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Thread: Weighing coffee

  1. #1
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    Question Weighing coffee

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi there,
    As a happily experimenting newbie, one thing I want to do is make sure my dose is consistent. I'm using a Macap M2M and VBM Junior HX. Loving them both, but still need a lot of practise.

    I've got a Hario scale with 0.1g increments, but am curious as to what methods people like to use to weigh their beans.

    Option 1) - keep the grinder bin empty, weigh the beans pre-grind and grind straight to the portafilter. Probably the most accurate method, but a little tedious.

    Option 2) - dose into the portafilter and then weight. This doesn't seem to me to be a good idea since the scale is only accurate within 3g at weights above 500g.

    Option 3) - grind into another container, weigh this, then tip to the portafilter. This is what I'm doing so far, but it's very messy and I usually end up spilling grinds everywhere.

    My ultimate goal is to get to the level where I don't need to weight every single dose, but can grind into the portafilter at a consistent level.

    Thoughts anyone?

  2. #2
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    You can quite easily make (or buy) a funnel to transfer the ground coffee into the portafilter. I use a 1.25L bottle with the top and bottom cut so it fits just inside my Silvia basket. The bottle naturally tapers anyway and is a good 5-10cm tall so there is no spillage. Then even out the grinds in basket as per your method, tamp and go. If I wasn't a student again I would buy something shiny and stainless but it works perfectly and no spills!
    Ben

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    Hello mjoyce.

    I suggest that you experiment to see what gives you good and consistent results.

    I havenít weighed for a while. I measure my beans with a small scoop into the empty grinder. That way I keep them fresh.

    I expect that you have access to some great local beans there in Jakarta. Let us know what it is like.

    Enjoy your coffee.

    Barry

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    Caffeinated kopigeek's Avatar
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    Hi Mjoyce. I have the same set up as you. I weigh before I grind and keep my hopper empty. Basically I single dose.

    I always pull double shots so about 18grams in the double filter basket.

    I've become pretty consistent and only adjust my grinder based on the bean and freshness.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mjoyce View Post

    My ultimate goal is to get to the level where I don't need to weight every single dose, but can grind into the portafilter at a consistent level.

    Thoughts anyone?
    While this may give you a consistent level, in my experience the M2M produces more consistent grind size with a full chute and some beans in the hopper. Single dosing allows more 'popcorning'. Whether that impact is detectable to you I can't say.

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    I dose and weigh the PF + grinds. With my naked PF, and triple basket, total weight is 412g for an 18g dose.

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    There is an option 4: take the basket out, dose directly into the basket, weigh, and then pop it in the PF. When I'm having struggles getting a good shot I often weigh my dose, and this is the method I use. It is the neatest, fastest, and most accurate way I've tried.
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    Used to use your option 3. Grind retention was an issue.

    i cut the base out of a take away short black cup to use as a funnel. Worked perfectly.

    now happy owner of an hg1, and weigh beans before grinding. Much easier. (At only 6 times the cost!)

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    Quote Originally Posted by gibberblot View Post
    There is an option 4: take the basket out, dose directly into the basket, weigh, and then pop it in the PF. When I'm having struggles getting a good shot I often weigh my dose, and this is the method I use. It is the neatest, fastest, and most accurate way I've tried.
    Then maybe you should try option 2.

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    A double spout portafilter does not fit on to my scales. Even if it did, accuracy of 1g is pretty low for consistent espresso.

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    Cut off the spout then

    Surely the method is equally inaccurate if weighing the basket without the portafilter.

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    Just my two cents... I single dose beans into the hopper by volume (spare basket) and grind them into the basket with a slight excess. Grinds are then scraped level with a chopstick, tapped flat on a teatowel/edge of bench 2-3 times to settle (too much unevenly distributes them), and tamped. I've weighed it and it seemed to be about a gram over the basket rating, but produces consistent results every time. This is with a 15g VST with naked PF.

    I expect that a uniform, level surface won't be achievable without scraping flat - in which case what is the purpose of weighing the grinds?

    p.s. my dosing routine has changed many many times, and probably will again

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    (Option 5.) Buy a another set of scales that can read 0.1gm up to a kg. That way you can weigh the group handle, basket and coffee after tamping. Quick easy and no mess. Look on ebay they're very cheap.

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    The scales I have still give 0.1 g readouts with a portafilter in place (which weighs about 560g), but the manual states they are only accurate to +-3 g between 500g and 2000g. I will do some experiments on the weekend to see how precise they are at the 500-600g range. Precision is more important than accuracy. I don't need to compare my dose of coffee against a block of platinum in France, I only need to compare it against the last dose I made. So as long as "my" 14g of coffee is the same as my previous 14g of coffee, I'm set.
    Failing this, I think making a funnel and option 3 sounds good.
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  15. #15
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    I use option 1.
    Currently weighing 18g into an 18g VST basket.

    Barry O I shut the hopper gate on my Macap to hopefully reduce popcorning.
    Even if that doesn't actually work, I can't see it. ;-)

    I also change the weight rather than adjust the grinder.

  16. #16
    Caffeinated kopigeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thundergod View Post
    I use option 1.
    Currently weighing 18g into an 18g VST basket.

    Barry O I shut the hopper gate on my Macap to hopefully reduce popcorning.
    Even if that doesn't actually work, I can't see it. ;-)

    I also change the weight rather than adjust the grinder.
    Same. I shut the hopper gate in my Macap m2m.
    Haven't tasted any difference between single dosing and a hopper full of beans

  17. #17
    Senior Member ArtW's Avatar
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    The problem with weighing before dosing is that it makes it difficult to learn to dose accurately. With enough practice you should be able to dose very consistently so that you don't need to weigh your dose. if you weigh after dosing, you can rely on the measurement more whilst you gain confidence and then as you see that you are being consistent you can reduce or even stop weighing.

    My preferred approach is to weigh with the portafilter. I will usually weigh for about a week when I change dosing technique or for some reason I'm experiencing inconsistent shot quality. The rest of the time my scales sit in the cupboard.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrJack View Post
    Cut off the spout then

    Surely the method is equally inaccurate if weighing the basket without the portafilter.
    Nope. My Hario scales are accurate to 0.1 grams up to 500g, and only accurate to 1 gram about that. Most scales are the same.

    I could buy another with higher accuracy at higher weights, but popping the basket in is no hassle

  19. #19
    bmb
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    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    If you use more than one bean type daily (as many of us do) volume dosing won't do it, you'll have to weight each dose to be consistent.
    Accuracy (before grinding): just one bean more or less, that's the weight expected result.



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