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"Maximizing" Mazzer Mini-E performance (SJ burrs, removing finger guard, etc.)
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Discussions > Espresso > Grinders -... > "Maximizing"...  
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CarloM
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Apr 2013
Posts: 321
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Vetrano V2B
Grinder: Mazzer Mini-E Type A, SJ...
Drip: Toddy
Posted Sun Jul 21, 2013, 9:26am
Subject: "Maximizing" Mazzer Mini-E performance (SJ burrs, removing finger guard, etc.)
 

Ok I figured I'd start a new thread on this rather than post haphazardly in some previous Mini-E threads.

Background: I upgraded to a Mazzer Mini-E Type A about six months ago. It was a huge step up from a really flaky Baratza Preciso (actually 3 of them, all replacements from Baratza, had the same problem with badly drifting grind settings). But I got interested in reading how to improve grind quality and taste-in-cup, as well as trying to reduce clumping.

So yesterday I finally took ownership of Mazzer Super Jolly 64mm burrs (33M) and installed them. The grind setting was nearly the same (to my surprise, I guess Mazzer really is consistent with their craftsmanship) so I started grinding. First thing I noticed, after setting the grind properly, was that the time to grind the same amount of beans was reduced in half, from 18 to 9 seconds.

The second thing I noticed: I still have a clumping issue.

So this morning I took off the finger guard. I also removed the dosing funnel because I thought I would also remove the static screen as well. However after looking at the disassembled chute and static screen, and reading some more testimonial about how some who removed the screen said it resulted in "grind spray", I decided to leave the screen on. I did however completely clean out the large amount of grind that was in the funnel behind the screen.

I ground my coffee then, and since the finger guard had been removed, I used a long toothpick and a manual air-blower to force out the last bit of grind from the funnel behind the screen. To my knowledge, this is the first time that I've had only new grind in my portafilter, since I had cleaned out the funnel prior to the grind, and after the grind.

The resulting cup was a great improvement over my previous cup. I'm not sure if it was due to the new burrs, or the fact that I only had fresh grounds in the portafilter, most likely a combination of both factors. So I'm real happy with the result of my tinkering so far. Channeling was also greatly reduced, though it still happened. And yes I've tried all the tricks, grinding finer, dosing by weight, measuring my tamp pressure and making sure I evenly level off the coffee and tamp with equal pressure. This time it was much less than previous results.

The only problem? I still have a clumping issue. It's not worse than before the burr replacement, and it might be a smidge better, but I'd like to reduce it. So my question to the forum: Should I do the last step and remove the static screen? Will this reduce the clumping? It certainly will make the cleaning of the chute after each shot easier. Will there be "grind spray" and how bad will it be?

I see that a replacement gasket and static screen from espresso parts will be $16, so if I do this and regret it I can always put it back for that amount, but I'm also afraid I won't do as good a job at placing the gasket as the factory did. I am hesitant to do this last step unless people say I'll realize the improvement I'm seeking--near elimination of clumping--without spraying grinds all over the place. I do have a funnel (cut up old yogurt cup) that I put on top of the portafilter so I can do the WDT. Would this funnel control the "grind spray"?

Many thanks in advance for your thoughts and experiences!
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Rhinoevans
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Sep 2003
Posts: 178
Location: Las Vegas
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Spaziale S1, Starbucks...
Grinder: Rocky DL
Vac Pot: N/A
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Roaster: N/A
Posted Sun Jul 21, 2013, 10:17am
Subject: "Maximizing" Mazzer Mini-E performance (SJ burrs, removing finger guard, etc.)
 

I have a 10 year old Rocky and getting ready to step up to a MAzzer.  Looking at the Mini E B, but hate to drop $800.  Trying to find a good used Mini or SJ, and convert to Doserless.  The parts from Mazzer for the conversion are so expensive, you might as well buy the Mini E B.  Was thinking I could add spout like on my Rocky, but fitting problems since the Rocky is flat and the Mazzer is curved.  Could fabricate an adapter and mod for less than $100.  If unsuccessful on Ebay for used SJ, then probably will just fork over the cash for a new Mini E B.  Only money right.  My Rocky is still going strong even after 10 years!

BTW, unbelievable how much VERY used Mazzers go for on Ebay!!

Any reason to get the SJ if the Mini Burrs can be upgraded?  Although I do like the power cord from the bottom on SJ, unlike the side from the mini.
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RussK
Senior Member
RussK
Joined: 6 Jan 2013
Posts: 37
Location: Mississippi Delta
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Alex II
Grinder: Mazzer Mini Type B
Drip: Bunn DV TC / Chemex / Hario...
Posted Sun Jul 21, 2013, 12:22pm
Subject: "Maximizing" Mazzer Mini-E performance (SJ burrs, removing finger guard, etc.)
 

