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Discussions > Espresso > Grinders -... > Getting the most...  
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LambTaco
Senior Member


Joined: 29 Dec 2009
Posts: 48
Location: Chicago
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia V3
Grinder: Gaggia MDF
Drip: Nope; Bodum French press
Posted Thu Feb 4, 2010, 9:26am
Subject: Getting the most out of the Gaggia MDF
 

Hey all,

I have had my MDF for about a month now.  I have been using it for press pot coffee because I've been without an espresso machine (searching for a new one).  I recently placed an order for a Silvia v3 and I'm very excited :)  

Now, I know that the MDF's steps are somewhat large and that many people have stated they have trouble dialing in the right grind for their machine, and that they wish the steps were smaller.  With that in mind, I have 3 questions:

  1. Have you used the MDF for espresso?  What did you think of it?
  2. Have you specifically used the MDF in combination with the Silvia?
  3. Have you performed the stepless mod on the MDF, and how did it work out for you?

Thanks everyone for your time.
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lennyk
Senior Member


Joined: 17 Oct 2007
Posts: 28
Location: pos
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Thu Feb 4, 2010, 11:04am
Subject: Re: Getting the most out of the Gaggia MDF
 

I tried the stepless teflon mod but found it was either too hard to screw the burr back in or it would eventually drift.

I instead bolted a piece of angle aluminum and threaded a bolt through which would bite against the top brass carrier, works pretty ok as a true stepless mod.

However I do find that the MDF grind is not perfect as upon examination there is a fair amount of different sized particles and dust in the grinds.

lennyk: mdf2.jpg
(Click for larger image)
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espressoaddict
Senior Member


Joined: 18 Mar 2009
Posts: 346
Location: Seattle
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia V3 (Primary)...
Grinder: Baratza Vario 2009 and...
Vac Pot: None
Drip: Melitta Single Cup, Bodum...
Posted Thu Feb 4, 2010, 11:23am
Subject: Re: Getting the most out of the Gaggia MDF
 

LambTaco Said:

Have you used the MDF for espresso?  What did you think of it?

Posted February 4, 2010 link

Yes -   The results will vary from person to person, but with my experience it provided good results.

LambTaco Said:

Have you specifically used the MDF in combination with the Silvia?

Posted February 4, 2010 link

Not exactly, Bought the MDF to be used as a backup grinder for travel, but also used it for a few weeks while I was waiting for my Vario grinder to arrive in the mail.

LambTaco Said:

Have you performed the stepless mod on the MDF, and how did it work out for you?

Posted February 4, 2010 link

I did with an older MDF I owned, but sold that one awhile ago. The teflon did work, but did not like the fact that some of the loose teflon would get caught in the burrs making it difficult to remove when cleaning.

Not sure the age of your MDF and if the blades are still sharp, but as long as I was using fresh roasted beans settings 4 - 6 were the ideal grinder settings.  And that is w/o the teflon mod.
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LambTaco
Senior Member


Joined: 29 Dec 2009
Posts: 48
Location: Chicago
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia V3
Grinder: Gaggia MDF
Drip: Nope; Bodum French press
Posted Thu Feb 4, 2010, 11:32am
Subject: Re: Getting the most out of the Gaggia MDF
 

.
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LambTaco
Senior Member


Joined: 29 Dec 2009
Posts: 48
Location: Chicago
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia V3
Grinder: Gaggia MDF
Drip: Nope; Bodum French press
Posted Thu Feb 4, 2010, 11:33am
Subject: Re: Getting the most out of the Gaggia MDF
 

LambTaco Said:

I instead bolted a piece of angle aluminum and threaded a bolt through which would bite against the top brass carrier, works pretty ok as a true stepless mod.

Posted February 4, 2010 link

Do you have any detailed instructions on how you did that?  I am having trouble visualizing how that works.  It seems like the thread of the bolt is scraping against the top of the brass fixture in order to provide resistance.  Wouldn't this eventually wear a groove into the brass?
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JasonBrandtLewis
Senior Member
JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,467
Location: Berkeley, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Elektra T1 - La Valentina -...
Grinder: Mahlkönig K30 Vario -...
Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup
Drip: CCD, Chemex
Roaster: No, no, not another...
Posted Thu Feb 4, 2010, 11:39am
Subject: Re: Getting the most out of the Gaggia MDF
 

LambTaco Said:

Have you used the MDF for espresso?  What did you think of it?

