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same coarse grind with no damage of ring, burr, burr holder, etc

chueh

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I've watched quite a few videos by Piers Janson from Baratza about troubleshooting for the grinds. I don't see any imperfection on any parts after inspections. I did replace the ring adjustment kit twice already. The grind suddenly got coarse for both times, so the replacements actually worked after the rings were replaced. However, this second one I replaced was not long ago.

Anyway, the grind stays coarse now, no matter which grind setting I use. I don't see anything wrong with the ring either..... Since I haven't had this 2nd replacement for a long time, I suspect it to be the culprit.

1. Any suggestions for the troubleshoot, please?

2. My husband suggested to get a brand new grinder instead of replacing parts again and again (we did replace the motor a while ago, too). However, I don't want to spend couple hundred dollars again yet later to replace parts too. It would be like an on-going affair.... Baratza seems to be one of the best brand for the grinder economically (I have Baratza Virtuoso. Now they discontinue though). If it's so, then I cannot imagine how terrible these $30,40,----$90 grinder will be, which they all say to have the setting for ESPRESSO. Yet, some reviews online (not product reviews on Amazon), they are NOT grinding fine enough to make espresso. What's your take on that?

3. I try searching for limited settings ONLY for ESPRESSO. Although there are 10-15 settings on mine, I am always using the finer settings for espresso. So far, I have not found any grinder that's ONLY for fine espresso grind without 20-30 settings...... I don't need other settings, yet the top of the line grinders always have so many settings which I don't need. That's why I don't want to spend too much money on them. Any suggestions, or have you known any grinder only for espresso??

Thanks
 

shadow745

Active member
Aug 15, 2005
1,650
18
Central North Carolina
Will mention a handful of things regarding your post.... Baratza has always had great customer service and does offer solid grind quality/features for the price point, BUT that clearly comes at the expense of longevity. I had a Vario for some time and for awhile it performed quite nicely. Then the grind quality was a bit hit/miss with consistency regardless of cleaning, calibrating, etc. That was clearly due to parts wear with the cam/lever adjustment system. Then the geared pulley on the motor shaft started slipping and regardless of tightening the set screw, applying Loctite it continued to slip. Had to use 5 min epoxy to bond the thing to the shaft which finally worked. Over time the plastic pieces cracked rather easily with basic daily use. Microswitch took a dump and final straw was circuit board going up in smoke. Wasn't worth the $25 for a new one for me to fix so I gave it away for parts. It's hilarious that their business motto is keep it going forever and don't just throw it away. Good thing they offer parts and customer service as you will definitely need them in a relatively short amount of time.

Espresso capable grinders do cost more due to the precision/parts needed to accomplish that. I agree that most grinders have far too much range, but that is mainly geared towards those looking for an all-in-one and many companies cater to that.

A quality/long lasting electric doesn't have to cost an arm or leg as some companies like Eureka are cranking out quality stuff at decent prices depending on the features you want. You can also consider buying used as I have and if you know what to look for some great scores can be had. Maybe new burrs and a bit of cleaning and you're set. Another route to take and my favorite is hand grinding. A quality hand grinder in the $150-200 range will easily be on par with any electric costing 3-4x more, just takes a bit of time/effort, but I look fwd to that daily and I put mine through heavy use.
 
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chueh

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thank you so much Shadow. I considered hand grinders as well, yet I was not sure how fine they can grind. I drink espresso daily twice or so. And I did not know how long I have to crank it for each shot.

1.Would you mind telling me what exactly your hand grinder's brand and model please?
2.How long do you crank it? min...seconds...???
 

shadow745

Active member
Aug 15, 2005
1,650
18
Central North Carolina
thank you so much Shadow. I considered hand grinders as well, yet I was not sure how fine they can grind. I drink espresso daily twice or so. And I did not know how long I have to crank it for each shot.

1.Would you mind telling me what exactly your hand grinder's brand and model please?
2.How long do you crank it? min...seconds...???
Most quality hand grinders can go toward Turkish fine as I've pushed a few that fine out of curiosity. Of course the finer the grind the longer it takes, same as with any electric as the burrs are working harder.

In the past I had the JE-Plus from 1ZPresso and it is a fantastic espresso range device. Most of their lineup is espresso focused, just not sure exactly what they offer these days. Burr design, how you use it, roast development of the coffee being used, etc. all affect the time involved. Some grind a bit faster due to a more aggressive burr, but take more effort in the process. As much as I liked that grinder I wanted what I consider to be the ultimate hand grinder ever made and that's the Helor 106. Ordered one close to 1.5 yrs ago and use it heavily. It's a bit slower than most due to a 4/1 planetary gear system as it's somewhat needed for most people to use for a grinder that size. It utilizes Mazzer 71mm conicals and would be tough for most people to try cranking if it was a 1:1 as in direct drive. The planetary gear system requires 4 turns of the handle to rotate the burrs 1 revolution so a 19 gram dose takes me about 75 seconds on average. A smaller grinder like the JE-Plus would take around 45-50 seconds from what I recall and it did the job just fine, but I really wanted that Helor to last the rest of my lifetime and no doubt it will. Granted it's not for everyone cost-wise or practical use as it weighs 4 lbs, but is the ultimate for me and I average 6 doubles every morning.

Anyway, there are some quality hand grinders out there no doubt, just a matter of finding something you want and in budget as that's a realistic concern as well. I will say definitely avoid any of the lower tiered garbage you might see on Amazon/eBay, etc. as you usually get what you pay for. If I didn't have the Helor and was looking for another one these days I'd go for the 1Z again or something from Orphan Espresso. Granted hand grinding isn't for everyone, but it's part of the process I really like due to the feedback I get from it as in being able to smell/feel the level of development I get with my home roasted batches, no retention, no waste of electricity and each dose can be fine tuned so there is no waste in time or effort really once you get it dialed in.
 
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chueh

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Ah... how eloquent.
I so appreciate your experience and knowledge, as well as your kind sharing. I especially like what you said about no retention, no waste of electricity. We consume too much electricity for everything; I always like to do things more manually. It makes me live at the moment more than power driven tools and devices.

Thank you so much.....
 

shadow745

Active member
Aug 15, 2005
1,650
18
Central North Carolina
Ah... how eloquent.
I so appreciate your experience and knowledge, as well as your kind sharing. I especially like what you said about no retention, no waste of electricity. We consume too much electricity for everything; I always like to do things more manually. It makes me live at the moment more than power driven tools and devices.

Thank you so much.....
Yeah the burrs in the Helor I have are from the Mazzer Robur. Grinders in that range tend to draw 900 watts or more every time clicked on. I think of that savings long term as well as a quality manual grinder really has little to wear out in time. I will wear down before it ever will.

Take a look at something like this as it reads to be a quality/affordable device...

 
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