pfn Senior Member Joined: 1 Apr 2013 Posts: 64 Location: Santa Clara, CA, US Expertise: I like coffee
Espresso: La Nuova Era Cuadra II Grinder: KA Proline w/ Mazzer Mini...
Posted Sat Aug 17, 2013, 6:46am Subject: Re: Got my first grinder, Kitchenaid Proline, modded it; impressions inside
A multi-month followup:
Instead of single-dosing into the hopper (17g of beans) I keep a stack of beans in there. With this change, grinding takes about 20-25 seconds to produce 17g of grounds; additionally, I am able to loosen up the grind-coarseness setting by about half a notch, which adds to the grinding speed. If I single-dosed into the hopper, it would take over a minute to grind what I put in.
Retained grinds still suck, but I don't really care, I just clean it out monthly. For the most part, once it gets retained and caked in, it doesn't really come out until you open it up. Disassembly is a breeze, two thumbscrews and everything comes right out.
I picked up a VST 18g basket and bottomless portafilter. My pulls are beautiful, but the center is a little slow to extract, I imagine it's because of my convex bottom tamper, and I am replacing it next week with a flat-bottom tamper. This is an extraction from a few weeks ago http://youtu.be/1p4Q0tEEloE
As for ergonomics, I've picked up a regular-size (2.25") canning funnel and just dump the grounds straight into the funnel/pf and then WDT the grinds up with a paperclip, takes all of 10-15 seconds and my espresso extractions are wonderful.
Would I like a nicer grinder? Not really, if I had cash lying around, I'd like one that's easier to use, like a Vario-W that automatically weighs my output, instead of having to take out the catchbin and weigh it like I do right now.
What next? I am very interested in putting in an Auber timer, but I'm not sure if I can find space to make it happen. I think someone mentioned one a while back, but never followed up...
Posted Sat Aug 31, 2013, 9:53pm Subject: Re: Got my first grinder, Kitchenaid Proline, modded it; impressions inside
A very interesting read! I also had a KA, and was for a long time debating whether I should do the mazzer mini mod, or just upgrade. In the end, with the cost of importing Ben's mod kit & buying new burrs, it worked out the same to just sell the KA and buy a secondhand mazzer SJ. My wife sure liked the look and footprint of the KA more, but she's getting used to the SJ.
I did do one thing different on my KA - the stepless mod: instead of inverting the pins and using teflon tape, I cut a plastic ring, and slipped it between the pins and the white toothed adjuster wheel. Adjustment & chosen setting stays in place very nicely, and adjusts easily. I'll post a pic when I have a gap.
Posted Tue Sep 3, 2013, 12:39am Subject: Re: Got my first grinder, Kitchenaid Proline, modded it; impressions inside
Eric, that's quite a statement..! Is the grind adjustment not overly finicky?
As promised, a pic of my stepless mod I did way back on the KA. As you can see, the plastic ring sits between the stepped teeth of the adjuster, and the springloaded dowel that presses on it. Size of the ring needs to be just big enough to keep the stepped effect at bay, as it will catch on other plastic bits and pieces if it's too big - quite obvious once you try make it. Too small, and obviously the stepless effect will be unsuccessful. :) I also made it quite a tight fit around the shaft, so it can't shift around.
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