Pros and cons of doser vs. doserless grinder? - Page 2

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

Postby alsterlingcafe » Dec 26, 2006, 11:42 pm

luca wrote:Wouldn't just purging the first few seconds of grinds achieve exactly the same thing with a millionth of the fuss and effort?


Luca....I've had the Macap M4 stepless doser for over a half-year. With concern for freshness, and along the same lines as Mark (dogshot) commented, I don't need to purge the grinder using the following regimen.

* I put two level scoops of beans in the hopper per double shot (usually I'll only fill two PF's for my S1 if I want to "pre-load" for speed)
* Switch on grinder and let it run till I don't hear anymore beans being ground
* With motor still running, stick my ($0.50) 1" chisel-point foam brush up the chute and quickly pull out any remaining grounds (never touches moving parts)
* Will sometimes flick power on-off to use centrifugal forces to drive remaining grounds from burrs
* Use foam brush to quickly flick any remaining grounds from chute and those resting on center spindle area into one of the pie-wedges
* Shut off motor
* Flick the doser until all the grounds are in the portafilter (I've learned to rotate the PF for more even distribution)

This whole process goes very quickly. And in response to the posts and re-posts on this subject, I'm looking forward to doing a video on the Macap to demonstrate the above regimen. It's just easier to show all this to reinforce the "non issue" of clearing a Macap M4 doser. As for doser vs doserless, I've read both in this post and other posts the many benefits of doser over doserless. As I've commented previously, it's very easy to remove the doser mechanism from this model grinder. With a little ingenuity, one could fabricate a simple chute and use the same tapped/threaded mounting holes that secure the doser. Of course, my question would be........why?

Best, Al in SoCal

I gave up on the "bristled brush" in the video for the 1" chisel-point foam brush that fits perfectly into the Macap chute
Image

La Spaziale S1, Temporary Setup

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nicfortin

Postby nicfortin » Dec 27, 2006, 12:19 am

alsterlingcafe wrote:... It's just easier to show all this to reinforce the "non issue" of clearing a Macap M4 doser. As for doser vs doserless, I've read both in this post and other posts the many benefits of doser over doserless. As I've commented previously, it's very easy to remove the doser mechanism from this model grinder. With a little ingenuity, one could fabricate a simple chute and use the same tapped/threaded mounting holes that secure the doser. Of course, my question would be........why?



Nice setup, if only I had the money like right now....

Ok little OT would you buy the S1 again? Or maybe the S2 and why? I really dig the S2 (or Brewtus 2)...
Another question, which grinder do you prefer for day to day use and maintenance/cleaning?
The Macap M4 or ?? (I'm not sure if it's a Rocky or Cimbali Jr. I'm too new to home-espresso world) ;-)

Thank you and Happy new year!

nic
nicfortin, BGA0531
Treat your Coffees with Respect! ;-)

Dogshot

Postby Dogshot » Dec 27, 2006, 12:28 am

luca wrote:Wouldn't just purging the first few seconds of grinds achieve exactly the same thing with a millionth of the fuss and effort?


No, actually - unless you get your coffee for free. For one thing, it probably takes about as much time to sweep the chute as it does to grind 4gms, dose out, and throw away. At the price I pay for roasted coffee, purging 4-6gms for 6 shots, 5-7 days a week adds up to 170gms of coffee a week wasted - or $300 per year. I often home-roast, and that 170gms wasted is time spent doing a whole roast batch, or more per week. From my perspective, it is both faster and easier to sweep than to toss.

Al, the foam brush idea is great - thanks.

Mark

alsterlingcafe

Postby alsterlingcafe » Dec 27, 2006, 2:08 pm

nicfortin wrote:Nice setup, if only I had the money like right now....
Ok little OT would you buy the S1 again? Or maybe the S2 and why? I really dig the S2 (or Brewtus 2)...
Another question, which grinder do you prefer for day to day use and maintenance/cleaning?
The Macap M4 or ?? (I'm not sure if it's a Rocky or Cimbali Jr. I'm too new to home-espresso world) ;-)
Thank you and Happy new year! nic


Hey nic...... first off, I went to your "myspace" (Great) and actually spent the first couple minutes watching that BEER AD ! (Hilarious :lol: )
I've also decided not to give you "God is My Co-Pilot" as a birthday gift! :lol: ..... however, a good alternative might be one of my favorite Heli-pilot license plate frames, which reads; "We don't need no stinkin' runways!"

