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Thread: New Breville BCG820 "Smart Grinder Pro"

  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rusty View Post
    Rule one for good coffee:
    Never ever use pre-ground beans.

    Rule two:
    Always use a good quality grinder.

    I have the EM7000 and the Breville Smart Grinder Pro BCG820. Together they produce great coffee.
    What settings? I keep asking as I know heaps of people have this combo but cant seem to get a straight answer.

    i.e. grind time, fineness, temping

  2. #52
    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    Setting is irrelevant as one grinder will be different from another. Keep your dose constant (ie tamped level in basket), tamp pressure constant and adjust grind setting to get desired flow. This way only one variable is in play, otherwise you can start going around in circles driving yourself crazy.

    Cheers
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  3. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by artman View Post
    Setting is irrelevant as one grinder will be different from another. Keep your dose constant (ie tamped level in basket), tamp pressure constant and adjust grind setting to get desired flow. This way only one variable is in play, otherwise you can start going around in circles driving yourself crazy.

    Cheers
    Understand that but I am still interested in what settings people who are making coffee with the exact same gear as me are using to get good results.

  4. #54
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    I usually use 3 lots of single doses at -2, grind setting one or two ticks from the finest. Again, this is completely irrelevant as it will greatly depend on how yours is shimmed up (or not) compared to another grinder (factory shimmed or otherwise). Two ticks from the finest on mine might be the coarsest espresso setting on yours. Likewise it is likely another machine will run at a slightly different brew pressure to yours, again swaying the results (although small variances in brew pressure is probably the least contributing factor to a varied shot).

    Cheers

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    I'm about to pick up a Rocket Giotto Evoluzione V2 and I'll need to upgrade my grinder to something that will do it justice. Do you think the Smart Grinder Pro would be suitable? I know in terms of longevity it will need replacing sooner than other non-appliance brand grinders, but the Evo blew my initial budget and the price of the Smart Grinder Pro seems good for what it produces. Having said that, I won't get it if it means I won't be getting the best out of the Evo.
    Thanks for any advice.

  6. #56
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    I paired up BCG800 (Shimmed) with my Giotto V3 for decaf beans for my wife, it did the job while not the highest consistency & full favour as to my liking. M4D is the best combination with slower speed (1400 rpm) for my normal blend. I can feel the ground (of BCG800) is warmer then M4D when doing little leveling, and no idea of the rpm from Smart grinder. If you looking at M7D, its only 350rpm (but conical blades not Flat one of M4D) What current grinder are you running?

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    Ibiza888 I've currently got an older Sunbeam Cafe Series set up (grinder and machine - bought in 2009). They were great to learn on and have served me well but it's time to step things up!

    You said the BCG800 did an OK job for your wife's decaf - is the BCG820 supposed to be much of an improvement? Or am I wasting the Evo by not getting something else (K3 or something around that price)? I wish an M7D or M4D was in the budget right now but it's not.

    Initially I was just going to go down the BES920 and BCG820 path, but the opportunity to get the Rocket came along so now I've got to think about what grinder's going to work with it (that won't break the bank if that's possible).

  8. #58
    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    The main differences between the 800 and 820 is better dosing control and ability to move the burr so you can shim it up without shims. That's my understanding. I have been using an 800 for three years or so with a Faema e98 and now a Bezzera Galatea. I haven't had a chance to try a "proper" grinder so don't know what flavours I am missing out on. A better grinder is on my wish list but the SG has served me well so far.

    Cheers

  9. #59
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    Agreed with artman. I couldnt see a big difference for 800/820 in terms of grind quality, that's why I'm happy with it for decaf for a year. It originally supported my BDB & a good grinder. ih8toast, going up from Sunbeam to Evo would be exciting, but I would stretch a little bit for K3, ($199 vs $439?) it should be better & safe choice for Evo.

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    Thanks guys - will try to expand the budget!

  11. #61
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    Rusty. I've just bought the BCG820 and I have a EM7000. What settings do you use? I'm trying to figure out the amount and grind setting. Did you adjust the factory bur adjustment on the inside like rotalution did at the start of this post?

