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Regrinding coffee for espresso / brewed


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My thinking would be that is you pick the coarseness right, this will mimic two grinders stacked on top of each other and give you a larger effective grind area (so a 60mm burr becomes 120mm). But I can also speculate why that might not work in practice. (gravity feed is totally different)
Very keen to hear other stories. And also any practical explanation of why this is a bad idea would be useful. This is a forum full of curious enthusiasts! If you have info please share it.


Yes I was following similar logic, I already played with the idea of stacking two conical burrsets on top of each other, but decided it's not worth pursuing (and it's bloody expensive).

I think if you go coarse enough at the start, then the second grind shouldn't have any issues ie. you won't clog up your burrset and overload the motor.

The setting I'm using for espresso on the second grind is actually very close to what I was using when experimenting with single bean dosing, so I kind of have a feeling that spoon feeding the coarse grind produces less fines overall.
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Niche, I don't think there's much difference between conical grinders with bearing support.
There may be the odd one that does something weird but Niche is comparable to Kinu, Feldgrind, Lido E & the electric flat burr Wilfa.
Size is different, cut might be different. I find the 71mm conical burrset terrible for brewed, perfectly fine for espresso though.
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Just now, dsc said:

Size is different, cut might be different. I find the 71mm conical burrset terrible for brewed, perfectly fine for espresso though.

Any idea why/in what way?

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Wasn't this also to take account of the motor (less stress)? There isn't any evidence the Versalab does anything single burr grinders do.
You can grind straight into a portafilter and pull a reasonable shot, I don't think this would work on any other single dosed gravity fed grinder (I've only tried it on a flat Major and it was terrible without premixing grinds).
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Any idea why/in what way?
It might be just me, but I always assumed it's all over the place particle wise at coarser settings. It just seems to chuck out loads of dust and boulders at the same time and stalls brews (ie. I'm at 19% EY and don't want to go finer as the taste is already silty). Even for espresso it's very hard to force it to make anything above 19% EY spro and I think this was always a fact for conics.
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42 minutes ago, dsc said:
47 minutes ago, MWJB said:
Wasn't this also to take account of the motor (less stress)? There isn't any evidence the Versalab does anything single burr grinders do.

You can grind straight into a portafilter and pull a reasonable shot, I don't think this would work on any other single dosed gravity fed grinder (I've only tried it on a flat Major and it was terrible without premixing grinds).

Doesn't the versalab have a little stirrer? Were they compared at the same time/recipe/equivalent grind? It just sounds like anecdotal comment with a tiny sample. If there was something inherant in grind quality, surely it would be known by now?

I sifted 2 lots of grinds, one ground at 86.5, (63% between 600 &1180um) the other preground at 173, reground at 86.5 (66% between 600 & 1180um). The shift is mostly due to slightly less over 1180um (12% vs 16%), but a difference of 3% between the 2 sieves isn't enough to point to anything significantly different in this case.

 

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It has a wiper for the funnel. Have you played a lot with single dosed grinders and pulling shots grinding straight to a basket, tamping and pulling shots? It is really easier to experience this than to explain.

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3 minutes ago, dsc said:
54 minutes ago, MWJB said:
Any idea why/in what way?

It might be just me, but I always assumed it's all over the place particle wise at coarser settings. It just seems to chuck out loads of dust and boulders at the same time and stalls brews (ie. I'm at 19% EY and don't want to go finer as the taste is already silty). Even for espresso it's very hard to force it to make anything above 19% EY spro and I think this was always a fact for conics.

You can average 19% with a Feld or a LidoE for espresso. These single digit limits/targets are difficult to take seriously, if you hit 18% with a Brazil you can likely exceed 20% easily with a Kenyan.

I have no idea what folk mean when their V60s "stall", other than they are obviously grinding too fine. I can't recall stalling one, unless a first attempt at bonkers fine grind & easily fixed.

Hario V60 feldgrind av 20.5% over 10 brews, same grind setting, different origin for each brew.

Repeat test of above av. 19.9%

Test as above LidoE av. 20.5%

Test as above Zass Panama av. 19.9%

Test as above with Rhino av.19.9%

Test as above with a Swan blade grinder av. 19.4%, hit 20.2% with a Kenyan.

