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Which Scale??
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Discussions > Coffee > Home Roast > Which Scale??  
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ChrisJ
Senior Member


Joined: 13 Jan 2004
Posts: 21
Location: US Midwest
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Silvia w/ PID
Grinder: Rocky, Zass, KA A9
Vac Pot: Santos
Drip: Melitta porcelain pourover
Roaster: HGDB, I-Roast
Posted Sun Jan 25, 2004, 3:52am
Subject: Which Scale??
 

I'm looking for a digital scale for weighing beans.  The only one I've seen recommended is the Salter that  Sweet Maria's carries.

I've already got a Salter kitchen scale purchased for bread baking.  It only reads to 5 gram increments, which isn't as fine as I would like.  I'm looking for 1 gram resolution, which the above provides when weighing less than 1 Kg.  However,  I'm not simply buying the SM Salter because my model has a poorly designed batter holder--the 9V disconnects frequently, almost every time I move the scale.  It's held in by spring contacts that aren't up to the job.

So--any recommendations?  Or anybody lived with the Salter for a while without problems?

Thanks!

ChrisJ
Indiana
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HB
Senior Member


Joined: 3 Apr 2003
Posts: 2,913
Location: Cary, NC
Posted Sun Jan 25, 2004, 5:44am
Subject: Re: Which Scale??
 

I've had two, the Jennings 120 and the Escali 500 (below), 0.1 grams resolution.  I bought both on eBay and had no problems with either one.  I prefer a higher capacity scale so I can weigh stuff like a demitasse cup after the shot for ultra-precise volume calculations.  If you search eBay for "digital scale" you'll get at least 20 hits, almost all for the same company.  I think they were in the $25-45 price range with shipping included.  The sort-of drawback of the Escali is that is uses a lithium battery instead of AAA.  I let it turn itself off after 3 minutes for months.  Then the battery died after six months and cost $6.  The Jennings' batteries seemed to last forever and cost less than a buck.  Both perform similarly and I've never had any troubles with either.

PS: An alert reader pointed me to the Brand Commentary section of DigitalScales that has some interesting notes on this industry.  Nothing is ever simple it seems.

HB: escali-scale.jpg

 
www.home-barista.com
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grillroaster
Senior Member
grillroaster
Joined: 28 Aug 2003
Posts: 229
Location: ----
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Isomac Rituale
Grinder: Rocky Doserless
Vac Pot: Cona D
Drip: Technivorm CD, Melitta...
Roaster: Alpenrost, HWP & Alpen-Grill
Posted Sun Jan 25, 2004, 6:47am
Subject: Re: Which Scale??
 

I'm a homeroaster that buys greens from Sweet Marias.  If you're only wanting to weigh green beans, a scale that measures in 1gm increments is plenty.  If you're also wanting to weigh beans for espresso making purposes, then you may appreciate having a scale that increments in .1g units.  Only thing is that scales that move in .1g increments and also allow total weights upward of 8-16oz can be pricey.  I have two types of scales.  My first purchase was an inexpensive ($29) unit from a local kitchen shop that moves in 2gm increments for weighing my green beans.  Later when I got an espresso machine,  I bought a MyWeigh scale ($38) that moves in .1gm increments, but is limited to 200gms total.  You can find a CoffeeGeek review that I wrote for this scale over in the Consumer reviews section.

I love Sweet Marias, but there's lot's more to choose from in scales and I'd suggest you browse a site that specializes in them like "Old Will Knott".  I know the name sounds hokey, but its a good company that sells good scales and typically sends your order the next day.  The "My Weigh" scales have a very good reputation and are one brand of several sold by Old Will.
Will Knott Scales

You can read reviews of scales over at Scale Magazine.com:
Scale Magazine Reviews

Rick Waits
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SteveCaffeine
Senior Member


Joined: 4 Dec 2003
Posts: 26
Location: Ohio
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Krups 984
Grinder: Capersso Infinity
Vac Pot: needs replacement
Drip: Capresso CoffeeTec
Roaster: Stir Crazy Turbo.
Posted Sun Jan 25, 2004, 10:47am
Subject: Re: Which Scale??
 

FWIW I use a Polder kitchen unit with 1gm resolution.
Works very well for beans. ~$30 at local stores.
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JimsJava
Senior Member
JimsJava
Joined: 6 Jan 2004
Posts: 26
Location: Kansas City, Missouri
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: wishing...
Grinder: Capresso Whirly Blade
Drip: Capresso
Roaster: FR+, Stir Crazy/Galloping...
Posted Sun Jan 25, 2004, 6:49pm
Subject: Re: Which Scale??
 

