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big dan

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About big dan

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    Brighton
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    Magic, skiing
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    IT Service Desk Senior Analyst

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  1. Basically if you unscrew it until it falls apart you will see there is a plastic/rubber ring that acts kind of like a seal. When you screw it back together it will meet this seal but you can keep going to reduce the depth. That is how you adjust it. Although once set i cant see there being much need for adjustments. I am still Tamping but only a gentle one. Glad you are loving the tool same as me! So nice to have consistently good shots. Attached is a shot of my puck post shot, nice good seal around the edges and no signs of channelling!
  2. Hi everyone, been a while since i posted but i went ahead and bought the Motta Coffee Levelling tool and honestly it is the single best thing that has happened to my coffee in ages. My puck is flat and evenly distributed and my shots pour from dead centre of basket in my naked portafilter every time and no more spritzing. I am surprised to see others like DavecUK not getting on with these tools but I believe i may know why some love this and some hate it: I have a fairly standard (cheapish) tamper from HasBean and there is definitely some jiggle room between my tamper and the basket i use. Other high end tampers i have seen seem to fit a bit more flush than mine. Therefore there is a good chance my tamp is not pressing the coffee all the way to the very edges of the basket. I believe this is why i often get spritzing or can see some channelling occurring. By using the levelling tool it seems to spread the coffee from edge to edge and when i inspect the puck post shot it looks to have expanded and almost sealed the edges of the basket. This is different than when i don't use the tool and i can see little holes sometimes at the edges where water has worked it's way through. So for me this tool is brilliant. I had to set the height initially so it was correct for my 17g VST basket. But now it is just a few twists and then a light tamp and i get a brilliant result every time. Will see if i can post some photos later on.
  3. I had some but not the whole starter pack and was good but I also had good results with other green beans too.
  4. Hello all! I too have received my Ikawa Home Roaster and i am very pleased! I will try and post a video review at some point. It works really well, the roasts are easily edited and saved in the app and I have had some delicious beans from it so far. For me this was a steal as i paid £450 for a really nice bit of kit. At £1,250 i think it is out of most people's budget unless they have a lot of spare cash. I can't really compare it to anything else as i haven't owned a roaster before. However if anyone wants to test this i would be happy to run a test by roasting some green beans and then posting to another user with some of the same green beans that they can roast in another roaster for comparison. I really need to learn more about roast profiles, and the curve as at the moment apart from just using the existing suggested recipes i am just stabbing in the dark.
  5. Good shout Coffeejon, or I could try red roasters I guess! Will pop in and ask!
  6. Just an update on this one peeps. After some issues it looks like the home roaster is going to be shipped in January 2017. I will be sure to add some comments and reviews when I receive mine. Looking to see if I can find the same beans roasted and green so I can test the Ikawa against a professional roast. Any suggestions ?
  7. Long time no post. Hope you all are well. I am still an avid coffee lover just not online as much as i used to be! I have been looking for temp controlled kettle for a while but both the Brewista and Bonavita are still selling at nearly a £100. I remember they had a brief time where they were sold a little cheaper but it seems they have not come down in price since release. Aesthetically I also found them a bit bland, not much different than a normal kettle. Whereas things like the Hario Buono are quite striking and iconic. So in steps Diguo! Yes that famous brand you've never heard of So it's a Chinese company that is unknown really over here but the price is a more reasonable £65 and seems to have all of the same features. I was a bit dubious buying from an unknown brand but a few good reviews on Amazon and i decided to take the plunge. Here is my review: Name: Diguo Variable Temperature Digital Electric Gooseneck Kettle Price: £60-£65 Available From: Amazon Looks: Totally subjective i know but this thing really looks great in my opinion: -It has a plug adaptor to convert from Chinese to UK plug but it is not a big plug so no issues there -My unit had all English printed on the buttons (pic shows chinese) which is a real plus -Instruction manual is also in English and very easy to use -Kettle lid just sits on top and has no notch or anything so need to be careful when pouring and use a hand to hold lid on -Comes with what looks like plastic packaging but is actually a waterproof cover for the base that you leave on, all the buttons work by pressing through the plastic. This is a simple but nice touch to keep unit clean and free from water -Surprised how small it is, takes up very little footprint. Makes up to 700ml Usage: This really is a doddle to use. There are 4 custom presets or you can choose your own and it remembers this for the next time you use it. There is a Temperature Hold button which will keep your water at the desired temp for up to an hour if you wish which is great if you are multitasking in the morning! Once you take the kettle from the base there is a Timer button so you can start a timer for your pourer. This simply stops when you place the kettle back on the base. 500w so not the fastest to boil but i usually make less than 400ml at a time which takes a few minutes, but if you wanted to use this as a normal kettle for other kitchen uses this might be a little slow, just worth noting. Reliability/Durability Kettle is nicely made out of metal with a plastic trim at the bottom. The base unit seems to be very sturdy and and the plastic cover serves to keep grinds and water away from the unit. No complaints from me at all, in fact this seems very well made and not some cheap Chinese knock off. Final Comments Absolutely love this thing. I played with brew temps a lot and have found that 85C is my fave which by all accounts is a tad cooler than most experts recommend. However since purchasing this kettle my brews have been absolutely amazing with no bitterness at all and i can actually taste the flavours that the roasters describe their coffee with. Peach/hazelnut with a brown sugar sweetness? yes i can actually kind of taste that now
  8. big dan

