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Coffee Grinders: Models, Sources, Maintenance/Hygiene


glenn
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I have a burr grinder, and brush it out after each use which gets most of the grounds out. I have been thinking about using Grindz to clean it though.

My grinder stays fairly clean on its on. I do this by only using/buying local roasted beans that have been roasted less than 2 weeks before use. I usually buy light to medium roasts and that helps to keep it cleaner too, in my opinion.

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I agree with Mr. Solomon. I finally disassembled my Rocky after a year and a half or two years of use. (Too long really but better late than never). :rolleyes:

The burrs themselves were clean and uncaked, but the feed areas between the burrs and the chute were pretty ugly.

It was easy to take apart and put together again, and easy to brush and wipe anything that could not be removed and rinsed.

No need to buy anything really...

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I clean up the burrs in my KA-9 with barley every two or three months. It lets me know with uneven grinding and poor bean feeding. I wipe down the funnel (bean oil residue) and it is fine. I can't get to the burrs without disassembly, but the barley (whole grain,not pearl) seems to clean them nicely.

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  • 2 weeks later...
I agree with Mr. Solomon. I finally disassembled my Rocky after a year and a half or two years of use. (Too long really but better late than never).  :rolleyes:

The burrs themselves were clean and uncaked, but the feed areas between the burrs and the chute were pretty ugly.

It was easy to take apart and put together again, and easy to brush and wipe anything that could not be removed and rinsed.

No need to buy anything really...

I think your experience may actually support using some material to clean by grinding it, such as the Grindz. (I have no experience with Barley or know anything about the pros and cons, so can't speak to that.) I also waited way too long to clean mine and think it's more likely I'll take a few minutes once every three months to use the Grindz than take the Rocky apart to clean it. Guess it depends whether you really like to tinker with your equipement. Obviously, I could, but don't.

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In the course of my beer brewing adventures, I've discovered that running something like malted barley through my flat-burr coffee grinder (Saeco MC2002) does a fantastic job of getting it sparkingly clean. Since I don't want the malt turned into flour, I crank the burrs wide open to the point that the clicky indicators of position stop clicking... running a half pound of grain through gets all of the coffee build-up gone.

Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

Learn to brew beer with my eGCI course

Chris Holst, Attorney-at-Lunch

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In the course of my beer brewing adventures, I've discovered that running something like malted barley through my flat-burr coffee grinder (Saeco MC2002) does a fantastic job of getting it sparkingly clean.  Since I don't want the malt turned into flour, I crank the burrs wide open to the point that the clicky indicators of position stop clicking... running a half pound of grain through gets all of the coffee build-up gone.

Do your run a "sacrificial" batch of coffee through when you are done? I'd be concerned my coffee would wind up tasting like barley... I stick to the disassemble-and-brush strategy.

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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  • 7 months later...

I love my Macap M4, stepless, dosered, purchased in 2008. For espresso use specifically. If I was a plunger/stove-top kind of person I might go, at a pinch, for the stepped version, but only reluctantly after using the precision of a stepless.

I guess it depends on what your expectations of your finished coffee are. The finer the control, the more regular the grounds, the better the coffee can be.

Early in my coffee journey I lined up grounds from various machines (whacker blade to prosumer burr) in a row on white paper. The differences were astounding. And helped justify my purchase of the Macap M4 :wink: .

And the quality of the resulting espresso? Amazing.

A stepless gives you the fine control you need to change your grind as the beans age (that is, from 3 days to about 3 weeks after roasting), and to suit your taste preferences.

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  • 8 months later...

My Rocky is making a strange noise and I'm hoping you can give me a little guidance about the cause and what I should do about it.

The noise sounds as if the lower burr is grinding on something. That is, I've removed the top burr. I've cleaned out as much of the grinder area as I can. Then, with the top burr removed, when I give the grinder a little bit of juice, I get a slightly high pitched noise that sounds like that lower burr is grinding against something. I've tried running some Grindz tablets through the grinder and that doesn't help. I have not tried to take the lower burr off. Any ideas?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Cleaning the plastic bits with a little warm water and a wipe is a nice touch. Not all parts are dishwasher safe - some melt, and especially on commercial grinders can be very expensive.

Clean your hopper with just a little warm water, maybe some soap, and towel, it'll keep that oily residue off. That residue eventually becomes quite permanent, and it smells like nasty, stale coffee.

And if you're in a cafe, and the grinder hoppers are caked black with coffee oil, try the juice.

Barrett Jones - 49th Parallel Coffee Roasters

Dwell Time - my coffee and photography site

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My Rocky is making a strange noise and I'm hoping you can give me a little guidance about the cause and what I should do about it.

The noise sounds as if the lower burr is grinding on something. That is, I've removed the top burr. I've cleaned out as much of the grinder area as I can. Then, with the top burr removed, when I give the grinder a little bit of juice, I get a slightly high pitched noise that sounds like that lower burr is grinding against something. I've tried running some Grindz tablets through the grinder and that doesn't help. I have not tried to take the lower burr off. Any ideas?

Just a follow-up about my experience. I took the grinder to an authorized repair place. Turns out a bearing of some sort (I don't remember) needed to be replaced. Now the grinder is as good as new.

Also, earlier when I wrote that I give the grinder some "juice", I meant that I press the grind button.

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  • 1 month later...

The strategy I employ with grinders (after years of experience at Starbucks, I know, groan), is to wipe the parts that are ready-to-hand frequently, and once a week or so, take the whole glorious mess apart, clean individual parts with a damp paper towel, then a dry paper towel, reassemble, and make sure it still functions.

