[Homeroast] Weight vs. Volume

Jon Rosen jon at jonro.com
Fri Dec 12 09:44:46 CST 2014


I usually brew coffee with a Bunn Trifecta MB and use a small digital scale (with a resolution of .1 gm) that came with the coffee maker to weigh out beans. For me, with this machine, I use 25.0 grams of beans to 12 oz. of water. I don't think that a .1 g difference would make much of a difference to the final cup. Measuring by volume might come close but there is so much variability in the size of the beans that I don't think it would be close enough.

Jon

On Dec 12, 2014, at 10:36 AM, Phil Palmintere <phil.palmintere at gmail.com> wrote:
> 
> 
> I weigh whole beans using an inexpensive scale from Harbor Freight with a
> 0.1 gram resolution.  I do this get 225 grams of greens to roast (Gene
> Café), and I also weigh beans for use with a Clever Coffee Dripper (my "go
> to" method of a cup of coffee in the morning; my preferred ratio is 22.7
> grams of beans to 12 fluid oz. of water).
> 
> I think the scale was under $10.
> 
> But, it is not really that accurate.  I weigh the beans 2 or 3 times, and
> the variation reported by the scale can be as much as half a gram or so.
> 
> Phil
> 
> 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Homeroast [mailto:homeroast-bounces at lists.sweetmariascoffee.com] On
> Behalf Of John Nanci
> Sent: Friday, December 12, 2014 7:29 AM
> To: A list to discuss home coffee roasting. There are rules for this list,
> available at http://www.sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html
> Subject: Re: [Homeroast] Weight vs. Volume
> 
> My experience (both as a shot puller and chemist) is that there can be
> larger than acceptable variations in volume when compared against weight and
> that weight is the value you want to hold constant.  It's why 'good' bakers
> weigh ingredients.  It's why chemists weigh reagents (even liquid ones many
> times).  If the beans were spherical, then maybe I could see using volume,
> but beans don't pack in a predictable manner.  2 or 3 beans are being
> discussed.  I can take a volume measure, 'level' it, add 5 beans, level it
> again and not see any difference at all.
> 
> So, if it matters to you, weight is the way to go.
> 
> That said, I use my portafilter to measure out my shots.  As level as I can
> make it.  And simply enjoy the slight variation.  They are never bad....just
> not 100% repeatable.
> 
> John
> 
> At 07:18 AM 12/12/2014, you wrote:
>> I personally feel that weighing is faster, easier, and more precise 
>> than measuring volume, and of course plan to continue weighing. I brew 
>> with a moka pot and also weigh water, again because it seems faster, 
>> easier, and more precise than trying to measure by volume.
>> 
>> Brian
>> 
>> On Thu, Dec 11, 2014 at 3:55 PM, John Dodson <j_dodson at sbcglobal.net>
> wrote:
>>> 
>>> I inquired about scales a few months ago.  I had a Salter food scale 
>>> with a resolution of 2.0 grams.  From the groups input I purchased a 
>>> Escali (from SM) resolution 0.1 grams. I took my old scale and put 
>>> just enough coffee to get to 22 grams, checked the weight on the 
>>> Escali 21.6 added 4 beans to get to 22. Then I put the beans back on 
>>> the Salter the weight was still 22 added one bean at a time 10 beans 
>>> until it just registered 24 grams, put the beans back on the Escali 
>>> and they weighed 22.6 grams.  I am pretty good at eyeballing 22 
>>> grams of beans but with the higher resolution scale I usually need to
> add or subtract 2 or 3 beans.  For what its worth.
>>> 
>>> John
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> On Thursday, December 11, 2014 12:56 PM, Larry Dorman 
>>> <ldorman at gmail.com>
>>> wrote:
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> So I've read for a long time about people weighing out a specific 
>>> number of grams of whole beans before grinding for espresso.  I had 
>>> always just eyeballed it and gone by rough volume.  However, I got a 
>>> small gram scale and started weighing primarily for the purposes of 
>>> reducing waste, but also to see if I could appreciate the difference in
> the cup.
>>> 
>>> I've been weighing for a couple months now and my experience has been:
>>> 
>>> 1)  The proper grams changes per roast... sometimes very little (1/5 
>>> gram) and other times by a lot (1.5 grams)
>>> 
>>> 2)  Once I find the right grams for a give roast I do reduce both 
>>> over and under grinding incidents.
>>> 
>>> 3)  I've had a slight improvement in the cup due to greater 
>>> consistency in how much coffee I end up with in the portafilter.
>>> 
>>> So...  I can appreciate that there has been value in weighing the beans.
>>> However, it seems I might be able to achieve the same by actually 
>>> measuring volume instead of eyeballing it.  This could be as simple 
>>> as drawing a line in the receptacle I'm currently using when I weigh.
>>> 
>>> Any thoughts and other first-hand experiences anyone would like to 
>>> share on the matter?
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