Our Valued Sponsor
OpinionsConsumer ReviewsGuides and How TosCoffeeGeek ReviewsResourcesForums
Espresso: Espresso Machines
My Solis Maestro is screwed up... what to do?
Cafe Solutions
Commercial sales and service, nationwide installation, equipment leasing options.
www.seattlecoffeegear.com
 
Not Logged in: Log In to Postlog in
New Topics updated topics   New Posts new posts   Unanswered Posts new unanswered  
Search Discussion Board search   Discussion Board FAQ faq   Signup sign up  
Discussions > Espresso > Machines > My Solis Maestro...  
view previous topic | view next topic | view all topics
showing page 1 of 2 last page next page
Author Messages
dmauer
Senior Member
dmauer
Joined: 30 May 2002
Posts: 7
Location: Boston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Silvia, Olympia Cremina
Grinder: Solis Maestro
Drip: a Braun of some kind
Roaster: I live in a small condo and...
Posted Tue May 31, 2005, 6:48am
Subject: My Solis Maestro is screwed up... what to do?
 

So I've had a Solis Maestro for around 2 years, and suddenly the other day it stopped grinding properly.  Specifically, the grind is now hideously uneven, with occasional big chunks of coffee bean coming through, and it's essentially about as useful as a blade grinder.

I don't know where to start looking for problems, or how -- is something wrong with the burr?  Does something just need to be adjusted?  Do I need to buy a new grinder?

Anyway, if someone knows of something I should look at, please let me know... otherwise, does anyone know a shop near Boston MA that can do repairs on these things?

Thanks,
-Dan
back to top
 View Profile Contact via AOL Instant Messenger Link to this post
duckman
Senior Member
duckman
Joined: 30 Oct 2004
Posts: 97
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Carezza
Grinder: Solis Maestro Plus
Drip: Bodum Brazil, Kenya, and...
Roaster: Wear-Ever PopcornPumper
Posted Tue May 31, 2005, 1:44pm
Subject: Re: My Solis Maestro is screwed up... what to do?
 

Hey Dan,

First, welcome to CoffeeGeek!

dmauer Said:

I don't know where to start looking for problems....

Posted May 31, 2005 link

First thing: How clean is your grinder? When was the last time you took it apart and gave it a cleaning? Every week I take my Maestro apart by removing the hopper and top burr.  I then lightly scrape away the built up coffee around the inside plastic near the bottom burr, brush the top and bottom burrs, and take some compressed air to the loose grounds inside.  The biggest problem I have is grinds getting stuck in the plastic groves where the top burr sits in.  I notice if I turn the hopper too fast while changing grinds I get a buildup which needs to be blown out.

dmauer Said:

... or how -- is something wrong with the burr?  Does something just need to be adjusted?  Do I need to buy a new grinder?

Posted May 31, 2005 link

Since you have had the grinder 2 years now a new set of burrs would be in order. However,  it is primarily dependant on how much you use the grinder and at which setting you grind.

Mainly: If you have kept the grinder clean and have used it regularly then I would say check out a new set of burrs.  On the other hand, if you are going to get into espresso (or are already into it) down the line I would say save the money you would spend on a new set of burrs and put it towards a better grinder.

- Donald
back to top
 View Profile Contact via AOL Instant Messenger Contact via MSN Messenger Link to this post
dmauer
Senior Member
dmauer
Joined: 30 May 2002
Posts: 7
Location: Boston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Silvia, Olympia Cremina
Grinder: Solis Maestro
Drip: a Braun of some kind
Roaster: I live in a small condo and...
Posted Tue May 31, 2005, 1:49pm
Subject: Re: My Solis Maestro is screwed up... what to do?
 

Thanks... Actually, I figured it out... one of the little plastic tabs that holds the upper burr in place had snapped right off.

Krazy glue, it turned out, was all the situation required.

Anyway: I'd say 2 days out of 3 I just grind up a few cups worth of drip, but we've got a Silvia that gets a workout whenever we're not in a big rush to make it to work on time.  Hopefully we'll upgrade the grinder eventually, but for now we're broke, so our old burrs will just have to do.

Silvia still manages quite a nice ristretto despite the Maestro's age -- not perfect, but better than most of the coffee shops nearby -- so I think we can hold off a little longer on dropping $250 on a grinder :)
back to top
 View Profile Contact via AOL Instant Messenger Link to this post
duckman
Senior Member
duckman
Joined: 30 Oct 2004
Posts: 97
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Carezza
Grinder: Solis Maestro Plus
Drip: Bodum Brazil, Kenya, and...
Roaster: Wear-Ever PopcornPumper
Posted Tue May 31, 2005, 2:19pm
Subject: Re: My Solis Maestro is screwed up... what to do?
 

dmauer Said:

Thanks... Actually, I figured it out... one of the little plastic tabs that holds the upper burr in place had snapped right off. Krazy glue, it turned out, was all the situation required.

