Different flow characteristics between grinders

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

#1: Post by Milligan »

I have a Mazzer SJ with SSP red burrs and a Ceado E37S with stock burrs. I swapped between them with the same coffee bean and dialed in to the same ratio and time. With the SJ, the flow starts slowly then picks up a bit as I get to the end of the pull (no noticeable channeling.) With the Ceado, the flow starts a bit quicker but is more consistent and doesn't speed up at the end. In fact, it almost seems to slow a bit mid-way through the pull.

Taste is similar but I believe I prefer the Ceado if I had to choose. I haven't had enough time to experience a wide range of coffees through them to make a final call for me. The Ceado seems to produce fluffier grounds with less static (no spray needed.)

My thoughts were that maybe the Ceado produces more fines that migrate which slows the pull or offsets the natural tendency to flow faster as mass is extracted? Very curious to hear other's thoughts or maybe a few experiments to try.

Puck prep:
SJ: Measure in dose cup, mist beans with one spritz of water, single dose grind into dose cup, measure output, correct dose if needed, pour into basket with dosing funnel attached, WDT, tamp with spring tamper, and pull shot.
Ceado: Tare portafilter with basket, direct dose into Portafilter, check dose via scale, correct dose if needed, add funnel, WDT, tamp with spring tamper, and pull shot.

Machine and Coffees:
Pulling shots on La Marzocco GS3 set to 9bar. 18g -> 36g Tested with three coffees and all follow the same pattern. Lavazza Gran Crema, La Colombe Brazil Beleza, and a home roast rested for 12 days. As noted in another thread, the Lavazza ran a bit stale but still exhibited the same behavior.

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#2: Post by PIXIllate »

My Kafatek Monolith MC4 conical produced about twice the dripping weight during pre-infusion vs my Monolith Flat. The shots would run the same total time with the same weight in the cup. I haven't figured out why.

Milligan (original poster)

#3: Post by Milligan (original poster) »

Interesting. Any taste difference that you'd note between them?

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#4: Post by PIXIllate »

The grinders? Yes, they taste different. Beside repeating what everyone says about conicals and Flats I'll just say that after a few months, it's complicated and highly dependant on the coffees you like and at what ratios.

In the end I found my 75mm Shuiken SSW burrs to be better all around and often (depending on coffee) for my taste, superior. The Refractometer agreed, as far as that goes. At some point I'll get a MAX and see if I still think the Flat is ideal for someone who drinks full medium roasts all the way up to filter roasts.

Milligan (original poster)

#5: Post by Milligan (original poster) »

I need to add a refractometer to my arsenal. It would be interesting to see which one is extracting better. I didn't know if one flow was preferred over the other in general.

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#6: Post by Capuchin Monk »

Milligan wrote:The Ceado seems to produce fluffier grounds with less static (no spray needed.)
Ceado has a metal flapper at the grind chamber exist gate that regulates the flight path of grinds. It's both blessing and burden. The blessing is that it keeps the static and stray grinds at bay but the burden is that it can sometimes block the flow. It used to cause blockage when my E37J was new but went away after couple weeks of use.

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#7: Post by drgary »

I haven't seen a mention of alignment. Were both grinders aligned with equal precision?

What I WOULD do for a good cup of coffee!

Milligan (original poster)

#8: Post by Milligan (original poster) » replying to drgary »

I'm not sure if they were. Both were acquired second hand. The SJ from a member here and the second as a part of my GS3 deal. When I get a chance I'll adjust them and see if they were off. Thanks for the tip.

Milligan (original poster)

#9: Post by Milligan (original poster) »

Finally has time to check alignment. Ceado was spot on aligned, no need for any adjustment. SJ needed a bit of adjustment. I'll report if it made any noticeable change after a bit of time with it.
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Milligan (original poster)

#10: Post by Milligan (original poster) »

A quick update if folks run across this post in the future. Alignment seems to have fixed the SJ. It is running much better. I've had a variety of coffees and about 15-20 shots after the alignment and they all run more like the Ceado now. Roughly 3s of ramp up in pressure as the gicleur limits flow, hits the cup around at 6-8s and flow stays rock steady until near the end of the shot with perhaps just a hair of increase a couple of seconds before the end.

Also was the first time I've seen the 64mm vs the 83mm in person. A huge difference in size when seen side by side.
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