More than likely you've seen the famous Stockfleth's Move video, a redistribution technique that evens out the coffee grounds dosed into the portafilter basket. Watching it several times over, I still find it difficult to figure out what they're trying to demonstrate. Even the slow motion video obscures key details. Discussions of the motion are equally daunting:
PF in your left hand, bring it to your chest, and put your elbow up. Put the fleshy part below your right thumb into the basket, and put your right elbow out too. Now extend both hands away from your chest, bringing the elbows in. This gives a 180 degree rotation of you thumb pad over the grounds, and levels the puck. -- Jim Schulman
With all due respect to the pros who frequent this board, mastering the Stockfleths Move as described is difficult without first-hand instruction. The last few months, I've worked on a modified version that caters to the mechanically challenged, dubbed the Stockfleths Move for Dummies (video) (also on youtube). My apologizes for the quality of the video, it was a a spur of the moment, one take only session; I didn't bother with extra lighting.
As you see in the video, rather than using my palm, I used my index finger to redistribute. If you dose very evenly, little redistribution is necessary, but it's easy to miss a turn and leave a dead spot. This method will correct for uneven dosing. The graphic at the bottom of this post shows the motion of the modified Stockfleths Move.
-- Begin with your index finger near the top of the basket, pointing a bit upward (assuming you are right handed like me).
-- As you rotate the basket clockwise, slowly trace your index finger downward. At this point the goal is to move the coffee grounds to the dead spots with no compression because the distribution is uneven and you don't want to compress the already dense spots more than the lighter spots.
-- Once your index finger has pushed the growing pile of grounds along one full revolution, it's time to decide if you're leaving the dose as-is, updosing, or downdosing.
As-is: Sweep the top off to level, slight compression along the perimeter. That is, the slow finger sweep starts near the top as before with no compression and increases once your finger nears the bottom of the sweep.
Updosing: If you've updosed correctly, the dose will be slightly above the rim of the basket. You haven't compressed, you've only redistributed. To updose, move the pile while rotating the basket with modest compression, increase the compression as your finger nears the perimeter. This extra compression near the edges compensates for the dose's center-weighted tendency. If you want to updose even more, redistribute in one rotation (grounds well above the rim), tap to settle the grounds even with the rim, then redistribute in one rotation again.
Downdosing: This is tricky; instead of resting your finger lightly on the rim of the basket, press down firmly so the bottom flat of your finger rides below the basket's edge. The curve of your finger will scrape off grounds as you rotate the basket. It's fairly easy to dose to 16 grams with a standard Faema-style basket using this technique; with practice, you can dose to 15 grams or less (the dose in the video was 15.5 grams). For extreme downdosing of less than 14 grams, place your finger across the basket with the tip of your finger riding below the inner rim while rotating the basket, scraping off grounds to the desired level.
-- If you've finished redistributing and there's still some grounds above the rim you wish to discard, a quick level sweep without compression will do. Tamp as usual.
(*) Sorry! I discourage cross-posting, but I hope this is useful enough to justify some readers' inconvenience. If not, blame Michael (k7qz), it was his idea. ;-)
Woody Senior Member Joined: 26 Jan 2004 Posts: 579 Location: Hood River, OR Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: La Spaziale Vivaldi I Grinder: Mazzer SJ Vac Pot: Hoover Drip: yuck Roaster: Behmor
Posted Sun Aug 5, 2007, 11:01am Subject: Re: Stockfleth's Move for Dummies (video)
Thanks for the video- I would like to see more of these (hard to vote for just one in the recent poll!).
I have two observations/questions. First, I assume a ridgeless basket is necessary. Second, I understood the portafilter should be kept hot, and I assume that means the basket also, which is difficult if you are holding it for dosing and leveling. Any thoughts?
Posted Sun Aug 5, 2007, 1:36pm Subject: Re: Stockfleth's Move for Dummies (video)
I removed the portafilter retainer clip so the basket drops in and out easily. Those who prefer to knock out the puck use ridgeless baskets + retainer clip.
As for the temperature, the basket was warm from sitting atop the machine and the portafilter remained in the group until the basket was prepared. A couple years ago I compared the temperature profiles of hot versus cold baskets; the difference was very small from the onset and vanished within the first 5 seconds. While I haven't measured, I would expect removing the portafilter to dose / distribute / tamp would have a larger net temperature loss than dropping in a cold basket since few can perform the former in less than 20 seconds while anyone can do the latter in under 5 seconds. Anyone capable of tasting the difference such a small drop in temperature would introduce is way beyond my abilities.
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