MikeReilly Senior Member Joined: 28 Oct 2007 Posts: 277 Location: Vancouver Island Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: La Cimbali Junior D, Gaggia... Grinder: Mazzer Mini Drip: Cuisinart Roaster: Behmor, I-Roast 2, Popper
Posted Sat Mar 10, 2012, 11:17pm Subject: Re: Pharos Sweeper Mod?
I bought a Pharos to see if I could taste the difference between 68mm conical burrs and the flat burrs in my Mazzer Mini without spending $2K+ on a Titan. The answer is yes, but the jury is still out on whether or not the difference is big enough to warrant purchasing a new Titan.
Ok, for both you and everyone else who upgraded from a mazzer mini (or who owns or owned a mini before a pharos): how much improvement in the cup did you find over the mini? I'm at the point where I'm thinking an upgrade to a Pharos is the way to go for me. I have a good HX machine that I've brought back from the dead. Just today I got the pump pressure dialed in (thanks to CC for stocking a pressurized portafilter for La Cimbali machines!!!). Now I want that last bit of improved flavour and consistency that I hope to see by upgrading to 68mm conicals from 54mm flats. Is that what the Pharos will provide? I sure hope so, because I want to go from "Well, that was another satisfying cup" to "wow, that was a flavour bomb going off in my mouth!" (you know, the kind of shot that you are still tasting 10 minutes later).
Actaully, I think that a lot of people do...at lease all of those who like Doug and Barb's "OE Slap Shot" technique. The puck makes and excellent blunt-non-marking-somewhat-quiet implement to use to knock out the grounds. On a similar note, the new non-skid mat thing work as a decent PF holder while you tap with the puck. I have zero mess when tapping the grounds into my LP PF. I do use one of the OE funnels, so that isn't as large an accomplishment as it might sound.
Now your talking. I don't have a hammer, but I got a few hockey pucks lying around the kitchen. Never thought of using it to whack the Pharos but it might be exactly what I need. Perhaps I can carve it out tomake it into a PF holder as well. Hmmmmmm.....this has got me thinking.
I've only done one semi-controlled comparison so far; I could tell a difference but I couldn't say which one was better. They were just a little bit different. The pharos grounds are very fluffy while the mini grounds tend to be clumpy, but this doesn't seem to impact the extraction much with my Vivaldi. When trying new coffees I'll usually pull a few shots on the Pharos to see if there are any major revelations in the cup, but so far no. Based on all the posts here and on HB, I was expecting some massive difference between the mini and the 68mm burrs. But alas, no...I must just not have as refined a palate as some. I continue to use the mini as my day-to-day grinder for the most part. I've kind of cooled off on the idea of buying a Titan grinder at this point. If I find myself with $2K burning a hole in my pocket in the future I may look at a Compak K10 Fresh for speed/convenience, or a Versalab M3 for sheer geekiness.
Endo Senior Member Joined: 26 Jun 2008 Posts: 804 Location: , location, location. Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: machine is < important than... Grinder: !
Posted Sun Mar 11, 2012, 10:50am Subject: Re: Pharos Sweeper Mod?
I am Titan skeptic as well, but I own several grinders, and I can honestly say the 68mm conicals on the Pharos do make a noticeable difference in the cup.
I think the deciding factor here on deciding to go for a $1500 titan like the K10 depends mostly on you. If your other "M's" like coffees, skills, espresso machine are already maxed out (and you have the money), a Titan grinder like the K10 can make all the difference. No other upgrades at this point will make as big a difference.
As I always tell people, "A good grinder should be your first purchase....a great grinder shoud be your last".
I can't stop thinking about this Pharos sweeper mod. When I get a good idea it usually haunts me in my sleep:-)
I'm now thinking of machining the sweeper vane out of solid aluminum stock. I may try doing a CAD model and sending it to one of those online machine shops (always wanted to try one).
Since a sweeper made of aluminum would be a thing of beauty (muck like the inside of a doser), I think it would only be appropriate to replace the ugly, opaque PVC lower barrel with a nice clear polycarbonate version or similar material (just like the bean hopper but thicker). Besides being able to see the remaining grounds in the sweeper, it would also make it into a piece of moving art (IMO)!
Any idea where I could find a clear tube like this online? All I can find is expensive 8 foot lengths.
I measured the original PVC tube as 4.25" OD, so this will be a bit smaller. Still, I can make the aluminum sweeper 3.75" to fit the ID I suppose. The little hex head screws may not fit on top of the edge any longer, but I could always drill new top holes to secure it.
I was thinking of using the emachine shop for making my aluminum sweeper. Has anyone tried them?
windhorze Senior Member Joined: 17 May 2012 Posts: 2 Location: LA Expertise: Just starting
Posted Sun Jun 10, 2012, 12:27pm Subject: Re: Pharos Sweeper Mod?
New here to the (prosumer) espresso scene...but now well familiar to the term sink shot, channeling, choking, because it's been going on all morning. Luckily the beans were home roasted using the new Behmor (very happy with that). The trouble comes in with the new pharos and Rocket Giotto...My first pull was actually right on...then I had a half pound of sink shots...I should have slowed down and re-did things but my number one concern is with the pharos. Maybe I had some wondering initially, but what I am really wondering is whether i messed up the "spring screws" by fiddling with them. One is tight and won't loosen by fingers and one just twists and doesn't grip anything...yea, I know they were supposed to be preset...and I shouldn't have touched them at all. Do I need to break down the grinder to redo them? Do you think I'm getting an uneven grind leading to channeling? Anyone reset these on their unit yet? Thanks in advance for your input...I look forward to learning the new rigs...
I too tired of whacking the Pharos to get all the grounds out of it so I did the Voodoodaddy Mod as Posted on HB. Easy to grind, easy to clean and easy to get the grounds out and into the espresso machine! I love the mod AND the Pharos! The sweeper mod is interesting, but it looks like more work. If you are concerned about restoring the Pharos to OEM specs at some point in time then contact Doug & Barb at OE about purchasing a back up, or a new main shaft, that you can cut for the MOD.
You might want to go over to HB and check out voodoodaddy mods to the Pharos.
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