Grinder requiring increasing finer grind setting to achieve consistent shot

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

#1: Post by Pacotacomeat »

Hi, I have the Breville barista pro (grinder/espresso maker combo). I realize the grinder /espresso combo isn't optimal. I have had the machine for about 6 months.

I have noticed that I have slowly had to keep adjusting the grind to finer and finer setting to achieve consistent pulls. I already adjusted the internal burr and couple notches and will likely soon have to adjust it again. Eventually I'm going to not be able to adjust it anymore.

I did a deep cleaning today... took it completely apart and vacuumed it out and scrubbed everything spotless with a soft bristle wire brush. The next 2 pulls had the same issues.

I do use a lot of different types of beans as I roast my own, but I have noticed the same thing with beans roasted to similar roast as previously.

Is this a common finding with grinders? Is it just the barista pro? Is there a solution (aside from buying a new grindeR)?

Thanks!

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mkane
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#2: Post by mkane »

As beans age, they will need a finer grind to achieve the same results

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Pacotacomeat (original poster)

#3: Post by Pacotacomeat (original poster) » replying to mkane »

I'm roasting my own beans. They are never much older than 1-2 weeks.

TheDandyGiraffe

#4: Post by TheDandyGiraffe »

Sorry, it's not clear from your original post: do you notice a difference when pulling back-to-back? Or is it something you've noticed over a period of, say, a few days?

For me, at least before I started using Atmos/Airscape, with a darker roast I sometimes needed to adjust my grinder daily - even when the beans where fresh (maybe even more so). It was somewhat less noticeable with lighter roasts, but even then I had to readjust every two to three days.

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mkane
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#5: Post by mkane »

Pacotacomeat wrote:I'm roasting my own beans. They are never much older than 1-2 weeks.
Doesn't matter who roasted them. Grind needs to change as the beans age.

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JohnB.
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#6: Post by JohnB. »

wrote:"Pacotacomeat"I have noticed that I have slowly had to keep adjusting the grind to finer and finer setting to achieve consistent pulls. I already adjusted the internal burr and couple notches and will likely soon have to adjust it again. Eventually I'm going to not be able to adjust it anymore.
I did a deep cleaning today... took it completely apart and vacuumed it out and scrubbed everything spotless with a soft bristle wire brush. The next 2 pulls had the same issues.
Is this a common finding with grinders? Is it just the barista pro? Is there a solution (aside from buying a new grindeR)?

Thanks!
If it's similar to Breville's Smart grinder you may have to shim the lower burr to get your adjustment range back.
LMWDP 267

Pacotacomeat (original poster)

#7: Post by Pacotacomeat (original poster) »

TheDandyGiraffe wrote:Sorry, it's not clear from your original post: do you notice a difference when pulling back-to-back? Or is it something you've noticed over a period of, say, a few days?

For me, at least before I started using Atmos/Airscape, with a darker roast I sometimes needed to adjust my grinder daily - even when the beans where fresh (maybe even more so). It was somewhat less noticeable with lighter roasts, but even then I had to readjust every two to three days.
Over a period of the last few months. So for example, most of my roasts required a grind setting of 5-8 for the first few months. Over the last month or two its been creeping down, requiring a more fine grind (e.g. 3-5).

It's not an issue of using old beans, as I am going through 1-2 lbs of beans per week and noticing it with beans of all different ages.

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VoidedTea

#8: Post by VoidedTea »

Pacotacomeat wrote:Hi, I have the Breville barista pro (grinder/espresso maker combo). I realize the grinder /espresso combo isn't optimal. I have had the machine for about 6 months.

I have noticed that I have slowly had to keep adjusting the grind to finer and finer setting to achieve consistent pulls. I already adjusted the internal burr and couple notches and will likely soon have to adjust it again. Eventually I'm going to not be able to adjust it anymore.

Is this a common finding with grinders? Is it just the barista pro? Is there a solution (aside from buying a new grindeR)?

Thanks!
Interestingly, I am using Breville Dose Control, which has the same components as your grinder, and noticed exactly the same thing. I am between 3-8 on the marks now depending on the dose, but when I started 10 months ago, I was on 10-15. Couldn't go below 10 without choking. I tried adjusting internal mechanism, but the burrs started to touch, which I didn't expect and actually left some marks on them. So I changed it back and decided to start saving for a new grinder.

I hope the answer to your question will be "no, it is not common to every grinder, especially expensive one" because it would be a shame to pay big price for something that cannot stay consistent for 12 months of light use.

As a "band-aid" solutions to your situation, I suppose you could put a washer under the lower burr to bring it higher and closer to the upper burr. You just need to remember not to go too low on the settings to avoid them touching. I haven't tried it myself but it seems like it should work.

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yakster
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#9: Post by yakster »

Almost sounds like burr break-in. How much coffee have you run through the grinder to this point?
-Chris

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Pacotacomeat (original poster)

#10: Post by Pacotacomeat (original poster) »

Thanks for the suggestions, especially regarding shimming. I think i have the internal burr at 4, so i still can adjust more providing the burrs don't touch! I didn't think about that. I'll definitely try shimming if needed.

It just doesn't seem like it should be wearing out so soon! I hope it's just breakin... hopefully it's done breaking in soon.

We've probably put 40-45 lbs of coffee through it in 6 months.