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The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
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Discussions > Espresso > Grinders -... > The Baratza...  
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IMAWriter
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IMAWriter
Joined: 4 Jul 2002
Posts: 5,912
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Espresso: Bezzera Strega
Grinder: Forte, OE Pharos,...
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Posted Tue Jun 25, 2013, 10:36am
Subject: Re: My new Vario behaving weirdly!
 

eelpout Said:

This being CG, naturally I get slammed for bean selection. ;)

When I first had to do calibration on the Vario, it was based on fresh Red Bird and Black Cat and I went by their grind and the motor sound. Does that help? :)

Posted June 25, 2013 link

Actually, calibration should NOT be based on any varietal/roast per se, but performed as described in the manual with an empty grinder, of course. You're trying to be in "tune" with your grinder. That is, calibrate using auditory senses, and when you hear what is described in the calibration instruction, you're pretty much there.
If the beans aren't being ground to your satisfaction after moving up or down maybe 6-8 clicks on the MICRO lever, it's usually no fault of the grinder.
It could be that your espresso machine's pressure is off, or if a lever, incorrect dosing and lever technique.
I gave you my "HB version." LOL

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
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okitoki
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okitoki
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Location: Perth, AUstralia
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Posted Wed Jun 26, 2013, 12:19am
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

Hi all...
i have turned my attention to a different grinder now as my GF has placed a size limitation to the grinder I can have

Anywho... the Vario seems like a great grinder that fits my requirement, but was wondering about the longevity of the unit...  hows the feed back from users who has owned the unit for a few years now?

thanks
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Slowgrind
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Location: Near Cleveland, Ohio
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Posted Wed Jun 26, 2013, 3:20am
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

I am a new owner of the Vario and love the unit. Each setting actually makes a difference on the finer settings for espresso, and I dont ever forsee having to buy another grinder.
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bdixon
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Joined: 3 Jul 2013
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Location: Atlanta, GA
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Espresso: Breville BES900XL
Grinder: Baratza Vario-W
Posted Wed Jul 3, 2013, 6:04am
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

Purchased the Vario-W directly from Baratza along with a few accessories.  Awesome service.  The shipping guy realized that I was a newbie and ordered items I didn't need, called, and corrected the issue.  Basically I had ordered the calibration adjustment tool, the burr removal tool, and a single steel burr.  So he removed the two tools that already come with the unit and made sure I had a set of ceramic and a set of steel burrs as I had intended.  Then he upgraded my shipping so I could get this before the holiday.  Highly recommended to order direct!!

I've read most of this long thread and watched a few youtube videos so think I'm all prepared!  Thanks for the wealth of info.
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greekespresso
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Espresso: Rancilio Silvia V3, Gaggia...
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Posted Thu Jul 4, 2013, 3:43am
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

Just to report that slipping of the micro slider firstly occurred for my grinder after about 21 months of use. It appears that there particular settings where the slider sits less firmly. I hope that I will find shims easily in Greece.
A video of the micro slider movement:
Click Here (www.youtube.com)

 
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CraigA
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Espresso: PID/PressureMod 2001...
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Posted Thu Jul 4, 2013, 6:45am
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

greekespresso Said:

I hope that I will find shims easily in Greece.

Posted July 4, 2013 link

Hi Christos,
These are nothing more than tiny pieces/slices of rubber , the height of the slider arms & just slightly thicker than the gap there, to apply more outward pressure of the tab/s raised dot/bump/nubbin for firmer contact into the respective slots inside the Vario display board.

See here please: "Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread"

If you have an old bicycle inner tube or a bicycle repair/patch kit, you could use a tiny slice off of one of the patchs. {;-)

It could & can be nothing more than oily coffee grinding residue that has built up on the internal grooves/slots of the Vario display board that would & needs to be cleaned away. Sometimes blowing out with compressed air isn't enough, & a manual clean up is needed.

 
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greekespresso
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greekespresso
Joined: 26 Jul 2011
Posts: 176
Location: Ptolemaida, Greece
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia V3, Gaggia...
Grinder: Mahlkönig Vario Home, Anfim...
Posted Thu Jul 4, 2013, 10:43am
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

Thank you very much Craig. I never thought about cleaning the grinder there. So, I will take the display off (should I take any extra care for the connection cable?) and start cleaning. I will report back.
Does manual cleaning involve anything else than brushing the grooves/slots?

