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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
Posts: 5,891
Location: Brentwood, TN
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Espresso: Bezzera Strega
Grinder: Forte, OE Pharos,...
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Roaster: Behmor 1600+, CO/UFO combo
Posted Mon Jan 2, 2012, 10:36am
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

GDK Said:

Dana, a great summary.

I would add that for slight overdosing, grinding into the bin and then poring into the basked works very well for me. While poring into the basket, I do not hold the portafilter by the handle but rather wrap my palm around the basket so that it forms a funnel that sticks about half inch above the basket edge. Then the excellent bin shape design helps me guide and distribute well 17 to 18 g w/o waste. I have to add that my Vivaldi's basket is 53mm, so the approach may not work that well for a standard 58mm basket... unless one has large hands :)

Posted January 2, 2012 link

Wow, never thought of that.
Perhaps that's why YOU make the BIG bucks! :>D

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
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BrianD
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Joined: 20 Dec 2006
Posts: 33
Location: Long Island, New York
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Baratza Vario-W
Drip: Technivorm
Posted Mon Jan 2, 2012, 11:29am
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

dana_leighton Said:

I think this is described in the Vario-W thread here. I confirmed with Kyle that this was the intended behavior.


This is a design limitation that was explained by Kyle in the Vario-W thread -- see this post.

Posted January 2, 2012 link

Dana,

This is exactly what I was looking for.  The preset issue is really poor.  Why have a "preset" which you can't go  back to if you manually add weight to the setting.  One would think that by pressing the button for 3 sec that it was locked into that preset.  For the price of the grinder I hope they come up with a better approach.

Thanks

Brian
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dana_leighton
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dana_leighton
Joined: 11 Jan 2002
Posts: 1,963
Location: Fayetteville, AR
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Isomac Relax; Caferina...
Grinder: Macap MXK; Baratza Vario-W;...
Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup
Drip: Technivorm; CCD; Melitta
Roaster: Poppery I w/PID controller
Posted Mon Jan 2, 2012, 4:59pm
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

BrianD Said:

Why have a "preset" which you can't go  back to if you manually add weight to the setting.  One would think that by pressing the button for 3 sec that it was locked into that preset.  For the price of the grinder I hope they come up with a better approach.

Posted January 2, 2012 link

Brian - The preset stored in the non-volatile memory will replace the modified preset stored in volatile memory when the grinder is reset (power cycling by plug/unplug or start/stop switch). If your grinder is not storing the new weight in the preset button after holding down for 3 seconds, then you've got a defect and should contact Baratza.

(edit - fixed the reference to volatile memory)

 
Dana Leighton - Espresso hack and CoffeeGeek moderator
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BrianD
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Joined: 20 Dec 2006
Posts: 33
Location: Long Island, New York
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Baratza Vario-W
Drip: Technivorm
Posted Mon Jan 2, 2012, 5:35pm
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

dana_leighton Said:

Brian - The preset stored in the non-volatile memory will replace the modified preset stored in non-volatile memory when the grinder is reset (power cycling by plug/unplug or start/stop switch). If your grinder is not storing the new weight in the preset button after holding down for 3 seconds, then you've got a defect and should contact Baratza.

Posted January 2, 2012 link

I'm lost.   I have button 1 set for lets say 15 grams.  I hold button 1 and after three seconds the display flashes and ocks in this amount.  If I manually adj the weight up from 15g to lets say 17g for a one time adjustment and do not adj preset of 15g the next time I hit button will I see the 15g or the 17g which was the previous amount?


Thanks
Brian
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BrianD
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Location: Long Island, New York
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Grinder: Baratza Vario-W
Drip: Technivorm
Posted Mon Jan 2, 2012, 5:41pm
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

Missed the part about holding the start/stop switch.  I tried what I mentioned above and after holding the start/stop switch all temp changes made to preset 1,2,3 were returned to my original preset values.  I think there should be mention of this in the manual.  No a big deal but some explanation would prevent confusion.

Thank you very much for the complete and prompt response.

Brian
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dana_leighton
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dana_leighton
Joined: 11 Jan 2002
Posts: 1,963
Location: Fayetteville, AR
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Isomac Relax; Caferina...
Grinder: Macap MXK; Baratza Vario-W;...
Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup
Drip: Technivorm; CCD; Melitta
Roaster: Poppery I w/PID controller
Posted Tue Jan 3, 2012, 3:13pm
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

BrianD Said:

I'm lost.

Posted January 2, 2012 link

Sorry Brian - I erroneously refererred to non-volatile memory the second time when I meant to refer to volatile memory. The quote has been corrected to read: "The preset stored in the non-volatile memory will replace the modified preset stored in volatile memory when the grinder is reset"

 
Dana Leighton - Espresso hack and CoffeeGeek moderator
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naimnut
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Joined: 13 Jul 2011
Posts: 66
Location: Seattle area
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Espresso: Expobar Brewtus II
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: Braun Aeromaster
Posted Sun Jan 22, 2012, 11:56am
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

Hi Folks,

I'll caveat this post with the following; up until this morning I've only read this thread up through page 30. I actually didn't realize how many pages there were to this thread until this morning. Amazing! So the ideas I express below may have already been mentioned by a previous post. Second caveat is that I've only owned my Vario for two days, so I'm still in the steep part of the learning curve. As a matter of fact, this morning was the first time I got a glimpse of what is possible with this grinder.

