Versalab M3 Grinder - Page 11

Behind the scenes of the site's projects and equipment reviews.
User avatar
another_jim
Team HB

#101: Post by another_jim »

barry wrote:
i have seen that setup in some cupping labs... a zass type hand grinder with a pulley on the upper shaft, connected by belt to a small motor mounted on the bench.
Wonder if the Zass mounts and bearings are up to doing this at an espresso grind fineness. Burrs look very nice though. The Trespade burrs are tiny, and judging by the way the coffee oil stained them (the pics are from a grinder that's done maybe 1 pound of coffee), I doubt it's made from a really high grade steel.

User avatar
barry

#102: Post by barry »

another_jim wrote: Wonder if the Zass mounts and bearings are up to doing this at an espresso grind fineness. Burrs look very nice though.
it shouldn't be that big of a deal to rig something up (and it would look surprisingly like the versalab, btw).

Decent Espresso: espresso equipment for serious baristas
Sponsored by Decent Espresso
User avatar
luthier

#103: Post by luthier »

Image
Before------------------------------------------------------------After


I hand-polished the lower funnel this afternoon. I don't think it makes any difference tho.
You've been perfecting your technique for a long time...... So have I.

User avatar
JonR10

#104: Post by JonR10 »

(Merged from Recommendations for pressure setting on OPV requested by moderator...)
ristrettobrain wrote:The M3 would be represent a massive investment on my budget but as something that would be used often and, hopefully, last decades it may make sense.
I also appreciate getting to read about the Versalab product, and it clearly contributes to better distribution and puck homogeneity within the basket. It may also produce a more consistent grind, although IIRC there is no evidence or measurement yet about grind particle consistency relative to other grinders (i.e. particle size distribution and deviation).

...but IMO it does not appear to be built well relative to the pricetag...
So you may want to check out Noll Kretchman's "twomartinis Mazzer mod".

He replaced the Mazzer doser with a modified cocktail shaker. He claimed this dramatically improved his distribution in the basket and his pours were remarkably even and well-centered once he made the mod.

After reading all about the Versalab grinder it appears to me that the funnel and grind distribution may be the biggest advantage this product has. If that were true (and I would never pretend to know if it is or not) then one could reap the largest part of the M3 benefit from a $20 modification to a Mazzer (and we all know how well-made Mazzers are).

Here's a link: https://www.coffeegeek.com/forums/espre ... nes/134026

Image
This picture is an example of Noll's work post-Mazzer mod, the machine is Francis! X5 IIRC.

Abe Carmeli (original poster)
Team HB

#105: Post by Abe Carmeli (original poster) »

ristrettobrain wrote:On a tangent, I have appreciated your and Jim's M3 grinder reports and photos. The M3 would be represent a massive investment on my budget but as something that would be used often and, hopefully, last decades it may make sense. Therefore ongoing reports will be highly useful, e.g., the belt slippage issue. Issues related to long term durability are important.
I will keep updating the Versalab Bench review with my ongoing experience. I have replaced the lock knobs with the upgraded one and will post my impressions after I tested it.
Lastly, I must add that the shot photos you posted on that thread are spectacular. I must be going off of the espresso deep end because I'm thinking man that's gorgeous, it would make a great poster!
Welcome to the deep end. The good news is you are going to find here a lot of people you've already met. We serve the best espresso on the planet, and we can intelligently discuss any topic from String Theory to the virtues of Crispy Cream donuts. (Sadly, I will be the one discussing the donuts). After you had spent a weekend on our loony island, you'll never want to leave. (Hey, we ain't gonna let you out anyway).

