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Upgrading Kitchenaid Proline grinder - what will the quality gonna be?
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Discussions > Espresso > Grinders -... > Upgrading...  
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Neoa70
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Joined: 13 Apr 2014
Posts: 2
Location: Canada
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Sun Apr 13, 2014, 10:43am
Subject: Upgrading Kitchenaid Proline grinder - what will the quality gonna be?
 

Hi everyone,

I am fairly new to the espresso business and need your advice. A few month ago I bought a used Kitchenaid Proline espresso machine for $150 (little used!). Since my budget is limited, I started off with a blade grinder, went on to a cheep Krups burr grinder which I tweaked with shims to get a finer grind. With the Krups I now actually make worse espresso than with the blade grinder! Well, I realized I have to upgrade, but again my budget is limited. I have the chance to buy a used Kitchenaid Proline grinder for $65. I have read about the mods of fitting Mazzer Mini burrs and making it stepless and would end up that way with about $170 for the modified grinder.
My question to anybody, especially the guy's that have done the modification, in what quality range will I end up? Comparable to a Lelit PL-53? or a Iberital Challenge (the $300 class)? Or better than that?

Thanks,

Stefan
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EricBNC
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EricBNC
Joined: 22 Jun 2010
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Espresso: QM Silvano, LP Stradivarius,...
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Posted Sun Apr 13, 2014, 10:48am
Subject: Re: Upgrading Kitchenaid Proline grinder - what will the quality gonna be?
 

I like mine better than the M Mini even with the same burrs - my guess is the lower RPM KA/MM burrs is easier in the beans.

 
I chew coffee beans with my teeth while gargling with 195 F water to enjoy coffee. What is this "coffee brewing" device you speak of?
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Neoa70
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Joined: 13 Apr 2014
Posts: 2
Location: Canada
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Sun Apr 13, 2014, 10:55am
Subject: Re: Upgrading Kitchenaid Proline grinder - what will the quality gonna be?
 

Thanks Eric for the quick reply. So the type/quality of burrs will make the difference, that simple? By using the Mazzer Mini burrs, I will get Mazzer Mini quality grind?

Stefan
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EricBNC
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EricBNC
Joined: 22 Jun 2010
Posts: 1,869
Location: North Carolina
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: QM Silvano, LP Stradivarius,...
Grinder: K30, Major, Preciso, Pharos,...
Vac Pot: Sunbeam C30, Bodum Santos...
Drip: Bonavita BV-1800,...
Roaster: Behmor, Melitta, Fresh...
Posted Tue Apr 15, 2014, 3:13am
Subject: Re: Upgrading Kitchenaid Proline grinder - what will the quality gonna be?
 

The performance will be slower - the lower RPM's probably are the reason, but the quality is nice. I haven't tried a Proline with the factory burrs so I can't comment on the improvement MM burrs provide. I know the results in the cup with MM burrs are similar to some 64mm flat burr grinders I have used - just slower to grind.

 
I chew coffee beans with my teeth while gargling with 195 F water to enjoy coffee. What is this "coffee brewing" device you speak of?
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chex
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chex
Joined: 27 Mar 2008
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Posted Wed Apr 16, 2014, 8:02pm
Subject: Re: Upgrading Kitchenaid Proline grinder - what will the quality gonna be?
 

I too have an old Kitchenaid Proline burr grinder I've owned for a good 10 years. Yes, it does have flat burrs, however, it's mounting is vertical rather than horizontal; thus it's design isn't the same as a mazzer even w/ modded burrs. I was talked out of doing the mazzer mod on my grinder a few years back, it's main use around the house is for French press, pour over, or aeropress. Since the grinder is a step grinder by default (and 12 steps if i remember), it's not precise for dialing in as a espresso grinder. Next issue I had was with dosing, I find pouring out of it's jar quite difficult since it lacks a pour spout and may be quite messy without a scoop. Don't get me wrong, I really love the grinder since it served me well for years, but as an espresso grinder, I would prefer a refurb Baratza instead. You can try the stepless mod too, but I would wonder if the grind settings would drift. To me $65 for it used, $50 for Mazzer burrs, and ~$5-20 for mod parts seems tempting, but your results may vary. Honestly, If you want Mazzer like performance (and you do, trust me), try to find a good deal for a used mazzer and restore that. If you are looking for a good general purpose coffee grinder for all other brew methods, $65 is quite a steal imo. Hmm I may have to make a press pot with it tomorrow morning...
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EricBNC
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EricBNC
Joined: 22 Jun 2010
Posts: 1,869
Location: North Carolina
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: QM Silvano, LP Stradivarius,...
Grinder: K30, Major, Preciso, Pharos,...
Vac Pot: Sunbeam C30, Bodum Santos...
Drip: Bonavita BV-1800,...
Roaster: Behmor, Melitta, Fresh...
Posted Thu Apr 17, 2014, 5:25am
Subject: Re: Upgrading Kitchenaid Proline grinder - what will the quality gonna be?
 

chex Said:

I too have an old Kitchenaid Proline burr grinder I've owned for a good 10 years. Yes, it does have flat burrs, however, it's mounting is vertical rather than horizontal; thus it's design isn't the same as a mazzer even w/ modded burrs. I was talked out of doing the mazzer mod on my grinder a few years back, it's main use around the house is for French press, pour over, or aeropress. Since the grinder is a step grinder by default (and 12 steps if i remember), it's not precise for dialing in as a espresso grinder. Next issue I had was with dosing, I find pouring out of it's jar quite difficult since it lacks a pour spout and may be quite messy without a scoop. Don't get me wrong, I really love the grinder since it served me well for years, but as an espresso grinder, I would prefer a refurb Baratza instead. You can try the stepless mod too, but I would wonder if the grind settings would drift. To me $65 for it used, $50 for Mazzer burrs, and ~$5-20 for mod parts seems tempting, but your results may vary. Honestly, If you want Mazzer like performance (and you do, trust me), try to find a good deal for a used mazzer and restore that. If you are looking for a good general purpose coffee grinder for all other brew methods, $65 is quite a steal imo. Hmm I may have to make a press pot with it tomorrow morning...

Posted April 16, 2014 link

A Baratza refurb that can grind with a Mazzer will cost more than $150 so the modded KA wins the price battle in this example. The KA stepless mod is very simple and wont drift after a wrap or two of Teflon tape. A cheap canning funnel that fits in the espresso filter basket makes dumping grinds simple. Helps when dumping from a Baratza collector bin too.

Vertical Proline burr mount plus the auger and low RPM's vs M Mini using horizontal burr mount, high RPM's and centrifugal force to drive the beans is the real difference - modded Proline sacrifices speed but that probably accounts for the improvement in the cup IMHO.

 
I chew coffee beans with my teeth while gargling with 195 F water to enjoy coffee. What is this "coffee brewing" device you speak of?
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walkinghispath
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Joined: 18 May 2014
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Posted Sun May 18, 2014, 3:32pm
Subject: Re: Upgrading Kitchenaid Proline grinder - what will the quality gonna be?
 

$65?!  Go for it!  I paid $100 for mine.
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