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Thread: (Re)Learning to Drive

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    (Re)Learning to Drive

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Thanks KK for the thread title :)

    So moving from Silvia to Vivian is a bit like learning to drive a new car. Certain things stay the same, other things are quite different. I thought Id start this thread as an amateurs guide to getting set up on a new machine, sharing my experiences and getting the valuable input of those more knowledgeable than myself.

    Aim:
    To get a reproduceable high quality espresso.

    Equipment:
    VBM Domobar Super
    Macap M4
    Pullman Tamp
    Lots of beans
    Notepad (to record results)

    Method:
    Grind
    Distribute (WDT)
    Tamp
    Pull shot

    Ive read many times about the golden guideline and never thought to check exactly how much 30mL is. Heres a pic of 30mL of water in an espresso cup. Nice to know I dont need to fill it.




    My first task was to identify how much coffee should be in the basket. As suggested by many people, I first loaded up and then locked in to the group. Removal showed a nice gash on one edge - too much coffee.

    Its worth mentioning at this point that use of WDT tends to fluff the grounds a fair bit, so under dosing (by eye) the pf can easily result in a correct dose (by volume). I should have thought to take a photo of this, Ill insert one here this afternoon.

    Dosing less resulted in a puck that wasnt damaged pre-pull. Ok - we have a starting point. By the way, if anyone can explain how Scottie manages to collapse three times in the ECA video and still lock in Id love to hear it!

    Grant

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    Re: (Re)Learning to Drive

    First shot:
    [media]http://video.google.com.au/googleplayer.swf?docid=6199903619376092959&hl=un&f s=true[/media]

    In the cup:


    Notes:
    First thoughts were that the pour may have started too quickly. Preinfusion generally ends around the 6-7 second mark, and the pour started about half a second after ramping up to full pressure.
    The colour was nice, although after watching the video I should have finished the pull about second 29 on the video - funny how noticeable the stream thinning out is.

    Grant

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    Re: (Re)Learning to Drive

    One full turn on the screw finer.

    Second shot:
    [media]http://video.google.com.au/googleplayer.swf?docid=-7590633247900997312&hl=un&fs=true[/media]


    In the cup:


    Notes:
    Mousetailing towards the end implies channeling. Looking at the puck afterwards it has pulled away from the edge, which indicates I need a better seal around the edge of the portafilter. Mouthful was nice, though the volume of the shot was smaller. Ill leave all my settings as they are and work on my technique.

    Thats all for this morning. More to come when I get home this afternoon.

    Grant

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    Re: (Re)Learning to Drive

    Thanks for sharing your renewed driving skills !!

    Looks like you are advancing well! :)

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    Re: (Re)Learning to Drive

    Yeah, its getting closer.

    I wont tell you how much coffee I wasted dialling in the new grinder - Andy would kill me.

    I found a lot of resources that show you a gusher and say "dial grind finer" and then show an oily, extremely slow dripper that say "dial grind coarser". Im yet to find something that shows pours which are close to correct and identify what needs to be changed to take it to the next level.

    Im hoping with the experience on this board that this thread can address that deficiency.

    Grant

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    Re: (Re)Learning to Drive

    Grant you probably didnt waste as much coffee as I did ::) :-[


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    Re: (Re)Learning to Drive

    I am struggling with getting the correct dose in the portafilter.
    I have been checking the puck after I engage the portafilter and before brewing and am finding that even with the dose quite low in the basket, the puck is being disrupted.
    Should you be able to remove the portafilter before brewing and still have the puck perfectly intact?

    Marie

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    Re: (Re)Learning to Drive

    Quote Originally Posted by 41554E494042784350424B4B4255270 link=1231714559/0#0 date=1231714559
    By the way, if anyone can explain how Scottie manages to collapse three times in the ECA video and still lock in Id love to hear it!

    Grant

    This is indeed one of lifes great mysteries....

    My theory is that during the finger sweep he is replicating what would happen if he were to use SC Dosing Tool #2 or 3. *:) I have just purchased a mini set to have a play. I dont trust the accuracy/consistency of my finger, and many times using the straight edge of a knife to sweep results in over dosing (even after tinkering with grind, and tamp pressure).

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    Re: (Re)Learning to Drive

    Thanks KK for the thread title *:)
    My pleasure FD
    With regards to your grind setting
    Always grind to a consistency of table salt as a starting point

    My personal preference is to grind courser and tamp harder
    This gives one more crema and flavour of the coffee (try it)


    Quote Originally Posted by 55594A415A380 link=1231714559/6#6 date=1231719961
    I am struggling with getting the correct dose in the portafilter.
    I have been checking the puck after I engage the portafilter and before brewing and am finding that even with the dose quite low in the basket, the puck is being disrupted.
    Should you be able to remove the portafilter before brewing and still have the puck perfectly intact?

