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How to Clean a Rancilio Rocky - a How-to
How to Clean a Rancilio Rocky
Author: Mark Prince
Posted: May 16, 2000
How-To rating: 8.7
feedback: (37) comments | read | write

The Rancilio Rocky is one kick-butt grinder. With some 80 selectable grind positions, the heart of a Rancilio MD40 grinder inside, and big, beefy flat plate burrs, it's built almost like a commercial grinder, and as such requires some commercial like cleaning skills. In this Tips and Tricks article, we'll show you how to clean your Rocky, step by step.

The following photos are obviously about the Rocky, but this cleaning how-to can apply to other grinders as well. Note that clicking on each image will open a larger version in a popup window, which the average image size of about 45 kilobytes.

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Good old Rocky. Works like a tank. Can get as dirty as one too. Time for a good scrubbin'.
First, let's brush away some of the excess grinds and grime that may have built up on the bottom and externals. Don't worry too much at this point - it's just going to get dirty again.
Dump the beans if you have any in the hopper, (and make sure you unplug it, if you haven't already), and...
Brush out the inside of the doser, especially in the chute area, but again, don't worry about it too much - you're just clearing access to things at this point.
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Unscrew the (probably loose) bolt inside the doser, remove the top vane, remove the metal thing and the other vane. Brush out good, senor.
With the doser sort of clean (you'll clean it again), take a flathead screwdriver and unscrew the three screws inside the hopper, going thru the finger guard. Note position of my dial - 8.
Remove the top hopper and set aside. Note the forward screw position on the brass burr assembly. This is roughly where it was when I was grinding "tuned in" for my Silvia.
Brush out the burr assembly in place (note the grinds in the doser, going through the chute), then remove the top 1lb burr plate and brass holder. Give it a BIG TIME scrubbing with your brush, bristle brush (toothbrush), can of compressed air, all away from the Rocky (I do it outside).
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Now it's a bit tricky - you can take out the bottom burr, but I don't recommend it, and it needs special tools. Clean in place. Use your brushes, your can of air, and a vacuum to pick up loose grounds blown and brushed about. Try to eliminate any grounds from falling inside (not a big deal though). Elbow grease needed here.
Once cleaned, clean out your doser well, and reasemble the vanes and plate. Screw your top burr back in, turn it until you feel resistance, then turn it back a couple of revolutions. Plug Rocky in, turn it on and gently turn your burr until you hear a whisper of the burrs touch (watch your fingers). This is your zero point. Note the screw position.
Your hands are probably dirty from all this work, so clean them and your hopper in nice soapy water. Scrub a bit to remove built up oils, and RINSE well. very well. Dry completely.
When you put your hopper back on, line it up (without moving the burr group) as closely to "0" pointing to the front arrow as possible. It may be off by a couple of numbers. Screw in the three flathead screws (note, in this picture, I'm doing the last screw, and rotated the hopper up to 9 to conveniently finish the job).
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Rocky's all clean now, so you can put it back in it's position of honour. But before you do, give his entire outer surface a good cleaning - I use Fantastik! sprayed on paper clother, and wipe the grinder down good. Give it a cleaning like this once a month, and he'll continue to be a grand champ. Man... is that one good grinder!
Some tools for the job: grinder brushes (Starbucks, $3 ea), stiff bristle toothbrush (or brush), screwdriver, can of air, paper cloths, flathead screwdriver, blind filter (I use it to catch stray grinds from the doser, placing it on the fork), and not pictured: a household vacuum cleaner with a wand and small brush attachment, and Fantastik!

See our other Guides and How Tos

How-To rating: 8.7
Author: Mark Prince
Posted: May 16, 2000
feedback: (37) comments | read | write
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