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Thread: To underdose with superfine grind or not?

  1. #1
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    To underdose with superfine grind or not?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    I have a PIDd Silvia (installed it myself). Now that I have taken the temp factor out of the equation, I am experimenting with underdosing and updosing.

    Underdose - 0.5 mm lower than the marker on a LM ridged- double basket
    Updose - 0.5 mm or exactly more than the marker on a LM ridged- double basket


    When underdosing, I set the rocky to a 9 setting. For Updosing, I set it to 10 or 11.

    They both get extracted at 25 secs @ 2 oz.

    Cupwise, with the same freshly roasted beans, both of them taste great without milk. Im just asking for opinions and/or thoughts on my approach and if anyone with a Rocky/Silvia combo might be doing the same or notice a difference when they do both.

    I appreciate your replies.

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    Re: To underdose with superfine grind or not?

    When downdosing, you want a slightly coarser grind. That way, you dont have sludgy pucks. Grind slightly coarser with a firmer tamp, and you should be right.

    When downdosing, you want to be at least a mil or two lower than the ridge on the basket. Youll get very sloppy pucks at first, but stick with it. The results are very nice.

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    Re: To underdose with superfine grind or not?

    Down-dosing is something that I have played around with on and off for about a year now. I basically only use three dosing techniques at the moment:

    *My standard technique is to dose, rap three or four times quite vigorously, then level off. (If I really want to dose up, Ill rap a few more times.)

    *My preferred down dosing technique is to dose and level off straight.

    *At work, we have a set of plastic sweepers of different curvatures, so we can use these to dose down further after using one of the above techniques. Usually leveling without settling will suffice; the sweeping tools are really at their best when it comes to using both the single basket and the double, because it is possible to calibrate your single dose to work with the same grind that you use for the double.

    I think that this is just another variable to be added to the baristas toolbox. This weeks blend is equal parts dry processed coffees (mountain top boomerang and brazil ipanema dulce) and wet processed coffees (a costa rican and a mexican, from memory). The roast ended up a hint darker than I wanted it, so whilst it had great body from the dry processed coffees, the clean finish from the wet processed coffees wasnt really coming through at my normal dose level. I have just switched to a lower dose level and the body and cocoa have diminished, but the acidity has returned, together with a slight [s]nuttiness[/s] (edit: toastiness - isnt it great when you actually get the right descriptor ;P) and a rather unusual - but very welcome - brown sugar sweetness.

    I havent really experimented with this enough to offer any massive insights, but the traits that I have observed pretty consistently are:

    Down-dosed shots:
    *blonde faster
    *are less rich
    *have more acidity and fruity flavours
    *might have a bit more sugar sweetness

    Up-dosed shots:
    *are richer (thicker moutfeel, more body)
    *are easier to get right (because a dose variation of the same amount will be proportionally less for a higher dose)
    *blonde less quickly

    For now, Im going to keep on experimenting. Up-dosing will remain my de-facto preparation method, not because I think that it is inherently better, but because Im used to it.

    Hope that helps,

    Luca

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    Re: To underdose with superfine grind or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by luca link=1185859769/0#2 date=1186057181

    Down-dosed shots:
    *blonde faster
    *are less rich
    *have more acidity and fruity flavours
    *might have a bit more sugar sweetness

    Up-dosed shots:
    *are richer (thicker moutfeel, more body)
    *are easier to get right (because a dose variation of the same amount will be proportionally less for a higher dose)
    *blonde less quickly

    For now, Im going to keep on experimenting. Up-dosing will remain my de-facto preparation method, not because I think that it is inherently better, but because Im used to it.

    Hope that helps,

    Luca
    Changing dose depending on beans is something Ive also picked up. however rather then changing my doing technique im instead switching between the original rancilio basket and my rigeless coffeparts LM. so im getting consistently 16-17gm or 20-21gm probably need another one halway between the two, but I can always down dose the large basket if I need too.

    I have observed everything you have. It went to great use recently when I blended some africans, with the large dose It was flat and earthy, nearly sinkable. the smaller dose brought out enough acidity to make it pleasant.

    some other observations.
    Im finding that if my coffee is too fresh, the smaller dose is better. (im guessing because you get a more complete extraction.)

    something I think needs more testing it doesnt seem to work the otherway for me. If a coffee is really acidic then the larger basket doesnt tame the acidity. any thoughts?

