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Thecoffeenerd
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Posted Fri Feb 14, 2014, 2:53pm
Subject: Thoughts on a Bunn LPG grinder?
 

So I'm planning to buy a Bunn LPG 6 pound coffee bean grinder, as a big upgrade with my Bunn commercial brewer. Has anyone used this item, and what are your thoughts with it? What setting are you using for commercial drip, and how do you change the settings?

I mainly want a review. And maybe if there is something better, for slightly more money.

 
"You can't make good coffee, without good coffee" -Thecoffeenerd
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GVDub
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Posted Sat Feb 15, 2014, 8:06am
Subject: Re: Thoughts on a Bunn LPG grinder?
 

I've been using a Bunn LPG 1 dosing grinder as my drip grinder for coming up on two years, and have been very happy with it. I picked it up used from the Buy/Sell/Trade  forums here, with new burrs already having been installed. Both the general user and the service manual with complete parts breakdown were easily found online.

Grind adjustment is done from the bottom of the burrs, and the special tool Bunn makes for it does make the job easier, though a flat-blade screwdriver with a very wide, fairly thin black could be used. Bunn does not sell directly to end users, so you'll have to find a local dealer for that and other parts you may need, usually a restaurant supply house, or source it on the web (which is what I ended up doing). That said, the stepless grind adjustment is easy, with the instructions in the manual. The factory recommended settings were very close, and only required a minor tweak when I switched from the paper to the metal filter on my Brazen.

There's a non-digital grind timer built in to the machine, accessible through a small port with pop-out metal cover in the back of the machine. Easy enough to set, though not extraordinarily precise in setting (think old-school rotary mechanical kitchen timer), and very consistent when you've got sufficient beans in the hopper to maintain consistent weight on the bean column. I find it's always within a gram or two, and learning the skill of manipulating the rocker switch on the front to get just a couple of extra grams out should it be a hair short didn't take very long to master. It's quick, grinding 72 grams in about 12-13 seconds.

Grind quality is very consistent and it's certainly easy to use, especially if your brew basket fits in the spring clips. It's designed for heavy commercial use. Slip a filter in the basket, basket slides into the spring clips on the grinder push a switch, do something else for your grind time, pull out the basket and stick it in the coffee maker. Over and over and over. I've seen these in truck stop diners being used to grind for 20 pots of coffee an hour.

Downsides? It takes up a fair chunk of counter space, isn't quiet and the transparent acrylic hopper isn't ideal for storing beans that won't be used up fairly quickly, though I use a bar towel as a hood to keep out the light (which also cuts the noise a little), never have more than 3-4 days worth of coffee in the hopper, and am willing to cede it the space because it just works—consistently and reliably.

I have considering swapping in the Ditting burrs to make it a Bunnzilla, and may get around to doing that someday, but even in its stock state, I'd buy one again.
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Thecoffeenerd
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Posted Sat Feb 15, 2014, 10:12am
Subject: Re: Thoughts on a Bunn LPG grinder?
 

Thanks for the reply! Very helpful review. I'm excited to use this grinder, even though I feel ya on not storing beans in there. I plan to weigh them, and throw them in the hopper. As far as the burr adjustment goes...You said I need a special key? Or does Bunn provide one? And the manual claims the factory setting is set to standards of the some coffee association. Is the factory setting exactly right for commercial drip?

 
"You can't make good coffee, without good coffee" -Thecoffeenerd
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GVDub
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Posted Sat Feb 15, 2014, 11:51am
Subject: Re: Thoughts on a Bunn LPG grinder?
 

If you're buying new, it should come with the key. Used is another matter, as the key is not large and most usually gets separated from the grinder.

I wouldn't single dose with it, as it popcorns like crazy. It really needs weight above the burrs to grind consistently, like almost every other grinder. Just keeping the hopper covered so the beans aren't constantly in the light keeps things working fine.

The factory setting is, I believe roughly what the SCAA recommends, so I'd stick with that unless you're having problems.
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Thecoffeenerd
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Posted Sat Feb 15, 2014, 12:07pm
Subject: Re: Thoughts on a Bunn LPG grinder?
 

Well, that sucks to hear that. Because I wanted to single dose every time. And I don't think the beans would stay fresh sitting in the hopper for a week. Are there any other commercial grinders you can recommend for me?

 
"You can't make good coffee, without good coffee" -Thecoffeenerd
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GVDub
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Joined: 25 Jan 2008
Posts: 866
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Londinium I, Arrarex...
Grinder: Gaggia MD85, Dienes Mokka,...
Drip: Behmor Brazen, Abid Clever
Roaster: Behmor 1600+
Posted Sat Feb 15, 2014, 2:02pm
Subject: Re: Thoughts on a Bunn LPG grinder?
 

Any grinder with an electric motor is going to popcorn unless you have a bean column keeping it from happening. it's just simple physics — when a bean gets "bit" by the burrs, it's going to fracture, and the part that's not grabbed by the burr will fly off with the momentum imparted by the spinning burrs and bounce around the grinding chamber. The "herky-jerky" grinding that results when you're single-dosing in that situation will _always_ lead to less consistency in the grind. Unless you've got a very slow-speed motor it's inevitable.

I haven't noticed any issues with beans staling with 2-3 days worth of beans (~225 grams) in the hopper at one time.
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Thecoffeenerd
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Posted Sat Feb 15, 2014, 2:45pm
Subject: Re: Thoughts on a Bunn LPG grinder?
 

If I kept 2 pounds of beans in the hopper, and use it daily at least one time in the morning for lets say a week, would that work?

 
"You can't make good coffee, without good coffee" -Thecoffeenerd
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CoffeeRon
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Posted Sat Feb 15, 2014, 3:06pm
Subject: Re: Thoughts on a Bunn LPG grinder?
 

You may want to look at the Bunn G2. If you search for Bunnzilla you'll find that's what they're using. They single dose as it's auger fed and so no popcorning. There is a fair amount of discussion on it here and at HB right now.
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Thecoffeenerd
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Joined: 14 Jun 2013
Posts: 215
Location: N/A
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: N/A
Grinder: Baratza Encore, Bodum Bistro...
Vac Pot: N/A
Drip: Bunn Phase Brew 8 Cup, Hario...
Roaster: N/A
Posted Sat Feb 15, 2014, 3:14pm
Subject: Re: Thoughts on a Bunn LPG grinder?
 

Actually, I had looked into the Bunn G1 HD as it's slightly cheaper, shorter and I don't need coffee grinder that grinds 2 pounds of beans lol It was the first grinder I wanted, buy figured maybe the LPG was better for what i'm doing, but I think I could easily get more from a Bunn G1 HD with the various settings. Out of the box are the settings good? Or do I need to calibrate them?

 
"You can't make good coffee, without good coffee" -Thecoffeenerd
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CoffeeRon
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Joined: 26 Apr 2009
Posts: 753
Location: Eatonville, Wa
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Wega Lyra, Europiccola(still...
Grinder: Macap M7D, Pharos, Vario W,...
Vac Pot: Sunbeam CoffeeMaster
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Roaster: FR SR500,B-1600, SC/TO
Posted Sat Feb 15, 2014, 8:19pm
Subject: Re: Thoughts on a Bunn LPG grinder?
 

This thread went a bit OT and has a fair amount of info on the Bunn G grinders and "Bunnzilla".

Click Here (coffeegeek.com)

I believe, from what I read somewhere here, the out of box settings are good.
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