Posted May 31, 2005 link

Great! I'm glad things are working for you now.  I totally forgot about those tabs.  They can be a pain sometimes.  Every once in awhile I'll pop off the plastic piece that snaps onto the top burr to cleanout coffee buildup and I cringe during the process for fear I'll snap one of them off. Overall I feel I am pretty careful during grind setting changes and cleanings that I shouldn't have any problems.  The Maestro does seem to need a little extra TLC to keep it in working order.

Most people say that the Maestro isn't suited for espresso usage, but I seem to be able to make a decent espresso using it.  However, I am starting to have upgrade fever already. :) I think I'll have to hold out for awhile though since I just bought everything in Nov. :(

Damn this site!! :)
back to top
 View Profile Contact via AOL Instant Messenger Contact via MSN Messenger Link to this post
dmauer
Senior Member
dmauer
Joined: 30 May 2002
Posts: 7
Location: Boston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Silvia, Olympia Cremina
Grinder: Solis Maestro
Drip: a Braun of some kind
Roaster: I live in a small condo and...
Posted Tue May 31, 2005, 2:22pm
Subject: Re: My Solis Maestro is screwed up... what to do?
 

One must remember that to many on this board, "not suitable for espresso" means "will not produce espresso that is so freaking perfect you'll die."  The maestro will grind well enough to make a good espresso.  At least, mine always has.  I've had *better* espresso at excellent coffee bars.  But we're talking minor differences here. :)
back to top
 View Profile Contact via AOL Instant Messenger Link to this post
JR
Senior Member
JR
Joined: 31 Mar 2003
Posts: 1,819
Location: Germantown, TN (right next to Elvistown)
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Old Coffee Gaggia (x2.5)
Grinder: Cunill Tranquilo
Drip: Bona Vita (Thermal)
Roaster: GG/UFO
Posted Tue May 31, 2005, 2:52pm
Subject: Re: My Solis Maestro is screwed up... what to do?
 

Wish I'd kept my burr carrier after I replaced the original burrs.  I could have made one person happy, anyway.  Think I threw it away.

"Not suitable for espresso" described my machine well, I thought--but I guess that means different things to different folks.  Mine, after all the tinkering and tweaking, blasted a watery double in about 8 seconds, no matter how hard I tamped.  I don't know anyone who would would call that "good".  With loads of foamed milk, it could surpass $tarbucks, but that's no major feat.

Jack

 
www.PainFreeComputing.com
http://www.GaggiaUsersGroup.com
www.IsuzuPup.com
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
ChicagoSandy
Senior Member
ChicagoSandy
Joined: 29 Jan 2005
Posts: 1,192
Location: SW Coast of Lake Michigan
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Quickmill "La Cora,"  Silvia
Grinder: Mazzer Mini, Rocky DL
Vac Pot: Presses, Aeropress
Drip: postnasal, Technivorm
Roaster: Behmor, I-Roast2, SC/TO
Posted Tue May 31, 2005, 3:23pm
Subject: Re: My Solis Maestro is screwed up... what to do?
 

The SMP, if cared for properly and paired with great beans, proper technique and a good machine, can produce excellent shots--though perhaps not God shots (but I *have* pulled a couple by divine accident).  You need at least a Silvia.  If you are getting eight-second pulls no matter what you do and the grinder is clean and set properly, other factors must be at play--stale beans, too cool brewing temp, too high pump pressure, too light a tamp (have you used a scale to test your tamp?), and probably channeling. Your rebuilt Gaggia may not be up to the task any more without a serious grinder upgrade--and manybe not even then. Usually, the rule of thumb is to go prosumer on the grinder even if your machine is strictly consumer-level--but that assumes your machine is in tip-top shape.

 
Sandy
www.sandyandina.com
-------------------
Life's too short to drink lousy coffee, play crummy guitars and write with ballpoint pens.
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
JR
Senior Member
JR
Joined: 31 Mar 2003
Posts: 1,819
Location: Germantown, TN (right next to Elvistown)
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Old Coffee Gaggia (x2.5)
Grinder: Cunill Tranquilo
Drip: Bona Vita (Thermal)
Roaster: GG/UFO
Posted Tue May 31, 2005, 7:57pm
Subject: Re: My Solis Maestro is screwed up... what to do?
 

ChicagoSandy Said:

The SMP, if cared for properly and paired with great beans, proper technique and a good machine, can produce excellent shots--though perhaps not God shots (but I *have* pulled a couple by divine accident).  You need at least a Silvia.  If you are getting eight-second pulls no matter what you do and the grinder is clean and set properly, other factors must be at play--stale beans, too cool brewing temp, too high pump pressure, too light a tamp (have you used a scale to test your tamp?), and probably channeling. Your rebuilt Gaggia may not be up to the task any more without a serious grinder upgrade--and manybe not even then. Usually, the rule of thumb is to go prosumer on the grinder even if your machine is strictly consumer-level--but that assumes your machine is in tip-top shape.

