emil3m Senior Member Joined: 14 Jan 2013 Posts: 103 Location: New York Expertise: Just starting
Espresso: Crossland CC1 Grinder: Vario
Posted Sat Apr 13, 2013, 3:58am Subject: Crossland CC1 does not handle espresso grind of the Vario
Just got this setup this week. Please advise a course of action.
The machine is not pulling any water through a grind of 3G or finer on the Vario. There are numerous videos online where people use 3A and even the 2nd macro range for proper extraction.
My tamp is certainly not too strong. In fact, it may be too weak at this point as I'm paranoid about shooting a blank yet again. Going a few notches coarser than 3G pulls about an ounce and leaves the puck extremely wet.
Using the standard portafilter+double basket. Dose 16g (sometimes 17g).
The 3L,M,N notches seemed to be close to the correct yield, but I'm afraid that if I tamp at true 30lb, then it will fail again.
Currently in love with Hayes Valley by Blue Bottle--locally roasted next to my house in Brooklyn
Iluvdabean Senior Member Joined: 7 Mar 2005 Posts: 1,217 Location: Kentucky Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: La Nuova Era Cuadra/Gaggia... Grinder: Baratza Preciso/K-A Pro... Drip: Bonavita BV 1800 TH Roaster: Nesco 1010/Behmor 1600
Posted Sat Apr 13, 2013, 7:04am Subject: Re: Crossland CC1 does not handle espresso grind of the Vario
I never see people with the same equipment and depend on their settings if they list them, I might try them. I would check the owners manual on setting up the Vario. I would then set the grind so you can get to a 30 lb tamp and a 30 second pull for a double basket. Dont over think this process. Beans are different and as the beans age they are different. If both your grinder and machine are new I would make sure the grinder is set up like you want it via manual. Then forget someone elses math....go make your own numbers. When you get into to preset formulas as a rigid mode of operation the little things that cause variances become difficult to adress sometimes. My advice is loosen up and have fun,but of course learn as you go and remember things.
Zevi Senior Member Joined: 28 Mar 2013 Posts: 112 Location: Ann Arbor Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: Quick Mill Vetrano 2B Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Sat Apr 13, 2013, 7:25am Subject: Re: Crossland CC1 does not handle espresso grind of the Vario
The machine is not pulling any water through a grind of 3G or finer on the Vario. There are numerous videos online where people use 3A and even the 2nd macro range for proper extraction. ... The 3L,M,N notches seemed to be close to the correct yield, but I'm afraid that if I tamp at true 30lb, then it will fail again.
Don't know it that has anything to do with it, but just in case: if you look at the "Grinders" forum, there's this thread about Vario where people talk about the "one-way" adjustment. If you get too fine on the Vario, you may need to push down on the burrs to get them coarser again. I'm not sure about the details or how true it is (I read this, because I'm considering getting a Vario). So, maybe you've gone too fine, and it got stuck there. (Hope I'm wrong, because that's a big hassle!)
Coffeenoobie Senior Member Joined: 11 Dec 2011 Posts: 2,972 Location: PNW Expertise: I like coffee
Espresso: N S Oscar Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Sat Apr 13, 2013, 8:00am Subject: Re: Crossland CC1 does not handle espresso grind of the Vario
I adjusted my Vario based on advice from here to get it so my normal bean (redbird) grinds at 2 m-b range. You don't want your range too close to 1 because there is no where to go after that. So 3 would probably be even better. But different beans/roasts/age affect the grind. The exact number is not that important. Start pulling shots that work and don't worry about the number.
Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.
Jmanespresso Senior Member Joined: 18 Jan 2009 Posts: 2,109 Location: Westchester NY Expertise: I live coffee
Espresso: Alex Duetto II Grinder: Compak K10 - Vario Vac Pot: Yama-SY5/SY8/TCA5 Drip: V60, Beehouse, CCD Roaster: Hottop B
Posted Sat Apr 13, 2013, 1:59pm Subject: Re: Crossland CC1 does not handle espresso grind of the Vario
SO what you're saying, is that you can completely choke the machine, and still have settings to make the grinder go finer?
