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Vario Won't Grind Coarse
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Discussions > Espresso > Grinders -... > Vario Won't...  
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Endo
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Endo
Joined: 26 Jun 2008
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Espresso: machine is < important than...
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Posted Wed Nov 28, 2012, 4:53pm
Subject: Re: Vario Won't Grind Coarse
 

Obrother Said:

A friend a I both bought Varios at the same time from different suppliers. We both are having problems getting our grinders to adjust properly for espressos. I couldn't figure out why, when I make an adjustment there is no change in the grind. Yes I was doing adjustments with beans in and motor turning. I finally figured out that I have to empty the grinder every time I want to make an adjustment or the burrs don't move. The procedure I use is the same as when doing a calibration minus the parts where you adjust the screw. I set both macro and micro to the bottom setting. Then move macro up to espresso setting... and the move micro up to setting I want. It is a this point I make my adjustment with the motor running and and no beans/grinds. I called Baratza and they are telling me this is NORMAL!!! I think not. There are saying that some people are finding that its better to pre-measure the beans for each shot and not to fill the hopper... and to make adjustment in between grinds with the motor running and no beans. This is not what I bought a vario for. Anyone have a good picture or diagram of how the varios adjustment mechanism works? I would like to see the part that slides the burr up and down. It seems like that's the part that is binding. Its the slides or whatever they are called.

Posted August 2, 2012 link

That has been exactly my experience as well. Seems most Varios can only adjust one way. It can adjust finer, but not more coarse since the grinding force that pushes down the lower burr is too low. A slight misalignment of the  lower burr bushings during assembly means you will never be able to grind more coarse without opening up the grinder and pushing down the lower burr with your thumb. (You will hear it click down in place).

In my opinion, this is a serious design flaw that somehow needs to be addressed. This is my 3rd (and last) Vario and if it can't be fixed, it will likely be sold to make room for something more adjustable and durable.

I hope they are able to fix these design issues in future models. The taste, compact size, convenience and customer support are all wonderful,  but that means little if it can't be adjusted for grind size.
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FinnLight
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Joined: 3 Sep 2013
Posts: 2
Location: Finland
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue Sep 3, 2013, 9:39pm
Subject: Re: Vario Won't Grind Coarse
 

Although this thread is old I think it deserves an update.

I had a problem with vario calibration suddenly going way out of calibration and not producing coarse french press at all. Medium filter was the coarsest I could go even with the primary calibration screw (2.5mm) turned all the way to coarse. I was able to fix my problem.

It turns out that the problem was not calibration or packed coffee, but a dislocated shaft. See the photo of the drive wheel.

There is a collar on the wheel which is visible in the picture that is little less than 1mm high. Just the difference there is between drip and french press. When the two items are attached together they snap in place with the use of force. The snap is very clear and they are hard to take apart after that. When you are trying to do this with the wheel and shaft in the grinder the task is much more difficult. I had to place two thin allen keys under the wheel to give it some support and then I was able to snap the shaft in place.

Why the shaft is dislocated in the first place is beyond me. Maybe it has something to do with the primary calibration screw since that was the way I was able to snap it out of place.

FinnLight: vario_wheel_s.jpg
(Click for larger image)
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FinnLight
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Joined: 3 Sep 2013
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Location: Finland
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue Sep 3, 2013, 9:40pm
Subject: Re: Vario Won't Grind Coarse
 

Here is the shaft.

Unless you absolutely have to, do not touch your 2.5mm calibration screw. Also, if you are planning to flip vario over, adjust the macro slider to espresso not coarse. The mechanism will have less play and it will be better secured.

Also note that in order to get access beneath the plastic wheel drive, you have to disassemble vario quite a bit. I had to remove the motor and the belt, but I think you can slide something below the wheel even with the motor in place. However, the belt should be loose as the tension might prevent the wheel snapping into place.

