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I didn't know what static was until I got a Baratza Virtuoso
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Discussions > Coffee > Machines > I didn't know...  
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ayryq
Senior Member


Joined: 24 Jan 2014
Posts: 4
Location: Michigan
Expertise: I like coffee

Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso
Drip: Bunn-O-Matic, Chemex
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Fri Jan 24, 2014, 6:42am
Subject: I didn't know what static was until I got a Baratza Virtuoso
 

Is this normal?

I "upgraded" from a $40 Cuisinart to a $230 Virtuoso this Christmas. I've been roasting and wanted to empty the grinder each time I used it. Also, the Cuisinart produced so much dust it clogged my Chemex. So now I've got nice consistent grinds with little dust, and I'm emptying the bean hopper every time I use it.

But the static! I thought this was a problem with the Cuisinart because I had trouble emptying the hopper after each grind. I thought upgrading to the Virtuoso would make this better. After all, they advertise several anti-static features.

Here's how it goes: I put the beans in and grind until empty. I pull out the hopper. Pulling out the hopper scrapes the grounds that are clinging to the end of the chute. These grounds jump to the edge at the top of the hopper, making a little furry beard all around. Most mornings I use an automatic drip machine (Bunn) so I pour the bin into the filter. The ground coffee mostly lands in the filter, but there's this cone of coffee attracted to the counter all around. I started doing this step in the sink because it's so messy. I rap the hopper a few times to get the clinging grounds to fall off. Most of them jump to my hand. The "beard" still hangs on, though. So now I start the Bunn and start cleanup. The bin is easy, I just rinse it off in the sink. Then I use wet paper towels to clean all the grounds clinging to the chute opening - because if I don't, a bunch more grounds fall into the bin when I put it back in. And next to the bin, and through the little hole under the bin, and all over. A couple more wet paper towels to clean up all the grounds around the counter, under the grinder, and on the adjacent teakettle and coffee machine, and I'm done.

With the Cuisinart, I didn't get all the grounds to slide out every day, but I didn't have a huge mess to clean up either.

Baratza owners, does this sound like your experience? Should I contact Baratza? I've had this grinder less than a month and it's driving me nuts.

Thanks for any advice.
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CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,362
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Fri Jan 24, 2014, 7:05am
Subject: Re: I didn't know what static was until I got a Baratza Virtuoso
 

Yeh that's odd, could be the area your in due to weather has a ton of static, I know when I'm in MI at families during winter (Rochester)... so much static lol. But I would think the Baratza's antistatic coating would help though. I have a Preciso and noticed usually a lot of static "effect" on friends more expensive metal/commercial grinders depending on weather conditions, but mine really none even when the weather changes. I've never had the bin scrape and drop grinds or have the grinds spread due to static when pouring out the hopper whether into a portafilter or other means. I just made two drinks and the bin pulls out cleanly, weird.
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ayryq
Senior Member


Joined: 24 Jan 2014
Posts: 4
Location: Michigan
Expertise: I like coffee

Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso
Drip: Bunn-O-Matic, Chemex
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Fri Jan 24, 2014, 7:19am
Subject: Re: I didn't know what static was until I got a Baratza Virtuoso
 

Just checked my thermostat, it reports 23% humidity in my house. And the weather here near Lake Michigan, which some might consider unpleasant, isn't really too far off normal. Snow every day, very dry. Colder than usual outside though.

Already made today's coffee but maybe tomorrow I can get a some pictures or a video.
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Jerry43
Senior Member


Joined: 7 Dec 2009
Posts: 24
Location: Virginia
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Carisma
Grinder: Virtuoso, HG-One
Vac Pot: Hario
Drip: Brazen
Roaster: Huky 500
Posted Fri Jan 24, 2014, 7:38am
Subject: Re: I didn't know what static was until I got a Baratza Virtuoso
 

I would definitely say it's the low humidity. I've noticed more clinging with my Virtuoso in the last week when I went from the 33% down to 26% humidity in the house with the current cold spell here in Va. I've been using a Giottos Rocket air blaster to blow out the burrs before I grind the next batch.  It always seem to leave some in the plastic bin after dumping. Been using the Virtuoso for years and the static comes and goes. Although I will agree yours sounds extreme.
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Eastsideloco
Senior Member
Eastsideloco
Joined: 7 Jan 2012
Posts: 45
Location: Austin
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: '74 Cremina, '91 Livietta...
Grinder: Vario-W, mid-century...
Vac Pot: Cona C, Kono PR 3, Hellem...
Drip: Kalita Wave, V60, Chemex,...
Posted Fri Jan 24, 2014, 9:29am
Subject: Re: I didn't know what static was until I got a Baratza Virtuoso
 

I've found that a dark roast profile exacerbates static problems. If you are using greasy beans, that may be the source of your frustration.