Good. Being able to go finer then you need too, is never a bad thing. Different coffees require different grind settings, and depending on the roast level, sometimes its quite a difference. FYI, the lighter the roast, the finer the grind, if you keep everything else the same.
You cant compare grind settings from grinder to grinder. This is true of EVERY grinder, and especially the Vario, because the varios calibration can be changed by the end user. What pulls a ristretto for one person, may completely gush through in 5 seconds for another.
You need to dial in YOUR vario, for YOUR coffee, on YOUR machine.
Heres what you do:
-You need to make sure you use the exact same amount of ground coffee, each time. Be precise. As much as .3grams can change the flow noticeably, and as much as .5grams can affect the taste noticeably. (And this is not only talking about somebody with an uber-tongue mega palate.. this is anyone who can taste things. IF you can taste a difference between coke and diet coke, you can pick up plenty of nuances in coffee.)
-17grams is generally a fine place to start.. BUT, just verify that it is an acceptable dose for your machine and the basket you are using. Do the Nickel Test to verify. This is also a good time to find out your maximum dose. Which if its not 17grams, its probably 18grams or so.
-Dial the Vario, REGARDLESS OF WHERE YOU NEED TO PUT THE MICRO/MACRO LEVERS, so that you get the shot you're looking for. Anything from 1oz-2oz in 23-45seconds is acceptable, and based on what YOU like, find your flavor in that range. Me personally, I tend to like extractions that run on the long side, 35-45seconds, using a big dose and shooting for a ristretto side Brew Ratio
Pay no mind to where you need to set the vario, its utterly useless to compare it to anyone else and think you're doing it wrong. I bet you my vario and your vario aren't even CLOSE. In fact I know they're not, because if I set mine as fine as it possible will go(both levers up), I might be able to choke my machine, with a really dark roast and a heavy dose. Why is that so? Because Ive calibrated my vario to favor the coarser grind, because I use my Vario for brewed coffee.
Every grinder is unique. Mazzers, Macaps, Compaks, Anfims, Mahlkonigs.. ALL of these grinders have some sort of numbered scale on the grinders adjustment collar. But what you MUST be aware of, is that the numbers are there PURELY as a point of reference. It wouldn't matter if they were numbers, shapes, or vegetables. Its just a scale, so you have some sort of reference to go by.
I had two mazzer majors. That grinder is one that has numbers on the threaded adjustment collar. So, on the first one, when I would thread the collar into the grinder and tighten the grind setting ALLLLL the way down until the burrs touched, that is called the "Zero Point". Now, one would assume that the grind setting notch, would line up with the number "0", at this point. But you would be incorrect. On the first Major I had, the adjustment notch pointed to between 1 and 2. On my most recent Major, it pointed to a dead on 9. Both Majors. Both Zero'd out. One reads "1.5", the other reads "9".
Its like that with every grinder. And its even more variable on the Vario, because the end user can change the calibration of grinder. If yuou set the Macro lever all the way up, turn on the grinder, and move the micro lever from the bottom to the top, around the middle point is generally where you hear the motor labor. that is an average vario from the factory. Mine? I dont hear it labor until the micro lever is only a few clicks from the top. Yours? I wouldnt be surprised if you heard it start to labor only a third of the way up.
Bottom line. You're not doing anything wrong. Just dial in your shot. Keep the amount of ground coffee consistent, and keep your tamp pressure consistent(be it 10lbs or 50lbs, doesn't matter, just be consistent), and adjust the grind coarser until you get a shot your happy with.
Follow Your Bliss
Coffee makes your constantly overcome your prejudices and re-evaluate your own "received wisdoms" when it comes to judging cup flavors. -Tom Owen, SweetMarias
khuzdul Senior Member Joined: 24 Mar 2009 Posts: 86 Location: U.S. North East
Posted Sat Apr 13, 2013, 10:09pm Subject: Re: Crossland CC1 does not handle espresso grind of the Vario
The freshness of the bean also affects what grind setting will choke an espresso machine as well. Given the same machine/grinder, as a bean gets older, the finer the grind can be before a given espresso machine may choke...
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