Your comments about the photos echo espressoobsessed comments on the topic. I believe he said he would hang the image of the flat burr above his fire place, had he had one. You're in good company. :wink: Perhaps the following thread - a testament to my fragile sanity, may give you some comfort: The Longest Day

P.S. Dan, thank you for that wonderful explanation of the mechanics of brew pressure adjustment.
Abe Carmeli

Abe Carmeli (original poster)
Team HB

#106: Post by Abe Carmeli (original poster) »

JonR10 wrote:After reading all about the Versalab grinder it appears to me that the funnel and grind distribution may be the biggest advantage this product has. If that were true (and I would never pretend to know if it is or not) then one could reap the largest part of the M3 benefit from a $20 modification to a Mazzer (and we all know how well-made Mazzers are).
I think you are missing an important element here - the grind quality. We have not done a particle study of it, and I can count only on my taste buds, and Jim's. But the conical/flat combination is responsible for a better grind overall. Jim's extensive report on the topic support that conclusion Link. It is very apparent when dealing with high growth single origin acidic coffees. I just finished a nice batch of beans Jim sent me to put the theory to test. The Mini was able to pull a shot at 96c, but it lacked a lot of the attributes of that acidic bean. The high temp burned them all out. The M3 on the other hand, was able to pull it at 94c and have it much richer and complex because of the lower temp. The Mini at 94c was a punch in the face.

If distribution alone were responsible for the difference, you would not notice any difference in straight cupping. Jim's report is one sided "no contest" between the two in straight cupping. Hence my conclusion that the difference is not just in the distribution but in the grind quality.
Abe Carmeli

User avatar
another_jim
Team HB

#107: Post by another_jim »

Abe Carmeli wrote:
I think you are missing an important element here - the grind quality. We have not done a particle study of it, and I can count only on my taste buds, and Jim's. But the conical/flat combination is responsible for a better grind overall. Jim's extensive report on the topic support that conclusion Link. It is very apparent when dealing with high growth single origin acidic coffees. I just finished a nice batch of beans Jim sent me to put the theory to test. The Mini was able to pull a shot at 96c, but it lacked a lot of the attributes of that acidic bean. The high temp burned them all out. The M3 on the other hand, was able to pull it at 94c and have it much richer and complex because of the lower temp. The Mini at 94c was a punch in the face.

If distribution alone were responsible for the difference, you would not notice any difference in straight cupping. Jim report is one sided "no contest" between the two in straight cupping. Hence my conclusion that the difference is not just in the distribution but in the grind quality.
There's a bit more evidence on this. Greg Scace is currently assessing a Mazzer Kony, which has an orthodox doser. He reports improved distribution and pours as well, and believes it may have more to do with the grind itself than the funnel.

The problem is that there's always more than one way to skin a cat. Andy says since he got the M3, he's been getting better pours from the Mini, just because he's become more meticulous to get comparable pours.

Versalab: maker and supplier of finest espresso equipment
Sponsored by Versalab
User avatar
another_jim
Team HB

#108: Post by another_jim »

Abe Carmeli wrote:
It is very apparent when dealing with high growth single origin acidic coffees. I just finished a nice batch of beans Jim sent me to put the theory to test. The Mini was able to pull a shot at 96c, but it lacked a lot of the attributes of that acidic bean. The high temp burned them all out. The M3 on the other hand, was able to pull it at 94c and have it much richer and complex because of the lower temp. The Mini at 94c was a punch in the face.
i'm really happy that you're able to confirm the result. Since I bought the grinder for improving on bright SOs, I didn't much trust myself on tests in this regard, since the wishful thinking factor is so high.

User avatar
AndyS

#109: Post by AndyS »

The M3's belt drive accomplishes two things: it slows down the grind speed to below 350rpm, and it keeps the grinding chamber isolated from the motor's heat.

You can place small pieces of fruit on the center bolt of the top-mounted pulley and spin them at 300 rpm as you grind. Here's a blackberry doin' the funky dance:

Image
-AndyS
VST refractometer/filter basket beta tester, no financial interest in the company

Abe Carmeli (original poster)
Team HB

#110: Post by Abe Carmeli (original poster) »

I've been working with the new upgraded locking knob for a few weeks now. Just as a reminder, the upgraded part assembly which includes a knob lock, two screws, a break and a washer were designed to address the problem of inconsistent dial stop. As far as I can tell, the new upgraded parts resolve that problem. It took me two tries in adjusting the mechanism to work properly, but it is doing a much better job than the original in my case.
Abe Carmeli