HomeRoast Digest


Topic: Tamping Technique Poll (19 msgs / 501 lines)
1) From: Jeremy DeFranco
In the spirit of Kevin's brew method post, I would like to create a separate
poll regarding preffered tamping method. After using a modified version of
Schomer's method for the last month (prolonged dosing in order to compensate
for clumping of Rocky Doserless), I still am getting some side channeling.
That is, the circumference of the bottomless portafilter begins releasing
espresso slightly before the center of the portafileter does. I have come to
find out that there are many methods one can use to counteract this, and in
fact, the Nutating method has seemed to work great so far. I have yet to try
other methods, and I have no doubt that each will work. I know that in the
end, it doesn't matter what technique one uses, so long as it works, but I
am curious what tamping technique each person is using as his or her
standard? Please note: I am not asking how to combat side channeling, rather
I am only interested in knowing what technique each person is using. Thank
you in advance for your responses : ) Cheers!

2) From: Brett Mason
Hi Jeremy,
Here's my method - taken from some research on alt.coffee and the
forums on coffeegeek.com...
Here's my process:
  1. pull a few oz. water thru my portafilter to even out the temp in
the HX machine
  2. dry off the PF with a paper towel, so as not to mess with the
heat of the PF
  3. pull a shot of grounds from the doserless rocky into the PF
  4. distribute the grounds evenly using the disecting needle approach
(see link)
       http://www.coffeegeek.com/forums/espresso/machines/194636#194636  5. generously swipe to level the grounds
  6. THORTamp FLAT with slight NESW
  7. lightly turn the tamper to just brush-polish the surface
  8. load PF into machine and pull a 25 second shot
  9. wipe Tamper bottom clean with paper towel
 10. finish preparing coffee drink
 11. knock puck into FOLGERS Knock Box
 12. replace PF, pull another few oz
 13. pull and clean pf with paper towel
 14. clean grouphead with paper towel
 15. clean gasket with brush
 16. wipe up any aditional mess or drops with paper towel
I know that's a lot of steps - it goes real quickly though.  Point for
this thread is I use a paper towel to clean the tamper after every
shot.
For the dissecting needle in step 4, I used a 6" dowel, sank a
finishing nail into the end, and then removed the nib with my dremel
tool.  The funnel is a yogurt container with the bottom removed by
dremel as well...
For the Folgers knock box, I made my own with a vintage folgers can...
 May be offering these at some point for espresso consumption...
Regards,
Brett
On 1/8/07, Jeremy DeFranco  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Cheers,
Bretthttp://homeroast.freeservers.com

3) From:
<Snip>
Jeremy:
I think you hit the nail on the head. I have never tried any specific tamping method.
My shots come out great. I do use a convex tamper half of the time and I swear it makes a difference. Why then do I not use it all of the time? Just like tamping with both.
I am left handed though I tamp right handed. I have never tested the the amount of pounds of pressure used, I simply go by feel. Initally it was clear I was using too much pressure so I cut it back and finally got it right for me.
Good questionJeremy.
ginny
---- Jeremy DeFranco  wrote: 
<Snip>

4) From: Sherry Hausner
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Jeremy,
I have a stepless Macap grinder with the doser. So I grind my coffee and =
then run my water through my Anita to get it to temperature. Wipe my PF =
dry and load it with the coffee. I then use one of those skewers(large =
toothpick) to distribute the coffee evenly. I kind of tamp it on the =
counter to make it even too. I have an Espro tamper that clicks when you =
reach 30lbs and give it a little polishing twist and then load it into =
the group head for a 25 sec pull.
Sherry

5) From: Paul Jolly
Add me to those who are using the dissecting needle approach (for now).  I don't do the NSEW, as I tend to shift the tamper when I do that & mess up the tamp.  Rather, I try to straightarm the tamper at 30-40 pounds.  Twist at end to polish the top of the puck.
   