Anyway, about the grinders. What is interesting about the forums is that much of the input you'll get on equipment is from members that have only used one or two different machines. It's valid input, but may be biased? I suppose that's the case because it's hard to get experience running even 5 different grinders unless you have a store with a showroom nearby; but even then, you wouldn't get enough time on each grinder to really learn the little "in's and out's" of each? For me, the easiest way to look at much of this equipment is by grouping it into price categories. There are few, if any, really bad grinders within the entry level, legitimate home-espresso catalog, once you get into the $150 US to $250 US range. I say "legitimate" as meaning that the grinder is a burr configuration and actually grinds fine enough for espresso. (Some people try using, for example, the Cuisinart Supreme Grind. It's advertised for $30 US, and packaged as a "burr grinder." In fact, it will not grind fine enough, and certainly not consistent enough, for espresso.

So as many others I can only share the following. My first espresso grinder was the Gaggia MDF. I still have it, and felt that for under $200 it was a great value. However, I've heard some very good things about the Cunhill Tranquila grinder. It looks like a commercial machine, and from what others have said, it boasts a very hefty motor and has larger grinding burrs. All that says that if you absolutely can't spend over $200-$250 US.....that's the best value. If you can scare up around $400 US, then I highly recommend the Macap M4, stepless adjustment, doser or doserless. It just got the Coffeegeek Editor's Choice Award, and having one at home, I can say that it works for me. I need to remind myself that you may consider yourself a "Quebec-ian" ( :roll: ) and our costs and availability of product here are different than yours.

As for making the same choice of the S1 or version II for another purchase....... possibly. The La Spaziale S series will be getting an NSF/commercial rating, which means that in the near future, it could be used in a small volume coffee service facility. While there are other single brew group machines out there, this machine could fill a very special niche as it can run on a 15 amp circuit when switched to the economy mode. If you're looking at the Brewtus vs the S1, then I'd absolutely recommend the S1 for its rotary pump and the fact that it operates as a fully plumbed machine....meaning that you don't have to fill a reservoir or empty a drain pan.

And Mark......... since home roasting, I feel much safer in losing a few grams of coffee here and there. Every now and then I do receive samples from roasters, and enjoy trying their blend, but I've settled on one blend as my primary, and for home use I buy it green and have my roasting schedule. But again, with the Macap's clean sweeping action, this concern over stale coffee in the chute and doser is not an issue. And the doser version of the Macap is about the same price as the doserless.........so I recommend buying the doser version. It's like you get the doser mechanism for free! And if one really thinks doserless is the way to go, then they can unscrew the doser and store it!?

Best, Al

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cannonfodder
Team HB

Postby cannonfodder » Dec 28, 2006, 12:37 am

I have owned a KitchenAid A9, Gaggia MDF, Mazzer Mini and La Cimbali Jr, I have also used Mazzer Major's. The MDF was adequate but not optimal.

The Mini is nice and grinds good. It is very sturdy in build, the grinding chute is small and easily swept out with a long bristled brush, and it takes all of 5 seconds. The doser works well and breaks up clumps as you pull the dosing lever. I dose as I grind. I did take 15 minutes to add the tape squeegee to the doser vanes when I cleaned the machine up last week. She sweeps clean as a whistle now. Nice machine, stepless adjustment, fits under a kitchen cabinet and will last the home Barista a lifetime (with a few burr replacements).

La Cimbali Jr. Love it. Plain and simple, big, heavy, large burrs, easy to work on if something goes wrong. I did not bother to remove the finger guard on the Cimbali. It is part of the doser; it cannot be removed like the Mini. It must be cut off with a rotary tool and cutting wheel. I just give the machine a 2 second grind to purge the chute and discard. The larger burrs blow the grinds out the chute giving you next to no clumps and fluffier grounds than the Mini. The doser sweeps clean out of the box. I like my Jr so much, I moved my Mini to work for my office rig and the Jr is my primary grinder at home. It is boxier than the mini and more industrial looking but it is also more industrial in build and function. It will bang out shots all day long. I also prefer the off/on button over the Mini's timer. The micro adjustment makes tuning your grind very easy.

