Guidance on Prosumer Grinder for Chemex - Page 2

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

#11: Post by Jonk »

Dripper choice is highly subjective. I have a bunch, it's fun to try a lot because they all have some (though often minor) impact. Chemex is fine, but.. A huge upside for me with V60-style drippers (aside from tending to produce more interesting cups IMO) is that you get to choose from a variety of high quality filter papers. Changing that alone can result in that sometimes elusive berry bomb. My personal favourite is the Yasukiyo wooden dripper because it's pleasing to use and my go to filter paper is Cafec Abaca - but it's absolutely worthwhile to experiment.

If you enjoy grinding by hand and like to clean the burrs often, another grinder to consider would be the Pietro grinder. It's not perfect, but pretty neat. That said I agree that the C40 is already a capable grinder.

mwb5007 (original poster)

#12: Post by mwb5007 (original poster) »

You know, it's just amazing - I spent the last 20 years involved in a forum concerned with hand made acoustic guitars and watched some of the finest lutherie in a century just explode with gifted builders. It looks like there are innovations happening in home coffee brewing literally on a monthly basis. It is almost dizzying.

As a result of this post I have already branched out and ordered both V60 01 and April brewers to see if I can learn to coax more distinct aspects (body, sweetness, flavor notes etc.) from my brews. I plan to stick with pour over/filter coffee fearing that a turn in the direction of espresso would likely result in the desire to drink more coffee than I want or would be comfortable drinking.

At this point I drink one and occasionally (2 or 3 times a week) two 8 oz coffee in the morning and that's enough. I'd hate to reduce those cups to shots and miss the time spent over a more voluminous cup.

Can I assume that any grinder which would excel at Chemex would likewise be ideal for the V60 or the April; or the other way around should I find the V60 or April a preferred method? Or do I need to wait and familiarize myself with the V60 and April in order to more successfully narrow the field for grinders?

I am hoping to wind up with something maybe easier to use than the Commandante, probably single dose, easy to clean and maintain but which equals or betters the Commandante in performance or the way it lends itself to helping me develop control over my morning coffee. I don't really have a tight budget but would prefer ending up with a single new grinder and not an entire collection encompassing every aspect of the art.


#13: Post by Jonk »

mwb5007 wrote:Can I assume that any grinder which would excel at Chemex would likewise be ideal for the V60 or the April
mwb5007 wrote:easy to clean
Single dose grinders usually don't require frequent cleaning. But if you insist on this, then the new version P64 have a smart system that don't require you to remove screws fully (no risk of stripping) when accessing the burr chamber. The Pietro is cool in that you don't even need a screwdriver and could easily clean it out between every session if you wanted to.

The current pricing on Fellow Ode ($169!) means you could get one with SSP MPv1 and a second one with either their V2 burrs, SSP LS or perhaps even Mizen. That would be my choice, not only to save a thousand bucks - having access to two different profiles is very helpful. You don't need a whole collection.


#14: Post by JayBeck »

The Ode V2 burrs are very good. They are well balanced burrs that work for all coffees which makes them more appealing than say the SSP MP burrs which do not do well for medium and above roasts. Sweetness is also good as is the grind range. I think you're hard pressed to find anything that is as mass appealing as an Ode with v2 burrs for filter. I've tried a lot of grinders over the years (Kafateks Flats, K Plus, Key, Virtuosos, Forte Brew, etc etc). The v2 burrs on the Ode are just really really good and at an incredible price if you have an original Ode and want to upgrade ($80 vs $185 for SSP).
Jeff wrote:Chemex is a filler brewing system and uses a reasonably coarse grind. It is still a percolation method, in contrast to French press or cupping which are immersion methods. Chemex isn't very popular compared to other filter brewing systems among the slice of the enthusiast community I interact with regularly. This is probably why there aren't a lot of discussions around grinders for Chemex (or French press).

Most of what of said about other filter methods and grinders and burr sets probably applies. One of the Chemex users may correct me, but I believe excessive fines may be even more problematic with a Chemex filter than with V60- or Kalita-style filters.

The HG-1 burrs are, in my opinion, more suited for traditional espresso than they are for filter methods. The grinders I personally would consider are the Ode v2, P64, and Zerno. I haven't tasted coffee from the Ode v2 burrs. They may be very good. The SSP or Option-O Mizen burrs cover a range of styles, some of which you may prefer in the cup to your C40.

One of the reasons alignment seems to be a bit less critical for filter is grind size. For espresso, a peak grind can be around 100 um (0.1 mm) or less. There, 10-20 um is a significant fraction. With filler methods roughly 5-10 times larger in grind size, the same imperfection is a much smaller fraction.


#15: Post by Jonk »

I haven't used the Ode V2 burrs, but I disagree that the SSP MP burrs would be unsuitable for any specific roast level (as long as we're talking brew and not espresso). As long as you're looking for clean cups, that's what you're gonna get. There are however beans that don't do well with MP burrs, period. It's well known that you can end up with boring results if the beans are not expressive enough and I'd like to add that heavy processing can also be something to stay away from (if it smells like 'bin juice' it can be difficult to avoid having that flavor profile in the cup as well :lol:)