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Fun with my new toys (Gaggia Espresso/MDF)!
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Fun with my new...  
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beanmuncher
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Jan 2006
Posts: 128
Location: Berkeley, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: VBM DoubleDomo v3
Grinder: Macap MXK/R
Posted Wed Feb 8, 2006, 6:12pm
Subject: Fun with my new toys (Gaggia Espresso/MDF)!
 

Ok, so I ordered a Gaggia Espresso and MDF combo from WLL... got it today from FedEx and after much annoyance, got it back to my place... wow.  Pulled about 10 shots dialing it in and am just bloody amazed.  I'd been using my Estro Profi and now I realize what a weird little bastard machine it was.  Dialed it in with some espresso roast that I got from JP Licks (which, after having been to Simon's on Mass Ave, I like less than I used to) and I've found that I can get great shots dialed in to 3 or so.  However, they are very short (1.0-1.5oz) - not a bad thing, but something to work on.  After I got the timing right, I switched over to some Intelli Black Cat and pulled some really nice shots - I was getting crema from the first drops and being able to taste a hint of baker's chocolate / unrefined cacao as well as a few other flavors.

However, I have a question:

  1. How long does it take people with MDFs to grind for a double?  30sec or so? Longer? What are you set at, and what is your extraction?

...ben goes off and drools all over his new toy...
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MarkPod
Senior Member
MarkPod
Joined: 19 Mar 2005
Posts: 369
Location: Toronto ON
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: BrewtusII
Grinder: Macap M4 Stepless
Roaster: i-roast
Posted Wed Feb 8, 2006, 6:40pm
Subject: Re: Fun with my new toys (Gaggia Espresso/MDF)!
 

Congrats Ben! Sounds like you are finding your stride very quickly.

My MDF takes A LONG time to grind for a double (yes at least 30 seconds).  I usually grind at around 4 for my Gaggia.  The Gaggia grinds well, but leaves about 4gms of ground coffee in the grind chute.  To get the most from the MDF you should either remove the faceplate altogether, or snip the plastic finger guard away so that you can access the chute easily with a brush or chopstick after every grind. If you don't find a way to get rid of those 4gms of grinds, you will have real difficulty getting consistency of any kind (in the morning you will have to grind way finer than a few hours later, etc.), and taste will also suffer.

Mark
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beanmuncher
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Jan 2006
Posts: 128
Location: Berkeley, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: VBM DoubleDomo v3
Grinder: Macap MXK/R
Posted Wed Feb 8, 2006, 7:44pm
Subject: Re: Fun with my new toys (Gaggia Espresso/MDF)!
 

Couldn't one just tip the grinder to disloge those grounds?
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Jeff_K
Senior Member
Jeff_K
Joined: 7 Jul 2005
Posts: 1,589
Location: Chicago
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: LaCimbali Junior D/1,...
Grinder: LaCimbali Junior, Rio...
Drip: Presto Scandinavian, Bodum...
Roaster: Hottop KN8828, Kitchen...
Posted Wed Feb 8, 2006, 8:13pm
Subject: Re: Fun with my new toys (Gaggia Espresso/MDF)!
 

Around 30 seconds sounds about right although I've never timed the grind.  Usually it's set at 4 or 5 which gives a nice goopy pour like thick honey.  It depends on the beans and what works best, but I like shorter shots around 1.5 oz. for a double.  If the beans are fresh it's usually all crema at first.  Hope you enjoy the combo...it can make some good stuff.
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JonR10
Senior Member
JonR10
Joined: 26 Apr 2004
Posts: 10,376
Location: Houston, Texas
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: E61 Legend, Livietta,...
Grinder: Robur, B-Vario-W
Vac Pot: Hario Tabletop, Yama...
Drip: Technivorm
Roaster: 1-lb US Roaster, Behmor 1600
Posted Wed Feb 8, 2006, 8:20pm
Subject: Re: Fun with my new toys (Gaggia Espresso/MDF)!
 

beanmuncher Said:

Couldn't one just tip the grinder to disloge those grounds?

Posted February 8, 2006 link

The grounds will not fall out.  Coffee forms a "plug" in the chute area between the burrs and the doser.  You need to use a brush in there.

Alternatively, you could grind an extra 4-5 grams to start and dump them.

I genuinely enjoy brushing the chute.  It smeels good when I open the doser.  Just load enough beans for 1 shot.  Grind. Brush. Dose until empty.

That way you won't waste any coffee and you'll get a consistent dose.

 
Jon Rosenthal
Houston, TX
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hogfire
Senior Member


Joined: 19 Oct 2005
Posts: 9
Location: Indianapolis
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Factory G106
Grinder: Mazzer Super Jolly
Roaster: SC/CO combo
Posted Wed Feb 8, 2006, 9:16pm
Subject: Re: Fun with my new toys (Gaggia Espresso/MDF)!
 

