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Difficulty with Gaggia Classic & Iberital MC2 grinder
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MasterMark
Senior Member


Joined: 9 Jan 2014
Posts: 11
Location: London (UK)
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Sat Feb 1, 2014, 3:08am
Subject: Difficulty with Gaggia Classic & Iberital MC2 grinder
 

Morning all!

Well, I recently purchased a Gaggia Classic and paired it with an Iberital MC2 grinder. Despite the plethora of helpful guides here and elsewhere, I'm struggling!

I believe the problem to be with the grinder, and with me (not in that order I suspect), and that the machine is fine. I think the issue is partly that as a novice I don't really know how to get the grind right. It's a stepless grinder, and I seem to be turning incessantly without any noticeable change in the grind. It comes out pretty clumpy, and however much I turn the fine-ness dial, and tamp, the espresso flows out like a waterfall. And in fact the last couple of times, the espresso has sediment in it(!), and when I take the portafilter out, it's very "wet", if that makes sense. I then pulled a shot with some pre-ground Lavazza, just to see, and those problems didn't happen (just bad coffee, as you'd expect!).

Anyone with any ideas? I imagine the beans aren't the best - they came free with the grinder (from an excellent UK company called Happy Donkey) - they don't have a roasted date on them, but they're certainly not going to be worse than the pre-ground Lavazza, so there's something else!

I don't want to over-tighten the grinder in case the burrs touch, but I just don't know how to get to a decent setting. If anyone has any suggestions/experience with this grinder, that would be great!
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al_bongo
Senior Member


Joined: 26 Aug 2008
Posts: 453
Location: Scotland
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Starbucks Barista
Grinder: Solis 166/Iberital MC2
Vac Pot: Cona
Drip: Chemex/Melitta
Posted Sat Feb 1, 2014, 6:46am
Subject: Re: Difficulty with Gaggia Classic & Iberital MC2 grinder
 

After much research I bought an Iberital grinder to go with my Starbucks Barista espresso machine (with replacement non pressurised portafilter). The Iberital is not an easy grinder to set up for the first time. It is I think an amazing grinder for the money and will give excellent results with your Gaggia with practice.

The setting of my Iberital out the box was way off espresso setting and probably required dozens of full rotations of the grinder knob to get to a fine enough setting. Each full revolution of the grinder knob is a tiny adjustment which is brilliant when you have dialed in your grind and you need to compensate for the beans staling as you go through them.

I did not have the nerve to adjust the grinder while it is running until the burrs just touched and to back off from there to find an espresso setting. I suspect that might be the quickest way to an espresso setting. But I wasn't comfortable with that and didn't want to damage the grinder.

Realistically I'd suggest at least a dozen full turns finer of the grinder setting knob between shots until you get to a decent setting. If I recollect even a change of beans could mean half a dozen full rotations of the grind setting from the previous beans to get the setting for the new beans.

The Iberital is not widely known on here but I think you have a great combination and the Iberital grinder is very definitely a capable espresso grinder.

PS The Starbucks machine didn't have some ?valve that other machines do and the puck always came out wet. This is normal for that machine and might be the same for your Gaggia.
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Mrboots2u
Senior Member
Mrboots2u
Joined: 1 Jan 2014
Posts: 6
Location: United Kingdom
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Londinium 1
Grinder: Eureka mythos
Roaster: All over the place
Posted Sun Feb 2, 2014, 2:12am
Subject: Re: Difficulty with Gaggia Classic & Iberital MC2 grinder
 

Start by getting some fresh beans , lavazza wil be stale , although happy donkey in the uk are a reputable equipment supplier , they are providing you with beans with no roast date not them. I suspect these are no better than supermarket beans in terms of freshness.
Stale beans, gushing extractions ,
Get some fresh beans ( preferably something you want to drink , 500-750 of one bean)  , get some scales , dose consistently , aim for an extraction ( preferably measure by weight if you can) .
Taste , taste , taste ,
They are loads of brilliant roasters that supply locally or online in the uk , there is no excuse for sticking to poor beans .
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capndan
Senior Member


Joined: 3 Feb 2014
Posts: 1
Location: Texas
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Mon Feb 3, 2014, 6:48pm
Subject: Re: Difficulty with Gaggia Classic & Iberital MC2 grinder
 

I'm having a similar issue right now, except I am using a Maestro Plus I've had for a good 4 or 5 years now. My machine is a new Gaggia Classic and I am seeing almost exactly as described above. Espresso comes out like a waterfall, I fill up a 5 oz cup in about 8 seconds. When I take out the portafilter it is wet and messy, and the underside of the machine is covered in loose grounds.

