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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: 5,877
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 Tue Dec 4, 2012, 10:30pm
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

mrelephant Said:

I grind mostly light roasts no problems and have ample adjustment left to grind finer, if need be.

Posted December 4, 2012 link

Is this comment in reference to the Vario grinder? It's common knowledge the Vario has a large espresso grinding scale available to owners.

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
My Music Production web site:
www.robertjason.com
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apfeltorte
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Joined: 4 Dec 2012
Posts: 3
Location: Melbourne
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue Dec 4, 2012, 10:46pm
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

IMAWriter Said:

Kat, welcome to CG.
AFAIK, (and I own a Vario-W) the ceramic butt is the preferred burr for espresso, as well as all around grinding.
The metal burr is designed specifically for those doing pour-over, vac and French press.
I am happy to stand corrected if this is not so.
Perhaps Kyle or Kyra will weigh in here.
You could also go to the Baratza web site for more information, or perhaps PM a member using the metal burr. Most of us are OK with a PM now and then!

Posted December 4, 2012 link

Thanks for the welcome :) some more looking around and talking to a reseller confirms that the Vario-W comes with steel burrs here in Oz, but it looks like they can be reasonably easily replaced...though some part of me doesn't want to buy a brand new grinder that needs immediate modification...hmm.

Didn't want to go the pm road as a no-post newbie :) but thanks for the offer.
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dagoat
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Posts: 320
Location: santa barbara, ca
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Pavoni Europiccola, BDB...
Grinder: baratza vario
Vac Pot: aeropress
Drip: manual
Roaster: cafe rosto
Posted Tue Dec 4, 2012, 10:51pm
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

kat,

since you're an aussie, are the varios you are looking at sold under the Baratza name, or mahlkoenig?  i have a US-spec vario that came with ceramic burrs.  i also hang out on the aussie, coffeesnobs.com.au forums, and i feel like i recall that the mahlkoenig varios are the ones with the ceramic burrs that you want for espresso.  not sure if you have already covered that angle, so i thought i would throw that out there.

BTW, i used to live in melbourne, kooyong actually.  i went to scotch college.  HUGE cricket fan and v8 supercars.  but i am in fact a yank.

-peter
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IMAWriter
Senior Member
IMAWriter
Joined: 4 Jul 2002
Posts: 5,877
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 Tue Dec 4, 2012, 11:02pm
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

Peter, thanks for the word up as regards the apparent differences between the Mahlkoenig branded Vario v the model Kat has perused.
I would think she could obtain the ceramic burr model through several resources down under? Perhaps your aforementioned Coffeesnobs.com would be of help?
Kat, I can vouch for the fact that the Vario, and Vario_W with the ceramic burr does a bang-up job with all grinding chores.

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
My Music Production web site:
www.robertjason.com
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apfeltorte
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Joined: 4 Dec 2012
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Location: Melbourne
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue Dec 4, 2012, 11:21pm
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

IMAWriter Said:

Peter, thanks for the word up as regards the apparent differences between the Mahlkoenig branded Vario v the model Kat has perused.
I would think she could obtain the ceramic burr model through several resources down under? Perhaps your aforementioned Coffeesnobs.com would be of help?
Kat, I can vouch for the fact that the Vario, and Vario_W with the ceramic burr does a bang-up job with all grinding chores.

Posted December 4, 2012 link

Thanks to both of you! After day of searching around I've come up with the following:
The Varios are sold under the Mahlkönig brand and the Vario-W is hard to come by. However, when it is sold, it seems to be sold as per the German specs (I.e. with steel burrs). Haven't figured out how easy it is to get the ceramic burrs as parts (like for example on the Baratza U.S. website).

If I could just buy the American Baratza version I think I would - cheaper and ceramic burrs :) oh electricity...

