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Baratza Vario in the Summer/Humidity
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brianl
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Dec 2012
Posts: 469
Location: Chicago IL
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Quick Mill Vetrano DB
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: chemex
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Thu Jun 13, 2013, 5:39am
Subject: Baratza Vario in the Summer/Humidity
 

Hello,

I am noticing that so far in the summer my Vario has been pretty wonky. Normally I would expect that the grind would need to be coarser when its humid but i'm finding that i'm grinding finer? Is this normal or what do you think is going on?

I have a gaggia classic as the espresso machine but I think it's mostly the grind. Not sure if humidity affects it.

The machine struggles the same around 1H, like the manual says so I doubt the calibration is wonky.

I am just having gushers and it isn't much better as I make it finer.

thanks!
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CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,375
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Thu Jun 13, 2013, 6:08am
Subject: Re: Baratza Vario in the Summer/Humidity
 

Humidity can f' with grinders lol, same thing happens tomy Preciso, and friend has the samething happen to his Macap. I can pull perfect one day, and then the next few days may be rainy and super humid (south fl) and the grind goes out of wack and clumps way more. I have to fiddle with the micro adjustment or like today actually back off two clicks on the Macro.

However you shouldn't be getting gushers even grinding finer. How fresh are your beans?
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brianl
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Dec 2012
Posts: 469
Location: Chicago IL
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Quick Mill Vetrano DB
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: chemex
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Thu Jun 13, 2013, 6:23am
Subject: Re: Baratza Vario in the Summer/Humidity
 

Do you have a problem with needing to grind finer in the humidity or is it mostly going coarser?

My beans are about 10 days after roast. I get crema, just not much taste as its low extraction haha.

Additionally, My machine used to be a low grind sound but not it is much louder and it seemed to happen randomly.
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CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,375
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Thu Jun 13, 2013, 9:28am
Subject: Re: Baratza Vario in the Summer/Humidity
 

Honestly I think it varies, sometimes I go coarser and sometimes finer then what the setting is at normally. Crazy how much humidity can affect the grind. Friends Macap does the same so even higher end grinder are victims. Today I went two clicks back on the Macro and still pulled a bit tighter then normal using the same exact beans and dose, humid as heck out and ready to storm in about 10 minutes.

In cool weather/winter no problems at all, can almost keep the same Macro setting and just play with the Micro even with different types of roast.

Might want to still check/calibrate the Vario if your going much finer and still getting gushers.
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brianl
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Dec 2012
Posts: 469
Location: Chicago IL
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Quick Mill Vetrano DB
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: chemex
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Thu Jun 13, 2013, 5:23pm
Subject: Re: Baratza Vario in the Summer/Humidity
 

Yeah, i've heard all about the humidity going coarser but i've never heard of it going finer. It's not like its a one time thing. humidity seems to affect it every time and I've never had to go coarser. guess its time to put the AC on in the morning and see how that helps.

Im just wondering. does the humidity affect the beans or the grinder? Should I find a cooler place for the beans? OR does it mostly affect the grinder and that needs to be cooler?

So i messed with it and there seems to be something stranger going on as according to the baratza guide its calibrated fine and no matter how fine I go its a gusher.

Do you think it's possible to just get bad beans? They are like 11 day old intelligentsia black cat. worked fine before with another batch although not in the summer.

For instance. I was doing about 2G and its a gusher. put it on like 1G and its still a gusher. not noticeably better.
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CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,375
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Thu Jun 13, 2013, 7:03pm
Subject: Re: Baratza Vario in the Summer/Humidity
 

Could try different beans and see what happens, possible you got a bad batch + 10 days out. Personally don't care for Black Cat. You should try like 2 other companies beans and see if the issue persist, as if your going that fine and still getting gushers that would either point more to a problem with the beans and/or grinder.
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brianl
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Dec 2012
Posts: 469
Location: Chicago IL
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Quick Mill Vetrano DB
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: chemex
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Thu Jun 13, 2013, 7:07pm
Subject: Re: Baratza Vario in the Summer/Humidity
 

This is actually my second batch of black cat back to back. the one I had last week worked fine. After i switched to the second batch it started being a problem but thats also when it got hotter outside. it's a mystery.

Does the humidity affect the beans or the grinder? (is the grinder only having problems due to the beans?)
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MerleApAmber
Senior Member


Joined: 13 Nov 2012
Posts: 203
Location: Atlanta
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Breville BES900
Grinder: Baratza Preciso + Esatto
Vac Pot: Yuma
Drip: bah-humbug
Roaster: Hot Top 2K P
Posted Thu Jun 13, 2013, 7:48pm
Subject: Re: Baratza Vario in the Summer/Humidity
 

well... if we're looking at the grinder you have the tolerance of the motor, not changing, lubricant, not changing much at all considering how little there would be... and then it's resistance to the beans...

so; ya, beans mostly.  

as someone who home roasts and gets wider swing in my retained moisture to start with I can say I often change grind due to changes in the beans. I also use different single origin beans from all over the world.  Which implies very different moisture profiles to start with.  THEN I add in the lovely Atlanta GA swings in humidity and occasional (but often recently) monsoon rains...

/sigh...

Good Luck! Remember "Journey" not 'Destination.'
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brianl
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Dec 2012
Posts: 469
Location: Chicago IL
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Quick Mill Vetrano DB
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: chemex
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Thu Jun 13, 2013, 7:58pm
Subject: Re: Baratza Vario in the Summer/Humidity
 

Okay, so ill go ahead and put the bean container in or around the AC fan and see what I get tomorrow.

I really do enjoy the journey but when I get something I can't drink after having some really good shots, it gets frustrating. Have you every experienced needing a finer grind? Im thinking it might just be the beans not playing nice with the Vario.

Now for the beans, since they were already affected by the heat, are they toast? Or can I try to cool them down?
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MerleApAmber
Senior Member


Joined: 13 Nov 2012
Posts: 203
Location: Atlanta
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Breville BES900
Grinder: Baratza Preciso + Esatto
Vac Pot: Yuma
Drip: bah-humbug
Roaster: Hot Top 2K P
Posted Thu Jun 13, 2013, 8:10pm
Subject: Re: Baratza Vario in the Summer/Humidity
 

it is a quandary. I have the Preciso, so same manufacturer, similar build qualities.  If we give the machine a pass, it may be that the coffee had something happen along the roast - it is a human process; in fact significantly so if you listen to our friendly roasters :)  Maybe this one batch is one of those.  If you can't groom the grind, and you know the grinder is responding to your adjustments - is not damaged - *you did remember, run grinder and adjust while operating: especially when grinding finer? right?*  then you may get close enough to squeeze the coffee and have a good cup with little crema. But, that's depending on what you can accept.  ( I still remember *$s French Roast whole beans.  Not lovingly by any stretch, it's like racial memory and bad karma; you know you don't want THAT again :p )
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