Posted Fri Jan 24, 2014, 11:46am Subject: Re: I didn't know what static was until I got a Baratza Virtuoso
I had exactly this same problem with the Virtuoso, and to a smaller extent my current Preciso. It was worse in wintertime, and much less so in summer time-- despite their "anti-static" coating.
The trick I would use would be to take a strip of foil about 6" x 8", fold it over a few times so it's about 2x8", and lay it in the container so that the seam is against the side of the bin. I would hang it so the edge was slightly over the back, like a hook, and press it against the back side of the bin. The strip would go down across the bottom of the bin, and the grounds would fall down over it. With this setup, there were almost no static problems anymore. The foil was not too hard to manage, didn't interfere with inserting or removing the bin, and was easy to replace. Keeping the seam to the back keeps extra grounds from getting caught in it.
Of course we "shouldn't have to" do this, but it works.
Posted Fri Jan 24, 2014, 2:13pm Subject: Re: I didn't know what static was until I got a Baratza Virtuoso
I'm surprised that your Baratza machine is worse than the Cuisinart machine in this regard. My experience with the pseudo burr pieces of cr*p is that they are static machines. I think Baratza has been messing with the formula of the plastic or the coating for their grounds bins to control this issue. You may have the old bin or they may degrade.
There is a post on this string where the poster recommends foil inside the grounds bin. This is effective. This issue came up several years ago. That prompted me to coat the grounds bin of a Militia POC pseudo-bur with sticky back aluminum tape as an experiment. This grinder could produce dust, static, and noise only rivaled by the legendary Braun KMM30. After the mod the machine is still a POC. It will produce grinds coarse enough for press and fine enough for Middle Eastern coffee. The problem is it does it at the same time. You also would still need ear protection with it. Static on the other hand the is gone. If this fix can deal with what ties the Braun as the worst grinder on the planet it sure can fix the Baratza.
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 theand 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.
Posted Sat Jan 25, 2014, 9:41am Subject: Re: I didn't know what static was until I got a Baratza Virtuoso
Well, I took the advise of those who suggested adding some water to the beans, on the assumption that that would be easier--and more attractive--than wrapping aluminum foil or tape around some part of my grinder.
And it worked! I had this perfect, static free, mess free, hopper of coffee, which poured cleanly into the filter, with no mess, no "beard," no grounds left in the hopper.
I would quantify the water I added as "some." And I checked the humidity again lest it was a fluke - and it had actually gone down a percent since yesterday.
So thanks to all; looks like the Baratza is a keeper.
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