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Shelf life on Virtuoso burrs?
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Discussions > Espresso > Grinders -... > Shelf life on...  
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SuburbanLatte
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Posted Tue Apr 30, 2013, 12:39pm
Subject: Shelf life on Virtuoso burrs?
 

I've had my Baratza Virtuoso nearly 5 years.  Daily use, but relatively small volumes at home.  Recalibrated for espresso with regular cleaning and use of Grindz.  Have been happy with it, but recently, two things of concern have been happening:  

  1. Grinder chokes or stalls when grinding for espresso.  The motor stops, but starts again if you dial up (i.e. coarser).  The fix has been to measure out 2 scoops of beans and feed them in a bit at a time with the grinder running until done.  Annoying, but works.
  2. Can no longer get grounds fine enough for espresso.  On setting zero, grinds are not quite powdery and shots come through in 8 to 12 seconds (on a setting that should choke my machine or result in a 60+ second extraction).

I've checked and cleaned all the consumer serviceable parts - removed the shell, checked the calibration, brushed and air blew out all the old grounds - with no improvement.  My guess is that the burrs are not close enough together or are worn from use.  

Questions:  
  • Is this normal?  I believe I've maintained it well and had no problems until now.  Do burrs naturally wear over time?
  • Can the burrs be re-set, repaired or replaced?  If so, is the cost such that I'd be smarter getting a new grinder (thinking Prescio, but am happy enough with current unit if it can be brought back to life).

Cheers
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CraigA
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CraigA
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Posted Tue Apr 30, 2013, 1:24pm
Subject: Re: Shelf life on Virtuoso burrs?
 

SuburbanLatte Said:

I've checked and cleaned all the consumer serviceable parts - removed the shell, checked the calibration, brushed and air blew out all the old grounds - with no improvement.  My guess is that the burrs are not close enough together or are worn from use.

Posted April 30, 2013 link

Hi Sean, correct.  

Questions:  
Is this normal?  I believe I've maintained it well and had no problems until now.  Do burrs naturally wear over time?

Yes, burrs wear over time., the amount of coffee ground.., & the closer the burrs are together (used mainly for espresso)..., they'll wear even faster.

Can the burrs be re-set, repaired or replaced?  If so, is the cost such that I'd be smarter getting a new grinder (thinking Prescio, but am happy enough with current unit if it can be brought back to life).

Yes, the burrs can be re-calibrated.
As they wear, you'd/you'll have noticed that the number that once produed a perfect shot, FP, pourover, etc., is now 3, 4, 5, or more numbers less (tighter) to get to the same grind. Sooner or later, you bottom out the numbers &/or the burrs touch at say +1 or +2. You may get away for a bit by recalibrating as I'll mention.

Are they set on the grinds calibration ring., in that right hand window is the set screw all the way to the far extreme right of it or any position there? Please search my posts for relevent pics & descriptions.
The burrs should be replaced as a set. Baratza.com has all the user service PDF's on burr replacement.

Do you know approximately how many pounds of coffee you've put through the burrs?

CraigA: Greenshot image editor_2013-05-01_20-30-53.jpg
(Click for larger image)

 
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adekorte
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adekorte
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Posted Wed May 1, 2013, 2:01pm
Subject: Re: Shelf life on Virtuoso burrs?
 

The top burr is worn.  I've had the grinder for about 5 years and replaced the top burr twice and that's for drip coffee!  I noticed at the 2.5 year point that my coffee was tasting different. The grounds looked the same but something was different! I decided to buy a new top burr and the taste was back. The bottom burr is on a left hand thread and difficult to remove. You probably just need the top burr.
My mother has this grinder with a newer top burr. She loves it!
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CraigA
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Posted Wed May 1, 2013, 2:38pm
Subject: Re: Shelf life on Virtuoso burrs?
 

adekorte Said:

The top burr is worn.  I've had the grinder for about 5 years and replaced the top burr twice and that's for drip coffee!  I noticed at the 2.5 year point that my coffee was tasting different. The grounds looked the same but something was different! I decided to buy a new top burr and the taste was back. The bottom burr is on a left hand thread and difficult to remove. You probably just need the top burr.
My now has this grinder with a newer top burr. She loves it!

Posted May 1, 2013 link

That's a bad idea Antonius.

Think of it as 'similar' to a front wheel bearing for a vehicle. An analogy of an inner tapered roller spindle bearing & its mate, the matching outer tapered race.
Any mechanic worth his salt would never dream of only replacing the spindle bearing & keeping the old, worn outer race. There will be a mismatch/wear between the new & old & the old race will only quickly accelerate the wear on the new tapered inner roller bearing.

