Unofficial technical guide for Helor 101 Hand Grinder [User Manual] - Page 2

Grinders are one of the keys to exceptional espresso. Discuss them here.
samuellaw178 (original poster)
Team HB

#11: Post by samuellaw178 (original poster) »

Javier wrote:Wow, Sam!! As always, each one of your posts is so informative and expressed with so much clarity (the attorney in you?? :lol:). Thank you!
Thanks Javier! Probably! :D
osel wrote:Some grinder and Helor related questions:
Hi Tony, those are good question and they actually apply to other grinders as well, rather than Helor-specific. I will put them into FAQ.

Does static have any negative effect on distribution/tamping/taste? Can it just be ignored?

Static does not cause distribution/channeling issue directly, but rather it's more of a correlation relationship. You can have static and yet no distribution issue. So yes it can be ignored unless you have major static issue. If you have >1-2g of grind stuck to the wall due to static that is, anything below 0.5g is negligible.

For best results, I recommend doing WDT (distributing the coffee by stirring). I have yet to see a grinder that does not benefit from it. Well-design grinders (Malhkonig K30, Versalab, Compak E10, Monoliths etc) will do OK without WDT, but they still improve with WDT.

For my Helor, the pull looks acceptable without WDT (with known-to-be-finicky VST baskets) but it does improve after WDT.

- How does the user know that his/her grinder is aligned well?

Follow the step 7 in the assembly post. If it passes the test then it's aligned well.

Generally and in practice, if you are able to grind for the finest espresso without having the burrs rubbing, you're in the well aligned region. You're well ahead of the game anyway because most grinders may not be well aligned and you will never find out. The Helor has an open access to burrs and you can check it visually.

- Does alignment change/get worse with time? If yes, how must time?
No. alignment is not time-dependent. The material (aluminium) is the material of choice used on most grinders (if not all) and is durable enough for this application. If you have a hard rock through the burrs, then only it's possible to affect the alignment. You will know that when that you're grinding for espresso and the burrs are rubbing.

- How does the user know it's time to change the burrs?
It's pretty rare for home user to have to change the burrs. But if you find that you're grinding at the finest setting with the burrs rubbing (and the alignment is ok), then it's time to change the burrs. Or if you find that the grinder is taking a lot longer to grind a dose, that's another sign.

Under normal use, it's recommended to change the burrs after 500-1000 pounds of coffee (200kg beans), according to a similarly spec 38mm conical burrs(on Baratza Encore). If you're using 20g dose, that is 10,000 shots before the burrs are considered worn. That's almost 14 years if you do 2 shots every day.

I have no knowledge of the brew burrs. But as a guide, I would hazard a guess that it might have half the lifespan of the espresso burrs (100kg-200kg), when the brew burrs are used for fine grind application of espresso. Even if stainless steel is soft(compared to hardened steel), it is still a lot harder than coffee beans!

If you're a heavy user, you can change the burrs after 5 years since they don't cost that much and not difficult to change anyway.

- If using 2-3 drops of water or spray bottle to help with static, shouldn't rust become a concern?

If it's only 2-3 drops of water/spray bottle, you should not have any rust based on my experience. Much more than that, yes. Check out this thread addressing this:
2 year update on RDT use

A atomizer/spray bottle is more accurate at dispensing the water evenly. That would be my recommendation (and what I use), compared to dropping water droplets by hand/spoon.

As I mentioned earlier, the Helor doesn't generate much static after it's broken in (in my case 1-2 months of light use). In you case, use RDT for now and try 1 month later without RDT.

- There is a dark build-up of grinds around the burr where grinds come out. This doesn't brush away, but comes off with a toothpick for example. I assume this is of no concern and can be ignored?

That dark grind ring is inevitable. It happens to every grinder that I've seen with open burr chamber. It sticks because the grind are rubbing as they exit the burrs, and eventually they form a relatively solid caked-ring. No harm and of no concern. This is the part I had in mind when I mentioned cleaning the grinder's bottom. You can clean them weekly if you are inclined, but I can guarantee it does not detract from the shot in any way.

ieland wrote:Thanks for the guide. I have a question related to osel. Do you notice slipping of the grind adjustment while grinding?
No worries. Similar to Osel, never and there's no sign of slipping, even with grinding espresso with the lightest roasts that haven't gone into first crack. The mechanism works really well in that respect.

osel

#12: Post by osel »

Thank you again, Samuel.

I got one more!

- The adjusting of the grinds mechanism also moves TOGETHER WITH THE FACEDIAL a little bit both ways clockwise and counterclockwise before stopping at which point the facedial stops moving and it becomes possible to change the grind setting. Is that normal? It moves by about a dot each way. Or should the facedial not move at all?

wachuko

#13: Post by wachuko »

Outstanding thread!! Thank you! My Helor 101 has been great. For the handle noise, when it arrived, I just inserted some candle was inside the wood ball. No more noise. Have not had any issues so far.
Searching for that perfect espresso!

