coffee left in grinder...

grinders for home and commercial

coffee left in grinder...

Postby Jason Silberschlag on Tue Dec 16, 2008 9:18 pm

I just did a quick little test with my new espresso grinder, (to be named later after legitimate testing) to see how much ground coffee remained in the burrs/assembly/chute. I cleaned the grinder pretty well, then put in 40 grams and ground through it. Out came 33 grams, which means there were at least 6-7 grams of ground coffee still in there!

So 2 questions result, assuming an 18 gram dose:
1. Is this acceptable? I think not...
2. If you are to grind that coffee out after not using the grinder for a few minutes, is 6-7 grams of waste acceptable every 10 or so minutes? How long can you wait before you have to 'flush' the grinder?

Assumptions:
1. All grinders of similar design will have about the same amount of sitting ground coffee.
2. There are no grinders on the market that can avoid this dilemma that are fit for use in a commercial environment.

Why haven't grinders been redesigned yet?

jason
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Re: coffee left in grinder...

Postby sarah kluth on Wed Dec 17, 2008 11:20 am

Jason,

These are questions I've been mulling over myself...especially in terms of cupping, using a 12g dose. I know our lab grinder retains grounds as well.
Something I've been wondering is if the grinder retains a constant weight each time the grinder is used, then would the flush (being approx 7 - 10g) provide a buffer for the next sample not only keeping the first ground cup accurate to what the sample is (it not representing the preceding coffee), but also buffering the what weight is retained thereby keeping the actual dose that falls in the cup consistent.

Either way...it looks like I need to start investigating!
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Re: coffee left in grinder...

Postby Robert Goble on Wed Dec 17, 2008 12:02 pm

sarah kluth wrote:Something I've been wondering is if the grinder retains a constant weight each time the grinder is used, then would the flush (being approx 7 - 10g) provide a buffer for the next sample not only keeping the first ground cup accurate to what the sample is (it not representing the preceding coffee), but also buffering the what weight is retained thereby keeping the actual dose that falls in the cup consistent.


I would imagine that it's not as simple as a % of each specific dose being left behind. I imagine that some function of the first and following initial doses become somewhat permanently captured, and that at some point a much smaller % per dose gets left behind, then is purged with each subsequent cycle. (talking about cupping grinders).

R.
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Re: coffee left in grinder...

Postby Brent on Wed Dec 17, 2008 6:47 pm

pull the grinder to bits, you know you want to, and then you will have a better understandings as to where the coffe is hiding...
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Re: coffee left in grinder...

Postby Jason Haeger on Wed Dec 17, 2008 11:29 pm

Brent wrote:pull the grinder to bits, you know you want to, and then you will have a better understandings as to where the coffe is hiding...

I agree.

In all the grinders I've taken apart, I've not seen one that didn't have a good amount of "permacoffee" lodged in some crevice or other.

After a month of constant use, don't clean, but "purge" as best you can until "empty". Then run the test again. (if this was already done, then ignore this post. This is assuming the grinder went from "brand new" to the specified dose/remainder ratio.)
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Re: coffee left in grinder...

Postby Deferio on Thu Dec 18, 2008 6:12 am

I have noticed this too.
Seems that there is a more permanent layer built up and only the outer layer of this in the chute gets freshened up each shot. Call it seasoning the dosing chamber. I can only get a consistent dose of coffee grams per second if the chamber is seasoned...other wise, as was pointed out, the chambers static draws x amount of coffee grounds to itself until it is satisfied and saturated.
depending on the blends age and origin there will be more or less that the dosing chambers static draw can pull.
all the more reason to grind a bit out if there's some time between shot.

-cd
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Re: coffee left in grinder...

Postby nick on Thu Dec 18, 2008 7:18 am

My favorite residual coffee grounds (if there can be such a thing) are the coffee-balls that will sometimes form under the lower dosing star. 8)
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Re: coffee left in grinder...

Postby Jason Silberschlag on Thu Dec 18, 2008 9:33 pm

so the really old coffee left in the grinder actually may serve the purpose of keeping less new old coffee stuck, requiring a smaller purge. now if there was only a way to clean the grinder without losing the balls... :wink:

i noticed my mazzer major shoots the coffee out of the chute much more than the conical burr grinder, so could there be a way to utilize this force to limit the amount of grounds left behind?
to answer that question, i might say one would need to dose into the hopper (or burrs directly) volumetrically, but what would that do to the grind consistency (that is without the weight of the full hopper of beans on the portion being ground)? i would now assume that the reason for the conical/flat series of burrs on the versalab M3 is to fix this issue...

someone suggested the elektra (for the purpose of less grounds "stuck")...does anyone have experience with this grinder? http://www.elektrasrl.com/nino_spec.php
Theodore from Athens says they say it retains less than 0.5g of coffee, but i could not find that info on this page.

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Re: coffee left in grinder...

Postby Brent on Tue Dec 23, 2008 2:28 am

Jason Silberschlag wrote:i noticed my mazzer major shoots the coffee out of the chute much more than the conical burr grinder, so could there be a way to utilize this force to limit the amount of grounds left behind?


With the hopper lid in place, thump the lid. It "pumps" the loose grounds out :)
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Re: coffee left in grinder...

Postby Deferio on Tue Dec 23, 2008 5:08 am

Nice! I tried that when I was at Carriage House...I started to worry that the thump would damage the hopper though.
What about someone inventing a air plunger for the grinder...make a seal and use forced air without a thumping?
-cd
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Re: coffee left in grinder...

Postby Brent on Sat Jan 03, 2009 1:38 am

Deferio wrote:Nice! I tried that when I was at Carriage House...I started to worry that the thump would damage the hopper though.


I watched at an airport espresso bar one day as the barista thumped, knocked and generally abused a mazzer grinder getting the grinds out (they ground for each order) so I quietly had a word with the distributer querying if they supplied the company with the grinders (they did) and how often they had to fix them (they didn't)

I think the biggest risk is cracking the hopper, but I find I don't need to thump that hard...
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Re: coffee left in grinder...

Postby Deferio on Sat Jan 03, 2009 8:14 am

Another issue would be that not all grinder hoppers have a flexible lid. Some have harder covers that don't get the "plunger" effect the flexible ones do.

Great story BTW. seeing general abuse off coffee equipment in airports is better than people watching!
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Re: coffee left in grinder...

Postby Brent on Mon Jan 19, 2009 6:32 pm

Deferio wrote:Another issue would be that not all grinder hoppers have a flexible lid. Some have harder covers that don't get the "plunger" effect the flexible ones do.


The harder ones are made that way to absorb the harder thump they require :D
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Re: coffee left in grinder...

Postby JavaJ on Fri Feb 06, 2009 3:34 pm

Brent wrote:
Deferio wrote:Another issue would be that not all grinder hoppers have a flexible lid. Some have harder covers that don't get the "plunger" effect the flexible ones do.


The harder ones are made that way to absorb the harder thump they require :D


Actually, we used to do something that bypasses the hopper all together. We just closed the hopper, lifted the hopper up and thumped the top of the grinder. Of course this isn't necessarily better, as the lack of a hopper screw meant that once the hopper "jumped" off and cracked anyway.

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Re: coffee left in grinder...

Postby Luke Mutton on Sat Feb 28, 2009 1:59 am

Has anyone tried this 'thumping the hopper lid' on a RoburE? Because every night after trade we take the adjustment off to clean the area around the burrs. We had an issue that the coffee was clumping together tighly overnight and gradually became such a large clump (over 2 3 days) that the grinder would cease to operate. We do clean the grinder in entirety twice a week but since the problem arose have been taking apart every night.
Any thoughts appreciated
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