    Pact coffee

    hmm interesting. I have just cancelled by PACT subscription but i would not call their marketing aggressive, they are just socially savvy. This is based around a subscription service so you can't buy a single bag from them, but in terms of ease of use they have the best website and system and other roasters could learn a thing or 2 from them. I get an email a few days before each shipment to tell me what they are sending and giving me a chance to cancel or change the coffee they send me. I also get the occasional email when they have a special edition coffee, but other than that nothing else that i would call spam. They are very friendly and have great service. What sets them apart is that you can log into your account and change when you receive your beans, what beans they are going to send you, take a break if you are going on holiday etc. These are really nice options that mean you can have coffee delivered at regular intervals but totally tweak it if you need less or more. The coffee is reasonably good and roasted slightly lighter which i personally like. However the big crux for me was compared to Hasbean and other big names the coffees never really stood out to me. I don't know if it's the roast or the actual beans they are using but i have never had any beans that have WOWed me. I liked fruit and nut espresso for my Rocket but recently i have been drinking pour over methods and felt the coffees weren't delivering in the cup. My recent HasBean bags have all been interesting, not necessarily great but they have matched the flavour descriptions which might not have been to my taste, but at least i can taste them! Overall not bad coffee and only £6.95 a bag including postage is decent value but i have a Hasbean sub that is only £6 a month and a Squaremile sub now too which for me offers a better variety in flavours. One other thing worth noting they used to get the beans roasted by another company (whose name escapes me, James Gourmet maybe?) but they have their own roaster and hired a roaster although she had no prior experience as a roaster. Glen seems very knowledgeable and i imagine as their roaster gets more experienced the quality will only get better.
  9. Will have to give this a try, did some long steeps on the Clever which were pretty good. I would note the following points: - More flavours develop as coffee cools so with a longer extraction so the first taste is always sweeter. With shorter brew lengths I often leave the coffee in the cup for another few minutes to cool down so it is nice and sweet - I just started using an Able Metal disk filter for the AP which has been night and day difference for me. Turned the AP from a bright but very thin bodied coffee into an amazingly clear cup with good body and acidity. - I half way through my night shift and have had AP all week so will start a 30 minute steep now and report back!
  10. I'm 60g/L as well for my coffee ration. I make a small mug so i use 15g for 250ml. I just grind fairly coarse throw it in and add the water, gentle stir at 30 seconds to get rid of any crust and then drawdown after about 3 mins. Interested that some people are adding the coffee on top of the water, but from what i have read that is better for longer extractions. Still enjoying my CCD!
  11. Gotta say my portafilter funnel is still my absolute fave coffee bit of kit i own!! It works like a charm and my counter has hardly any mess on it! And when not in use it just hangs on the adjustment lever on my Mazzer. Love it!
  12. Glasgow Al, what were the symtpoms of the coffee you were getting out the CCD? And what sort of method were you using? I have struggled to make a bad cup with the CCD as it is generally very forgiving! The only thing i can think of is if you grind too fine? As all of the coffee is soaking in water for at least 3 minutes then if you grind too fine too much of the coffee will be extraced from the grinds. I use a pretty coarse grind and would suggest starting at the coarser end and then working back until you find a sweet spot!
  13. Well i have quite a wait until the product is delivered! So i will compile a list of all the requests here so come feb i can refer to it! -Photos and Videos of roaster in action -Cross Section of bean after roasting pic -comparison of bean roasted on Ikawa compared to a commercially roasted bean (hoping to find someone that sells the same been in green and roasted to check!)
  14. I remember one of Matt Perger's earlier V60 methods but his 12g recipe has been removed due to copyright violations (music used i'm guessing). I remember one of his earlier methods being the best i had tried. For me though i wanted a way to understand why some methods work and others don't and how to keep a consistent taste when making smaller or larger amounts. Primarily at the weekend when i want a nice jug of coffee over a single mug! Water temp - Very unscientific, but i usually let the kettle settle down for 30 seconds after boiling, then transfer to the buono pouring kettle. Then i get everything ready so i'm guessing about 90 seconds off the boil before i pour. I like to enjoy the taste of the coffee as it cools. Agree with the ceramic posts as well, holds the heat better, but i cannot comment on taste as i don't own one! Photos/Video to follow. Glad this can be of some use to people! For those intrigued by Mat Perger's method i did find a working link HERE