Wachuko - LMWDP #654

samuellaw178 (original poster)
Team HB

#14: Post by samuellaw178 (original poster) »

osel wrote:Thank you again, Samuel.

I got one more!

- The adjusting of the grinds mechanism also moves TOGETHER WITH THE FACEDIAL a little bit both ways clockwise and counterclockwise before stopping at which point the facedial stops moving and it becomes possible to change the grind setting. Is that normal? It moves by about a dot each way. Or should the facedial not move at all?

Could you show me a video if possible? If I understood correctly, you mean there is some play with the dial/adjustment knob? There's none on mine, and judging from the mechanism, it's impossible to have play in the adjustment unless your spring is not seated properly and not pushing on the inner burr.

The only other place where play could happen is at the hexagonal slot on the crank handle & the shaft top. If the play comes from the crank, it's no issue because it won't affect the grind fineness/consistency. Some tolerance is needed there so that you can mount/dismount the crank easily and not having to pull it out by force,

thebookfreak58

#15: Post by thebookfreak58 »

Great thread!

osel

#16: Post by osel »

samuellaw178 wrote:Could you show me a video if possible? If I understood correctly, you mean there is some play with the dial/adjustment knob? There's none on mine, and judging from the mechanism, it's impossible to have play in the adjustment unless your spring is not seated properly and not pushing on the inner burr.

The only other place where play could happen is at the hexagonal slot on the crank handle & the shaft top. If the play comes from the crank, it's no issue because it won't affect the grind fineness/consistency. Some tolerance is needed there so that you can mount/dismount the crank easily and not having to pull it out by force,

I'll take a video with my cell and try to post it here tomorrow, but yes, if you think of handwatch, then my arrows (aka hands aka the actual thing we hold and turn to adjust the grind) are moving together with the facedial... Both clockwise and counterclockwise for about a half hour (if we think in terms of the clock and those dots on the helor as hours), after which the facedial stops moving and only the arrow continue moving. All this of course with the handle in place and held totally motionless.

samuellaw178 (original poster)
Team HB

#17: Post by samuellaw178 (original poster) »

osel wrote:I'll take a video with my cell and try to post it here tomorrow, but yes, if you think of handwatch, then my arrows (aka hands aka the actual thing we hold and turn to adjust the grind) are moving together with the facedial... Both clockwise and counterclockwise for about a half hour (if we think in terms of the clock and those dots on the helor as hours), after which the facedial stops moving and only the arrow continue moving. All this of course with the handle in place and held totally motionless.
Got it. I don't have your unit in front of me, but strongly believe it is the slack/tolerance in the crank mount you're seeing. If the arrow and the face dial move together, then the burr gap isn't changing at all - thus it is of no consequence.

Try do the same thing without the crank mount, but hold the shaft top steady with your finger. You should find that that phenomenon you're describing will no longer be happening.

Just taken a photo to demonstrate what I mean. If your ID=OD, your crank will be very difficult to put on & to remove.Thus, the OD has to be slightly smaller than the ID. We are talking about 0.x mm difference here. The bigger the difference, the easier it is for you to mount, but you will see more of the 'slack'. When you turn the handle, the crank will move to take up the slack, before creating resistance. So some 'slack' is expected and it is not detrimental to the performance. Hopefully I explained that ok and understandable. :P


osel

#18: Post by osel »

^^^ hmmm.... I removed the handle and instead held it with a wrench. It STILL does the same thing.

samuellaw178 (original poster)
Team HB

#19: Post by samuellaw178 (original poster) »

Hmm. Ok. I did this on mine with a wrench like you did (great idea to use a wrench!), there is indeed a slight movement before it engages.

I then remove the adjustment knob, leaving just the inner burr. There is still some of that slight movement when I try to spin the inner burr with my fingers. Remove the inner burr. No more movement. So the slight movement came from the burr key on the shaft and the key slot on the inner burr.

Similar concept to the above, because the burr key is made slightly smaller than the key slot, the inner burr has to rotate a wee bit to take up the slack before engaging. To remove this movement the burr key has to be made to exact same size as the inner burr slot, so that they are friction fitted. I think this compromise is still acceptable as it doesn't affect the burrs gap distance and thus the grind consistency/fineness is also not affected.

Let me know if this is exactly what you've observed.

osel

#20: Post by osel replying to samuellaw178 »


I actually believe I may have seen this being explained by Helor ^^^ or perhaps by someone in the Helor owners experience thread on this forum. Apparently this is fine, like you said, just part of the design and doesn't effect the grind. I'll see if I can find that post tomorrow.