How often to clean your grinder - Page 2

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

#11: Post by caffeinatedjen »

Thanks Marshall and Dan.
Jen

User avatar
Psyd

#12: Post by Psyd »

SlowRain wrote:Okay, this is overkill, but I now clean my grinder almost daily.
I think that it may not be overkill, it may be a case of CDO. I sweep out my grinder with a small paintbrush after every use, but I don't refer to that as 'cleaning' necessarily. I think that you could forgo the disassembly ritual for a quick sweep, or burst of air, or vacuum or similar, but daily disassembly sounds like you're courting an entropic failure.

Jen, go ahead and disassemble your mini on occasion, once a quarter or so-ish. Getting it back together correctly is fairly simple. Rest the upper burr carrier on the top of the threads, and 'unscrew it' (counter-clockwise) till it settles on the threads' start. You'll hear/feel it, so be in a fairly quiet environment. Once that happens, start clockwise, and never force anything. If you feel resistance (over the effort it took to remove the upper carrier in the first place) start again!
Espresso Sniper
One Shot, One Kill

LMWDP #175

La Marzocco · Home: customized for espresso aficionados
Sponsored by La Marzocco · Home
User avatar
SlowRain

#13: Post by SlowRain »

I'm a little surprised that members of a forum where people regularly pay thousands of dollars to accumulate multiple pieces of often very similar equipment, where people engage in lengthy debates about the most minute of scientific trivialities, where ritual reigns supreme--all in the name of garnering a better tasting shot of espresso--should choose to insinuate that another member is mentally unbalanced simply for spending a few minutes daily to ensure his equipment is clean. I actually like this website because people are willing to go that extra terameter, and are willing to put more than a little money, time, and analysis into their methods. (I also wash my French press daily and clean my AeroPress after every use.)

The point I'd like to make is that more often is better than less often. While people chose to single out the daily part of my cleaning, they overlooked the more obvious and important part: three months is too long to go without cleaning it. That's where the comments probably should have been focused. If you can spare ten minutes a month, do it. If you can spare ten minutes on the weekend, do it. If you can scrounge up a few extra bucks to buy a machine--not to mention backup machine(s)--you can also scrounge up a few extra minutes to keep it (them) clean. If it doesn't bother you that you spend an amount of money on your equipment that causes people to shake their heads, it shouldn't bother you that you spend an amount of time cleaning and maintaining that equipment that also causes people to shake their heads. Time is money: it's all relative, and not all people have equal amounts of each. For what it's worth, I found that, contrary to what people may think at first, doing it daily doesn't feel like a burden when it's incorporated into a routine. It's just part of that extra terameter.

User avatar
Marshall

#14: Post by Marshall »

SlowRain wrote:The point I'd like to make is that more often is better than less often.
The question is "more often than what" and "less often than what?" Lurkers, especially newbies, take the advice on this forum very seriously. The odds of someone (even an experienced someone) causing damage from a daily disassembly far outweigh the imaginary benefits.
Marshall
Los Angeles

User avatar
RapidCoffee
Team HB

#15: Post by RapidCoffee »

SlowRain wrote:I'm a little surprised that members of a forum where people regularly pay thousands of dollars to accumulate multiple pieces of often very similar equipment, where people engage in lengthy debates about the most minute of scientific trivialities, where ritual reigns supreme--all in the name of garnering a better tasting shot of espresso--should choose to insinuate that another member is mentally unbalanced simply for spending a few minutes daily to ensure his equipment is clean.
+1. My desk is messy, but my coffee equipment is clean. :P I clean my grinders about once a month, or whenever my espresso goes south, whichever comes first.

Fortunately it's a trivial job to pull off the top burr carrier on a Mazzer and give the burrs a thorough brushing. I would only use Grindz (or instant rice) in preparation for a disassembly cleaning. Why? That should be glaringly obvious from Dan's photo a few posts above. A modicum of care should prevent any problems with crossthreading.
John

User avatar
SlowRain

#16: Post by SlowRain »

Marshall wrote:The question is "more often than what" and "less often than what?"
For me, that question is very easy to answer. Daily is better than quarterly. Some may not want to clean it that often, just like some may not want to pay that much for a La Marzocco GS/3, but there are a few people who have La Marzocco GS/3s.

