Trying few grinders: Fellow Ode gen 2, Opus, Wilfa Uniform+

Grinders are one of the keys to exceptional espresso. Discuss them here.
Posts: 48
Joined: 3 months ago

#1: Post by Sugarbeet »


I'm mostly an aeropress user with various speciality light roasts I can get locally. I've been using a cheap manual conical burr grinder for about a year and I decided to upgrade for my aeropress and an occasional pour over.

My manual conical burr grinder is the one sold in many places around the world with a glass vessel and a plastic top, with ceramic burrs. I grind on "4th click from burrs touching" so quite fine, but not espresso fine. Visually I estimate it at 300~350 microns.

Based on that I set my new ode gen 2 on to 3 and I sent just a few beans through to see the grind size. I immediately saw it grinds way too big. When I set it to the lowest setting I get the size that's approaching how my usual manual grind looks, but still ever so slightly bigger :cry: (I can't do a taste test until tomorrow).

I've read online ode gen 2 burrs go as low as 250microns so I was hoping to reach my target on at least 1.2~1.5 to have some leeway if I ever want to go a little finer.

So I wonder, is it possible my grinder is not adjusted properly by the factory? I'm fairly good with taking things apart and putting them together, so would it make sense to disassemble it and see? Is it possible to adjust the front dial two~three clicks finer?

If that's how it is supposed to be I'll most likely be returning it. Pity as I really like the build quality, the small size, the lack of static, the aesthetics etc...

Supporter ♡
Posts: 3628
Joined: 9 years ago

#2: Post by Nunas »

If the V2 works like the original, calibration is a piece of cake. You remove any coffee beans, set to zero, pull the faceplate off, remove the four Philips head screws, pull the adjustment knob assembly off, turn on the grinder, move the cogged wheel counterclockwise just until you begin to hear the burrs clash, back off one tooth, reinstall in the reverse order, ensuring that the dial is set to zero. That's it.

Sugarbeet (original poster)
Posts: 48
Joined: 3 months ago

#3: Post by Sugarbeet (original poster) replying to Nunas »

Great. Thanks.

I had a chance to taste coffee from it in an aeropress and on setting of 1 (despite looking quite coarse) it was extremely bitter(too fine?) so perhaps I'm just not used to looking at grinds that come out from it and there will be no problem with it being too coarse. IDK.

Edit: I had a couple of coffees from it, even setting up a mini-cupping with it set at 2,3 and 4 plus the nad ground. And the hand ground puck coming out og aeropress essentially look slike a solid mass, while even on 1 from ode 2 it looked more like sand. Still no 2 grind I think was pretty close in taste. A very surprisong result. I'll give it a day or two more before I decide if its a grinder for me.

Sugarbeet (original poster)
Posts: 48
Joined: 3 months ago

#4: Post by Sugarbeet (original poster) »

I had a couple of days of my morning coffee ground at 2 (aeropress) and today I decided it is way too "hollow".

So I did the "calibration" first (taking off the front plate and the knob, then turning the toothed setting wheel until burrs contact). I discovered it takes 2 clicks until it contacts. Also I checked the alignment and it was good, but I polished the flats on the burrs to a mirror finish.

I put it together and as it was disassembled I can't tell if polishing moved the burrs ano closer, but then I tried the coffee on 1 (one click from touching) and it seems good... Again I have to give it few days to.

Are there any others aeropress / fellow ode 2 owners here? If so, what range did you find works for you?

Sugarbeet (original poster)
Posts: 48
Joined: 3 months ago

#5: Post by Sugarbeet (original poster) »

Few more days have passed. I've drank some more coffee ground by the Fellow Ode gen 2 including about 3 times filter coffee (made with the clever dipper eventually landing on grind setting 3) which was bordering on too bitter and somehow still pretty hollow tasting...

For some reason this grinder is not getting out the flavours I like from the coffee. I gave it really a best shot as I love the design language, but it's not working for me taste wise so I'm returning it.

There has been a lot said online about these second generation burrs grinding a lot finer. If this is finer I can't even imagine the previous gen. Perhaps this grinder is simply designed for different tasting coffee. I wish the manufacturer would mention it somewhere in their literature.

For example when I was considering a universal grinder (I eventually choose to buy one purely for espresso - Eureka Mignon MCI as they are really cheap around here, and a Fellow Ode gen 2 for aeropress/filter cofee) I was briefly considering the Varia VS3 gen 2. I haven't bought it because the manufacturer said straight away it doesn't work that well with light roasts. I think Ode has to come with the same information...

Posts: 25
Joined: 3 years ago

#6: Post by jer_am »

I also have the Ode gen 2 but i don't recognize what you write.