  12. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by aussiejt View Post
    Rusty. I've just bought the BCG820 and I have a EM7000. What settings do you use? I'm trying to figure out the amount and grind setting. Did you adjust the factory bur adjustment on the inside like rotalution did at the start of this post?
    I just posted a response but it sees to have bombed out :-(

    I haven't touched the burr setting and wouldn't do so unless I run out of adjustment on the Grind Size.

    Settings are bean dependent, but for what it's worth here are mine:

    I grind two single shots rather than one double. This allows me to lightly settle the grinds to make room for the second shot, after which I tamp normally. I use 9.2 seconds - 1 shot - 10 grind size.

    The pour is a good syrupy consistency and runs for 25 seconds. Excellent in the cup :-)

    Enjoy.

  13. #63
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    aussiejt wrote:
    Thank you for your recommendation, it worked perfectly! First shot I did not tamp quiet hard enough, but my second attempt worked well. The advise on using two single shots was very helpful, I found I made a bit of a mess previously when trying to fit in the double shot amount at once.

    Thank you very much for you help, you have saved me a lot of time and frustration.

    -----

    Glad it worked JT :-)

  14. #64
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    Hey guys. I'm new to the forum and to coffee making in general. I recently purchased the BCG820 and a coffee machine and have had real difficulty getting a consistent extraction. First coffee was magic, and definitely a fluke. Have replicated with the same settings and amounts of coffee and it has generally been rubbish.

    I use a single wall, double shot basket. Use about 30-35g of coffee - tamp sit roughly flush with top of the basket. grind settings are factory except for fineness which is 10. I always ensure the coffee is even spread around the basket and I tamp pretty firmly. coffee comes out slightly sour/bitter and slightly watery. puck has generally been too wet/ watery (water pools at the top) My assumption from reading is I must be using way too much coffee?? All the videos I see seem to overfill their baskets so perhaps I've been mislead....

    Any comments on changes I can make to my grind setting and dosage would be greatly appreciated (I like it strong!). Would love to hear what others are doing to get a great cup of coffee.

  15. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patto2073 View Post
    I use a single wall, double shot basket. Use about 30-35g of coffee - tamp sit roughly flush with top of the basket. grind settings are factory except for fineness which is 10.

    Any comments on changes I can make to my grind setting and dosage would be greatly appreciated (I like it strong!). Would love to hear what others are doing to get a great cup of coffee.
    Most double shot baskets are designed to work with 14-16 gms only .
    Accurate weighing is best, but you can get close to that weight by filling the basket with loose grinds and leveling off with a flat scraper, then tamping.
    The tamped puck will normally be about 5-6 mm below the rim of the basket.
    Tamp evenly and firmly and aim to get 30ml ( egg cup full ?) from the machine in about 30 secs.
    Adjust the grind to get close to that time and volume.
    Use good fresh beans from a local roaster..not from a supermarket

  16. #66
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    Whilst most double baskets are rated 14-16g, I suspect that members and commercial operations will confirm that that is a nominal dose and in general, they are dosed higher than that.

    FWIW, I find it difficult to believe that it's possible to get 30-35g in pretty much anything other than a quad basket.
    Last edited by TC; 2nd October 2014 at 06:57 PM. Reason: ytpo (typo)

  17. #67
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    There's a well-trodden thread on Home Barista that show that most commercial double baskets, when filled and levelled hold b/w 17-19.5 grams IIRC. This doesn't necessarily meant that this is the optimal dose in all circumstances....but the ratings for most baskets seem to be pretty nominal to me (I'm ignoring the VST argument....leave that for elsewhere).
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  18. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by noise36 View Post
    What settings? I keep asking as I know heaps of people have this combo but cant seem to get a straight answer. i.e. grind time, fineness, temping
    I use a Sunbeam EM3600, warmed for about 15 minutes and try to make sure the whole Grouphead and Portafilter are matched in temp.

    I've currentlky settled on a 14 second dose at grind setting 11 using "Organic" beans - which gets me a 14g dose consistently.
    I then give it a touch more for a second or two, to get another gram (after I have finger tamped the initial dose in the 51mm pressurised basket.)

