Baratza Vario Super Alignment owner experience - Page 12

Grinders are one of the keys to exceptional espresso. Discuss them here.
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Jake_G
Team HB

#111: Post by Jake_G » Nov 14, 2019, 3:51 pm

There is little difference on the business end of metalized Vario vs Forte. The Forte does have a different lower burr carrier and a thrust washer that supports it, whereas the Vario burr carrier just rests on the brass adjustment spline, as it's called. It looks to me that if you purchased the lower burr carrier, adjustment spline and thrust bearing in addition to the metal grind chamber the difference between Vario and Forte would be nearly 100% cosmetic/superficial (plastic levers with shims vs metal levers with springs and detents, etc...).

The Forte I have on the bench is not yet ready to go head to head with the Vario for the ultimate shootout. I need to get the spacers finished up and then get the drive pulley machined to properly fit the motor shaft before the throwdown can commence. My SSP Super Jolly will set the bar unless it is dethroned in early rounds. So far, that outcome seems unlikely, but not impossible.

I have a bit of a post to put together on spacers.
TLDR;

Align the grinder without spacers and with the screws just barely tight enough to secure the burrs to prevent TBS. Then, with the grinder aligned, you can fit the spacers behind the burrs and verify that they remain in perfect alignment once tightened up. The spacers are tough because we are talking about differences if a few microns causing a change in the ink test results, so the spacers must keep the burrs from "taco-ing" but also must not lift the burrs off of the burr carriers. It's a very delicate process to get them setup properly.

More to come.

Cheers!

- Jake

baldheadracing
Supporter ♡

#112: Post by baldheadracing » Nov 14, 2019, 5:36 pm

bgoods1221 wrote:Is there any reason to purchase a Forte over a Vario w/ metal grind chamber & lower burr carrier? I've been looking to sell my Niche and buy a Forte/Vario and do the "hyper-alignment" mod.
If I bought again, then I would get a Vario-W(with steel burrs) or a Forte BG over a regular Vario. The built-in weighing would be convenient as I have found that the metal burrs are more consistent with a full hopper (or a full grind chamber and a weight in a column 'hopper'). (By "more consistent," I mean less variation in shot times with everything else held constant.)
What I'm interested in is my worst espresso being fantastic - James Hoffmann

barqy

#113: Post by barqy » Dec 03, 2019, 4:45 am

I have an older stock vario that I bought metal burrs for the purpose of doing pour overs.

I've noticed a lot of fines being produced.


without upgrading to the forte parts, would this procedure improve the current alignment? at present doing the felt pen test doesn't have equal wear unfortunately

Thanks

pcrussell50

#114: Post by pcrussell50 » replying to barqy » Dec 03, 2019, 9:55 am


Yes, though you may have to invest the $30 in metal Forte parts in order to do the alignment. I'll give final deference to Jake, but there should be pretty much no way it would not align. As a subjective reference, the owner of the Alicorn, (who is also a friend of mine), is an avid brew drinker and he thinks it's superb for drip, way better than his Monolith. Now, Monoliths were designed for espresso, so that might matter.

-Peter
LMWDP #553

barqy

#115: Post by barqy » Dec 03, 2019, 2:17 pm

pcrussell50 wrote: Yes, though you may have to invest the $30 in metal Forte parts in order to do the alignment. I'll give final deference to Jake, but there should be pretty much no way it would not align. As a subjective reference, the owner of the Alicorn, (who is also a friend of mine), is an avid brew drinker and he thinks it's superb for drip, way better than his Monolith. Now, Monoliths were designed for espresso, so that might matter.

-Peter
Thanks Peter. I think I will go ahead and order the parts anyway. So to clarify, I only need the upper threaded burr carrier (part# 1) and metal chamber (part# 9 ). The lower burr carrier is the same? I have the older 885 vario.

