Jump to content
IGNORED

Distribution tools


Recommended Posts

7 minutes ago, TakisMastro said:

Hi, new user and first post here! 

Just wondering is there any difference in functionality between different distribution tools? Is it just that the more expensive ones have a more premium feel or are they actually better at distribution of grounds?

I’m not sure any of them do much more than dress the surface of the puck .

live had a few knocks offs wedges , ocds etc and they are seem to do the same thing , when people have actually measured EY with them them have come out reduceing the extraction yield of shots . They are no a magic bullet to perfect pours rethought 

My mini whisk cuts into doings that does wdt and a few taps suits me . 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, Mrboots2u said:

I’m not sure any of them do much more than dress the surface of the puck.

Completely agree. On the face of it, it is hard to imagine how a "distribution" tool can genuinely distribute anything given their form factor.  Didn't DaveUK undertake a small experiment with baking powder or some such placed on the top of the grinds to show how minimal the impact of a tool was? Personally I use a Motta levelling tool (which looks pretty much identical to products calling themselves distribution tools) to make sure my puck surface is absolutely, um, level prior to final tamping.  I used to use wdt prior to using the Motta but I am a convert to dosing cups and find the consistency of my shots has improved beyond all measure since I started using mine. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sprometheus did a test with theft free ocd 2 he got and used a refractometer , came to the conclusion that it lowered the EY using it but that that was ok as , the shots with the OCD taster better , which is fine , but after having preached chasing higher extraction yields as a goal until he got a free ocd , I smiled a bit .

 It if they help a user deliver a consistent drink they enjoy then this is a good thing 

toolsmlike a wedge or ocd etc for me are a bit of a security blanket , when used you can stop tamping as a second step. They give you a nice visual groomed puck , people like visual clues in coffee a lot....would I ever spend £200 on a Pullman or st Anthony wedge , nope ,

why do they cost so much , premium materials , intellectual prosperity , profit margin , where and how they are made , branding etc etc .

Edited by Mrboots2u
Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, Philip HN said:

Didn't DaveUK undertake a small experiment with baking powder or some such placed on the top of the grinds to show how minimal the impact of a tool was?

That was the vibration tool, the baking powder showed that one worked quite well. He did a video about a cheap distribution tool from China (£13) and said it was good. A video below shows them working in a clear basket. As Mrboot2U says they give a nice groomed puck before using a tamper which makes tamping easier/better.

I use one as a security blanket, as it helps consistency and because so many baristas do. Someone more experienced/better at tamping may not feel the need.

 

Edited by CocoLoco
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a Motta levelling tool that came with a used Classic I bought. I was going to sell it but gave it a go and it seems to have definitely reduced the frequency of  channeling in my shots. This combined with a good stir with a wooden skewer in a dosing cup (JX Pro grounds cup) and my shots are better than they have ever been.

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
36 minutes ago, Mrboots2u said:

They give you a nice visual groomed puck , people like visual clues in coffee

I reckon that's why I use mine. Just makes it level on top and mentally easier to obtain a level tamp.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, Mrboots2u said:

Is that you video any which tools are they please

Do you mean is that me? No, it's just a video I saw when I was looking at getting a tool. That tool is the BT Wedge from Saint Anthony I think.

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Mrboots2u said:

I’m not sure any of them do much more than dress the surface of the puck .

My mini whisk cuts into doings that does wdt and a few taps suits me . 

As a man on a tight budget, this is what i do and why i have held off buying one.

I can't justify the cost or the extra faff. It seems to me to be a solution for a problem that doesn't exist

 

Having not actually used one though, i can't confirm the above to be true.

Link to post
Share on other sites

@Mrboots2u - I picked up a £25 chisel faced one off Amazon, works better than my old three armed tool which was too flat and compressed it less evenly.

Not 100% needed, but has become a bit of a ritual, i.e. grind into a cup, cocktail shake in the portafilter, WDT, level, the tamp and pray to the coffee gods my EK won’t cause it to spray everywhere...

Not sure about EY, but it does make me feel better about my chances! 😂

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07QC558KN/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_btf_awdb_hfgBFbAT8ZRCM

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Same as @MildredM's:

I like to tamp into a flat surfaced, so my tamper is levelled with the puck as much as possible. Not at all necessary, but I like to use it.

