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The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
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IMAWriter
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IMAWriter
Joined: 4 Jul 2002
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Espresso: Bezzera Strega
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Roaster: Behmor 1600+, CO/UFO combo
Posted Sun Feb 5, 2012, 10:42am
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

mdrew Said:

Thank you for the response.

Yes, I did remove the burr and cleaned the machine out. I have been using the same beans for over a year now. They are from Paradise Roasters and not oily, or at least I don't think they are oily.

Yes, I calibrated it with the small screw and with the hopper empty.

Something is wrong. It ground one dose correctly this AM. The second dose however overfilled my portafilter again.

Posted February 5, 2012 link

Wow. I guess a call to Baratza is in order.

Pardon the slight off topic, but Paradise Roasters do a wonderful job. I just "reviewed" their awesome Nuevo Blend a little while back.
Elegant.
We KNOW it ain't the beans.
Could the Macro slider be slipping downward during the grind. The newer Varios have a bit more firmness holding the sliders.
They can send you little pieces that i believe help keep the sliders in place. I've never had any problems with my Vario, which is considerably older than yours.
Stuff happens, and I'm sure they will do all they can to make you a happy customer.

 
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CraigA
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CraigA
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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...
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Posted Sun Feb 5, 2012, 11:11am
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

IMAWriter Said:

They can send you little pieces that i believe help keep the sliders in place.

Posted February 5, 2012 link

Yes, they're tiny little rubber strips/shims you can cut to size that put some outward force to the Macro & Micro arms detent arm & makes for firmer more positive click stops that won't slip.
Here's the Shimming PDF.

I've never had any problems with my Vario, which is considerably older than yours.

Same here mine's SN# 0001311.

Pic courtesy of Baratza.

CraigA: Vario Shims_2012-02-05_13-04-05.jpg
(Click for larger image)

 
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mdrew
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Posted Sun Feb 5, 2012, 1:43pm
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

IMAWriter Said:

Wow. I guess a call to Baratza is in order.

Pardon the slight off topic, but Paradise Roasters do a wonderful job. I just "reviewed" their awesome Nuevo Blend a little while back.
Elegant.
We KNOW it ain't the beans.
Could the Macro slider be slipping downward during the grind. The newer Varios have a bit more firmness holding the sliders.
They can send you little pieces that i believe help keep the sliders in place. I've never had any problems with my Vario, which is considerably older than yours.
Stuff happens, and I'm sure they will do all they can to make you a happy customer.

Posted February 5, 2012 link

I was afraid of that. Something is goofy. After taking the cover off and pulling the display, I can't really tell why the the clearance would be opening. Everything appears to be in order. The little sliders are staying in position. I do have some shims for them, but haven't needed to install them. Baratza has been terific to work with in the past. A rock locked the burs a few months back and the drive gear was turned into mush. Baratza sent me a 'refurbished' unit to replace mine, and I was to simply send mine back to them in the same box. Someone on their end made a mistake and sent me a unit that had been sent to them for repair (still had grinds in it, first gen model, etc). As I was in a hurry to get my grinder working again, so I just swapped out the gear and belt from the unit they sent me, and sent the unit back that they sent me. I told them what I did, and they were so happy that I wasn't upset over the mishap, that they sent me a package with a couple spare belts, spare gears, shims and a cleaning brush. Excellent support to say the least.

The Nuevo Blend is what I use. I like it a lot. I've tried most of their beans, but I tend to prefer the Nuevo. They are great, flat rate shipping, quick and reasonably priced. I also have a thing for Stumptown beans, but rarly buy them....

Oh well, it might be time to move to the W model Vario and keep this one for regular coffee (guests, not me...).
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IMAWriter
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IMAWriter
Joined: 4 Jul 2002
Posts: 5,891
Location: Brentwood, TN
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Strega
Grinder: Forte, OE Pharos,...
Vac Pot: Adcraft SS, Yama 8 cup
Drip: Brazen, Kalita, Chemex,...
Roaster: Behmor 1600+, CO/UFO combo
Posted Sun Feb 5, 2012, 1:56pm
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

Don't give up on her just yet.
Make the call, and perhaps they can walk you through a fix.









Edit:
When it overfilled your basket, was the grind coarser?
I'd assume so.
Please try removing the lower burr, and cleaning everything out again. Work the sliders up and down several times, then do the calibration procedure once more. Remember, for overall best calibration, IMO it's best to follow EXACTLY the calibration technique outlined by Baratza.
But in general, you should hear motor strain with the Macro 1 notch down, and the Micro maybe 1/2 way up.
If you don't, your calibration is set too coarse, which could be affecting espresso consistency.

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
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naimnut
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Location: Seattle area
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Espresso: Expobar Brewtus II
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: Braun Aeromaster
Posted Mon Feb 6, 2012, 1:40pm
Subject: Break-in adjustment on new Vario
 

Just thought I'd post a recent experience I had with my new Vario where the info shared on this thread proved to be of benefit.

I had gotten my Vario well dialed in. Macro slider was all the way up at 1, micro slider positioned typically at H or I. I had done the recommended calibration with the supplied allen wrench when I first got the machine.

