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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: 5,915
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 Jun 3, 2012, 10:44am
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

Gig103 Said:

That's what I'm saying though - I can't choke my machine with the machine at its finest, given the calibration in my link and after a thorough cleaning.

Posted June 3, 2012 link

OK, but have you felt the grind as I described above, and is it appreciably coarser?

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
My Music Production web site:
www.robertjason.com
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Gig103
Senior Member


Joined: 12 Feb 2012
Posts: 237
Location: Arizona
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: French press!
Posted Mon Jun 4, 2012, 8:51am
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

IMAWriter Said:

OK, but have you felt the grind as I described above, and is it appreciably coarser?

Posted June 3, 2012 link

I did a feel test, and it feels at least as fine as sugar or finer. When I rub the grinds on my fingers it smears a little (sugar doesn't).
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IMAWriter
Senior Member
IMAWriter
Joined: 4 Jul 2002
Posts: 5,915
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 Mon Jun 4, 2012, 10:28am
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

Gig103 Said:

I did a feel test, and it feels at least as fine as sugar or finer. When I rub the grinds on my fingers it smears a little (sugar doesn't).

Posted June 4, 2012 link

Excellent!!! Sounds exactly where it should be. Good job with your calibration, I believe.
I would then theorize that your machine's pressure is set incorrectly.
Usually, only lever machines like a grind that fine.
Perhaps your pressure is set to high?

Again,

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
My Music Production web site:
www.robertjason.com
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Gig103
Senior Member


Joined: 12 Feb 2012
Posts: 237
Location: Arizona
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: French press!
Posted Tue Jun 5, 2012, 8:31am
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

IMAWriter Said:

Excellent!!! Sounds exactly where it should be. Good job with your calibration, I believe.
I would then theorize that your machine's pressure is set incorrectly.
Usually, only lever machines like a grind that fine.
Perhaps your pressure is set to high?

Again,

Posted June 4, 2012 link

That's what I've been leaning towards... So I have a thread in the machine section (I was trying not to crosspost, keeping one thread about the machine and this about the grinder). That thread (click)
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EspressoObsessed
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Joined: 22 Jun 2007
Posts: 110
Location: Prairie Village, KS
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: GS/3
Grinder: CMH; VL M3
Drip: TV, KMB, Eva Solo, AP
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Fri Jul 6, 2012, 10:41am
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

Today my Vario arrived. Here's something new: the bottom buttons are numbered 1, 2 & 3 instead of espresso, etc.

Anyway, I am hoping for some advice. I split my time between two locations so acquired the Vario and a Breville Dual Boiler for the new situation. My coffee tastes bitter and not at all like it does at the other location using the GS/3 and Versalab (I know, sob story, right?).

Here's what I'm doing, and I am only posting after going through 2 lbs of 4 day old Redbird Espresso Roast:

I had to make the finer adjustment almost a half turn midway during my attempts as I was maxed out on the fine end. After doing this, my Vario is at D on the left side and 1 on the right for 14 seconds to obtain 18.5 g +/-. I am using the 18g VST basket and a Cafelat 58.35 tamper.

I have been using the manual button on the Breville on the default 7 sec pre-infusion and 60% pressure.

After more than a pound of experiments getting nothing but lungos, I finally got a normale (after the fine adjustment) with 49% extraction and 2 oz of brew in 28 seconds at 196 degrees (higher temps tasted wrong). The stream starts at 12-13 seconds.

The lungos tasted sweeter than the normales but I had to cut them off before 25 seconds as they overflowed my 2.5 oz shot glass.

I have been drinking this roast over a year and it has never tasted like this. I know it will get better after a few more days of rest but I drink it regularly when it arrives 3 days post roast at my other location.

It tastes overextracted but my scale is telling me differently. What recommendations can anyone suggest?

Thanks
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dagoat
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Joined: 10 Dec 2004
Posts: 331
Location: santa barbara, ca
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Pavoni Europiccola, BDB...
Grinder: HG-One, baratza vario
Vac Pot: aeropress
Drip: manual
Roaster: cafe rosto
Posted Fri Jul 6, 2012, 3:19pm
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

something's not right.  i have a BDB and a vario, and i can (worst case scenario), take prepackaged, preground starbucks from a hotel room, re-grind it to espresso fineness, and choke my machine--or get any duration i want.  even ristrettos:  18.0g of grinds/18-19g of beverage, in 25-30s, (not counting the 7s of pre infusion).  

