User experience with Timemore Sculptor Grinders 078 078s - Page 5

Grinders are one of the keys to exceptional espresso. Discuss them here.
Posts: 35
Joined: 3 years ago

#41: Post by cari66ean »

DaveC wrote:I am quite concerned that a new expression seems to have crept into the espresso vocabulary used by many, where stalling is now being referred to as "motor protection kicking in". Followed by recommendations to feed beans in slowly, or "hot starting" This isn't specific to the Timemore grinder, but many of the variable speed grinders and some non variable speed.

I'm mentioned it because as consumers there are certain things you should be expecting of any grinder, for the roast range of coffees availablee and I felt I should put this out there. Grinders should not:

Have to be running when you put the beans in
Require the beans to be fed in slowly
Have motor protection kicking in
Have a stated variable speed range where some speeds are clearly unusable

I am astounded that the espresso community is doing this to itself and then calling it OK? It's not OK, you need to demand better of the manufacturers. Influencers have had a large part to play in this as well.

Mods, feel free to give this it's own thread if you want..
To be fair, while some of your points are valid, except for the potential stalling most of these are not are not. They affect any electric grinder, period.

You don't need to have the grinder running when pouring in the beans with the 078s. But just as with any other grinder - or motor for that - it will have a ramp up and stabilization time. With a fixed RPM you can optimize these variables to be as good as possible, but with variable RPM you will always have RPMs where the motor runs optimally and some where it works but maybe not 100% perfect. You just can't avoid that.

The 078s is very likely powered well enough that stalling shouldn't occur. The 064s due to being smaller and cheaper, I guess maybe stall with the toughest, lightest beans on the lowest RPM settings on the finest settings could occur. In that case maybe one could just avoid those low RPM settings.

Posts: 2210
Joined: 4 years ago

#42: Post by Jonk »

I remember reports of stalling or whatever to call it even with the 078 (or perhaps it was 078S). We can assume it's less likely/frequent.

Posts: 1774
Joined: 17 years ago

#43: Post by DaveC replying to Jonk »

look at the whole post, it isn't just about stalling/safety cutout whatever or the Timemore grinders, I believe it's a more general and recent set of issues.

Posts: 35
Joined: 3 years ago

#44: Post by cari66ean replying to DaveC »

I did, that's why I didn't focus primarily on stalling anyway, but on cold/hot start, feeding the beans slowly and the variable speed range having sub-optimal RPM ranges.

In terms of stalling, I might have missed stuff but the only report I know of for the 078s was Kyle grinding very light beans at zero and at 800 RPM. While I guess it can "be done", I don't think it is an applicable real world use case. It's (not quite but almost) as if people where disappointed you can't grind rocks with this thing.

Personally I ground 2kg of cheap dark roasted beans at just above burr chirp into powder and had no issues whatsoever. I'd argue that's also not a use case it was built to do, even though they weren't very light beans.

Posts: 2933
Joined: 13 years ago

#45: Post by malling »

DaveC wrote:look at the whole post, it isn't just about stalling/safety cutout whatever or the Timemore grinders, I believe it's a more general and recent set of issues.
Although I agree long part of the way at least in principle, it needs to be said I stalled Mazzer Major SD with a light roast on several occasions, hopper fed it was even easier stalling them.

The only grinder I never stalled was bulk grinders everything else can under the right circumstances be stalled, so while admirable to have expectations of no stalling It might not be all achievable within budget most grinders operate under. That said I would be mildly annoyed if stalling was still an issue on a plus 2k grinder

With cheaper grinder better have motor protection kicking in then the alternative, you can't and really shouldn't expect them no to have stalling issues etc. there is just compromises when making something that cheap

Posts: 10
Joined: 7 months ago

#46: Post by Emc2 »

My 078S stopped working suddenly. Timemore responded fairly promptly and sent out a new PCB. The PCB is very easy to access and replace. I have made a brief video on how to replace it.


Supporter ❤
Posts: 1523
Joined: 2 years ago

#47: Post by Milligan »

Any impressions of the 078S for drip? Still waiting for my number to come up but have been considering what to do with it when I get it. I'll likely set it over next to my wife's moccamaster for a month or so and let her season it before trying it as espresso. Curious if anyone has tried it with a drip maker (not pour over) and if it tasted decent?

Posts: 9
Joined: 3 months ago

#48: Post by Jakemo136 »

First time post, long time lurker! I've had my 078s for about a month now, and am genuinely confounded.

First, background and context:
My dad has been an espresso nerd for at least 20 years. He's been home-roasting for at least 10 of those. I've seen him grind with a Rancillo Rocky, Baratza Encore, Baratza Vario-W (ceramic), Forte, and now finally a Sette 270. He's pulled on a huge variety of machines (including an Elektra Microcasa a Leva which was *super* cool) and now finally ECM Purista. He's really into espresso and loves his med-dark roasts. So I've been steeping in it a while.

I started espresso about 6 years ago on a Flair Neo and Baratza Encore, quickly upgrading to a Flair Signature and my dad's old Vario-W, learning about espresso along the way. Got the Flair 58 about two years ago, and the Vario got refurbished earlier this year with the Forte metal burr carrier and was henceforth hyper-aligned. Tried a Sette 270 myself but ultimately didn't like the shots it produced. I really enjoy the shots I'm able to pull with my current combo (vario + flair 58). I've been drinking 20g in, 30g out, 15-sec pre-infusion with a slam to 5 bar then immediately down to 2-3 to watch the puck fill in. Then up to 9 bar for the remainder of the shot, usually finishing around 45 seconds. Rich, syrupy, sweet, complex. Delicious.