Posted February 4, 2010 link

-- Used one for 25 years (1980-2005), paired with an SBDU machine (Gaggia Coffee).  It worked fine for espresso, and is still in daily use at my brother-in-law's.  That said, a) I would not use it with a prosumer-class of machine; and, b) there is a much larger variety of grinders available in the market today and -- while I had no complaints with my MDF -- I might not buy it were I just now starting out.

LambTaco Said:

Have you specifically used the MDF in combination with the Silvia?

Posted February 4, 2010 link

-- No.

LambTaco Said:

Have you performed the stepless mod on the MDF, and how did it work out for you?

Posted February 4, 2010 link

-- Never saw the need.

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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LambTaco
Senior Member


Joined: 29 Dec 2009
Posts: 48
Location: Chicago
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia V3
Grinder: Gaggia MDF
Drip: Nope; Bodum French press
Posted Thu Feb 4, 2010, 11:58am
Subject: Re: Getting the most out of the Gaggia MDF
 

JasonBrandtLewis Said:

That said, a) I would not use it with a prosumer-class of machine; and, b) there is a much larger variety of grinders available in the market today and -- while I had no complaints with my MDF -- I might not buy it were I just now starting out.

Posted February 4, 2010 link

I am somewhat regretting the fact that I decided to get the MDF.  Looking back there were better options for just $50 more.  That being said...  I plan to hold onto my Silvia for a long time but I will probably upgrade my grinder within a year or perhaps 2 years.  I figure that Vario will be my next purchase.  The way I see it, I will get much more bang for my buck by just upgrading my grinder (perhaps a few times), until I have an excellent grinder, after which I will finally upgrade to a prosumer machine.
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espressoaddict
Senior Member


Joined: 18 Mar 2009
Posts: 346
Location: Seattle
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia V3 (Primary)...
Grinder: Baratza Vario 2009 and...
Vac Pot: None
Drip: Melitta Single Cup, Bodum...
Posted Thu Feb 4, 2010, 12:03pm
Subject: Re: Getting the most out of the Gaggia MDF
 

LambTaco Said:

Do you have any detailed instructions on how you did that?  I am having trouble visualizing how that works.  It seems like the thread of the bolt is scraping against the top of the brass fixture in order to provide resistance.  Wouldn't this eventually wear a groove into the brass?

Posted February 4, 2010 link

You raise a very interesting question.  Others have reported having positive results with this MOD, but I had negative results.  At certain times the teflon wrap made it nearly impossible to unscrew the upper burr.  The limited movement required applying more than needed force and somehow misaligned some of the threading.  Yeah, how I'm not exactly sure how, but it did.  So be advised before moving forward with this mod.

Edited:  Again don't worry too much about this MOD.  Use very fresh beans and start with 6 and adjust from there.  A 3 will most likely choke your Silvia.  Again this is what I have done and know it will work.
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lennyk
Senior Member


Joined: 17 Oct 2007
Posts: 28
Location: pos
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Thu Feb 4, 2010, 12:22pm
Subject: Re: Getting the most out of the Gaggia MDF
 

my bolt mod screws the bolt against the carrier, it may mark it but doesn't really cause any damage per se.
I will take some more pics.

The MDF is a good starting grinder, its all I have used but it does require a mod like this since the steps are large. As you say you could spend a little more and get a better grinder.
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floydpink
Senior Member
floydpink
Joined: 12 Sep 2009
Posts: 24
Location: orlando
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Brasilia Mini Classic
Grinder: Macap M4 stepless
Roaster: Behmor 1600 / Freshroast
Posted Sat Feb 6, 2010, 8:30am
Subject: Re: Getting the most out of the Gaggia MDF
 

I had a MDF grinder, but it now resides in the closet as I found it not suited for my Brasilia machine.  Overall, not too bad of a machine, but a bit too much plastic for my liking.
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