SSP Burrs for EK43 - User Experiences?

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

#1: Post by NYFilter93 »

We are looking to upgrade the burrs on our Ek43. We already sanded the chamber and upgraded to the Titus Burr carrier. We roast light to medium light coffees and plan to use the EK for pourover, batch brew and EK-style espresso shots.

The models SSP has available are: low, high, ultra and cast.

I understand low is the best "multipurpose" burr set, but has anyone used the other burr sets for espresso with any luck? What have folks experience been with the other burr sets? I'm particularly interested in the cast burrs.


#2: Post by Eiern »

There is also 98mm Brew from SSP which I have in my EK43S with Titus carrier. It's like a HU burr with the finishing section of their Pre 15 cast and original Mahlkönig filter burrs. Although SSP seem to make small changes to their burrs at times. 98 Brew is fantastic in EK for filter when beans are great, but expose everything if not.

I have a set of 98mm Ultra Low Fines in my P100 and I do use it for EK style espresso, that's 18g in 54g out in 20 seconds, with light roasts + lower temperature + lower pressure. It is not a traditional espresso burr. 98mm Brew is similar, it needs long ratio, grind almost at zero and is not traditional, these both deliver clear shots with less body and strength. ULF a little more blended and more texture, Brew very clean and slimmer texture. Not sure if they work in milk drinks well.

98mm HU is their most traditional espresso burr. If you want normal ratios and timings, or even ristretto, this is the burr. It can make filter but is my least favorite filter burr of the bunch. It is also maybe not what you want for EK-style shots.

LU was for me somewhere in between HU and ULF/Brew in that I ended up at similar ratios as HU, just over 1:2 with light roast, but grinding very close to calibrated zero point and fast flow and less traditional cup profile. Clean balanced shots though. And very good filter too, especially in P100, a little more blending of flavors in the EK.

Have not tried cast yet unfortunately. Planning to taste them side by side with my grinders as I know a guy with a Titus carrier EK43S with the SSP cast mounted.

Just my experiences so far.


#3: Post by Eiern »

But as cast should be the most similar burr set compared to original EKs before they "optimised" the filter burrs for espresso they might be the one for filter + EK style shots. SSP also tweaked their cast burrs for espresso but in a different way than Mahlkönig did.


#4: Post by malling »

The new cast doesn't taste like the original coffee burrs nothing dos, the burrs that behave more like those are ULF and Brew in that you can only brew very very long fast pulls, but I would not exactly say these are identical in cup. The brew is extremely clear and transparent dare I say one dimensional all others less so how these rank and if ULF and LU brew espresso and how well seem to large degree depends on what variant you end up with. The HU burrs over time also gone through it fair share of changes I think it's gotten perhaps a bit more blending over the years but it was never the best for brews not even when it's predecessor came out it's more the modern day espresso burrs and probably one of very few designed espresso burrs that actually dos light roast well. Most other that can do espresso are to high degree designed as brew burrs and then by chance been able to brew espresso but it isn't exactly your normal short pulls.


#5: Post by iyayy »

so umm, if doing 9 bar shot, only option is HU and maybe UL? or UL also wont do 9 bar?
based on above ULF and brew would be impossible to pull 9 bar. am i right?

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#6: Post by truemagellen replying to iyayy »

i prefer the sweetness and balance of current EK burrs. You will need to calibrate the dial finer for light roasts and if you are doing mostly light roast espressos you will be better off with Turkish burrs at the cost of pourovers.

A current EK43s will likely take care of you if you are not in a high volume environment (since adjusting is a bit trickier but tighten the little plastic set screw to have more control) and you wont need Titus carrier although bean shards will get stuck in the chamber due to the auger design.


#7: Post by NelisB »

Eiern wrote:98mm HU is their most traditional espresso burr. If you want normal ratios and timings, or even ristretto, this is the burr. It can make filter but is my least favorite filter burr of the bunch. It is also maybe not what you want for EK-style shots.
Hansung wrote me (some years ago) that LU is the most traditional espresso profile. And HU for single dosing, clean cup light roasts.


#8: Post by Eiern »

Cool. I have read so many conflicting things from Hansung about his burrs. He stated ULF was for brew and cupping and "espresso not available" when I ordered my set, and not too long after recommend them for espresso to another person. Another ULF owner needs to grind way coarser on the P100 dial than me and another user for similar style shots/bean. SSP is hard to understand :lol:

I ground very close to burr zero/chirp/touch with LU and read that some users have found LU fussy to dial in. I could mostly only get fast turbo shots with the P100 for these reasons. So it's more like a filter burr that can do turbo shots in my experience, but at similar ratios as HU compared to Brew/ULF.

A traditional espresso burr I'd expect to be able to choke my machine if I wanted to (not an important feature to me) and let me at least do slower shots. I did use light roasts and usually 18:40-ish in 16 or so seconds.

Which grinder they're in + RPM + roast lever AND if SSP has tweaked them might all influence things so this was only from my limited experience.

I did like LU enough that I've been toying with the idea of getting a set for myself (I borrowed a seasoned set from a friend) and I would personally choosd it over HU and Brew for dual use in P100, tied with ULF, as I find both ULF and LU are great for both methods, although slightly different presentations (and a little different ratios for balanced espresso in my experience)


#9: Post by Eiern »

For me LU tasted a little more laid back and clean presentation leaning more toward well extracted highly concentrated filterbrew while HU tasted like an intense and punchy espresso at the same ratios with the same beans. It's crazy how HU extract very light roasts to almost taste like espresso roast, even as a fast turbo shot, and at tighter ratios. Not sure I could do that with many other burrs.

I find HU impart it's own style of presentation more so that different beans tend to taste more similar and generic, with chocolate and bitterness (not unpleasant dry bitterness but like dark chocolate balanced with sugar) and LU let the bean speak a little more clearly, which is why I like HU less, I like HU for a while and then grow tired of it.


#10: Post by iyayy »

there was a mention somewhere in HB that hansung said cast burrs on lagom (cant remember which) with low speed allows for espresso because of high fines and horizontal grinding..

what i think this implies is likely;
1. for horizontal, beans spends more time in grind chamber = more fines. this is more gravity at work.. i think similarly how kopideva has issues with some burrs not playing well with it, some doesnt even grind it out (at least from what i read).
2. burr geometry affects how beans is fed and pushed out. on some burrs the gaps feeds faster at high rpm and exits faster, hence low fines, while other such as casts, feeds slower at faster rpm, ie. beans didnt manage to move into correct burr gap position fast enough, hence beans spends more time in chamber and has more fines.

so far from my reading on every burr feedback is that there is usually isnt enough or incomplete combination of info on.
1. basket size and dose, high dose are easier.
2. brew pressure.
3. preinfusion, i think this is very important. with pi (especially at 10s or longer) you can still pull a shot that chokes straight profile. conversely it can mess too coarse grind as well, since the puck never compress and adds resistance to work. for those fast ramp up (rotary pump / lever) can help build pressure on the puck quick enough before it can saturate and flow (as long asit doesnt channel first).
4. grind rpm. - relative to burr.
5. burr position (horizontal, vs angled/vertical)
6. beans feed rate (slower = more unimodal, titus vs stock affects this), hot start/cold start.

so perhaps combination of workflow that increases fines and builds pressure quickly helps to make it easier to pull shot?