Thinking of buying a gram scale and wondering how much is a gram scale? Then this article is for you. In this article I fully detail gram scales and help you to get all the information you need to make a well-informed decision when buying a gram scale.
Including telling you how much a gram scale will cost you.
Let’s get right on with this article.
What Is A Gram Scale?
A gram scale is exactly as the name suggests that it is. A gram scale is a scale that measures very light objects and items in grams in one gram increment and often less depending on the type of scale and accuracy required. It is common to see digital gram scales measuring in 0.1 gram increments
Gram scales are used by baristas to weight coffee in exact quantities for the perfect cuppa Joe. Chefs also use them to weigh ingredients precisely. Jewelers and gold dealers use gram scales to weigh jewelry. Pharmacists also use them.
The weighing range is often from 0 gram to 100 grams. There are a few that go higher than this limit with a 200 gram, 250 gram and 300 gram limits available.
Read: Best way to make coffee in a coffee urn
How Much Does A Gram Scale Cost?
You will be delighted to know that, price wise, a gram scale is not at all that expensive to buy. A cheap, inexpensive one of a lesser quality in terms of precision and accuracy, the average price is about US$15 with a good quality, reliable gram scale setting you back US$25 to US$30.
There is no need for you to splurge outside this price range.
What Is A Gram Scale Called? Does It Have Another Name?
A gram scale is something that you are probably already familiar with. Your coffee scale is a gram scale. Yes, they also have another name, mass balances, mass scales and weight balances are other names that they go by.
Why Should You Buy A Gram Scale?
As a barista, the main reason that you have for buying a gram scale is to accurately measure your grounds when you are making coffee. Getting the correct weight, and accurate to the single gram, will help you to make delicious coffee every single time.
I’ll never tire of saying it: what you can measure you can control.
At my coffee shop, we give away free members cards that allow us to give a discount to regular customers. At the backend, we keep a database of what drinks they buy and how they are made, including the exact weight of the grounds, water type, grind, brew duration and what beans they like.
We simply want to deliver a great experience every single time. We can do that because we measure everything.
Why You Must Measure Your Coffee Grounds By Weight?
When you measure your coffee by weight and not by volume or guess work, you will get the same result every time that you make it. It will taste exactly the same every day of the year for you or for every single customer that you serve from the very first to the very last.
Measuring your grounds leads you to getting a predictable consistency in the extraction of the coffee oils and other water-soluble compounds and getting a perfect tasting brew.
Read: Where to buy a digital scale
How Accurate Are Gram Scales?
Accuracy and precision are not the same thing. They are synonymous, but there is a difference. To use a metaphor, accurate can be described as hitting the bullseye every single time. Anywhere in the bullseye area is considered as accurate.
I can accurately hit the bullseye from 10 meters every single time.
Precision is being more exact, every single time, being precise. Think of it like the above example, except hitting the center of the bullseye every single time.
Precision is what I like to colloquially refer to as “dead balls accurate!”.
Gram scales used by baristas to measure coffee are highly accurate to a 0.1 gram precision, which is more than enough for the purpose that we use them for.
We do not need greater precision (1/100th of a gram) or any less precision than 0.1 gram. There are digital scales that measure with a precision of 0.5 gram precision and 1 gram precision levels.
Discard those as if you only need to weigh 10 grams of coffee, your measurement can be out by that same precision level of half a gram or a whole gram or by 5% to 10%. This result is a slightly different tasting coffee.
Buy a gram scale that comes with calibration weights.
Calibration weights should come with your gram scale and should not cost you extra. These are set weights of a known exact weight that you use to calibrate your digital scale every 6 months to a year.
If your device does not come with a set of calibration weights, don’t worry as you can buy them easily online from Amazon.
A standard calibration weight kit comes with 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 gram weights with one of each and 2 of the 2 gram weights.
The milligram weight set comes with 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 milligram weights with one of each and 2 of the 20 milligram weights.
The Nickel Test
The famous nickel calibration test is exactly as you can imagine it to be. A nickel made from 1866 onwards weighs exactly 5.000 grams and can act as a substitute 5 gram calibration weight while you wait for a replacement.
Keep in mind that an older coin that has been in circulation is not going to be exactly 5.000 grams due to the degradation factor, the general wear and tear and the every so slight weight of the dirt that it has picked up over the years.
Use the best, cleanest and highest quality nickel that you can find.
How Do I Know If My Gram Scales Are Accurate?
Very easily, and this is where your calibration kit comes in handy. You simply weigh two or three objects of a known weight.
Simply place the weights or objects of a known weight on your gram scale and check if the weight of the object matches what is displayed on your digital scales. Then take them off. Let the scale reset itself to zero and repeat with the same weight a few times
You are looking for a very similar reading each time. This tests the precision. Also, you are looking for the reading on your digital scale to match that of the known weight. Repeat this test with 2 or 3 different weights.
How Can I Measure Grams Without A Scale?
I simply do not advise measuring without a scale. However, if you must, for whatever reason, be it a lost, stolen or broken scale you can measure your coffee by the teaspoon or tablespoon.
A standard tablespoon of light roast coffee grounds weighs 7 grams while a dark roast weighs 5 grams. This is only an estimate and not a replacement for a coffee scale.
Frequently Asked Questions About How Much Is A Gram Scale
What Weighs 1 Gram Exactly?
1 gram is approximately the same mass as a US dollar bill, or a metal paper clip. These are two easy items to keep in mind when remembering what weighs 1 gram exactly.
How Do You Measure 1 Gram On A Scale?
The most accurate way of weighing 1 gram is to use a digital gram scale. Start by pressing the tare button to zero the scale. Place your item for weighing in the center of the scale and wait a few moments for the scale to stop measuring and then record the weight.
How Many Nickels Does It Take To Weigh 100 Grams?
The US Mint tells us that a nickel weighs exactly 5.000 grams. To weight 100 grams you would need 20 nickels.
What Household Items Can I Use To Calibrate My Scale?
As an emergency calibration of your digital scale until you get a proper calibration kit you can use the following items as a guide:
- Nickels weigh 5 grams.
- Pennies weigh 2.5 grams.
- Quarters weight 5.67 grams.
- Dimes weigh 2.27 grams.
- A paperclip weighs 1 gram.
What Is An Example Of A Gram?
A gram is a very light object of low mass, a unit of measurement. An example of a 1 gram is a dollar bill, a paperclip and a stick of gum.
Is Gram Weight Or Mass?
A gram is a measurement of mass not a weight. Mass is a measurement of matter that an object has while the weight is the gravitational force or pull the earth has on an object. It is important to measure mass as it is a measurement of how much force that it takes to move a particular object.
Frappé-ing It All Up – How Much Is A Gram Scale
After reading this, your question “How much is a gram scale?” has been well answered, with the average price being around US$15 for a good one and an even better one at around US$30.
This is a good price range for a digital gram scale that you can use for weighing your coffee in your quest to make great coffee every single time.
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