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Adjusting a Vario W... what do you do?
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Discussions > Espresso > Grinders -... > Adjusting a...  
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DeanOK
Senior Member
DeanOK
Joined: 24 Sep 2012
Posts: 693
Location: OK
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: QM Vetrano 2B
Grinder: Vario W
Posted Sun May 25, 2014, 9:09am
Subject: Adjusting a Vario W... what do you do?
 

When I first got my VW, I was immediately told by some in the CG forum that I would have to adjust my Vario differently than the factory instructions in order to get a fine enough grind for espresso. For the most part, I have been able to use it for nearly two years using the factory adjustment instructions but I have had to grind within a couple of notches from the finest setting on many batches of beans.

The last two batches have proven to be difficult at the finest setting. I am right on the edge of not having a fine enough grind. I have deliberately not adjusted the grinder differently than the factory instructions because it seems the motor loads quite a bit when you go all the way to the finest setting during the adjustment procedure.

How many of you that use the Vario are having to adjust differently than the factory instructions to get a fine enough grind? Right now my grinder begins to load the motor half way down on the micro adjuster and is loading the motor pretty good by the time I get to the finest setting.  I would guess than there has not been more than 40 LBS of beans ran through the grinder since it was purchased. I take it apart about every 45-60 days and clean the internal parts and reassemble. I even take the bottom burr out when I clean it. I just cleaned it last week with no change in grind settings required after I got finished with the cleaning.

The last 15-18 lbs of beans have all came from the same roaster. The last two orders (totaling 8 lbs) have both required that I hover near the smallest grind in order to get a decent shot. The batches before that didn't require that I hover around the smallest setting like the last two batches have. Supposedly I receive freshly roasted beans each time I order and the roaster is a respected roaster. I freeze my beans and use them within a month or 6 weeks and the re-order and got through the process of freezing a new batch. Of course, I use some of the beans fresh soon after they arrive.
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IMAWriter
Senior Member
IMAWriter
Joined: 4 Jul 2002
Posts: 5,890
Location: Brentwood, TN
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Strega
Grinder: Forte, OE Pharos,...
Vac Pot: Adcraft SS, Yama 8 cup
Drip: Brazen, Kalita, Chemex,...
Roaster: Behmor 1600+, CO/UFO combo
Posted Sun May 25, 2014, 10:48am
Subject: Re: Adjusting a Vario W... what do you do?
 

DeanOK Said:

When I first got my VW, I was immediately told by some in the CG forum that I would have to adjust my Vario differently than the factory instructions in order to get a fine enough grind for espresso. For the most part, I have been able to use it for nearly two years using the factory adjustment instructions but I have had to grind within a couple of notches from the finest setting on many batches of beans.

The last two batches have proven to be difficult at the finest setting. I am right on the edge of not having a fine enough grind. I have deliberately not adjusted the grinder differently than the factory instructions because it seems the motor loads quite a bit when you go all the way to the finest setting during the adjustment procedure.

How many of you that use the Vario are having to adjust differently than the factory instructions to get a fine enough grind? Right now my grinder begins to load the motor half way down on the micro adjuster and is loading the motor pretty good by the time I get to the finest setting.  I would guess than there has not been more than 40 LBS of beans ran through the grinder since it was purchased. I take it apart about every 45-60 days and clean the internal parts and reassemble. I even take the bottom burr out when I clean it. I just cleaned it last week with no change in grind settings required after I got finished with the cleaning.

The last 15-18 lbs of beans have all came from the same roaster. The last two orders (totaling 8 lbs) have both required that I hover near the smallest grind in order to get a decent shot. The batches before that didn't require that I hover around the smallest setting like the last two batches have. Supposedly I receive freshly roasted beans each time I order and the roaster is a respected roaster. I freeze my beans and use them within a month or 6 weeks and the re-order and got through the process of freezing a new batch. Of course, I use some of the beans fresh soon after they arrive.

Posted May 25, 2014 link

Dean, over time the 2mm adjustment screw might need to be re-adjusted. Kyle at Baratza mentioned to me not to be overly concerned with a bit of motor stress noise while adjusting.
I'm sure you know to have an empty hopper. Humidity is now a factor as the season has changed.,..drastically around here, 90f with 30-40% humidity.
Also, in rare cases, removing the lower burr, and cleaning underneath wants you to do a new adjustment. I'd not remove the lower burr on each cleaning. Use a nice powerful hand vac, and you should be just fine. Run the levers up and down, and makes sure to vacuum in the slot where the levers move. Or blow a little air in there.

