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Adjusting a Sozen Turkish Hand Mill
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SpromoSapiens
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SpromoSapiens
Joined: 26 Feb 2010
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Location: Boise ID
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Espresso: Riviera Eagle, '91 Livietta,...
Grinder: Vario, KA ProLine, Sozen...
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Posted Fri Feb 26, 2010, 11:47pm
Subject: Adjusting a Sozen Turkish Hand Mill
 

Howdy y'all,

This is my inaugural post here, and I apologize if it's actually too specific to be it's own topic... But my situation is this: I've been enjoying an Aeropress at home for the past couple months, and finally came to my wits' end with the terrible contraption I'd been using as a grinder. I'm a barista at a nice "Third Wave" coffee shop, and so I only tend to drink coffee at home on my days off, therefore I wasn't interested in spending too much on my home equipment. (As a barista, too, I couldn't afford anything fancy, anyway. Come on, people! Tip your baristas! But I digress...)

So, just a few days ago I found myself an authentic Sozen hand mill, care of my friendly local Middle Eastern market. I had read that these Turkish mills could be adjusted all way up to press-pot coarseness, however I now find that hard to believe. One bit that I'd read said that a real coarse grind could only be achieved through internal modifications -- actually filing away at the burrs to make space for the coarse particles. Obviously I'm not going to do that, nor do I even need to, as I'm only using it for my Aeropress at this point, for which I think a mere "fine" grind does well (that is, coarser than espresso, finer than drip.)

So, I fiddled with the bottom screw a little, and noticed that it did get coarser as I loosened it (assuming "lefty loosey" applies here), but then as I continued loosening to see just how coarse I could go, the screw came off... So I left it off, ground up a double's worth, and it was delicious, though still finer than I'd been grinding up til now.

Ultimately, my question is: Aside from reserving the option of adjustment, is it important that the screw stay there? And is it possible to go even coarser?

Thanks everybody!
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kahvedelisi
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kahvedelisi
Joined: 1 Apr 2006
Posts: 221
Location: istanbul/Turkiye
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Epoca ST1
Grinder: LaCimbali Jr, Rancilio MD...
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Posted Sun Feb 28, 2010, 7:22am
Subject: Re: Adjusting a Sozen Turkish Hand Mill
 

Hi HW, if you haven't already please start reading from here (I suggest reading all messages posted there, you'll find some usefull info) --> "Is a Zassenhaus Turkish Mill worth the extra cash (over cheaper ones) ?"

about modification, I had explained this to a fellow coffeegeek at home-barista site via pm, so I'll copy a part of that pm here.

I was at sözen's atelier today.....(blablabla)..... anyway I asked if they do produce mills for coarser grinds such as french press. They said since there's not high demand for coarser grinds they don't produce mills for french press solely but they do modify the mill you purchase if you ask them to (no they don't charge for it) I already knew that since they had modified one of mine previously, so I asked if they could modify one of the new mills I had just purchased. Here's what he did, uninstalled the mill from its case, then cut extra cogs on lower bottom of the conical mill. something like this --> http://img94.imageshack.us/img94/7969/mill.gif

I have one modified mill, one semi-modified (will do explain later) and several mills without modification just for turkish coffe (talking about all sozen ones)

so..here are some pictures of ground coffee, grinded with modified sozen hand mill (no:1 french press and no:5 turkish but a little bit coarser than it should be since this one is grinded with a modified one) --> http://img64.imageshack.us/gal.php?g=3559f01.jpg

original file --> http://img25.imageshack.us/img25/1117/sozen1.jpg

*************

If you don't want to file the mill (which I don't recommend already) here's how I got my semi-modified one:

a) use without the bottom screw and it will start grinding coarser in time (a month of daily use will do)

b) faster solution; unscrew the bottom screw, you'll see a butterfly shaped plate. when you tighten that screw, it's pushing the mill up so the cylindrical burr and mill's edges come closer resluting a finer grind. without the screw that butterfly piece is holding the mill in its place. so if you damage that butterfly piece badly or if it doesn't fit its place properly then your mill will be useless. now with this info in mind, use a small hammer or something of its kind, start hitting on axis of your mill a couple times (apply too little power) what you're trying here is to bend that butterfly piece so your mill can move down and grind coarser.

kahvedelisi: mill.jpg
(Click for larger image)

 
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SpromoSapiens
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SpromoSapiens
Joined: 26 Feb 2010
Posts: 102
Location: Boise ID
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Riviera Eagle, '91 Livietta,...
Grinder: Vario, KA ProLine, Sozen...
Drip: Clever, V60
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Sun Feb 28, 2010, 11:36am
Subject: Re: Adjusting a Sozen Turkish Hand Mill
 

Thanks for the info and pictures, Kahvedelisi! Amazingly helpful response.

I've read through those earlier posts -- I think that's where I originally learned about the modifications that involve work on the actual burrs (which of course I wouldn't want to try on my own.) It's amazing that the Sozen guys will do the extra work for no extra charge. You just don't find that kind of service in the States.

As for the easy home options -- The hammer idea sounds good, if also a little risky, but I guess a couple gentle taps might be worth a shot (so to speak!).  But once I bend that butterfly piece, will I be sacrificing the ability to grind on its original finest setting?

