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Adjust Grinder according to level of beans in the Hopper ?
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BaristaM
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Joined: 1 Apr 2014
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Location: glasgow
Expertise: Pro Barista

Posted Tue Apr 1, 2014, 3:08pm
Subject: Adjust Grinder according to level of beans in the Hopper ?
 

Hello everybody,

I 've recently heard that the level of coffee beans in the hopper of the grinder can influence the dosage of grounded coffee going in the portafilter basket. In this case we are talking about a Mahlkönig automatic grinder. This makes sense in a way, as if the hopper is full of coffee beans there is more pressure on the coffee beans in the bottom, so more coffee beans end up to the burrs than when the hopper is almost empty.
However, even though it makes sense a little bit I am not sure if there is a noticeable difference that would make you adjust the time of grinding as the hopper is getting emptied.

Any insights please?
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NobbyR
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NobbyR
Joined: 10 Jul 2011
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Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Poccino Opus One, Ariete
Grinder: Eureka Mignon Istantaneo
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Posted Wed Apr 2, 2014, 4:30am
Subject: Re: Adjust Grinder according to level of beans in the Hopper ?
 

Welcome to CoffeeGeek!

It's true, using a timer the level of beans can actually influence the dose for exactly the reasons you described. If you accept that a difference of 0.2 g in dosage can alter taste, this might even be significant. I guess the easiest way to work around that problem is to keep the hopper half full, for example.

 
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BaristaM
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Posted Wed Apr 2, 2014, 4:48am
Subject: Re: Adjust Grinder according to level of beans in the Hopper ?
 

Thanks for the answer  Nobby. It will affect everything actually, but first of all the extraction time.

The 0.2gr you refer to is just a randomly picked figure or any statistics shown this discrepancy?

If we know how much is the discrepancy, we could adjust the single button to be used then, giving us this few grams we missed due to the almost empty hopper (since we do not pour singles)

Thanks again
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NobbyR
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NobbyR
Joined: 10 Jul 2011
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Posted Wed Apr 2, 2014, 6:43am
Subject: Re: Adjust Grinder according to level of beans in the Hopper ?
 

BaristaM Said:

The 0.2gr you refer to is just a randomly picked figure or any statistics shown this discrepancy?

Posted April 2, 2014 link

I guess it's an empirical value. Wether you notice the difference in taste or not, probably depends partly on your personal taste buds.

You could use a digital scale in order to find out at which bean level the effect kicks in.

 
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"This drink of the Satan is so delicious that it would be a shame to leave it to the infidels." (Pope Clement VIII on coffee, when he was urged to ban the beverage)
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emradguy
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emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
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Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4 x2, VDD...
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Posted Wed Apr 2, 2014, 6:51am
Subject: Re: Adjust Grinder according to level of beans in the Hopper ?
 

NobbyR Said:

Welcome to CoffeeGeek!

It's true, using a timer the level of beans can actually influence the dose for exactly the reasons you described. If you accept that a difference of 0.2 g in dosage can alter taste, this might even be significant. I guess the easiest way to work around that problem is to keep the hopper half full, for example.

Posted April 2, 2014 link

I think "single dosing" is an even easier way to be consistent. Once the grind is adjusted for single dose, you never have a variable of downward pressure from a hopper slightly more or less full.  however, there may be a point over which...maybe 1/3 full, for random example...where it doesn't matter whether the hopper is that full or more full.  One could probably design an experiment.

Most chatter I've read about how different a dose can weigh to taste it, is about 0.5g.

 
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Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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jonr
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Posted Wed Apr 2, 2014, 7:02am
Subject: Re: Adjust Grinder according to level of beans in the Hopper ?
 

i agree, try it with a scale and your tastes and let us know the result.
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Buckley
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Posted Wed Apr 2, 2014, 7:45am
Subject: Re: Adjust Grinder according to level of beans in the Hopper ?
 

I would like to reply by pasting a note I typed just a few minutes ago on another thread.

