Mahlkonig K30 Air Score (and questions about hopper/burr wear)

Grinders are one of the keys to exceptional espresso. Discuss them here.
a.b1ns

#1: Post by a.b1ns »

Gotta love facebook marketplace. I saw a listing for "grinder and dual shuttle coffee system", and the tiny thumbnail seemed to look like a Mahlkonig K30 vario. I checked the ad and so it was. Price was $1500 for everything. I sent the seller a message asking what they wanted for just the grinder. $425 cdn was the reply. Pushing my luck, I asked if they'd take $325 for it given that COVID-19 has destroyed the resale of commercial food industry equipment here in canada. Sure, come grab it sunday was the reply. Let me tell you, it was a looooooong week at work waiting for sunday to come, and anxiously checking to make sure the ad was still up.

Sunday rolls around and I make the almost 2hr drive to go grab it. I meet the seller in a parking lot and have to bring out a generator to hear the thing run. After some looking, its missing the plastic tray on the bottom and the hopper has cracked off the mounts, and it's F I L T H Y but mechanically its all there and it runs nice and quiet. I ask if they can make it $300 even given the missing plastic tray and money changes hands.

The drive back was the longest 2hr drive of my life. I get it home and give it a proper disassembly and deep cleaning. Burr carrier and grind chamber off, motor out and vacuum everything out. I clean the initial years worth of ground coffee out, laid it on its' side, tapped it and it was just as dirty as it was before the vacuum. Repeat this about six times and it's finally 95% clean from ground coffee.

The Bad:
-will need a new double shot potentiometer, current one has a massive dead spot
-most likely needs new burrs, had to advance burr carrier 3 notches to allow it to zero around the 1 mark. I moved it another notch further so the zero point is closer to the center of the scale.
-may need new upper burr carrier, there are a few dent marks on it however I used my toolmakers flatstone on them to make them flush and they likely sit under the hollow of the burr
-even at almost the finest setting, the shots run relatively short. I only have about 75-100g of beans in the hopper, should I have more in there? I've heard that low bean weight/single dosing makes the grinder run super inconsistent

The Good:
-Turns out its not only a K30 Vario but a 2014 K30 Vario Air. I am very ok with my 6 year old, $2600(CDN) reduced to $300(CDN) grinder needing new burrs
-Miles above my current Compak K6
-Once again, it's a $300(CDN) VARIO AIR

The next question is, do I invest in SSP burrs...

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cdo

#2: Post by cdo »

Haha nice find, I found that ad on facebook as well but when I messaged the seller they mentioned it was sold pending pickup. Enjoy the grinder! I think the carrier will be fine but you probably could use a new set of burrs.

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BaristaBoy E61

#3: Post by BaristaBoy E61 »

+1 on the new burrs. I would spray the double shot timer pot with WD-40, I'm reasonably sure that might work, besides, nothing to lose.
"You didn't buy an Espresso Machine - You bought a Chemistry Set!"

a.b1ns

#4: Post by a.b1ns » replying to BaristaBoy E61 »

Already tried with contact cleaner. I think the filth has just killed it, and it seems like the single shot on is starting to go too unfortunately.

I can't believe that it's $60 for one from Mahlkonig USA. For a tiny little pot. I may try to source one separately and just solder the existing wires onto it

cdo

#5: Post by cdo » replying to a.b1ns »

Yeah thats kind of the flaw with buying professional gear, the parts are all pricey as shops don't really care and they can charge whatever they want, I wanted a new hopper for the Ditting 804 I picked up because it is an ugly brown and the cost is something like $400.

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BaristaBoy E61

#6: Post by BaristaBoy E61 »

a.b1ns wrote:Already tried with contact cleaner.
Have you tried flushing with WD-40 and really worked it in by rotating the control knob?
Unless the pot is physically damaged there's no way it's done.

I'm suggesting this as someone that has owned a high-end audio service company for many decades and as an amateur radio operator, also for many decades. I have also used and still own Craig De-OxIT but there are still times when WD does a better job.

As a last shot try the WD-40. What have you got to loose except $60?
"You didn't buy an Espresso Machine - You bought a Chemistry Set!"

a.b1ns

#7: Post by a.b1ns » replying to BaristaBoy E61 »

Ill definitely give it a try. If i had to guess grounds have slowly made their way in over time and totally fouled the wiper. I'm not sure that any aerosol spray could push them out at this point

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BaristaBoy E61

#8: Post by BaristaBoy E61 » replying to a.b1ns »


I know what you're saying, I also own a K30 and know what that control feels like. I think you have a much better than 50/50 shot at this. The wiper and carbon trace might be fowled - but they're not worn down or out.
"You didn't buy an Espresso Machine - You bought a Chemistry Set!"

etout00

#9: Post by etout00 »

Quite the score you bought there... I've seen older Astoria K30s in the $200-300 range, but never a K30 Air for that price.