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cleaning a burr grinder
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metropical
Senior Member


Joined: 27 Sep 2006
Posts: 12
Location: Huntington
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Virtusos
Posted Mon Mar 11, 2013, 10:06am
Subject: cleaning a burr grinder
 

I've been suing the steel brush and a stiff boar bristle brush to clean the grinder.
I've also taken a Q-tip and a bit of 99% iso alcho to clean the gum around the attached burrs plastic chamber, but not the burrs themselves.
Are there better ways to do any of this?
How often should the grinder be cleaned?
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CheapBastid
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Joined: 3 Dec 2012
Posts: 73
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: None
Grinder: Infinity - talking myself...
Vac Pot: None
Drip: Mr Coffee
Roaster: None
Posted Mon Mar 11, 2013, 11:47am
Subject: Re: cleaning a burr grinder
 

I'm somewhat new to this, but in my estimation a clean grinder is important.  With all the reduction of variables and the focus on the grind size, water temp, water hardness, other 'relatively small' factors when discussing good coffee; it seems that having old oil and grinds mixed in with your fresh beans would be something anyone would want to avoid.

My current method is to use a small brush and tapping to get most of the stuff out, and then a rechargeable air pump (that fills air mattresses) to blow out anything I can't reach into the bushes in my back yard.
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CoffeeLoversMag
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CoffeeLoversMag
Joined: 10 Jan 2013
Posts: 218
Location: Seattle
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue Mar 12, 2013, 1:44am
Subject: Re: cleaning a burr grinder
 

Hi there, there are several types of cleaning grinders. You can apply these things:

a) grind some bread (said to be more absorbent) or 1/4 cup of rice until it's pulverized (maybe after a minute).
b) use a brush (toothbrush, paintbrush) stiff bristled brush)to get dirt from other areas
c) wipe with damp cloth (or as needed)
d) others use a can of compressed air
You can repeat the process from a-c if you still see it's still dirty.
Then you can just wipe out the remaining dust. Depending on the quantity of beans you grind, you can do it on a
weekly or monthly cleaning and maintenance.

 
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.
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,870
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Tue Mar 12, 2013, 6:00am
Subject: Re: cleaning a burr grinder
 

How often? no longer than when you start to taste it.
Several commercial products are out there such as GRINDS to help clean your grinder. If you disassemble it, you will do a better job but you can run those products through the grinder between good cleanings.

That said, a lot has to do with your particular grinder and grinds retention. The grinder I have on my counter, right now, has not been apart in a year, its grind path is straight through and I have very little grind retention.

I suppose though, now that I am thinking about it, I will take it apart and give it a good cleaning just to feel good about it, no I do not taste any off flavors from it. It stays with about half a pound of coffee in the hopper at all times and is used daily, if not more.

EDIT, I would not use bread, it is just too soft and can easily gum up the works and be difficult to remove.
Rice, do not use any rice, use the instant rice (I think, I have never used rice as I prefer to disassemble for complete cleaning but instant rice used to be what was advised If I remember correctly)
YMMV!

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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kboom1
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kboom1
Joined: 31 Aug 2009
Posts: 310
Location: Northeastern Pennsylvania
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Alex2HX,Alex Duetto,Rancilio...
Grinder: Rancilio Rocky,Vario
Roaster: Behmor x2 / USRC Sample...
Posted Tue Mar 12, 2013, 7:14am
Subject: Re: cleaning a burr grinder
 

with my vario I remove my burrs and use a mini shop vac with a mini brush attachment dedicated for my grinder/roasters. I find doing this once a month is a good practice to get in to. once every 6 months I will run some grindz thru the burrs to remove any oils that are left on the burrs,seems that as long as I stick to the monthly regemen no oils really build up on burrs and grindz dosent seem to improve coffee taste much. along with the 6month cleaning I break down the grinder case,lower burr carrier,ect  to vac out  check set screws on motor shaft ect,ect,ect,.This is a good practice to get in to depending on what grinder your using and servicable parts.
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metropical
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Joined: 27 Sep 2006
Posts: 12
Location: Huntington
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Virtusos
Posted Tue Mar 12, 2013, 7:15am
Subject: Re: cleaning a burr grinder
 

sounds like I have the right idea then.
I did use some "canned" air in the final step.
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kboom1
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kboom1
Joined: 31 Aug 2009
Posts: 310
Location: Northeastern Pennsylvania
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Alex2HX,Alex Duetto,Rancilio...
Grinder: Rancilio Rocky,Vario
Roaster: Behmor x2 / USRC Sample...
Posted Tue Mar 12, 2013, 7:18am
Subject: Re: cleaning a burr grinder
 

canned air will give you a funny taste sometimes,chemical taste.
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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 Mar 18, 2013, 6:50am
Subject: Re: cleaning a burr grinder
 

