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How do you clean your hand grinder (esp. Porlex Mini-Mill)?
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Unhookthestars
Senior Member


Joined: 8 Jul 2012
Posts: 25
Location: San Francisco, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Mon Jul 9, 2012, 6:39pm
Subject: How do you clean your hand grinder (esp. Porlex Mini-Mill)?
 

Hello folks,

I recently got a Porlex Mini-Mill hand grinder as a replacement for my old, worn-down Hario grinder.  When I had the Hario, I used to rinse the various pieces after disassembly and leave the parts to airdry before reassembly.  Recently, however, I've heard it's not a good idea to wash any parts of the grinder with water at all.  Upon a few folks' suggestion, I decided to try using a pastry brush to clean the ceramic burrs, which works well enough.  I've tried to used the same method to clean the cylindrical stainless steel chamber, but a brush doesn't do the job if clearing away the grinds nearly as well as running the chamber under the sink.  Going back to the burrs: To add to the confusion, I've also heard that it's okay to wash ceramic burrs with soap and water. Help!  How do YOU clean your hand grinder -- specifically the Porlex mini -- after each use?  Thank you, all, for enlightening me!

j.
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jpender
Senior Member
jpender
Joined: 11 Jul 2011
Posts: 614
Location: California
Expertise: I like coffee

Grinder: OE LIDO
Vac Pot: S/S Moka Pot
Drip: Aeropress
Posted Mon Jul 9, 2012, 7:09pm
Subject: Re: How do you clean your hand grinder (esp. Porlex Mini-Mill)?
 

I have Kyocera with ceramic burrs and I just use soap and lots of hot water every couple of weeks. No worries.

I think the concern with washing is rust. If you can disassemble the burrs or guarantee in some other way that you can fully dry them then I think it should be okay to wash metal burrs. However this isn't feasible for many grinders. But with the ceramic burrs washing should be okay.

You could also buy a product specifically designed for cleaning the burrs. There's one called "grind" or "beanz" or something like that. You run it through just like you would coffee and it cleans the burrs. I've also read about possibly using a neutral grain like rice in the same way.
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Unhookthestars
Senior Member


Joined: 8 Jul 2012
Posts: 25
Location: San Francisco, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Mon Jul 9, 2012, 8:02pm
Subject: Re: How do you clean your hand grinder (esp. Porlex Mini-Mill)?
 

jpender Said:

I have Kyocera with ceramic burrs and I just use soap and lots of hot water every couple of weeks. No worries.

I think the concern with washing is rust. If you can disassemble the burrs or guarantee in some other way that you can fully dry them then I think it should be okay to wash metal burrs. However this isn't feasible for many grinders. But with the ceramic burrs washing should be okay.

You could also buy a product specifically designed for cleaning the burrs. There's one called "grind" or "beanz" or something like that. You run it through just like you would coffee and it cleans the burrs. I've also read about possibly using a neutral grain like rice in the same way.

Posted July 9, 2012 link

Thanks for the advice!  Having assumed that because the Porlex chamber is stainless steel -- and I'm assuming the spring and other non-plastic parts in the interior are as well -- I didn't even think rusting was at all an issue.  That's why I was confused when I was told that washing even the chamber was not advisable.  But, yes, as I said, the burrs are ceramic, so I'm glad to hear that washing/soaping them are just fine.  Do you just use regular dishsoap?  Also, since you also wash the burrs only every couple of weeks, how do you clean the entire grinder unit after each use?

I've heard about the "rice" cleaning method as well although I've never tried it.  Appreciate the advice to try "grind" or "beanz."  I might consider those at some point.  Thank you very much again for the great help!

Cheers,
j.
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jpender
Senior Member
jpender
Joined: 11 Jul 2011
Posts: 614
Location: California
Expertise: I like coffee

Grinder: OE LIDO
Vac Pot: S/S Moka Pot
Drip: Aeropress
Posted Tue Jul 10, 2012, 10:28am
Subject: Re: How do you clean your hand grinder (esp. Porlex Mini-Mill)?
 

I looked around and found differing opinions about the Porlex. One vendor Click Here (www.molecularmixology.co.uk) suggests washing the whole unit whereas others say to disassemble the burrs and wash them seperately. The instructions from Porlex were translated from the Japanese into English Click Here (presso.com.au) and they suggest disassembly for cleaning but appear to also say you can wash main body as well. Maybe disassembly simply aids in fully drying the parts.

I use regular dishsoap, something that I can taste in the first brew if I use it to wash my moka pot. But it doesn't seem to leave any detectable residual taste when used in my coffee grinder. I don't disassemble, just run liquid soap and lots of hot water, then allow it to fully dry.

As for daily cleaning, I don't do it. The holdback is very small, a few hundreths of a gram. There's very little of anything to go stale. The glass collecting jar (I've replaced the original with a mason jar because it's easier to grasp) and the small burrs do get a little sticky after a week or two, so I wash them both. But it's more by sight than taste. Maybe if I let it go long enough it would affect the coffee.


Now maybe you can answer a few questions for me?

- Which Porlex do you have, the short or tall one?
- How much coffee (grams) will fit in it?
- Does it produce an acceptable coarse (press pot) grind?
- How much does the unit weigh?
- How does your Porlex compare to the Hario (grind quality, weight, capacity)?

Thanks!
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Unhookthestars
Senior Member


Joined: 8 Jul 2012
Posts: 25
Location: San Francisco, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue Jul 10, 2012, 7:28pm
Subject: Re: How do you clean your hand grinder (esp. Porlex Mini-Mill)?
 

jpender Said:

I looked around and found differing opinions about the Porlex. One vendor Click Here (www.molecularmixology.co.uk) suggests washing the whole unit whereas others say to disassemble the burrs and wash them seperately. The instructions from Porlex were translated from the Japanese into English Click Here (presso.com.au) and they suggest disassembly for cleaning but appear to also say you can wash main body as well. Maybe disassembly simply aids in fully drying the parts.

