Mahlkonig E65S GBW - user experience

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

#1: Post by kidloco »

I would like to start a thread for the owners of this grinder. My guess is there is not that too many of us. I moved from Lagom P64 and playing with it for 3-4 days.

Things I like:

- speed, yeah this one is fast
- grind quality. So far not that much testing but what I see at the moment I like. Super fluffy if you not going super fine, taste-wise nothing off SO FAR
- looks: not small, but not super huge especially if you take a small hopper
- precision of GBW: it is on spot so far (up to 0.1, 0.2-gram variance but 8-10 times on spot)
- build quality: robust, serious commercial grinder
- adjustable spout, adjustable portafilter holder
- menu: user friendly
- portafilter detection is a great feature if you are not changing too many baskets
- pretty tidy so far, not a messy grinder
- so far no RDT needed (although even if you want it you can not do it :)
- "lazy shots" no wdt no tapping nothing (grind automatically 18gr, OCD tool, tamp) are very acceptable, though not very reccomended


Things that are not necessarily bad, but just come as a grinder feature being a dedicated cafe and not a home grinder:

- you are using a hopper from now on, deal with it. The grinder turns off if you take the hopper off. Could be avoided by some gymnastics but not designed that way
- I would like that adjustable filter can go low enough so I can use a portafilter dosing funnel
- you will have to open that grinder and adjust zero points and calibrate the disc distance detection system - a 10-minute job. After a month probably will have to do it one more time due to burr seasoning.
- probably not the easiest grinder to clean but depends of to what you are comparing it to of course
- it takes time to get used to the grind setting change system. I would like it feels more like stepless, it is rather weird to turn the disc I do not know maybe it is me
- retention: My guess is around 2-3 gram retention, you WILL be using more coffee than single dosing
- do not forget this is an espresso grinder, no coarse grinding

That is that so far!

tasadam

#2: Post by tasadam »

You forgot to mention the digital display that shows you the gap distance between burrs, to 2 microns (0.002 mm). It shows you the internal temperature of the burrs too.
And forget what you see in the online videos of people doing reviews, and make sure to activate the burrs as you adjust finer like it says to in the manual. Keeps the burrs parallel without putting stress on them.
After I did a lot of research I went the next level with the E80 Supreme, 80mm burrs instead of 65. No grind by weight, I can live with that, just bought Acacia Lunar scales should arrive tomorrow. I bought the mini hopper too, handy as I can see whether there is enough beans in there for another shot.
Very powerful, fast, consistent, everything I could have wanted. The minimal retention that it has is quick and easy to deal with - certainly less retention than the Compak E10 that I previously had.
Early days, but loving it so far.

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Ypuh

#3: Post by Ypuh »

What made you move away from a Lagom P64 towards a GBW grinder? Quality wise (both build quality and grind quality) it seems like a side-step. Did you not like the workflow of a single doser? Or was there anything in particular that you didn't like about the Lagom P64?

I'm asking because I'm interested in buying a Lagom P64. Quite happy with my Mignon XL so far, but suffering from upgraderitus. Hoping to gain a better grind quality (finer grinds, more precise adjustment, less retention/old beans) and overall nicer looking machine that can last ages.
I don't want a Decent

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hazeleyes

#4: Post by hazeleyes »

Thank you for sharing your experiences with this grinder! I have one on order, and I'm anxiously awaiting its arrival! (No real idea of when I might get it, unfortunately, as it appears that only small numbers of them have made it to the US recently.)

kidloco (original poster)

#5: Post by kidloco (original poster) »

Ypuh wrote:What made you move away from a Lagom P64 towards a GBW grinder? Quality wise (both build quality and grind quality) it seems like a side-step. Did you not like the workflow of a single doser? Or was there anything in particular that you didn't like about the Lagom P64?

I'm asking because I'm interested in buying a Lagom P64. Quite happy with my Mignon XL so far, but suffering from upgraderitus. Hoping to gain a better grind quality (finer grinds, more precise adjustment, less retention/old beans) and overall nicer looking machine that can last ages.
I returned my P64 to the factory because it was faulty, added money to the distributor to get GBW. Loved some/most parts of it but at the and I just like to change my beans too much so I replaced it with a single-dose grinder. I went for P100 lagom so now I am waiting for delivery next week I hope so...

txrpls
Supporter ♡

#6: Post by txrpls »

I just received my GBW a couple of weeks ago, and so far, I love it. Instead of setting the DDD to zero when the grind adjustment is zero, I zeroed it on my default grind setting for my normal beans (I rarely change beans). So now the DDD reads 0.000mm > 0.007mm So why is the >0.007 mm there? I called Mahlkonig USA and they didn't have an explanation. I have to move it quite away to coarser to get rid of the 0.007mm.

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Ypuh

#7: Post by Ypuh »

There appear to be only few owners on Home Barista of this beautiful grinder. Is it because most members are Northern American based and you have cheaper/better alternatives available? Mahlkonig which is already pricey by itself, might price itself out of the market after import taxes etc. Same goes for Kafatek, Levercraft and Ceado for European buyers.

