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Thread: Sunbeam 4800C - coffee explosion with fine grind

  1. #1
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    Sunbeam 4800C - coffee explosion with fine grind

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi,
    I hope someone can help me with this. I just bought a sunbeam 4800c about a week ago, and at first I was just using some left over preground coffee (cant remember the brand) and all was fine. Then when that ran out, I ground some fresh coffee using the EM4015 (yes I know, very bottom of the range) and i ground it using the finest setting, for espresso. Well. The water was struggling to get through the grind so it was just dripping out but I let it go on anyway...then when I turned it off and unlocked the handle....BOOM...soggy coffee exploded everywhere from the pressure that had built up. Tried again - same result. I can now only use a medium/coarse grind with the machine, which makes pretty weak, unappealing coffee.
    Has anyone else had this problem using a fine grind? Any suggestions? I dont want to have to buy another grinder. Is there something wrong with the machine or is this just going to be a case of getting the grind right?
    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Pavoniboy's Avatar
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    Re: Sunbeam 4800C - coffee explosion with fine grind

    2 things:

    I believe this machine does not have a 3 way solenoid (but I could be wrong too) which releases the pressure back through the system when the pour is stopped, and therefore you still have the pressure built up when you unlock the portafilter - you will need to wait a few minutes to unlock it if you dont want the coffee spray. Or learn to very slowly release the pressure with a small turn and not let it explode out all at once.

    The second as goes the mantra on this site - you need a better grinder (I know you dont want this answer but you cannot avoid the truth). The lower range tends to not be able to produce even size particles and you end up with lots of fines and lots of large particles all together and makes it much more difficult to get a nice even extraction at the right flow rate. The taste will significantly improve with a better grinder.

    So the pressure left in the portafilter after the pour is most likely nothing to worry about. But the grinder is something to worry about - get a better one when you can afford it.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Pavoniboy's Avatar
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    Re: Sunbeam 4800C - coffee explosion with fine grind

    Hmmm...just looked up that grinder. Its a spinning blade grinder, right? You REALLY need a better grinder. Beans should be ground - not smashed to pieces with a blade spinning a million miles an hour.

    Now that the Smart Grinder is so popular amongst CSers, you might be able to get a CSer to sell you an EMO450 or EMO480 very,very cheap (since so many have now gone to the Smart Grinder) which will do the job nicely - much better than any blade grinder could ever hope for.

  4. #4
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    Re: Sunbeam 4800C - coffee explosion with fine grind

    Thanks so much for your response. Well at least that confirmed my suspicions that it was the grinder and not the machine (which is a relief and more easily remedied!). Ill look into the grinders you mentioned and keep an eye out on the boards. :)

  5. #5
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    Re: Sunbeam 4800C - coffee explosion with fine grind

    Also, something to consider, The EM4800 uses the Pressurised baskets as stock, Unless youve gone and fitted non-pressurised baskets, The crema system can get blocked up easilly, Causing things to become stuck and cause pressure buildup and Explodyness if the seal doesnt hold well enough.

    Hate companies selling those spinny-blade-of-doom choppers as "Coffee Grinders" as they really dont do anything grindworthy

  6. #6
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    Re: Sunbeam 4800C - coffee explosion with fine grind

    I used to have one of those spinny blade grinders. I would grind until I stopped hearing the rattle of the beans, and then for 1 one thousand, 2 one thousand, 3 one thousand more. Got quite good at getting consistent pour out of the pressurised basket.

    I did pop a few coffees out of the head when I used pre-ground coffee - too fine for the pressurised basket.


    But Ive switched to a Breville Conical (Mod made) and un-pressurised basket. Mucho Bettero. Still same EM4800C machine - just better.




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