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Burr Grinders
Tony_C
Grinders would be a good suggestion for an additional areas for the forum. Not only is a good roast the key to a good cup, so is the grind you use to achieve it.

I would like to know what type of burr grinders everyone is using, and what everyone suggests. I have a cheap Black and Decker burr grinder, but it really grinds a better espresso grind over a course grind. I really can't get the coarse grind for my type of brewing.

Currently, I use Chemex for all of my brewing. It definitely allows you to know how fresh your coffee is as well. I'm able to brew coffee better than any other coffee house, any other brew method, and can really enjoy my coffee. I have found that the initial bloom, and I mean good bloom, only shows itself with fresh roasted, fresh ground coffee.

I enjoy hands on brewing, and have developed one hell of a method. I call it "Riding the Bloom". Once I have my water to temp, I pour slowly in a small circular pattern to get the bloom started. Once it expands, I mainly focus on pouring slowly in a circle to keep the bloom expanded The entire bed of grounds are saturated, but with the bloom still basically active, it seems like the water is allowed to almost bubble amid the grounds, allowing for a really complete extraction. I've gotten a perfect cup every time with this method, and the aromas released and flavors i get are phenomenal.

But getting an even coarse grind is the key to this. Too fine and it bogs down the brewing time, and extraction takes way too long. I've used a blade grinder, but once I get the majority of the beans ground coarse, there are many whole or partially whole beans left over. And if I go any farther, I get too fine a grind.

I was looking at the Capresso Infinity or Baratza Preciso for a good lower cost burr grinder. Any thoughts?
 
JackH
I bought a Baratza Encore a few months ago and I really like it. About $130 if that is in your budget. A good entry level grinder. I use it mostly for Clever coffee dripper and pour over.

http://www.amazon...B00LW8122Y
---Jack

KKTO Roaster.
 
oldgearhead
I like the Baratza grinders because they are easily serviced at home with the parts and instructions available on-line. I'm currently on the second set of burrs for my seven-year-old Virtuoso. Also they made the new style burr sets work with the older grinders.
No oil on my beans...
 
Tony_C
Awesome, thanks for the replies.

That was a few of my questions, are they able to easily be serviced at home, are the burrs replaceable, parts available, etc...

I'm the only coffee drinker in the house, so i don't need a really expensive or large volume grinder. But I do want to step up from a value flat burr grinder to a conical.
 
turtle
I've brewed in a Chemex since finding one at goodwill my first year in college (talking bout late 1960's now).... All through the years Chemex has remained my favorite brew method. I have all sizes they make. The filters paper they use is head and shoulders above others. I even use Chemex filters in my Hario V60 dripper.

You may want to pre-infuse for 30-45 seconds before commencing your pour. I think you will find the taste improved. I time based on when the bloom starts to collapse, then start my pour. I use the same method you do other than the pre-infuse.


I have been using Baratza grinders for decades. When they grow old, they are easy to restore to as new condition with minimal cost and minimal effort (well designed units and repair parts are readily available and reasonable).

I've owned every model they have made over the years.

This is my current "coffee wall". Grinders are two Forte BG and a highly modified Supper Jolly

i1066.photobucket.com/albums/u414/turtle-web/food/coffee/11-16-2015_coffee-wall2_zpsscfpmvcw.jpg
Edited by ginny on 12/07/2015 1:05 AM
Mick - "Drinking in life one cup at a time"
"I'd rather be roasting coffee"

Roaster 1: San Franciscan SF-1
Roaster 2: Hottop B-2K+
Roaster 3: 2 kilo Chinese drum
Grinders: Mazzer Major - Forte BG (x3)
Pour over: Hario - Bee House - Chemex - Kalita - Bodum
Drip: Bunn CWTF15-1 & CW15-TC (commercials)
Espresso: Pasquini Livia 90 auto
Vacuum: Cona - Bodum
Press: Frieling - Bodum Colombia
 
turtle

Quote

Tony_C wrote:

Awesome, thanks for the replies.

That was a few of my questions, are they able to easily be serviced at home, are the burrs replaceable, parts available, etc...

I'm the only coffee drinker in the house, so i don't need a really expensive or large volume grinder. But I do want to step up from a value flat burr grinder to a conical.