Some people on Home-Barista have good results reducing static using a droplet technique that probably enhances the humidity in the grinder, so to speak:

http://bit.ly/KUFJJ9

Also, you might want to pick up a general purpose espresso brush, which should make it easier to clean your machine. Something like this:

http://amzn.to/19ShSVy

The roaster in my neighborhood keeps these in stock. They are quite useful. I even keep one in my travel kit.
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redkiosk
Senior Member
redkiosk
Joined: 13 May 2012
Posts: 215
Location: Chicago Metro Area
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Illy Francis-Francis X1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso w/ Esatto...
Vac Pot: Someday, very intriguing!
Drip: Trifecta MB, Kalita Wave...
Roaster: A sure path to divorce!
Posted Fri Jan 24, 2014, 9:46am
Subject: Re: I didn't know what static was until I got a Baratza Virtuoso
 

Same problem with my Preciso when the humidity drops. I just keep a small handheld vacuum in a drawer near the grinder for when the chaff build-up pushes me over the line! Take care!

Jim

 
The pathologically precise are annoying, but right!
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CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,362
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Fri Jan 24, 2014, 10:14am
Subject: Re: I didn't know what static was until I got a Baratza Virtuoso
 

yeh low humidity will make it worse on all grinders whether plastic Baratzas or Commercial, especially up north. And dark beans that are oily will make it worse as said above.
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uscfroadie
Senior Member
uscfroadie
Joined: 2 Aug 2008
Posts: 398
Location: San Antonio
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: GS/3 Strada MP, BDB; owned...
Grinder: Forte, Zass and PeDe hand...
Vac Pot: Nope
Drip: Nope
Roaster: owned Behmor
Posted Fri Jan 24, 2014, 10:16am
Subject: Re: I didn't know what static was until I got a Baratza Virtuoso
 

That's very low humidity.  Since it sounds like you are single dosing, why not just employ the Ross Droplet Technique?  It works on all grinders - hand or electric.  The few drops work to enable the static to ground out, and they evaporate with the heat generated by the friction of the grinding.  Also, not to worry, the coffee oils on your burrs will prefect them from rusting.  After a year my HG One shows zero signs of the few drops of water doing any harm.
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ayryq
Senior Member


Joined: 24 Jan 2014
Posts: 4
Location: Michigan
Expertise: I like coffee

Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso
Drip: Bunn-O-Matic, Chemex
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Fri Jan 24, 2014, 10:25am
Subject: Re: I didn't know what static was until I got a Baratza Virtuoso
 

I'll try that tomorrow and report back. Thanks!

That's a funny thread on the "RDT" - it started with someone flicking some water with his fingers, and by page eleven, people were using pipettes to precisely apply 0.15g of water and discussing the merits of modifying their grinders to accommodate a water application system.

I guess an "asset" of the cheapo grinder I was using was that the big clumps of coffee dust in the corners of the hopper tended to collect any static-charged coffee. The hopper also had a lid and was fed from the side - so a lot of coffee probably just stayed in the grinder.
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uscfroadie
Senior Member
uscfroadie
Joined: 2 Aug 2008
Posts: 398
Location: San Antonio
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: GS/3 Strada MP, BDB; owned...
Grinder: Forte, Zass and PeDe hand...
Vac Pot: Nope
Drip: Nope
Roaster: owned Behmor
Posted Fri Jan 24, 2014, 10:33am
Subject: Re: I didn't know what static was until I got a Baratza Virtuoso
 

ayryq Said:

I'll try that tomorrow and report back. Thanks!

That's a funny thread on the "RDT" - it started with someone flicking some water with his fingers, and by page eleven, people were using pipettes to precisely apply 0.15g of water and discussing the merits of modifying their grinders to accommodate a water application system.

I guess an "asset" of the cheapo grinder I was using was that the big clumps of coffee dust in the corners of the hopper tended to collect any static-charged coffee. The hopper also had a lid and was fed from the side - so a lot of coffee probably just stayed in the grinder.

Posted January 24, 2014 link

Yes, some people went WAY overboard.  A good rule of thumb is one - two drops per 10 grams of coffee.  Use way too much and you can get sludge.
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