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Vario Won't Grind Coarse
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Discussions > Espresso > Grinders -... > Vario Won't...  
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CraigA
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CraigA
Joined: 19 Dec 2001
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Posted Sun Jun 26, 2011, 6:04am
Subject: Re: Vario Won't Grind Coarse
 

Endo,

You're going to want to have the sliding 2.5 mm hex cap screw adjusted all the way forward as seen in the pic below.

To return the Vario to the factory default setting calibrated for espresso, the Macro lever will be one notch down from the top & the Micro will be set in the center position. Adjust the 2.00 mm set screw till the burrs lightly begin to touch.

CraigA: phpnMZZD8AM.jpg
(Click for larger image)

 
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Endo
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Posted Sun Jun 26, 2011, 3:13pm
Subject: Re: Vario Won't Grind Coarse
 

CraigA Said:

Endo,

You're going to want to have the sliding 2.5 mm hex cap screw adjusted all the way forward as seen in the pic below.

To return the Vario to the factory default setting calibrated for espresso, the Macro lever will be one notch down from the top & the Micro will be set in the center position. Adjust the 2.00 mm set screw till the burrs lightly begin to touch.

Posted June 26, 2011 link

Craig,

I don't think it's an adjustment issue. I run the grinder with no beans and the zero point (when the motor starts slowing down) is at the factory setting (top macro notch and mid micro). I then put beans in and run it very close to this zero setting (3 micro notches higher so there is no rub, and I get a coarse espresso grind that gives me 14 second shots.

I use the same fresh beans in my Mazzer SJ and I get perfect 30 seconds shots.

I had this issue once before on a new Rancilio Rocky. It seemed to be due to a lack of parallelism between the upper and lower burrs. This caused a rub on one side, and the coarse coffee would shoot out the other side. I had to return it.

This is a refurbished unit that you had sent me. Did the previous owner have the same issue perhaps?

My next step will be a more thourogh cleaning to see if I can spot a grain lodged on one of the datum surfaces.


alnica Said:

Endo - You do seem to have had quite a few issues with your Vario(s). Just as a matter of interest, about how many pounds of coffee have you put through your current one?

Posted June 25, 2011 link


I've only run about 20 lbs of coffee through it.
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CraigA
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CraigA
Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 11,259
Location: Rexdale, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: PID/PressureMod 2001...
Grinder: BUNN FPG-2 DBC, Baratza...
Vac Pot: Bodum Santos manual, Yama 5...
Drip: Behmor BraZen, BUNN VPR-APS,...
Roaster: Refurb Behmor 1600, BBQ...
Posted Sun Jun 26, 2011, 5:20pm
Subject: Re: Vario Won't Grind Coarse
 

Endo Said:

Craig,

I don't think it's an adjustment issue. I run the grinder with no beans and the zero point (when the motor starts slowing down) is at the factory setting (top macro notch and mid micro). I then put beans in and run it very close to this zero setting (3 micro notches higher so there is no rub, and I get a coarse espresso grind that gives me 14 second shots.

Posted June 26, 2011 link

The factory setting isn't the top Macro notch setting, it's one notch down., & 3 Micro notches higher would be going finer, not coarser..
By what you've just described to me, you're 3 notches finer past the zero point where the burrs touch!

I had this issue once before on a new Rancilio Rocky. It seemed to be due to a lack of parallelism between the upper and lower burrs. This caused a rub on one side, and the coarse coffee would shoot out the other side. I had to return it.

I've heard of it happening, you never know how anything is being treated through the shipping process..

This is a refurbished unit that you had sent me. Did the previous owner have the same issue perhaps?

Please email me offline asap. I have no way of knowing this as I don't know who you are (your CG handle & profile name). Please email me with your real name & serial number of the Vario. I can then check it against my record/service log book to see if your Vario's serial number matches an issue I had with one Vario. That Vario had a new swap out of the white glass reinforced lower burr chamber housing & corresponding black base (Macro/Micro) unit.

My next step will be a more thourogh cleaning to see if I can spot a grain lodged on one of the datum surfaces.

It really doesn't take much throw things out of kilter..

 
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Endo
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Posted Sun Jun 26, 2011, 7:49pm
Subject: Re: Vario Won't Grind Coarse
 

CraigA Said:

The factory setting isn't the top Macro notch setting, it's one notch down.,

Posted June 26, 2011 link

Oh, I thought 1st macro notch meant the top notch. Oh well, shouldn't make any difference anyway since it's all unuseable below zero. (BTW, I usually set zero at the top notch to avoid accidental load on the motor if the macro lever gets hit by accident).

CraigA Said:

...& 3 Micro notches higher would be going finer, not coarser..
By what you've just described to me, you're 3 notches finer past the zero point where the burrs touch!

