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Correct dose not filling my basket
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Correct dose not...  
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MarkR
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Apr 2008
Posts: 9
Location: Crested Butte, CO
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Coffee
Grinder: rossi rr45
Posted Thu May 28, 2009, 11:10pm
Subject: Correct dose not filling my basket
 

So I finally got my hands on a scale to see where I'm at dose-wise, as I was suspicious that I was overdosing. I was more than right: a 16 gram dose doesn't even fill my basket. I tried stirring it up a bit and then carefully leveling it, but still can't get it to evenly full.

So here are the theories:
  1. Maybe I have a triple basket??? I got the machine (gaggia coffee) used, so just assumed it was a double.
  2. My grinder (Rossi RR45) grinds it really dense, and I have to fluff it up somehow.
  3. I should just dose closer to 17 grams to fill the basket.

Any thoughts?

Yeah I'm a newbie, so bear with me.

Thanks
Mark

 
Coffee: I'll sleep when I'm dead!
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JonR10
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JonR10
Joined: 26 Apr 2004
Posts: 10,376
Location: Houston, Texas
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: E61 Legend, Livietta,...
Grinder: Robur, B-Vario-W
Vac Pot: Hario Tabletop, Yama...
Drip: Technivorm
Roaster: 1-lb US Roaster, Behmor 1600
Posted Fri May 29, 2009, 3:26am
Subject: Re: Correct dose not filling my basket
 

Hi Mark,
Do whatever works best for YOU.  Experiment with different doses, etc.  
If it helps, I commonly dose 20g in a double basket (this was our "standard" for the grinder shootout)

 
Jon Rosenthal
Houston, TX
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TimEggers
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TimEggers
Joined: 3 Oct 2004
Posts: 2,946
Location: Tiskilwa, Illinois
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: QM Anita, Cappuccino Amore
Grinder: Baratza Vario, Mazzer SJ
Vac Pot: Antique McKee, Santos
Drip: Pour Over, Bodum Presses
Roaster: RK Drum
Posted Fri May 29, 2009, 4:52am
Subject: Re: Correct dose not filling my basket
 

Hi Mark,

No you're not crazy! ;-)

You've made the observation that a lot of folks have.  You can volume dose like Jon indicates or you can find ways to make a good distribution below the rim of the basket or just overfill, level than tamp.  I've made very good espresso both ways.

Further reading: Which basket for a fill, level then tamp 14g dose?

 
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arpi
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arpi
Joined: 8 Oct 2008
Posts: 583
Location: Baltimore
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Expobar Brewtus III-R
Grinder: Compak Compak K10WBC -...
Drip: Chemex
Roaster: Quest m3 Fresh Roast Plus 8
Posted Fri May 29, 2009, 6:32am
Subject: Re: Correct dose not filling my basket
 

Yeap. Personally, I like it more when I fill up about 3/4 way. Grinding finer (to compensate) and dosing less have made me like many more blends. The flavor is more clear and balanced. This way I can drink and enjoy several cups :) Lately, I haven't weighted the coffee and prefer to use visual references. I fill up to the line (not the top) and after tamping, the puck is about 1/4 inch bellow the line. The puck comes out wetter, like using a single basket, the body is thinner, but all it matters is the flavor and getting what you like
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JasonBrandtLewis
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JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,410
Location: Berkeley, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Elektra T1 - La Valentina -...
Grinder: Mahlkönig K30 Vario -...
Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup
Drip: CCD, Chemex
Roaster: No, no, not another...
Posted Fri May 29, 2009, 6:53am
Subject: Re: Correct dose not filling my basket
 

Mark, I had a Gaggia Coffee for 20+ years, and never had a scale -- so that's of no help whatsoever!  But keep in mind that first and foremost, you need to

JonR10 Said:

Do whatever works best for YOU.

Posted May 29, 2009 link

Secondly, remember that you don't want the (dry) coffee in direct contact with the screen.  Try this:  dose your coffee into your basket and tamp as you normally do, but before locking the portafilter into place, place a nickel on top of the coffee; lock the pf into place as usual, but don't pull a shot! -- just remove the portafilter and look at the top of the puck.  You should barely see the indent, if any, from the nickel . . .

Third, while some machines are more finicky about "updosing," I always found my Gaggia to be very forgiving, so --

JonR10 Said:

Do whatever works best for YOU.

Posted May 29, 2009 link

Cheers,
Jason

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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geoffbeier
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Joined: 21 Jul 2008
Posts: 339
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Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Alex Duetto II, Gaggia...
Grinder: Macap M4 Stepless, Faema MPN
Posted Fri May 29, 2009, 11:20am
Subject: Re: Correct dose not filling my basket
 

MarkR Said:

Maybe I have a triple basket??? I got the machine (gaggia coffee) used, so just assumed it was a double.

Posted May 28, 2009 link

Is it a bottomless PF? If it's a stock gaggia PF then, at least on mine, a triple basket does not quite fit right, so your assumption is probably correct.
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RapidCoffee
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RapidCoffee
Joined: 4 Dec 2004
Posts: 1,931
Location: Rapid City, SD
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Spaziale S1
Grinder: Mazzer Robur
Vac Pot: Yama
Drip: misc
Posted Fri May 29, 2009, 1:36pm
Subject: Re: Correct dose not filling my basket
 

MarkR Said:

So I finally got my hands on a scale to see where I'm at dose-wise, as I was suspicious that I was overdosing. I was more than right: a 16 gram dose doesn't even fill my basket. I tried stirring it up a bit and then carefully leveling it, but still can't get it to evenly full.

