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Dosing, Shot volume and VST Baskets???
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Discussions > Espresso > Q and A > Dosing, Shot...  
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epengr
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epengr
Joined: 1 Apr 2012
Posts: 46
Location: Saskatoon
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: NS Oscar
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Thu May 31, 2012, 4:24pm
Subject: Dosing, Shot volume and VST Baskets???
 

Hi All,

I'm thinking of ordering a VST basket (or two?), but I'm not sure what size(s) to get.

I almost exclusively make ~14g doubles, and if I were to continue so then the VST 15g is the obvious choice.  

What I'm curious about is how people use the 20g "Competition" basket.  It's a little shy of a "true Italian" triple, and it's a little big for an overdosed double.  (But if I understand it, the VST baskets are "rated" for +/- 1g, so it could be used either way, I think)

How tall a shot do you usually draw from this basket?   Since I'm often preparing two coffees at a time, it's occurred to me that the 20g using a double spout would be a quick and authentic way to make two reasonable ~1.5 beverages quickly, and the 20g is supposed to fit NS PFs according to VSTs site...

I'm tempted to get a 15g and a 20g, but then it seems like an extra $30 to have 5g of flexibility is a bit crazy.

All thoughts/flames welcome.

Thanks!
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Coffeenoobie
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Coffeenoobie
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Posted Thu May 31, 2012, 5:04pm
Subject: Re: Dosing, Shot volume and VST Baskets???
 

The baskets are very dose sensitive.  If you get a grind that is suggested to to be at 19g you need the larger basket to get the consistent results and that is why I wanted those baskets.  I have 15, 18, 22.  I still need the 20.

 
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AndyPanda
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AndyPanda
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Posted Fri Jun 1, 2012, 6:53am
Subject: Re: Dosing, Shot volume and VST Baskets???
 

I have always been out in left field in the sense that I prefer finer grind and lower dose than most.  I even used my single baskets occasionally where most people toss them out.

I recently bought 15 gram VST baskets - a lot of people suggested to me that nobody uses them because most people dose 17 grams or higher.  But I got the 15 gram size anyway.  I find them to be about perfect for me with my preference for finer grind and lower dose - but I would be hard pressed to squeeze 15-16 grams into one (I like room above the puck - my best shots are when there is no impression of the shower screen in the spent puck).  I find that 12-13 gram doses work really well in the 15g basket and 14.5g is about the most I use - I'll start to get a shower screen imprint at that dose.

So ... if you plan on dosing 16g or higher (and most people seem to be in the 18-19 dose range from what I read in the forums) you definitely want a larger size.  But you say you almost exclusively dose ~14g so the 15g VST would be perfect for you.

I will also say that I had been using the HQ baskets (mine ws a micro-fine from espressoresource.com - there are HQ and micro-fine baskets from various suppliers) before - and although the VST baskets are very nice (and consistent for comparing results with others using the same basket) - I can't tell any improvement in my shots vs the HQ baskets which were about $7 - and I did see a huge improvement going from stock baskets to the HQ. The 14g HQ basket holds more than the 15g VST ... so the VST is better for a 12-13g dose but I can dose up to 16-17 in the HQ 14g basket. (the HQ baskets available now look slightly different from the ones I got a couple years ago - may not be the same - so you would be giving up the consistency of comparing results with others)
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TonyVan
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Posted Sat Jun 2, 2012, 12:41pm
Subject: Re: Dosing, Shot volume and VST Baskets???
 

epengr Said:

What I'm curious about is how people use the 20g "Competition" basket.  It's a little shy of a "true Italian" triple, and it's a little big for an overdosed double.  (But if I understand it, the VST baskets are "rated" for +/- 1g, so it could be used either way, I think)

Posted May 31, 2012 link

One very useful application is the extra headroom the 20g basket provides with low-density coffees. For example, Deep Cello's Nostromo blend - a favorite with us - has a comparatively dark roast and (I'm betting) low moisture, and an 18g dose takes more space than usual and works better in the 20g basket.  

I also agree with Andy about the value of the smaller traditional doses and using the 15g baskets for other coffees giving superior results with a finer grind as opposed to a coarser 16g or 18g dose. And then again, depending on the age, some coffees such as Ristretto's excellent Beaumont blend likes the "high and tight" treatment and often responds best in the 22g area.  So I find myself using two, three or even four different VST basket sizes in one session or day, just reacting to the coffees' different tendencies and going where they want to take you.
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epengr
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epengr
Joined: 1 Apr 2012
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Location: Saskatoon
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: NS Oscar
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Mon Jun 4, 2012, 11:57pm
Subject: Re: Dosing, Shot volume and VST Baskets???
 

Thanks for all the replies...  I was hoping that VST baskets would make like a little easier by removing dosing as a variable, but it seems I'm being naive...  To get the BEST shot possible, you still need to play with dosing, I gather, but using VST baskets you need to change baskets as you adjust it...

Anyways, I've gone ahead and ordered the 15 and the 20.  I'll start with there and see if I can live with only 2 choices :).

So much to learn...
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JimmiCliff
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Posted Tue Jun 5, 2012, 10:30am
Subject: Re: Dosing, Shot volume and VST Baskets???
 

I've been going between 18g and 20g VSTs over the past couple of days, and my finding so far is that the bigger basket likes a not-insignificantly coarser grind.
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tracerbullet
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tracerbullet
Joined: 13 Feb 2012
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Location: Saint Paul
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Posted Tue Jun 5, 2012, 11:02am
Subject: Re: Dosing, Shot volume and VST Baskets???
 

If it helps at all, I have what was described as a "triple" basket, not sure the brand, bought at espressoparts. I can load anywhere from 14 - almost 20g in it before I hit the shower screen. I like playing with it and the grind and seeing how it goes. I've had success over a large range of weight. Haven't experienced the need to load it with some particular amount to make it work correctly.

I am still a newb however, and the "right size" basket may very well be better. But I've had good luck so far in my opinion. I'd start w/ a big one (as I see you have) and then get more baskets later if needed - because you may not feel the need.
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TonyVan
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Posted Tue Jun 5, 2012, 8:19pm
Subject: Re: Dosing, Shot volume and VST Baskets???
 

epengr Said:

To get the BEST shot possible, you still need to play with dosing, I gather, but using VST baskets you need to change baskets as you adjust it...

Posted June 4, 2012 link

Actually, the series of VSTs gives you the OPPORTUNITY to adjust the filter hole sizes - to optimize the extraction - as you change the dose up or down.  This is a good thing.  The different filter hole sizes enable using different grinds - now matched to the holes and scaled to the dose size - to control the extraction.
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JimmiCliff
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Joined: 29 May 2012
Posts: 11
Location: Toronto
Expertise: Pro Barista

Posted Wed Jun 6, 2012, 9:30am
Subject: Re: Dosing, Shot volume and VST Baskets???
 

TonyVan Said:

Actually, the series of VSTs gives you the OPPORTUNITY to adjust the filter hole sizes -

Posted June 5, 2012 link

Do you mean the filter hole sizes are different depending on the basket size?
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andys
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andys
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Posted Wed Jun 6, 2012, 7:20pm
Subject: Re: Dosing, Shot volume and VST Baskets???
 

JimmiCliff Said:

Do you mean the filter hole sizes are different depending on the basket size?

Posted June 6, 2012 link

Yes, that is correct. If you go to the April/May 2011 issue of the online Barista Magazine, and look on page 74, you'll find Vince's article about his filter baskets. I don't think this article will stay online very much longer, since that issue will eventually get replaced online by newer ones.

 
-AndyS
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