    Just for reference, the Sunbeam EM3600 will happily take a 12g shot at grind setting 6. (Unadjusted)
    I have since ordered the Breville single wall baskets set to slot into the sunbeam, as its pretty clear to me the pressurised baskets are the next problem for me. Let me know if ya want to see a video of the shot.
    Last edited by Holyfrog; 3rd November 2014 at 11:57 AM.

  19. #69
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    Hi There

    Forgive my ignorance I am just starting with my first set up. I have a Sunbeam EM6910 and the Smart Grinder pro 820.

    I am wondering if someone can advise what settings I should start with as a base point while learning how this works. I have bought fresh beans from the beanery. I have both single and double baskets with dual and single walls but unfortunately only a dual pour spout the single is missing.

    If someone could advise what settings you would recommend for a single and double cup and should I be using the dual or single wall baskets?

    Thanks so much

  20. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pennyc View Post
    Hi There

    Forgive my ignorance I am just starting with my first set up. I have a Sunbeam EM6910 and the Smart Grinder pro 820.

    I am wondering if someone can advise what settings I should start with as a base point while learning how this works. I have bought fresh beans from the beanery. I have both single and double baskets with dual and single walls but unfortunately only a dual pour spout the single is missing.

    If someone could advise what settings you would recommend for a single and double cup and should I be using the dual or single wall baskets?

    Thanks so much
    Hi. Settings vary from machine to machine so what we say may not help much. Getting the set up right involves experimentation. Often called dialing in your grinder. It uses beans to do it so sometimes its worth getting cheap beans to get in the right ballpark although 3 or 4 goes can often get it right. You'll need a timer to know when you get a 30 second
    shot. I start coarse run a shot if it takes less than 30 secs grind a bit finer until I get to 30 secs. Doubles are easier. I had the old smart grinder and I've adjusted the shims
    but 1/3 to 1/2 way back from the fine end might be the place to start. The ones you get wrong are called "sink shots" cause that's where they finish up after you taste them.
    Also need to worry about dose. You can weigh it but the smart grinder has a timer so you can set it to slightly over fill the basket. Have fun.
    PS If you grind too fine you choke the machine, which is why I start coarse.
    PPS We have to go though something similar whenever we change beans!

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    Thanks so much have had a little play its getting better but have had some sink shots for sure

  22. #72
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    What is the coffee clumping and static build up like vs the early Sunbeam Cafe series?

    My Sunbeam has wicked issues with clogging and static etc, does the Smart Grinder fair any better?

    Really I have to replace the Sunbeam now, broken issues and I don't feel like fixing it, hoping for something a little better, thought about a PL51 Lelit I thin it is as I own a Lelit machine, but not sure about the micro adjustment if I want to do some grinding for plunger etc every now and then.

  23. #73
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    1. grind retention is miles better than the sunbeam
    2. static will still be an issue, but retention leads to buildup = 'clumped ginds' = worse off. i'd definitely recommend the SG
    3. mazzers/compaks will have retention worse off than the SG. for home, low volume use i'd recommend the SG or vario. if the vario is just too expensive the SG is a very good middle ground

    just my 2 cents

  24. #74
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    Ok, I had to run out and get something, the broken Sunbeam was killing me, it was well shagged...

    Went to the Good whatever, $249 and I know perhaps I could have got it cheaper, but I was in a hurry.
    Must say, the Breville is such a nice product, sometimes you just don't know how bad your old got till you see the new in action, the 820 does seem better in every single way, not real retaining anywhere, no clumping, static is not noticeable at all yet, every where the Sunbeam seemed to fail, the Breville seems to win.

    Kind of like all the options, auto power off, setting the time etc for grind, all works just like you would expect, actually I'm dead impressed once I got a time set for grams value, it seems spot on in repeatable hits, so far anyway.

    My only issue thus far, I'll have to crack open that adjustment, it's miles off out of the box, too fast a flow on grind "1", seems Breville go safe from the factory, or don't calibrate real well?

