wdt for the win... i just measure in my 16 grams of beans and use a toothpick to distribute the grounds evenly. less channeling. you could also try grind finer/tamp lighter or viceversa to see what gets you the best results. and my pucks are a little wet too usually. not soupy but damp to wet on top.
I was hoping I wouldn't need to worry about the WDT when I went to the Vario-W. Much less clumping. Most of my channeling occurs around the edges of the puck, since the tamper I'm using has ragged edges. I'm getting a new one tomorrow and will see how that goes. My wet pucks were caused by a kinked backflush tube, which finally exploded (see my new thread). I managed to replace the tube and it's working a lot better now.
I WDT with a stainless steel poultry lacer. I don't have to for the clumps, there are none of any size to speak of. I do it to distribute the grounds evenly. But I probably don't have to but because it is working I don't want to change my process. Then tamp drop in my naked (without a spring) and pull. I expected to learn how to handle my puck less at the class but really I did not see anything that made me want to change my process so I am doing it as I was before the class.
Also, I am using VST baskets. I HATED the NS baskets and they did not fit my tamper.
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