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Vario suddenly grinding super-fine
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Discussions > Espresso > Grinders -... > Vario suddenly...  
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scanfield
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Nov 2011
Posts: 181
Location: Texas
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: La Nuovo Era Cuadra
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Tue Oct 22, 2013, 8:40am
Subject: Vario suddenly grinding super-fine
 

A couple of days ago, I was grinding some beans for espresso. After grinding for 10 seconds the portafilter was only about half full which is weird. I started the grinder again and it instantly blew the breaker on the circuit. I then noticed that the coffee that it did grind was powder - way too fine.

Last night I pulled the top burr out and cleaned the grinder as well as I could. I reassembled the grinder and ran some beans through and it seemed to work, but it was late and I didn't really want coffee so I never pulled a shot. This morning, I ground some fresh beans and had to put the macro lever one click above the middle setting to get the right grind. Normally my macro lever is either at the top setting or down one click.

I haven't recalibrated yet. I'll do that soon and see if that makes any difference.

Any guesses as to what may be going on with my grinder? Can you think of anything else I should check or adjust? This thing has been rock solid for me for the past two years. Why would the grind suddenly be so fine? What's the expected life of the burrs?
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DanoM
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Joined: 20 Mar 2013
Posts: 307
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Strega, '84 La...
Grinder: Compak K10, Kludge grinder,...
Posted Tue Oct 22, 2013, 9:20am
Subject: Re: Vario suddenly grinding super-fine
 

You might want to call Baratza's customer service line.  They are famously helpful will suggestions even if your grinder is out of warranty.
I'll be interested in reading what the problem/resolution is.
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brianl
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Dec 2012
Posts: 441
Location: Chicago IL
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic (w/PID)
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: chemex
Posted Tue Oct 22, 2013, 10:13am
Subject: Re: Vario suddenly grinding super-fine
 

humidity can sometimes require a coarser grind but im not sure about that much.
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scanfield
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Nov 2011
Posts: 181
Location: Texas
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: La Nuovo Era Cuadra
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Tue Oct 22, 2013, 10:39am
Subject: Re: Vario suddenly grinding super-fine
 

brianl Said:

humidity can sometimes require a coarser grind but im not sure about that much.

Posted October 22, 2013 link

You know, it has been more humid but I really don't think that's the problem. In my post I didn't mention that the day the problem happened, I had made myself an espresso and was making a subsequent one for my wife when the portafilter was only half-filled after 10 seconds of grinding. The first one was perfect, the second was ultra-fine powder. Nothing unusual happened with the grinder between the first and second grinds and when I cleaned it out, I didn't find any stones or other non-coffee debris.
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scanfield
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Nov 2011
Posts: 181
Location: Texas
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: La Nuovo Era Cuadra
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Tue Oct 22, 2013, 10:40am
Subject: Re: Vario suddenly grinding super-fine
 

DanoM Said:

You might want to call Baratza's customer service line.  They are famously helpful will suggestions even if your grinder is out of warranty.
I'll be interested in reading what the problem/resolution is.

Posted October 22, 2013 link

I left a message and am waiting on a callback. I'll follow up here with a rundown of any advice they give me.
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tglodjo
Senior Member
tglodjo
Joined: 16 Oct 2012
Posts: 209
Location: Jackson, TN
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi II
Grinder: Baratza Vario, Virtuoso
Drip: Wave, V60, Chemex, Clever
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Tue Oct 22, 2013, 11:41am
Subject: Re: Vario suddenly grinding super-fine
 

Did you have it on a coarser grind (for a different method) before you had that first successful one? I find that when I go from a coarse grind back to espresso, the burrs need a few shots to readjust/settle. It's my biggest annoyance right now, prompting me to get a second grinder when I have the funds. I've had this exact issue recently. I recalibrated, and everything has been fine since. I'm even able to go from medium grind to fine grind without having to purge so many beans/shots.
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scanfield
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Nov 2011
Posts: 181
Location: Texas
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: La Nuovo Era Cuadra
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Tue Oct 22, 2013, 11:57am
Subject: Re: Vario suddenly grinding super-fine
 

tglodjo Said:

Did you have it on a coarser grind (for a different method) before you had that first successful one?

Posted October 22, 2013 link

Nope.
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moosepucky
Senior Member
moosepucky
Joined: 6 Jun 2009
Posts: 153
Location: USA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Pasquini Livia 90 auto
Grinder: Super Jolly - Forte BG -...
Vac Pot: Cona - Santos
Drip: Bodum - Chemex - Hario -...
Roaster: Hottop KN-8828-B
Posted Fri Oct 25, 2013, 8:46am
Subject: Re: Vario suddenly grinding super-fine
 

Have you removed the burrs cleaned them and cleaned out the cute?

that would be step #1

After that, try resetting to a different grind number.  I find my Vario-W set at 3/k gives me an 18 second 2 oz pull for a double.  I thought that was way too high of a grinder setting until I timed and measured the shot (pulled into a lined shot glass and stop watched the pull for the volume).
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mauijer
Senior Member
mauijer
Joined: 10 Mar 2012
Posts: 28
Location: I'm a Nomad, today I'm in Ohio
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: QM Silvano
Grinder: Baratza Vario W
Drip: Chemex
Posted Fri Oct 25, 2013, 2:57pm
Subject: Re: Vario suddenly grinding super-fine
 

tglodjo Said:

Did you have it on a coarser grind (for a different method) before you had that first successful one? I find that when I go from a coarse grind back to espresso, the burrs need a few shots to readjust/settle. It's my biggest annoyance right now, prompting me to get a second grinder when I have the funds. I've had this exact issue recently. I recalibrated, and everything has been fine since. I'm even able to go from medium grind to fine grind without having to purge so many beans/shots.

Posted October 22, 2013 link

I've noticed the same problem with my Vario W
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scanfield
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Nov 2011
Posts: 181
Location: Texas
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: La Nuovo Era Cuadra
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Sun Oct 27, 2013, 7:25pm
Subject: Re: Vario suddenly grinding super-fine
 

moosepucky Said:

Have you removed the burrs cleaned them and cleaned out the cute?

Posted October 25, 2013 link

Yes and that's pretty much all I have done. Actually, I only removed the top burr and I blew out the chute with some air (I'll never do that inside again).

After putting the top burr back in I thought I needed to recalibrate the the grinder but it seems to have resettled itself back to the same range I normally operate it at (macro in the finest or second finest position).

Baratza never called me back so I'm going to put in another call tomorrow morning. Maybe I have nothing to worry about but I would still like to ask them about it.
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