Modify a Solis Maestro Plus Grinder?

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

#1: Post by matt.shure »

Hello there,

I was just wondering, if there is the possibility to modify the Maestro Plus grinder, just like you can adjust the Solis Scala a few clicks down? I own both, and just found out that I can get with my modified Scala about 2 clicks finer grounds than with my stock Maestro Plus. But before I void my warranty on that one, I wanted to ask if anybody has done the mod on the Maestro Plus so far?

I've read somewhere, both employ the same grinding gear, but I can't find the thread right now...

I also can't find the guide how to mod the Scala right now, but it was not that hard, Solis just seems to leave the finest clicks of the grinding gear unused in their standard calibration. I can spend a bit more time looking for it tomorrow if s.o. is interested in it.


Greetings,
Matt
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matt.shure (original poster)

#2: Post by matt.shure (original poster) »

anyone? :?
LMWDP #165

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jamhat

#3: Post by jamhat »

Hey Matt,
When I adjusted mine, I used the directions found on Baratza's website. I took it down as far as it would go, but it wasn't enough for my espresso machine (Gaggia Factory). Hopefully you will have better results.

Here is a link to instructions. Good luck!

Re-Calibration of the Maestro Plus to a finer setting

ntwkgestapo

#4: Post by ntwkgestapo »

IF you can't get the burrs to just touch (very light sounds of burr contact when running empty) then you CAN "shim" the inner burr with a small washer or two (I don't have the specs right off the top of my head, but can take measurements tonight). That's what I did for my SBux Barista/Solis 166 grinder (which doesn't have the "calibration" capabilities that the Maestro/Maestro Plus/Virtuoso has). Adjust until it JUST touches when running when you've got it at it's tightest setting and then it'll be as tight as it can get. UNFORTUNATELY, my Barista grinder doesn't have the finer 'click stops' that the newer systems have. I still bought a Le'Lit PL53 grinder for my Factory! WORKS Great!

EDIT: Just an FYI, the shimming of the inner burr is what Baratza does if you send the grinder back for "calibration" and they can't get it to go all the way! That's how I found out how to do it. By talking to someone @ Baratza!
Steve C.
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jamhat

#5: Post by jamhat »

My problem came from a wobbling of the Maestro's burrs. I adjusted them down till they touched, but as the burrs turned, they only touched at points. It seems that wobbling burrs = uneven grind.

Mine was the Maestro. Matt, you have the Maestro Plus, so hopefully you will have better luck.

ntwkgestapo

#6: Post by ntwkgestapo »

Yes, wobbling burrs will cause inconsistent grind (if there's enough wobble, and it doesn't take a lot!). That MIGHT be somewhat worn motor bearings, but don't know... I went with the Le'Lit because it provided practically infinite adjustment (and I've used that almost daily since getting the grinder). It's made the espresso from my SBux Barista machine MUCH, MUCH better! I made a large Americano yesterday and drank it soooo quickly that I ran out WAY too early! Today I made a PAIR of large Americanos, one in a 16oz thermos, so I won't have that issue today!

While my time with the Le'Lit has been short, so far, I'm REALLY impressed with the grinder. It's not a Mazzer or a Macap or a La Cimbali, but it sure is working for me! Tonight I'll give it a first try with the new Factory!
Steve C.
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jariten22

#7: Post by jariten22 »

I also went from a Solis-burrset grinder to the Le'lit. There is a huge difference between the two in terms of grinding performance for espresso. The Lelit has fewer fines in non-espresso grinds, and is static-free to boot.

To make the adjustment for a tighter grind will cause the burrs to be close enough to touch, at least at some points (due to the wobble). The problem is that the upper and lower burrs have their point of contact on the fine cutting surfaces, which leads directly to flattening and rapid wearing down.

The Le'lit burrs don't wobble, but if they were set close enough they would touch on a flat surface at the far edges, making it much more resilient to accidental over-tightening or small misalignments. I think this inherent protection of the cutting surfaces is true of the burr sets of most (if not all) serious motor-driven espresso grinders, regardless of type (flat or conical).

The default setting on grinders using the Solis burrs protects the user from destroying the burrs through contact, but also serves to protect the consumer from an espresso-level grind. Circumventing this can get you a usable grind (with hard enough tamp), but you are then on a short countdown to having the burrs shot. Since the top burr is so easy to remove, it's not a bad idea to examine it closely for wear. It's easy to spot the flattening of the cutting edges, and a replacement is only 12 bucks direct from Baratza.

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matt.shure (original poster)

#8: Post by matt.shure (original poster) »

Hello there,

I finally had the time to take a closer look at the Maestro Plus, and was able to adjust it 5 clicks down. As you can see on the pictures I took, it's rather different from the one shown in tutorial jamhat posted. A tutorial how to re-adjust this one can be found here (sorry, german, but the pictures are self-explaining), it employs a Solis Scala, but the grinding gear on my Maestro Plus seems to be just the same.

http://home.pages.at/espressotutorials/ ... index.html






I am currently using the red dot you can see on the third image as my finest setting possible. This point was marked by Solis, and though I didn't want to try it out, it's last setting before the grinding burrs are completely touching each other. You can hear a big difference in what the grinder sounds like running empty, using this setting compared to one click towards coarser.

I'm still not really satisfied with the results, last week I had the opportunity to compare my MP directly to an Demoka M203, and felt the Demoka is still getting a bit finer.
LMWDP #165

Sorry, non-native english speaker... :)

matt.shure (original poster)

#9: Post by matt.shure (original poster) »

Well, after wondering how 5 clicks can mean so little improvement, I took a closer look again, and hey: It wasn't 5 clicks, but only 2! Now it's not the black ring on top which hits the stopper, but the grinding gear itself:



I would like to try shimming the inner burr, but can't manage to get it off...using the instructions on the baratza website just makes me turn the motor...
LMWDP #165

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matt.shure (original poster)

#10: Post by matt.shure (original poster) »

Doesn't anybody know how to get the center burr off? :(
LMWDP #165

Sorry, non-native english speaker... :)