Urnex Grindz Espresso Grinder Cleaner (before/after photos)

Grinders are one of the keys to exceptional espresso. Discuss them here.
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beta14ok

#1: Post by beta14ok »

Dan came walkin' in the door of the Counter Culture Coffee Espresso Lab on Friday with a bottle of URNEX....we immediately got on his case that it was about time he pitched-in and helped the gang with the machine cleaning. He stopped us right then-&-there saying..."this ain't what you think it is"...."this is for grinders"! Huh??? Closer examination showed a bottle of this stuff:

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Since I had the opening "Slam-on-Dan" I got the commission to try the stuff. So here goes.....

Inside the bottle are cute little pellets that look like very uniform, very bleached-out, coffee beans.

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I opened-up the grinder chamber of my Faema grinder, (can't remember when I did that last...couple years I guess!), to see how dirty it was. Really...not bad at all, but all of the burr teeth had a little bit of brown coffee "munge" caked down in them. I re-assembled the grinder and then ran a shot glass full of the Urnex Grindz pellets through the grinder using the same setting I usually use for espresso. The resultant powder that entered my doser looked exactly like corn-meal-flour. I dosed-out the "flour" to the trash, brushed down the insides of the doser and then pulled the burrs apart again. The caked-on coffee "munge" was gone and the burrs were covered with a light white powder that I easily brushed-off. Cleaner than before?....Yeah, I'd say so...not dramatic, but certainly cleaner....and the brushing helped also. The cool thing is that the brownish coffee oil seemed to transfer from grinder/doser surfaces to the Grindz powder.....sorta like those oil absorbing powders you use on the garage floor to clean-up auto oil stains....I liked that! I needed to run a shot glass of real coffee beans through the grinder to thoroughly clean the residual white powder out of the grinder path to the doser, then dosed to waste. My take-on this stuff is that it does what it claims and loosens-up the caked-on "munge" so that you can more easily remove it with a brush. Would I buy some.....sure, but for the home user like me, one bottle will probably last a fair portion of my life-time in the same fashion that my partially used, 20oz bottle of Urnex's Cafiza has been under my sink "forever". I don't think that this stuff is nearly as amazing as Cafiza, (which is indeed a great product!), but it should be worth having some around for the periodic "complete" grinder cleaning.


Here's the burr teeth before using Grindz:
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Bottom Burr and Top Burr

Here's the burr teeth after using Grindz:
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Bottom Burr and Top Burr

Not a huge change......but my grinder is clean now! :roll:

Oh yeah....Urnex claims that the Grindz pellets are "completely food safe". Just in case you were wondering..........they taste sorta like corn meal and paper mixed together! Very bland, but perhaps with a little bernaise sauce, some salt & pepper, and a nice glass of Sangiovese.......... :lol:

Regards,
dmm

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NewEnglandCliff

#2: Post by NewEnglandCliff »

Where'dja getit?
Dolce Vita,

NEC

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HB
Admin

#3: Post by HB »

Funny you should ask. I requested a sample at the SCAA conference but they were out. So the company rep offered to send me some later. According to the flyer, it will be available in June.

Tell you what, HB members. Send me a private message with your address and I'll mail you enough for two cleanings. In return, please post your thoughts on it. I'm curious if this is better than more pedestrian choices (rice, oatmeal, etc.). Does HB love you or what? :D

I will update this as soon as the supply is exhausted with the names of the testers. I only have enough for five, so don't delay.

Update: All the samples are spoken for!
Dan Kehn

framey

#4: Post by framey »

Kind of a grinder cleaning question while we are on the topic. I have El Cafe Tranquilo doserless. When cleaning it I take the top burr off and then I unscrew the plate with the thread that holds the top burr. This gives me much better access to the bottom burr and allows me to clean out what seems like a lot of residual coffee grounds and some of that dry pastey stuff held together by coffee oils. My concern is that the plate I remove to gain greater access would have to be replaced exactly level or otherwise wouldn't the burrs have an uneven gap? What I'm worried about is how fine the tolerances are. If I tighten one of the four screws more than another then the plate may be slightly out, resulting in an unenven grind.
Any thoughts?
Should I never remove this base plate?
I suppose the horse has already bolted on this one because I've had the plate on and off 3 or 4 times in the last 10 months, but perhaps others may benefit from my mistake... presuming it is a problem.

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OlywaDave

#5: Post by OlywaDave »

Well I saw this at SCAA and I know we'll be getting it. However it brought up the grinder cleaning discussion at our booth. Well somebody, and I can't remember who now, said "You can use plain white rice to clean your grinder.". Anybody heard of this? If so how does it work? I know they did say do not use Minute Rice.
David White
EspressoParts.com

framey

#6: Post by framey »

Hmm I've always read that you should only use minute rice...?

I picked up an old Gino Rossi RR45 a while back and it was in need of a thorough cleaning, and had a distinct stale coffee smell. I sought the wisdom of Alan Frew and he told me to try using minute rice. I guess the rice is physically abrasive and is able to absorb the old stale oils and carry them away as they pass through. I assumed that standard rice was too hard and might damage the burrs.

Before I ever got to try the rice theory I traded the Rossi in on my Tranquilo, so using minute rice is just something I've read about, but not something I know works through practical experience.

The rice mystery remains.

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HB
Admin

#7: Post by HB »

Jim's Espresso Guide says
Once a year, grind through some white rice to clear out the coffee oils accumulating on the burrs. After doing this, grind through some sacrificial coffee to clear out the rice powder.
I've read the same thing about "hard" rice and the recommendation to use Minute Rice because it's softer, or even oatmeal. I'm sure Jim has an opinion on the best choice and will clarify for the final review of his opus...
Dan Kehn

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koffeekev

#8: Post by koffeekev »

Josh and Jason of URNEX fame are very savvy when discussing their products. Do you think I should invite them in to talk?

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HB
Admin

#9: Post by HB »

Josh is the gentleman who sent me the samples and I invited him to join. I'd like to hear his thoughts on Jim's comments in the Espresso Guide and this product. I added a caveat in my invitation about commercial posts -- maybe a little too strongly?
Dan Kehn

jtconte

#10: Post by jtconte »

I'll chime in that I tried the oatmeal method on my Rocky and although it did get the coffee grime out, it left quite a bit of its own residue behind. I used coffee to remove the whitish, powdery residue. Maybe a vacuum cleaner would do better?

John