Every Thursday Baratza lists out their refurbs. These are returns that Baratza gores though, repairs/replaces parts as needed and re-adjusts. their refurbs come with the same warranty as a new unit (1 year). I've bought nothing but refurbs over the past 10 years and been satisfied with them. Encore refurb is $99

http://www.baratz...egory=RFRB

Anything you want to know about Baratza grinders just ask me. They have internal base grind settings you can diddle with to dial in a base/starting rind them move up and down wth the external adjustment. Nice.....

I would strongly lead you to thier Esatto weight based attachment. I used one for years before going to the Vario-W then to the Forte-BG, both of which are weight based grinders.

Nothing beats dialing in the perfect weight of beans, walking away while it is being ground for you.

I started out using the Esatto on my Maestro plus (the precursor to he Encore), then moved to a Preciso with the Esatto attached.

Trust me..... Once you experience weight based grinding you will never know how you ever existed before....

Maestro Plus on the Esatto (from the way back years)

i1066.photobucket.com/albums/u414/turtle-web/food/coffee/grinders/esatto_jolly_zpsd59eda3e.jpg

The (same) Esatto on my Preciso when I had a Vario-W (not too way back but several years ago)

i1066.photobucket.com/albums/u414/turtle-web/food/coffee/grinders/vario-preciso_zps57f6275d.jpg
Mick - "Drinking in life one cup at a time"
"I'd rather be roasting coffee"

Roaster 1: San Franciscan SF-1
Roaster 2: Hottop B-2K+
Roaster 3: 2 kilo Chinese drum
Grinders: Mazzer Major - Forte BG (x3)
Pour over: Hario - Bee House - Chemex - Kalita - Bodum
Drip: Bunn CWTF15-1 & CW15-TC (commercials)
Espresso: Pasquini Livia 90 auto
Vacuum: Cona - Bodum
Press: Frieling - Bodum Colombia
 
Tony_C

Quote

turtle wrote:

You may want to pre-infuse for 30-45 seconds before commencing your pour. I think you will find the taste improved. I time based on when the bloom starts to collapse, then start my pour. I use the same method you do other than the pre-infuse.


Usually my pre-infuse is only about 15 seconds. I'll bump that longer per your suggestion. Thanks.
 
Tony_C
Very nice! I have no issue whatsoever on buying refurbished products, That's a great source. Plus I just found that Baratza has a local authorized Service Center in my state that's close to me.

I'm going to take you up on that. So far you three have nothing but good words to say about Baratza. So after looking up their products, and seeing the reviews, that will be my choice.

I like that. In fact, I like that a lot. Rather than using a separate kitchen scale or measuring cups, and worrying about keeping everything together (as the family uses them for cooking), having a dedicated system like the Esatto is a no-brainer for me. I like the programmable button to simply repeat a grind since I'm pretty regular on the amount I use.

Thanks Turtle!
Edited by ginny on 12/07/2015 1:08 AM
 
turtle
About the only thing negative I can say about Baratza grinders is you MUST never change the grinder setting UNLESS the grinder is running.

The internals are plastic and prone to damage and breakage. But on the good side they are inexpensive (postage will be more than the parts).

If you keep your grinder setting it is no big but if you diddle around with it, make sure you turn the grinder ON first.

This is the same advice you will get on ANY grinder, especially an espresso grinder where the burrs are VERY close together at the fine grind setting.

Baratza has a large listing of "how to fix" PDF and videos for each grinder model.

http://www.baratz...eshooting/

Select the grinder model then go through the list of repair procedures. Most are pretty simple and require no tools.
Mick - "Drinking in life one cup at a time"
"I'd rather be roasting coffee"

Roaster 1: San Franciscan SF-1
Roaster 2: Hottop B-2K+
Roaster 3: 2 kilo Chinese drum
Grinders: Mazzer Major - Forte BG (x3)
Pour over: Hario - Bee House - Chemex - Kalita - Bodum
Drip: Bunn CWTF15-1 & CW15-TC (commercials)
Espresso: Pasquini Livia 90 auto
Vacuum: Cona - Bodum
Press: Frieling - Bodum Colombia
 
JackH
$150 for that Esatto weight based attachment alone. Yikes!
---Jack

KKTO Roaster.
 
oldgearhead

Quote

JackH wrote:

$150 for that Esatto weight based attachment alone. Yikes!

Yes, I've been using a $10 digital scale.
No oil on my beans...
 
turtle

Quote

JackH wrote:

$150 for that Esatto weight based attachment alone. Yikes!