I've been cleaning apprx once a week. A stiff, cone-shaped brush (came w/grinder) that's great for the ring burr and a soft toothbrush for around the O-ring. Found some small baby bottle brushes left over from when our grandson was a baby---great for cleaning the cone burr. These little bottle brushes are 2x the diameter of a pipe cleaner and 1 3/4" long---5 1/2" OA, so easy to get down into the burrs. They are Dr. Brown's (4 pk) in retail stores. Also have a small, powerful shop vac but someone mentioned a "mini" shop vac SO I want to check that out.

Read somewhere where this guy lost a nights' sleep due to the fact his wife had friends in for coffee, one of which brought FLAVORED coffee beans to grind in his grinder. Tossing/turning all night, trying to think of how to clean that "stuff" out, he thought of using oats (NOT instant) and it worked very well, absorbing flavor residue. He's a 'coffee professional' but I guess he felt this was needed before using Grindz although he didn't mention that. I would've thought Grindz alone would do the trick but I'm new to all this.
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emradguy
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emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,180
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4, Pharos,...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Mon Mar 18, 2013, 7:05am
Subject: Re: cleaning a burr grinder
 

Grindz will not remove flavored coffee residue...well, maybe if flavored coffee only got through it once.  I have an old Solis 166 I got from a friend, which I intended to reserve for presspot when my Mom visits.  He used a lot of flavored coffee in it.  It smelled absolutely gross and ruined every batch of beans I put through it. I tried Grindz.  I ran two doses through it and it didn't work worth a squat.  So, I disassembled the entire grinder, washed every part I could with soapy water to no avail...then found that Cafitza took care of the flavored smell, even on the plastic (brief soaks of 30 minutes or less did the trick).  I replaced several parts as well (both of the felt gaskets, the paddle, and the upper burr carrier).  Basically, I now have a nearly fully refurbished unit.  It still has a faint flavored coffee smell, but at least it no longer ruins beans going through it.  At some point, I'm going to get rid of it and probably will replace it with a refurbished Encore or Virtuoso.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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kboom1
Senior Member
kboom1
Joined: 31 Aug 2009
Posts: 310
Location: Northeastern Pennsylvania
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Alex2HX,Alex Duetto,Rancilio...
Grinder: Rancilio Rocky,Vario
Roaster: Behmor x2 / USRC Sample...
Posted Mon Mar 18, 2013, 7:39am
Subject: Re: cleaning a burr grinder
 

msboo Said:

I've been cleaning apprx once a week. A stiff, cone-shaped brush (came w/grinder) that's great for the ring burr and a soft toothbrush for around the O-ring. Found some small baby bottle brushes left over from when our grandson was a baby---great for cleaning the cone burr. These little bottle brushes are 2x the diameter of a pipe cleaner and 1 3/4" long---5 1/2" OA, so easy to get down into the burrs. They are Dr. Brown's (4 pk) in retail stores. Also have a small, powerful shop vac but someone mentioned a "mini" shop vac SO I want to check that out.

Read somewhere where this guy lost a nights' sleep due to the fact his wife had friends in for coffee, one of which brought FLAVORED coffee beans to grind in his grinder. Tossing/turning all night, trying to think of how to clean that "stuff" out, he thought of using oats (NOT instant) and it worked very well, absorbing flavor residue. He's a 'coffee professional' but I guess he felt this was needed before using Grindz although he didn't mention that. I would've thought Grindz alone would do the trick but I'm new to all this.

Posted March 18, 2013 link


I think I paid $10 or $15 for the mini shop vac at wallyworld and use the brushes that you can get to clean pc keyboards and sutch. I find it to be worth it's weight in gold for cleaning my coffee gear. not that she plays with my toys but If my wife would run flavored coffee thru my grinders, she would be buying me new burrs at the least.
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