Posted May 28, 2009 link

Hi Mark. Several months ago I weighed the "natural" dose capacity of a bunch of filter baskets (results here). Double baskets from La Marzocco, La Spaziale, QuickMill, and Synesso all held 17-19g, without any attempt at updosing. YMMV but it's clear that most double baskets hold well over 14g of ground coffee.
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canadianpuck
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Joined: 10 Jun 2008
Posts: 6
Location: canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Quickmill Vetrano
Grinder: Macap M4
Posted Tue Jul 21, 2009, 8:40am
Subject: Re: Correct dose not filling my basket
 

This question is for RapidCoffee, I too own a quickmill vertrano and I'm having trouble dosing as heavily as I'd like with the stock quickmill baskets. The screen sits low so I can't updose the way I'd like to try. I have read that you have both the 18g and 14g baskets and I was wondering if you knew which you would recommend for the stock quickmill portafilter. Will the 18g fit without requiring a naked portafilter because this might offer me a little more puck clearance? Perhaps a little off topic but I was unable to PM you. Thanks much for your help.

Marshall
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Jmanespresso
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Jmanespresso
Joined: 18 Jan 2009
Posts: 2,109
Location: Westchester NY
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Alex Duetto II
Grinder: Compak K10 - Vario
Vac Pot: Yama-SY5/SY8/TCA5
Drip: V60, Beehouse, CCD
Roaster: Hottop B
Posted Tue Jul 21, 2009, 1:11pm
Subject: Re: Correct dose not filling my basket
 

CanadianPuck,

Hey, I dont have a Vetrano, but I have an Anita.. More or less the same with a different water setup/pump.  Grouphead is the same.

For using a spouted PF, the "biggest" baskets I have found are the Ridgless doubles.  EPNW has them, and they fit into a normal size spouted PF without a problem.  I can get 21 grams in there no problem, and 22grs if I smash it into the screen, which Im not a fan of doing, Lol.

Another solution is either a bottomless/naked PF.  Any kind, will fit any basket you like, as long as its the right diameter.  OR, if you're not a fan of bottomless PF's, the La Marzocco PFs will fit a triple basket without being bottomless.  Rancilio makes a "Triple PF" also, which doesnt need to be naked to fit a larger basket.  My two favorite triple baskets, are the La MArzocco 21gr basket.  Its got a SLIGHT ridge, but a 58mm tamp fits no problem, and its got straight walls.  EPNW and Chris Coffee sells them, among others Im sure.  Also, the 18gr Synesso Basket is great as well.  Its bigger then a double, but smaller then the LM 21gr, and its more forgiving then the LM as well.  Looks just like a double basket, but a bit taller, and no ridge.


To the OP,

For the sake of being redundant on purpose, do what works for you! :).  The nickel trick that Zin1953 mentioned will help you gauge the dose.  If you have trouble with clumping, try the Wiess Distribution Technique(WDT).  Works like a charm.  Aside from de-clumping, it also gives a perfect distribution.  I use it every time, and if done properly, its like insurance for great shots every time.  If you have the stock PF, a triple basket doesnt fit.  You can probably get ~19grs without a problem if its the stock basket.. I have a little trouble getting 20 in there with some coffees, but, as Jason noted about his Gaggia, my Gaggia also doesnt mind being updosed either.  Since you have a scale, start at, say, 18grs, and keep going up using the nickel test until you find your absolute max dose.  With the stock double basket on the gaggia, I dont does more then 18grs.. But If I use a synesso double, I can get about 22gr in there.

 
Follow Your Bliss

Coffee makes your constantly overcome your prejudices and re-evaluate your own "received wisdoms" when it comes to judging cup flavors. -Tom Owen, SweetMarias
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RapidCoffee
Senior Member
RapidCoffee
Joined: 4 Dec 2004
Posts: 1,931
Location: Rapid City, SD
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Spaziale S1
Grinder: Mazzer Robur
Vac Pot: Yama
Drip: misc
Posted Tue Jul 21, 2009, 10:21pm
Subject: Re: Correct dose not filling my basket
 

canadianpuck Said:

This question is for RapidCoffee, I too own a quickmill vertrano and I'm having trouble dosing as heavily as I'd like with the stock quickmill baskets. The screen sits low so I can't updose the way I'd like to try. I have read that you have both the 18g and 14g baskets and I was wondering if you knew which you would recommend for the stock quickmill portafilter. Will the 18g fit without requiring a naked portafilter because this might offer me a little more puck clearance?

Posted July 21, 2009 link

First, I'm a big fan of ridgeless baskets. Go ridgeless, you won't regret it.

Second, I pull far more doubles than triples. Both the 14g and 18g Synesso baskets fit the regular PF, but I have a strong preference for the smaller 14g ridgeless basket. The 18g basket is as much a small triple as a large double.

Third, I'll echo the suggestion that you get a bottomless PF; not to accomodate larger basket sizes, but for the terrific visual feedback.

Finally, I've never had any trouble updosing on the Vetrano. In general, E61 groups seems to updose well.
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