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question about rocky zero-point
Rocket R58 Double Boiler
Rocket Espresso R58 Double Boiler -  Everything you need for the perfect shot!
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ayn
Senior Member
ayn
Joined: 1 Apr 2003
Posts: 60
Location: Bay Area, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Silvia
Grinder: Rocky
Posted Sun Apr 6, 2003, 6:44pm
Subject: question about rocky zero-point
 

Hi, I'm sorry if this has been asked many times. But I just got my rocky and silvia and I followed Mark's instructions on finding the zero-point. The thing is, I am not sure what "whistle" noise I should be hearing when the blades touch. I understand sometimes it goes pass 0 but I'm afraid of breaking the rocky. I just want to know how it should sound like when the zero-point is reached. Is it a pretty obvious noise? I heard a little maybe clicking noise at around 3, and whistling noise at about all the settings...

Thanks!

--Andrew
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HB
Senior Member


Joined: 3 Apr 2003
Posts: 2,913
Location: Cary, NC
Posted Sun Apr 6, 2003, 7:28pm
Subject: Re: question about rocky zero-point
 

I wouldn't characterize the sound as anything at all subtle.  When those burrs begin to touch, I get the clear sensation that I'm just one micron away from a serious mechanical no-no.  Something like the sound of a gravel road comes to mind, or perhaps an electric pencil sharpener.  I am guessing the "whiseling" that you're talking about is just the motor and the clicking is the very beginning of them touching.

Easy Test: Start at 10+ and move down.  The volume and tone change dramatically when they touch.  The sound tells me that that they aren't perfectly parallel in my machine, since the noise sort of "warbles."  I'm sure that a hard turn 2-3 clicks further would change all that, probably permanently.  :-o

Seriously, I've had it apart and from the looks of it, a brief touching of the burrs isn't going to hurt anything.  But just to be on the safe side, I flick on the power for only a second, let the motor slow down a bit, then find the zero point.  I figure that a slow-spinning motor under no load is unlikely to damage / dull the burrs.

Now my own follow-up question: Why does it really matter?  I don't aim for an absolute setting when dialing in a grind.  Is it so you can compare settings with other owners of the same grinder?  I've mused about this a little lately because I've noticed most of my grind settings are in the 4-6 range and yet my readings suggest that 8 is practically a canonical average.

BTW, specifically what article are you referring to?  How to Clean a Rocky?  He says to note the zero point and I did so, but wondered at the time "OK, but why?"

-- Dan

 
www.home-barista.com
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ayn
Senior Member
ayn
Joined: 1 Apr 2003
Posts: 60
Location: Bay Area, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Silvia
Grinder: Rocky
Posted Sun Apr 6, 2003, 7:38pm
Subject: Re: question about rocky zero-point
 

I read the cleaning article, also the Rocky first-look, and went to Google Groups to dig up the original USENET how to dial in zero-point post. Just seemed to me that it was important to know where the zero point was. I didn't even know about it when I got my Rocky yesterday, I poured some beans (I got some beans from Vivace when I was in Seattle 2 weeks ago) in and tried it around 10 and then turned it to 9 instead. The espresso has been excellent. And then I went to read more about the Rocky and found out everybody was real obsessed about the zero-point so I was just curious to find where mine is.

--Andrew
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gauperaa
Senior Member
gauperaa
Joined: 22 Dec 2001
Posts: 327
Location: Oslo, Norway
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Euro2000 Junior, Rancilio...
Grinder: Mazzer Mini, Rancilio Rocky,...
Vac Pot: Mini eSantos
Drip: OBH Nordica King of Coffee
Roaster: Imex-CR100, Princess popper,...
Posted Mon Apr 7, 2003, 2:04am
Subject: Re: question about rocky zero-point
 

I remember also being afraid to ruin the grinder in the process of finding the zero-point, so I found another way to do it. Here's an excerpt from an alt.coffee post I wrote:

______________

I didn't dare do that touching thing, so i just experimented a bit and found
the sweet spot quite fast.

When I then cleaned my rocky for the first time I discovered that you have
to turn the top burr assembly of the grinder to get it off. When you put it
back you can screw it all the way in to the point where the "blades" touch,
put on the hopper and there you go: your zero spot. Don't start the grinder
at this point!! Turn it up some notches first. If you're zero point is
like -2 then you could try something like 10 for your first shot. But it
varies a lot. Dark roasted beans needs a finer grind than lightly roasted
for example.

______________


Thomas.
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ayn
Senior Member
ayn
Joined: 1 Apr 2003
Posts: 60
Location: Bay Area, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Silvia
Grinder: Rocky
Posted Mon Apr 7, 2003, 6:52am
Subject: Re: question about rocky zero-point
 

I tried again after reading Dan's reply, this time I just sorta flip the switch and kept going, at just right below the zero marking, I found my zero point! I then became braver and tried to approach it when the machine on, yes, the noise when the blades are close to each other was anything but subtle.

So I guess I got lucky and my zero point is pretty much zero on the scale.

Thanks everyone for your help! Now I have more questions about the Silvia and the Rocky doser (2 doses weren't quite enough, so 3? and not sure how to fill/empty(?) the boiler), I will search the archive and then maybe start a new thread.

--Andrew
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HB
Senior Member


Joined: 3 Apr 2003
Posts: 2,913
Location: Cary, NC
Posted Mon Apr 7, 2003, 7:35am
Subject: Re: question about rocky zero-point
 

ayn Said:

So I guess I got lucky and my zero point is pretty much zero on the scale.

