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Constant clogging of my Breville Smart Grinder
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Discussions > Espresso > Grinders -... > Constant...  
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 2,015
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Fri Jun 13, 2014, 7:06pm
Subject: Re: Constant clogging of my Breville Smart Grinder
 

Those beans are described on Amazon as dark and oily.  They will not play nicely with the Preciso and probably with not many burr espresso grinders.  That is separaate from taste or quality.

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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jmack
Senior Member


Joined: 13 Jun 2014
Posts: 8
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Fri Jun 13, 2014, 7:23pm
Subject: Re: Constant clogging of my Breville Smart Grinder
 

So is that my problem?  What kind of grinder works best for that type of bean?  Sorry if these are stupid questions.

Thanks!
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 2,015
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Fri Jun 13, 2014, 7:40pm
Subject: Re: Constant clogging of my Breville Smart Grinder
 

I don't know of a grinder to suggest to use with oily beans, sorry.  Perhaps another user.

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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jmack
Senior Member


Joined: 13 Jun 2014
Posts: 8
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Fri Jun 13, 2014, 7:47pm
Subject: Re: Constant clogging of my Breville Smart Grinder
 

Thanks :)

They are oily but not as bad as the beans I bought to tide me over, as my main issue started when I ran out of my normal beans.  Maybe I should just look for new beans and hold off on buying a new grinder.
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 2,015
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Fri Jun 13, 2014, 7:50pm
Subject: Re: Constant clogging of my Breville Smart Grinder
 

Full circle to the Preciso as the least expensive espresso capable grinder.  Enough steps to stay dialed.  Also current thread on Lelit grinder.

Look at threads on beans and expand your selection out of dark charred roasts.  Redbird espresso is a start.

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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emradguy
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emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,114
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 Sat Jun 14, 2014, 9:28am
Subject: Re: Constant clogging of my Breville Smart Grinder
 

jmack Said:

LOL, not that one ;)

Posted June 13, 2014 link

yeah, I figured that, but wanted to illustrate how big the range is, and subsequently, how important it was to have your budget.  :)

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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Angman
Senior Member
Angman
Joined: 8 Apr 2012
Posts: 239
Location: Vancouver BC
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Strega, MCal, Cimbali M20L
Grinder: K10 Fresh, HG One 83mm,...
Vac Pot: Nope
Drip: Technivorm, Hario Woodneck,...
Roaster: Hottop 8828P
Posted Sun Jun 15, 2014, 11:40pm
Subject: Re: Constant clogging of my Breville Smart Grinder
 

I think the main concern is still the type of beans you are using.  Try to avoid anything off the shelf that says "Bold, Dark, Full Bodied" etc"  Those off the shelf beans are almost always going to be too oily and burnt.  Your Smart Burrs are probably gunked up from oils now and perhaps a good wash and a very thorough drying might help.  Take the burrs out wash in water and towel dry and perhaps take a hair dryer to it.  Run some cheap but not oily beans for seasoning and try making your espresso from there.  Coffee from Starbucks is called Charbucks for a reason and also why they had to roll out a light Blond roast for those that prefer something "lighter".  

On a side note, I agree that the Smart is not your ideal espresso grinder but you might be able to make do with it for now.  You can also contact Breville for a shim if you think you need to grind finer.  I own the Kitchenaid grinder that you mention and it works because the motor is powerful.  Is it a good grinder?  No.  The Smart is considerably better than it as I own that as well.  The Barazta or Lelit as suggested are your two best options for an upgrade for espresso.  The Smart is an excellent brew grinder for the money though.
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Webbles
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Webbles
Joined: 9 Jan 2013
Posts: 38
Location: IN
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia (v1 from...
Grinder: Rancilio Rocky (white)
Posted Mon Jun 16, 2014, 2:21pm
Subject: Re: Constant clogging of my Breville Smart Grinder
 

jmack Said:

Last January ('13) I bought the Smart Grinder after looking at reviews and wanting to be somewhat economical but get something decent.  Have had pretty constant issues with it clogging, especially lately after running out of my coffee and buying some grocery store stuff - Starbucks and then some Steep & Brew (local) ... just needed something to get me by.  The Starbucks was a bit oily but nothing major.  BUT my coffee grinder absolutely canNOT deal!  I've had to take the burrs out completely, dig out the compacted coffee, and then run rice through it for like 1, maybe 2 more grinds, and then I have to do the entire thing over again!  I run it on the FIRST setting for espresso (so most coarse espresso setting).  Even with my other coffee I would routinely have to run it down to coarse into a cup and then back up to espresso ALL the time to get it to unclog!  I'm so SICK of this machine.