Current: Lelit Elizabeth / Niche Zero / VST baskets / Distilled water + 100mg NaCO3/L

Previous: Gaggia Classic | Eureka Mignon | Rocket Cellini Evo | Profitec 700 | Profitec T-64 | Gene Cafe CBR-101 | Kinu M68 | Feldgrind 2 | La Pavoni Europiccola 2012

Also at: CoffeeTime Forum & Niche Zero Owners Group

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've only used one, a Motta, but I've found it quick to use and makes for better shot consistency.  I would say however, that the state of the grounds in the portafilter prior to using the tool has a bigger impact. 

My main grinder is a large commercial 75mm Anfim which produces very loose and fluffy grounds which settle to near flat with a gentle tap, a quick spin with the distribution tool, tamp, and then follows (usually...) a nice even and central extraction from my naked PF.  However an huge commercial grinder isn't everyone's choice.

If I'm single dosing through my Sage SGP the grounds are so clumpy that even with a few taps prior to using the tool, there's a visible difference in the density of the grounds over the surface after a spin with the distribution tool and sometimes open voids, despite the surface being level.  The shots don't always exhibit channelling, however the pour from the naked PF is rarely central and the colouration of the extract varies from one side to the other suggesting uneven extraction.  So now I do a bit of grounds stirring with a cocktail stick if I'm using the Sage, then the distribution tool, then tamp which helps a lot.  I tried just stirring then tamping and found it to be far more consisten than than using just the distribution tool before tamping.

So in answer to the OPs question, while I have no idea of the relative differences between distribution tools (I'd suspect it's not huge), I think the different distribution methods may show greater variety in effectiveness.

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Philip HN said:

Completely agree. On the face of it, it is hard to imagine how a "distribution" tool can genuinely distribute anything given their form factor.  Didn't DaveUK undertake a small experiment with baking powder or some such placed on the top of the grinds to show how minimal the impact of a tool was? 

4 hours ago, Mrboots2u said:

I’m not sure any of them do much more than dress the surface of the puck .

 

Agree with this ^^^^^^

I commented on a three vane distributor in an old  DavecUk thread.

Tail end of my post below.

I didn't post photos at the time but here are a couple indicating just how little movement of grinds there appears to be.

 

Dist1.thumb.gif.029425d9d0983b9a2f0643f3db5080e9.gif

 

Dist2.thumb.gif.194d8e6d20ac6b632ba98b37ac81a1e3.gif

 

 

 

 

 

On 31/05/2019 at 16:13, Snakehips said:

There are three sections to this tool.  By the time it has been rotated little more than 120º, a third of a turn,  it has done as much work as it is going to do!

Unless set too deeply, the compaction density of the puck will be limited by the shoulder setting.


Any significant unevenness in the initial bed of grounds will be reflected by  uneven density of areas within the puck.

In summary, it provides a quick way to level the surface of a puck.  I don’t believe it significantly improves the distribution of the coffee grounds.  The consistency of density throughout the resultant puck is a factor of preparation, such as stirring and or shaking down, done prior to its use.

I’m not suggesting that it’s an espresso prep killer but, is it particularly beneficial over a fixed depth tamper?

There are similar tools, such as the OCD, which has four somewhat deeper segments, that may do a far better job than I believe mine does.
 

 

 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

The VDT appears to do some separation of grinds by size with the smallest particles going to the bottom, no idea if that's good or bad but I did see an experiment by someone using a blade grinder who sifted the grinds and layered them to get a good shot so there may be some benefit.

The grooming tools give you a flat surface to tamp on, I personally think the less contact with the grinds the better (so very thin contact areas like the asso) and it is better to increase depth while spinning than use it at a set depth if possible. I have a refractometer (and tastebuds) to test this when I can bring myself to waste perfectly good coffee. Very slow compression while spinning might help to move grounds around a little deeper in the puck to fill any voids but that's pure guess work.  

Link to post
Share on other sites

When i read the thread title, i thought instantly: "I use a Corn fork, what else is there?"

Reading through the thread, it seems that we are actually talking about levellers and as is so prevalent in this hobby, we seem to yet again be dealing with mislabelling?

So, the spinny things are imho, just levelers. They do nothing to distribute anything as i can see.

