Dosered grinders were originally designed so that the barista could grind a bunch of coffee into the doser and "Thwack" a bunch of coffee out at a time. This way, the barista could spend less time grinding and more time thwacking grinds into the portafilter. This isn't really applicable to home use, because grinds typically stale after about 15 minutes, so they should be dosed right away.
The biggest disadvantage to a dosered grinder is cleaning it. It's required. Some dosers are easier to clean than others. If the doser isn't cleaned properly, it takes the problem of grinds retention to a whole new level and makes your shots completely inconsistent.
This is why I personally like using a doserless grinder. Clumping has the potential of causing channeling, but as long as you keep the grind fine and the dosage low, (ie. Sticking with 16 gram doses or lower) the need to use WDT isn't as necessary, at least IMHO.
Of course, I did have to buy a dosing funnel (I could have used a yogurt cup with the bottom cut out) because using a doserless grnder likes to spray grounds everywhere.
How is a timer better in deciding the amount of coffee?
This depends. Adjusting an electronic timer can be a little bit of a pain, but it comes in very handy if you are pulling shot after shot and you already know what your dose will be depending on the fineness of the grinds.
Is there some universal flow rate in grinders that would allow you to estimate weight based on time?
Flow rate of coffee depends on the grind fineness. The finer the grind, the slower the flow rate and the less coffee you'll get, so the more time you need to get the same dose. For example, with some beans, my Mazzer grinds 16 grams in about 18 seconds, although, I always usually end up tweaking my timer, almost on a daily basis, to get the right dosage.
Or is it trial and error and once you found that time, you just lock it?
Dialing in grind and dialing in dosage is always by trial and error. Every type and batch of bean is different. Even the age of the bean makes a huge difference. I typically put enough coffee in my hopper to last me about a week. I can split up the same batch and when I take the next batch out of the fridge, let it thaw and grind again, I have to re-adjust grind and dosage all over again.
Garbage In, Garbage Out, for every step of the process. From Beans to grinder, grounds to machine, coffee to cup.
Posted Fri Jun 14, 2013, 7:08pm Subject: Re: A well thought out request for help on getting my first machine and grinder
What is WDT?
I like the idea of the Preciso because I really don't think I will be so sensitive that 1/440th step adjustment will not be enough :)
Now that I understand a bit more about the doser system and the rapid staleness (?) of coffee, I think I would prefer a doserless grinder.
However, doesn't ground coffee remain in a doserless grinder burrs anyway? Or are you supposed to clean the grinder internally every time you grind? That will take more then 30 seconds... wondering whether I should just learn to cherish stale coffee (which I probably do already anyway since I never balked away from yesterday's coffee and mentioned earlier).
Using a doser grinder doesn't mean we're grinding more coffee at a time than we're using. While that's what they were originally designed for, for us it's just a grounds catcher. And many, like me, like the fact that it breaks up clumps and eliminates the need for the WDT. I did the "tape mod" to my doser veins to very nicely clean all the grounds from the doser when I fill the portafilter. The small remnant of grinds in the burr chamber is nothing to fuss about, it's the grounds in the chute coming out of the burr chamber that must be cleared each time regardless of whether you have a doser or not. The idea is to clear them into the shot so you're getting the full dose you weighed, or timed, or whatever. Another option if you keep your hopper full, say on an electronically timed grinder, is to grind a sacrificial bit to clear the shoot before you grind your dose. If you go with the Baratza it isn't really an issue though because the grind retention is so small.
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