My previous grinders were, first, a rancilio rocky, and second, a cunill el tranquilo. I was very happy with each of them, though I though the cunill was much better than the rocky. It was only when my son brought his vario up for the holidays that I had a chance to check one out. The main attractions were that it was so much smaller and so much quieter than either of the previous grinders. This was a big enough deal to my wife that she gave me the nod to go ahead with the vario.

To put this in perspective I think it might be helpful for you to know that, for quite a while now, I have been really discouraged with my home espresso. Before the holidays I had tried a new blend by Middle Fork, and I was never able to get it dialed in. But before that I'd really loved the middle fork varieties I had tried. But during this period of time, none of my coffee was really very good. It was just really not a pleasant experience to drink any of them at all. All my shots were too fast, the flavor was not good, and my attempts to get them to work just ended up making me feel jittery and uncomfortable. I was actually thinking of throwing in the towel, selling the Expobar and allocating the money to a new refrigerator.

Why? Well, after I sold my Cunill a week ago and switched back to drip coffee using Kivu Sumatra, the one that my older son uses in his french press and does such a good job with, I was really enjoying my morning coffee, made using my vintage Braun dripper. It has been a real pleasure. Maybe the simplest path is the best path, I thought.

When I tried out the vario yesterday I didn't have any fresh beans, just some month old Middle fork decaf and month + old dark roast that someone had given us as a gift, from Fidalgo Bay roasters. I couldn't get any of my shots dialed in. Every shot was just too fast. No crema, no real flavor. Yesterday I went out to track down some of the Velton's that my nephew had raved about so much. I wasn't able to find any of the bonsai blend but I did find some three ravens decaf roasted on 1/17 that looked like it would be good. Tried a little of that yesterday afternoon but still, not dialed in at all, and not really feelin' it, ya know? Again, maybe I should just give up. And as far as non-decaf beans go, I didn't want to buy a pound of cafe d'arte Capri yesterday because I didn't want to spend all my money on a pound of something that is going to lock me in for 10 days or so. I just thought I'd wait and maybe buy some redbird, or...I don't know. Figure that out later.

This morning I thought, what the heck, I'll try one more time on that Fidalgo Bay. Worst that can happen is if its no good I'll just toss the shots. Who cares? Maybe I'll just relegate it to brew coffee at the office. Well, with the macro slider set all the way to one, and the micro slider up towards fine, I pulled an absolutely mind-boggling shot of the Fidalgo. Way, way better than I thought it could be. I tried the same setting on the middle fork and wow, here's another flavor bomb. I mean, WOW. These are month old beans! And they're absolutely up there on a par with anything I've had, anywhere!

(this makes me think if somebody says that such and such a blend, or bean, or single orgin is no good then probably its a good idea to suspend judgement until I've had a chance to really try dialing in the grind and pulling a decent shot before making up my mind or expressing an opinion about that coffee. The vario is that key that has enabled me to do this.)

This thing is going to save me so much money and provide such fantastic shots by allowing me to use beans long after the 15 day window has passed. I'm extremely happy about this purchase. Beans I thought were beyond their useful life have turned out to be completely satisfying. It has me looking forward with anticipation to the next batch of fresh beans I pick up. I know they'll be at an even higher level.
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mdrew
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Joined: 4 Feb 2012
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Location: alaska
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Sat Feb 4, 2012, 9:00pm
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

Hello,

I attempted to search this massive thread for an answer, but gave up.

I have a Vario that is roughly 1.5 years old. I use once per day. It is the newer version with new display and dual grinder calibration screws.

I know how to calibrate the machine and have done this.

Yesterday, the machine just started grinding very course while grinding a dose for use that morning, like I usually do. I calibrated the thing, gave it a go, and it ground just fine. This morning, the same thing happened to me. I just spent a couple hours taking the back cover off, checking the 2.5 adjustment screw to see if it was loose (it wasn't) and just looking for anything amiss. I can't find anything odd.

I put the machine back together and ground a small dose, and it appears to be working. I also sent Baratza an email today, but doubt I'll hear back till Monday or later.

In the event this machine exhibits this odd behavior again, is there anything I should check that I have not already? I'd hate to have to send the thing back for service, as shipping to/from Alaska gets very expensive ($50 each way or more).

thank you........

mike
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IMAWriter
Senior Member
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 Sat Feb 4, 2012, 11:14pm
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

Mike, welcome to CG.
Well, I usually ask if you've done a cleaning in a while?
Sometimes grind, especially when oily beans are used can somehow get under the lower burr.
Maybe try cleaning the grinder thoroughly, removing the lower burr as well.

I assume you calibrated with an empty hopper, and ONLY adjusted via the 2mm screw, not the one under the rubber grommet?

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
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mdrew
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Joined: 4 Feb 2012
Posts: 3
Location: alaska
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Sun Feb 5, 2012, 7:28am
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

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.
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