Posted June 13, 2014 link


Jmack,

I don't mean to hijack your thread at all, but I wanted to sympathize with you regarding your Smart Grinder issues. I experienced something similar. I was using a Starbucks Barista and a bottomless PF to try and make "real" espresso. It acutally did pretty well and I was able to dial in my shots and get lattes and capps that we liked much better than "Charbucks." I was using Red Bird and managed to get realitively consistent results for over 6 months. Then one day the grinder started making a clicking noise and it was all downhill from there.  Like you, I would clean it out and get it working again only to see it clog and jam and give me coffee grounds that would CLOG my Barista on the coarsest setting!!!  (I don't know how I was getting grounds TOO fine!?)  

I contacted Breville, but since I had purchased on fleabay, they would not honor the warranty. I am stuck with a $170 appliance that looks nice, but does NOTHING. Does anyone have any ideas about fixing mine and Jmack's Smart Grinders?  We promise to get rid of them and use only CG-approved grinders from now on!!  =)  

Also, in attempt to avoid accusations that I hijacked the thread, I picked up a used Rancilio Rocky grinder that has been AWESOME. I did the cheap and easy MOD to make it stepless, and I have to say it CRUSHES the Smart Grinder into tiny unrecognizable pieces. If you can stomach buying something used, this would be an option in my experience and IMHO.

 
Life is too short to drink cheap espresso!
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Angman
Senior Member
Angman
Joined: 8 Apr 2012
Posts: 239
Location: Vancouver BC
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Strega, MCal, Cimbali M20L
Grinder: K10 Fresh, HG One 83mm,...
Vac Pot: Nope
Drip: Technivorm, Hario Woodneck,...
Roaster: Hottop 8828P
Posted Mon Jun 16, 2014, 2:52pm
Subject: Re: Constant clogging of my Breville Smart Grinder
 

Can you explain these "clicking" noises more?  Does it still click every time you grind or has it stopped? It just doesn't make sense that you are using the coarsest grind yet chocking the machine. The ability to grind fine enough is probably the Smarts only weakness.  Have you reinstalled the burrs properly?  Perhaps there is some slipping issue since the Smart does not tighten down with phillips screws like traditional burr sets?  The Smart is not that bad a grinder especially for the price. You just need to be realistic of what its capabilities are.  

If you don't know how to clean, maintain, reinstall burrs, use beans too oily or crush a rock/pebble then you will have similar issues with any grinder.
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jmack
Senior Member


Joined: 13 Jun 2014
Posts: 8
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Mon Jun 16, 2014, 3:10pm
Subject: Re: Constant clogging of my Breville Smart Grinder
 

webbles, I don't mind the 'hijack' at all - only adds to the conversation, IMO.

The clicking noise happens when the grinder gets clogged but it's not due tot he burrs being in wrong or anything.  Yesterday morning I had the worst time EVER with it - I removed both burrs and then used a knife to scrape out the fine grounds that were caked all around that plastic disk (I believe it's the clutch?  That's what the person from Breville said - she said it was NOT removeable).  I'd clean it out as good as I could, then run some instant rice - but each time I tried, it would NOT go through and it would just click again (because it was still clogged) - but each time more coffee was mixed with the rice when I took it apart again - again cleaned it - reinstalled everything, tried to run the rice through again ... clicked AGAIN!  It literally took like 6 tries and FINALLY the rice would go through.  Put yet another brand of espresso bean in it, one I've had decent luck with in the past, and it's been working well now since yesterday morning.  

Another issue is I avoid A/C as much as possible in the summer unless it's REALLY bad, so the humidity in our house isn't helping, either, I'm sure.

I'm definitely thinking I just need to stay away from the oily beans!  We'll see how it goes ...
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