I know this has been discussed at great length, but do you feel like the Mini handles the SJ burrs okay? I believe the Mini has a somewhat smaller motor.

I have been considering swap the burrs on my Mini E and would like to hear your thoughts.
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OttoMatic
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Joined: 24 Feb 2013
Posts: 78
Location: Colorado
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Brewtus IV-R
Grinder: Mahlkönig K30 Vario,...
Drip: Capresso MT500+
Roaster: Cast iron dutch oven
Posted Sun Jul 21, 2013, 12:39pm
Subject: Re: "Maximizing" Mazzer Mini-E performance (SJ burrs, rmving finger guard, etc.)
 

CarloM Said:

So my question to the forum: Should I do the last step and remove the static screen? Will this reduce the clumping? It certainly will make the cleaning of the chute after each shot easier. Will there be "grind spray" and how bad will it be?

I see that a replacement gasket and static screen from espresso parts will be $16, so if I do this and regret it I can always put it back for that amount, but I'm also afraid I won't do as good a job at placing the gasket as the factory did. I am hesitant to do this last step unless people say I'll realize the improvement I'm seeking--near elimination of clumping--without spraying grinds all over the place. I do have a funnel (cut up old yogurt cup) that I put on top of the portafilter so I can do the WDT. Would this funnel control the "grind spray"?

Posted July 21, 2013 link

I had a Mini-E B and tried the same tricks, without doing the SJ burr swap.  My final step was also to remove the static screen.  I used a razor blade to cut the foam tape around it and it came out nicely.  When I decided to put it back in, I was able to align it in essentially the exact same position, and once it was back together, I couldn't tell from looking inside the dosing cone.  

Bottom line is that you will greatly reduce clumping at the expense of static and mess.  The grounds shoot out of the chute and will build up on the opposite side of the cone.  I was also using the yogurt cup for WDT and it was a static mess in there, as well as around the exit point of the cone.  

Yes, it's easier to clean the chute without the static screen in place.

I was super frustrated with the Mini-E.  Ultimately, I gave up, sold the Mini-E for a loss and got a Mahlkonig K30 Vario.  Every complaint I had about the Mini-E was solved, and I couldn't be happier.

Good luck!
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dyno
Senior Member


Joined: 20 Nov 2011
Posts: 70
Location: Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Salvatore The Club/Oscar
Grinder: K6 Pro/Super Mini E
Posted Sun Jul 21, 2013, 1:21pm
Subject: Re: "Maximizing" Mazzer Mini-E performance
 

CarloM Said:

I see that a replacement gasket and static screen from espresso parts will be $16, so if I do this and regret it I can always put it back for that amount, but I'm also afraid I won't do as good a job at placing the gasket as the factory did. I am hesitant to do this last step unless people say I'll realize the improvement I'm seeking--near elimination of clumping--without spraying grinds all over the place. I do have a funnel (cut up old yogurt cup) that I put on top of the portafilter so I can do the WDT. Would this funnel control the "grind spray"?

Many thanks in advance for your thoughts and experiences!

Posted July 21, 2013 link

I use an OE funnel with a bottomless portafilter.  Assembled, it just slides underneath the mouth of the discharge and controls the grind spray well. My screen is removed so grind spray due to static is pretty significant.

It's just a matter of getting used to the idiosyncrasies of your gear.  Initially I was disappointed with the Electronic B but with OEM SJ burrs and WDT, I get great looking and tasting pulls.  If anything, I will replace my K6 Pro (which is great) with another Mini E.
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CarloM
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Apr 2013
Posts: 321
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Vetrano V2B
Grinder: Mazzer Mini-E Type A, SJ...
Drip: Toddy
Posted Sun Jul 21, 2013, 10:52pm
Subject: Re: "Maximizing" Mazzer Mini-E performance (SJ burrs, removing finger guard)
 

Thanks so much for the helpful posts. I may just forego removing the static screen since it seems to trade one set of problems (clumping, tough removal of residual grind) for another (high amount of static in the grinds). Ultimately I can remove the residual grind even with the screen on, so I may just choose to leave it on, manually remove the grind each time, and use the WDT which resulted in a really good cup this morning.

RussK: I know the specs say the SJ has a stronger motor (and I have no doubt it does). But when removing the funnel, I also removed the front metal plate in order to clean it, not knowing the motor was right behind it. The motor and power assembly on the Mini-E is very big. I do not have any doubt it can handle the SJ burrs. In the half-dozen shots I've pulled it hasn't struggled one bit in grinding the beans, it sounds the same as always, except the beans are ground in half the time.