    Marie
    Marie
    This all depends on your individual machine
    As I have said in other posts with regards to my Bezzera Galatea the depth I need to tamp is 8mm to clear the shower screen
    When you find the correct depth for your machine note it down and use it for future reference.

    KK

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    Re: (Re)Learning to Drive

    Thanks KK

    I have a Maver Marte Makin Espresso.

    I have worked out the level it needs to be at, which is lower that what Ive been doing. *I had been told to feel a litttle resistance as I engage the portafilter, but I think that resistance would have to be the puck coming up against the shower screen (and breaking up).


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    Re: (Re)Learning to Drive

    Quote Originally Posted by 54584B405B390 link=1231714559/9#9 date=1231727415
    Thanks KK

    I have a Maver Marte Makin Espresso.

    I have worked out the level it needs to be at, which is lower that what Ive been doing. *I had been told to feel a litttle resistance as I engage the portafilter, but I think that resistance would have to be the puck coming up against the shower screen (and breaking up).
    Yea Marie the puck should clear the screen by a hairs whisker to 1mm
    This is in part because during the brew process the coffee grounds expand a small amount, and they need that space to do so

    Thats over and above the obvious as you have mentioned (damaged puck) if to high in the basket

    KK




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    Re: (Re)Learning to Drive

    Quote Originally Posted by 70545D5D5E5E6470544856543B0 link=1231714559/8#8 date=1231724279
    My personal preference is to grind courser and tamp harder
    This gives one more crema and flavour of the coffee (try it)
    KK what number in general do you have your grinder on?
    going by the silver button?

    also if you are grinding coarser does it still come out slow enough?

    A few coffees i made had a few coffee grains in them :( so i figure it is too fine? :-/

    Grant Sorry to hijack your thread!! :-[

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    Re: (Re)Learning to Drive

    Oonga
    I dont have a silver button on my M4D stepped grinder I have a black button to adjust grind
    The silver button is used as a choice of single/double/continuous grind dose and as a timer set up

    I will assume you have the stepped model
    I mostly grind between 1.5 to 2.2 on the dial

    The silver timer is set at
    Double 9.4 seconds
    Single is 5.4 seconds
    Note that is based on my machine at you may need to adjust for your machine as required

    Hope that helps

    KK

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    Re: (Re)Learning to Drive

    KK
    I have the same grinder as you do :)

    I meant the silver button you press for changing the program say from continuous does to single dose or double dose.

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    Re: (Re)Learning to Drive

    Sorry Oonga
    I re read you question and while I was modifying my answer
    you came in with another reply

    So here is that answer

    The silver timer is set at
    Double 9.4 seconds
    Single is 5.4 seconds
    Note that is based on my machine at you may need to adjust for your machine as required

    Hope that helps
    KK

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    Re: (Re)Learning to Drive

    ah yes the typing at the same time I had a laugh

    ok i just realised i have been reading the numbers on the big dial to coincide with the silver timer button.

    You must be reading it from the button you press down to make the dial move to make grind finer or coarser.

    I dont really have increments of .1 or .2 on the grind dial thingy. Just 1 big gap and then 2 big gap so on.

    will keep playing around some more. at the moment i set it to 4.7 seconds for a single dose which is significantly different to yours.
    but i think on the expobar the shower screen is fairly low.

    but i just checked the black button i assume you were talking about and its on just after 2.

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    Re: (Re)Learning to Drive

    but i just checked the black button i assume you were talking about and its on just after 2.
    My main sweet spot is 1.5 to 1.75 on the grind dial (no increments but there about)
    Depending on the age and type of beans
    The grind dial can and does go under & over the sweet spot

    Try that and see how it goes ;)
    KK



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    Re: (Re)Learning to Drive

    I will try that for sure.

    When you are saying 1.5 to 1.75 for example ...
    are you taking that measurement from the left side of the black button, the right side or the middle of it?


    Grant gain sorry for your thread hijack :(

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    Re: (Re)Learning to Drive

    Have a look at the raised numbers on top of the round collar dial under the bean hopper
    The numbers are hard to see as it is "black on black"

    KK

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    Re: (Re)Learning to Drive

    Quote Originally Posted by 7656575E58390 link=1231714559/17#17 date=1231743719
    Grant gain sorry for your thread hijack :(
    Apologies are nothing without a photo of the end result ;)

    Grant

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    Re: (Re)Learning to Drive

    hahahaha i am so computer illiterate when it comes to posting photos!
    I have to get my partner to do that I had a laugh

    when I one day make the perfect coffee I will get him to take a photo of it and post it up :D

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    Re: (Re)Learning to Drive

    Heres how a pour shouldnt look.