Posted May 31, 2005 link

Nobody said SMP, but I guess that's irrelevant anyway--same burr set.  I'm assuming this reply was to me, since it refers to a rebuilt Gaggia.  That's kinda backward, isn't it?  My Gaggia is (was) blasting shots in 8 seconds, so I should switch to a Silvia?  No, that just means the grind was not fine enough.  This problem went away completely when the Maestro went away.  The Gaggia does an excellent job paired with the Tranquilo that replaced the Maestro.

Jack

 
www.PainFreeComputing.com
http://www.GaggiaUsersGroup.com
www.IsuzuPup.com
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
dmauer
Senior Member
dmauer
Joined: 30 May 2002
Posts: 7
Location: Boston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Silvia, Olympia Cremina
Grinder: Solis Maestro
Drip: a Braun of some kind
Roaster: I live in a small condo and...
Posted Tue May 31, 2005, 8:04pm
Subject: Re: My Solis Maestro is screwed up... what to do?
 

JR Said:

Mine, after all the tinkering and tweaking, blasted a watery double in about 8 seconds, no matter how hard I tamped.  I don't know anyone who would would call that "good".  With loads of foamed milk, it could surpass $tarbucks, but that's no major feat.

Posted May 31, 2005 link

Oh, well - that would certainly qualify as "not suitable".

I frequently (not always, but often enough to keep me happy) get a nice long pull, thick and rich.

Perhaps the issue is, in fact, that there are simply some bad Maestros out there?
back to top
 View Profile Contact via AOL Instant Messenger Link to this post
JR
Senior Member
JR
Joined: 31 Mar 2003
Posts: 1,819
Location: Germantown, TN (right next to Elvistown)
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Old Coffee Gaggia (x2.5)
Grinder: Cunill Tranquilo
Drip: Bona Vita (Thermal)
Roaster: GG/UFO
Posted Tue May 31, 2005, 8:05pm
Subject: Re: My Solis Maestro is screwed up... what to do?
 

dmauer Said:

...Perhaps the issue is, in fact, that there are simply some bad Maestros out there?

Posted May 31, 2005 link

Based on what I've seen here, I would turn that around...

There are simply some good Maestros out there.

Sorry for the flurry of edits, but I wanted to add this: I agree with Donald, perhaps new burrs are in order.  The replacement burr comes with the plasting burr carrier, so that would be replaced at the same time.  I doubt that Krazy Glue will last long.

Jack

 
www.PainFreeComputing.com
http://www.GaggiaUsersGroup.com
www.IsuzuPup.com
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
showing page 1 of 2 last page next page
view previous topic | view next topic | view all topics
Discussions > Espresso > Machines > My Solis Maestro...  
New Topics updated topics   New Posts new posts   Unanswered Posts new unanswered     Search Discussion Board search   Discussion Board FAQ faq   Signup sign up  
Not Logged in: Log In to Postlog in
Discussions Quick Jump:
Symbols: New Posts= New Posts since your last visit      No New Posts= No New Posts since last visit     Go to most recent post= Newest post
Forum Rules:
No profanity, illegal acts or personal attacks will be tolerated in these discussion boards.
No commercial posting of any nature will be tolerated; only private sales by private individuals, in the "Buy and Sell" forum.
No SEO style postings will be tolerated. SEO related posts will result in immediate ban from CoffeeGeek.
No cross posting allowed - do not post your topic to more than one forum, nor repost a topic to the same forum.
Who Can Read The Forum? Anyone can read posts in these discussion boards.
Who Can Post New Topics? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post new topics.
Who Can Post Replies? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post replies.
Can Photos be posted? Anyone can post photos in their new topics or replies.
Who can change or delete posts? Any CoffeeGeek member can edit their own posts. Only moderators can delete posts.
Probationary Period: If you are a new signup for CoffeeGeek, you cannot promote, endorse, criticise or otherwise post an unsolicited endorsement for any company, product or service in your first five postings.
Quality Espresso Machines
Imported Italian Espresso Machines, Coffee Machines & accessories for all your coffee needs!
www.thecoffeebrewers.com
Home | Opinions | Consumer Reviews | Guides & How Tos | CoffeeGeek Reviews | Resources | Forums | Contact Us
CoffeeGeek.com, CoffeeGeek, and Coffee Geek, along with all associated content & images are copyright ©2000-2014 by Mark Prince, all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Content, code, and images may not be reused without permission. Usage of this website signifies agreement with our Terms and Conditions. (0.493268966675)
Privacy Policy | Copyright Info | Terms and Conditions | CoffeeGeek Advertisers | RSS | Find us on Google+