  15. I am super stoked that I have now found a consistent method to make a great V60 so I thought I would write this post. A lot of us get seduced into the art of Espresso and are told in the beginning that is a lot cheaper to make coffee with a pour over method. This usually involves a few attempts at a V60 or similar and the results seem to be varied and with a lot of bitter or under/over extracted cups. We then go back to the espresso and get upgraditus and with regimented processes and ratios manage to get close to that god shot. I have moved back to brewed coffee as sometimes I want a longer drink, like a nice lazy Sunday morning coffee. So I started to apply my knowledge of espresso brewing to pour over coffee. I do not claim to be an expert or know all the technical details but I have managed over the last month to have consistently brilliant brews from my V60 and I’m hoping to pass the knowledge on! Pour over coffee seems to be more art than science, pour slowly, pour in concentric circles, try and get the slurry to spin at the end, don’t over agitate. Wait 30 seconds between pours, put a divot in the coffee grounds, the list goes on and on! So I applied the rules of espresso. Essentially there are: Water with the correct mineral content and temperature is forced through a certain weight of coffee ground to a specific size at 9 bar pressure for a set amount of time to produce a certain volume/weight in the resulting cup. Well pour over techniques have most of this. We can use filtered water that has been boiled and then cooled to the right temperature, we can grind the coffee to the right coarseness and we can use the standard brew ratio of 60g of coffee per 1 litre of water. We can weigh the water going in and the output in the cup. BUT there is one thing missing, the pressure of the water. We obviously don’t force the water through with a pump like an espresso but I found something interesting from my investigations. If you make a single cup (200ml) in a V60 Size 2 the way the cone is shaped it is difficult to extract evenly. This is because the bed of coffee is not deep enough so when you pour the water in it punches a whole in the middle and pushes the grinds to the side. The water flows through too quickly and you are left with grinds “high and dry” on the filter paper. You can try multiple pouring techniques but I found these inconsistent. So how do we know what the right size of grounds is compare to the size of the cone? Well by trial and error I have found this: The V60 works best if you make double the volume of the cone. For example the Size 1 holds about 125ml when full and the size 2 holds about 200ml. This means that the Size 1 works best to make 250ml and the size 2 to make 400ml. This is because you have a larger bed of coffee you can control the extraction more evenly. Essentially you are doing 2 fills of the cone but rather than split it into 2 separate pours you will do one long pour that keeps the cone filled about 2/3 for most of the brew allowing the coffee to extract more evenly. So here is the method: Tools: Kettle, Scales, Pouring Kettle, V60 Size 1, bleached white Hario filters size 1, grinder Use 60g/L for your coffee ratio and divide the amount of coffee you wish to produce by 2 to get which V60 size to use. So I want to make a 250ml mug of coffle. That’s a ¼ of a litre so I will use 15g of medium course ground coffee. 250ml/2=125ml which is exactly the volume of the size 1 V60. I place my pouring kettle onto the scales and tare them. Once the kettle has boiled I pour in 250ml of water into the pouring kettle using the liquid weight setting on my scales. I grind the coffee medium course and rinse out the filter and then add the coffee making sure the grounds are level. I pour just enough water to wet the coffee and let it bloom for 30 seconds. I then do a long slow pour of the remaining water moving in concentric circles. I tend to keep my arms still and rock gently on my heels to effect this. If there are any grounds that are floating on the surface I try and paint over them with the water to make sure all the grounds are wet and lightly agitated. This pour should last about 45-60 seconds. The coffee may continue to bloom a little but the main thing here is that as water is flowing through to the cup you are topping it up so for about a minute and a half all of the grounds are wet and the cone 2/3s full. Only once you have finished pouring will any grounds be left “high and dry” and these will only be for about 20 seconds or so as the final water drips through to the cup. Total brew time is around 2 minutes, but this can vary depending on your grind size. Every coffee I have made with this method has been excellent, no bitterness or under/over extraction. You can play with the grinds but I would suggest going courser and then slowly getting finer until you hit your sweet spot. Equipment Required for under £50 (note I have not included links as there are many sources you can get these from including the site sponsors) You can get more expensive equipment but if you are on a budget then this would do fine! V60 Size 1 in plastic - £5 Size 1 Filter Papers - £2 Tiamo Gooseneck Pouring kettle - £17 Hand grinder (Rhino, Hario etc) =- £22 and up Scales (you probably already have some, if not add another £10+) Total: £46 and add a bag of beans and for £50 you are ready to rock your tongue with some amazing tasting coffee! For those of you that have your own methods and are happy with them this is not meant to change your mind! But I wish I had known some of these things when I started out with my V60. I now have 2 rock solid ratios that allow me to always get a good coffee. “60g/L of coffee” and “V60 Size = 1/2 the amount of coffee I want to make” Please feel free to comment or ask any questions or just tell me I’m wrong! A lot of study and experimentation has gone into this. Will make a video of this as well so it all makes sense!
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