Gig103 Senior Member Joined: 12 Feb 2012 Posts: 267 Location: Arizona Expertise: I like coffee
Espresso: QM Andreja Premium,... Grinder: Baratza Vario Drip: French press & Aeropress
Posted Sat Aug 31, 2013, 11:19am Subject: Help my Vario please!
Hi all, It's been a while since I've been on here because my setup has been in stasis. I've actually been drinking Aeropress at work lately, and so my grinder has been on about 3K for weeks. In anticipation for the Labor Day weekend, I ordered some Redbird coffees including my trusty RB Espresso.
Anyway, to the point - my Vario is not grinding fine enough! I cleaned it out (brush, compressed air, shook it, and checked the calibration point and it is still at 1 macro, and midway up the micro scale.
But look at the inconsistent grind that is resulting in 8 second gushers! I've hosted them on my site so you can see the full size image by clicking (warning they are pretty big). These images are taken of grinds at the calibration point (1K on my Vario)
MJJ Senior Member Joined: 2 Jan 2013 Posts: 37 Location: Montreal Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: Rancilio Silvia PID Grinder: Baratza Vario Drip: Hario V60
Posted Sat Aug 31, 2013, 2:30pm Subject: Re: Help my Vario please!
Wow, that looks terrible. Or I should say that is nowhere near an espresso grind, more like coarse filter grind.Something has gone wrong with your calibration, first I would check if your top burr is seated correctly, maybe take it out and re-insert it properly. After that I would check the calibration screws, maybe something has come loose. If you use the Allen key tool they provide (or an Allen key that fits the screw for making the calibration finer or coarser) and follow their calibration instructions (on their website and instruction book) you might get it back on track. If that doesn't work then maybe it's the macro-calibration screw that has come loose or something. In which case there are instructions floating around on this site explaining how to calibrate that.
Chanty Senior Member Joined: 26 May 2005 Posts: 234 Location: Milwaukee, WI Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: Gaggia Classic Grinder: Vario, had an MDF Vac Pot: none Drip: none Roaster: I buy beans from many...
Posted Sat Aug 31, 2013, 2:32pm Subject: Re: Help my Vario please!
I have a Vario for about a year now. For my espresso grind I have it at 2 on the Macro. Macro 3 for espresso might be why you are seeing such coarse grinds. Macro 3 for espresso is too coarse. I would definitely raise the Macro to 2 (for espresso grind). Lately I've been have bad gushers on all blends of espresso from various roasters. I thought it was a blend problem--but it has happened on two reputable roasters' blends. Normally it is consistent at between Q-S on the Micro & always 2 on the Macro. Had gushers today on Q on Day 3 Post Roast--so NOT old or stale beans. If anything, on new beans, I should easily be able to have the Micro on Q-S or even T. Normally, as the days go by, and the beans get older; I should only have to move it to O at the highest(finest) on the Vario. I know people say the humidity in the home wreaks havoc on beans & can cause the gushers where you have to really make it fine to get a normal result. I have recalibrated it twice & cleaned the burrs. I hope someone else chimes in cuz I'm at my wit's end.
Yes. ;>D It's the coffee. To the OP... There are a few things that can cause this, including reasons mentioned above. Sometimes, if the grinder is adjusted finer with beans in the hopper WHEN IT'S NOT RUNNING, beans get trapped between burrs. You said you"brushed it out. The vario needs a thorough cleaning every month, and every 3rd cleaning, some folks remove the lower burrs 3 screws, clean any goop under there. Once that is done, I like to run the levers gently up and down several times. If you feel no resistance either way, you're OK. if you should feel some resistance towards the top raising the Macro, you need to spray some compressed air in the groove as you raise and lower the lever. Once the up/down is smooth, reassemble the grinder. This is where I would perform the calibration procedure with the 2mm calibration tool
Rob, what might have gone wrong? I had it upside down a few months ago when I put my replacement faceplate on (per Baratza's instructions, my settings weren't being retained after unplug). And then again to try and make sure there was nothing in it today when cleaning it.
After the cleaning, I ran the grinder empty to move the burrs up to 1W which was going to be my starting point for epsresso, and I went as fine as my calibration "touch point" of 1K for the photo.
Does the grind make a difference with a full hopper versus a handful at a time? I know that the weight of beans can affect going coarser, but what about its ability to grind fine?
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