Grinders are one of the keys to exceptional espresso. Discuss them here.
KarlSchneider wrote:Since I started this thread allow me to add that Dan is keenly (kehnly?) aware that we who read these posts have a wide range of skills. Mine are clearly not on the technical / machine side of the spectrum. Accordingly I welcome all these simple (simplistic to many) comments. After two years of neglect my grinder is now clean thanks to Dan's help.
Oh, sure...suck up to the "Kehn-meister!" ;>D
kidding aside, Karl....there is probably no one
on the HB/CG/alt.coffee scene that Dan hasn't helped, in one way or the other....yours truly included (many times!)
This wonderful site is his crowning acheivement...whoa, talk about sucking up!
Thanks for that, I just cleaned my 3 week old mazzer mini out then using your guide... too easy!
Applying grease to the threads really helped getting it back in. It looked like there was some 4 year old lithium "Campy" style grease in there; I used some old Phil Wood synthetic grease, don't know if its still made. Using the 58 mm tamper and grease makes a helper superfluous. I had to take it apart as I broke a drill bit trying to make 2 holes to fit a cover over the open space left when I mounted the funnel to replace the doser. The bit got inside and blocked the burrs. What a mess of old grounds in there.
My wife always has plenty of high quality lip salve hanging around.....totally food safe, flavourless and makes a great lubricant for all sorts of coffee related parts; Threads on a Mazzer, top roller and pins on a spring lever, or rings in OPVs, valves, breakers.....funny thing though, I am finding the lip salve much harder to find nowadays.
With the Mazzer Mini E, and I can't see why it wouldn't happen on a Mazzer Mini (which I have also owned). You can get a buildup in the rebate of the upper burr carrier. This can give a false feeling of the "point at which the burrs touch". It can also make the grinder make a slightly different noise (quite subtle a sort of higher pitched rub sound). It becomes quite difficult to adjust finer, with it either running or empty and stationary.
I normally have at least 4 different types of roasted in the cupboard and all needing different grind settings. One a Dominican Barahona requires a much finer grind. I find this seems to make the problem worse, if you are making large adjustments of grind (3 or 4 notches) a lot. When this buildup is cleared (cocktail stick), everything goes back to normal. I would have thought the "arms" which throw the ground coffee out, would scrape it clear, but they dont! I have taken some pictures and when I get the time will be inserting a small article on my website, but thought it was worth posting here after reading the thread.
I clean my grinder out about once every 2 weeks or whenever the above happens, basically just a quick brush out and a vacuum, never felt the need to wash the burrs. My main tool of choice is a wooden cocktail stick (although I have used my dental tools as well).
HB wrote:The owner's manual (of course) doesn't recommend how often the chamber should be cleaned. How often does a good cafe do it? Weekly?
I make sure to get my nose into the game. If my bean canister smells a bit like old beans, I wash it. When the grinder doesn't smell like fresh ground coffee anymore, I clean it. Humans have forgotten that the olfactory sense is a tool just like the eyes and ears. If it smells bad, it probably is, and if it smells edible, it probably is. Of course, there are notable exceptions, but if smell weren't a really good indication of stuff, perfumeries and manufacturers of of deodorants wouldn't spend so much time on boats and planes...
One Shot, One Kill
- Team HB
DaveC wrote:My wife always has plenty of high quality lip salve hanging around.....totally food safe, flavourless and makes a great lubricant for all sorts of coffee related parts; Threads on a Mazzer...
I would not use ANY kind of lubricant in a grinder especially in the burr carrier threads. Lubricant attracts dust, dirt, grim and other nastiness that will just gum up the fine threads.
I clean my mazzer about every six months or so. I only use about 1/2 lb a week typically unless I'm really working a new blend. I've always made sure to note where to begin threading it and it's never been a problem. It always maintains the exact same setting locations as prior to disassembly which is pretty amazing.
cannonfodder wrote:I would not use ANY kind of lubricant in a grinder especially in the burr carrier threads. Lubricant attracts dust, dirt, grim and other nastiness that will just gum up the fine threads.
I have not seen that view expressed before, I guess it's worth thinking about. As is why the manufacturer (Mazzer), must have some reason for putting lubrication on the threads, also the manufacturer of my Rossi RR45 grinder?
I have no idea what the manufacturers thinking was, but have always thought it best to lubricate those threads because thats how they came from the factory and the adjustment ring seems to turn a little easier (possibly different if they were brass threads)..
- Team HB
Part of the problem is that people have a bad tendency to over lubricate. I would not use more than a pencil eraser sized drop of food grade lubricant for the entire machine. To properly lubricate precision machinery, apply a very small amount and then wipe it until it appears to be dry. Now you have just enough lubricant.
I think that explains the confusion, I use lip salve, a chapstick (don't know what you call them in the states). I basically just wipe it gently around the threads, it's just a light smear worked in with the finger (nothing you can actually see), not a thick layer. Completely agree with the problem of over lubrication. I only want enough to stop binding, but not so much as to be a dirt magnet.