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Calibrating the Baratza Preciso
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kajitox
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2013
Posts: 26
Location: San Francisco Bay Area, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Nuova Era Cuadra II
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Drip: Bodom French Press,...
Posted Mon Apr 1, 2013, 10:53am
Subject: Calibrating the Baratza Preciso
 

I've been pulling my first shots with the Preciso and a Nuova Era Cuadra, and the timing started to look right when I had the grinder set to 2A. I thought this seemed a little low, especially since I remembered in the provided information that espresso should be about 8. I've done a fair amount of searching through the forums, and found many a thread in which people said they were using 6, 8, 9, and even someone who said they were using 4. Everyone else seemed rather surprised and there was a debate about recalibrating the machine...

So when I compare that to my 2A, I get pretty worried. First I'd love your opinions on whether or not I should just live with the 2A (since it does get finer, after all). Second, for those of you who say to recalibrate it, do you suggest getting Baratza to do it or doing it yourself? I love doing things myself, but I also hate ruining warranties. The grinder is less than a week old, after all.

Thanks for the input!

For reference, using Blue Bottle beans roasted 4 days ago, I get a 6-7 second delay until the first drop followed by a 20 second pull at 2A.
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MJJ
Senior Member


Joined: 2 Jan 2013
Posts: 37
Location: Montreal
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia PID
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: Hario V60
Posted Mon Apr 1, 2013, 5:57pm
Subject: Re: Calibrating the Baratza Preciso
 

Been there...it was the same with my brother's Preciso (purchased 2012). He went all the way to zero and it was still not quite fine enough for his machine. I installed a shim under the burr so that he could grind finer then it was ok, he was then grinding at macro 2 and it was fine, going finer would choke it.  I already had experience installing shims on my Virtuoso, same problem, it's explained on the Baratza website, if you need to do it contact them and they'll send you the right sized shims (little metal washers). You need to be somewhat mechanically enclined to do this though! Otherwise they could do it for you.
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 2,015
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Mon Apr 1, 2013, 7:20pm
Subject: Re: Calibrating the Baratza Preciso
 

Look at the Baratza site.  Troubleshooting and adjusting are well covered and they are greaat to help with a phone call during hours, better thaan leaving a message.  

Click Here (www.baratza.com)

http://www.baratza.com/troubleshooting/

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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dspear99ca
Senior Member


Joined: 17 Jan 2013
Posts: 93
Location: BC, Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Coffee
Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Posted Tue Apr 2, 2013, 8:16am
Subject: Re: Calibrating the Baratza Preciso
 

Unlike the Vario, the Preciso lacks the ability to be calibrated.  That does NOT mean that it cannot be adjusted... if you remove the hopper and case (instructional videos abound, same as for Encore and other lower-end models), the black adjustment collar is secured to the white burr adjuster by a single set screw which sits in one of three horizontal slots.   The spatial relationship between the ring (which has the numbers on it) and the actual burrs determines the grind at a particular setting.  I have a Preciso and I grind at 11G for espresso... I went through what you are going through when I first bought the grinder, but there's nothing wrong with it, the set screw is just in a different place than other people's resulting in my needing to use a higher setting to achieve the same grind.

This video shows the entire adjustment procedure:  click here
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kajitox
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2013
Posts: 26
Location: San Francisco Bay Area, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Nuova Era Cuadra II
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Drip: Bodom French Press,...
Posted Tue Apr 2, 2013, 7:29pm
Subject: Re: Calibrating the Baratza Preciso
 

dspear99ca Said:

Unlike the Vario, the Preciso lacks the ability to be calibrated.  That does NOT mean that it cannot be adjusted... if you remove the hopper and case (instructional videos abound, same as for Encore and other lower-end models), the black adjustment collar is secured to the white burr adjuster by a single set screw which sits in one of three horizontal slots.   The spatial relationship between the ring (which has the numbers on it) and the actual burrs determines the grind at a particular setting.  I have a Preciso and I grind at 11G for espresso... I went through what you are going through when I first bought the grinder, but there's nothing wrong with it, the set screw is just in a different place than other people's resulting in my needing to use a higher setting to achieve the same grind.

This video shows the entire adjustment procedure:  click here

Posted April 2, 2013 link

Note this isn't the same procedure as the Baratza website says, due to the microadjust knob on the front. Have to take that off, as well.

I am miffed that this is set at the coarsest when it ships, and getting it open inherently bends the plastic and metal frame. But, after getting it off and making the adjustment (into the leftmost side of the rightmost hole, it can get a finer grind at 6 than I got at 1a. I still want to be able to get a french press grind as well, hence why I didn't move it all the way to the furthest left position it could go.

My shot was much better, but still ran fast - I'll have to keep adjusting and work on my dose.

Thanks for the links, ya'll.
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dspear99ca
Senior Member


Joined: 17 Jan 2013
Posts: 93
Location: BC, Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Coffee
Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Posted Wed Apr 3, 2013, 8:47am
Subject: Re: Calibrating the Baratza Preciso
 

kajitox Said:

Note this isn't the same procedure as the Baratza website says, due to the microadjust knob on the front. Have to take that off, as well.