About the slower method: How does leaving the screw off result in coarser grind over time? Are the burrs wearing down -- and if so, is that a kind of permanent damage? Would it be better for the life of the grinder to do the hammering modification and then put the screw back in? Or do I leave the screw off either way?

Many thanks again!

PS: You don't happen to have an Aeropress, do you? If so -- do you use a Sozen for it?
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kahvedelisi
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kahvedelisi
Joined: 1 Apr 2006
Posts: 221
Location: istanbul/Turkiye
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Espresso: Rancilio Epoca ST1
Grinder: LaCimbali Jr, Rancilio MD...
Vac Pot: Hario MCA-3
Drip: filter cone, Aeropress,...
Roaster: Air Popcorn Popper
Posted Sun Feb 28, 2010, 7:28pm
Subject: Re: Adjusting a Sozen Turkish Hand Mill
 

SpromoSapiens Said:

I've read through those earlier posts -- I think that's where I originally learned about the modifications that involve work on the actual burrs (which of course I wouldn't want to try on my own.) It's amazing that the Sozen guys will do the extra work for no extra charge. You just don't find that kind of service in the States.

Posted February 28, 2010 link

well they offer lifetime guarantee for their mills too :) if only they had a branch in states but knowing their working condition it's kinda out of question. Theyre using rather ancient methods compared to new technologies.. anyway, yes they don't charge extra once you buy their handmill and they're all great guys, especially the chief of production (when requested he does all modifications personally). There was this coffee documentary team from italy, they shoot about sozen mills too, if/when I get a caopy I'll try to share it (don't know when though)

SpromoSapiens Said:

As for the easy home options -- The hammer idea sounds good, if also a little risky, but I guess a couple gentle taps might be worth a shot (so to speak!).  But once I bend that butterfly piece, will I be sacrificing the ability to grind on its original finest setting?

Posted February 28, 2010 link

If you do it carefully --and as you said-- just a couple "gentle taps" you won't have any problems. All you need is an extra milimeter or two. lets say half an inch. that will give you the extra needed space between the burr&mill (I believe you got the whole picture and logic already, you'll know when you need to stop. I suggest a few taps, then grind a little and check for coarseness, then if needed a couple more taps and check again)

SpromoSapiens Said:

About the slower method: How does leaving the screw off result in coarser grind over time? Are the burrs wearing down -- and if so, is that a kind of permanent damage? Would it be better for the life of the grinder to do the hammering modification and then put the screw back in? Or do I leave the screw off either way?

Posted February 28, 2010 link

no that doesn't occur due to burr's wearing out. simply; (I'm so sorry I'll have to translate this from turkish to english directly and I hope it won't lose its meaning cos these 2 languages are completely different in every way) okay.. the mill, it's secured to its place by bottom screw, using without bottom screw lets the mill sit on the butterfly shaped plate easily, which gives you an extra 0.5 milimeter (1/5 inch) without bottom screw it will sit on that bfly piece quickly and it will be like you hammered it a few times already (hope it's clear, can't remember even if there's a simple word or sentenc for this explanation) so no, burrs won't be damaged (ie. I had said I have several sozen mills, it's been years I'm using most of them occasionally and not a single problem. same thing for other sozen owners, I personally know many people who use sozen solely because they can't afford expensive grinders) with or without screw it'll keep grinding just like the first day. only difference; without screw you'll be grinding coarser.

SpromoSapiens Said:

Many thanks again!

PS: You don't happen to have an Aeropress, do you? If so -- do you use a Sozen for it?

Posted February 28, 2010 link

not a problem, I'm happy if those helped :) And yes I have an Aeropress since 2006 new year (thanks to an american origined coffeehaus coffee company here, they had given it as a new year gift) And yes I use sözen with it. infact I still use it though I have a la cimbali junior and rancilio md50 at home (probably you're thinking "then why?" simple.. cos sozen is practical, you just throw it to your bag and you get access to fresh coffee wherever you go, that's why I have so many, besides it's the best option for turkish, those 2 grinders cost me almost 200 times more than a single sozen but they "cough" and I mean "cough!" when it comes to turkish grind. I have one sozen matched for my aero which I take with me when I'll be going away from home (sozen aero combo is life saver believe me!)

one final thought.. give it 2 weeks without hammering, just don't use the bottom screw, try to push the mill axis down by using muscle power and see if there will be any change. I suggest, grind few beans now, and keep them in a cup or jar, after 2 weeks grind some more and compare. if you're not satisfied with results then move on to hammering option.

 
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SpromoSapiens
Senior Member
SpromoSapiens
Joined: 26 Feb 2010
Posts: 102
Location: Boise ID
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Riviera Eagle, '91 Livietta,...
Grinder: Vario, KA ProLine, Sozen...
Drip: Clever, V60
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Mon Mar 8, 2010, 5:28pm
Subject: Re: Adjusting a Sozen Turkish Hand Mill
 

kahvedelis,

Despite the recommendation to give it a couple weeks, I actually followed your instructions right away -- the fast method of hammering lightly down on the axis. You were right, a tiny tap was all that was needed, and it's made a world of difference. I'm very happy with the results! In fact, last week I had the absolute best home-based coffee experience I've ever had, using the adjusted Sozen mill with a full city Indonesian in the Aeropress. It was the first time I've ever had a "regular" coffee that I wholeheartedly would prefer over most espressos. (Of course, the next time I made one I was in a rush and it didn't turn out quite as magically, which was entirely my own fault. The memory of that perfect home coffee will live forever, though! I now have a new standard to live up to.)

