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question about timed grinders
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jockc
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Joined: 17 Aug 2008
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Location: California
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Posted Sat Jul 6, 2013, 11:22am
Subject: question about timed grinders
 

sorry if this was asked before.

I'm looking at the Baratza Vario and wondering: since it is grinding for a fixed time, will you get a fuller basket when the hopper is full (thus more downward/gravity force pushing on the beans) than when it is almost empty?

I love the idea of the timer--right now I have a Rocky (doserless) and I have to hold the switch the entire time.  But I'm worried about consistency with the timed models.
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NobbyR
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Posted Sun Jul 7, 2013, 1:24am
Subject: Re: question about timed grinders
 

There's no general answer to that question. Unless you use weight controlled grinding like with the Vario-W a timer will always be a little inaccurate. Still, once adjusted a timer works fairly well for a certain time. However, as soon as you change the coarseness setting, it needs to be readjusted.

 
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dorkroast
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Posted Sun Jul 7, 2013, 8:01am
Subject: Re: question about timed grinders
 

From what I've read from some manufacturers, Mazzer in particular, the timer wasn't put on the grinder to help with dosing, it was put on the grinder to make sure the grinder shuts off. A Mazzer (and probably many others) can run quietly enough when empty to be hard to hear over normal cafe-level noise. Mazzer put the timers on their grinders so they would run endlessly on an empty hopper when someone forgot to turn them off while filling the doser.

I know other timers are more accurate than the Mazzer timers, but they seem like a poor way to measure dosings. As was already said changing the grind would change the necessary dosing time to get the same weight of coffee.
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russel
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russel
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Posted Sun Jul 7, 2013, 8:53pm
Subject: Re: question about timed grinders
 

dorkroast Said:

From what I've read from some manufacturers, Mazzer in particular, the timer wasn't put on the grinder to help with dosing, it was put on the grinder to make sure the grinder shuts off. A Mazzer (and probably many others) can run quietly enough when empty to be hard to hear over normal cafe-level noise. Mazzer put the timers on their grinders so they would run endlessly on an empty hopper when someone forgot to turn them off while filling the doser.

I know other timers are more accurate than the Mazzer timers, but they seem like a poor way to measure dosings. As was already said changing the grind would change the necessary dosing time to get the same weight of coffee.

Posted July 7, 2013 link

I believe that the OP was talking about timer based grind on demand grinding and not the traditional "timer" models of doser-dosing grinders.  That would include the  E varients of Mazzer grinders, or the Mahlkoenig K30 Vario, or the on demand versions of Anfim grinders, or the Compak Fresh line of grinders, the Elektra Nino, and on and on and on.  Most major grinder manufacturers make a grind on demand grinder that uses a timer to control dose size.  

OP, you are correct in your assessment of the effect of bean load in dose size.  In my experience the dose doesn't start to vary until the beans in the hopper dip below 100g.  A lot of commercial grinders have a diffuser of sorts inside the hopper to even out the flow of bean and I suppose the weight of the bean mass as well (and also house a magnet to catch metal bits).  The degree of dose varience as the bean load diminishes is different from grinder to grinder.  It's effected by the burr type, grinding speed, and also the shape or the space leading to the burr inlet.  The actual impact of this is pretty small, and easily compensated for by using scales and doing things by weight instead of visual estimation.

Most consumer manual grinders can be put on a digital darkroom timer for an instant upgrade to timer based on demand grinding.  It works really well.  Your Rocky is slow compared to most commercial on demand grinders, and should be very accurate on a timer.  I had a 85mm flat burr Gaggia grinder on a GraLab 900 timer and it was accurate to within a gram while doing 18g in 3 seconds.
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greekespresso
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Joined: 26 Jul 2011
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Espresso: Rancilio Silvia V3, Gaggia...
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Posted Tue Jul 9, 2013, 3:48am
Subject: Re: question about timed grinders
 

My old very crude time-dosing measurements:
"Re: Quick test on Vario timer"

 
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itsleighton
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Espresso: La Marzocco GB5, PID Silvia,
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Posted Tue Jul 9, 2013, 4:21pm
Subject: Re: question about timed grinders
 

FWIW.... I dont know if it is possible on your grinder, but in order to maintain proper hopper "weight" and avoid beans bouncing around from using a single dose amount of beans, I use a second tamper on top of the beans on my Robur.  I removed the hopper and just put the tamper inside the hole on top of them.  I know it works on all Mazzers, but I dont know about anything else.
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