Help Eureka Mignon Specialita issues

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

#1: Post by Astralmind »

Well I'm going a little crazy here. Got a bit more involved in my espresso game 4 months ago and have been dabbling with amazing beans (usually on the lighter roast side of things) with my BDB and Eureka Specialita. Things never were easy with the grinder but I got by. However it's been getting worst lately.

I'm starting to think I got a lemon. Blades are touching at 5 ish on the knob (goes from 0 to 5 in half increments), at least I start to feel some resistance and hear a screeching noise. I usually grind at +1.5 (so between 1 an 0) for espresso but I'm now down to almost blades touching (5) to get decent extraction times on my current beans (medium to light roast I'd say).

I have fully cleaned it and taken it apart about a month ago and that helped greatly when I was starting to experience similar issues. It was awfully clogged after 3 months of heavy usage. A month after that massive clean it's starting to behave that way again and it appears to be relatively clean.

Of note, from what I've seen online, most people tend have their espresso range at the +4 to +5 (vs 0) on these so my <normal> + 1.5 appears to be abnormally low. As well timer wise I always get my 18.5g out in 7 seconds or less which also seems to be a bit faster than most.

For the time being, leaving it at its blade touching adjustment seems to give me ok results but clearly, that's not normal. Any thoughts on what I could do to better trouble shoot or are there known issues with it ? Quite disappointed as it was a sizable investment and being in Canada I went with the much cheaper route of ordering online from ECS so I'm screwed warranty wise.

henri

#2: Post by henri »

To be honest, I'm not sure anything is wrong with your grinder. On my Silenzio, burrs also touch at about 5 (which I like to think of as -1). For most beans, I'm between 0 and the tick mark between 0 and 5, i.e. between 0 and -0.5.

+4 or +5 for espresso doesn't sound right to me, unless the grinder's calibration is significantly different from what you and I both seem to have. (Unless we both got lemons, of course...)

Entreri

#3: Post by Entreri »

Could be that your burrs are misaligned? There are some good information here on HB and videos on YT on how to align a flat burr grinder.
I have a Specialita myself, and are able to choke my machine with good margin left on adjustment.

thoang77

#4: Post by thoang77 »

Firstly, I'd completely disregard what the number is and definitely disregard what number other people are using. The knob numbers are for your reference only, since alignment, assembly, and calibration (if there was any) will affect where your knob sits.

Nothing sounds super out of the ordinary, aside from the fast grind, but it does sound like it might benefit from some realignment via shimming. It's not a difficult undertaking, but it is a bit time consuming since you'd need to disassemble and reassemble a handful of times.

Nothing is perfect in the world of manufacturing when precision tolerances are involved. Even people buying Weber EG1s have issues.

Astralmind (original poster)

#5: Post by Astralmind (original poster) »

henri wrote:To be honest, I'm not sure anything is wrong with your grinder. On my Silenzio, burrs also touch at about 5 (which I like to think of as -1). For most beans, I'm between 0 and the tick mark between 0 and 5, i.e. between 0 and -0.5.

+4 or +5 for espresso doesn't sound right to me, unless the grinder's calibration is significantly different from what you and I both seem to have. (Unless we both got lemons, of course...)
Interesting and somewhat reassuring. I was basing this comment on this video - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lI5TVRbEh1A

I'm starting to think their might be a difference with the newer production batches (center "motor shaft screw" is silver on mine and filled vs brass and hollow like in the video) might have a different sprint for the adjustment knob. The base number for '0' certainly will be different but the massive range is a concern. It seems like both yours and mine have a much more limited range.

I'll undertake the calibration steps at this point but from what I understood watch the videos, they should give a very minimal adjustment. Still, I'm pleased with the replies as I get my situation sounds pretty normal which I did not think so. I seem to have an effective espresso range that goes from my 0.5 to 1.5 at the most extreme on mine depending on roast level and cleanliness (?).

mycatsnameisbernie

#6: Post by mycatsnameisbernie »

I have a 1 year old Specialita, and I have communicated with many other Specialita owners on other espresso forums. Everyone's zero point is different, and almost always someplace other than the "0" mark. Mine is at "3". I believe that the factory installs the dial marker disk in a totally random position. I use my grinder by finding the point where the burrs touch, and then describe my setting relative to that point. My espresso range is about 2/5 to 3/5 of a turn from burr touch.

henri

#7: Post by henri » replying to mycatsnameisbernie »

Interesting, and indeed a very sensible way of communicating the range. May I ask what kinds of doses in what kinds of baskets you use? My range, then, would be from 1/12 to 1/6, which does seem both lower and narrower than most people's. But I mostly use either an 8g dose in the LM1 single, or a 9-10g dose in the Flair Classic, which may explain it.

Maybe my Silenzio is grossly out of alignment. But then again, my grind sizes on the Niche Zero are also low, more in the "fine" as opposed to the "espresso" range, as printed on the grinder.

Astralmind (original poster)

#8: Post by Astralmind (original poster) »

mycatsnameisbernie wrote:I have a 1 year old Specialita, and I have communicated with many other Specialita owners on other espresso forums. Everyone's zero point is different, and almost always someplace other than the "0" mark. Mine is at "3". I believe that the factory installs the dial marker disk in a totally random position. I use my grinder by finding the point where the burrs touch, and then describe my setting relative to that point. My espresso range is about 2/5 to 3/5 of a turn from burr touch.
Your range seems to be much closer to what others are saying. My espresso range appears to be just a bit over 1/12 - 3/12 of a turn as well, like Henri.

Just cleaned it again and looked for misalignment. 1/3 of the top burr makes contact so there is misalignment however, when I removed the top burr from its carrier I found a surprising amount of ground buried under... Seeing this I question the pertinence of shimming as the tiny pieces of foil are probably thinner than the compacted ground I had to remove and will have to remove again in the future. This was the first time I did that as I doubted it was necessary. After 4 months of daily use it clearly was. Would that be considered normal ?

K7

#9: Post by K7 »

From what I've seen on Internet and my own Specialita, +1.5 from true zero for lighter coffee is perfectly normal.

Having to grind right near touching point (for normal double shot, I assume) is abnormal. But the operative phrase here is "on my current beans". If this happens with only this coffee, maybe the coffee is stale or compromised in some way (exposed to too much humidity). I would try another freshly roasted coffee before assuming the grinder needs adjustment.

If you use the grinder with hopper, the exist pathway needs fairly regular cleaning IMO, especially for darker oily roasts. I single dose with a bellows partly because I don't have to clean as often (puffing keeps the chute cleaner), but I still clean it every month or two.

mycatsnameisbernie

#10: Post by mycatsnameisbernie »

henri wrote:May I ask what kinds of doses in what kinds of baskets you use?
I use around an 18g dose in an IMS BaristaPro 18g basket.