Thanks again for your tips, and I would definitely love to see that Sozen documentary whenever it comes out!
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rule870
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Espresso: Bialetti Aluminum
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Posted Fri Mar 26, 2010, 2:13pm
Subject: Re: Adjusting a Sozen Turkish Hand Mill
 

Won't removal of the adjustment screw destabilize the burr? This stabilization is the very reason that I am considering the Sozen over the Kyocera/Porlex/Hario Mini class of ceramic grinders. I like the Sozen's use of an adjustment screw that remains fixed (loosely for free rotation?) in the center of the burr to allow for an even grind at coarse settings. This seems more positive than the spring used in the ceramic grinders I just referred to.
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SpromoSapiens
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SpromoSapiens
Joined: 26 Feb 2010
Posts: 102
Location: Boise ID
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Riviera Eagle, '91 Livietta,...
Grinder: Vario, KA ProLine, Sozen...
Drip: Clever, V60
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Sun Mar 28, 2010, 6:07pm
Subject: Re: Adjusting a Sozen Turkish Hand Mill
 

I would be interested in what Kahvedelis has to say about this, as he certainly seems like the expert. All I can say is that it's been about a month now and I couldn't be happier with my set-up. The burrs do feel the tiniest bit looser when I turn them while the grinder's empty, but that was the point, after all; to make room for a coarser grind. The grind has been consistently perfect, based on what I see before and after brewing.
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rule870
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Posts: 6
Location: San Diego
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bialetti Aluminum
Grinder: Camano Island Hand Grinder
Roaster: Heat Gun/Bread Machine
Posted Mon Mar 29, 2010, 11:06am
Subject: Re: Adjusting a Sozen Turkish Hand Mill
 

I'm just curious, since I have several different styles of Moka Pot (Moka, Brikka and Mukka), and I need to produce consistent grinds. Too finely ground, and the pots clog and stall the brew. Too coarsely ground, and the brew is weak. I don't need it as coarse as French Press or even drip. So the question is, does the Sozen, unmodified, grind consistently with the adjustment screw set to a grind in-between espresso and drip?

Sozen answered my inquiry about the adjustment screw: It is for adjustment only. So I must assume the screw is not for guidance of the burr, thus, no point or bearing on the screw to fit a depression in the burr.

Would you agree?
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SpromoSapiens
Senior Member
SpromoSapiens
Joined: 26 Feb 2010
Posts: 102
Location: Boise ID
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Riviera Eagle, '91 Livietta,...
Grinder: Vario, KA ProLine, Sozen...
Drip: Clever, V60
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Mon Mar 29, 2010, 3:41pm
Subject: Re: Adjusting a Sozen Turkish Hand Mill
 

I would agree. Looking through the eyelet where the screw once was, there is no apparent dimple or notch or anything that appears like it would have fit the end of the screw in such a way as to keep the burr in a particular position, horizontally.

Here's a picture of some results that Kahvedelis reports having gotten with his Sozen. Based on these, I'd say a Sozen could get the grind you're looking for. Images # 1 and 2 seem close to what you're describing, no? If there's a Middle Eastern store near you, you might be able to find a small one for pretty cheap, which you could experiment with. I'm inclined to believe that it could work, maybe with a couple hammer-taps like described earlier in this thread. Although I'm not 100% sure.
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FlufDrizzle
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FlufDrizzle
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Espresso: Cheap piece of garbage
Grinder: Modified Sozen Mill
Posted Wed Jun 16, 2010, 10:19pm
Subject: Re: Adjusting a Sozen Turkish Hand Mill
 

I'm new to the forum, Just thought I'd throw in my two cents.  I just modified a Sozen mill this afternoon, it took me about an hour of tinkering but I got it.  I used a tap to thread the "butterfly" at the bottom of the mill to a 5/16-18 thread size (this is the size that is used by Sozen, however I don't believe they tap the hole, I think they just thread in a bolt because the threads were stripped on the bolt on mine.)  I also used a wing nut to be able to "set" the desired grind setting.

To remove the mill you have to take out the two screws on either side of the mill, then you need to tap the edge of the bottom where the brass is knocked in around the mill assembly, then like in the post above you tap on the top and it will drive out the mill assembly.  (see the picture of mill dis-assembled)

At this point I tapped the threads on the butterfly piece, and re-assembled. I tightened the Allen head set bolt to arch the butterfly piece like the hammering achieved in the earlier post.

I am now able to achieve a pretty coarse grind on down to the Turkish which I'm becoming fond of, but still like other options.  I have to say I'm glad I've gotten away from a blade grinder.

FlufDrizzle: Grinder Mod.jpg
(Click for larger image)
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