As always I am obliged to you.
Christos

 
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CraigA
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CraigA
Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 11,263
Location: Rexdale, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: PID/PressureMod 2001...
Grinder: BUNN FPG-2 DBC, Baratza...
Vac Pot: Bodum Santos manual, Yama 5...
Drip: Behmor BraZen, BUNN VPR-APS,...
Roaster: Refurb Behmor 1600, BBQ...
Posted Thu Jul 4, 2013, 11:08am
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

greekespresso Said:

Thank you very much Craig. I never thought about cleaning the grinder there. So, I will take the display off (should I take any extra care for the connection cable?) and start cleaning. I will report back.

Posted July 4, 2013 link

No, not really., just pull/wiggle the white connector off.

Does manual cleaning involve anything else than brushing the grooves/slots?

Brushing would get rid of any gritty coffee particles, but you could carefully wipe the groove/slots out with a cloth, paper towel, cotton swab/Q-tip wetted with some rubbing alcohol if you have it. That would get rid of any remaining greasy coffee oils there.

As always I am obliged to you.
Christos

Anytime Christos,
Cheers!

 
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emil3m
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Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Vario
Posted Thu Jul 4, 2013, 8:35pm
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

Craig,

I have seen you say not to unscrew anything on the bottom burr for cleaning the Vario. I used a vacuum to suck out coffee dust and the bottom burr came right out without any unscrewing. I noticed some parts inside were not perfectly aligned (probably shifted a tad), but not enough to prevent inserting the rod back. Since it was already out, I brushed the burr clean (much more gunk on it than on the top burr). I have also brushed the white plastic base (the one sitting underneath the bottom burr).

What brand and type oil would you recommend applying to the rod of the bottom burr? I was careful not to wipe the oil off this time, but would want to apply some in the future.
Would you say this procedure should not be repeated? I remember you writing something about floating parts and think this is the misalignment that I've noticed. Was I simply lucky to have lifted it fairly vertically with the vacuum?

Best,
Emil

 
Currently in love with Hayes Valley by Blue Bottle--locally roasted next to my house in Brooklyn
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CraigA
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CraigA
Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 11,263
Location: Rexdale, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: PID/PressureMod 2001...
Grinder: BUNN FPG-2 DBC, Baratza...
Vac Pot: Bodum Santos manual, Yama 5...
Drip: Behmor BraZen, BUNN VPR-APS,...
Roaster: Refurb Behmor 1600, BBQ...
Posted Fri Jul 5, 2013, 6:27am
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

emil3m Said:

Craig,

I have seen you say not to unscrew anything on the bottom burr for cleaning the Vario.

Posted July 4, 2013 link

I don't remember having said this Emil/Paul..

What brand and type oil would you recommend applying to the rod of the bottom burr? I was careful not to wipe the oil off this time, but would want to apply some in the future.

From what I've seen, even factory new units are assembled dry with no lubricant. That doesn't make any sense to me as the bottom burr carrier housings support bushings are plain brass & not an oil or graphite impregnated 'oilite' bushing or similar.
What I would do for my refurbished units was (I had two formulas I concocted used/tried) a premium food grade white grease & Releasall (contains mineral oil). I didn't want only food grade grease as this created to much 'drag' on the shaft IMO. The mix creates enough thinness/viscosity to do the job throughly & efficiently.
There are two bearing/support areas that I lube, & actually a third area on the end of the shaft as well. To do this properly, the lower burr housing area has to be completely dis-assembled & bushing/bearings cleaned. This means complete grinder dis-assembly & cleaning.

You only need the tiniest film (a tiny dab on the shaft & a tiny drop of Releasall {lots of different lubricants out there}) as rotation in their respective bearings will evenly distribute the lubricant. What you don't want is the lubricant speading out past the top of the top brass bearings lip. Any that may possibly spread out farther will have a tendency to grab hold of fine coffee dust/residue that can & gets past the raised circumferiential male ridge 'seal' to lower underside female groove that matches up underneath the burr carrier & pull it into the lube & then create an abrasive grinding type of paste medium.

Look for my pic of me holding the lower burr assembly with associated parts. I'll also repost the pic with the 3 areas I lube indicated. Here's the pic in the thread timeline in the meantime: "Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread"

Would you say this procedure should not be repeated? I remember you writing something about floating parts and think this is the misalignment that I've noticed. Was I simply lucky to have lifted it fairly vertically with the vacuum?

No, you don't want that happening as coffee grinds & residue could then fall into places it shouldn't be. Just hold down the lower burr with a finger when vacuuming out then. {;-)

 
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