Titan Grinder Project - Page 2

Behind the scenes of the site's upcoming equipment reviews.
User avatar
cannonfodder
Team HB

#11: Post by cannonfodder » Jun 02, 2007, 10:20 pm

luca wrote:One small suggestion; whatever you do, don't try out the three-phase version ;P

Cheers,

Luca

PS. It would be interesting to see some comparisons using french press, or even just old-school cupping.
It is in the works. Jim is the cupping expert so I will defer to him for that. I do plan on trying an informal cupping and other methods of brewing. There is even a laser particle analysis in the future.
Dave Stephens

User avatar
cannonfodder
Team HB

#12: Post by cannonfodder » Jun 02, 2007, 11:02 pm

Psyd wrote:I've got a pair of Mazzers, and the one tray that I have is for an SJ. The feet aren't a 'standard' distance apart. so the grounds tray ends up being just slightly less than not useful. In the photos on the 'Titan Project' thread, it looks as if the Kony's tray might be a bit more similar to the Mazzer, which reportedly isn't available (the tray, not the grinder) anymore. Stick a ruler across the gap for us, wouldja?
Cheers!
Chris
The cutout for the feet are 5 3/4 inches apart at centerline, 1 3/4 deep and 7/8 wide. The Kony and Super Jolly use the same grinds catch tray.
Dave Stephens

User avatar
Teme

#13: Post by Teme » Jun 03, 2007, 5:28 am

cannonfodder wrote:Now, onto the good stuff. Does this puppy grind! I can see a difference in the grind over what I get from the Cimbali Jr and Mini. It looks much more uniform and light although it still has some clumps. Vigorous thwacking of the doser breaks them up and gives you a nice dose with minimal clumps.
cannonfodder wrote:It is in the works. Jim is the cupping expert so I will defer to him for that. I do plan on trying an informal cupping and other methods of brewing. There is even a laser particle analysis in the future.
I would actually expect the grind from a conical to be less uniform than the grind from a flat burr grinder. Or to be more precise, I would expect the particle size distribution from a conical to be concentrated around peaks of two different sizes whereas the grind from a flat burr would be more likely to concentrate on just one particle size. I may be wrong, but I think the laser particle analysis will show this...
cannonfodder wrote:The shots flow much thicker, syrupier and creamier than anything I have used (although I have not used the Super Jolly yet). So I am somewhat torn. The grinder is very big, I think the doser, switch, and pressure plate could use some work, but damn, are the shots good. I am just starting and I already taste flavors I have not noticed before. The grind speed is not bad. I would not say it is fast by commercial standards, but it appears to be just as fast as my Cimbali and faster than the Mini.
I have similar thoughs on conicals as well. The taste in the cup is great and the extractions are beautiful. As for the size of the grinders, I have already chopped the hopper on my Compak K10 to make it more manageable in height. The electrical tape mod that I did improved the doser sweep and I will do the inverted cup mod once I find the appropriate piece of plastic or metal to minimise waste even further. With these modifications the K10 will be a lot more manageable for grind per shot use at home. These modifications could fairly easily be applied to the Mazzer an Macap as well. For domestic use I guess one would also want to remove the auto-grinding features that most of these grinders have (I actually also added an external grind timer to further improve usability)...

Br,
Teme

User avatar
AndyS

#14: Post by AndyS » Jun 03, 2007, 7:13 am

Teme wrote:I would expect the particle sizes from a conical to be concentrated around peaks of two different sizes whereas the grind from a flat burr would concentrate on just one particle size.
I don't know why you expect that, but it's simply not true. Coffee beans in any type of grinder always fracture into non-uniform particle sizes based on the way their structure degrades under physical stress (see Illy's book for more on this).

Undoubtedly a laser diffractometry analysis will discern a difference in particle size distribution among the grinders, but it will be more complicated than what you propose above.

And certainly, there are other factors (besides particle size) that may have profound effects on the taste of the coffee, such as:
1. the way the particles are heated in the grinding process, and
2. the clumpiness of the grind output

The clumpiness obviously is an important factor, as has been well documented on this site.

Below is a shot of my 3-phase Robur next to my Mini. A couple days after getting the Robur, I put the Mini in storage and haven't used it since. The Robur's clump-free grind is a joy to use.


Image
-AndyS
VST refractometer/filter basket beta tester, no financial interest in the company

User avatar
Teme

#15: Post by Teme » Jun 03, 2007, 7:48 am

AndyS wrote:I don't know why you expect that, but it's simply not true. Coffee beans in any type of grinder always fracture into non-uniform particle sizes based on the way their structure degrades under physical stress (see Illy's book for more on this).

Undoubtedly a laser diffractometry analysis will discern a difference in particle size distribution among the grinders, but it will be more complicated than what you propose above.