$115 for a refurb directly from Baratza.

used ones on eBay come up for less than that if you are patient.

I've been using a weight based grinder system since they came out and I would never use an electric with out one.

I modified a super jolly to be time based single dosing (same results as weight only without a scale).

Before doing the mods I weighed each shot, tossed it into the throat, covered it with a mason jar lid to keep the beans from jumping out, ground all of the measure then chucked like a mad man until the modified sweeps dumped all of the grind from the doser into the portafilter.

NOW.....

I stick the portifilter under the funnel, walk over to the controller. Select single or double shot and walk away.

In the end it is all about how much convenience, without sacrificing accuracy, you are willing to take your coffee roasting, brewing, and consumption "hobby"

SJ during its "mason jar lid phase" (yes that is a Maestro plus on an Esatto and a Verio-W hiding behind the SJ)

i1066.photobucket.com/albums/u414/turtle-web/food/coffee/grinders/jolly_lid-2_zps2a8c2b4d.jpg

i1066.photobucket.com/albums/u414/turtle-web/food/coffee/grinders/jolly_lid-1_zpsec85cfdc.jpg

The "bits" for the change over to electronic dosing:

i1066.photobucket.com/albums/u414/turtle-web/food/coffee/grinders/Super_Jolly/doserless_parts2_zpsfd4b0475.jpg

i1066.photobucket.com/albums/u414/turtle-web/food/coffee/grinders/Super_Jolly/done1_zps60bfa29f.jpg

The SJ controller is on the other side of the counter.

i1066.photobucket.com/albums/u414/turtle-web/food/coffee/grinders/auber_timer1_zps6d66cf3e.jpg
Edited by turtle on 12/05/2015 7:28 PM
Mick - "Drinking in life one cup at a time"
"I'd rather be roasting coffee"

Roaster 1: San Franciscan SF-1
Roaster 2: Hottop B-2K+
Roaster 3: 2 kilo Chinese drum
Grinders: Mazzer Major - Forte BG (x3)
Pour over: Hario - Bee House - Chemex - Kalita - Bodum
Drip: Bunn CWTF15-1 & CW15-TC (commercials)
Espresso: Pasquini Livia 90 auto
Vacuum: Cona - Bodum
Press: Frieling - Bodum Colombia
 
turtle
As always...

YMMV

.
Mick - "Drinking in life one cup at a time"
"I'd rather be roasting coffee"

Roaster 1: San Franciscan SF-1
Roaster 2: Hottop B-2K+
Roaster 3: 2 kilo Chinese drum
Grinders: Mazzer Major - Forte BG (x3)
Pour over: Hario - Bee House - Chemex - Kalita - Bodum
Drip: Bunn CWTF15-1 & CW15-TC (commercials)
Espresso: Pasquini Livia 90 auto
Vacuum: Cona - Bodum
Press: Frieling - Bodum Colombia
 
allenb
Unfortunately, most coffee grinder offerings for the home market today suffer from one or more of the following issues:

Excessive noise

Create excessive static charge causing grounds to scatter everywhere

Too many fines in proportion to normal grind particles

Ground coffee fails to drop out of exit chute causing stale grounds to drop during new grinding session

Ergonomically incorrect and clumsy to operate

I've had my trusty Solis 166 (predecessor to the Baratza line of grinders) over 13 years now and has only required one burr replacement and two grounds slinging impeller replacements and a little lubing of the gear train and motor bearings. I love this grinder and it does not suffer from any of the ailments listed above. Only problem is it's not available anymore unless you can find a used one for sale.

Grinders having the least ailments in the above list are made by Baratza and if my 166 ever keels over I'll be buying one of their models.

My advice to anyone looking for a really uniform medium to medium coarse/coarse grind is to find a good used Bunn LPG or G3 or any model of Grindmaster. I don't know of any grinders made for home use that can produce a grind coarser than medium fine without producing "corn flakes" along side medium fine particles. It's not possible to produce a good, clean medium coarse grind with the small burrs that come on them. I use my 166 for Chemex brews and use my Bunn LPG for press pots and vacuum pot brewing.