    I only find this odd, because both sunbeams I owed could choke my Lelit within their stock settings, the Cafe series I had been using usually was set at like 11 or so, fluke maybe, but tomorrow I'll play with that build in adjustment, always feel like I'm wasting beans dialing stuff in, joys of tuning.

    Last thought for the night, so much seems to be in the grind, I got taste on the rather quick flowing shots I have not had in a long time with the Sunbeam...
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  25. #75
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    Pulled out that top burr today, Breville were very clever with the way you adjust it, the handle lugs lock in the setting, with holes all around, it's a ring within a ring you twist, put the handle back in to lock it.

    Mine was set at 6, so I dialed it back to 2 playing it safe, with the machine back together I drew a couple more shots, grind level 1 was a little too fast before, 4 now was actually a little too slow, I suspect 5 maybe good now, will play with dosing amount, this was using 16 gram shots in a double basket on the Lelit, in the past I have gone anywhere from 15-17 grams+ depending on beans etc.
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  26. #76
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    Can anyone confirm the steps on the Breville are finer than the steps on the Sunbeam?, like one step thus far on my Smart Grinder seems a lot finer than the Sunbeams, and the number on the digital gauge also often shows the same number within two click on the dial?

  27. #77
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    glad to see youre loving the SG. in my experience the Sunbeam had similar step sizes, but that was comparing the BCG800 and the em480. could be different with the 820...
    my advice with dealing with step grinders is that if you find yourself wanting something between two steps, you might have to adjust dose instead to find that middle ground between two steps (if that makes any sense)

  28. #78
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    With my 3 ľ year old BCG800 I can adjust it to within steps. Perhaps the steps have worn out with age making it stepless.

    I also have a Vario but I prefer the much easier to use Smart Grinder which is quieter, less messy and has a much better portafilter cradle. As for taste I cannot tell the difference. May be that is due to my taste buds being old and worn out.

    Years ago I had a Sunbeam grinder. Donít know the model but it made a mess on the bench, suffered from retention and static. No comparison with my Smarty.

    Barry
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  29. #79
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    Just with testing thus far, clicks on the Breville 'seem' half that of a Sunbeam, with the Sunbeam you were always cursing that half step off one way or the other, so far the Breville seems very good in fineness of one step giving you what you want/need, I mean maybe it's even like 3/4 of the Sunbeam, but even then it's closer to ideal.

    Yeah the dial clicks still seem soft/vague Barry, one of my first thoughts was I wonder how whatever is in there will feel with age, so interesting you mention that.

    I should say I did not even realize the extent of the changes on this grinder vs the original, there is a number on the display now vs just the bar on the old, I thought the old version had the seconds adjustment, but it was just plus and minus dose time (5% or something), the new adjustment in .2 second increments seems limitless, it has a min of 2 seconds, but if there is an upper range, I lost interest in finding what it was after getting up to 25+ seconds on a single dose.

    The Sunbeam can't touch the 820 on features, how clean it is, or quality of grind from what I'm seeing thus far, the Sunbeams work, but they are a static mess and a half to use daily, just the pull out catch tray alone on the Breville is worth raving about, nothing seems to project outside of it, it just clips out and with a quick tap it's all clean.

    Only possible gripe thus far, my Lelit of course has the 57mm portafilter, which means it's just too big for the smaller insert, and that tiny bit small for the large one, but the basket on it's own fits perfectly in the smaller one, and I was used to grinding into just the basket on the Lelit (been using digital scales to measure shots for years now), other upside, timer seems accurate enough once dialed in to your bean/roast, I may be able to trust the done and not pre weigh my shots anymore in general use...
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  30. #80
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    I saw this one at a major department store the other day. Is this a new grinder from Breville? The BCG600. It looks to have the same burrs set with adjustable upper burr as the BCG820. Overall it may be mechanically the same as the smart grinder pro but with no digital interface. It still has 60 steps of adjustment, plus the upper burr adjustment. It is also around $100 cheaper.

    It is rumored that Breville will also bring out a grinder of better quality than the Smart soon which I will be interested to see.
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  31. #81
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    I saw the lesser Breville, in fact the girl in the shop picked up the wrong box and was going to sell me what she thought was a Smart Grinder for $179, till I realized she had the grabbed the wrong box, it looked ok, but you miss a lot of what I think makes the Smart as good as it is, for not really huge money, but if it's got the same internals, maybe.

