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WDT - do you grind finer?


spasypaddy
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That's weird. WDT is just the act of mixing the ground coffee inside the basket, thus harmonising density through the puck in t he aim to reduce channeling and other distribution defects. 

If you have to grind finer then so be it, but I bet WDT in itself is not the reason. 

 

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I have a theory. It might be absolute pants, it might not be. Ask a friend round who knows his onions. Ask him to prepare you several espressos with you being blindfold. Try WDT on one, RDT on the next and so on, and see if there is a perceived difference in taste to any of them

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19 minutes ago, MediumRoastSteam said:

That's weird. WDT is just the act of mixing the ground coffee inside the basket, thus harmonising density through the puck in t he aim to reduce channeling and other distribution defects. 

If you have to grind finer then so be it, but I bet WDT in itself is not the reason. 

 

well if WDT has cleaned up my puck prep (which was ok before) then it could be a direct result of that.

After WDTing the grinds looked so much fluffier than before, and the flow out of the bottomless was definitely better and cleaner than before

 

15 minutes ago, dfk41 said:

I have a theory. It might be absolute pants, it might not be. Ask a friend round who knows his onions. Ask him to prepare you several espressos with you being blindfold. Try WDT on one, RDT on the next and so on, and see if there is a perceived difference in taste to any of them

you may well be right, but having come from finger distribution to using a WDT im hoping it allows some more consistency in my brewing

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56 minutes ago, spasypaddy said:

After WDTing the grinds looked so much fluffier than before, and the flow out of the bottomless was definitely better and cleaner than before

That's all very well. But it doesn't make much sense 🙂  (the fact that it's now faster). if you ask me, you have other flaws in your prep. 

But, if grinding finer fixes the problem... So be it 🙂 

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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

 

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From my experience WDT can make the shot faster due to channeling - it depends on what tool you’re using. I moved from a toothpick to a useless eBay WDT tool to a 3D printed one with 0.4mm needles. The first two would significantly speed up the shot in the second half, having possibly created micro-channels.

The 3D printed tool works best (thin needles) and allows me to distribute quickly and evenly. It doesn’t effect the shot time too much (more even extraction) and I don’t have to grind too fine to counteract channeling. You still may require a slightly finer grind but not too large a change. 

Once you have the right WDT tool and technique (video below), WDT should help with consistency more than anything. 

 

Edited by HVL87
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  • 2 months later...

I’ve finally emerged from the WDT Stone Age and abandoned the 3mm Tesco kebab skewer I’ve been using since I first read about the technique on HB 10+ years ago. Now I’ve got a fancy new tool with 7 x 0.2mm acupuncture needles.

I’ve noticed that the shots I’ve been pulling since have sped up quite a bit (7-10 secs) for the same grind setting, and I’ve had to adjust the grind more finely to compensate. The coffee still tastes good, with no obvious signs of channelling in the bottomless portafilter or puck.

I’m wondering what the reason for this might be after reading this thread.

My assumption is that maybe it’s not the WDT tool itself, but a change to the way I’m doing distribution because of it.

The old kebab skewer was ok for stirring grinds and breaking up bigger clumps, but totally useless at distributing the coffee around the basket. I had to do this with a lot of tapping and shaking. With the new tool, I can distribute with the needles and so the tapping and shaking is gone from the process.

I once read, don’t ask me where, that too much tapping to distribute grinds can cause fines to migrate to the bottom of the puck. I wonder if that’s the difference: a previous bed of fines at the bottom slowing things down, whereas now they’re remaining spread throughout the puck.

Just a theory, probably nonsense.

Edited by jonathanhook
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If you're spending more time with the portafilter out of the group head when using the WDT tool the temperature of the portafilter could be lower when you make the shot which might have an affect on shot time. Alternatively the coffee could have more time to heat up in the portafilter again with the same result. I'm guessing you'll lose more heat to the environment than to the coffee so overall the temp through the shot would be lower....

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Interesting and more confounding variables :-).

I’ve previously always taken the basket out of the portafilter to make the tapping distribution easier, but now I leave it in with the new tool. Therefore, there could be a big temp difference on the basket.

I’m clearly not cut out for experimental design — I won’t tell you what I do for a job!

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