Then yesterday I ground some beans that I expected to need to increase the fineness of the grind because they are the tail end of some month+ old beans. But I ended up chocking my Expobar. Ok. Tossed the grounds, adjusted the grind a couple clicks coarser, and reground another portafilter full. Choked it again.  Huh? And this is right at the setting that had previously been so successful, where I was repeatedly pulling 27 second shots, with a variety of good beans.

Thinking about the settings that I've read on this board (macro at 2, micro in the mid-range settings) I emptied the hopper and adjusted my sliders. I listened for the motor loading up and it was occurring earlier than I had previously experienced.

Macro is now set at 2 and micro is right around K. The next shot I pulled was a beauty - no wasted beans, and the flavor was terrific.

So, just thought I'd share what I think is a fairly normal Vario break-in experience. Wasn't a problem, because from reading the stories on this thread I recognized this as a phenomenon of the grinder breaking in rather than breaking down.

Thanks all.
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justinmckay
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Location: Oceanside, CA
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Espresso: Isomac Tea I
Grinder: Baratza Vario, Hario Mini...
Drip: Chemex, French Press
Posted Sat Feb 18, 2012, 4:55pm
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

So almost 2 years to the day my Vario has stopped working.

Everything would appear to be normal.  All the buttons work on the control board.  I press start and instead of hearing the grinder fire on I hear a "Click" and no grind.

Took off the top bur cleaned everything out (which i do every few months so it was not too dirty).  I took off the back case and the red light is on so there is power on the board.  I even connected the the two wires from the switch to convince myself that i did not have a faulty switch.  All I ever get is "Click" and no grind.

Has anyone experienced anything like this or has any suggestions?  I know, I know call Baratza.  But it is Saturday and i have to go 2 days without my beloved grinder :(
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GDK
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Grinder: Baratza Vario W
Posted Sat Feb 18, 2012, 9:03pm
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

When the top burr was off, could you turn the lower burr by hand - it is hard to turn but it should move.

You probably hear a relay for the motor and the motor is either shot or stuck. I would check the harness connecting the motor to the main board to make sure it is not loose.
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justinmckay
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justinmckay
Joined: 15 Jan 2010
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Location: Oceanside, CA
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Espresso: Isomac Tea I
Grinder: Baratza Vario, Hario Mini...
Drip: Chemex, French Press
Posted Sun Feb 19, 2012, 11:06am
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

I have the back panel of the grinder off and the bottom burr of the grinder easily moves by rotating the plastic shaft that is attached to the belt.  I too fear the motor is shot as it does not appear to be stuck in any way.  I guess I will have to contact Baratza on Tuesday as I doubt they are open tomorrow on Presidents Day :(
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cafeina
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Location: Toronto
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Spaziale S1 VII
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Sun Feb 19, 2012, 11:47am
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

My VARIO has been acting up lately. About 3 weeks ago, I was was making my morning
cap and ended up pulling a gusher. I made some adjustments to the grind but I ended
up thinking this would be a good opportunity to clean and recalibrate. Later, I cleaned
and recalibrated the grinder. I was back in business. It worked fine for a day or two.

About few days later, same thing. Gusher.... Since I had just did a basic calibration, I
wasn't sure what was up. This time inspected the lock screw under the
rubber cap. (this is apparently for more major adjustments) I did not move this, since it
seemed to be in the right position and I was able to grind fine. I simply used
an allen wrench to tighten it up a bit. I appeared a bit loose. Put the rubber cap back
on and recalbrated again. Grinder appeared to work fine and I used it for a week or so
without any issues.

This week, I had the same problem only now I think I've figured out what was happening.

I believe the Macro lever was jumping down a notch at some point during the grind.
This is what was causing my occasional gushers. Looking back, my theory is that sometimes  
the lever would move early in the grind resulting in a much larger dose 3-4g  more. Other
times, it would slip towards the end and it would be 1-2 g more.

I remember reading about this issue when I purchased the grinder but I was under the
impression that Baratza had fixed this issue. It appears as if this is something that can
still develop over time since my grinder was very reliable until the last month.

I've read the post on using shims. I took off the face plate and inserted a small shim behind
my Macro lever. The lever still adjusts well, but locks in place more securely. Hopefully this will
fix the issue.

I grind about 2-3 lbs of coffee/week with the grinder.   Serial # 004658 . I grind
using the same espresso beans. I've only switched beans twice in the last 3-4 months.
However, I also regularly use the grinder for my pour over (Hario) or drip maker as well
so I do change the macro lever often.
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CraigA
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CraigA
Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 11,254
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 Feb 19, 2012, 12:13pm
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

justinmckay Said:

I have the back panel of the grinder off and the bottom burr of the grinder easily moves by rotating the plastic shaft that is attached to the belt.  I too fear the motor is shot as it does not appear to be stuck in any way.  I guess I will have to contact Baratza on Tuesday as I doubt they are open tomorrow on Presidents Day :(

Posted February 19, 2012 link

Hi Justin,
Please see these posts of mine a lot further back in this thread for a possible reason for the failure. I know it's not the motor.

"Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread"

"Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread"

"Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread"



P.S. Justin, You say a red light so I take it that you mean on the pcb on the inside? That would be an older model with an earlier generation pcb then.What is the serial # off of the bottom of your Vario please?

 
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