Allen
1/2 lb and 1 lb drum, Siemens Sirocco fluidbed, presspot, chemex, cajun biggin brewer from the backwoods of Louisiana
 
oldgearhead
Let me tell you a short story:
We had been enjoying some excellent home-roasted Bali Blue Moon and some Sumatra Mandheling for a couple of weeks. So when we found out the condo were we would be staying on our Florida trip had a grinder, I roasted a couple of pounds for the vacation. Well the condo had two grinders, but they were both spinning choppers and my coffee tasted terrible. I bought some locally roasted beans and they were bad also. I ended up taking the locally roasted beans back to the store for grinding before we had a reasonable cup of coffee.
Therefore, don't even think about using a $15 chopper on your carefully roasted coffee...
No oil on my beans...
 
oldgearhead

Quote

allenb wrote:

>snip>
I've had my trusty Solis 166 (predecessor to the Baratza line of grinders) over 13 years now a....
>snip<
Allen


I found a broken Solis 166 on eBay, purchased the parts to fix it from Baratza and my son has been using it for a couple of years now. Great grinder!
No oil on my beans...
 
allenb
Baratza has stopped supporting the 166 with parts but maybe some of the newer models share similar parts as in burrs and impellers? My 166 has the older style universal ac/dc motor versus the newer permanent magnet DC motor found on all of their current models.

Something I'm curious about is if Baratza is still using the same type of static charge eliminating device as is on the 166. One of the big selling points for me was this feature as I have no static cling nor scattering tendency. In examining the internals of it, all I see is a magnet (assuming it to be a magnet) on a hinged plate thats directly in the path of the horizontally discharging grounds before dropping downward.

Allen
1/2 lb and 1 lb drum, Siemens Sirocco fluidbed, presspot, chemex, cajun biggin brewer from the backwoods of Louisiana
 
turtle

Quote

oldgearhead wrote:

Let me tell you a short story:
We had been enjoying some excellent home-roasted Bali Blue Moon and some Sumatra Mandheling for a couple of weeks. So when we found out the condo were we would be staying on our Florida trip had a grinder, I roasted a couple of pounds for the vacation. Well the condo had two grinders, but they were both spinning choppers and my coffee tasted terrible. I bought some locally roasted beans and they were bad also. I ended up taking the locally roasted beans back to the store for grinding before we had a reasonable cup of coffee.
Therefore, don't even think about using a $15 chopper on your carefully roasted coffee...


I travel with a OE modified Kyocera CM-50, a beehouse, and a 1 liter thermal carafe to brew into. I can get Melitta #4 filters anywhere should I run out while on the raod. If I am going to be gone a week or less I will take a vacuum canister of about 1.5 lbs of fresh roasted also. If I am gone longer I will locate and purchase fresh roast from a local artisan roaster when I run out of what I started out with. One of the members on HRO has helped me out when traveling and I have been out of beans.

I've been without good coffee once.... AND once was more than enough of an experience that I never want it to happen again.

roasting coffee is only half of the equation. Without a way to prepare it properly, you are done for and might as well head back home

Now I'm off to get another pull of the SO Rwandan that I have been enjoying lately.

.
Mick - "Drinking in life one cup at a time"
"I'd rather be roasting coffee"

Roaster 1: San Franciscan SF-1
Roaster 2: Hottop B-2K+
Roaster 3: 2 kilo Chinese drum
Grinders: Mazzer Major - Forte BG (x3)
Pour over: Hario - Bee House - Chemex - Kalita - Bodum
Drip: Bunn CWTF15-1 & CW15-TC (commercials)
Espresso: Pasquini Livia 90 auto
Vacuum: Cona - Bodum
Press: Frieling - Bodum Colombia
 
BenKeith
I have the Encore for drip and pour over coffee. I also have a Solis I bought about 15 years ago when I thought I was going to be able to make cappuccino's with a $175 thing I bought from Dillard's. The Solis I kept to use for coffee, that $175 thing went back where it came from. The Encore replace the Solis because the thing was very noisy and messy. I bought a Rocky when I bought a Livia 90 to replace the thing took back to Dillard's and the Rocky has been replace by one highly modified single dosing Doge.
 
baldheadracing

Quote

allenb wrote:
...I don't know of any grinders made for home use that can produce a grind coarser than medium fine without producing "corn flakes" along side medium fine particles. ...