Oi Ben,

Have fun with the combo, you've got worthy toys to experiment with.  I used to use an MDF, and it did a quality job at the provided settings.  I now use a Mazzer Super Jolly, and a doserless Nuova Simonelli, both infinite in their grind adjustment settings.  The Gaggia was great for cutting my teeth and matches my current grinders in grind quality, but fine tuning the grind really reveals the importance of the grinder in the basic formula of this hobby.  Tipping the MDF forward and "gently" smacking the back of the thing was enough for daily chute cleaning, then using a pastry brush or hand vac once a week for deep cleaning.  It sounds like you'll be capable of learning a lot with the equipment you got, and probably pretty cheaply, well done!  I recommend trying heaps of different beans, it's amazing what's out there.  Enjoy,

Hogfire (aka another Benjamin)
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Jasonian
Senior Member
Jasonian
Joined: 8 Aug 2005
Posts: 3,856
Location: Lubbock, TX
Expertise: Professional

Posted Wed Feb 8, 2006, 11:40pm
Subject: Re: Fun with my new toys (Gaggia Espresso/MDF)!
 

I'm typically somewhere around 4.5 for a grind setting with my MDF.  (it's stepless. ;o) )

Great starter setup.. the MDF is a great grinder.. (especially when made stepless).   The steps were holding me back majorly.  It seems you're about as excited as I was when I got my setup.  Have fun with it.  Learn from it.  Make sure you have a proper tamper on hand, and get your paws on a 12oz. frothing pitcher.

 
www.AJCoffeeCo.com - www.espressotrainer.com - www.TX-Coffee.com
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beanmuncher
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Jan 2006
Posts: 128
Location: Berkeley, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: VBM DoubleDomo v3
Grinder: Macap MXK/R
Posted Thu Feb 9, 2006, 5:05am
Subject: Re: Fun with my new toys (Gaggia Espresso/MDF)!
 

I'm kind of tempted to make the MDF stepless... but I'm very happy with where it is now (which really means give me a week or two before I want to tinker).

I'm pretty annoyed with the silly Gaggia steam wand (that requires the piece-of-plastic-crap)... can't you replace it with the Silvia part (not a big issue; I can't drink milk at this point and would only use it for a little soymilk work and hot water output)?

In terms of cleaning out the "plug", I tried the "burp it like a baby method" and it seems to work fine.

I'm tamping with my $2 cast aluminum tamper (I wish I could afford a Reg Barber) and it's fine.

As of this morning, I have a 25sec extraction time yielding around 1.5oz of espresso, flecked crema with no blonding (my tests last night showed that blonding occured around ~28-30sec into the shot)
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mineralman55
Senior Member


Joined: 4 Jan 2006
Posts: 86
Location: southeast Louisiana
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Quick Mill Anita, Krups...
Grinder: Macap M4 DL, Gaggia MDF
Vac Pot: yes
Drip: Gevalia
Roaster: not yet
Posted Thu Feb 9, 2006, 8:02am
Subject: Re: Fun with my new toys (Gaggia Espresso/MDF)!
 

I'm typically somewhere around 4.5 for a grind setting with my MDF.  (it's stepless. ;o) )

Great starter setup.. the MDF is a great grinder.. (especially when made stepless).   The steps were holding me back majorly.

Okay, how do you make the MDF "stepless"?
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MarkPod
Senior Member
MarkPod
Joined: 19 Mar 2005
Posts: 369
Location: Toronto ON
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: BrewtusII
Grinder: Macap M4 Stepless
Roaster: i-roast
Posted Fri Feb 10, 2006, 5:14pm
Subject: Re: Fun with my new toys (Gaggia Espresso/MDF)!
 

hogfire Said:

Tipping the MDF forward and "gently" smacking the back of the thing was enough for daily chute cleaning, then using a pastry brush or hand vac once a week for deep cleaning.

Posted February 8, 2006 link

I have removed the faceplate from my MDF so that I have unobstructed access to the grind chute.  So today I tried tipping the MDF forward almost as far as it would go on, and then giving it some solid burping from both the back and the side after grinding for a double.  I tried doing this on two different occasions, and both times the burping failed to dislodge more than around .5gm of the plug (around 4gm for the total plug).

This suggests that Jon is completely right - you need to use a brush or something solid to move the coffee in the chute out.  I suspect that this half-shot worth of coffee sitting in the chute is one of the reasons that the MDF seems so difficult to nail down to the correct grind.  And by the way, you can grind between settings, and the grinder adjustment (at least on mine) will usually stay in place, unless you are too close to one of the detentes.

Mark
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