Hand (grinder) Jive - a photo essay

Grinders are one of the keys to exceptional espresso. Discuss them here.
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peacecup
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Postby peacecup » Wed Jul 18, 2007 12:22 am

I've been wanting to post some "bench" photos of the ultimate lever machine companion grinder- an old German hand grinder. These conical burr grinders are so simple and elegant, and they compliment the process of hand-brewing espresso. The mechanics are so straightforward that the photos speak for themselves. So here are a few pics - please feel free to ask questions.

An unusually shaped knee mill:

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Ready for action:

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Nice enamel-lined bowl for constant bean flow:

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Exploded parts view EDIT BOBCRAIG NOTICED THAT I PLACED THE OUTER BURR IN THE WRONG DIRECTION IN THE NEXT TWO PHOTOS! PLEASE DON'T TRY TO ASSEMBLE YOURS THIS WAY!:

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Conical burrs, one ball bearing, adjustment screw:

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The crux of the biscut - forged inner burr:

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A timeless tradition:

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PC
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Hand-ground, hand-pulled: "hands down.."

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mogogear
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Postby mogogear » Wed Jul 18, 2007 1:13 am

Nice Jack- I have never taken one apart. That is a really technical Ball bearing set up! I love K.I.S.S.
greg moore

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peacecup
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Postby peacecup » Thu Jul 19, 2007 1:19 pm

Thanks Greg. What I would like is to post comments here from HB'ers who have used both a good hand grinder and a good electric grinder. I have been recommending hand grinders for a while, but I have never used a good electric grinder, so I don't have a direct comparison. Would you mind posting a short comparison of your grinders?

PC
LMWDP #049

Hand-ground, hand-pulled: "hands down.."

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mogogear
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Postby mogogear » Thu Jul 19, 2007 1:36 pm

I would be happy to ....... I have to admit I am a little intimidated by the TITAN Grinder Project. I don't have scanning electron micro scopes, etc.

I have a Nuova Simonelli MCF, a Mazzer super Jolly and a Lehnartz hand mill and an old brass Turkish Doganay hand mill........ And a newly dropped digital camera- Thanks to a spousal miss-hap..... slippery fingers ;>( fix or replace ahh.... that is the question).

What did you have in mind for the "Tight-Hand" Grinder Project...... :wink: :wink: ?
greg moore

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peacecup
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Postby peacecup » Thu Jul 19, 2007 2:22 pm

Because start-up costs for a "tight-hand" are relatively low, I don't think we'll need to get very scientific about the project - no SEM or blind taste tests, although I think the latter are very important for analyses of important questions. It might not be bad to just grind a little of the same beans in each and have a look to see if the particle sizes are comparable. Then just your opinion of how the fineness, consistency, clumping, etc. compare. Plus any general comments you might have.

This info. might be useful to people who'd like to brew espresso, but may need to decide between a moka pot and $200-300 grinder or a decent espresso machine and a $30 grinder.
Thanks,

PC
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Hand-ground, hand-pulled: "hands down.."

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Randy G.
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Postby Randy G. » Thu Jul 19, 2007 7:15 pm

I recently acquired another hand grinder myself:
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I picked up that one on Craig's List locally.

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Interestingly enough, the burrset is similar. The difference is that the shaft is held in place by the casting side plates of the grinder body.

The burrs are not very precise and the adjustment at the fine end of the range is disrupted by play in the shaft, so it is not suitable for espresso, but in a pinch it is certainly good enough for most other brewing methods.

Full story about this grinder on my website here:
http://home.surewest.net/frcn/Coffee/Coffee86.html
Espresso! My Espresso!
http://www.EspressoMyEspresso.com

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prof_stack
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Postby prof_stack » Fri Jul 20, 2007 4:03 pm

Great photos of the grinder! Is that a PeDe? Unusual shape, but kinda cool.

Perhaps I'll put some pix together of my ancient Trosser that continues to be my #1 grinder. I recently sold 7 hand-grinders through friends and Craigslist. Took a loss on most of them but not a big deal.

Now I'm down to 3 German grinders and 2 Asian ones.
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peacecup
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Interests: science, kids, crema

Postby peacecup » Wed Aug 01, 2007 6:04 pm

Here are a few things to look for in a hand grinder, in my opinion:

1. Stepless grind adjustment - absolute must - avoid the kinds with a four-notched wheel adjustment on the axle - the notches are steps, and it will be more difficult to set the correct grind. Some have adjusters inside the drawer, some on the back, some on the axel on top (the newer Zasses).
2. Ask the seller if the burrs appear sharp and rust-free - better yet, ask them to grind a few beans at the finest setting to see if they look even and fine enough for "turkish" coffee
3. Ask if the edges on the burrs look cast or machined -the machined burrs have sharp edges like the ones in the photos above. Some of the old German grinders say "forged" or "stahlmahlwerk".

Purchase of a used hand grinder can't be risk-free unless the seller has used it for espresso. Even then, they may not measure up to a Titan:

http://www.home-barista.com/forum...project-t4126.html

I've asked Jim S. to compare an old hand grinder to the Titans just to see how it fares, and I'll ask him to post his impressions here soon.
LMWDP #049

Hand-ground, hand-pulled: "hands down.."

User avatar
peacecup
Posts: 2978
Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2005 1:54 pm
Real Name: jack piccolo
Equipment: PV and Sama Exports, Lusso; hausgrind & other handjive
Location: Sweden
Interests: science, kids, crema

Postby peacecup » Fri Aug 03, 2007 2:45 pm

Don't miss Jim's excellent writeup of a test of an old hand grinder against the Robur Titan:

http://www.home-barista.com/forum...4499-20.html#50247

PC
LMWDP #049

Hand-ground, hand-pulled: "hands down.."

User avatar
mogogear
Posts: 1479
Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2006 5:07 pm
Real Name: greg moore
Equipment: Levers..... had most of 'em. Have a custom Olympia Cremina
Location: NEPDX
Interests: Espresso and steam

Postby mogogear » Fri Aug 03, 2007 3:48 pm

Oh, darn, only comparable to a Mini Mazzer.... :shock: for a price equal to that of a replacement Mazzer bean hopper..... not bad 8) 8) All in all in the lower tier of those tested but in good company and a lot quieter than the LUX :wink:
greg moore

Leverwright
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