I'd suggest the Baratza Vario/Vario-W retrofitted with Ditting steel burrs (as found on the Baratza Fort? BG) as a possibility.
 
allenb
I like flat disc grinders (as used in the Vario model) for espresso and any coffee brewing suited for fine ground coffee but in my experience in coffee equipment setup and service, any flat disc less than 3" (75 mm) diameter will typically produce an abundance of fines accompanied by various larger particles and usually flakes when getting near the size particle I typically use for drip and especially vacuum pot or press pot. The Baratza Vario uses a 54 mm disc and would most likely suffer in this area. In reading customer reviews it appears to be one of the major complaints from people using it for drip brewing.

I've found that neither brand name nor price is any guarantee of the quality of grind one can expect in the non-commercial grinder segment. It's too bad that most of us are forced to purchase, try it and return it until we find the one that meets our minimum requirements but that's what we should expect if we don't have the luxury of experimenting with one locally.

Allen
1/2 lb and 1 lb drum, Siemens Sirocco fluidbed, presspot, chemex, cajun biggin brewer from the backwoods of Louisiana
 
baldheadracing
True, the steel-burred Vario won't be comparable to a 75mm+ flat or a bulk grinder. While a lot of shops use the Fort? Brew Grinder (same burrs) in their pour-over bars, Blue Bottle, for example, uses the Mythos. I have a set of 75 mm Mythos burrs waiting for my Eureka, so I'll eventually be able to compare for myself. All I have been able to compare to are 64mm flats and various conicals (38mm-83mm), all of which I felt were inferior to what I could taste with the Vario retrofitted with steel burrs. (All the blind testing that I have done used cupping as the brew method.)

Note the comments that you read are probably based on the Mahlkonig ceramic burrs in the Vario. While the ceramic burrs are commonly rated as better than their burr size for espresso, they are not that well-regarded for coarser grinds. Conversely, the steel burrs were designed by Ditting for brew, and they won't work for espresso (in a Vario).
 
allenb

Quote

Note the comments that you read are probably based on the Mahlkonig ceramic burrs in the Vario.


I know one of the bad reviews was on one with steel burrs but who knows how coarse they were trying to achieve. Obviously, if someone is looking for a clean 2.0 mm particle size for ultra coarse press pot then they're asking for trouble with most grinders.

It's too bad that the old Grindmaster bulk grinders with their amazingly efficient and accurate segmented burrs were attached to a body with zero sex appeal, at least in a modern, high end shop. They fit in fine in a 50's retro shop. We did grind tests (drip grind) between Mahlkonig VTA6, Dittings, Bunns etc for best, consistent, least fines grind and Grindmaster blew all of them away every time. I never understood why their burr design was never copied. Probably a patent issue.

I think it's asking much too much for any company to come up with a grinder that will produce both the perfect espresso and press pot grind from the same unit.

Allen
1/2 lb and 1 lb drum, Siemens Sirocco fluidbed, presspot, chemex, cajun biggin brewer from the backwoods of Louisiana
 
baldheadracing
Grindmaster-type burrs (a.k.a. "ghost burrs") are very popular in the far east - the Japanese Fuji Royale R-440 (shop grinder) being the "standard." There are smaller home models (Fuji R-220) and various Chinese/Taiwan versions and these are quite popular - quite a few threads on home-barista comparing the various models. Unfortunately, not worth the transportation cost of importing into North America, especially when used Grindmasters, Bunns, etc., are readily available.
 
turtle
Grindmaster 810 is a little large for home use (physically). Needing 25" + height to open the top the one I had did not come close to fitting under my cabinets (even with the lid closed). The wife was not too pleased with the size of it so I sold it. Nice grinder for a "bachelor" who likes coffee

I had to put a short mini hopper on my supper jolly to get it to fit under the kitchen cabinets with an inch or two to spare.


The wife has been pretty understanding of my "coffee hobby", allowing me entire wall of the kitchen so I can "make a cup of coffee" AND letting me play around.





edit to remove photos that are already posted in this thread.
Edited by ginny on 12/08/2015 9:13 AM
Mick - "Drinking in life one cup at a time"
"I'd rather be roasting coffee"

Roaster 1: San Franciscan SF-1
Roaster 2: Hottop B-2K+
Roaster 3: 2 kilo Chinese drum
Grinders: Mazzer Major - Forte BG (x3)
Pour over: Hario - Bee House - Chemex - Kalita - Bodum
Drip: Bunn CWTF15-1 & CW15-TC (commercials)
Espresso: Pasquini Livia 90 auto
Vacuum: Cona - Bodum
Press: Frieling - Bodum Colombia
 
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