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
My Music Production web site:
www.robertjason.com
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IMAWriter
Senior Member
IMAWriter
Joined: 4 Jul 2002
Posts: 5,890
Location: Brentwood, TN
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Strega
Grinder: Forte, OE Pharos,...
Vac Pot: Adcraft SS, Yama 8 cup
Drip: Brazen, Kalita, Chemex,...
Roaster: Behmor 1600+, CO/UFO combo
Posted Sun May 25, 2014, 10:50am
Subject: Re: Adjusting a Vario W... what do you do?
 

Are these new roasts lighter..or darker?

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
My Music Production web site:
www.robertjason.com
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DeanOK
Senior Member
DeanOK
Joined: 24 Sep 2012
Posts: 693
Location: OK
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: QM Vetrano 2B
Grinder: Vario W
Posted Sun May 25, 2014, 12:01pm
Subject: Re: Adjusting a Vario W... what do you do?
 

IMAWriter Said:

Are these new roasts lighter..or darker?

Posted May 25, 2014 link

Same roast from the same roaster for the last 16 to 20 lbs. I usually order 4 lbs at a time to get free shipping. They are roasted the day they ship.

I removed the lower burr last week, cleaned all of the oils and debris I could find. I also use compressed air to clean every little bit of debris I can get. When I reassembled, the adjustment seemed to still be where it belonged. Slight loading of the motor about mid scale on the lowest micro setting and the macro on the lowest setting. Loading pretty significant by the time I got the adjustment to the finest setting.

I am barely getting by with these last two batches with the factory setting. A batch being 4 lbs. I put the entire 4 lbs in 16oz mason jars. I usually use the first jar without freezing and then I freeze the rest and use them as needed. Wasn't much difference between the fresh bean grind and the frozen bean grind.
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IMAWriter
Senior Member
IMAWriter
Joined: 4 Jul 2002
Posts: 5,890
Location: Brentwood, TN
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Strega
Grinder: Forte, OE Pharos,...
Vac Pot: Adcraft SS, Yama 8 cup
Drip: Brazen, Kalita, Chemex,...
Roaster: Behmor 1600+, CO/UFO combo
Posted Sun May 25, 2014, 5:19pm
Subject: Re: Adjusting a Vario W... what do you do?
 

DeanOK Said:

Same roast from the same roaster for the last 16 to 20 lbs. I usually order 4 lbs at a time to get free shipping. They are roasted the day they ship.

I removed the lower burr last week, cleaned all of the oils and debris I could find. I also use compressed air to clean every little bit of debris I can get. When I reassembled, the adjustment seemed to still be where it belonged. Slight loading of the motor about mid scale on the lowest micro setting and the macro on the lowest setting. Loading pretty significant by the time I got the adjustment to the finest setting.

I am barely getting by with these last two batches with the factory setting. A batch being 4 lbs. I put the entire 4 lbs in 16oz mason jars. I usually use the first jar without freezing and then I freeze the rest and use them as needed. Wasn't much difference between the fresh bean grind and the frozen bean grind.

Posted May 25, 2014 link

Dean, there isn[t really a "factory setting" on a Vario. They are all going to be a wee bit different when they show up. BTW, when beans thaw, they should be different in the grinder than 3-6 day old beans. Just cause they[re frozen doesn't mean they don't age...they do, just WAY slower.

I may be misunderstanding you here. You say you hear motor lower when the Macro is on the lowest setting? Lowest setting...do you finest setting?
My motor didn't load significantly till the Macro was 1 notch from the top, and the Micro was halfway up.

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
My Music Production web site:
www.robertjason.com
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DeanOK
Senior Member
DeanOK
Joined: 24 Sep 2012
Posts: 693
Location: OK
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: QM Vetrano 2B
Grinder: Vario W
Posted Sun May 25, 2014, 7:19pm
Subject: Re: Adjusting a Vario W... what do you do?
 

IMAWriter Said:

Dean, there isn't really a "factory setting" on a Vario. They are all going to be a wee bit different when they show up. BTW, when beans thaw, they should be different in the grinder than 3-6 day old beans. Just cause they're frozen doesn't mean they don't age...they do, just WAY slower.

I may be misunderstanding you here. You say you hear motor lower when the Macro is on the lowest setting? Lowest setting...do you finest setting?
My motor didn't load significantly till the Macro was 1 notch from the top, and the Micro was halfway up.

