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Discussions > Espresso > Grinders -... > Chipped Baratza...  
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Whitcoatsyndrom
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Whitcoatsyndrom
Joined: 25 Apr 2013
Posts: 172
Location: Roanoke, VA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Expobar Office Pulser
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: Newco-OCS 12
Roaster: HG/BM
Posted Sun Nov 3, 2013, 9:52am
Subject: Chipped Baratza Vario Burrs?
 

I cannot seem to pull a shot without sprites...those small, almost aerosolized jets of coffee through a bottomless PF.  

I'm using a Gaggia Classic with pressure adjusted to the proper level (no PID, unfortunately).  Beans are as fresh as they get.  I've read pages upon pages on various tamping and dosing techniques, all to no avail.  The best advice thus far was from Emradguy, who suggested taking the grind a big finer.  This did help but I still can't get a shot free of the sprites.  At times I get a bit of doughnut extraction if I err on the even finer side.  I thought it might have been the stock Gaggia basket, it has quite a taper on it.  If anyone thinks that's a possible problem, please let me know.  I'm using a 16.5 dose and haven't seen much change in the shot if I move it upwards.  

I took a look at my Vario burrs and snapped a few pics of what might be abnormalities/chips in the burrs. I'm not too familiar with what is and is not significant enough to cause a problem so I'm hoping you all can shed some light.  I do have an extra set of new burrs, but I've only put about 15lbs through the machine so I was going to hold off installation unless someone here suggests I try it.  Thanks a lot everyone.

Pic 1--look around the area surrounding the screw

Whitcoatsyndrom: Vario 1.jpg
(Click for larger image)
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Whitcoatsyndrom
Senior Member
Whitcoatsyndrom
Joined: 25 Apr 2013
Posts: 172
Location: Roanoke, VA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Expobar Office Pulser
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: Newco-OCS 12
Roaster: HG/BM
Posted Sun Nov 3, 2013, 9:53am
Subject: Re: Chipped Baratza Vario Burrs?
 

Pic 2--Again, around the screw hole

Whitcoatsyndrom: Vario 2.jpg
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Whitcoatsyndrom
Senior Member
Whitcoatsyndrom
Joined: 25 Apr 2013
Posts: 172
Location: Roanoke, VA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Expobar Office Pulser
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: Newco-OCS 12
Roaster: HG/BM
Posted Sun Nov 3, 2013, 9:54am
Subject: Re: Chipped Baratza Vario Burrs?
 

Pic 3--6 o'clock position around screw hole

Whitcoatsyndrom: Vario 3.jpg
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Whitcoatsyndrom
Senior Member
Whitcoatsyndrom
Joined: 25 Apr 2013
Posts: 172
Location: Roanoke, VA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Expobar Office Pulser
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: Newco-OCS 12
Roaster: HG/BM
Posted Sun Nov 3, 2013, 9:55am
Subject: Re: Chipped Baratza Vario Burrs?
 

Pic 4--All around the screw hole that's in focus

Whitcoatsyndrom: Vario 4.jpg
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Whitcoatsyndrom
Senior Member
Whitcoatsyndrom
Joined: 25 Apr 2013
Posts: 172
Location: Roanoke, VA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Expobar Office Pulser
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: Newco-OCS 12
Roaster: HG/BM
Posted Sun Nov 3, 2013, 9:56am
Subject: Re: Chipped Baratza Vario Burrs?
 

Pic 5--12 o'clock position around the perimeter of the burr itself.  It almost looks like a shallow divot.

Whitcoatsyndrom: Vario 5.jpg
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Whitcoatsyndrom
Senior Member
Whitcoatsyndrom
Joined: 25 Apr 2013
Posts: 172
Location: Roanoke, VA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Expobar Office Pulser
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: Newco-OCS 12
Roaster: HG/BM
Posted Sun Nov 3, 2013, 9:58am
Subject: Re: Chipped Baratza Vario Burrs?
 

Pic 6-- Look at the screw hole, 10 o'clock position and slightly lateral to the left.  This also looks like a shallow divot.

Sorry for the multiple posts.  Am I missing a way to insert more than one 75kb pic on single post?

Whitcoatsyndrom: Vario 6.jpg
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,710
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Mon Nov 4, 2013, 7:23am
Subject: Re: Chipped Baratza Vario Burrs?
 

Whitcoatsyndrom Said:

Beans are as fresh as they get.

Posted November 3, 2013 link

So, are you letting them rest and degas for about 4 days?