Image



thank you!

pcrussell50

#116: Post by pcrussell50 » Dec 03, 2019, 3:13 pm

barqy wrote:Thanks Peter. I think I will go ahead and order the parts anyway. So to clarify, I only need the upper threaded burr carrier (part# 1) and metal chamber (part# 9 ). The lower burr carrier is the same? I have the older 885 vario.
My Vario, (the one Jake has right now) is also an 885 Vario... One of the very first in fact. I bought it summer 2009. (And it never failed on me by the way, despite having none of the updates that came out over the years). I have another grinder (MonolithFlat) that I'm using in the meantime.

OK, so here's what you have to know:

1) I sent mine to Baratza for the "metal" conversion. They charged me $50USD and did the work themselves. But fellow HB'er "Ben8jam" who posted elsewhere in this thread, called Baratza and had them ship him the parts, which he installed himself. IIRC it cost him $30USD. Here is his post on the matter from earlier in this thread: Baratza Vario Super Alignment owner experience

2) IIRC Jake says there is a very slight difference in the metal conversion chamber for Vario, than the one for the Forte. I would have thought they were the exact same but apparently the Vario one is identical in every way except it has an extra screw hole (or lacks one, I forget which). Jake knows but he is super busy right now. I am in touch with him but It's going to have to wait until he has a chance to get back to me. Because of this, it might be worth a call or email to Baratza for confirmation. I have never had to wait more than 24 hours for an email response from them.

-Peter
LMWDP #553

ben8jam

#117: Post by ben8jam » Dec 03, 2019, 3:21 pm

pcrussell50 wrote: 1) I sent mine to Baratza for the "metal" conversion. They charged me $50USD and did the work themselves. But fellow HB'er "Ben8jam" who posted elsewhere in this thread, called Baratza and had them ship him the parts, which he installed himself. IIRC it cost him $30USD. Here is his post on the matter from earlier in this thread: Baratza Vario Super Alignment owner experience
Yes Barazta has a pre-packaged 'kit' for upgrading the vario to be Forte-ish. They will do it for you, or you can follow the videos online. it's not too bad.

I went from the espresso burrs to steel burrs as I just wanted to use the Vario for pourover and it made a amazing difference. My pour overs are sweet with great clarity and flavor. Took a while to break them in, but highly recommend.

User avatar
Jake_G
Team HB

#118: Post by Jake_G » Dec 03, 2019, 5:19 pm

pcrussell50 wrote:2) IIRC Jake says there is a very slight difference in the metal conversion chamber for Vario, than the one for the Forte. I would have thought they were the exact same but apparently the Vario one is identical in every way except it has an extra screw hole (or lacks one, I forget which). Jake knows but he is super busy right now. I am in touch with him but It's going to have to wait until he has a chance to get back to me. Because of this, it might be worth a call or email to Baratza for confirmation. I have never had to wait more than 24 hours for an email response from them.
The grind chambers are the same. It is the lower burr carriers which are different. The Vario LBC just has a simple pointed end that rides on the brass adjustment wedge whereas the Forte unit has an extension that rides on a thrust bearing. Other than reducing the load on the motor, I'm not sure this difference has any real bearing on the performance of the grinder.

Cheers!

- Jake

mlunsford27

#119: Post by mlunsford27 » Dec 03, 2019, 5:20 pm

barqy wrote:Thanks Peter. I think I will go ahead and order the parts anyway. So to clarify, I only need the upper threaded burr carrier (part# 1) and metal chamber (part# 9 ). The lower burr carrier is the same? I have the older 885 vario.

image



thank you!
To answer your question about the lower burr carrier (LBC), the LBC for Vario and Forte are not the same according to the Baratza support rep that I talked with on the phone. However, he seemed to believe that it is only the metal grind chamber and threaded upper burr carrier that need to be changed to improve alignment.

Also, he shared that if you really want to change the LBC to the Forte one, you would also have to change some other parts (e.g. the thrust bering for the LBC) and it didn't sound worth it to me. The Baratza Rep stated this would only be useful if you will be using the grinder for high throughput and want the berings to last longer.

It is the upper burr carrier and the metal grind chamber that cost ~$30 and that are needed for the alignment.