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The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
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MJJ
Senior Member


Joined: 2 Jan 2013
Posts: 37
Location: Montreal
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia PID
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: Hario V60
Posted Fri Jan 4, 2013, 8:19pm
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

Hi,
  You can also use a pair of pliers to grasp the upper burr, it works surprisingly easily this way. If you don't want to scratch the metal just put a little bit of masking tape over the jaws of your pliers. The Baratza techs instructed me to do this and it works very easily.
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jmaeng
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Joined: 12 Dec 2012
Posts: 15
Location: Ottawa
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia
Grinder: Baratza Vario-W
Drip: Aeropress, Clever, French...
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Mon Jan 7, 2013, 10:42am
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

IMAWriter Said:

James, first, make sure the adjustment tool is all the way up and secure in the hole.
Run the grinder and turn as indicated to go coarser, I'd turn 2 complete revolutions.
Are you now able to get the Macro up to 1 below the top with no motor strain?
if so, you're nearly there.
Go 2 more full revolutions, then raise the Macro to the top. Motor strain? If not, slowly raise the Micro. You should then hear some strain. If not, go the opposite way with the adjuster, maybe 1/2 revolution.

It could be that your grinder was adjusted to more greatly accommodate espresso. Occasionally these things happen.

One other thing you can do (if you've already ground some coffee) is to remove the upper and lower burr, and see if there is an accumulation of fines directly under the lower burr.

Posted January 4, 2013 link

Thanks for the instructions and I was able to bring the calibration to a little coarser. This is good to know since I'll be changing to the steel burrs once I receive them and will need to calibrate them as well.
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ethom
Senior Member


Joined: 24 Nov 2012
Posts: 65
Location: Pittsburgh
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: NS Oscar, Silvia broken :o(
Grinder: Vario
Drip: Bosch
Posted Thu Jan 10, 2013, 2:43pm
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

Please correct me if I'm posting to the wrong thread or should start a new one, but I've been having quality issues with Baratza and their Vario refurb program.  

The long awaited machine (I cheaped out on slow shipping) arrived with the wrong user manual, wrong grounds bin (W bin instead of 885) and no portafilter holder fork.  They eventually sent me all the missing pieces after a few weeks, but it did make me leery of the rebuild quality.

Today, checking the sound to help decide whether burr adjustment might be needed, I noticed that coffee grounds had accumulated in the adjustment lever slots Ė so much that I couldnít move the coarse lever lower than about four notches from the bottom.  While turning the machine over to take a closer look, I saw some coffee fall out of the slot.  With not much coaxing, look at the coffee I shook out from the lever slots!  It's hard to tell from the photo, but that pile is about two inches high and there is still more inside.

ethom: Coffee-waste-low.jpg
(Click for larger image)
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ethom
Senior Member


Joined: 24 Nov 2012
Posts: 65
Location: Pittsburgh
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: NS Oscar, Silvia broken :o(
Grinder: Vario
Drip: Bosch
Posted Thu Jan 10, 2013, 2:50pm
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

Having to learn to remove the face plate, which is pretty easy, here is what I see.  Can I assume that an interior part is missing between the burr outlet and the opening to the bin?

Calling Baratza now.

ethom: MIssing-chute-low.jpg
(Click for larger image)
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CraigA
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CraigA
Joined: 19 Dec 2001
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Location: Rexdale, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
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Espresso: PID/PressureMod 2001...
Grinder: BUNN FPG-2 DBC, Baratza...
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Posted Thu Jan 10, 2013, 6:35pm
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

ethom Said:

Having to learn to remove the face plate, which is pretty easy, here is what I see.  Can I assume that an interior part is missing between the burr outlet and the opening to the bin?

Posted January 10, 2013 link

Holy crap Tom, yeah!, you're missing the black grinds discharge chute (the elephant snout/nose I call it)!! {:-/

 
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IMAWriter
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IMAWriter
Joined: 4 Jul 2002
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Location: Brentwood, TN
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Espresso: Bezzera Strega
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Posted Thu Jan 10, 2013, 6:40pm
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

ethom Said:

Having to learn to remove the face plate, which is pretty easy, here is what I see.  Can I assume that an interior part is missing between the burr outlet and the opening to the bin?

Calling Baratza now.

Posted January 10, 2013 link

Normally, we feel, before posting this sort of post it is better form to FIRST call the vendor/manufacturer, send THEM the pictures.
A statement such as having some incorrect pieces shipped makes you leery of the rebuild QUALITY is, IMO possibly inflammatory.
One has nothing to do with the other.

That said, no grinder is perfect, and yours appears to fall into that category.
I can assure you Baratza is one of those companies that will do all in their power to make things right.

Kyle and Kyra do not duck issues, and post here  with helpful information when they have a moment.
Call them and give them all the details.