My preferred ratio is 1:1.5 - 1:2, with a 20g dose.

Why does this matter? Because the Vario isn't designed to be a single-dose grinder and the grind setting tends to wander, which is endlessly frustrating. Also, I would love to experience a little more clarity of flavor in my espresso, while retaining sweetness and viscosity (starting to wonder if that's possible at all). Thus, my backing of the 078s on KS -- seemed like a great deal for at least an improvement in consistency shot-to-shot and workflow.

Enter my experience with the 078s:

My dad's got some super high-quality machinist depth gauges and we used those to measure all the relative flat surfaces on the chassis and burrs, in order to deduce how well-aligned they are. Basically, the conclusion is that they're as well-aligned as they're going to get, and adding any shims will have a net negative impact. Very light wipe test (the faintest hint of chirp) indicates 3 clean spots 120 degrees apart from each other on the stationary burr, and a mostly clean wipe on the rotating burr.

I sent 6-7kg of trash beans through it, then started trying to dial in shots with good beans. Immediately struggled with channeling. The ARO Orbit has helped quite a bit in this regard, at least making it easier to prep the puck more thoroughly than the handheld wire wdt I was using before. Now, at 9-10kg including lots of perfectly good beans, I've yet to pull a shot I liked. Everyone has insisted I need to pull longer ratios (1:2.5-3+) in order to get good flavors, but I *don't want to*. I don't want that ratio. I want *body* in my espresso. Whenever I try it according to others' suggestions, the espresso tastes thin and muted to me.

I started by attempting to replicate the shots I pull from the Vario's grind and they're awful. They *look* gorgeous, fill in the bottom of the portafilter beautifully and thick syrupy rat-tail, but the flavor was garbage. Not astringent, but over-roasted and surprisingly devoid of sweetness or even character, really.

I've tried 18g & 20g doses in ratios from 1:1.5 up to 1:3, and times from 19 seconds up to 40 seconds, and everything in between, and nothing has been anything I've enjoyed. I'm immensely frustrated with it and am feeling pretty resigned to the fact that the burrs that are in this grinder just aren't designed to make the kind of espresso I enjoy.

I've been asking about this in the facebook group and I get a lot of answers, some useful, some not, but I do find myself wanting an expert opinion on whether the 078s burrs just can't make the kind of espresso I enjoy or whether I just haven't discovered "the secret" yet. There is a chance I was just grinding too fine when I was trying to match my Vario shots, and I just need to dial it back a bit, but I've wasted so many beans and had zero enjoyable shots (the kind that actually make me say "mmmm that's a good shot") and am just about out of steam.

At least the channeling has gotten, well, slightly better, though absolutely meticulous puck prep is critical with this grinder.

Would love perspective or, if you love the grinder, what your personal preferred ratios/recipes are. Starting to consider selling the 078s and eventually buying a 64mm machine and just buying burrs that make more "traditional" espresso, I guess.

Posts: 2933
Joined: 13 years ago

#49: Post by malling »

In general burrs work best with specific roast, ratios & beans (processing & terroir) at a normal pressure curve (pump machine). For example the mazzer and Italmill general work well with medium and darker more traditional roast at 1:1.5-2 ratio and give a more traditional texture and flavour profile but don't really do so well with lighter and longer pull as you tend to get some unpleasant astringency and bitterness pulling that much out and be quite unbalanced regardless of ratio because of the bimodal psd that make them almost always to have some sourness. Some of the clarity burrs like MP generally benefits from lighter roast and longer pull ratios often excess of 1:2.5, but the shorter pull is quite fragile and often none saying and darker roast can be incredibly repulsive with noticeable roasty flavours.

Some burrs never going to really shine outside that, now I never tried 078s and I got the impression it at least should do a 1:2 decently well. But some do say it's more in between traditional and modern interpretations of it. This is largely also consequence of them trying to also make it perform for filter.

The moment you design a burr to do lighter roast and filter better your bound to sacrifice on more traditional stuff at traditional ratios. There very few burrs that somehow seem to be sort of exempt from that and perform across roast and ratio. But no matter there always sacrifices.

If one only wants traditional style shots getting a burr known for that like those from Mazzer and Italmill might be better. That said I always preferred Eureka and Mahlkonig for medium roast.

Also a burr will also influence on the ideal pressure profile, the one you use might work for the Vario, might not be ideal for the Sculpture burrs... you might want to rethink how you do preinfusion and keep it at 9 bar remaining of the shot, you might want to let it tail off to keep more constant flowrate, by holding at 9bar you increase flowrate which might work against you.

Posts: 141
Joined: 4 years ago

#50: Post by Pflunz »

Here are some shots I did and I have already shown in the German kaffee-netzforum:

My profile is basically: Filling with 4ml/s, when a pressure over 5bar is reached a pressure limit of 7 bar is set and hold (to adj for 5 seconds. Then the flow is then hold until the cup has filled with 14.5g. I just adjusted the time axis for the shots so that the pressure rises overlap (due to partially filled brew head)

Here the first shot in the morning and a second one 4 hours later. I would say they a identical:

Here on another day, also first shot and a second one a few hours later. You can see that the flow is ~0.1ml/s higher, which leads to a faster decrease in pressure and an earlier end of the shot, but still they are quite similar.

Here are 2 shots which are 3 days apart:

They are also very similar. So I would say the grinder is quite good at repetition.
My puck prep: Measuring beans exact to 0.1g, grind at 800rpm (filling beans in when grinder is already on), knock 2x three times when there are no more beans in the grinder. WDT in the container and then put it in the portafilter.