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Grinder (Vario) adjustment - espresso to drip and vice-versa
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Discussions > Espresso > Grinders -... > Grinder (Vario)...  
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jtferraro
Senior Member


Joined: 24 Jun 2013
Posts: 49
Location: CT
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Starbucks (Saeco) Barista,...
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Vac Pot: Aerobie Aero Press
Drip: Bonavita Thermal
Roaster: none
Posted Mon Dec 2, 2013, 7:26pm
Subject: Grinder (Vario) adjustment - espresso to drip and vice-versa
 

I have a Vario and recently purchased a Bonavita drip machine.  Every 2-3 days I typically switch between espresso & drip, so find myself making macro adjustments on the Vario (between 2 & 6).  While I know I'm not supposed to make adjustments if the machine isn't running/grinding, but is it OK to make adjustments while the machine is running but not actually grinding?  I grind on demand, so can I simply turn the grinder on, make my adjustment, turn it off, add the necessary amount of weighed beans, then turn it on again to grind?  That way I won't be wasting any beans or dealing with grinds that aren't as uniform in size as they should be.

Thanks,

    -Jeff
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boar_d_laze
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Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 1,220
Location: Monrovia, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La Cimbali M21 DT/1 Junior...
Grinder: Ceado E92; "Bunnzilla"
Vac Pot: Royal Coffee Maker
Drip: Chemex + Kone; Espro Press
Roaster: USRC Sample Roaster
Posted Mon Dec 2, 2013, 7:55pm
Subject: Re: Grinder (Vario) adjustment - espresso to drip and vice-versa
 

When your adjusting a grinder -- any grinder -- you don't have to run the grinder to open the space between the burrs (going to a coarser grind).  You do have to run it when you're narrowing the gap in order to insure that no beans are caught between the burrs, fighting the closing action, and possibly causing misalignment or doing other damage.  

You should be aware that quite a few users (not all, though) report that the Vario will not return to espresso settings accurately, and that the grinder will require dialing-in every time it goes back to espresso from brew.  As I understand it, the problem gets worse with use and frequency as the mechanism develops increasing slop.  

BDL
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tglodjo
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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 Dec 3, 2013, 7:14am
Subject: Re: Grinder (Vario) adjustment - espresso to drip and vice-versa
 

boar_d_laze Said:

When your adjusting a grinder -- any grinder -- you don't have to run the grinder to open the space between the burrs (going to a coarser grind).  You do have to run it when you're narrowing the gap in order to insure that no beans are caught between the burrs, fighting the closing action, and possibly causing misalignment or doing other damage.

Posted December 2, 2013 link

That's true for most grinders, but for the Vario, running it while even adjusting coarser is needed. Well, it may not be needed, but it results in a much more uniform adjustment. When I was using my Vario to switch between drip and espresso, I would run it and adjust without beans and it seemed to function just fine. I would just let it run for an extra 5-10 seconds after adjustment to make sure the burrs settle. When going finer back to espresso, I found it helpful to adjust "above" (finer) than my last setting and then move the switch down to my desired spot. Don't know if the downward movement helps the burrs settle quicker than the upward movement, but I had a much better experience switching settings by doing so.
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jtferraro
Senior Member


Joined: 24 Jun 2013
Posts: 49
Location: CT
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Starbucks (Saeco) Barista,...
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Vac Pot: Aerobie Aero Press
Drip: Bonavita Thermal
Roaster: none
Posted Tue Dec 3, 2013, 7:19am
Subject: Re: Grinder (Vario) adjustment - espresso to drip and vice-versa
 

Thank you.
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DanoM
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Joined: 20 Mar 2013
Posts: 358
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Strega, '84 La...
Grinder: Compak K10, Kludge grinder,...
Posted Tue Dec 3, 2013, 7:32am
Subject: Re: Grinder (Vario) adjustment - espresso to drip and vice-versa
 

tglodjo Said:

That's true for most grinders, but for the Vario, running it while even adjusting coarser is needed. Well, it may not be needed, but it results in a much more uniform adjustment. When I was using my Vario to switch between drip and espresso, I would run it and adjust without beans and it seemed to function just fine. I would just let it run for an extra 5-10 seconds after adjustment to make sure the burrs settle. When going finer back to espresso, I found it helpful to adjust "above" (finer) than my last setting and then move the switch down to my desired spot. Don't know if the downward movement helps the burrs settle quicker than the upward movement, but I had a much better experience switching settings by doing so.