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
My Music Production web site:
www.robertjason.com
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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 Thu Jan 10, 2013, 6:44pm
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

CraigA Said:

Holy crap Tom, yeah!, you're missing the black grinds discharge chute (the elephant nose)!! {:-/

Posted January 10, 2013 link

Craigo, didn't see your posting. Without my computer glasses, i couldn't see the image details of the post. The grinds were hard to miss though.

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
My Music Production web site:
www.robertjason.com
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ethom
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Joined: 24 Nov 2012
Posts: 65
Location: Pittsburgh
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: NS Oscar, Silvia broken :o(
Grinder: Vario
Drip: Bosch
Posted Thu Jan 10, 2013, 11:28pm
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

IMAWriter Said:

Normally, we feel, before posting this sort of post it is better form to FIRST call the vendor/manufacturer, send THEM the pictures.
A statement such as having some incorrect pieces shipped makes you leery of the rebuild QUALITY is, IMO possibly inflammatory.
One has nothing to do with the other.

Posted January 10, 2013 link

Fair enough.  If anything in my posts is inflammatory or otherwise inappropriate, please strike it or remove it entirely and let me know so I donít repeat the mistake.  It's your role to be fair, especially when our excitement takes over.  I appreciate what you do.

Be assured, my intent was not to inflame but to inform - both this community and the company that they may, and in my opinion do or at least did, have a problem.  Having found external parts mixed up from other models and missing entirely, I couldnít help but wonder what else might be wrong that I could not see?  As it turns out after a month of use, the two thoughts of quality most likely had everything to do with each other, whether it was due to someone having a bad day or bad week, being disgruntled, or from some other production or staff issue that they should check.  Weeks ago, when I reported to Kyra problems with the shipment I suggested that they look at the refurb line for possible issues.  And I did send the recent photos and info to the company first, and called later, but maybe should have allowed a couple days for the dust to settle and a resolution to be found before relaying here.  From their fine reputation, I had and have no doubt that they will make all well.  

Still, I cannot help being disappointed and presently dissatisfied.  My budding (and fun!) espresso journey will have to break for some weeks until a workable machine is in hand.  In the bigger picture, I wanted to let others buying refurbs know that they may want to take a good look at what they get to make sure itís correct.
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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 Fri Jan 11, 2013, 12:48am
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

ethom Said:

Fair enough.  If anything in my posts is inflammatory or otherwise inappropriate, please strike it or remove it entirely and let me know so I donít repeat the mistake.  It's your role to be fair, especially when our excitement takes over.  I appreciate what you do.

Posted January 10, 2013 link

Thanks! We truly want to be as "silent' as possible. We just like to encourage members to seek out a solution with the manufacturer/vendor BEFORE venting publicly.

In the bigger picture, I wanted to let others buying refurbs know that they may want to take a good look at what they get to make sure itís correct.

Now THAT is certainly a a good idea, even with NEW gear.
I'm sure all will be resolved as quickly as possible. it sounds like perhaps your purchase coincided with the extended holiday season?
If so, things are probably less crazy now, and you should get the prompt attention you deserve, and what Baratza has demonstrated in the past.
Keep us posted.

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
My Music Production web site:
www.robertjason.com
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Robbo
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Joined: 24 Jul 2005
Posts: 2
Location: Sydney Australia
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: VBM Junior HX, Silvia '05
Grinder: Vario, Rocky doserless '05
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Fri Jan 11, 2013, 8:28pm
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

Iíve had my Vario (branded Mahlkoenig for Australia) for a bit over 2 years now.

Recently I re-calibrated in order to get my standard espresso adjustment closer to the middle of the micro scale (1 down on the macro scale).  I did this because, sometimes, just to make a small adjustment, I was having to drop down from being at the bottom of the micro, change 1 click on the macro & then go up to the top of the micro.  I have this suspicion that the adjustments aren't continuous/even from the top of one scale to the bottom of the next.  At the same time, when the grinder was empty, I also unscrewed both top and bottom burrs and gave everything a good brush & clean out.

Anyway, prior to the change I was grinding around 19g by dosing 2 lots of 7 sec (14 sec total grind timeÖ I run 2 doses to minimise spray of coffee around the grinder).  Now, since the recalibration my grind time has gone up to around 26 sec total.  I canít imagine why this has happened.  The grinder sounds like itís making a lower pitched hum now and Iíve also had a few short (< a few sec) instances where the grind clock was counting down, but the motor didn't sound like it was running at all.  I found a youtube video on how to remove the back cover in order to look at the belt & everything looked clean and fine there, but I really didnít want to take it apart further than removing the cover.  Overall the grind quality is fine, but I'm not getting consistent doses like before and not knowing what has happened is really bugging me.

Any ideas?

Also, when the micro or macro levers are moved, do they physically change the level of the burrs, or is there something electronic required to change the level of the burrs?

Thanks,
Rob
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