Posted Sun Jan 25, 2004, 2:52am 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?
Posted Sun Jan 25, 2004, 4:44am 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.
Posted Sun Jan 25, 2004, 5:47am 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
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.
SmokinBeans Senior Member 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, 1:36pm 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.
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, 9:55am 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.
Posted Wed Jan 28, 2004, 2:05pm 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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