  Paul
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6) From: Les
I follow a similar technique as Bret, but after my grounds are swiped and
even I gently, yes gently tap the PF on the counter two or three times to
settle the grounds before tamping.  Following the polish I carefully turn
the PF upside down so any loose grounds fall out. (I learned this important
step from Chris Tacy)  I then check the rim to make sure there isn't a speck
of coffee on it before loading and locking into the espresso machine.
Les
On 1/8/07, Paul Jolly  wrote:
<Snip>

7) From:
Paul:
How do you know how many pounds you press?
thanks,
ginny
---- Paul Jolly  wrote: 
<Snip>

8) From: miKe mcKoffee
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
If you downward tap before leveling swipe you'll get more of an over dose,
just depends on what you're trying to attain of course. Also I rim check but
before PF upside-down (just in case I accidentally brush some rim grinds
onto the puck), though my upside-down move has changed to a 360 "twirl" of
the PF to add some flare. (watched too may barista competitions:-) Though
that PF twirl does have a bit of a tendency to let the loose grinds land a
bit wider dispersal pattern!
 
I'll not get into my specific PF building technique (again). Here's a thread
on HB dealing specifically with dose & tamp techniques. http://www.home-barista.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t41 
Vicki, I haven't forgetton your request to video my PF build. One of these
days! Right now I'm on the tail end of a cold that's kicking  my butt....
Kona Konnaisseur miKe mcKoffee 
URL to Rosto mods, FrankenFormer, some recipes etc: http://mdmint.home.comcast.net/coffee/Rosto_mod.htm
Ultimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I must
first not know. And in knowing know I know not. Each Personal enlightenment
found exploring the many divergent foot steps of Those who have gone before.  
From: homeroast-admin
[mailto:homeroast-admin] On Behalf Of Les
Sent: Monday, January 08, 2007 3:57 PM
I follow a similar technique as Bret, but after my grounds are swiped and
even I gently, yes gently tap the PF on the counter two or three times to
settle the grounds before tamping.  Following the polish I carefully turn
the PF upside down so any loose grounds fall out. (I learned this important
step from Chris Tacy)  I then check the rim to make sure there isn't a speck
of coffee on it before loading and locking into the espresso machine. 
 
Les

9) From: Angelo
There are those who would say that tapping the PF allows the finer 
grinds to sink to the bottom of the basket.. I don't remember what 
effect they said this would produce, though...
Ya just can't win :-)
A
<Snip>

10) From: Brett Mason
Run the risk - pull your own shots...
Improve....
Such is the essence of winning!
Brett
On 1/8/07, Angelo  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Cheers,
Bretthttp://homeroast.freeservers.com

11) From: miKe mcKoffee
Haven't heard that one but who knows. I do know that Billy and his staff =
do
use the downward PF tap to settle grounds mid-way through fill technique =
at
his Albina Press Café. (Current SCAA NW Barista Champion) I tend to =
rely
more on those who prove through their performance in the cup than those =
who
speculate:-)
miKe
<Snip>

12) From:
<Snip>
that's what I say Brett and if you need white  circles call Wallgreens!!
ginny
---- Brett Mason  wrote: 
<Snip>

13) From: Vicki Smith
Thanks miKe, I'm looking forward to it. I just spoke to my brother. He 
has all my new gear and should be sending it on to me at the end of the 
week. I am sooo excited. The Bezerra will be my first *real* espresso 
machine, and I can't wait to see if the Rocky improves my brewed coffee 
(KMB) as well as working for the Bezerra.
I haven't quite figured out where it will all go, but it's a nice 
problem to have.
Feel better..
vicki (who figured out a good enough wind screen setup to be able to 
smoke a pork shoulder in the Bradley with 80 kph gusts today--oh yum)
miKe mcKoffee wrote:
<Snip>

14) From: Justin Schwarz
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One technique no no I have been informed about is knocking the side  
of your PF with tamper.  I have seen some baristas do this, and you  
can actually knock cracks in your puck that affect infusion of your  
shot.
Have fun!
Justin Schwarz
houstini
If there is anything worth doing, it's worth doing right.
save $100/month for the next year, HX for Christmas 2007
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One technique no no I have been =
informed about is knocking the side of your PF with tamper.  I have =
seen some baristas do this, and you can actually knock cracks in your =
puck that affect infusion of your shot.  
Have = fun! Justin = Schwarzhoustini
If there is anything worth = doing, it's worth doing right.save $100/month for the next = year, HX for Christmas 2007
= = --Apple-Mail-1-1039163161--

