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Discussions > Coffee > Q and A > New at grinding...  
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msboo
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Joined: 10 Nov 2012
Posts: 288
Location: Kentucky
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso, Capresso...
Drip: Technivorm, Bonavita
Posted Mon Feb 25, 2013, 10:05am
Subject: New at grinding at home
 

I've noticed a good amount of chaff in the grounds, is that normal? I wonder how that's effecting the end result in the cup.

I'm also wondering IF I need to get inside my grinder to see if it's set in the 'neutral' position. I don't really want to take it apart BUT. Currently waiting for 4 new feet to arrive since mine were off resulting in a rocking (unlevel) grinder out of the box.

I ask about chaff because when having fresh beans ground at the roaster (before coming home to brew) I never had that---their ground auto drip also looked little finer than I'm getting on my Virtuoso. I'm having a bit of a time getting the right grind with the right amount of coffee----aiming for medium strength but lots of taste without bitterness (using Bonavita brewer).
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jliedeka
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jliedeka
Joined: 1 May 2002
Posts: 1,560
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Expertise: I live coffee

Grinder: Rocky Stainless
Drip: Technivorm, Chemex,...
Roaster: Behmor, heat gun
Posted Mon Feb 25, 2013, 3:13pm
Subject: Re: New at grinding at home
 

I've never noticed chaff to affect the flavor.  I suspect the chaff is just more noticeable at home because static makes it stick everywhere.  Commercially roasted beans probably have less chaff than home roasted beans but there's always that little bit stuck in the seam of the bean, regardless.

Getting the perfect grind just takes a bit of trial and error.  If the filter doesn't drain fast enough or the brew is bitter, you probably need to go coarser.  If it drains too fast and the brew is more sour, go finer.  It's probably best not to make huge adjustments, especially if you are close.  Once you find a good spot, it helps to mark it or write down the number.  I used a Sharpie to put a couple of dots on my girlfriend's Preciso for Moka and drip.

    Jim

 
Cafe todo el dia, tequila toda la noche
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msboo
Senior Member


Joined: 10 Nov 2012
Posts: 288
Location: Kentucky
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso, Capresso...
Drip: Technivorm, Bonavita
Posted Mon Feb 25, 2013, 3:42pm
Subject: Re: New at grinding at home
 

Jim....  thanks for answering the 'chaff' question. I've not read/heard that it made any difference but I'm so new at all this, learning everyday. You're right about settings.... 1 click up/down can make difference. I started off grinding with Colombian Supremo. Looking for some good Ethiopian now.

Thanks again, Becky
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Netphilosopher
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Joined: 14 Jan 2011
Posts: 1,602
Location: USA
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Tue Feb 26, 2013, 6:21am
Subject: .
 

.
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jliedeka
Moderator
jliedeka
Joined: 1 May 2002
Posts: 1,560
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Expertise: I live coffee

Grinder: Rocky Stainless
Drip: Technivorm, Chemex,...
Roaster: Behmor, heat gun
Posted Tue Feb 26, 2013, 11:26am
Subject: Re: New at grinding at home
 

That's strange.  I tend to roast more in the medium to medium dark area so wouldn't see that.  I suppose longer exposure to heat will shrink the chaff allowing more to be removed from the beans during roasting and cooling.

I've noticed that I get the least amount of chaff from Sumatran and other wet pulped beans.

    Jim

 
Cafe todo el dia, tequila toda la noche
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msboo
Senior Member


Joined: 10 Nov 2012
Posts: 288
Location: Kentucky
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso, Capresso...
Drip: Technivorm, Bonavita
Posted Mon Mar 4, 2013, 9:21am
Subject: Re: New at grinding at home
 

Finally found my grind setting, 16 seems to be "it" for my Virtuoso (Bonavita brewer). Want to get a Clever Dripper, know that requires a coarser grind so will be messing with that when the time comes.
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barkingburro
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barkingburro
Joined: 23 Nov 2011
Posts: 212
Location: Irvine, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Vac Pot: Trifecta MB, CafeSolo,...
Posted Mon Mar 4, 2013, 12:36pm
Subject: Re: New at grinding at home
 

Becky,

Can you describe what the chaff looked like, in terms of shape and color?  For example, was it lighter in color and consisted of paper-like shreds?  If so, I encountered something similar, but it had more to do with regular cleaning and keeping the grinder exit path clear.

 
- Michael
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msboo
Senior Member


Joined: 10 Nov 2012
Posts: 288
Location: Kentucky
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso, Capresso...
Drip: Technivorm, Bonavita
Posted Mon Mar 4, 2013, 3:34pm
Subject: Re: New at grinding at home
 

Hey BarkingBurro.....  the chaff I'm getting is like what you described. However, I keep my grinder pretty clean---sort of OCD with that. I also tap on the sides of the grinder with my hands after grinding (hoping to keep it from building up between wkly cleaning).

Becky
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barkingburro
Senior Member
barkingburro
Joined: 23 Nov 2011
Posts: 212
Location: Irvine, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Vac Pot: Trifecta MB, CafeSolo,...
Posted Mon Mar 4, 2013, 6:37pm
Subject: Re: New at grinding at home
 

msboo Said:

Hey BarkingBurro.....  the chaff I'm getting is like what you described. However, I keep my grinder pretty clean---sort of OCD with that. I also tap on the sides of the grinder with my hands after grinding (hoping to keep it from building up between wkly cleaning).

Becky

Posted March 4, 2013 link

Excellent, now for the grand experiment!  One fine day I noticed a lot of light colored chaff, right after switching from a lighter roast to a darker roast.  It really built up, so I cleaned the grinder and it went away only temporarily.  It was then that I changed my Preciso side burp slapping to always slapping it from the back while tilting it forward.  That, in combination with a quick twirl of a pastry brush up the chute seemed to do a fantastic job of clearing debris.  In fact, my measured grounds retention went way down to 0.1 or 0.2 grams after that.  Since the only thing I changed was to do back-slapping instead of side-slapping, I recommend that technique to you.  The brush is important, too.

And I suck when it comes to cleaning my grinder.  My theory is that some of the chaff stays in the grinder and may even lighten-up or change color over time so that it becomes more noticeable.  In effect, you're seeing older debris that would not normally call attention to itself if it departed on schedule.

So if you're game, try the same thing and let me know if it works as well for you.

Kind Regards,

 
- Michael
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msboo
Senior Member


Joined: 10 Nov 2012
Posts: 288
Location: Kentucky
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso, Capresso...
Drip: Technivorm, Bonavita
Posted Mon Mar 4, 2013, 7:03pm
Subject: Re: New at grinding at home
 

BarkingBurro....  thanks so much for the tip. I'll start giving it a back-slap while tilting forward. I've just had my grinder for 2 weeks and had the chaff from the beginning. You're right about using a pastry brush---I have one still packed up somewhere (been looking since ordering) but can't find it so need to pick one up. Until then I'm using a dry paper napkin to 'brush' around then quick clean up with a Dirt Devil.
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