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Reasons for fast shots other than grinder {Resolved, post#40}
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Reasons for fast...  
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germantownrob
Senior Member
germantownrob
Joined: 2 Dec 2007
Posts: 2,156
Location: Philadelphia
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Duetto 3, A Dead Oscar
Grinder: Vario-W, Preciso w/Esatto,...
Drip: Brazen
Roaster: Diedrich IR-1, HT B
Posted Fri Jun 8, 2012, 12:53pm
Subject: Re: Reasons for fast shots other than grinder
 

naimnut Said:

Sounds to me like you might need to tighten up the vario with your hex wrench some more.

Posted June 8, 2012 link

+1

You have basically ruled out all other variables so it comes back to the grinder not being calibrated fine enough.

Btw I have been freezing in proper containers for a number of years and never had an issue.
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germantownrob
Senior Member
germantownrob
Joined: 2 Dec 2007
Posts: 2,156
Location: Philadelphia
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Duetto 3, A Dead Oscar
Grinder: Vario-W, Preciso w/Esatto,...
Drip: Brazen
Roaster: Diedrich IR-1, HT B
Posted Sat Jun 9, 2012, 6:11am
Subject: Re: Reasons for fast shots other than grinder
 

Here is an example of grind setting on my Vario. I just switched from a  city+ Columbian SO I was grinding at 2 C,B,A over 2 days and have now switched to a 3 way blend I am grinding at 2 O for the exact same weight, only difference is the roast level and beans. Also I find if the hopper is less then half full I need to grind a knotch or two finer then if it is full.

If I had switched to a 14g double for the Light roasted Columbian I would have recalibrated the Vario finer so I stayed on macro 2.
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GDK
Senior Member


Joined: 17 Feb 2011
Posts: 92
Location: Ontario, Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: MiniVivaldi II, preinfusion,...
Grinder: Baratza Vario W
Posted Sat Jun 9, 2012, 2:56pm
Subject: Re: Reasons for fast shots other than grinder
 

germantownrob Said:

....When on macro 2 I begin to hear slight motor labor around micro h when switched to macro 1w there is no labor until I slide up to O. I am only at a slightly finer calibration then it seems you are. How I have fine tuned my calibration by grinding 14g doubles of city roast and still being on macro 2 and getting 28sec pulls at micro B-C. A 24g triple will chock my machine if micro goes lower then K for most beans....

Posted June 3, 2012 link

This is very useful information. It would be a bit easier to compare settings if we use the labouring point as a reference as opposed to absolute settings. But first to calibrate: labouring point is the setting where the motor just starts to labour audibly.

Your grinder's  labouring point is at 2H. To get 28 sec shot with 14g grind, your micro setting goes to 2B-C - this is 5-6 micro clicks finer than the labouring point. Quite tight I would say. Then, with the recent 3-way blend you went to 2O, which is 8 clicks coarser than the labouring point - a whooping 13 micro clicks swing. Apparently it is normal to have such large swings within the espresso range...

I have always been concerned to go more than 2-3 clicks finer than the labouring point as this might have caused my previous Vario-W to completely loose ability to grind fine. This theory may be wrong. Based on your experience, it seems harmless to go up to 7 clicks finer than the labour point. I may again give Italian beans a shot from time to time and be more aggressive with the setting. Will see.
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germantownrob
Senior Member
germantownrob
Joined: 2 Dec 2007
Posts: 2,156
Location: Philadelphia
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Duetto 3, A Dead Oscar
Grinder: Vario-W, Preciso w/Esatto,...
Drip: Brazen
Roaster: Diedrich IR-1, HT B
Posted Mon Jun 11, 2012, 4:27am
Subject: Re: Reasons for fast shots other than grinder
 

GDK Said:

This is very useful information. It would be a bit easier to compare settings if we use the labouring point as a reference as opposed to absolute settings. But first to calibrate: labouring point is the setting where the motor just starts to labour audibly.

Your grinder's  labouring point is at 2H. To get 28 sec shot with 14g grind, your micro setting goes to 2B-C - this is 5-6 micro clicks finer than the labouring point. Quite tight I would say. Then, with the recent 3-way blend you went to 2O, which is 8 clicks coarser than the labouring point - a whooping 13 micro clicks swing. Apparently it is normal to have such large swings within the espresso range...

I have always been concerned to go more than 2-3 clicks finer than the labouring point as this might have caused my previous Vario-W to completely loose ability to grind fine. This theory may be wrong. Based on your experience, it seems harmless to go up to 7 clicks finer than the labour point. I may again give Italian beans a shot from time to time and be more aggressive with the setting. Will see.

Posted June 9, 2012 link

I find when beans are loaded that I do not hear any labor from the motor when going finer then where the calibration (empty hopper) was set. When beans are being ground I find that it pushes the burrs apart a little bit, or so my theory goes, so I am not concerned about this. I did wear out a motor after 2+ years of 5-10lbs per week of grinding. I have also calibrated the Vario so fine before that I got chirping of the burrs touching which was well beyond where the motor labored, my theory and experience tells me that the zero point of the Vario is well beyond where the motor begins to labor.
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GDK
Senior Member


Joined: 17 Feb 2011
Posts: 92
Location: Ontario, Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: MiniVivaldi II, preinfusion,...
Grinder: Baratza Vario W
Posted Mon Jun 11, 2012, 5:13pm
Subject: Re: Reasons for fast shots other than grinder
 

What you say makes sense. In my experience, it seems as the grinder breaks-in more, one has to move finer and finer relative to the labour point - I guess things seem to get loos here and there.