Posted December 3, 2013 link

+1  I do exactly this on my Vario.  
I weigh and dose my beans before they go into the hopper, so it's always empty.
Mornings first thing the Vario gets a 10+second spin to help clean out any stale grinds.
When dialing in a new grind, even minute changes, or reverting back to an old one I always have the burrs spinning and run a full 10 seconds after adjustment.  (Moving from finer to coarser for the final adjustment like the above poster is likely a good idea.)

Switching between La Pavoni lever grinds in the 5-Q range to the NS Oscar grinds of the 3-G range seems to always be right on for me.  Granted, my Vario has only had about 30-40 pounds of beans go through it so far, so machine wear is likely not an issue for me yet.
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moosepucky
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moosepucky
Joined: 6 Jun 2009
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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 Tue Dec 3, 2013, 4:08pm
Subject: Re: Grinder (Vario) adjustment - espresso to drip and vice-versa
 

jtferraro Said:

I grind on demand, so can I simply turn the grinder on, make my adjustment, turn it off, add the necessary amount of weighed beans, then turn it on again to grind?  That way I won't be wasting any beans or dealing with grinds that aren't as uniform in size as they should be.

Thanks,

    -Jeff

Posted December 2, 2013 link

If there are NO beans in the grinder (in the burr set).  I do not see why you would need to run the grinder while adjusting.

the reason for running while adjusting is so that the beans that are already between the burrs can be moved while the burrs are reset but with no beans there is no resistance.

Maybe my thinking on this is wrong but then again ?1?!?!?!?!
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jtferraro
Senior Member


Joined: 24 Jun 2013
Posts: 49
Location: CT
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Starbucks (Saeco) Barista,...
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Vac Pot: Aerobie Aero Press
Drip: Bonavita Thermal
Roaster: none
Posted Tue Dec 3, 2013, 7:29pm
Subject: Re: Grinder (Vario) adjustment - espresso to drip and vice-versa
 

>>Maybe my thinking on this is wrong but then again ?1?!?!?!?!<<

I hear you - makes sense to me, although there could be other reasons too.
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brianl
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Joined: 1 Dec 2012
Posts: 449
Location: Chicago IL
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic (w/PID)
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: chemex
Posted Wed Dec 4, 2013, 7:48am
Subject: Re: Grinder (Vario) adjustment - espresso to drip and vice-versa
 

moosepucky Said:

If there are NO beans in the grinder (in the burr set).  I do not see why you would need to run the grinder while adjusting.

the reason for running while adjusting is so that the beans that are already between the burrs can be moved while the burrs are reset but with no beans there is no resistance.

Maybe my thinking on this is wrong but then again ?1?!?!?!?!

Posted December 3, 2013 link

So you can guarantee me that 100% of the time you don't have a bean or two stuck in the chamber (slightly crushed or otherwise)? I've seen it numerous times, even with the VARIOs great lack of grind retention.
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boar_d_laze
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 1,220
Location: Monrovia, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La Cimbali M21 DT/1 Junior...
Grinder: Ceado E92; "Bunnzilla"
Vac Pot: Royal Coffee Maker
Drip: Chemex + Kone; Espro Press
Roaster: USRC Sample Roaster
Posted Wed Dec 4, 2013, 7:59am
Subject: Re: Grinder (Vario) adjustment - espresso to drip and vice-versa
 

moosepucky Said:

If there are NO beans in the grinder (in the burr set).  I do not see why you would need to run the grinder while adjusting.

the reason for running while adjusting is so that the beans that are already between the burrs can be moved while the burrs are reset but with no beans there is no resistance.

Maybe my thinking on this is wrong but then again ?1?!?!?!?!

Posted December 3, 2013 link

No, you're thinking is good.  The problem is that unless the grinder is thoroughly cleaned between uses, there will be something in the burrs.  Even if it's not much, it can cause damage.  

BDL
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boar_d_laze
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 1,220
Location: Monrovia, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La Cimbali M21 DT/1 Junior...
Grinder: Ceado E92; "Bunnzilla"
Vac Pot: Royal Coffee Maker
Drip: Chemex + Kone; Espro Press
Roaster: USRC Sample Roaster
Posted Wed Dec 4, 2013, 8:06am
Subject: Re: Grinder (Vario) adjustment - espresso to drip and vice-versa
 

brianl Said:

So you can guarantee me that 100% of the time you don't have a bean or two stuck in the chamber (slightly crushed or otherwise)? I've seen it numerous times, even with the VARIOs great lack of grind retention.

Posted December 4, 2013 link

Coffee beans release oils during the grinding process and this can cause bean fragments to stick in the burr crevices. The only way to make sure there's nothing in there is to run something very dry like Grindz or instant rice, or to remove the burrs and clean them.  Running the grinder helps, especially if you open and close the burrs to know stuff out -- but it's not certain.    

BDL
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