When i grind a medium/light roast on setting 3.0 (i did the calibration where the burrs touch at setting 1.0) and brew a v60 with 15 grams of coffee and 250grams of water, the drawdown time is 3 minutes which means to me the grind size is fine with my grinder.

I would check with the shop where you bought it if there is no malfunction in your grinder, compare it with another one they have in their shop. Or if you bought it online, exchange it for another and see if you have the same results.

Besides this story, taste is personal of course.

You also have the possibility to put ssp mp burrs in the machine.

Sugarbeet (original poster)
Posts: 48
Joined: 3 months ago

#7: Post by Sugarbeet (original poster) »

This is interesting. Does your Ode gen 2 have any slop between the drive shaft and the driven burr carrier? Can you feel any looseness there? If I remove the spring and insert the driven burr carrier to touch the stationary burr there is approximately 0.12mm of clearance between the shaft and the carrier, big enough to make a click-click sound when I rock the movable burr carrier. It is entirely possible various units have varying amount of clearance between the shaft and the movable burr carrier. The parts have to slide, but they can't be too loose. With so much slop any burr alignment is pointless. Perhaps units that have more of a sliding fit rather than a "loose fit" are able to grind finer. It is not unthinkable for a manufacturer to make an initial manufacturing run with high quality tolerances and then have their quality deteriorate in time.

I haven't considered an exchange option. The online seller has a pretty long return policy, but I'm not sure I'll be able to return it if it turns out the other unit is exactly the same after I've already exchanged it.

Could you take some pictures of your v60 filter after brewing? Also, can you say which cofee are you brewing with it(or take a picture)? There can be a world of difference between light and medium (one person's light is another one's medium and all that).

Here is my v60 filter (in a clever dipper) after 15 grams were ground on setting no 3, 250ml of water were seeped for 4 minutes, then about a minute of drawdown(but I first pour water, then add cofee, that speeds up the drawdown):

There is also a matter of taste of course. Here is how my aeropress puck looks like when I grind it the way I like it with my hand grinder(that's 10g of coffee, 120ml of water as hot as possible and 4 minutes wait). I expected similar taste from a 5 minute seep in a clever dipper after grinding in ode gen 2, but perhaps thats unrealistic.

I shimmed the driveshaft with 3 layers of aluminium foil so there is enough clearance for it to move axially only, but there is no looseness anymore. I also set it for the burrs to touch on 1 as opposed to one click before as it was previously. I'll give it a try tomorrow on the lowest setting and see if there is any improvement. One improvement I can already hear is that the grinder is a lot quieter.

Supporter ♡
Posts: 1313
Joined: 4 years ago

#8: Post by PIXIllate »

Burrs need seasoning/break in. Run 5-10lb of coffee through the Gen 2 burrs and then recalibrate. When burrs are new they produce excessive fines. All this is well known and part of the process of getting the best from a new grinder.

My Kafatek grinders with coated burrs took 70lb before the grind settings stopped drifting finer and they tasted their best.

Posts: 25
Joined: 3 years ago

#9: Post by jer_am »

I have run 2kg of seasoning beans through the machine at the beginning. Since then another 1kg of normal brewing.

I had it now at setting 5.0 with beans from the photo. They are not the lightest of the lightest roast and i think these from Rwanda naturally maybe have a bit more fines. drawdown time 3:40 with Hoffmann's better 1 cup method.

For me this looks normal. I'll open the machine tomorrow to look for the wobble you described.

Can't you return the machine and buy another one somewhere else? Then you can do a comparison yourself. If you are still not happy, return that one also. But then you know for sure.

Posts: 2101
Joined: 4 years ago

#10: Post by Jonk »

It's confusing that you're complaining about the axle slop but praise the cheap ceramic grinder, most of which have a ton of slop.

A lot of the first (mine included) Odes had too tight tolerances / no de-burring of the axle, which caused stuck carriers. So that was a deliberate change for gen 2 so it'd never happen again.

It's not a perfect grinder, but it's leagues ahead of cheapo ceramic conicals for how most people brew pour over.
It looks like what you've been using is pretty much an espresso grind, that is where those conicals work best. The Ode is not and never claimed to be an espresso grinder.

I get it. I didn't care much for pour over at first either. It's watery compared to brews with more suspended fines. It's a lot more finicky. But when you get the brew right you'll be able to discern more (and strong) flavor notes with crisp acidity. You do have to be more careful not to overextract bitters, compared to immersion. I'd stay away from the clever if you don't like weak brews, it tends to extract on the low side.

Have you tried using the Mignon (at a fine grind) for your Aeropress? Perhaps that will be more up your alley. Just wanted to chime in that your grinder is likely functioning as intended and this is about preference or habit.