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    Re: To underdose with superfine grind or not?

    At the CS shoot out, I was purposely downdosing. The end result was a great espresso, but only an average milk drink (chock that one down to lack of milk experience).

    I rarely, if ever updose. Ive seen a decrease in acidity in shots Ive produced. There is still the sweetness and fruity characters, but nothing super bright. Even stuff Ive roasted a bit light have still come out not as sharp as expected. I think the sweetness of the shot overrides the acidity somewhat.

    Its widely accepted that the updosed shot will produce a better looking shot, richer, and with better mouthfeel, than a downdosed shot. I reckon downdosed shots are better tasting shots. Updosed shots are more aesthetically appealing.

    On edit: Ive got some Timor Leste resting. Ill give it a bit of a go, and compare the two. Up v. Down dosing.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Lizzie's Avatar
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    Re: To underdose with superfine grind or not?

    from dcaffein8d *
    When underdosing, I set the rocky to a 9 setting. For Updosing, I set it to 10 or 11.
    from nunu *
    When downdosing, you want a slightly coarser grind. *That way, you dont have sludgy pucks. *Grind slightly coarser with a firmer tamp, and you should be right.
    ill have to try both methods... :) :)

    L

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    Re: To underdose with superfine grind or not?

    Strictly with regard to the question......

    yuk...dont do it.

    Regardz,
    FC.

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    Re: To underdose with superfine grind or not?

    Tried out a number of methods with regards to downdosing.

    1. Slightly coarser grind and firmer tamp - By slightly coarser, it should have read, barely coarser. In the PF were talking 2-3mm beneath the ridge. Result in the cup: A bit underextracted for my liking.

    2. Same grind and tamp (as normally dosed shot) - Slightly faster shot than normal dose. Result: still a bit underextracted.

    3. Slightly finer grind and same tamp - Shot was slightly smaller in volume, because of earlier blonding. Result: Pleasantly sweet, fruity, some acidity (not overly so).

    So, option 3, possibly with a firmer tamp is the go. Results may have been slightly skewed because of high humidity (rainy weather).

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    Re: To underdose with superfine grind or not?

    If im producing the best coffee possible, whether thats from adjusting the grind, or increasing the dose, i stick with it regardless of how sloppy the puck is.

    Of course a dry puck is easier to manage, but ultimately, the results in the cup are the ONLY thing that matter. If my coffee takes 10secs to pur...if it takes 35 secs to pour...Numbers and levels mean nothing.

    Experiment, my friend

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    Re: To underdose with superfine grind or not?

    Oh, BTW, i guess i may be contradicting myself with the whole numbers thing here, but, Why are you pouring out 60mls for a single shot? Beyond 20-30ml is considered too much.

  11. #11
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    Re: To underdose with superfine grind or not?

    coffeedr who is that last comment directed at?
    I may be slipping but I cant see any reference to a singlr shot in this thread.
    The OP has the only reference to to shot sze and mentions a double basket and 2oz (60ml).

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    Re: To underdose with superfine grind or not?

    Not to mention that when you allow a finer grind, for whatever reason(down dose/light tamp), you are minimising the effect of distribution to the pour. That is, the coarser the grind, the more the effect of distribution comes into play due to the smaller surface area of your grinds. That is why when you down-dose with a super fine grind and light/no tamp, you really dont need a good distribution for good results. Not that I would recommend this.

  13. #13
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    Re: To underdose with superfine grind or not?

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    I think its largely climate related as well, certainly for my home machine.

    During summer I seem to get much better results from a slightly coarser grind, and up-dosing, whereas (in Melbourne at least!) there seems to be a lot more moisture in the air, and I getting some great shots by fining up the grind, and reducing the dose

    I also find that I get a much shorter pour with a down dosed shot, which needs to be taken into consideration when pulling your shot

    But Im enjoying the sweet complexity of a 20ml espresso from my down dosed shots at the moment, which I think would be largely lost if I added much milk to it

    Cheers,

    Pat



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