Given the rate I am going at, the motor should last me well over 20 years ;) Just curious, did you change burrs at some point?
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KKBurke
Senior Member


Joined: 3 Jun 2012
Posts: 5
Location: Ohio
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Mon Jun 11, 2012, 5:33pm
Subject: Re: Reasons for fast shots other than grinder
 

You may want to reset your top burr....when you clean your grinder and remove the top burr, the reinstallation of the top burr need only be off by a minute amount to affect your grind.
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germantownrob
Senior Member
germantownrob
Joined: 2 Dec 2007
Posts: 2,156
Location: Philadelphia
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Duetto 3, A Dead Oscar
Grinder: Vario-W, Preciso w/Esatto,...
Drip: Brazen
Roaster: Diedrich IR-1, HT B
Posted Tue Jun 12, 2012, 4:20am
Subject: Re: Reasons for fast shots other than grinder
 

GDK Said:

What you say makes sense. In my experience, it seems as the grinder breaks-in more, one has to move finer and finer relative to the labour point - I guess things seem to get loos here and there.

Given the rate I am going at, the motor should last me well over 20 years ;) Just curious, did you change burrs at some point?

Posted June 11, 2012 link

I have had 3 Vario's over the years and in my experience I have had to do at least two calibrations as the burrs wear on to be able to keep the same range of working settings I like. My first Vario would not keep a calibration for more then a week and that one was replaced.

No I never changed the burrs on the replacement Vario that saw a ton of use for over two years, the grind was always good but the failing motor would change speeds so the timer was useless for any consistency. However it is posiable that the burrs where shot and that led to extra stress on the motor which might have been the reason it died, I will email Baratza to see what they recommend for the life of the ceramic burrs.

KKBurke Said:

You may want to reset your top burr....when you clean your grinder and remove the top burr, the reinstallation of the top burr need only be off by a minute amount to affect your grind.

Posted June 11, 2012 link

Good point. The tapered screw holes are very good at centering the burrs but like car wheels I never tighten one screw all the way rather tighten just a little and go around them all to keep things centered. Also very important to make sure no debris is left on the surfaces.
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MisterJohnnyT
Senior Member


Joined: 13 Jan 2012
Posts: 62
Location: S.E. Florida
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Compak K3 Touch
Posted Fri Jun 15, 2012, 1:45pm
Subject: Re: Reasons for fast shots other than grinder
 

Have you disassembled the grinder to check for broken parts?  I originally had a Preciso, but I returned it after a couple weeks because of the cheap plastic parts that readily break.  I have a thread with pictures:

http://coffeegeek.com/forums/espresso/grinders/562349

I think your best solution is to avoid the entire Baratza line altogether.  Just too much plastic.  With that much plastic, they should really be priced more like a random consumer model you can find at Bed Bath & Beyond or other big box stores.  I have been very pleased with my Compak K3 Touch grinder.  It is extremely consistent and can grind as fine as talcum powder.
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toenail
Senior Member


Joined: 8 Feb 2008
Posts: 125
Location: Maine
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Modified Saeco Aroma
Grinder: Kyocera, Maestro
Drip: Bialetti Moka, Bodum press
Posted Sun Jun 17, 2012, 2:57am
Subject: Re: Reasons for fast shots other than grinder
 

MisterJohnnyT Said:

Have you disassembled the grinder to check for broken parts?  I originally had a Preciso, but I returned it after a couple weeks because of the cheap plastic parts that readily break.  I have a thread with pictures:

http://coffeegeek.com/forums/espresso/grinders/562349

I think your best solution is to avoid the entire Baratza line altogether.  Just too much plastic.  With that much plastic, they should really be priced more like a random consumer model you can find at Bed Bath & Beyond or other big box stores.  I have been very pleased with my Compak K3 Touch grinder.  It is extremely consistent and can grind as fine as talcum powder.

Posted June 15, 2012 link


Seriously? You got a bum grinder out of the box and are ready to trash the manufacturer on a public forum?
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Gig103
Senior Member


Joined: 12 Feb 2012
Posts: 234
Location: Arizona
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: French press!
Posted Mon Jun 18, 2012, 11:22pm
Subject: Re: Reasons for fast shots other than grinder [Resolution]
 

Hi everyone,

I realized that I never posted an update. The short version is, Bill C went above and beyond to help me figure out that my machine is fine, and even helped me check that my Vario is calibrated alright. It ended up being the fact that my coffee, while fresh roasted and frozen 5 days later, had still been frozen and it affected it.


LONG VERSION:
I had read on here and HB that freezing coffee was fine, so I had kept thinking it wasn't the issue. But Bill actually obtained some frozen whole beans from his neighbor and found that neither a Vario and a commercial machine could choke the CC1 with these beans. But with fresh beans, his Vario was pulling shots at #1-U (with his labor point at 1-P). He said his burrs touch at 1-B and he cannot grind, which tells me he is calibrated even finer than me!

Bill had me verify water was coming out of the OPV valve with a blind basket, to rule out that component not working,  He even helped to rule out my grinder, which wasn't his responsibility, since he doesn't make it. To do this, he sent me some ground coffee he used in his CC1 (from his Vario), and some whole beans to test my grinder with.

The grounds he sent choked my machine, and my Vario was able to grind his beans at a setting finer than he said he dialed into (closer to 1-M), but not all the way at the low-end like I needed with my beans.

Last thing, something Bill had mentioned about how the beans need to expand to build pressure stuck with me, so I added a second of preinfusion with a two-second wait, and my coffee that had been frozen did choke the machine at the low-end. With preinfusion, I finished up that coffee at about a 1F, which is low but still gives me more room to move around as necessary.


LESSONS LEARNED:
1) Bill C stands by his product
2) Bill C goes above and beyond for his customers
3) Frozen coffee acts differently than fresh coffee, even if it was frozen while fresh
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