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IMAWriter
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IMAWriter
Joined: 4 Jul 2002
Posts: 5,927
Location: Brentwood, TN
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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 Wed Dec 4, 2013, 10:54am
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

Patrick, welcome to CG.
I've 2 Varios (one a "W") and now the Forte 9with ceramic burr set).
IMO, you'll not see that big a difference regarding grinding range to warrant the extra cost.
NOW, if 75% of your grinding is in the French press range, you might consider the metal burr set for your Vario.

Otherwise, give your Vario a little time to break inůmaybe 5 #'s if your burrs are ceramic, then do a thorough cleaning. The grinder gets 'dirtiest" during the burr break in period. I recommend removing the lower burr as well. Simple, just remove the 3 screws holding in the lower burr, and make sure no sludge-y fins are underneath. If there are, sweep them out, or use compressed air about 6-8" away.

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
My Music Production web site:
www.robertjason.com
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forager
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Joined: 4 Dec 2013
Posts: 2
Location: Dallas, TX
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Dec 4, 2013, 6:18pm
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

Thanks for the feedback, Rob. So would you say the Vario is suitable for coarse grinding with the standard ceramic burrs once they're broken in, or do you really need to get the steel burrs to do that?

Also, I'm leaning towards the Vario-W because the weight based grinding sounds like a great convenience. Would you recommend going with the W, or do you still find value in the standard time based Vario? Any differences in the quality between each?

Thanks again!

PS - Before posting here, I happened to stumble upon a number of your older posts comparing the Vario with other grinders, talking about adjustments, etc. I just wanted to let you people are definitely benefiting from all your great contributions to this community even if they don't always post!
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IMAWriter
Senior Member
IMAWriter
Joined: 4 Jul 2002
Posts: 5,927
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 Wed Dec 4, 2013, 7:27pm
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

forager Said:

Thanks for the feedback, Rob. So would you say the Vario is suitable for coarse grinding with the standard ceramic burrs once they're broken in, or do you really need to get the steel burrs to do that?

Also, I'm leaning towards the Vario-W because the weight based grinding sounds like a great convenience. Would you recommend going with the W, or do you still find value in the standard time based Vario? Any differences in the quality between each?

Thanks again!

PS - Before posting here, I happened to stumble upon a number of your older posts comparing the Vario with other grinders, talking about adjustments, etc. I just wanted to let you people are definitely benefiting from all your great contributions to this community even if they don't always post!

Posted December 4, 2013 link

That is very kind of you to say. I used the "quote" function so folks could once again see how PERCEPTIVE you are! ;>D

I would say, the W would be best for you as it will allow you to perfectly weigh for your vac pot/ French press, and especially for Hario/Kalita/Chemex type brewing, where the amount of coffee can really affect the results.
I had excellent results with my Vario-W with Kalita. I don'r do French press. You MIGHT want to email Kyle or Kyra at Baratza, explain your usage pattern, and they can best tell you if the metal burr would suit you best. Just KNOW that you cannot really do espresso nearly as well, if at all with the metal burrs. At least this is what I've heard.

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
My Music Production web site:
www.robertjason.com
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mithrandi
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Joined: 27 Aug 2011
Posts: 26
Location: Johannesburg, South Africa
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia V3
Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso
Posted Mon Dec 9, 2013, 11:28am
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

I'm looking at buying one of these grinders, but I must admit to being thoroughly confused about the multiple brands involved.

It seems the Vario is sold under at least three(?) different brands: Baratza Vario, Mahlkoenig Vario Home, and Ditting Vario Home. It seems only the latter two are available in South Africa (probably either for reasons of distribution, or because we have 220V mains power everywhere), but I'm still not sure what difference, if any, there is between these products other than the branding. Can someone clear things up for me?

EDIT: I should probably mention that I want the grinder for espresso purposes.
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IMAWriter
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IMAWriter
Joined: 4 Jul 2002
Posts: 5,927
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 Dec 9, 2013, 1:13pm
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

mithrandi Said:

I'm looking at buying one of these grinders, but I must admit to being thoroughly confused about the multiple brands involved.

It seems the Vario is sold under at least three(?) different brands: Baratza Vario, Mahlkoenig Vario Home, and Ditting Vario Home. It seems only the latter two are available in South Africa (probably either for reasons of distribution, or because we have 220V mains power everywhere), but I'm still not sure what difference, if any, there is between these products other than the branding. Can someone clear things up for me?

EDIT: I should probably mention that I want the grinder for espresso purposes.

Posted December 9, 2013 link

Tristan, Baratza, the original owner/manufacturer sells the ceramic burr version in the US. You can purchase the metal burrs set as an option, and I think they can now be ordered that way.
Mahlkonig manufactures the grinder for baratza, as the burrs are made there. I had read that ONLY the metal burr set equipped Vario was available. I may be wrong there.
I do not know anything about a Ditting branded grinder. Interestingly, the word "Vario" appears on other products, not just Baratza's.
The completely different Mahlkonig "K30 Vario", for instance. I believe that distinguishes it as a stepless version of the K-30.

