Fellow Ode brew grinder review - Page 29

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

#281: Post by Jefe »

Hi all! Long time lurker first time poster...I've just never really had anything to contribute until now.

I was a backer on Kickstarter and have had my grinder for about three weeks now and have really enjoyed it. The grind particles seem to be consistent and the taste coming from the cup has been immediately improved over my six year old Breville Smartgrinder. Yesterday morning while making my normal morning cup of coffee, which I have done 2-3 times every day since I have had the new grinder, the Ode began to shake really bad as it was grinding coffee. I would compare this to something like a 1980's Harley at idle just kind of loping on a misfire. On, off, on, off. It ground through the dose of beans I had in it but would not stop running when the beans ran out I had to shut it off manually. I wrote them immediately and have not heard back from them yet...I'm told "patience is a virtue"...I would have no idea if thats true or not. :lol:

Another poster was asking about which setting we were using on the grinder, I agree with what he was saying I am in the lower numbers. One or two clicks below, at or above "2". I followed the instructions on calibration because I thought that was so close to the zero point it couldn't be right...it was. I brew in a Fellows X pour over.

Great info on this thread (and about a million other threads here) thank you all for the great information


#282: Post by precip »

I've been trying to avoid reading into my graphs too much, since I'm still collecting data and it's not clear if observed differences are actual differences or variation in how things are being measured. In addition to randomness of grinds, there are issues like humidity/static, camera angle, settling of grinds, all things I'm not really controlling for. It'd probably help if I were to do multiple replicates but that would take a lot of time...

I haven't mailed the old Ode back yet either, so maybe I'll take it back out and run grinds through tonight at a few different settings. It would be nice to see the stock burr grind distributions for comparison.

I can provide some additional (preliminary) thoughts, with the big caveat that amongst the posters in this thread, I probably know the least about coffee. So all of this should be taken with a healthy dose of skepticism.

Flavor-wise, I prefer the Ode+SSP (@7,2) and Comandante (@24) a lot more than Ode + stock burrs (@4,1). The Comandante brews have more flavor but also more acidity; currently I'm enjoying the balance of clarity and flavor in the Ode+SSP brews the most. The stock burrs yield a "clear" brew with (imo) not enough flavor and very little acidity, while brews with finer grinds quickly become astringent. The Ode+SSP burrs yield something similar to what I'm used to with the Comandante. A flavorful cup that's got acidity without being too sour, along with prominent and enjoyable flavors of fruit/nut/chocolate. If I throw a little cream (it tastes good, sue me) into a good South American coffee it's almost like I'm drinking a hot chocolate. To be fair I haven't spent as much time trying to dial in the stock burr brew. Brew setup is: Origami dripper with Kalita 185 filter, 19g coffee/300g 96C water, 0:30 bloom w/60g water, 2:30-3:00 total brew time, currently drinking Klatch's Honduras Raos Marcala and Natural Anaerobic Oro Yeast.

So I think I'm pretty happy with the Ode+SSP burrs. The whole Ode being marketed as compatible with 64mm burrs and the vague "1mm difference" claims -- which Fellow customer support has also told me -- are the real annoyance. I would appreciate it if Fellow would just be straightforward with us about what the issue is.

About the grind distributions: my take is that relative comparisons of grind distributions are meaningful but don't place too much stock in the absolute sizes. There are some approximations that go into calculating diameter, however, it's consistent with grind surface area in pixels. That's why I decided to include the Comandante grinds. I've heard that each click = 30 microns so I guess 15 clicks ~ 450 microns. I can share a few more figures:

Here's how the grind size distribution changes from 2 lbs to 5 lbs of coffee ground. Also plotted distributions on top of each other to make comparison easier. I don't know if any differences between the distributions are real or just one of the aforementioned sources of error. To me it seems too close to tell.

Here's maybe a better comparison how the grinds look at different sizes. What I find a bit weird about this is that the Ode @ 7,2 brews similar to Comandante @ 24 but those grind sizes are clearly different. If the Comandante has far fewer fines I can see how you'd get similar/better extractions at smaller grind sizes without astringency but the data doesn't make it seem like the Comandante's doing significantly better in that regard. It also seems like the Ode is a bit more uniform at smaller grind sizes, but the Comandante's better as you go bigger. Qualitatively the grounds seem this way too.

I have ~10 lbs of coffee left for breaking in so will update once I make some more progress. Trying to do this slowly so I don't burn out the motor.

edit: comandante @24, not 23

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#283: Post by Shenrei »

precip wrote:@Shenrei - how are your SSP burrs doing so far? I'm noticing a ton of fines and very muddy beds brewing a couple test cups with the Origami+Kalita filter at grind sizes 4-5. I'll probably play around with marker and foil this weekend and try to get a better alignment.
Unseasoned, the SSP burrs did not taste good to me. However, after about 2-3lbs of coffee in, they are beginning to open up and I am quite enjoying the cups I am making very much.Still not fully seasoned in, but it is getting there and the cups are tasting good.

Here is my 20g V60 using Mountain Air's Black Basalm at 5.1 on the Ode. My chirp point is somewhere around 3 clicks behind 0.

