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Why Tweak Grinders - Solis 166 / Starbucks Barista
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Why Tweak...  
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gordco
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gordco
Joined: 24 Sep 2012
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Location: Waterloo
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Starbuck Barrista
Posted Sun Sep 30, 2012, 12:43pm
Subject: Why Tweak Grinders - Solis 166 / Starbucks Barista
 

I've notices some tips on how to tweak the grinder to achieve a finer grind. Does anyone know what the drawback  is? If they need to be tweaked, then why didn't the manufacturer do that in the first place?
Thanks
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JasonBrandtLewis
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JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,475
Location: Berkeley, CA
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Espresso: Elektra T1 - La Valentina -...
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Roaster: No, no, not another...
Posted Sun Sep 30, 2012, 3:17pm
Subject: Re: Why Tweak Grinders - Solis 166 / Starbucks Barista
 

Was your last car perfect in every way?  Look how many people "tweak" their cars, to get better gas mileage, more horsepower, etc., etc., etc.  

Some grinders are -- for example -- stepped, and some of the "tweaks" or modifications might make it stepless.  Some grinders may not even BE espresso grinders (grinding for espresso is very different than grinding for any other method of preparation), and the "tweak" might make it possible . . . and so on and so on and so on.

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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GVDub
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Posted Sun Sep 30, 2012, 4:07pm
Subject: Re: Why Tweak Grinders - Solis 166 / Starbucks Barista
 

Sometimes people are tweaking grinders because they bought the one they could afford and are trying to turn it into the one they really wanted.
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JasonBrandtLewis
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JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,475
Location: Berkeley, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Elektra T1 - La Valentina -...
Grinder: Mahlkönig K30 Vario -...
Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup
Drip: CCD, Chemex
Roaster: No, no, not another...
Posted Sun Sep 30, 2012, 4:21pm
Subject: Re: Why Tweak Grinders - Solis 166 / Starbucks Barista
 

Well said.

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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qualin
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qualin
Joined: 30 Jun 2012
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Espresso: Izzo Alex Duetto 3
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Roaster: Considering?
Posted Sun Sep 30, 2012, 7:40pm
Subject: Re: Why Tweak Grinders - Solis 166 / Starbucks Barista
 

Gordco,

I would just bite the bullet and consider upgrading your grinder to something which is espresso capable instead of wasting your time on trying to modify a grinder
which really wasn't meant to grind espresso to begin with.

Manufacturers designed and engineered the grinder in such a way where it isn't precise enough to grind espresso. If you modified the grinder to something other than
what it was originally designed for, you could get adverse results or even possibly undesirable operation. (ie. Inconsistent grind, fines, etc.) In other words, the end
result may not be what you wanted.

Look on the Buy & Sell Forum, you might find something which may interest you.

 
Garbage In, Garbage Out, for every step of the process. From Beans to grinder, grounds to machine, coffee to cup.
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__________
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Posted Mon Oct 1, 2012, 2:36am
Subject: Re: Why Tweak Grinders - Solis 166 / Starbucks Barista
 

qualin Said:

Gordco,

I would just bite the bullet and consider upgrading your grinder to something which is espresso capable instead of wasting your time on trying to modify a grinder
which really wasn't meant to grind espresso to begin with.

Posted September 30, 2012 link

+1  I have one of these (the Dualit badged version) and for what it is and the price, it's not at all a bad grinder - use mine for everything other than espresso.  They aren't designed or engineered precisely enough to do an espresso grind for a commercial type non-pressurised portafilter.  Rather, they were expected to be used with the lower end domestic espresso machines, where the need for accurate and consistent grind quality is avoided by the use of pressurised filter baskets.
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Eiron
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Eiron
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Espresso: Quick Mill 0930
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Posted Mon Oct 1, 2012, 11:14am
Subject: Re: Why Tweak Grinders - Solis 166 / Starbucks Barista
 

gordco Said:

I've notices some tips on how to tweak the grinder to achieve a finer grind. Does anyone know what the drawback  is? If they need to be tweaked, then why didn't the manufacturer do that in the first place?
Thanks

Posted September 30, 2012 link

Drawbacks: You won't be able to grind as coarse, & things may not go back together quite a nicely as they were from the factory.
Factory Setup: Sometimes they are. The best way to tell is to 'Zero Out' your grinder & see if you can get the burrs to touch (ideally, at "0").

For your specific example Solis 166/Starbucks Barista, I have this grinder & it came from the factory set to the finest grind possible (the burrs actually touched at "0"). Of course, since the grind range is finite, moving the 'grind scale' finer (even from the factory) meant that it wouldn't grind anywhere near coarse enough for French Press. (Its coarsest grind was finer than store-bought "drip grind".) About a year ago I actually 'de-tuned' it to grind as coarse as possible. It's still not as coarse as it should be for FP, but at least it's usable now. (I have a separate grinder only for espresso.)

 
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