that said, the VST baskets have a TON of open area, and just play "differently" than others.  i know VST tries to market itself on it's engineering and technical merit, but you should try using the breville baskets as they are every bit as good as the VST, (and maybe even better), from a technical/engineering/manufacturing standpoint.  IOW, the holes in the breville basket are as least as perfectly round and perfectly spaced as the VST's, when viewed under a microscope--maybe better.  in fact, the oft-shunned breville baskets are so good, they may well be the best part of the whole system.  for someone with an obvious taste for the finest in equipment, you should not shy away a bit from the breville baskets.  get a jeweler's loupe, and compare the two for yourself.

try the single-wall, double basket and report back to us.  also, it really likes at least 18.0g or else sometimes the puck will stick to the shower screen when you remove the portafilter.  this is due to the tapered wall design of the breville basket.  the upside however, is that you can knock out the old puck super clean, with the slightest tap, compared to straight-wall baskets like the VST.  oh, and if you use a lighter roast, you will want to try 19.0g, as lighter roasts are denser, and will have less volume, per ground mass.

-peter
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curtrowe
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curtrowe
Joined: 10 Jan 2005
Posts: 149
Location: Redwood City, California
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Quick Mill Andreja Premium
Grinder: Baratza W, MACAP M4
Vac Pot: Bodum French press
Drip: Chemex
Roaster: Jabez Burns & Sons 3 head...
Posted Thu Jul 19, 2012, 12:22pm
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

I knew coming back to coffeegeek.com could be expensive. I got a recommendation from IMAWriter for a Baratza Vario for doing both espresso and drip. When I checked some reviews, I saw the model with the built in scale. Now I have to have one. I have a couple of questions.

I currently keep my coffee beans in the refrigerator and only weight out what I need for each espresso before dumping it in my Macap. With the Vario W, do you leave your beans in the grinder? If so, do you have issues with it going stale? I go through a roast in about 12 days. I guess I could just put a portion in every few days.

I only rarely drink drip coffee. When I do, I would like to be able to switch beans. Is it just a matter of pouring the beans back out of the hopper and doing a quick grind to clean out anything left in the burrs.
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IMAWriter
Senior Member
IMAWriter
Joined: 4 Jul 2002
Posts: 5,915
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 Thu Jul 19, 2012, 12:44pm
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

curtrowe Said:

I currently keep my coffee beans in the refrigerator and only weight out what I need for each espresso before dumping it in my Macap. With the Vario W, do you leave your beans in the grinder? If so, do you have issues with it going stale? I go through a roast in about 12 days. I guess I could just put a portion in every few days.

I only rarely drink drip coffee. When I do, I would like to be able to switch beans. Is it just a matter of pouring the beans back out of the hopper and doing a quick grind to clean out anything left in the burrs.

Posted July 19, 2012 link

Mea culpa!! :>D
First off, GET YOUR BEANS OUTTA THE FRIDGE!!!!. Store them either in an hair tight Mason/Ball jar, or a one way valve bag in a cupboard. (or Freeze them in an air tight Mason Jar. Make sure to allow them to thaw in the closed jar for a while.
Next, I leave enough beans for 3-4 shots in my Vario. The lid is air tight enough to be good for a day, maybe 2.
The Vario does a good job grinding by the dose, but if you know you're going to do-3-4 shots, put 3-4 shots in there.

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
My Music Production web site:
www.robertjason.com
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curtrowe
Senior Member
curtrowe
Joined: 10 Jan 2005
Posts: 149
Location: Redwood City, California
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Quick Mill Andreja Premium
Grinder: Baratza W, MACAP M4
Vac Pot: Bodum French press
Drip: Chemex
Roaster: Jabez Burns & Sons 3 head...
Posted Thu Jul 19, 2012, 3:07pm
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

IMAWriter Said:

First off, GET YOUR BEANS OUTTA THE FRIDGE!!!!. Store them either in an hair tight Mason/Ball jar, or a one way valve bag in a cupboard. (or Freeze them in an air tight Mason Jar. Make sure to allow them to thaw in the closed jar for a while.

Posted July 19, 2012 link

Not in the fridge! The last time I checked on how to store coffee, the fridge was the way to go, but that was 20-30 years ago. A brief Internet search confirmed that I'm behind the times. As least I keep them in an air tight jar.
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IMAWriter
Senior Member
IMAWriter
Joined: 4 Jul 2002
Posts: 5,915
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 Thu Jul 19, 2012, 3:13pm
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

curtrowe Said:

A brief Internet search confirmed that I'm behind the times.

Posted July 19, 2012 link

Ha. My teenage girls tell me that thrice daily.

As I mentioned, the lid is tight enough, but you can put a tiny pinpoint dab of super glue on an edge, to make it tighter.
As we all go back and forth grind wise, I never have more than maybe 60 grams of coffee at one time in mine.
I also have a Preciso, so that's cheating. ;>D

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
My Music Production web site:
www.robertjason.com
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