I am miffed that this is set at the coarsest when it ships, and getting it open inherently bends the plastic and metal frame. But, after getting it off and making the adjustment (into the leftmost side of the rightmost hole, it can get a finer grind at 6 than I got at 1a. I still want to be able to get a french press grind as well, hence why I didn't move it all the way to the furthest left position it could go.

My shot was much better, but still ran fast - I'll have to keep adjusting and work on my dose.

Thanks for the links, ya'll.

Posted April 2, 2013 link

FWIW, even though I grind espresso at 11, when I put it up to 40 for French Press I can still get coarser than I want believe it or not.  This grinder has one helluva' range of grinds.

I found that playing around with the dose, +/- half a gram, can make a huge difference in addition to the grind.  Are you using a scale?  I resisted for quite awhile but using a scale will completely eliminate the dose variable.  They are cheap, I think I paid $25 or so shipped for a decent one.  Tamping has less of an effect for me as long as I lean on it with more than about 10 lbs of pressure any more doesn't seem to affect the timing of my shots much.

As for being miffed at Baratza, the alternative is to spend at least 1.5x what the Preciso costs to get a grinder that MAY give you the same quality grind.  Corners had to be cut.
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kajitox
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2013
Posts: 26
Location: San Francisco Bay Area, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Nuova Era Cuadra II
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Drip: Bodom French Press,...
Posted Wed Apr 3, 2013, 9:12am
Subject: Re: Calibrating the Baratza Preciso
 

dspear99ca Said:

FWIW, even though I grind espresso at 11, when I put it up to 40 for French Press I can still get coarser than I want believe it or not.  This grinder has one helluva' range of grinds.

I found that playing around with the dose, +/- half a gram, can make a huge difference in addition to the grind.  Are you using a scale?  I resisted for quite awhile but using a scale will completely eliminate the dose variable.  They are cheap, I think I paid $25 or so shipped for a decent one.  Tamping has less of an effect for me as long as I lean on it with more than about 10 lbs of pressure any more doesn't seem to affect the timing of my shots much.

As for being miffed at Baratza, the alternative is to spend at least 1.5x what the Preciso costs to get a grinder that MAY give you the same quality grind.  Corners had to be cut.

Posted April 3, 2013 link

Yeah - I have been changing both dose and grind, and I admittedly don't yet have a scale. What I found is that with a larger dose (but the same grind) it would start slower, but would blonde and gush quickly. So what I was working for was a dose that would get the first drip in the 6-9s range and a grind that would keep it from blonding until the 20ish second range. I'm not resisting getting a scale, just resisting how much I spend within such a short amount of time... although that is likely a rookie mistake since I'm spending that much in wasted coffee. (Let me learn the hard way, okay!? Hahahaha...) I've also found that tamping doesn't have much of an effect, something that I think is echoed many times throughout this forum.

Good point about the price difference... I might get in there and change it to the finest of the fine if I can still get french press. Right now I'm back down to 4E for my espresso, and I pulled a great timed shot, although the taste wasn't quite there yet. However now I think this is due to the bean and the temperature, not the grind.
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dspear99ca
Senior Member


Joined: 17 Jan 2013
Posts: 93
Location: BC, Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Coffee
Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Posted Wed Apr 3, 2013, 11:57am
Subject: Re: Calibrating the Baratza Preciso
 

It's taken me a couple of months with the Preciso, but I am getting really RELIABLY GOOD-TASTING shots >95% of the time.  I've gotten into roasting my own beans which eliminates any freshness variable.  I use the scale which has eliminated dosing variability.

My best shots are in the 25-28 second range.  If you are blonding at 20s, you need a finer grind.

I dose to 15g +/-0.5g (that's all my basket fits without hitting the screen.  

I replaced my water thermostat and am definitely in the happy place water temp-wise.

I hear what you are saying about spending $$$... it does tend to add up.  I may never own that titanium tamper or fancy knock-box but I seem to have made it as far as good, make that REALLY GOOD, espresso.  Keep messing with it, it'll come.
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kajitox
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2013
Posts: 26
Location: San Francisco Bay Area, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Nuova Era Cuadra II
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Drip: Bodom French Press,...
Posted Fri Apr 5, 2013, 11:17am
Subject: Re: Calibrating the Baratza Preciso
 

Just to add a note to the discussion in case anyone else sees it: I was grinding at 4A and it was working great. Then I switched beans and 4A completely backed up my machine. I'm back at 8A and it's working excellently after the adjustment.
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dspear99ca
Senior Member


Joined: 17 Jan 2013
Posts: 93
Location: BC, Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Coffee
Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Posted Fri Apr 5, 2013, 12:20pm
Subject: Re: Calibrating the Baratza Preciso
 

Wow, 4A to 8A is one hell of an adjustment!  I haven't had to deviate a couple of MICRO steps on mine since I set it up...
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