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Blocking on coarser grinds
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Discussions > Espresso > Grinders -... > Blocking on...  
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deviantintegral
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Joined: 12 Dec 2013
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Location: Canada
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Posted Sun Mar 2, 2014, 2:27pm
Subject: Blocking on coarser grinds
 

I've been playing around with grinding, just trying to push each variable to it's limit. I'm using a Vario along with a Breville Cafe Roma (non-pressurized filter). I dialed in some beans, and then wanted to see how coarse I could get the grinds before I got back to a gusher. What was strange was that as I increased the grind size, I eventually blocked the machine even though I kept the coffee volume and tamp consistent. I'm curious if anyone has ever seen this before? If so, how do you handle dialing in if there are multiple points where you could have a blocked machine?
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emradguy
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emradguy
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Posted Mon Mar 3, 2014, 12:56pm
Subject: Re: Blocking on coarser grinds
 

I'm not sure I understand your question. First, are you just wondering what other people have experienced or are you having a problem? Second, by "blocked", do you mean choked? Third, it sounds like you've gone coarser and coarser without changing dose or tamp, yet you're now choking your machine - that doesn't make sense.  Sorry, maybe it's clear to other, but not to me...and I'm wondering if this isn't why you haven't received other responses.

If I understand you right, you say you can choke your machine with multiple settings on your grinder, and want to know how to dial in the grind. To dial in, you go to where you're choking the machine, then back off coarser little by little until you get proper flow.  If this isn't working, you may need to look at your grinder calibration.

 
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deviantintegral
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Joined: 12 Dec 2013
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Location: Canada
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Posted Mon Mar 3, 2014, 6:51pm
Subject: Re: Blocking on coarser grinds
 

Yes, I meant choked. No flow through the machine.

And to clarify, I kept dose and tamp as similar as possible. What I'm trying to say is I'm seeing two places where I can choke the machine. As I start at the finest point, and increase the size of the grind, the flow opens up but then will eventually choke back down. It's not really affecting my day-to-day shots (I just use what works!), but I was curious if this could be an obvious indication of some problem with my equipment.
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canuckcoffeeguy
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canuckcoffeeguy
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Posted Mon Mar 3, 2014, 8:39pm
Subject: Re: Blocking on coarser grinds
 

It's possible to choke your machine with two different grinder settings on a Vario. That's because there is some overlap between the end of one macro range and the beginning of another. It doesn't have 240 unique settings as many believe. I have experienced this with mine.

Could this be what you're experiencing?  

In other words, you might think you're setting the Vario coarser, but really you're within an overlap range, and, thus, reaching another choking point.

This had been documented by Vario users in other CG and HB threads.
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emradguy
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emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
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Posted Tue Mar 4, 2014, 12:26pm
Subject: Re: Blocking on coarser grinds
 

Not being an expert with the Vario, the possible cause described above sounds plausible.  Before I read that, I was wondering if the "flow" you got in the middle of the two choke points was due to channeling, and you just happened to solve that, but hadn't yet gotten to the point where you weren't choking the machine.

 
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deviantintegral
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Joined: 12 Dec 2013
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Location: Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue Mar 4, 2014, 4:25pm
Subject: Re: Blocking on coarser grinds
 

An overlap would make lots of sense. I'll give that a try when I get to new beans.

And yes, it could be channelling as well, but I don't have a naked portafilter. Is there any other way to test that other than taste? Would that show obvious deficiencies in the puck after brewing?
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canuckcoffeeguy
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canuckcoffeeguy
Joined: 22 Aug 2013
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Location: Burlington, Ontario, Canada
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Espresso: Bezzera Magica, Mypressi...
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Posted Tue Mar 4, 2014, 7:27pm
Subject: Re: Blocking on coarser grinds
 

canuckcoffeeguy Said:

It's possible to choke your machine with two different grinder settings on a Vario. That's because there is some overlap between the end of one macro range and the beginning of another. It doesn't have 240 unique settings as many believe. I have experienced this with mine.

Could this be what you're experiencing?  

In other words, you might think you're setting the Vario coarser, but really you're within an overlap range, and, thus, reaching another choking point.

This had been documented by Vario users in other CG and HB threads.

Posted March 3, 2014 link



Here's one HB thread that touches on the Vario overlap phenomenon:

Click Here (www.home-barista.com)
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