And certainly, there are other factors (besides particle size) that may have profound effects on the taste of the coffee, such as:
1. the way the particles are heated in the grinding process, and
2. the clumpiness of the grind output

The clumpiness obviously is an important factor, as has been well documented on this site.
Heat and clumping will naturally play a major role. As regards particle sizes, I noted that I may indeed be wrong. My assumption was purely based on an analysis I did with an acquaintance a while back:

This is the particle size distribution from a conical burr Innova. Not a high-end grinder, but you can observe the twin peaks on the graph, i.e. concentration of the particle sizes around these two sizes (and naturally a spread around those peaks). I would again (perhaps wrongly) assume that those peaks would be more pronounced with a higher end conical - i.e. the particles more uniformly concentrated around those peaks. I hope to run this test on my Compak and Casadio conicals sometime in the future...
Image

This graph shows the distribution from a Mazzer Mini-E. The big difference is that instead of the two pronounced peaks of the Innova, there is only one clear concentration. The flat burr Innova and a Mahlkonig K30 showed very similar patterns in the analysis - i.e. very different from the Innova conical.
Image

I know that the above were not very sophisticated tests but interesting and the basis of my (perhaps incorrect) assumption. I look forward to seeing the particle size analysis from the Titan Grinder Project...

Br,
Teme

User avatar
AndyS

#16: Post by AndyS » Jun 03, 2007, 10:21 am

Teme wrote:
<snip>
I know that the above were not very sophisticated tests
Actually, I'm impressed that you were able to develop this data. Coffee particles that are fine enough for espresso are oily and sticky, so accurately analyzing their size distribution is difficult. A hundred small particles may stick together and act like one large particle in a sieve, but once they are hit with 200F water, they probably perform like small particles again.

I don't understand the graphs, however. Each graph appears to show two different grind patterns, a gray one and a black one. But your explanation implies that each graph shows only one pattern. Please explain, thanks.
-AndyS
VST refractometer/filter basket beta tester, no financial interest in the company

User avatar
Teme

#17: Post by Teme » replying to AndyS » Jun 03, 2007, 11:27 am

The analysis was done with a laser diffractometer (a wet analysis). The black graphs are the coffee particles describing the particle size distribution of the grinder. The grey area of the graph I understand is a reference substance of some sort - I don't know the details as I did not personally run this part of the test (but rather it was done by an acquaintance who had access to the diffractometer at a university lab).

By the way, I also have the Illy book and in it he refers to a grinds distribution where both fines and coarse particles are present in appropriate proportions as being desirable. This is what the conical burrs appear to generate better than flat burrs (at least so it seems in the limited and non-scientific scope of the analysis).

Edit: I think that all of the above is not enough to draw any definitive conclusions on and I look forward to the further commentary as well as the more disciplined particle size testing that I understand to be in the pipeline for this project...

Br,
Teme

Ken Fox

#18: Post by Ken Fox » Jun 03, 2007, 1:32 pm

This project is a great idea and it is already bearing fruit. I have done extensive prior searches on internet fora on issues being addressed in this thread, and have come up with less information than is already present in this thread. Keep up the good work!

ken
What, me worry?

Alfred E. Neuman, 1955

User avatar
cannonfodder
Team HB

#19: Post by cannonfodder » Jun 03, 2007, 2:23 pm

The Mazzer Super Jolly is our control grinder. This gives us a top end flat burr grinder to compare the conicals with. I am only going to briefly touch on it.

It arrived packed the same as the Kony but in a smaller box. It quickly unpacks and within moments I was up and running.

The doser contains the same finger guard as the Kony and the Mini. Once again, two screws and it is removed giving you access to the grinding chute for cleaning. I believe Mazzer uses the same basic doser on their entire product line. The dosers all leave a few grounds in the hopper but it is not enough to bother me. If you want to clean it up more you can use the standard Mazzer doser modification

Image

The Super Jolly uses 64mm flat burrs, they do not look quite as intimidating as the burrs on the conicals.

Image

The power switch is the standard Mazzer timer model. Give it a twist and it grinds until the timer expires or you rotate the switch forward and to the off position.

Image

As with the Kony, the Super Jolly took a few tests to get the grind dialed in. I had to open the grind setting up quite a bit. It grinds faster than the Kony and still produces a nice even grind. Clumps are present but if you thwack the doser as you grind, they breakup nicely. The doser on the Super Jolly works smoother than the Kony.

Image

The Super Jolly is several inches shorter than the Kony and easily fits under a kitchen cabinet provided you remove the hopper. I also want to point out that both the Kony and Super Jolly are rated for 5amps so make sure you have sufficient power for the grinders.

The shots the SJ produces are nice but not as defined as the Kony. A nice harmonic blending of flavors. The cup is a nice blend of flavors with no one particular flavor jumping out. Call it a less bright cup with highlights in the deeper chocolate/leather/tobacco notes. Where as the Kony makes the fruity high toned Africans pop in the cup. It is one of those things you just have to experience. I wonder what a shot ground half with the Super Jolly and half with the Kony would be like?

«missing video»
Dave Stephens

User avatar
cannonfodder
Team HB

#20: Post by cannonfodder » Jun 03, 2007, 2:33 pm

AndyS wrote: Below is a shot of my 3-phase Robur next to my Mini. A couple days after getting the Robur, I put the Mini in storage and haven't used it since. The Robur's clump-free grind is a joy to use.
Good lord Andy. I have seen labs less well equipped. That just underscores how far we are willing to go for the perfect cup and push the envelope of our equipment.

You mentioned heat produced during the grinding process. I have planned on putting a thermocouple in the grinder chute as close as I dare to the burrs to plot the temperature that is transferred to the grinds.
Dave Stephens