Posted May 25, 2014 link

To be honest, I don't remember for sure what mine does when I am on the second finest grind on the macro setting. I know the finest macro will start to load the motor about half way up the micro scale (is that confusing?). Anway, I adjusted it at one time where it loaded the motor much sooner than the calibration instructions specified, but I eventually put it back to the factory setting. I had one batch of Blue Bottle that I ground the entire batch and threw it away because I could never get anything but gushers with it. That was when I still had the CC1.

I have had a lot of consistency using redline and redbird. Over he last 5 months I have come to enjoy the redline the most (in milk drinks). Redbird is a good quality product but the chocolate notes are stronger than I want and have found redline to be a good match for me.
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Angman
Senior Member
Angman
Joined: 8 Apr 2012
Posts: 239
Location: Vancouver BC
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Strega, MCal, Cimbali M20L
Grinder: K10 Fresh, HG One 83mm,...
Vac Pot: Nope
Drip: Technivorm, Hario Woodneck,...
Roaster: Hottop 8828P
Posted Sun May 25, 2014, 9:23pm
Subject: Re: Adjusting a Vario W... what do you do?
 

This is the same problem that I have ad using varios.  I was always at or near the finest setting leaving little room to adjust finer. Also the sound of the motor straining was never reassuring.  Nothing ever really broke but they never seem to be operating stress free either.
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IMAWriter
Senior Member
IMAWriter
Joined: 4 Jul 2002
Posts: 5,890
Location: Brentwood, TN
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Strega
Grinder: Forte, OE Pharos,...
Vac Pot: Adcraft SS, Yama 8 cup
Drip: Brazen, Kalita, Chemex,...
Roaster: Behmor 1600+, CO/UFO combo
Posted Sun May 25, 2014, 9:25pm
Subject: Re: Adjusting a Vario W... what do you do?
 

Dean, it sounds like you need to tighten the adjustment, as you should hear CONSIDERABLE motor load on the uppermost Macro and even a few notches up on the MIcro. I suggest bringing both levers down, run the grinder, raise the MACRO LEVER step by step till you reach 1 notch before the top. You should have the adjustment tool already inserted in the 2mm hole. As you raise the Micro step by step, turn the adjuster tool in the direction indicated for "finer." Keep turning it as you slowly raise the Micro try to get the motor to stress a bit more than you'd like. If you hear it by the time you're halfway up the Micro, you're good. Give or take, this setting should get you a finer grind, and you know have 25+ Micro steps left to get even finer. The stress (IMO) needs to happen with the Macro at the notch below, not at the very top Macro setting.

Note that this will necessitate a lower setting than you may be used to for drip, vac pot, pour over. Probably by at least 1 full Macro.
Feel free to PM me with any more questions. I've owned 2 Varios..the regular and W, so I know them pretty well.

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
My Music Production web site:
www.robertjason.com
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IMAWriter
Senior Member
IMAWriter
Joined: 4 Jul 2002
Posts: 5,890
Location: Brentwood, TN
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Strega
Grinder: Forte, OE Pharos,...
Vac Pot: Adcraft SS, Yama 8 cup
Drip: Brazen, Kalita, Chemex,...
Roaster: Behmor 1600+, CO/UFO combo
Posted Sun May 25, 2014, 9:40pm
Subject: Re: Adjusting a Vario W... what do you do?
 

Angman Said:

This is the same problem that I have ad using varios.  I was always at or near the finest setting leaving little room to adjust finer. Also the sound of the motor straining was never reassuring.  Nothing ever really broke but they never seem to be operating stress free either.

Posted May 25, 2014 link

Andrew, With over 4 years of trouble free grinding with my Varios, the adjustment method I described was foolproof.
You just have to trust you're not damaging the grinder. Of course, scraping and such should be avoided.

I've had my Forte now for nearly a year, and same goes. Just trust in the Force!   ;>D

BTW, the Forte inspires a LOT of confidence, and so far, delivers on all counts.

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
My Music Production web site:
www.robertjason.com
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z0mbie
Senior Member
z0mbie
Joined: 26 Sep 2013
Posts: 374
Location: Online
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Mon May 26, 2014, 2:56am
Subject: Re: Adjusting a Vario W... what do you do?
 

The way I adjust my Forte is to set the the finest grind I intend to produce with it.    So right now, I currently have steel burrs for drip brew duty and I have calibrated the finest grind setting for pour-over.   This gives me the assurance it will never reach a point I'd be uncomfortable with, by accident or otherwise, and makes it easy for me to return to my standard pourover grind without much thought to the setting.
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