Always replace as a complete set for maximum efficiency & longevity of the burr set.

Here's another one. You wouldn't even think of only replacing one shoe would you? {;-)

It's not difficult at all IMHO to replace. All a customer has to do is peruse the troubleshooting & service guides/PDF's at Baratza.com for a Virtuoso to find out how it's done: Click Here (www.baratza.com)

 
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adekorte
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adekorte
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Posted Wed May 1, 2013, 3:28pm
Subject: Re: Shelf life on Virtuoso burrs?
 

I know I should have replaced both, but getting the lower burr off is not very easy!  Have you done it?  I don't believe there are many out there with this type of grinder that have successfully removed it. Barazta wants you to send it to them.

I don't need you to tell me what I should know! Being condescending doesn't help as a moderator!
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emradguy
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Posted Wed May 1, 2013, 4:11pm
Subject: Re: Shelf life on Virtuoso burrs?
 

The lower burr is removed by grabbing it with vice grips, on a death-crush setting, then giving it a sharp crack (I want to say it's clockwise, but you may have to check that first - it's been a while).  They come off easily after that.  Since you're replacing them, you don't have to worry about damaging them with the vice grips, but if for some reason you need to remove them for another reason, you need to make sure to put a nice thick padding of electrical tape (or something that works as well) to prevent metal on metal contact.  

Oh, and Baratza support (Pierce Jens) is the one who told me how to do it, so...no...I don't think it's because they want you to send it in for service.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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CraigA
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CraigA
Joined: 19 Dec 2001
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Location: Rexdale, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
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Espresso: PID/PressureMod 2001...
Grinder: BUNN FPG-2 DBC, Baratza...
Vac Pot: Bodum Santos manual, Yama 5...
Drip: Behmor BraZen, BUNN VPR-APS,...
Roaster: Refurb Behmor 1600, BBQ...
Posted Wed May 1, 2013, 4:16pm
Subject: Re: Shelf life on Virtuoso burrs?
 

adekorte Said:

I know I should have replaced both, but getting the lower burr off is not very easy!  Have you done it?

Posted May 1, 2013 link

Well for me it is.. Yes many times.
As an authorized Canadian Baratza warranty repair/refurb service center for Canada since May 2010 to April 2012, & continuing as an authorized third party Canadian Baratza service center for after warranty repairs.

I don't need you to tell me what I should know! Being condescending doesn't help as a moderator!

Well no offense, but you said "what I should know!".  If that's the case, I don't understand then why you recommended to only replace the top burr?

I'm here to inform/help if I can, & I certainly did not imply, or mean to imply or post in a condescending manner. Sorry if you feel that way..

I've been a moderator here for 6 years & never once have done that, to my knowledge in a moderating capacity towards any Coffeegeek member. I've also been a founding Coffeegeek member since Dec 20 2001 (also a beta tester before Coffeegeek launched) & also have never done that towards any Coffeegeek member, to the best of my knowledge.

 
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langcjl
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langcjl
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Posted Wed May 1, 2013, 4:23pm
Subject: Re: Shelf life on Virtuoso burrs?
 

He's not the only one who thought it was a condescending answer. Made me a little uncomfortable.
   With regard to the issue, the burrs are not mating surfaces like bearings.
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CraigA
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CraigA
Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 11,245
Location: Rexdale, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: PID/PressureMod 2001...
Grinder: BUNN FPG-2 DBC, Baratza...
Vac Pot: Bodum Santos manual, Yama 5...
Drip: Behmor BraZen, BUNN VPR-APS,...
Roaster: Refurb Behmor 1600, BBQ...
Posted Wed May 1, 2013, 4:29pm
Subject: Re: Shelf life on Virtuoso burrs?
 

langcjl Said:

With regard to the issue, the burrs are not mating surfaces like bearings.

Posted May 1, 2013 link

Yes I know that Gregary. It was only an analogy/comparison to attempt to explain.

 
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CraigA
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CraigA
Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 11,245
Location: Rexdale, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: PID/PressureMod 2001...
Grinder: BUNN FPG-2 DBC, Baratza...
Vac Pot: Bodum Santos manual, Yama 5...
Drip: Behmor BraZen, BUNN VPR-APS,...
Roaster: Refurb Behmor 1600, BBQ...
Posted Wed May 1, 2013, 5:07pm
Subject: Re: Shelf life on Virtuoso burrs?
 

My appologies to everyone!, & I ammended my post above.

 
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