Posted June 26, 2011 link

Sorry, my lingo is probably not right. What I meant to say was I am only 3 micro notches coarser (lever down) from my zero point.

BTW, I just finished stripping down my grinder. Removed the belt, motor and lower burr carrier. Kind fun (at least better than watching dancing shows on TV, I guess). There were grounds everywhere (including inside the case). Not a lot though. Here's what the underside of the lower burr carrier looked like:

Endo: s.jpg
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Endo
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Posted Sun Jun 26, 2011, 7:51pm
Subject: Re: Vario Won't Grind Coarse
 

.....and here's the star area. (Not too bad).

CraigA Said:

Please email me offline asap.

Posted June 26, 2011 link

I'll do that if this latest cleaning doesn't fix things. I'm going through a LOT of prime Papua New Guinea coffee figuring this out! (I knew I shouldn't have thrown out that Starbucks coffee I got for Christmas :-)

Endo: t.jpg
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CraigA
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CraigA
Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 11,259
Location: Rexdale, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
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Espresso: PID/PressureMod 2001...
Grinder: BUNN FPG-2 DBC, Baratza...
Vac Pot: Bodum Santos manual, Yama 5...
Drip: Behmor BraZen, BUNN VPR-APS,...
Roaster: Refurb Behmor 1600, BBQ...
Posted Sun Jun 26, 2011, 8:02pm
Subject: Re: Vario Won't Grind Coarse
 

I'm very sorry to hear you're having issues with your Vario Endo! {:-/
Thanks for the updates so far.

I don't have the authority to act on behalf of Baratza, all service inquiries have to first be Ok'd with Baratza head office. Baratza will absolutely take care of you, & so will I secondarily when they give me the go ahead.

 
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Endo
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Posted Mon Jun 27, 2011, 3:55pm
Subject: Re: Vario Won't Grind Coarse
 

Well, I finally got the grind size down to an acceptable level for espresso (25 sec shot). To do this I had to go 3 notches tighter than my zero!

I don't hear a noticable load change on the motor (though it's hard to tell when beans are being ground). So I must assume the "no bean" zero is different than the loaded "with bean" zero. Maybe some play in the mechanism?
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Endo
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Posted Thu Sep 8, 2011, 8:12am
Subject: Re: Vario Won't Grind Coarse
 

I took everything apart and cleaned it a month ago, but I still can't seem to go from espresso to french press without the lower burr sticking. I need to actually remove the hopper and PRESS down the lower burr for it to "snap down" and change to the coarse setting.

Also, when I go back to espresso afterwards, my zero point is always different (hysteresis). I waste a lot of coffee re-finding my espresso setting, so I've just gone back to my Mazzer SJ for espresso and only use my Vario for French Press.

Any more ideas? Lower burr shaft lubrication perhaps? Or should I just e-mail Baratza support?
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TimEggers
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TimEggers
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Posted Thu Sep 8, 2011, 9:52am
Subject: Re: Vario Won't Grind Coarse
 

Endo Said:

Or should I just e-mail Baratza support?

Posted September 8, 2011 link

Yes.  That's where I would have started. Good luck!

 
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scrutinizer
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Posted Thu Sep 8, 2011, 12:16pm
Subject: Re: Vario Won't Grind Coarse
 

Endo Said:

Well, I finally got the grind size down to an acceptable level for espresso (25 sec shot). To do this I had to go 3 notches tighter than my zero!

I don't hear a noticable load change on the motor (though it's hard to tell when beans are being ground). So I must assume the "no bean" zero is different than the loaded "with bean" zero. Maybe some play in the mechanism?

Posted June 27, 2011 link

Endo,

Your description of where you are at presently is consistent with the operation of my Vario.  Three clicks coarser than "zero" would produce gushers on my machine and I can never use that coarse of a grind.  Depending on the roast, I am normally grinding in the range that is bounded by a) a few clicks finer than "zero" to b) a few clicks coarser than full up micro position.  The finest of that range normally chokes shots and the coarsest is too fast..thus it works perfectly...if finest does not choke then I recalibrate with 2mm allen and I'm back in business.  This is for a fresh full city ++ style of espresso blend roast.    

While I've seen some posts that touch on this somewhat ambiguously, I am operating under an assumtion that if Baratza wants "zero" to be set at the middle of micro travel, they expect me to be able to use the full range of travel (i.e., do not have to stop at "zero").  Similarly, if it were bad to run the grinder "into the negative" from zero on a properly calibrated unit, then presumably they would have asked us to set the "zero" at the top of micro travel to avoid any possibility of going "negative".  The part that is missing from the manual is a clear statement about how much finer one can go beyond "zero" before there is concern about loading the motor.  I am fine assuming they have set the zero calibration instructions so that you can use all the available range of settings w/o venturing into off-normal operating conditions.  

Pat
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