--Andrew

Posted April 7, 2003 link

Maybe their quality control has improved lately.  Mine is also dead on zero.  Another reason why I wondered what all the fuss about "zero points" was about.  ;-)

-- Dan

 
www.home-barista.com
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gauperaa
Senior Member
gauperaa
Joined: 22 Dec 2001
Posts: 327
Location: Oslo, Norway
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Euro2000 Junior, Rancilio...
Grinder: Mazzer Mini, Rancilio Rocky,...
Vac Pot: Mini eSantos
Drip: OBH Nordica King of Coffee
Roaster: Imex-CR100, Princess popper,...
Posted Mon Apr 7, 2003, 8:26am
Subject: Re: question about rocky zero-point
 

Ayn, forget about dosing by clicking a certain number of times. It is much easier to just turn on the grinder and drag the doser lever continously while it is grinding. You will see the filter getting gradually filled. When it is slightly overfilled, stop the grinder and swipe of the excess with a slightly curved finger. Tamp, lock and load.

The best thing about this technique is that you grind for each shot, not leaving grounds to stale in the doser.
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HB
Senior Member


Joined: 3 Apr 2003
Posts: 2,913
Location: Cary, NC
Posted Mon Apr 7, 2003, 1:02pm
Subject: Re: question about rocky zero-point
 

gauperaa Said:

Ayn, forget about dosing by clicking a certain number of times. It is much easier to just turn on the grinder and drag the doser lever continously while it is grinding. You will see the filter getting gradually filled. When it is slightly overfilled, stop the grinder and swipe of the excess with a slightly curved finger. Tamp, lock and load.

The best thing about this technique is that you grind for each shot, not leaving grounds to stale in the doser.

Posted April 7, 2003 link

Doesn't that defeat the purpose of a doser?  In your recent review, you said:

The doserless version is new on the market. Many have wanted a doserless Rocky and Rancilio has delivered. The ironic fact is that people quickly realize that the doser is useful and that the doserless doesn't improve anything except maybe making it more compact in size. Why is the doser useful? Well, it is because it enables you to do other stuff like preheating cups, chatting etc. while the grinder runs. With the doserless you are forced to stand close to the grinder keeping the button depressed while it is grinding. This also increases the time the portafilter is out of the group and cooling down, potentially affecting the brew temperature stability. Not a good thing. I have however not noticed any defects in the espresso because of this (when using the commercial version of the portafilter).


Perhaps Rocky w/doser needs to be adjustable and the doserless with a timer is the best choice(s)?  That way, you could put a dish under the DL Rocky and walk away while it finishes grinding (something I did all the time with my old Maestro).  I've considered doing just this, but don't want to drill a hole in Rocky for a $5 timer and void my warranty.  For now, I hold the rocker switch for the 25-30 seconds it takes to grind one PF full (I'll probably think of you often when doing this from now on and it'll bug me.  :-o  ;-).

BTW, any idea of how much you're using with your "curved finger" technique?  Being a relative newbie, I measure two level scoops carefully and it's never that close to the top (La Marzocco ridgeless filter basket).  I've taken to measuring the beans instead of the grind and noticed that it picks up a fair amount of volume in the process (about 2-1/2 level scoops).  I've read a number of posts using the "level PF" technique your describe.  I'd imagine that is a lot more than 14g, but I don't have a scale to check myself.  That might explain why I'm grinding in the 4-6 range and you're in the 8 range.

-- Dan

 
www.home-barista.com
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gauperaa
Senior Member
gauperaa
Joined: 22 Dec 2001
Posts: 327
Location: Oslo, Norway
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Euro2000 Junior, Rancilio...
Grinder: Mazzer Mini, Rancilio Rocky,...
Vac Pot: Mini eSantos
Drip: OBH Nordica King of Coffee
Roaster: Imex-CR100, Princess popper,...
Posted Mon Apr 7, 2003, 1:39pm
Subject: Re: question about rocky zero-point
 

Well, yes and no. When I had the doser version I used to let the grinder work a little first and then I removed the pf and started clicking the lever until I got the desired volume. This meant that I had the pf out of the group, (theoretically) cooling down and I was forced to stand at the grinder, so yes you're right about defeating the purpose of the doser :), but my shots turned out great, and when I made several drinks to friends of mine I would let Rocky run for several minutes while I was making shots, cleaning etc. So in those cases it was really useful and flexible to have a doser.

Regarding dosing. You should definitely try using more coffee by overfilling and swiping. Your shots will be better and richer. If you're uncertain about how much to bend you finger, then just overfill the filter and level horizontally with a finger, a spoon or something else. That is what most people here do, but it may be overdosing slightly. I'm not sure. Try it and see what works best for you. In any case, use more coffee and get the full benefit of that big LM filter! :)
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fbradley
Senior Member
fbradley
Joined: 22 Jan 2003
Posts: 97
Location: Ballston Spa, NY
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Nespresso Latissmo,Miss...
Grinder: ROCKY
Vac Pot: Bodum Santos
Drip: Cusinart
Roaster: Considering
Posted Mon Apr 7, 2003, 5:21pm
Subject: Re: question about rocky zero-point
 

For what its worth. My Rocky is about a month old and the 0 point is 0 right out of the box. So perhaps the factory folks have listened.

Frank
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