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VST Baskets and side-channeling
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JimmiCliff
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Joined: 29 May 2012
Posts: 11
Location: Toronto
Expertise: Pro Barista

Posted Wed Jun 20, 2012, 10:40am
Subject: VST Baskets and side-channeling
 

So i've been having some issues with side-channeling or rim-channeling - not sure what the proper term is - basically, when I look at the puck after a shot, there's generally a collection of holes (3 to 10) around the edge. During extraction, there's sometimes early blonding around the outside edge of the basket.

I'm using 20 gram VST baskets, dosing 19.5 to 20.5 grams from a k30, leveling with some curved plastic, getting extractions within normal time/weight values, tamping with a 58.4mm flat base.

Thoughts?
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fox2000
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fox2000
Joined: 18 May 2012
Posts: 46
Location: WA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Isomac Millenium I
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Posted Wed Jun 20, 2012, 1:31pm
Subject: Re: VST Baskets and side-channeling
 

I unfortunately can't help you with this because I am having a similar problem with my setup. I can't figure it out it happens almost everytime. I hope one of the gurus can help us both.
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TheSunInsideYou
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TheSunInsideYou
Joined: 16 Feb 2012
Posts: 206
Location: NJ and NYC
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Breville BES900XL
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Drip: Hario V60, Chemex
Posted Wed Jun 20, 2012, 4:19pm
Subject: Re: VST Baskets and side-channeling
 

I'm certainly no guru, but I've found that sealing the edge is rather important with the VST (which was pointed out to me by someone on CG). I've remedied it by using a bit of nutating motion. Since integrating that in, I really haven't gotten any side channeling.

Hope it helped!

-Dave-
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JimmiCliff
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Joined: 29 May 2012
Posts: 11
Location: Toronto
Expertise: Pro Barista

Posted Wed Jun 20, 2012, 5:47pm
Subject: Re: VST Baskets and side-channeling
 

I haven't tried actually nutating, but when I've been distributing with the plastic I've gone so far as to make exaggerated pushes out towards the edge of the basket, to the point of almost losing coffee over the edge, to make sure that there's a good amount of grounds out there. But I'll try nutating tomorrow.
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diggi
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diggi
Joined: 28 Nov 2011
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Posted Wed Jun 20, 2012, 7:12pm
Subject: Re: VST Baskets and side-channeling
 

TheSunInsideYou Said:

.... a bit of nutating motion.

Posted June 20, 2012 link

+1 on nutating. Plus, it is a fantabulous word.
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JimmiCliff
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Joined: 29 May 2012
Posts: 11
Location: Toronto
Expertise: Pro Barista

Posted Thu Jun 21, 2012, 1:01pm
Subject: Re: VST Baskets and side-channeling
 

Thanks Dave, I tried that out and it helped. There were still some side channels occasionally, but it was definitely better.
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fox2000
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fox2000
Joined: 18 May 2012
Posts: 46
Location: WA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Isomac Millenium I
Grinder: Mazzer S.J. Auto & MDX
Posted Fri Jun 22, 2012, 3:02pm
Subject: Re: VST Baskets and side-channeling
 

I have been nutating I am sure my technique is lacking as I am still new to this but I am also wondering if grind settings could be the problem? I am struggling with proper extractions I can get the time right and the taste good sometimes but even when I get those right I still get some channeling often side channeling. I am using a super jolly and a millenium so I doubt its equipment failure I am using 7day roasted paladino blend. I know I am making this all way to complicated but.... I am using WDT (partially) to break up clumps and spread, 17.7 dose, 200-202 f , and also the nutating motion after I spread the grounds using the stockfleth move attempting to make the sides more dense. Then I slide the convex tamper down the sides lightly to push grinds down and avoid tapping. I lay the tamper with no pressure in the basket to check evenness if its not even I gently push to even then I tamp 30-35lbs. The puck doesn't touch the screen prior to extraction but after I can see a slight indent of the screen in the middle of the puck. After all of that work I almost always get a little pin hole channeling and maybe 70% have side channeling? Any advice would be much appreciated.
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fwtechwiz
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Joined: 19 Feb 2010
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Posted Sat Jun 23, 2012, 3:09am
Subject: Re: VST Baskets and side-channeling
 

I've found with nutation, it's practice, practice, practice...  Don't have any experience with the VST baskets, but I would assume since the VST is prone to edge channelling, the nutation move would need to be pretty extreme.  Try maintaining at least a 30 degree slant on the tamper while nutating, rotating three or four times around.  Lift the tamper, check the edge, you should see an upward curve.  Ideally the tamper should be very close to almost touching the sides, if it's too small you will need to do a N-S-E-W tamp to get the edges tamped down.  Otherwise, one strong tamp, straight down should do it.
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fox2000
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fox2000
Joined: 18 May 2012
Posts: 46
Location: WA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Isomac Millenium I
Grinder: Mazzer S.J. Auto & MDX
Posted Sat Jun 23, 2012, 1:54pm
Subject: Re: VST Baskets and side-channeling
 

OK so I tried the nutating basically on its own with a quick clump break up because I had 1 large clump and a non pressured level. Low and behold I had my first drinkable shot in a while. Its funny when I first got all my gear I would get some pin holes and some side channeling but the shots would still be good. In hopes of fixing those small issues I created a ridiculously long routine that gave me horrible shots. I have come to the conclusion that using several distribution/ leveling techniques actually does more harm than good. Thank you for your help (reality check) :)
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TheSunInsideYou
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TheSunInsideYou
Joined: 16 Feb 2012
Posts: 206
Location: NJ and NYC
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Breville BES900XL
Grinder: Laranzato HC-600, OE LIDO,...
Vac Pot: Yama 3
Drip: Hario V60, Chemex
Posted Sat Jun 23, 2012, 2:16pm
Subject: Re: VST Baskets and side-channeling
 

Awesome! I'm glad it worked out for you! Happy to help.

-Dave-
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