I use regular dishsoap, something that I can taste in the first brew if I use it to wash my moka pot. But it doesn't seem to leave any detectable residual taste when used in my coffee grinder. I don't disassemble, just run liquid soap and lots of hot water, then allow it to fully dry.

As for daily cleaning, I don't do it. The holdback is very small, a few hundreths of a gram. There's very little of anything to go stale. The glass collecting jar (I've replaced the original with a mason jar because it's easier to grasp) and the small burrs do get a little sticky after a week or two, so I wash them both. But it's more by sight than taste. Maybe if I let it go long enough it would affect the coffee.


Now maybe you can answer a few questions for me?

- Which Porlex do you have, the short or tall one?
- How much coffee (grams) will fit in it?
- Does it produce an acceptable coarse (press pot) grind?
- How much does the unit weigh?
- How does your Porlex compare to the Hario (grind quality, weight, capacity)?

Thanks!

Posted July 10, 2012 link

Thanks for the detailed info about your cleaning ritual. I appreciate the links you sent -- very interesting, but as you said, depressingly contradictory (well, the "depressingly" part is my own addendum).

To answer your questions:
-I have the short (mini-mill) Porlex, whose body stainless steel.
-Capacity is officially 26 g but it can conveniently house/grind 30 g
-Have only tried medium coarse (Chemex) and medium fine (AeroPress), but grinder does a good job with coarse grind by all accounts
-Unit weight is approximately 180 g
-Porlex vs. Hario -- Hario wins only on Capacity:  52 g of beans vs. Porlex's 30 g.  Weight:  Porlex is lighter, 180 g vs. 215 g.  Grind quality:  From my experience, Hario burrs wear down after a few months.  No comparison yet with Porlex since it's new but have heard burrs should last for much longer.  Size:  Porlex is much slimmer.  If you brew on AeroPress, Porlex slides easily into chamber.  So, overall, Porlex wins!  Of course, you pay for what you get:  Porlex = $68-70 vs. Hario = $35.  Hope this helped!

Going  back to the maintenance issue:  I'm consulting with my neighborhood baristas tomorrow regarding the contradictory cleaning methods and will let you know what they say!

Cheers, 
j.
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al_bongo
Senior Member


Joined: 26 Aug 2008
Posts: 443
Location: Scotland
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Starbucks Barista
Grinder: Solis 166/Iberital MC2
Vac Pot: Cona
Drip: Chemex/Melitta
Posted Wed Jul 11, 2012, 4:40am
Subject: Re: How do you clean your hand grinder (esp. Porlex Mini-Mill)?
 

I give mine a good vacuuming every now and again with the brush attachment of my cylinder cleaner. Seems to be very efficient though not going to get coffee that's hard stuck to the burrs in which case I'd use Grindz or something similar.
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DavidG
Senior Member
DavidG
Joined: 13 Jan 2009
Posts: 63
Location: Central Ohio
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: cimbali M32 | pavoni pub1
Grinder: preciso | kyocera cm45 |...
Vac Pot: sunbeam c30c | yama +...
Drip: ccd | woodneck | chemex
Roaster: wbp1 | wepp | bm/hg
Posted Wed Jul 11, 2012, 10:26am
Subject: Re: How do you clean your hand grinder (esp. Porlex Mini-Mill)?
 

My hand grinder is the Kyocera CM-45.  It has a plastic housing and ceramic burrs, much like the others.  I use it when traveling and some afternoons at the office.

When I am traveling, I usually make coffee in my hotel room's bathroom.  So, I use my toothbrush and water--no soap.

At home, I use an old toothbrush and hot water, too.  If the burrs are really dirty, sometimes I'll put a wee bit of baking soda on them and then toothbrush them.  

I let the parts air-dry on the counter and re-assemble in the morning.

Hope this helps.

Cheers,
DavidG
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yakster
Senior Member
yakster
Joined: 25 Feb 2009
Posts: 1,013
Location: San Jose, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Factory / La Peppina...
Grinder: Vario / Kyocera
Vac Pot: Yama 8 + Pyrex Lox-in Rod
Drip: Brazen / Kalita / Chemex /...
Roaster: Behmor
Posted Wed Jul 11, 2012, 1:20pm
Subject: Re: How do you clean your hand grinder (esp. Porlex Mini-Mill)?
 

I wash both my Kyocera CM-45 CF and Hario Slim in soap and water and use my Pallo coffee tool group head brush on the ceramic burrs.

I used to soak the burrs in OxyClean to power out any coffee stains but have found that to be overkill.

 
-Chris

LMWDP # 272
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Unhookthestars
Senior Member


Joined: 8 Jul 2012
Posts: 25
Location: San Francisco, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Jul 11, 2012, 2:36pm
Subject: Re: How do you clean your hand grinder (esp. Porlex Mini-Mill)?
 

Thanks, al_bongo, DavidG, and yakster for your advice!  Really appreciate your help.

Cheers,
j.
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Poser
Senior Member


Joined: 11 Apr 2013
Posts: 6
Location: tampa
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Jul 18, 2013, 8:37am
Subject: Re: How do you clean your hand grinder (esp. Porlex Mini-Mill)?
 

Sorry for the thread necropsy...but I just got my mini.

I have found a good wire (stiff nylon fibers) brush after several grinds (same bean of course)... and a bit of soapy water get the job done nicely.

I personally prefer to disassemble... as it allows for a visual inspection of all moving parts.
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