Despite the relative small sized burrs, owners appear to be very happy with Mahlkonig products and performance punches above its burr size. The GBW is one of the few higher end grinders with this feature. Others that come to mind are the Sette (a significant step down) and EtzMAX, which is similarly priced.

Any experiences on this machine? Is it suitable for home use and can it be considered an upgrade to the Eureka Atom/Olympus 75 and Helios 80, both having larger burrs? Is retention an issue for these grinders? Overall is it worth its €2.5k price tag, being double the price of the Eureka grinders?
I don't want a Decent

giboja

#8: Post by giboja »

I got mine 3 days ago as upgrade to Specialita.

It is big, nice and solid beast. Nice commercial design which can live in any kitchen.

I bought 1 kilo Italian espresso blend to run it in.

Upon start I was amazed by speed, silent running motor and clumpless grind. That was on setting 4.

When I try to make a coffee from that it just runs trough in 10 sec. I want finer and finer and hit the 0 but it was still way to coarse for any result.
As I asked seller(official distributor) to adjust it and install new software and they confirm they did it before shipping it to me across the Europe I started to worry a bit.

As instructed in video I opened it to readjust the dial and made quite a big adjustment before burrs started to make a sound. I thought that's it, but again, even being better, not even close to be fine enough.

My worry level raised so I decided to check alignment of the burrs. Off course it was badly way out of alignment.
After I spent some 3 hours playing with thin foils, marker and tinkering I put it back and check.

It was better again but still not fine enough. Here I started thinking about sending it back.
I grind 1 kilo coffee to season a bit the burrs and then opened it again to proceed with alignment.

I checked axial alignment as well and find out that it is 0.1 mm out which can be sorted if you tighten 2 bolts step by step each by bit.
What they did, I think at least. they made bolt holes on burr carrier on little bit smaller diameter (app 0,3mm) than bolt holes on burr so that bolt head pushes burr inwards from each side??
Anyway after tightening the bolts bit by bit axial alignment was perfect.

So I proceed with spinning burr angular alignment for 2 hours to get to almost satisfying result and another hour for fixed top burr.

After that, finally it was grinding fine enough for that coffee. OK
than I check it against my Eureka just to find out that Eureka is choking my machine on finest setting where that was not even close possible with GBW. But still, it is grinding fine enough so be it.

Interesting thing I noticed is that coffee grinded on GBW does not like pre infusion!!
Pre infusion on my machine is set on 2 bar and 10 seconds.
With Eureka, I get first drop after 6-7 sec, than at 10 sec 9 bar and nice flow.

With GBW pre infusion just let water flow trough the puck as soon as 2 bar is reached and then after pump start to 9 bar flow normalizes.
I checked that without pre infusion so that I adjust both grinders to get same amount of coffee in same time.

Possible explanation, maybe, is that K30 burrs(yes, same burrs in GBW) make less fines and therefore with lower pressure faster water flow??

Now goes scale. I have 1kg M2 calibration weight for proper calibration and did calibrate it.

Scale is off from time to time up to 8% for single dose, 8 gramm
Scale is off from time to time up to 4% for 16gramm

If you grind shoot by shoot back to back it gets better but after few hours first shoot can be off that much.

I got lot channeling which I never had before with Specialita. This may improve as I learn to adapt my workflow, WDT and so...

So, I am typing this, quite disappointed with grinder, it is expensive and I was expecting to be amazed by result but I am not.
Now, aligned, it can be keeper, but I am not happy with grinder for money ratio.
I expected superb quality out of box from big grinder industry name just to find out my expectation where to high.

Everything else apart from this is OK.



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Ypuh

#9: Post by Ypuh »

Thanks for your clear answer and experience.

Many of these 'new grinder' issues are already familiar, I've faced them with my Specialita and Mignon XL as well, spending a couple of (enjoyable) hours aligning them and fix minor issues. Also the software issue is not new and should pose no real issue.

I agree with the feeling that most of these aren't to be expected on an expensive grinder from a top brand. An Eureka grinder with similar issues is okay in my opinion, the Specialita with all due respect is an entry-level espresso grinder so a few issues can be expected. This Mahlkonig however costs over 5 times more and has a much better brand reputation to uphold.

I'm glad everything is working out for you and let's hope you can gain one more step towards improved quality and consistency. Breaking-in is a thing for espresso grinders, so likely you'll end up more satisfied in the near future. For now I'll just keep my eye on this model and thread, hoping some of the issues will be resolved from the factory.
I don't want a Decent

baldheadracing
Team HB

#10: Post by baldheadracing »

Ypuh wrote:There appear to be only few owners on Home Barista of this beautiful grinder. Is it because most members are Northern American based and you have cheaper/better alternatives available? ...
I think that it is more that many folks here are more interested in grinders purpose-built for single-dosing - at least it looks that way given view counts of the threads.
-"Good quality brings happiness as you use it" - Nobuho Miya, Kamasada