Alternately, with the large commercial grinders, a vacuum worked well for everyday cleaning. I wouldn't recommend rice, because it dulls blades and messes up the burrs. Oats might be better, but I'd be a bit skeptical about oat bits getting stuck. Your best bet is to take it apart and wipe it down. If you've got a LOT of oil buildup, a mild acid solution works well (such as vinegar and water).

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I clean up the burrs in my KA-9 with barley every two or three months. It lets me  know with uneven grinding and poor bean feeding. I wipe down the funnel (bean oil residue) and it is fine. I can't get to the burrs without disassembly, but the barley (whole grain,not pearl) seems to clean them nicely.

I've had this grinder for several years, and it grinds well if it's kept clean, but the cleaning process is tedious, and I had to figure it out on my own by trial and error. If it isn't cleaned, the grind becomes too fine and somewhat uneven, and it tends to spray coffee grounds all over the counter. When it's clean, the grind is even over the whole adjustment range, and most of the coffee drops straight down out of the spout, so you can grind directly into an espresso filter basket without getting coffee everywhere.

I downloaded the most recent manual several months ago, and it seems they've redesigned it to make it easier to disassemble, but the version that I have was clearly not meant to be user serviceable. There are no instructions for disassembly in the original manual.

The first step is to remove a set screw on the back, which requires a Torx bit (the newer version uses a standard Philips head screw).

Then there's a left-hand threaded acorn nut that holds down a round metal apron that guides the beans into the funnel, and to unscrew this nut, you need to keep the burrs from moving. To do this, I insert a wooden skewer into the spout where the ground coffee comes out to hold the bottom burr while unscrewing the acorn nut with a socket on a T-wrench. On the newer version, the funnel/adjustment ring simply screws out. Once that and the small metal piece are removed, the funnel, which is also the grind adjustment ring, can be unscrewed, and you can access the burrs.

I brush them out and remove caked on coffee with the same wooden skewer used to stabilize the burrs in the earlier step.

To calibrate the grind adjustment ring, the instructions for the later version of the grinder apply to the earlier version. The manual can be found here--

http://shared.whirlpoolcorp.com/product_li...g200&siteCd=KAD

Edited by David A. Goldfarb (log)
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I give my Rocky a really good cleaning every 2 months or so. The instructions offered by coffee maven Mark Price, on coffeegeek.com, are where I learned the technique I use...click for instructions.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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  • 6 months later...

My current coffee grinder is a 30+ year old Krups burr grinder and it's getting a little long in the tooth. It's almost time for a replacement. It would be nice to find a grinder that's a little quieter, and that can grind fine for espresso and coarse for a French press. One that will last for twenty or more years would be desireable as well. Price: under $100.00, and best under $50.00 or so. Any suggestions?

 ... Shel


 

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Shel_B there are such grinders out there but as with so many things, it's hard to be good at everything.

I have a Solis, now Baratza, Maestro Plus I got about 7 yrs ago. Grinds from Turkish to FP. I found a big difference in my espresso when I went to a Mazzer Mini. We still use the Maestro + for everything else. Keeping a grinder clean will improve it's performance and longevity. Many of the problems linked to the Masestro grinder are from poor care IMO. You might have problems with oily beans moving out of the hopper into the burrs but oily beans mean the coffee is old or over roasted. Baratza has several grinders to choice from. The Vario is their latest and is said to be good for espresso but is much more $$. A couple of really nice things about these grinders is that they are relatively quiet and have little if any static issues and have a vertical chute that deposits the coffee in the holding cup so they are very clean grinders to use.

http://www.baratza.com/index.php

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My current coffee grinder is a 30+ year old Krups burr grinder and it's getting a little long in the tooth. It's almost time for a replacement. It would be nice to find a grinder that's a little quieter, and that can grind fine for espresso and coarse for a French press. One that will last for twenty or more years would be desireable as well. Price: under $100.00, and best under $50.00 or so. Any suggestions?

Burr grinders were recently discussed in

Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

;

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  • 10 months later...

What would you suggest for a coffee grinder for coffee that will exclusively be drip?

I've heard that burr grinders are superior to blade grinders, but will they still make a difference for drip?

For drip coffee, do I want to buy the most expensive grinder that I can afford like I would with espresso? Or, should I concentrate on other things like the coffee machine or coffee beans instead of the grinder?

If there was a hierachy of importance for drip coffee, where would the grinder fall on that list?

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I think that for drip, and only if drip is all you do and plan to do in the near term, then the beans are the most important, the drip equipment as second and the grinder third. A blade grinder used properly should be adequate. If, however, you may want to try the French Press method, then a good burr grinder will make a difference.

A burr grinder may make a difference if you are using a high end drip brewer ($200 - $250 range); I don't know, but maybe someone else here does.

My 2 cents, from a former heavy coffee drinker.

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Of course the beans (freshly roasted) and the water are important. But I don't think I'd define them as equipment; rather, I'd define them as the raw materials. They are the variable cost as well, whereas the grinder and the maker are the fixed cost.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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I am asking myself pretty much the same question. Should I invest in a really expensive grinder or buy a Hario ceramic grinder for less than 30$ in Japan?

I already use a massive Melitta hand grinder on weekend with great success, but I don't have a grinder for my second home, so I was wondering if I should invest in a fancy electric grinder. I also only use the drip method.

If anybody has any experience with the Hario grinder, I would be happy to hear about it.

@edwardsboi What is your brewing method?

My blog about food in Japan

Foodie Topography

www.foodietopography.com

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If anybody has any experience with the Hario grinder, I would be happy to hear about it.

I got my girlfriend the Hario hand grinder for Christmas (it seemed like the best thing available without spending insane amounts of money for something we don't use often), and she seems to really like it, though she has no basis for comparison. She uses it mostly for Viet style coffee. It is a little time / labor intensive, but she doesn't seem to mind so far. It took her some trial and error to get the right size grounds.

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