    EDIT: This is another four turns finer (should really be doing one at a time but wanted to see a noticeable difference between pours)

    [media]http://video.google.com/googleplayer.swf?docid=-7301512175161586327&hl=en&fs=true[/media]

    Ironic that it tasted better than the other two *:-/

    Ive slightly ODd on coffee - I do have another vid to come but having some technical difficulties.

    Grant

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    Re: (Re)Learning to Drive

    ooops!!! I had a laugh

    I think it took like 30seconds before anything came out and yes i have had that happen except i have given up before then and stopped it I had a laugh

    so good on you for waiting to see what came out :)

    did you taste it at all?

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    Re: (Re)Learning to Drive

    Heres the same grind/dose - tamped evenly this time.

    Bad camera angle, can only see one cup.

    [media]http://video.google.com.au/googleplayer.swf?docid=-1443072896652948026&hl=un&fs=true[/media]

    In the cup:


    Kinda forgot that I was documenting it and had the taste test before the photo. Was very syrupy but by no means bitter, or sour.

    Not really the pour Im aiming for but tasty nonetheless.

    did you taste it at all?
    Yes... it was surprisingly not bad - again, not what I was aiming for but not bad.

    Grant


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    Re: (Re)Learning to Drive

    hmmmm going by the timer on your video that is still a little slow,
    did you think?
    because i cant see the other cup so not sure if it came out of one side sooner?

    My pours tend to be a bit like that as well at the start but then speed up quicker, so not sure what we are doing differently but i have started to time it with the countdown timer on my mobile, because i am sure when i count in my head i speed it up to try and catch up with the pour ;D
    and yes they do indeed gush out and take about 20seconds :( but really the whole pour takes about 10 seconds to start then drop drop drop then woosh ::)

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    Re: (Re)Learning to Drive

    Quote Originally Posted by 0D2D2C2523420 link=1231714559/24#24 date=1231756779
    hmmmm going by the timer on your video that is still a little slow,
    did you think?
    because i cant see the other cup so not sure if it came out of one side sooner?

    My pours tend to be a bit like that as well at the start but then speed up quicker, so not sure what we are doing differently but i have started to time it with the countdown timer on my mobile, because i am sure when i count in my head i speed it up to try and catch up with the pour *;D
    and yes they do indeed gush out and take about 20seconds :( but really the whole pour takes about 10 seconds to start then drop drop drop then woosh *::)
    Hi Oonga,

    The Expobr SA that you have tends to ship with the pressure at the group set to around 12 bar- which is above the recommended 9 bar. This will influence the pour and make the shot run a little quicker than most prefer towards the end.

    Perhaps you could ask your machine supplier to take his trusty portafilter pressure gauge (assuming he has one ::)) and set the OPV on your machine to your requirements. Most CS sponsors do this as part of the service.

    Good luck!

    2mcm

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    Re: (Re)Learning to Drive

    2mcm,

    is that something he can do on the spot? or is it something i would need to leave the coffee machine with him for?

    also what specific question do i ask?

    Can you please set the OPV to 9bar pressure with your portafiller gauge?

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    Re: Learning to Drive

    Quote Originally Posted by 5676777E78190 link=1231714559/26#26 date=1231758025
    2mcm,

    is that something he can do on the spot? or is it something i would need to leave the coffee machine with him for?

    also what specific question do i ask?

    Can you please set *the OPV to *9bar pressure with your portafiller gauge?
    Hi Oonga,

    That will do the trick...although I suspect he may not have one ::)...

    Your machine is trickier than most to gain access to the overpressure valve. The job is doable but wil take some time. On an eb-61 its a 2 minute job, but will probably take 30 min- maybe more on yours.

    A Scace device can also be used to set the pressurestat to deliver the correct temperature at the group (as the Expobar SA does not have a boiler pressure gauge which gives you a rough idea) but Id very much doubt that hell have one....

    CS sponsors DiBartoli and Talk Coffee have the kit and Im sure that other sponsors such as Veneziano and Cosmorex would as well...

    Good luck ;)

    2mcm

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    Re: (Re)Learning to Drive

    Thanks 2mcm,

    I will give him a call today and see what he says.

    Any idea of what sort of price this should cost me?