Buckley Said:

It becomes increasingly obvious that, collectively, we CGs obsess about differences that do not make a difference.  
B

Posted April 2, 2014 link

Everyone will agree that the grind results will change with the depth of beans sitting on top.   The same grinding time will produce a lighter weight dose with fewer beans in the hopper; if one goes by constant dose weight then the grinding time would increase with an emptier hopper.  What you are concerned about would be the fineness/coarseness of the grind and if the distribuition of the range of grind sizes were affected.   This would affect how you infuse and the taste in the cup.  Then there is the consideration that this would affect some grinders to a greater extent than others.  A precise knowledge of this phenomenon probably rests with grinder deigners and manufacturers but, to my knowledge, none of them has seen fit to publish this knowledge on the web or otherwise.  
Some will say that it makes an empirical difference, that is, the  infusion tastes different or is more challenging to infuse one way or another.  Some, such as myself, say it makes no difference whatsoever.  I use a K-10 WBC without the doser.
In my opinion, by posting this question on this forum you are asking for a bunch of opinions that are unsupported or, at best, supported by individual experiences on individuals' different machines.  Congratulations on your Mahlkönig, especialy on your successful effort to get the umlaut in there.
The best answer to your question is do it, try it, does it matter to you, or not?  Your experience is independent of the opinions of other people.  You know how to fill and empty a hopper, so what use are insights, mine or others?
Buckley
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emradguy
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emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
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Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4 x2, VDD...
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Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Wed Apr 2, 2014, 8:39am
Subject: Re: Adjust Grinder according to level of beans in the Hopper ?
 

good points, Buckley!

Ah, the geek in us....

 
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Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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BaristaM
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Joined: 1 Apr 2014
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Location: glasgow
Expertise: Pro Barista

Posted Wed Apr 2, 2014, 5:23pm
Subject: Re: Adjust Grinder according to level of beans in the Hopper ?
 

Buckley I can see where you are coming from, even though you sound really derisive.

So, of course I am asking people for their insights because I don't consider myself as a geek that knows everything, but as a person you has a good understanding and experience but I believe other people have much more and I can use their insights wherever these come from (practical experience, reading etc) for the best after a critical analysis. I am asking for insights from people who actually want to pass on their knowledge to other people, and not ironic 'I know all" people.

You see some of the "bunch" may have worked with the Mahlkönig (with the umlaut) more than myself and have noticed and dealt with all these and can give some advice or some ideas to try because they have been in the same situation like me.

Lastly, as you may already know (if you don't, then there is something for you to learn here) manufactures won't tell you all the truths for many reasons. Maybe because some of these will not really be the best for your needs (who is going to tell you the imperfections of their product?) or because they want to keep coming back and fix or service your machines and get some more money.
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Buckley
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Joined: 25 Jan 2011
Posts: 423
Location: Internet
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Apr 3, 2014, 5:28am
Subject: Re: Adjust Grinder according to level of beans in the Hopper ?
 

Sorry that I could be taken as derisive.  That was not my intent.  There are too many know-it-alls on this forum, some of whom are not ironic.  I segue into this unfortunate catchall and have to reposition myself into the humble low place from time-to-time, if life doesn't do it for me.
Regarding your post: again, there are too many, as you say, know-it-alls on this forum; from my perspective very few have Mahlkonigs;  I am assuming that those who do are uber-serious types who are interested in engineering and advanced technique posts and pass over posts like yours (no disrespect intended) with eyes glazed over.
By virtue of my exalted standing on this forum and by my authority, I now pronounce you journeyman expert on the use of the Mahlkönig ___(insert model here)____, and charge you to answer all questions regarding the operation of same by virtue of your experience.  In a few short weeks your status on this board will automatically revert to 'Senior" (scary, huh?) and you will be sought out for your advice.  Be humble, be helpful.

Irony aside, you probably have more to contribute on the characteristics of the Mahlkönig than almost anyone else on the site.  If it pleases you to do so, search from time to time on this site, or on H-B for people having issues with your machine.  Most will probably be buying questions.

Happy coffee,
Buckley
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