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
My Music Production web site:
www.robertjason.com
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mithrandi
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Joined: 27 Aug 2011
Posts: 26
Location: Johannesburg, South Africa
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia V3
Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso
Posted Mon Dec 9, 2013, 1:49pm
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

I've read elsewhere that the Mahlkoenig model has both burr sets as an option, but of course, it's hard to tell whether a particular retailer is selling a particular model :/

The product image for the Ditting looks identical to the Mahlkoenig VARIO Home/Baratza Vario; the only branding I can see in the product image is the "VARIO" label. See here: Click Here (onlinecoffeeshop.co.za)

Actually, the specs seem to be a literal copy & paste of the Mahlkoenig's specs. This includes the text "54 mm ceramic-burrs" and "Grinding disc diameter 54 mm (ceramic)", but I'm concerned that somebody may have just gotten the two products mixed up. I guess I'm hoping that somebody with the Ditting-branded (it seems Ditting and Mahlkoenig merged a little while ago? hence selling the product under both brands) version can chime in to confirm that it is the same.
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DeanOK
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DeanOK
Joined: 24 Sep 2012
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Location: OK
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Espresso: QM Vetrano 2B
Grinder: Vario W
Posted Tue Jan 14, 2014, 6:40pm
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

keithd Said:

Well, the Vario-W came in.

Holy cow why didn't I get one of these sooner! I'm still dialing it in, but I'm loving this "push a button and out pops 18 grams" convenience. The grinds appear to me to be very uniform and as long as the air isn't too dry causing excessive static, the ground coffee doesn't cling to the catch bin much.

I don't know if it needed it, but I ran 1 pound of Minute Rice through the grinder before I ground any coffee. The inside smelled a little of manufacturing remnants so I ran the rice through to clean it out more than break it in.

Posted November 29, 2013 link

Keith:

What kind of progress have you made? Using the bottomless? How many grams of coffee are you using in the PF?
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Scottes
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Joined: 14 Dec 2013
Posts: 24
Location: Boston
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Baratza Vario, Baratza...
Drip: Chemex, Aeropress, Press...
Posted Sat Feb 1, 2014, 3:07pm
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

I just got my new Vario as an upgrade to my Encore. This is not for espresso, just pour-over, Chemex, and press.

I went to make a cup and set it for 6M per some Baratza page. It was way too fine, so I set it for 8M. Too fine, so I went as coarse as possible and it was still way too fine. Basically seemed like what I'd use for drip.

So I checked on calibrating, broke out the little tool, and coarsened it up. Still too fine. Ran the tool some more, still too fine.

So I did some research, found a PDF on Baratza's site, and pulled the rectangular rubber grommet and adjusted the 2.5mm screw beneath. I did not have an easy time since it would not move at first. I gave up, and couldn't tighten the screw - it just kept spinning. So I gave up on that as the frustration set in.

So I made a delightful cup of some Yirgacheffe, and relaxed for an hour.

I went back and fiddled with that 2.5mm screw, and things worked. I moved the screw all the ways towards the front, at least as far a my hex wrench allowed. I tightened it back up, set the grinder for it's coarsest, and it is still too fine.

To give some idea, I generally grind at 37 (out of 40) on my Encore. The coarsest grind from the Vario is equivalent to about 24 on my Encore. So even at the coarsest setting, this Vario is way, way too fine for my typical batch of Chemex, let alone press pot.


Now I have to admit that I got a bit frustrated a few times for all this. The lack of a coarse grind from the get-go, the tiny screws, weird position trying to adjust them, screws not moving... Kinda aggravating. So I have to think that there's a possibility that I botched something up and something inside is misaligned. It's at its coarsest setting possible, yet its still barely half as coarse as my Encore could do.


So do I have to tear this thing apart? Which is OK if I have some good instructions or a video to follow.
Or should this brand-spanking-new grinder, which has yet to make a cup of coffee, have to go back to Baratza service to get fixed/calibrated for a coarse grind??
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moosepucky
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moosepucky
Joined: 6 Jun 2009
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Location: USA
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Espresso: Pasquini Livia 90 auto
Grinder: Super Jolly - Forte BG -...
Vac Pot: Cona - Santos
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Roaster: Hottop KN-8828-B
Posted Sat Feb 1, 2014, 4:14pm
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

Scottes Said:

I went to make a cup and set it for 6M per some Baratza page. It was way too fine

So do I have to tear this thing apart? Which is OK if I have some good instructions or a video to follow.
Or should this brand-spanking-new grinder, which has yet to make a cup of coffee, have to go back to Baratza service to get fixed/calibrated for a coarse grind??

Posted February 1, 2014 link

I take it you got the ceramic burr model?

You can try to put in the steel burrs.  

I did not have much luck when I tried this and things went further south to the point that I replaced the Vario with a Forte brew grinder which I am very happy with.

If you are considering returning it to Baratza you can ask them to install the steel burrs for you.
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Scottes
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Joined: 14 Dec 2013
Posts: 24
Location: Boston
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Baratza Vario, Baratza...
Drip: Chemex, Aeropress, Press...
Posted Sat Feb 1, 2014, 4:24pm
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

I planned on eventually going to steel, but supposedly the ceramic will do press grind... Steel burrs should be an upgrade, not a fix, IMHO.
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