- Tim


#284: Post by precip »

Shenrei wrote:Unseasoned, the SSP burrs did not taste good to me. However, after about 2-3lbs of coffee in, they are beginning to open up and I am quite enjoying the cups I am making very much.Still not fully seasoned in, but it is getting there and the cups are tasting good.

Here is my 20g V60 using Mountain Air's Black Basalm at 5.1 on the Ode. My chirp point is somewhere around 3 clicks behind 0.
Really nice! I should mention that after pulling the auger out and re-seating it my muddy bed problem disappeared. Not sure why that would solve the issue -- maybe it was just coincidence with coffee oil accumulation -- but I'm quite happy with the setup now too.


#285: Post by hank-scorpio »

anthonylars wrote: I sent a support ticket on that same Saturday. Today is Wednesday and I have not heard back. Pretty disappointed and pretty unhappy with the support options available through Fellow.
Jefe wrote:I wrote them immediately and have not heard back from them yet...I'm told "patience is a virtue"...I would have no idea if thats true or not. :lol:
I'm thinking maybe the customer service department is either slammed or busy with something these last few days. I messaged them last Thursday afternoon about an issue I was having (my outer burr carrier/auger seems to be stuck and requires some hooks and a good amount of force to remove). I heard back in less than 24 hours asking for some more information to help troubleshoot, and was told worst case I would be sent a replacement. I replied Friday afternoon and I also have not heard anything since then.


#286: Post by nonstickrobot »

Another Kickstarter backer here. Have been running mine for a few weeks now either Moccamaster drip or pourover. I really really want to like this grinder, but I'm not sure I'm there yet. I've been setting the grind finer and finer, and now I'm down to #2 and the coffee's still running fast.

My biggest gripe is the seemingly endlessness of the grind retention. I'll run the grinder fully, then run it for a few more seconds after it stops. Then I'll knock the grind knocker 5 or 6 times. After I make my coffee, I'll return the cup to the chute and more coffee comes out if I knock it again. And I swear about half the time I make a cup the next day, MORE grinds come out of the shoot before adding more beans to the hopper. I have no idea where they're getting trapped but the retention is out of control.

As others have mentioned, it's also messy. Very messy.

I love the size and form factor, and it's about 75% of what I want it to be. I'm tempted to switch back to my breville smartgrinder pro or sette 270w (mostly espresso) but I want to give the Ode a little more time.


#287: Post by hank-scorpio »

As many others have suggested, rdt completely fixes the static and retention issue for me. I've been getting within 0.05 g of what I put in every time. I personally just wet a chopstick and stir the beans in the cup a couple times before grinding, I also flip the hopper cover and push some air through the hopper after grinding. I was getting anywhere from 0-1.0 g retention before just like you.


#288: Post by roxtc »

RDT is a must. You can even wet the back of a spoon or chopstick or Aeropress stir stick (I've used them all) and stir the beans after you pour them into the hopper. Still works magic.

I have never gotten anything more than 0.1g of retention and most of the time I get no retention. Sometimes I even get more coffee than I put in. (Pushed out coffee from previous retention)

I have a little theory I'm hoping you guys can test with me as I can only brew so much coffee for one person. If you hit the grind button and immediately start using the knocker during the grind. Do you get beans stuck in the hopper? Let me know if you use RDT also. I feel like this might be a way to avoid beans being stuck in the hopper, as the beans are moving down, the vibration of the knocker might help the stragglers go down. Just a hypothesis, probably wrong. Let me know.


#289: Post by jpsm »

Wow reading tons of stuff regarding QC. I recently had problems with my fellow ekg kettle. After 6months of use, the kettle was not heating up and they sent me a new one and this time I could not switch it to Celsius because the switch was iffy so I am still waiting for another replacement.

I preordered the ode last month and expecting it to get here by november and I am hoping this time I will not have problems with it. Immediate use for it will be at home but later on when I start my roastery, I will use it for cupping coffees or for travel. From the reviews i've seen that static is an issue but RDT is the key as I am also getting static on my ek.


#290: Post by Jefe »

Good morning, all! Heard back from Fellow last night they suggested I unplug the grinder for a full ten seconds then replug it....which of course I did and it worked. Grinder is up and running just fine as I sit here happily sipping on my morning cup.

To catch up with some of the other posts since my last...I also use to get a lot of static with my grinds and some retention issues then I started the RDT method and have had no issues at all. I let it run completely then use the knocker a few times, turn it on and use the knocker again, turn it off and one last time with the knocker. I get out what I put in and if I knocker it up any more nothing else falls out. I have not had "issues" with beans sticking in the hopper but occasionally one or two will still be in there. I just push them through and run it again no big deal.

Comparing this to my last auto grinder and the hand grinder I use when all options have failed...this grinder is great. I roast all my own coffee so everything I'm using is fresh. The bloom I would get on the other two grinders I mentioned was minimal but on this grinder it almost comes out of the X pour over! The taste has been an immediate improvement to me. I have no fancy graphs, I have no science to back it up just pure taste and feel. It tickles my happy place...until it stops working again. :lol: