stravinsky Senior Member Joined: 14 Feb 2014 Posts: 2 Expertise: Just starting
Posted Fri Feb 14, 2014, 8:08am Subject: Baratza Virtuoso troubleshooting
Good morning! I recently purchased a used Virtuoso, and the hopper does not stay in place while grinding. This is not an issue when the hopper is empty, but when beans are added and the machine is turned on the hopper jumps all the way to the left - the finest setting. I was hoping someone could provide me some direction as to why this is happening...
Hi and welcome to the board, someone who has one of these grinders will be along shortly to help you. Other than looking at one at a coffee shop one time, I do not have any hands on with that grinder. Many others can be of much more help with that grinder. I just wanted to say hi and that your thread is seen!
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!
It's likely your upper burr carrier is broken- don't panic, they're VERY inexpensive. The upper burr carrier would be the link between the spinning lower burr and the hopper/adjustment ring (large black piece with large female threads inside that the hopper sits on).
The upper burr carrier stays (is supposed to) stationary except for moving up and down when the hopper/adj. ring is turned. It is the first thing to break if grind adjustments are made without running the grinder. It has three small tabs that ride in the female threads of the black adj. ring. it should not be able to turn but if badly broken it would, taking the rest with it.
Take the hopper off, turn all the way course and lift it off, then you should find a small rubber cone thingy- pull that off, the upper burr carrier should then lift out with the upper burr.
Go to the Baratza website- http://www.baratza.com/ Go to parts and compare it to the picture. It should have three small tabs sticking out the sides. On reassembly the red dot should be forward and just to the right (looking at the front of the grinder).
If you need a new one I would order two, they can last for years if you keep the grinder clean and adjust the grind only while running if it has beans in, but one quick mishap and it's all over. And they're only $4.
Hope this helps. This is the most likely problem. I'll keep an eye on this thread if you have any further questions.
Thanks for the help! I spoke with Pierce at Baratza today, and he helped me troubleshoot this... you are correct Ron, it's the burr holder. I'll take your advice and grab a spare, too. Another question - would you recommend upgrading to the Preciso burrs, and if so, is the replacement a fairly easy task?
Glad you figured it out. Interesting question about the upgrade. I actually have one of each, my original from way back when, and one I picked up last summer on ebay- wasn't working right- the guy did the upgrade and messed up a bit. I picked it up at a price I couldn't pass up, tore it down and fixed it for IIRC $10 parts.
Easy is a relative term :P I'm a maintenance tech by trade and this was pretty simple stuff to me. To the guy I got it from not so much. If you go on their website and watch the video/read the instructions on the upgrade you should have a pretty good idea if it's something you'd be comfortable with. Adding up the right thickness of shims for upper and lower burs is important, one of the things messed up when I got it.
Is it worth it? I can say the new burrs are noticeably quicker and gearset quieter. I can't honestly say it makes much difference in taste for the drip I usually use it for, but I've never really done a side by side taste test either. Not sure what your brew method of choice is but maybe use it as is for a bit - see how you like it and go from there.
Enjoy the journey, Ron
edit to add- I don't do french press but I have speculated that the new burrs produce a bit more fines than the old ones. If you do FP you may want to ask someone who would know better before doing an upgrade.
The metal burrs are probably just fine as you have to run a fair amount of coffee through to wear them down to the point they need replacing. If you need to upgrade the gearbox that is the time to do the burr replacement as you will have the shaft with the conical burr attached out of the trans so it's easy at that time to remove/replace the conical drive shaft burr.
It is typically that the plastic internal parts go bad on these home grinders and for the most part they are readily available and inexpensive, not to mention that servicing one yourself is pretty simple
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