters each time, writing down what you changed and the effect in the cup. make sure youre cleaning stale coffee out of the mouth of the grinder chute.

    to your actual question - the way you learn how a tamp feels repeated is when, when you have the same amount of coffee in the basket of the same humidity and hardness/fluffiness on the same day and of the same age, and the coffee pushes back on the tamper at the same pressure as it did the last time all those variables were the same.

    One thing forum member HD has taught me is how much those innocent coffee beans change not just over weeks, but over minutes. In my usual home situation I go by the mental image of the shot I want to pull. By the time I drink the next shot, the parameters for a perfect shot will have changed by a collapse, a grind size, a dose weight and the coffee volume, as well as the shape of the extraction. Makes my head explode if I think about it, so I dont.

    ACogs advice is fantastic.




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