Major, mainstream commercial grinder. Big burrs, big motor, big doser, big everything. Forget putting it under a kitchen cabinet with a bean hopper on top. Grinds like nobody's business, there is a reason they have been the mainstay of the commercial cafe for years. In the home, you, your kids, and your grandchildren will not outlive the machine (with a few dozen burr changes). For home, it is too big, too impractical, too overkill, I have to get one... :twisted:

Next on the list, conical burrs. Not having used the Mazzer or MACAP offerings I can not provide any objective information. However, based on what I have heard, I would go with a Mazzer Kony. I have seen the M3 in action and sampled its product. It creates a wonderfully clean and fluffy grind. However, I don't care for the build and would not opt for it given the price point. I will put my money on a Kony.
Dave Stephens

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luca

Postby luca » Dec 30, 2006, 7:42 am

Dogshot wrote:No, actually - unless you get your coffee for free. For one thing, it probably takes about as much time to sweep the chute as it does to grind 4gms, dose out, and throw away. At the price I pay for roasted coffee, purging 4-6gms for 6 shots, 5-7 days a week adds up to 170gms of coffee a week wasted - or $300 per year. I often home-roast, and that 170gms wasted is time spent doing a whole roast batch, or more per week. From my perspective, it is both faster and easier to sweep than to toss.


Sorry, I don't get what you're saying. Both methods get rid of the same grounds. Sweeping does it by sweeping them out; grinding and throwing away does it by forcing them out with fresh grounds, which are then used. Or are you sweeping the chute clear and then using those grounds?

Next on the list, conical burrs. Not having used the Mazzer or MACAP offerings I can not provide any objective information. However, based on what I have heard, I would go with a Mazzer Kony. I have seen the M3 in action and sampled its product. It creates a wonderfully clean and fluffy grind. However, I don't care for the build and would not opt for it given the price point. I will put my money on a Kony.


The kony is very nice, but painfully slow ... well, as slow as a mini or therabouts. Dave Makin paid for that dearly in the WBC this year. The three-phase robur is nice, though! It's also nice to see that someone else shares my reservations about Macaps; I'm getting kinda sick of hearing complaints about them. The Brasilia competition grinder is a commerical doserless conical that has a few issues, but is getting there. Apparently there is a new spout for it that solves the mess problem. But I think that what we're all curious about now is the new offering from LM. It never ceases to amaze me how people dream and LM does ...

Cheers,

Luca
LMWDP #034 | 2011: Q Grader Exam, Brewer's Cup #3, Australian Cup Tasting #1

HughF

Postby HughF » Dec 30, 2006, 11:32 am

I'm not sure that Cannnonfodder is actually expressing reservations about Macap grinders just by saying they would like a Mazzer Kony, especially since they state that they haven't used any Macap or Mazzer conical burr grinders themselves. My bias is obvious from my signature though...

Cheers,

Hugh

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cannonfodder
Team HB

Postby cannonfodder » Dec 30, 2006, 11:55 pm

I have not used either the Macap or Mazzer conical, my comment (as I stated) was based solely on hear say. I have heard the Mazzer Kony is a heavier build than the Macap and more refined.

I am surprised that a pro used a Kony because they are slow. The Robur would have been my choice based on speed alone. The Kony is more a low volume/backup grinder or ultimate home grinder. The Robur is huge, you would have to tear out your kitchen cabinets to make it fit. The 220 three phase Robur, you can grind coffee a bucket at a time or grind tree stumps out of the yard. It will do either equally fast.

I was actually going to order a new Elektra A3 to replace my Faema two group. Unfortunately, the high exchange rate has pushed the price up several hundred so it is out of the question for now. So naturally, my thoughts turn to the Kony. If my Cimbali was not under a year old, the decision would be easier.
Dave Stephens

HughF

Postby HughF » Dec 31, 2006, 3:06 am

The MXK's body is built like a brick outhouse and the doser mechanism feels extremely solid. I'd be very surprised if the build quality were ever a problem in pro use let alone for an amateur like me. It's very slightly noisier than I had expected and the Mazzer Mini E does have that very sweet action on the On-Off switch so I can believe that a Kony could seem **slightly** more refined. Re speed, the MXK grinds about 1.5 grams per second (at my espresso grind setting for the S1) on 50Hz UK/European mains voltage, so a bit more on 60Hz mains (350 vs. 400 rpm in the spec.). It just has an On-Off switch (neither auto-fill or a timer are available; I'm using it with a Meopta darkroom enlarger timer to switch the mains on a for calibrated duration because I do keep beans in the hopper.
See : http://www.macap.it/english/prodotti.asp?cat=1&subcat=3&mod=6&900-k=2

It's $528 less for the MXK than the Kony in the USA though (ChrisCoffee's "MXKR" price vs. EspressoParts' Kony). You can buy FAR more refinement in **other** coffee gear with a $500 upgrade fund available!

Cheers,

Hugh