ChrisJ Said:

I'm looking for a digital scale for weighing beans.  The only one I've seen recommended is the Salter that  Sweet Maria's carries.

<snip>

So--any recommendations?  Or anybody lived with the Salter for a while without problems?

Thanks!

ChrisJ
Indiana

Posted January 25, 2004 link

Chris,

Don't limit your search to food scales.  I have a Royal EX5 Digital Postal Scale that is accurate and reliable (I've tested it with calibrated weights).  It has a maximum capacity of 5 lbs./2 kg and weighs in .1 oz or 1gram increments.  It has a tare function so you can put an empty container on it and zero it out before adding coffee beans.  I've had it for over two years and haven't had a problem with it.  An added feature - if you are wondering how much postage to put on a heavy letter or small package, it has a fee chart right on top! (always subject to change by the USPS of course...)

I've seen these scales a office supply stores and Sam's Club (I think I picked mine up at Sams for about $30).  I did a quick google and found an even better price at AmericanWeigh.com - only $19.95.
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RoxieL
Senior Member
RoxieL
Joined: 9 Jun 2002
Posts: 972
Location: Phoenix
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Expobar (Control)/Saeco...
Grinder: Cimbali Jr/Rocky/SB Barista
Vac Pot: eSantos/ eSantos Jr.
Drip: Bunn
Roaster: Hottop/FR+
Posted Mon Jan 26, 2004, 10:01am
Subject: Re: Which Scale??
 

Based upon Mark & Jeanette's recommendation, I bought this one about a year ago:

http://store.yahoo.com/ultimatechefstore/sal4001.html

It measures in 1 gram increments - very few of them do, from what I understand.  (I just liked the way this one looks!)
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SmokinBeans
Senior Member
SmokinBeans
Joined: 10 Jul 2003
Posts: 39
Location: Benicia, CA.
Expertise: I live coffee

Grinder: cheap whirly blade thingy
Drip: Bodum 3 cup French Press
Roaster: Stainless Back to Basics...
Posted Mon Jan 26, 2004, 2:36pm
Subject: Re: Which Scale??
 

Does the scale HAVE to be digital...what about a standared Ohaus Triple Beam Scale or similar. They are marked to .1 gm increments (actually since it is analog you can actually measure by eyeballing it between the marks to 2x or 3x better fineness than that...should you wish to get really anal retentive when measuring grounds for brewing).
Not sure about prices today...paid 60 bucks for mine about 12 years ago and it is a tank...very reliable....pricey compared to others options mentioned here...but it can wiegh a full lb +...610 gms total.
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ChrisJ
Senior Member


Joined: 13 Jan 2004
Posts: 21
Location: US Midwest
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Silvia w/ PID
Grinder: Rocky, Zass, KA A9
Vac Pot: Santos
Drip: Melitta porcelain pourover
Roaster: HGDB, I-Roast
Posted Tue Jan 27, 2004, 4:35pm
Subject: Re: Which Scale??
 

Thanks for all the great suggestions.  Looks like I've got a bit of research to do, but at least now I know where to start and what to look for.  

ChrisJ
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hulagirl
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Dec 2002
Posts: 33
Expertise: Advanced

Espresso: Isomac Tea
Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Drip: an old thermos drip thingy
Roaster: Caffe Rosto
Posted Wed Jan 28, 2004, 10:55am
Subject: I love my scale
 

I bought a My Weigh KD600 off of ebay.  It measures in 1 gm or .1 oz increments up to 13 pounds.  Since I also use it for postage and for cooking, I needed the small increments along with a larger weight limit.  I also purchased the adapter so I wouldn't have to run off batteries.  If I remember correctly, I paid around $40.

Take a look
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CoffeeCat
Senior Member
CoffeeCat
Joined: 22 Sep 2003
Posts: 76
Location: Vancouver
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Z5, Barista, Saeco Superauto
Grinder: Rancilio Rocky
Roaster: Buzz, Stir crazy/G-Gourmet
Posted Wed Jan 28, 2004, 3:05pm
Subject: Re: Which Scale??
 

I'd like to make a suggestion that you borrow a scale if you feel it is warranted.  I started out using a scale and once I got used to the process I put it away.  Fortunately I didn't buy it for the purpose of coffee roasting.  Based on your roasting equipment I would say that using a scale might not be necessary since you aren't hampered by fixed roasting cycles as on some automatic units.  When I owned my Alpenrost, measurement was somewhat important but a move to other less restrictive systems has meant that the scale is an unnecessary piece of equipment.  As the need for a scale diminishes then the need to closely monitor the roasting process via sight, smell, sound, temperature and time increases.  On the other hand if exact consistency is your goal then the importance of a scale becomes greater. - carl
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