  32. #82
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    Bought a BCG820 after reading this thread and I'm very impressed. Grind is consistent and able to go ultra fine (much better than my previous breville grinder). Somehow I've lost my 58mm portafilter holder though and can't find anywhere to buy one

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    anyone seen these on sale? got the money poised and ready for when they drop before or after christmas

  34. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by cloudwarrior View Post
    anyone seen these on sale? got the money poised and ready for when they drop before or after christmas
    Hi mate,

    First post here, I picked up the smart grinder pro (820) @ JB HI FI HOME in KEDRON about 2 weeks ago. It was the last one on the shelf at the time, but I talked them down from $249 to $180 when I bought it with the breville 'the infuser' machine. I didn't try hard either
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  35. #85
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    Bit of an update.
    On the EM3600, the single biggest factor is beans and their freshness. It makes a massive difference.

    Now that I have upgraded the machine to an e61, I've had to move the burr adjustment from 6, then 5, now 3 - all on fineness setting 1 and still not close to choking. With these beans, a blend of 7 types, I can pull 55ml in 25s on around 16g dose. Getting heaps of clumps now, but distribution and tamping is still very cautious and heavy.

    I expect to move it to the finest adjustmenton the burr, to open up some more range when my beans change.
    Anyone know if it's possible for the burrs to touch or any other risks here?

  36. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by Holyfrog View Post
    Anyone know if it's possible for the burrs to touch or any other risks here?
    My Sunbeam Cafe series could out of the box, so be careful...

    With my Breville I was quite careful, going finer carefully out of the box, then when I pulled the index ring and set it to 2, would back out a fair way carefully winding back in on the dial to get the fineness I needed for the PL41 Lelit.

    With the Lelit as said I'm 2 on the index ring, and between 9-8 on the display for the grinder, I have noticed the finer you go the more it will clump, so I'm up from 16gram shots to 17gram shots adjusted to suit, I may even go back to the 18gram shots I was doing with the Sunbeam grinder, the Lelit seems to like the larger dose anyway, and I do like the nice strong doubles.
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  37. #87
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    Thanks. I'm down to setting 1 now. You can hear the motor slowed down.
    Grind adjustment doesn't want to move easily below 5 on the lcd, and I won't force it. Clumpiness is a factor at this point, but distribution seems to deal with it.
    21g in the double with a full tamp head of clearance still in the ECM.

  38. #88
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    does anyone know how does the BCG820 perform compare to rancilio rocky?

  39. #89
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    Seattle Coffee Gear compare exactly these two models.
    Please note, that in the original and redux reviews, it seems they are using the BCG800 not the 820, judging by the display on the LCD.

    Looking at this review again and having used the 820 for a few months, I'm happy I chose the 820 for a beginner.

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    A heads up that this is on sale at Myer as part of their boxing day sale for $199.
    Myer Catalogues

  41. #91
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    I have Breville at home. It was an amazing coffee grinder that I ever had.
    Last edited by Javaphile; 29th December 2014 at 05:09 AM. Reason: Commercial link(s) removed

  42. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by bokka View Post
    A heads up that this is on sale at Myer as part of their boxing day sale for $199.
    Myer Catalogues
    Yesterday morning, my modded BCG450 died. I had some store credit at Myer, so this was a no-brainer.

    Since the modded BCG450 needed a grind at minimum settings for a good shot with the EM6910, I started off with a grind setting of 6. With the merest of tamps, I created the perfect brick. After a little experimentation, SWMBO having fun at my expense "I thought this shiny new thing was the duck's guts" etc, a 20 second drop into the basket at grind setting 13 gave the best double that machine has done.

    Sold.
    Last edited by willyroo; 30th December 2014 at 11:38 AM. Reason: numbers

  43. #93
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    New Breville BCG820 "Smart Grinder Pro"

    I bought one of these at the previous sale in July. As a first grinder I didn't have any preconception as to where the settings should be but ended up with numbers similar to above. 6 months down the track I've tightened the burrs two notches and usually run it for 14s on 6-7 for 18g of grounds. Grain size seems to be more consistent with a bit of wear. I'll be interested to see how much it changes over the next six months.

