Baratza Vario Super Alignment owner experience - Page 8

Grinders are one of the keys to exceptional espresso. Discuss them here.
ben8jam

#71: Post by ben8jam » Oct 13, 2019, 11:35 pm

I did the upgrade today. New metal burr carrier and chamber. Changed out to steel burrs too.

When re-assemlbing I held the control arms down while softly tightening the screws. I had to loose the motor in order to get the lbc to drop easily when re-tighening it (Barazta says the LBC should easily drop on it's own when pressing it upwards (upside down)).

The piece from the walkthrough I didn't quite understand was it said to loosen the motor, but then at the end it said to tighten it first before tightening the chamber screws. So not sure which is is which.

I put dry erase on the edges of the burrs and when testing grind where it just touches, it seems to rub evenly. So I guess I did it right.

ob3calp

#72: Post by ob3calp » Oct 14, 2019, 1:47 pm

Jake_G wrote: Before you pull it all apart, I'd just loosen the belt a tad. Basically I loosen the bolt in the slotted hole and apply just enough tension that the belt isn't sloppy. I also hooked up the motor to a drill battery so I could check the alignment before assembling again.
Thanks for the advice!

Loosening the belt did help, but it was still a fair bit off.

I ended up taking the grinder apart again and instead of using the levers, I pressed down firmly on the brass shim while tightening everything up. After reassembly, I still needed to loosen the belt a bit. I suspect the plastic chamber has a bit more flex than the metal one and is susceptible to belt tension more.

The wear looks far more even, it's evident that I need to get a shim machined for the upper burr carrier. Next step is to order the metal parts!

Image

pcrussell50

#73: Post by pcrussell50 » Oct 14, 2019, 1:58 pm

ob3calp wrote: The wear looks far more even, it's evident that I need to get a shim machined for the upper burr carrier. Next step is to order the metal parts!
IIRC Ben paid only $30 for the metal parts from Baratza. (Ben?) That has to be the steal of the century.

-Peter
LMWDP #553

NicaDon

#74: Post by NicaDon » Oct 14, 2019, 10:50 pm

Getting lazy in my old age I am considering getting a used Vario, or if I can allocate the funds a Forte to augment the collection of hand grinders. Should I choose the Vario I'd like to get the upgrades mentioned when sending it to Baratza while in the US for a tuneup, new burrs etc. I'm pretty old with failing eyesight and don't really trust myself with the various small screws, shims etc for the perfect alignment. Can Baratza perform the "hyper alignment" or is there someplace on the West Coast that can perform this service? Once I bring it back to Nicaragua I don't see it going north so I'd like to get it as close to perfect as possible.

pcrussell50

#75: Post by pcrussell50 » Oct 15, 2019, 12:46 am

The beauty of the "hyper-alignment" is that you don't need shims. It's done essentially by feel. You loosen one side, clamp it to the other and tighten it again while it's clamped and voila... planarity. No shims.

The only shims in the Vario have nothing to do with alignment. They are for making sure the adjustment levers have a nice solid "click" when you make grind adjustments. They are a non-precision thing. Very easy to slip into place if you need to.

-Peter
LMWDP #553

ben8jam

#76: Post by ben8jam » Oct 15, 2019, 4:42 pm

Updated to steel burrs and did the alignment steps, but there's still a pretty wide range of grind sizes. Evident in hand and also in the filter with some post pour-over muddiness with Kalita Wave. Perhaps my expectations were a bit high when comparing to commercial pour over grinders with much bigger burrs....

Is anyone here using the Vario with steel as a pour over grinder?

pcrussell50

#77: Post by pcrussell50 » replying to ben8jam » Oct 15, 2019, 4:51 pm

I think you know Jayson, right? Give him a PM or a text. He has "the Alicorn", Jakes' first aligned Forte (this Vario of mine is the second), and he says that with the brew burrs, it's grind is "10x" more even than when he used his Monolith Flat for brew. And... report back would you?

Also, if you just updated to the steel burrs, they are probably not seasoned. And that probably makes a difference. I don't drink much brew, though after my grinder cycles through Jake and at least another HB friend, I'll probably try some brew with it.

Alicorn thread: The Alicorn: Achieving Precision Alignment with the Baratza Forté/Vario

-Peter
LMWDP #553

ben8jam

#78: Post by ben8jam » replying to pcrussell50 » Oct 15, 2019, 5:07 pm

Yes I'll check with him. The MonFlat is actually pretty poor for brew, even as confirmed by Denis. It's super uniform for fine, but a mess of grind sizes when coarse. I think its dual use is a bit urban legend. Compared to a commercial Mahlkonig.

I didnt' think steel needed break in but will see over time.

If anything it was fun to take it all apart :)

pcrussell50

#79: Post by pcrussell50 » Oct 15, 2019, 5:15 pm

ben8jam wrote: I didnt' think steel needed break in but will see over time.

If anything it was fun to take it all apart :)
It's possible that these particular burrs don't need seasoning. I was just quoting from the general dogma of steel burrs across the industry. Even Denis speaks of it for the Monoliths, (I have a current model SSP Flat).
ben8jam wrote:The MonFlat is actually pretty poor for brew, even as confirmed by Denis. It's super uniform for fine, but a mess of grind sizes when coarse. I think its dual use is a bit urban legend.
There is a certain HB legend whom I always looked up to (and still do), with a flow control gear pump modified GS/3 (not Jake), who might take exception to this. ;) But... I agree with you and Denis and Jayson here. Disclosure: I'm not much of a brew drinker myself.

-Peter
LMWDP #553

ben8jam

#80: Post by ben8jam » Oct 15, 2019, 5:17 pm

pcrussell50 wrote:It's possible that these particular burrs don't need seasoning. I was just quoting from the general dogma of steel burrs across the industry. Even Denis speaks of it for the Monoliths, (I have a current model SSP Flat).

-Peter
Yes the Flat with Mythos burrs did improve greatly over time for espresso, so I'm hopefully for these shiny mini burrs :)