How often to clean your grinder

Grinders are one of the keys to exceptional espresso. Discuss them here.
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misterdoggy
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Postby misterdoggy » Tue Mar 17, 2009 4:45 am

I just took apart my Rocky and completely cleaned it. I was shocked and horrified to see the insides with old crusted on coffee from "I dont want to say how long"

Question is: How often should you clean your Grinder ? Is there such a thing as a light cleaning or there is just the total take apart ?

I have a Mazzer Mini on the way and want to keep it in top condition...

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Psyd
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Postby Psyd » Tue Mar 17, 2009 4:57 pm

Smell it. If it smells like fresh ground coffee, it's fine. If it starts to smell like coffee left on a hotplate, clean it.
'Twere me, I'd clean all the surfaces that beans and grounds come into contact with. And when it is me, that's just what I do.
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Postby mhoy » Tue Mar 17, 2009 9:58 pm

One of the things I really liked about my old KA Proline was the ease of cleaning. I cleaned my KA Proline monthly for the couple of months, then about every 2-3 months after that. The last time was a bit longer at 4 months and I could see it should have been a bit sooner, but everything swept clean with a bristle paint brush so it wasn't caked on.

We'll have to see what cleaning is needed and how often with my new Baratza Vario.

Mark

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HB
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Postby HB » Tue Mar 17, 2009 10:01 pm

misterdoggy wrote:Question is: How often should you clean your Grinder ? Is there such a thing as a light cleaning or there is just the total take apart ?

Cleaning grinder with Grindz shows how to freshen up the grinder without disassembly. Grindz does remove oils and funky smells, but even if I use them, I'll want to clean the grinder anyway because of the nagging feeling that it's trading one trapped particle for another:

Image

In all fairness, this was a really, really dirty grinder depicted in Cleaning a Mazzer Mini. I could tell you that the grime was allowed to accumulate for the benefit of the cleaning tutorial, but that'd be a lie. Sometimes I fall behind on maintenance; when I can't remember when a grinder was last cleaned, I do the doser sniff test Chris suggests. If it's funky, it's overdue.

mhoy wrote:We'll have to see what cleaning is needed and how often with my new Baratza Vario.

Oils collect and go rancid in a grinder no matter how well it sweeps the grind chamber. If you use a grinder daily, I don't think once a month is overkill, but as mentioned earlier, the sniff test will tell. That said, a product like Grindz should work better with a grinder that doesn't trap coffee in nooks and crannies.
Dan Kehn

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Postby SlowRain » Wed Mar 18, 2009 12:33 am

Okay, this is overkill, but I now clean my grinder almost daily. I didn't always used to clean it daily. I think I went three months or so after purchasing it before I cleaned it for the first time. It was starting to smell, so I figured I should do something about it. Once I discovered how easy it was to clean, it became my nightly ritual. I undo two screws, take off the adjustment cover, take out the outer burr, take out the key and spring, then brush. I use a toothpick for the screw heads. Put it all back together. It takes less than ten minutes, but more than five--call it seven, give or take. It's actually somewhat relaxing and therapeutic, and it's a nice way to finish the day for a coffee lover. But, like I said, mine is very easy to clean. Other grinders may actually involve a bit more effort.
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Postby caffeinatedjen » Wed Mar 18, 2009 12:48 am

I've had my Mazzer Mini over three years now, and I've been so nervous about mis-threading the burrs that I've just used Grindz once a month. Should I quit worrying and go ahead and do a better cleaning?
Jen

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Marshall
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Postby Marshall » Wed Mar 18, 2009 2:16 am

caffeinatedjen wrote:I've had my Mazzer Mini over three years now, and I've been so nervous about mis-threading the burrs that I've just used Grindz once a month. Should I quit worrying and go ahead and do a better cleaning?
Jen

No. What you're doing is fine. Grinders are for smashing beans into very small particles, not for acting out obsessive compulsive rituals.
Marshall
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misterdoggy
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Postby misterdoggy » Wed Mar 18, 2009 4:15 am

Obsessive, Who us ? who spend our time on Forums discussing coffee beans (not even) er machines that is..:)

Thats not me....

Back to the subject, I just bought the Macap m4d which shoots the shot directly into the PF taking out a cleaning step of the doser basket which I felt was really worthless. This machine measures doses and no basket cleaning.

If I didn't obsess about this what would replace it ??

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Postby espressoed » Wed Mar 18, 2009 7:52 am

misterdoggy wrote:If I didn't obsess about this what would replace it ??

Sleep? Face-to-face contact with other humans?
All the coffee in Ethiopia won't make me a morning person.

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HB
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Postby HB » Wed Mar 18, 2009 8:01 am

caffeinatedjen wrote:I've had my Mazzer Mini over three years now, and I've been so nervous about mis-threading the burrs that I've just used Grindz once a month.

See Mazzer reassembly problem after burr replacement for hints.
Dan Kehn