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Replace Baratza Vario burrs or no?
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Discussions > Espresso > Grinders -... > Replace Baratza...  
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VanHlebar
Senior Member


Joined: 20 Aug 2005
Posts: 23
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Brataza Vario
Roaster: Bohemor 1600
Posted Sun Oct 27, 2013, 4:40pm
Subject: Replace Baratza Vario burrs or no?
 

I purchased my Variou just about three years ago this week but it has had very limited use untl the last 3-4 months. Now it gets used 1-2 times a day for 2-4 shots maybe a 1lb or so of coffee each week.

I have calibrated the grinder a few times and just this week installed the shims they sent me to fix the sliders moving during operation problem.

I don't appear to be getting as good a grind as I remember when I first got my grinder and Gaggia Classic. I was thinking maybe I need to replace the burrs? I see I can get a set from Baratza for $40 a pair and $10 for the tool to assist in removing the top burr. I do plan on upgrading the grinder at some point next year, but for $50 this seems like a simple "fix" if that is really my issue.

Just wondering if folks think that after only three years of very limited use, if the burrs could already be worn to the point of replacement?

Thanks,
Eric
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,163
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4, Pharos,...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Sun Oct 27, 2013, 7:36pm
Subject: Re: Replace Baratza Vario burrs or no?
 

Your burrs should be fine. At the rate you're grinding, they ought to last between 5 and 10 years. Figure on them lasting for about 400# of beans.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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moosepucky
Senior Member
moosepucky
Joined: 6 Jun 2009
Posts: 154
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 Mon Oct 28, 2013, 8:18am
Subject: Re: Replace Baratza Vario burrs or no?
 

If you are going to upgrade to a different grinder within a year, replacing the burrs at this point would not be cost effective.  You may want to shorten the time you expected to wait for a replacement then use the Vario as a pour over / press grinder (if you drink any other type of coffee besides espresso) at which time you may want to consider some steel burrs for it instead of another set of ceramic burrs.
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,163
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4, Pharos,...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Mon Oct 28, 2013, 8:30am
Subject: Re: Replace Baratza Vario burrs or no?
 

That's a good point...about the burrs being ceramic.  They're more likely to chip than steel ones (though they tend to stay sharp longer).  It might be worth giving them a visual inspection.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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Whitcoatsyndrom
Senior Member
Whitcoatsyndrom
Joined: 25 Apr 2013
Posts: 178
Location: Roanoke, VA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Expobar Office Pulser
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: Newco-OCS 12
Roaster: HG/BM
Posted Mon Oct 28, 2013, 8:19pm
Subject: Re: Replace Baratza Vario burrs or no?
 

I usually make an effort to remove the top burr once a week or so and give a thorough brushing to remove some of the stuff that gets stuck in there.  It's not a big problem with the Vario but when crushing beans it's impossible to avoid entirely.  I use a $0.99 1 inch paintbrush.   Some people also use a small handvac with a nozzle to GENTLY vacuum out some of the harder to reach stuff.

Might also want to consider running some GRINDZ through it or other comparable burr cleaner every once in a while.

Barring a chipped burr like emradguy suggested, it's probably just a cleaning/maintenance thing but you won't know till you get the burr removal tool and check it out.  

Also keep in mind that the beans make a huge difference.  Have you started using beans older than 2 weeks?  Oiler beans also tend to cause more buildup in the burrs (not surprisingly).

Good luck!
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VanHlebar
Senior Member


Joined: 20 Aug 2005
Posts: 23
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Brataza Vario
Roaster: Bohemor 1600
Posted Tue Oct 29, 2013, 6:21am
Subject: Re: Replace Baratza Vario burrs or no?
 

Thanks everyone for the responses. I really wasn't thinking they needed to be replaced so soon, but I just wasn't 100% sure. I do run GRINDZ through the grinder about every other week or so. I think this weekend I will take apart the top and do a really good cleaning on it as most of you have suggested. I did do a calibration on it again the other day and that really has helped but I still think it might need to be a little tighter. In order to get a fine enough grind right now I have to have the Macro setting one down from the top and then the Micro setting is almost to the top. That seems to be pretty high based on my research.

As for the beans, they are about 7 days old or so. I usually roast on Sundays and those beans usually get used after about 2-3 days depending on my usage from the previous week.

Thanks again everyone for saving me the time and money of replacing the burrs.
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