15) From: Scot Murphy
On Jan 8, 2007, at 10:16 PM, Vicki Smith wrote:
<Snip>
Wait--I must have missed something. You smoke a pork shoulder in one  
of these??http://i37.photobucket.com/albums/e91/deppitybob/brad8.jpgScot "now THAT'S versatile" Murphy
---
"You were sick, but now you're well again, and there's work to do."
                           --Kilgore Trout

16) From: jim gundlach
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I have been schooled in tamping by this list and Les has been one of  
my most trusted sources of information.  I generally follow this  
technique but I use a small natural bristle brush with a unpainted  
wood handle as a tool.  I use it to tap the side of the portafilter  
to settle the grinds in.  I use the handle to swipe the top.  And, I  
use the bristle end to brush off any extra grinds, especally on the  
rim, after I tip out any loose grounds.  Also, I never tap the side  
of the portafilter with the tamper.
     Pecan Jim
On Jan 8, 2007, at 5:57 PM, Les wrote:
<Snip>
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I have been schooled in tamping =
by this list and Les has been one of my most trusted sources of =
information.  I generally follow this technique but I use a small =
natural bristle brush with a unpainted wood handle as a tool.  I use =
it to tap the side of the portafilter to settle the grinds in.  I use =
the handle to swipe the top.  And, I use the bristle end to brush off =
any extra grinds, especally on the rim, after I tip out any loose =
grounds.  Also, I never tap the side of the portafilter with the =
tamper.    Pecan Jim
On Jan 8, 2007, =
at 5:57 PM, Les wrote:
I = follow a similar technique as Bret, but after my grounds are swiped and = even I gently, yes gently tap the PF on the counter two or three times = to settle the grounds before tamping.  Following the polish I = carefully turn the PF upside down so any loose grounds fall out. (I = learned this important step from Chris Tacy)  I then check the rim to = make sure there isn't a speck of coffee on it before loading and locking = into the espresso machine.   Les  = On 1/8/07, Paul Jolly <pauljolly65> = wrote: Add = me to those who are using the dissecting needle approach (for now).  I = don't do the NSEW, as I tend to shift the tamper when I do that & = mess up the tamp.  Rather, I try to straightarm the tamper at 30-40 = pounds.  Twist at end to polish the top of the puck.   Paul

Do = You Yahoo!? Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection = around =http://mail.yahoo.com=

= --Apple-Mail-1-1063656243--

17) From: Brian Kamnetz
On 1/9/07, jim gundlach  wrote:
<Snip>
I use paint brushes too, for anything having to do with dry grounds. The key
is NATURAL bristle; the artificial bristle brushes I've used don't clean
very well.
Brian

18) From: Sandy Andina
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I tap gently on the rim--and I've seen Jeff at Metropolis use his  
finger to tap gently, just once.
On Jan 9, 2007, at 1:42 AM, Justin Schwarz wrote:
<Snip>
Sandy Andina
www.sandyandina.com
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I tap gently on the rim--and =
I've seen Jeff at Metropolis use his finger to tap gently, just =
once.
On Jan 9, 2007, at 1:42 AM, Justin Schwarz =
wrote:
One technique no no I have been informed about is knocking = the side of your PF with tamper.  I have seen some baristas do this, = and you can actually knock cracks in your puck that affect infusion of = your shot.  
Have= fun! Justin = Schwarzhoustini
If there is anything worth = doing, it's worth doing right.save $100/month for the next = year, HX for Christmas 2007
= Sandy = Andinawww.sandyandina.com = --Apple-Mail-27--1052294661--

19) From: Ed Needham
Fingers.
*********************
Ed Needham®
"to absurdity and beyond!"http://www.homeroaster.com(include [FRIEND] in subject line to get through my SPAM filters)
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