FinnLight: vario_shaft_s.jpg
(Click for larger image)
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dschwartz88
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Joined: 9 Oct 2007
Posts: 16
Location: New York
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Fri Sep 6, 2013, 4:12pm
Subject: Re: Vario Won't Grind Coarse
 

Ill hop onto this band wagon as well. Bought a Vario W from WholeLatteLove because I loved the idea of being able to grind by weight (all in one) both for espresso as well as chemex and cold brew. Got it this morning and have been trying to get it grind anywhere near coarse enough for even chemex (I gave up on cold brew) and it simply wont. I've followed the instructions for calibrating coarser to the T but no matter how loose the screw is (it even fell out once it was so lose) the grinder simply wont grind coarse enough.

I wish Baratza would tell people its impossible to use this grinder for anything except espresso. I'm not out ~$50 to WholeLatteLove with their restocking fee. Not happy.
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CoffeeLoversMag
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CoffeeLoversMag
Joined: 10 Jan 2013
Posts: 218
Location: Seattle
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sun Sep 8, 2013, 5:52am
Subject: Re: Vario Won't Grind Coarse
 

Most Vario machine users are getting trouble with adjustment. You better call a Baratza to fix any trouble of your machine. This machine needs consistent adjustment. If you try to adjust it in your own, the more you will be in trouble. But if you are used into this machine, you will know the exact adjustment.

 
Did you know...? Dark roast coffees actually have less caffeine than lighter roasts due to the fact that the process of roasting burns off caffeine.
www.coffeeloversmag.com/theMagazine
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dschwartz88
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Joined: 9 Oct 2007
Posts: 16
Location: New York
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Tue Sep 10, 2013, 8:05am
Subject: Re: Vario Won't Grind Coarse
 

In all honesty calling Baratza isn't an ok option for me. Seeing that this is a brand new machine that cost $500+, calling Baratza in hopes that something will get resolved isn't a remedy to this solution.

I just got off the phone with WholeLatteLove who in my opinion have pretty terrible customer service. Basically the options they gave me were to either send it back and get deducted a whole bunch of money because of shipping + 10% restocking fee or to send it to Baratza. I understand it isn't their product, but they did sell it to me, and should stand behind what they write on their site. The fact that I have to pay to return something that was shipped to me broken is absolutely ridiculous. Will not ever be purchasing from them again.
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brianl
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Joined: 1 Dec 2012
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Location: Chicago IL
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Quick Mill Vetrano DB
Grinder: HG One, OE Lido 2, Baratza...
Drip: Chemex/V60
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Wed Sep 11, 2013, 7:22am
Subject: Re: Vario Won't Grind Coarse
 

Do you adjust the grinder with it running (with or without coffee)? I have no problem grinding for the chemex but I do know things get quirky when you adjust without the machine on, in both directions.
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Gig103
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Joined: 12 Feb 2012
Posts: 237
Location: Arizona
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: French press!
Posted Mon Sep 23, 2013, 7:12pm
Subject: Re: Vario Won't Grind Coarse
 

dschwartz88 Said:

In all honesty calling Baratza isn't an ok option for me. Seeing that this is a brand new machine that cost $500+, calling Baratza in hopes that something will get resolved isn't a remedy to this solution.

I just got off the phone with WholeLatteLove who in my opinion have pretty terrible customer service. Basically the options they gave me were to either send it back and get deducted a whole bunch of money because of shipping + 10% restocking fee or to send it to Baratza. I understand it isn't their product, but they did sell it to me, and should stand behind what they write on their site. The fact that I have to pay to return something that was shipped to me broken is absolutely ridiculous. Will not ever be purchasing from them again.

Posted September 10, 2013 link

I understand where you're coming from, because I try to do business with companies like Amazon who treat me with respect and back up their sales for at least 30 days. Lesson learned, steer clear from WLL.

But on topic, I will assure that the folks at Baratza will stop at nothing to get you up and running. My Vario is out of commission because it stopped grinding fine, and I'm outside my 1 year warranty (that's how I started reading this thread). Despite the lack of a warranty, they sent me all sorts of e-mail and phone support, and finally offered me a discount on the repair cost and ended up replacing the entire motor and drive shaft.

My point is that they'll take care of you and you won't be out the restock fee, as long as you understand that a Vario does grind coarse but not as much as a conical burr grinder.
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