People all the time ask how much money they should spend on a grinder or espresso machine. The general rule is to spend as much as you can afford, and you usually--but not always--get what you pay for. There is a rough minimum that you can't go under, but no one can tell you what you must pay: that's entirely up to the purchaser. It's the same for cleaning. There is a basic minimum and, from my own experience, three months is below that minimum. However, I can't tell anyone how often they must clean it. Everyone's circumstances and equipment are different. What I can tell you is similar to the budget recommendation: do it as often as you can. I know of absolutely no piece of mechanical equipment that doesn't last longer or work better with regular maintenance and frequent cleaning.

User avatar
Psyd

#17: Post by Psyd »

SlowRain wrote:I'm a little surprised that members of a forum... ...should choose to insinuate that another member is mentally unbalanced
I meant that as a gentle jibe. I guess if you saw my ritual, you'da gotten that. Apologies if I went too far.
I, too, go a bit further than most, as I disassemble the PF and basket and clean each after each shot. And I flush the machine after each, as well as a backflush at the end of each session. That includes wiping down the entire machine.
It wasn't the cleaning that I was suggesting may be a bad thing (tm) but the disassembling and re-assembling parts with nuts, bolts, or screws. Granted, anything designed to not be disassembled occasionally would be welded or glued, but I'm fairly sure the designer of that kit would cringe the tiniest bit if he were to discover that you were breaking it down on a daily basis.
As long as you are aware of the potential wear and tear that you are adding to the machined parts, and are ready to accept that, I find nothing wrong with it, I just thought I'd make sure you were aware before the replacement costs started adding up.
After each shot (or session with multiple shots) I brush my grinder and it's doser clean. If I were to disassemble mine, you'd be hard-pressed to come up with a half a gram of grounds from either Major. If it's a mental disorder, then it is one that I share.

And to clarify, I didn't suggest that you clean quarterly, I suggested that you tear down to clean quarterly. Clean per shot, Grindz if you think it needs it, and tear down to clean really well quarterly, or thereabouts, is the ritual that I would suggest to anyone who asked. A second apology for not being clear on that in the first post.
Espresso Sniper
One Shot, One Kill

LMWDP #175

Aida Battle: Indigo Reserve from world renowned Finca Kilimanjaro in El Salvador
Sponsored by Aida Battle
User avatar
SlowRain

#18: Post by SlowRain »

Ah, now I understand. Sorry if my own comments were a little harsh.

User avatar
Psyd

#19: Post by Psyd »

S'arright, It's the interwebs, how could you tell?!? :wink:
Espresso Sniper
One Shot, One Kill

LMWDP #175

User avatar
Sherman

#20: Post by Sherman »

Marshall wrote:No. What you're doing is fine. Grinders are for smashing beans into very small particles, not for acting out obsessive compulsive rituals.
:mrgreen:
Right. Besides, who has time to worry about the grinder when you're :
- weighing the coffee before it goes into the grinder
- weighing the coffee after it comes out of the grinder
- stirring the ground coffee with a needle
- lining up your elbow and wrist for that "perfect tamp"
- checking the evenness of the tamp
- checking the weight of the tamping pressure with a bathroom scale
- removing the portafilter clip of your beautiful nekkid PF so that the basket slides in without breaking the seal that you created with your "perfect tamp"
- checking the temperature inside of the brew boiler
- checking the temperature at the group head
- checking the onboard pressure dial, or
- checking the pressure dial of your home-built gauge
- kneeling before your machine once you start brewing
- taking multiple pictures of the flow to document the process

@Marshall - no offense intended, but ...

<Grey's Anatomy>really? SERIOUSLY?</Grey's Anatomy>

If we're not talking about indulging in obsessive compulsive rituals, then I must've clearly misunderstood the mission statement behind H-B :twisted:

For what it's worth, I'm guilty of just about everything I listed here, as well as a multitude of offenses involving roasting. Deeper into the rabbit hole...


-s. "All I Really Needed To Know About Espresso, I've Learned on H-B"
Your dog wants espresso.
LMWDP #288