As to the burrs, I doubt that there will be much affect on the grind, but then I am used to steel burrs and they don't chip, well unless you run a boulder through them.

 
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emradguy
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emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,020
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4 x2, VDD...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Mon Nov 4, 2013, 8:30am
Subject: Re: Chipped Baratza Vario Burrs?
 

Whitcoatsyndrom Said:

Sorry for the multiple posts.  Am I missing a way to insert more than one 75kb pic on single post?

Posted November 3, 2013 link

no, this system only allows one pic per post.

I'm no expert on burr damage, even by a long shot, as I've only seen a couple of sets (when I've had to change or clean my own).  However, seeing as how your only apparent problems are right at the screw holes, I would guess (maybe I should have used bold for that?) it's insignificant.

Further, I'd guess your problems still lie in dose, grind fineness and distribution.  I suppose someone with a Vario could help you with adsjusting grind fineness, but I'd say, you should go to where you either choke the machine (or are close to it), and then back off in the smallest increments possible until you get a good extraction.  If you've tried that already, then I'd say you might want to re-read about distribution techniques, heavily scrutinize your method (with extremely high detail), and then modify where improvement seems possible. Other thoughts...inspect your basket holes for uniformity; remove and thoroughly clean your shower screen and inspect it too. If you have more than one tamper base shape, perhaps another would help. At 16.5g of fresh beans, you should be able to find a grind setting that gives you a sprite free extraction. Also, last thing (I think)...tiny sprites are unlikely to significantly affect the results in the cup.  You should only need to worry about streams of channeling.

I was recently having some trouble with lopsided extractions (still am a little, but it's much better).  I found that two things have helpsed so far...I changed my group gasket, and then I changed the way I was setting the tamper on top of the uncompressed puck.

 
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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: 172
Location: Roanoke, VA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Expobar Office Pulser
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: Newco-OCS 12
Roaster: HG/BM
Posted Mon Nov 4, 2013, 1:09pm
Subject: Re: Chipped Baratza Vario Burrs?
 

calblacksmith Said:

So, are you letting them rest and degas for about 4 days?

As to the burrs, I doubt that there will be much affect on the grind, but then I am used to steel burrs and they don't chip, well unless you run a boulder through them.

Posted November 4, 2013 link

Usually they sit for at least 3 prior to use and are gone by day 10 or 12.  I have definitely learned that failure to de-gas not only tastes bad, but produces more of the sprites and channeling.
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Whitcoatsyndrom
Senior Member
Whitcoatsyndrom
Joined: 25 Apr 2013
Posts: 172
Location: Roanoke, VA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Expobar Office Pulser
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: Newco-OCS 12
Roaster: HG/BM
Posted Mon Nov 4, 2013, 1:13pm
Subject: Re: Chipped Baratza Vario Burrs?
 

emradguy Said:

no, this system only allows one pic per post.

I'm no expert on burr damage, even by a long shot, as I've only seen a couple of sets (when I've had to change or clean my own).  However, seeing as how your only apparent problems are right at the screw holes, I would guess (maybe I should have used bold for that?) it's insignificant.

Further, I'd guess your problems still lie in dose, grind fineness and distribution.  I suppose someone with a Vario could help you with adsjusting grind fineness, but I'd say, you should go to where you either choke the machine (or are close to it), and then back off in the smallest increments possible until you get a good extraction.  If you've tried that already, then I'd say you might want to re-read about distribution techniques, heavily scrutinize your method (with extremely high detail), and then modify where improvement seems possible. Other thoughts...inspect your basket holes for uniformity; remove and thoroughly clean your shower screen and inspect it too. If you have more than one tamper base shape, perhaps another would help. At 16.5g of fresh beans, you should be able to find a grind setting that gives you a sprite free extraction. Also, last thing (I think)...tiny sprites are unlikely to significantly affect the results in the cup.  You should only need to worry about streams of channeling.

I was recently having some trouble with lopsided extractions (still am a little, but it's much better).  I found that two things have helpsed so far...I changed my group gasket, and then I changed the way I was setting the tamper on top of the uncompressed puck.

Posted November 4, 2013 link

Yeah, everything is tasting swell so I guess I'm not too upset.  It's just adding more cleanup to my routine and the lips of espresso cups are graffitied with the marks of imperfection.  I've been seriously debating getting a VST basket but haven't been able to find much around describing their effects on sprites.  Think it will help?  

I've been moving my grind around so much lately that Im going to take the advice to choke the machine and start slowly knocking it coarser from there...back to basics :-)
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