The blade grinder & the Rhino had the smallest std.devs in EY (but honestly that could have been due to the coffees used over that 10 brews having closer solubility). Looking at 146x V60 brews, with these grinders & more, the average is 20.2% with a std.dev of 0.9%EY.

The Rhino & the Swan can only land around 50% between 600 & 1180um. So, without some tangible info it's hard to understand why 71mm conicals can't at least match a £50 grinder in terms of grind quality. Grinding coarser will reduce silt, but you may have to slow the pour.

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25 minutes ago, dsc said:

It has a wiper for the funnel. Have you played a lot with single dosed grinders and pulling shots grinding straight to a basket, tamping and pulling shots? It is really easier to experience this than to explain.

The grinds exit the flat burr 2nd stage at the outer edge, where the wiper is...OK so it might not come into contact with every particle, but it couldn't be better placed to do so?

I don't grind straight into PF, it's easier to check & correct dose weight by grinding into a cup/pot & transferring to PF. 

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You can average 19% with a Feld or a LidoE for espresso. These single digit limits/targets are difficult to take seriously, if you hit 18% with a Brazil you can likely exceed 20% easily with a Kenyan.
I have no idea what folk mean when their V60s "stall", other than they are obviously grinding too fine. I can't recall stalling one, unless a first attempt at bonkers fine grind & easily fixed.
Hario V60 feldgrind av 20.5% over 10 brews, same grind setting, different origin for each brew.
Repeat test of above av. 19.9%
Test as above LidoE av. 20.5%
Test as above Zass Panama av. 19.9%
Test as above with Rhino av.19.9%
Test as above with a Swan blade grinder av. 19.4%, hit 20.2% with a Kenyan.
The blade grinder & the Rhino had the smallest std.devs in EY (but honestly that could have been due to the coffees used over that 10 brews having closer solubility). Looking at 146x V60 brews, with these grinders & more, the average is 20.2% with a std.dev of 0.9%EY.
The Rhino & the Swan can only land around 50% between 600 & 1180um. So, without some tangible info it's hard to understand why 71mm conicals can't at least match a £50 grinder in terms of grind quality. Grinding coarser will reduce silt, but you may have to slow the pour.
Perhaps it's personal preference but I just don't like brewed coffee from the 71mm conical, may as well be my technique but I've tried a Commandante a few times at a friends house and that was definitely much better in terms of taste and clarity. On the other hand, how many brew bars have you see with a range of conical grinders? I have only ever seen them used for espresso and heard many times that the highest you can push them even in that arrangement is 19%, anything above that tastes bad.

As for why can't a larger burr achieve the same thing as a smaller hand grinder - different cut, geometry and being designed to deliver a certain particle distribution profile. Just because it's conical doesn't mean that it has to perform the same way. Similar to this you have EKs, people love them for brewed but some don't think they are that great for espresso.

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I don't grind straight into PF, it's easier to check & correct dose weight by grinding into a cup/pot & transferring to PF. 


So you don't single dose? I assumed you single dose on a Niche which has close to zero retention, so why the need for correcting dose?

If you do single dose, try grinding directly to basket, tamping and pulling a shot on a naked PF.
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3 minutes ago, dsc said:

So you don't single dose? I assumed you single dose on a Niche which has close to zero retention, so why the need for correcting dose?

If you do single dose, try grinding directly to basket, tamping and pulling a shot on a naked PF.

 

I single dose, but not direct  into the basket. I brew at home, I on't need to crank out a hundred cups a day, so making 2 or 3, I can take a few seconds each to make them repeatable.

I will never use a naked PF.

Edited by MWJB
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6 minutes ago, dsc said:

... and heard many times that the highest you can push them even in that arrangement is 19%, anything above that tastes bad.

As for why can't a larger burr achieve the same thing as a smaller hand grinder - different cut, geometry and being designed to deliver a certain particle distribution profile. Just because it's conical doesn't mean that it has to perform the same way. Similar to this you have EKs, people love them for brewed but some don't think they are that great for espresso.
 