OttoMatic: I can't justify price wise going up to a Malkohnig K30 Vario - at double the price ($1600) I wouldn't be able to afford the Vetrano 2B upgrade. While it's true the Mini-E has shortcomings, those are of convenience as opposed to grind quality. I think for very little cost, and just a little bit of time each day, I can circumvent the idiosyncracies and still get great results out of the Mini E (as opposed to the Preciso which was just not a good grinder). But thank you for confirming the static mess I'd encounter, which is leading me to keep the screen on.

Dyno: which OE funnel are you using, the short, colored flared out ones or the long, tall, straight edged stainless steel one? If I choose to remove the screen I may try the tall stainless steel one (I think it's called the Ipanema?), which should handle the extra static better than the plastic of a yogurt cup. And the extra height should keep the bean from spraying all over the place.
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qualin
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qualin
Joined: 30 Jun 2012
Posts: 652
Location: Calgary, AB
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Izzo Alex Duetto 3
Grinder: Mazzer Mini Elect. Type A
Vac Pot: Looking to buy
Drip: Manual
Roaster: Considering?
Posted Mon Jul 22, 2013, 12:04am
Subject: Maximizing Mazzer Mini-E performance (SJ burrs, removing finger guard, etc.)
 

You know, I've made posts on this topic before and I've never been able to get a straight answer.

I guess what makes me curious is, what happens if the entire dosing funnel is grounded by running a wire from the dosing funnel to the body? It is conductive, right?

I have to admit I've been tempted to remove the finger guard and the screen myself as well, but I also use a short OE dosing funnel because even with the screen in place, I was getting lots of mess.
The posts here seem to imply that it would get a lot worse if I did.

 
Garbage In, Garbage Out, for every step of the process. From Beans to grinder, grounds to machine, coffee to cup.
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okitoki
Senior Member
okitoki
Joined: 24 Jun 2013
Posts: 11
Location: Perth, AUstralia
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Mon Jul 22, 2013, 12:45am
Subject: quick fix for my SJ doserless conversion
 

I just converted my SJ to doserless using parts from Espressoparts a few weeks ago, and had similar issues with the clumping, static, issues with cleaning behind the screen and spraying everywhere between the funnel and the PF.

The spray mess I managed to solve that easily by using the OE dosing tube and funnel (Ordered both previously by mistake :D )

without the static screen, I had issues with static causing grinds clinging to the funnel, and spraying everywhere... I single dose, so the speed of it is not an issue.
with the static sceen, it would eliminate most of that issue, but then I can't brush behind it to clean the path... my solution was to not install the screen behind the funnel, but to have it on the inside of the funnel, and held up by a few small magnets (for model building)... a small drop of glue hold the  screen onto the funnel, and is strong enough to hold it's place with the grinds coming through (These are pretty strong magnets for it's size)

I would just just 4 small ones, glue it from the outside the screen with some part of the magnet exposed to able to stick to the funnel.

hope this help (Dont have pic with me at work)
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OttoMatic
Senior Member


Joined: 24 Feb 2013
Posts: 78
Location: Colorado
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Brewtus IV-R
Grinder: Mahlkönig K30 Vario,...
Drip: Capresso MT500+
Roaster: Cast iron dutch oven
Posted Mon Jul 22, 2013, 5:48am
Subject: Re: Maximizing Mazzer Mini-E performance (SJ burrs, removing finger guard, etc.)
 

qualin Said:

I guess what makes me curious is, what happens if the entire dosing funnel is grounded by running a wire from the dosing funnel to the body? It is conductive, right?

Posted July 22, 2013 link

But the funnel is already attached to the body with metal screws, so they should both be at the same potential, right?  Or am I forgetting something?
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CarloM
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Apr 2013
Posts: 321
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Vetrano V2B
Grinder: Mazzer Mini-E Type A, SJ...
Drip: Toddy
Posted Mon Jul 22, 2013, 10:15am
Subject: Re: "Maximizing" Mazzer Mini-E performance (SJ burrs, removing finger guard)
 

So I watched the grinds first shoot out through the static screen (with nothing impeding them) and yes they did cling to the metal funnel, but not too badly. Obviously once they were backed up and slowed down by the screen they were less static-y. I'm starting to get the courage/confidence to go ahead and remove the screen tonight to see how it works, and then if I need to reattach I'll order the parts from espressoparts to do it. While there will be more static, I did like the first 1-2 seconds of grind this morning, where the screen didn't impede it, which came out nearly clump-free. I think dealing with static will be the lesser of two evils, and removing the screen will also give me easier access to empty out the grinds from the chute.
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