I've got my Maestro turned as fine as it can go, don't really have a frame of reference for what proper grinds should look like but it is very fine. I've tried 15, 14, and 13 g of coffee, and varied my tamping from light to as hard as I can press. Nothing seems to slow it down.

Is my grinder no good?
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dwRK
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Sep 2013
Posts: 92
Location: Houston
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Mon Feb 3, 2014, 11:24pm
Subject: Re: Difficulty with Gaggia Classic & Iberital MC2 grinder
 

the iberital should be OK...the maestro not so...

read this for waterfall flow...

also most beans should get dry puck...some beans will be bit wet but can be knocked out...but never soupy with 3-way valve...

the coffee should not touch the screen...the "underside" should be quite clean after the pull
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MasterMark
Senior Member


Joined: 9 Jan 2014
Posts: 11
Location: London (UK)
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Sat Feb 8, 2014, 3:03am
Subject: Re: Difficulty with Gaggia Classic & Iberital MC2 grinder
 

Hello all. Thanks for all the responses - an update, and things are no better! I purchased some decent beans from Hasbean (roasted 6 days ago). I've attached a picture of the grind I'm getting from the Iberital mc2 - I've been adjusting it an awful lot, but am scared to go to too far as I don't want the burrs to touch and break it.

In any event, not sure what I'm looking for but it doesn't look good to me. The other picture is the monstrous brown liquid that rushes out in less than 5 seconds. The puck at the end is indeed a wet, soupy mess. I did a test with the stale lavazza ground coffee just to see, and at least the puck looked fine. So there's no problem with the machine, the beans are fresh, so the problem must be with my grind. Anyone with any further ideas?!

MasterMark: Brown.jpg
(Click for larger image)
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MasterMark
Senior Member


Joined: 9 Jan 2014
Posts: 11
Location: London (UK)
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Sat Feb 8, 2014, 3:04am
Subject: Re: Difficulty with Gaggia Classic & Iberital MC2 grinder
 

Oops, grind photo now attached.

MasterMark: grind.jpg
(Click for larger image)
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alanfrew
Senior Member
alanfrew
Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 643
Location: Melbourne
Expertise: Professional

Posted Sat Feb 8, 2014, 3:27am
Subject: Re: Difficulty with Gaggia Classic & Iberital MC2 grinder
 

Use the double basket, fill till the coffee is mounded up about 1cm above the lip, wipe level with a finger, tamp. Coffee level should be 0.5cm below the lip of the basket.

Alan
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MasterMark
Senior Member


Joined: 9 Jan 2014
Posts: 11
Location: London (UK)
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Sat Feb 8, 2014, 3:37am
Subject: Re: Difficulty with Gaggia Classic & Iberital MC2 grinder
 

Thanks, Alan. That's pretty much what I've been doing - the gaggia double basket has a groove on the inside, about 1/2 cm below the top lip, as you say. That's where I'm getting the coffee to be filled after tamping.
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al_bongo
Senior Member


Joined: 26 Aug 2008
Posts: 453
Location: Scotland
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Starbucks Barista
Grinder: Solis 166/Iberital MC2
Vac Pot: Cona
Drip: Chemex/Melitta
Posted Sat Feb 8, 2014, 4:28am
Subject: Re: Difficulty with Gaggia Classic & Iberital MC2 grinder
 

Can't tell much from the pic, but if it's still gushing through you're not grinding fine enough. In fact at 5s you are way off the mark

If you adjust with the motor running you will here if the burrs touch so you shouldn't damage the grinder.

It will work just keep grinding finer. If you go too far  the water won't flow through the puck. Aim for that then back off.

I wouldn't be wasting fresh beans. Use the Happy Donkey until you get near where you need to be. Then coarsen the grind a bit when you move over to the fresh beans.

Seriously a dozen turns is a relatively small adustment with this grinder. It is a good grinder but until you get to know it, it is incredibly frustarting.
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