  44. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bishop View Post
    Pulled out that top burr today, Breville were very clever with the way you adjust it, the handle lugs lock in the setting, with holes all around, it's a ring within a ring you twist, put the handle back in to lock it.

    Mine was set at 6, so I dialed it back to 2 playing it safe, with the machine back together I drew a couple more shots, grind level 1 was a little too fast before, 4 now was actually a little too slow, I suspect 5 maybe good now, will play with dosing amount, this was using 16 gram shots in a double basket on the Lelit, in the past I have gone anywhere from 15-17 grams+ depending on beans etc.
    This is actually very close to my settings for my Gaggia Classic.
    Burr set to 3, grind set to 4, 16.8 seconds double shot. This produces around 18g.

  45. #95
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    i just bought one of these to replace a worn out BCG800. Sadly, the dose adjust nob doesn't work. I turn it, but the dose time doesn't change. Every now and then it does, but mostly, it does nothing.

    The nob feels more flimsy than the old BCG820, but otherwise it is a very small upgrade on the original. I'm delighted to see that the plastic sweep cog beneath the inner burr is now metal- that's what gave out on my old '800 after 4 years.

    I'm working on replacing the brand new '820 for one with working dose adjust.

  46. #96
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    If it was DOA they should just give you a new replacement. Pretty sure the warranty is s replacement one anyway (could be wrong here).

    Had a quick play with a friends 820 and it has some useful minor tweaks over the 800. Great that Breville is doing these incremental improvements to their products.

    Cheers

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    Hy guys,

    Ill ask here, but shortly.

    When set to espresso (finer) Its hard to turn the knob ?

    More finer --- harder to dial....

    Its normal ?

  48. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by flaviocc View Post
    Hy guys,

    Ill ask here, but shortly.

    When set to espresso (finer) Its hard to turn the knob ?

    More finer --- harder to dial....

    Its normal ?
    I'd have it grinding when tightening down at the pointy end
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  49. #99
    Junior Member rightosighto's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    9
    So I've been playing around with the BCG820 after buying it in combo with the BES920 Dual Boiler a few days ago. When I first began to dial in the shots for the Dual Boiler, the BCG820 set at 10 (which is in the recommended 'espresso' range) would poor way, way to fast. Like, 60ml of coffee from the stock double basket in 7 seconds.

    I eventually worked my way down through all of the electronic grind settings, and then moved on to adjusting the burr itself. From the factory, the burr adjustment was at level 6. It is now at level 1, and the electronic grind setting at 2 is pulling really nice single shots, around 24-26 seconds for 45ml of coffee from the single basket (13.7g of coffee). Note that when you are adjusting grind settings for espresso, make sure the machine is on and grinding as you adjust. Having the burrs spinning when the grind is being changed will prevent the grinder from stalling or, worst case scenario, breaking.

    The problem I seem to be having is that, using relatively fresh beans (roasted 5 days ago) the BCG820 can only produce a reasonable shot from my BES920 stock single basket. Industry standards for a single shot basket suggest 7-9g of coffee for a 25-30 second, 30ml poor. This basket will accept up to 13-14g depending on your beans and grind. Saying that, I can produce a high quality extraction using the above grind settings (burr 1; electronic 2), with 13.7g of coffee in a single basket. This will give me around 40-50ml of espresso over 24-26 seconds before anything close to blonding occurs. Which suggests to me that its basically giving me a double shot.

    Overall I like the BCG820. I still can't quite get a good extraction from the stock BES920 double basket. I'm using anywhere between 22-24g of coffee, really pushing the limits there, and getting 70-80ml of espresso in 17-20 seconds which is still too fast... I don't know if anyone has had much experience here and has any tips

  50. #100
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    11

    Smile still at $199

    Update on pricing...(we should be on commission here)...just bought the BCG820 today still $199 at Myers found it also at G Guys for $249 and B Lee for $289 pays to shop around

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