I'm in contact with a few mahlkoenig sellers, and sponsors from the coffeesnobs forum, so we'll see. Would be a good X-Mas gift :)

Thanks again,
Kat

Ps Kooyong? Scotch college as a yank? That must have been interesting... ;)
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scruzloose33
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Joined: 5 Dec 2012
Posts: 10
Location: Chicago, IL
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Posted Thu Dec 6, 2012, 2:23pm
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

The Baratza Vario is my first grinder, so excuse the newbie question.  I have seen many different recommendations across several threads in regards to grinder cleaning habits, but I was curious as to what most people do with their Vario.  I typically make a few espressos in the morning and don't use the grinder for the rest of the day.  Should I just be brushing it out on a daily basis?  Are there regularly recommended cleaning suggestions that people follow (e.g., using the Grindz cleaner every few weeks)?  What should I expect for longer-term maintenance on the grinder?  Do I need to take it apart to do a more extensive cleaning of the burrs once per month?

Thanks,
Shane
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IMAWriter
Senior Member
IMAWriter
Joined: 4 Jul 2002
Posts: 5,877
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 Dec 6, 2012, 2:58pm
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

scruzloose33 Said:

The Baratza Vario is my first grinder, so excuse the newbie question.  I have seen many different recommendations across several threads in regards to grinder cleaning habits, but I was curious as to what most people do with their Vario.  I typically make a few espressos in the morning and don't use the grinder for the rest of the day.  Should I just be brushing it out on a daily basis?  Are there regularly recommended cleaning suggestions that people follow (e.g., using the Grindz cleaner every few weeks)?  What should I expect for longer-term maintenance on the grinder?  Do I need to take it apart to do a more extensive cleaning of the burrs once per month?

Thanks,
Shane

Posted December 6, 2012 link

Shane, welcome to CG!
I posted a long cleaning post on this thread, not sure if it's searchable.
No need to brush out, but if it's a new grinder, once you've done 4-5 lbs, you might want to do a thorough cleaning, unless all is well. if you see no sudden change in the pour, just remove the upper burr, as instructed in the manual.

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
My Music Production web site:
www.robertjason.com
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scruzloose33
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Joined: 5 Dec 2012
Posts: 10
Location: Chicago, IL
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Dec 6, 2012, 9:23pm
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

IMAWriter Said:

Shane, welcome to CG!
I posted a long cleaning post on this thread, not sure if it's searchable.
No need to brush out, but if it's a new grinder, once you've done 4-5 lbs, you might want to do a thorough cleaning, unless all is well. if you see no sudden change in the pour, just remove the upper burr, as instructed in the manual.

Posted December 6, 2012 link

Thanks for the info.  I was expecting to have to do much more maintenance, so that is good news since I am coming from the convenient (yet inferior) world of super automatics.

My wife has not been thrilled with the learning curve of the new machine, so I am trying to get it dialed in as soon as possible before we she starts begging me to go back to a Jura.  My new setup is a Breville Dual Boiler with my Vario and I am really struggling to get my shots right.  I am trying to eliminate as many variables as possible (using 8 day old Intelligentsia beans, using an Espro tamper for consistent tamping pressure, weighing 18 grams of beans for each double shot in the Breville), but my shots are very inconsistent and I am really burning through good beans.  The other day I finally got the shot time to around 33 seconds (with 8 second preinfusion), but just two days later I am choking the machine with the same grind settings (one down on the macro and near the middle on the micro).  I tried moving the macro down to the 3rd setting and the double shot time was still over 50 seconds.  I didn't have the scale and the Espro tamper the other day, so I assume I and just using a different dose size and tamp pressure.  It just seems odd to be on the 3rd macro setting and still being too fine of a grind.  Is anyone using the 4th macro setting or is something else potentially wrong?

Thanks,
Shane
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IMAWriter
Senior Member
IMAWriter
Joined: 4 Jul 2002
Posts: 5,877
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 Dec 6, 2012, 10:01pm
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

I would suggest you invite yourself to the BDB owners thread!

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
My Music Production web site:
www.robertjason.com
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scruzloose33
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Joined: 5 Dec 2012
Posts: 10
Location: Chicago, IL
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Fri Dec 7, 2012, 5:57am
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

Thanks, Rob.  I thought it might be a more appropriate question here since I believe my problem is getting the grind right from the Vario. Does each espresso machine have fairly different expectations for grind size? I just assumed similar grinds would be needed from any machine with similar specs.

I will pop over to the BDB thread and see if they have any suggestions.

Thanks,
Shane
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