What basket are you using? most baskets have a designated weight.
My apologies if this is an old topic, in this case please point me in the right direction.
Let us consider a case of a short black - a double expresso or double ristretto.
At home I have a luxury of accurate weight measures for my double espresso/ristretto.
I have digital scales with 0.1 grams accuracy (~$90 in many electoris stores).
This helps to ensure 100% repeatable results.
Does anyone else weigh the beans prior to grinding, at home?
If so - what is the consensus on how many grams of beans to use for a double espresso/ristretto as a minimum-maximum range ?
I read to use 7-9 grams per single i.e. 14-18 grams for a double someplace, not sure if this is still agreed amount for best results for espresso and ristretto ?
Assuming the same beans - depending only on the grind level I can achieve ~25-30sec extraction for ~50-60ml from either 16-18 grams or 20-21 grams - just by changing grind level only.
Is 20-21 grams too much for a double shot and I am better off lowering the grind level such that I use ~17-18 grams instead?
What do you use?
What basket are you using? most baskets have a designated weight.
As I understand the designated basket weight is just a maximum weight or a minimum weight.
I am after the 'best results' weight 8^)
I have Rancilio Silvia and Rancilio Rocky combination with a Rancilio bottomless portafilter, allowing be a great range in basket sizes.
I have 3 double baskets.
I have a Synesso ridge-less double basket, rated at, I think, 21 grams.
This is what I use 90% of the time to make my double espresso.
I have used it with as little as 16-17 grams and at most 21 grams, this is the limit.
It does not fit any more than 21 grams in my experience.
I also have a standard Rancilio Silvia double-basket which can only fit 18 grams maximum.
I have a bottomless portafilter Rancilio basket which seems more like a tripple basket, it requires at least ~23-24 grams of beans before the results are acceptable. It will fit 25 or 26 grams to the maximum.
I find that anything between 22-25 grams grams produces an alarmingly strong double shot (assume 60ml max extraction) in 30 seconds.
Great if you need to stay awake all night!! 8^) So I only use it when my friends want a tripple ristretto.
One obvious "cop out" answer is: "drink what you like the taste of"
My question remains.
Too many variables, there is no "ideal" weight for a double (or anything else for that matter), it depends on your machine, your basket and your beans (and hell, even the weather...).
Essentially you want a puck that's tight enough packed that it resists channeling, whilst being loose enough to allow the water through at the appropriate rate, well enough distributed to provide even extraction and closely coupled to your shower screen (though not too close), no specific mass will fulfill these requirements all the time with every setup.
In short you're asking "how long is a piece of string".
The correct answer for you and your setup is something which you will have to determine for yourself. The ratings on baskets are nominal values, an 18g basket should have *around* 18g in it (I believe that VST for instance recommends +/- 1g to be appropriate tolerances).
Here is some advice from elsewhere on this forum that I copied and stored for my own reference. It is from site sponsor Chris, of Talk Coffee (I think). I will try to find the link, since he has some other good stuff to say. I prefer Chris's method because it is somewhat intuitive in that the dosing doesn't require weighing beans precisely. Bear in mind that weighing beans does not equate to "correct dosing" since the bean type and roast characteristics will affect the volume in the portafilter as distinct from the mass. Being scientific and anal about the process takes the art and feel out of making espresso. Never forget, you are a lover first and foremost, not a scientist.
e-61 brewing tips*
Dosing and the shot:
Firstly, you need to get a consistent dosing technique. With a Giotto, one way which seems to work for those starting out is to fill the group handle and ensure that the coffee is distributed to the edges. Make a small mound of coffee and brush off using a straight edge- or even the side of your index finger to get a totally full basket. Then, just sit your (heavyish) tamper on the coffee to settle it, fill and brush off again.... and then tamp to 15kg or thereabouts. This will enable you to get your dosing consistent. If you find that the group handle is hard to load, youre overdoing it- back off just a fraction by altering your technique a little but do so consistently. Another good method is to just dose to a mountain and bench tap to settle. Fil any gap, brush off to full and level and then tamp. Either should result in a similar and consistent dose.
Whatever you do MUST be 100% repeatable and this is just one method- but a good one for beginners as it leads to consistency.*
Run a shot to see how things are going. 30ml in approx 25 sec pour time (per shot) is a good starting point. Check the puck to see that it is not wet and sloppy- if it is, your dose is poor and the coffee will possibly be disappointing. If you see holes in the puck, these are channels and will usually result in an unsatisfactory shot.
Taste the espresso, give it 5 seconds and then note where on your tongue you taste it. I often call it the memory of the shot. If its towards the front, the coffee is sour and your grind is too coarse, if towards the back, the coffee is bitter and your grind is too fine. NEVER make a grind adjustment until you are certain that you have removed yourself as the source of the error.
Adjust the grind to balance the coffee on your tongue- Imagine a see-saw with sour at one end and bitter at the other. With a Giotto and its built-in pre-extraction, I tend to look for a pour that starts a touch drippy and then comes to a fine, continuous stream. I also cut the shot when I see the first signs of blonding (pale, tertiary extracted coffee). I often find that the delay is more like 7-9 sec and the pour may be somewhat longer than 25 seconds.
thank you both.
I have settled on a 17g basket in my GS3 that I overdose to about 20g. Gives the right taste, pour, time and volume, for my technique. Tried the 14g and the 21g baskets - but just not right for me........
The thread is now 6 years old!
Must say I never use the tamper collapse method these days (though it was useful for some when I was teaching coffee at the academy). Looking back over what I wrote, not too much has changed. The key, as always is consistency!
The correct volume is more important than weight. The weight will vary with (at least) the grind and density of the beans.
That said, the volume that works best for me is **usually** about 18 gms. Since I grind on demand, putting only the beans required for one double in the grinder, I use the 18 gms as a start. Sometimes a particular coffee will require a + or - to fine tune the results.
BTW--my .1 gm scales cost me $11.
I also do only grind on-demand which is why I weigh the beans for consistency.
Because I tend to buy the same beans from same shop ~95% of the time I find that I rarely need to change the grind level or the weight of the beans.
I do agree that if I buy different beans I am more likely to need to alter the grind/weight.....