MarkPrince Moderator Joined: 19 Dec 2001 Posts: 5,652 Location: Vancouver, BC Expertise: Professional
Espresso: KvdW Speedster Grinder: Versalab M3 Grinder Vac Pot: A bit too many Drip: Bonavita Roaster: Hario Glass Retro Roaster
Posted Sat Jun 20, 2009, 3:25am Subject: Ditting KF804 burr replacement, going from pressed to machined burrs - wow!
Yesterday I finally got the new (as of this year) Ditting replacement burrs for the 804 series.
For those who don't know, the Dittings have had pressed / milled burrs for eons. They do a press form on the burr sets, and then do some machining on the outer teeth to finish them off. I guess acceptable in the past, but these days, we kinda demand more of a grinder than pressed burrs.
Ditting long resisted putting machined (milled) burrs on their grinders - I remember talking to a Ditting rep back in 2004 or 2005 at the SCAA about the burrs and he was kinda "meh, we don't see the need". But I guess times have changed and enough voices were heard because Ditting and Mahlkonig (they merged a little while ago) decided to develop and cut new burrs for the 804 series.
I finally got mine yesterday and already, I notice a massive difference in two areas - production of fines (or lack thereof) and overall taste. Just before I swapped out my pressed burrs on my 804, I did two tightly measured press pot brews (using a weight/time/temperature monitoring scale to make it as precise as I could). Used two very fresh (perfectly aged off roast) coffees. Took notes, scored the cups.
I replaced the burrs and ran about 3lbs of "junk" coffee through the grinder to season it. (coffee that's a bit too old - about 6 bags worth, most with 1/2 lb or less).
Then I set up the two coffees I did with the pressed burrs, and brewed them as close to the old samples as possible - same gram weight of water, same steep times, same dose, same grind setting on the Ditting.
Both coffees were noticeably improved in the cup - things that were better: - cleaner samples of both, with a lot more clarity in the flavours - barely perceptible flavours in the pressed burr brews were more noticeable in the milled burr brew - less overall bitters in the cup
I scored coffee a 3 points higher, and coffee b 1.5 points higher, respectively over their pressed burr samples.
The only negatory is there's some definite "new grinder" artifacts in the cup - kinda that new machine taint, which actually reduced the scores probably by 3% or so - yet they still scored higher than the pressed burr samples.
To really give this test a fair shake, one would need two Ditting KF804s, one with the milled burrs, one with the pressed burrs, and do a double blind taste test to see which one wins out. Since I can't afford a second Ditting, this'll have to do :)
The new burrs are HIGHLY recommended, especially if you use a Ditting as your cupping grinder.
I've always been satisfied with my Ditting grinder (and very grateful to the seller, Morala Trading out of Ottawa for their sales and service of this grinder - they've been awesome), but now it seems like it's become a potential super grinder. I had a talk with Rob from Elysian Coffee, the Ditting reps for w. Canada, and he believes these new burrs put the 804 on par with the Guat Lab grinder from Mahlkonig, which costs $700 more.
PS - I've posted some photos of the ditting burrs (and how much ground coffee's left in the 804) on my flickr.
Posted Sat Jun 20, 2009, 8:07am Subject: Re: Ditting KF804 burr replacement, going from pressed to machined burrs - wow!
That's great news Mark. I bought one last August that was a year old, and was less than pleased with the quality of the grind, as I Perceived it. I sent the burrs to a friend in Burnaby along with grind samples and he didn't think it was up to snuff, as well. I also sent them to Ditting USA to be replaced with a sharpened set. They sent them back, saying they were as good as new.
I guess they'll sell me a new replacement set, and hopefully I'll be satisfied, finally.
Other than that, I love everything about the grinder!
Thanks for the heads up.
Incidentally, I bought mine based on your posts, and comments, when you bought yours.
TomChips Senior Member Joined: 19 Oct 2008 Posts: 71 Location: San Francisco Expertise: I live coffee
Espresso: Alex Duetto II Grinder: K30 Vario/Mazzer Super Jolly Drip: Tecnivorm Mochamaster-Hario Roaster: Behmoor 1600+ Freshroast
Posted Mon Jul 16, 2012, 10:27am Subject: Re: Ditting KF804 burr replacement, going from pressed to machined burrs - wow!
Bumping a very old, but very valuable thread. I just scored a 804 that looks and functions like it's new or hardly been used. The grinds are extremely uniform, with almost no fines visible at all. But I'm now trying to possibly source a good deal on burrs, since i know they're extremely expensive. I've tried some amazing coffees on the ditting, compared to my brand new G1 that isn't even broken in yet, and the G1 blows it out of the water flavor wise. The ditting is producing a notably more bitter less layered and nuanced brew.
I'm surprised by this though. The burrs aren't sharp, but they don't look extremely dull, and like I said, the grind is beautifully even. Any tips would be greatly appreciated! Either sourcing for new burrs or any other advice.
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