Cleaning Grinder Between Blends

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

#1: Post by lonewolfbefree »

I was wondering, how do you clean your grinders between coffees? I rarely buy the same coffee back to back, and the following is the cleaning regiment that I do between those coffees. I currently have a Virtuoso grinder (as of next week I will have a Mazzer mini too ':lol:' )
Here is what I do:

i. After finishing a coffee (from this point on coffee means coffee or espresso blend) I clean all of the plastic pieces (hopper, hopper lid, plastic collector where the ground coffee exits the grinder) with soap and water and set aside to AIR DRY.

ii. I Take out the top burr and using a wire brush clean off the excess coffee from the burr.

iii. Using the same wire brush, clean off coffee from the bottom burrs.

iv. Vacuum the extra coffee out of the burr area, and replace top burr.

v. If plastic parts are not dry, use a paper towel to dry them.

vi. Replace the plastic parts

vii. Run a little of the new coffee through the grinder, and throw away.

viii. Grind away.

About once a month I hit the plastic surfaces that are in contact with the coffee with a little vinegar. After I have rinsed the pieces with water, I pour some vinegar onto a paper towel and wipe them down. I then rinse the pieces for a few minutes and let them air dry.

I have read somewhere (sorry, don't remember where) about running some white rice through the grinder to absorb the coffee oil from the burr set. Has anyone else heard of this? Do you guys do anything different?

And yes, I know about Grindz.

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narc

#2: Post by narc »

For routine cleaning, the tear apart.
After reading & viewing the photos posted about Grindz, I'm going to place an order for the stuff for routine cleaning. The fine threads on the Mazzer require attention when reassembling. Would like to minimize the tear aparts.
I would avoid rice due to the potential of leaving a residue of starch on the burrs.
Normally between changing SO or blends I just sacrifice a few grams of beans to clean out the grinds left after brushing out the chute & doser. Same as I do when adjusting grind to hit the sweet spot.
LMWDP #151

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RegulatorJohnson

#3: Post by RegulatorJohnson »

grindz are kind of nasty for me.

i still do a tear down because the grinds do clean the burrs but the grinded grindz just pack in on top of the packed in coffee.. then they release white bits into your coffee that you brew with...

mmmm brewing with alcohol soaked coffee bean shaped pill base. they say its safe ,, but i still know i dont want it in my cup.

i would recommend still tearing it down and scraping out the grindz and the coffee.

ymmv.

jon
jon stovall
--
coffeetoolsapp.com

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cannonfodder
Team HB

#4: Post by cannonfodder »

I brush out the grinder chute, burr throat, add my new beans and give it a 2-3 second pulse and dump the grounds. Then start using my new blend. I only tear the machine down for a thorough cleaning about once a year.
Dave Stephens

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Marshall

#5: Post by Marshall »

lonewolfbefree wrote:I was wondering, how do you clean your grinders between coffees? I rarely buy the same coffee back to back, and the following is the cleaning regiment that I do between those coffees. I currently have a Virtuoso grinder (as of next week I will have a Mazzer mini too ':lol:' )
Here is what I do: [description of severe OCD symptoms deleted]
I might do that, if I switched blends after every ounce. But, given that I run through a pound before switching, it would be silly. If you run the grinder until nothing else comes out of the chute, then brush out what is left near the lip, there will be so little left of the old blend, that you are very unlikely to notice it in the first shot or two of the new blend. And you will need scientific instruments to detect the traces of the old blend left after that.

Making and drinking espresso is supposed to be enjoyable, not a time to imitate laboratory conditions.
Marshall
Los Angeles

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HB
Admin

#6: Post by HB »

While not scientific, leaning over the grinder and sniffing will tell you if it's time to clean. Most of the coffees I use are light to medium roasted and very fresh, so they don't leave an oily mess in the hopper. I remove the burrs and clean out the grinding chamber a few times a year. While I have no proof of it, I think the grinder's "beater bars" do a better job of aerating the grounds after a good cleaning, which makes for easier to distribute grounds.
Dan Kehn

Nick

#7: Post by Nick »

Vacuum... or air-can. Does the trick real quick.

If you have grinds caked-on, that's a different story, but the air-can still works fairly well.
Nick
wreckingballcoffee.com
nickcho.com

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lonewolfbefree

#8: Post by lonewolfbefree »

Ok, so it looks like I am doing a little cleaning overload. OCD, yeah, I will take that. I guess it comes from the fact that I do work in a lab and I am a Chem major (':oops:') Thanks for the feedback.

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Marshall

#9: Post by Marshall » replying to lonewolfbefree »

My wife is a chemist. My oldest friend is a molecular biologist. I recognize the symptoms.
Marshall
Los Angeles

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jesawdy

#10: Post by jesawdy »

lonewolfbefree wrote:Ok, so it looks like I am doing a little cleaning overload. OCD, yeah, I will take that. I guess it comes from the fact that I do work in a lab and I am a Chem major (':oops:') Thanks for the feedback.
Hey, if it makes you happy who cares?

I take the simple road myself. I attempt to remove and clean the burrs quarterly, but probably slightly less frequent than that. I do not use Grindz nor rice, although I have tried rice to clean up some used grinders. I took it apart after using the rice, cleaned it up and then ran some coffee through it.

Between different coffees, I just run the grinder empty, check for hung up beans above the burrs and drop the new coffee in.
Jeff Sawdy