My distribution tool (Corn fork) is actually a clump breaker more than a distribution tool, as in reality, no matter what you use, nothing is getting "Redistributed". In fact, what does this even mean?

 

So yea, what's the point of them except to steal money out of your wallet?

Link to post
Share on other sites

They seem to level and distribute so I can see why the terms are interchangable. 'Distribute' doesn't mean take grounds that were on the top and put them on the bottom. It means to induce a uniformity so when the grinds are compacted there's less likely to be voids.

How much effect it has on closing voids and lessening channelling is the debate. Or how much it effects the tamp.

@CJV8's post made me think, maybe it's more noticeable if your kit is worse. So me with a Sage BE grinder benefits more from it than someone with a better grinder.

Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, CocoLoco said:

They seem to level and distribute so I can see why the terms are interchangable. 'Distribute' doesn't mean take grounds that were on the top and put them on the bottom. It means to induce a uniformity so when the grinds are compacted there's less likely to be voids.

How much effect it has on closing voids and lessening channelling is the debate. Or how much it effects the tamp.

@CJV8's post made me think, maybe it's more noticeable if your kit is worse. So me with a Sage BE grinder benefits more from it than someone with a better grinder.

I read "distribute" to mean "mix up".

YMMV i suppose which is as per usual in this journey.

 

Your last comment has me thinking though. Perhaps my SGP knock-off may benefit from using it?

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Snakehips said:

Agree with this ^^^^^^

I commented on a three vane distributor in an old  DavecUk thread.

Tail end of my post below.

I didn't post photos at the time but here are a couple indicating just how little movement of grinds there appears to be.

Try compare with The Jack from Asso, the org OCD and all the China ocd leveler have very large food print almost like they tampe 60% when you inset it 😉 

 Asso The jack is much better 😉 
2114636791_asso-jack-adjustable-leveler-58.5mm-mexican-calavera-5-8920-p.jpg.9dbd9b2e098f8a58c231f22772cfc29d.jpgocdv3-silvgrey_m.jpg.8489f2a4607a87d2c71e718fe369aa50.jpg  

Edited by JackHK
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, CocoLoco said:

That was the vibration tool, the baking powder showed that one worked quite well. He did a video about a cheap distribution tool from China (£13) and said it was good. A video below shows them working in a clear basket. As Mrboot2U says they give a nice groomed puck before using a tamper which makes tamping easier/better.

I use one as a security blanket, as it helps consistency and because so many baristas do. Someone more experienced/better at tamping may not feel the need.

 

This is from Korea https://btcompany.imweb.me/shop/ 
                                

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the info guys! Can confirm I was talking about what might be called levelers, not a WDT tool. I think I'll probably pick up a cheap-ish one just to make tamping a bit easier, but will continue with WDT as I do at the moment.

3 hours ago, Blue_Cafe said:

When i read the thread title, i thought instantly: "I use a Corn fork, what else is there?"

Reading through the thread, it seems that we are actually talking about levellers and as is so prevalent in this hobby, we seem to yet again be dealing with mislabelling?

So, the spinny things are imho, just levelers. They do nothing to distribute anything as i can see.

My distribution tool (Corn fork) is actually a clump breaker more than a distribution tool, as in reality, no matter what you use, nothing is getting "Redistributed". In fact, what does this even mean?

 

So yea, what's the point of them except to steal money out of your wallet?

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • About
    Coffee Forums UK is the UK's premier coffee forum Started in June 2008 by Glenn Watson, we now have more than 24000 mainly UK based members, and welcome more than 3000 members and visitors from around the world each day! With strategic investment and digital expertise from the Jackson Lockhart team (Tait Pollack and Adam Bateman), we are taking Coffee Forums UK to the next level, and are delighted to share the journey with you.

    New Members:
    We are often referred to as the friendliest forum on the web and we look forward to welcoming you onboard. Please read our Terms of Use. We stick by them, existing members please familiarise yourselves with them.


    Advertising

    Coffee Forums Media Kit

    Click Here To Buy Advertising Space 
    £100 p/m when paid yearly, up-to: 690000 banner impressions per month!


    Donate / Sponsor

    Get Your Supporter Badge Today (per year)

    image.png



    Coffee Forums Logo
     

×
×
  • Create New...