Anyone who told you conicals & 19%+ brews taste bad isn't worth listening to. 

What is the "certain distribution profile"? If it's tighter than a good conical then it must be on par with large flats(like Forte/Vario/EK-43/OE Apex), if it is less tight than a Porlex, the designer/builder was either totally incompetent, or deliberately aiming for a factor other than tight distribution (speed maybe, loading?). The distribution can only be different in a fairly limited number of ways (wider vs tighter, peak biased nearer/farther from upper tail).

The high extractions with EKs are typically with espresso, not with brewed (and definitely not with immersions according to comments from Rao & Kaminsky).

You're throwing so many vague concepts about, based on a single unknown/speculative factor (whilst ignoring much more relevant factors, like grind size, origin & pour rate), I'm surprised you aren't attributing qualities to grinder colour too :-).

 

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I'm talking large conics, not all conics. The 19% comments are coming from people who used them in cafes and are mostly from ages ago (and were for espresso not brewed). Where are all those large conics now if they are so outstanding? Especially for brewed.

Imho you are comparing apples to oranges clashing small hand grinders with large conicals. How many large commercial grinders have you experimented with and compared to hand grinders? How many brewed coffees have you tried from 71mm conicals? How many 19%+ EY coffees from 71mm conicals have you tasted that you are so damn sure they taste absolutely fantastic?

As for EKs I was refering to how some people dislike spros from those and yet those grinders do well for brewed. I was not refering to EYs and how well EKs do for both brewing methods.

I'm not throwing statements around, you are just not reading my posts carefully enough.

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1 minute ago, dsc said:

I'm talking large conics, not all conics. The 19% comments are coming from people who used them in cafes and are mostly from ages ago (and were for espresso not brewed). Where are all those large conics now if they are so outstanding? Especially for brewed.

Imho you are comparing apples to oranges clashing small hand grinders with large conicals. How many large commercial grinders have you experimented with and compared to hand grinders? How many brewed coffees have you tried from 71mm conicals? How many 19%+ EY coffees from 71mm conicals have you tasted that you are so damn sure they taste absolutely fantastic?

As for EKs I was refering to how some people dislike spros from those and yet those grinders do well for brewed. I was not refering to EYs and how well EKs do for both brewing methods.

I'm not throwing statements around, you are just not reading my posts carefully enough.

I'm not sure that 71mm make brewed coffee that tastes "absolutely fantastic", I'm trying to understand why they seemingly cannot make a representative cup (when the range of 'useful' is fairly massive) & you're not helping in any way. Maybe you're right & if you are, there is an identifiable, repeatable & predictable reason why.

You are using phrases like "outstanding" & "fantastic" in response to your own observations that 71mm conicals are seemingly under performing compared to 'normal'. Is that the only range of options we have? No typical performance with a level of variance? A few excellent, a few poor/unnecessarily labour intensive, most certainly adequate/useable?

I read your posts very carefully. You are using known units as datums, but in open ended scenarios, with little context.

You're asking people to do homework for you (& I'd be keen to see what others find), some level of meaningful discussion would be nice, I've spent about an hour on this today.

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You're asking people to do homework for you (& I'd be keen to see what others find), some level of meaningful discussion would be nice, I've spent about an hour on this today.


I'm not asking anyone to do anything, I'm only sharing what I've found kind of by mistake (someone from HB suggested stacking different grind size layers in a basket to get 25% EY extractions and for some reason I remembered it as regrinding coffee). It might make your coffee better or worse, I've got no idea as I haven't done enough testing with this. Even if it turns out to make my cup better, doesn't mean everyone is going to like it as the resulting cup might have characteristics which are not great for others. If someone tries this and it helps them or they learn something then great.
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2 hours ago, mfsl said:

I'm curious why?

Because they seem to hinder folk more than help, people seem more worried about what their pours look like (which is  up to them & if they get pleasure from that, fine), I don't care if my pours aren't pretty as long as they taste good.

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30 minutes ago, MWJB said:

Because they seem to hinder folk more than help, people seem more worried about what their pours look like (which is  up to them & if they get pleasure from that, fine), I don't care if my pours aren't pretty as long as they taste good.

 That's right, well said!

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