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    Re: (Re)Learning to Drive

    Quote Originally Posted by 2D0D0C0503620 link=1231714559/24#24 date=1231756779
    hmmmm going by the timer on your video that is still a little slow,
    did you think?
    because i cant see the other cup so not sure if it came out of one side sooner?
    Was definitely too slow... still more work required.

    Grant

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    Re: (Re)Learning to Drive

    Hi Grant,

    How do you embed the videos onto the post?
    I did one for you to see before, well got my partner to tape it on his mobile I had a laugh

    i got a shot when i got home from work that was almost like a text book shot! Came out at 27seconds and tasted really nice too.

    So i felt confident enough to put one up! Well!!!! i had to throw out to doses as i had overdosed and couldnt put the portafiller in I had a laugh

    then it came out a little too fast :(

    tasted nice but not great like the earlier one.

    I *think* i needed to make the grind finer with the temperature being hotter than it was several hours ago.

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    Re: (Re)Learning to Drive

    Hey Oonga,

    I upload my videos to Google, then copy the URL here in between <media>insert url here</\/media> but change the triangle brackets for square ones. Like this but no spaces between the letters - [m e d i a]url[m e d i a]

    In my case the URL was:
    http://video.google.com/googleplayer.swf?docid=-1443072896652948026&hl=en&fs=true

    There is some stuff either side of the link of it that you just delete cause it isnt needed.

    Grant

    PS Been working a bit late this week so havent had lots of time to work on my coffee and indirectly the results here. Will be back into it shortly.

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    Re: (Re)Learning to Drive

    ok this is really weird!!! :o

    i keep trying to do what you said and ours is uploaded to Vimeo not google, but for some reason everytime i post it up YOUR video link comes up??

    SOOO strange ;D

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    Re: (Re)Learning to Drive

    Post the link - Ill see if I can sort it out for you.

    Grant

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    Re: (Re)Learning to Drive

    ok got it!!!! wooohoooo


    [media]http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=BbXk5CRCe2A[/media]

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    Re: (Re)Learning to Drive

    Looks great Oonga :)

    Love the cups too - where did you pick them up?

    Grant

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    Re: (Re)Learning to Drive

    That is the pour that was too fast, i think the grind needed to be 1 notch finer.
    The cups are from here: http://www.venezianocoffee.com.au/equipment/first-pour/product71?pageNum=5

    a coffee snob sponsor so even more of a bonus :D

    they are very nice and feel nice to drink out of.
    It is amazing how different coffee tastes out of porcelain as opposed to the Duralex glass. Not saying the taste is awful out of glass, but it is different out of the porcelain.
    I guess the same way that food tastes different when eating with wooden chopsticks as opposed to metallic forks :)

    Cafe Veneziano were absolutely fantastic for service!!!! I ordered them on the tuesday night, wednesday morning i received a phone call to say they couldnt courier deliver to a PO box address and would need a home or business address. I received them Thursday morning!!

    They have the espresso size as well, those ones are the cappuccino size :)


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    Re: (Re)Learning to Drive

    Quote Originally Posted by 1B3B3A3335540 link=1231714559/36#36 date=1231903766
    I guess the same way that food tastes different when eating with wooden chopsticks as opposed to metallic forks
    I got tired of those disposable wooden chopsticks that never break in two cleanly so bought myself some metal chopsticks.
    I didnt notice any difference in the taste of my meals. :-?

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    Re: (Re)Learning to Drive

    Quote Originally Posted by 0935283339382F3A32395D0 link=1231714559/37#37 date=1231913374
    Quote Originally Posted by 1B3B3A3335540 link=1231714559/36#36 date=1231903766
    I guess the same way that food tastes different when eating with wooden chopsticks as opposed to metallic forks
    I got tired of those disposable wooden chopsticks that never break in two cleanly so bought myself some metal chopsticks.
    I didnt notice any difference in the taste of my meals. *:-?
    OH TG, mwhaaaaa you crack me up some times ::)

    Were they the separate type or the ones with a hinge :D

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    Re: (Re)Learning to Drive

    Quote Originally Posted by 1D323B392E113D323D3B39313932285C0 link=1231714559/38#38 date=1231914897
    Were they the separate type or the ones with a hinge
    Did you really have to ask that? ::)

    Separate! :P


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    Re: (Re)Learning to Drive

    i didnt know you could get metal chopsticks? but i suppose you can get anything I had a laugh

    I dont have the disposable ones, they are a funny size as well i reckon I had a laugh
    I have some nice ones from an Asian lady who bought them for me from overseas, they are really pretty too 8-) I had a laugh

    I think food tastes different when eating with metal cutlery as opposed to wooden chopsticks, *shrug*

    perhaps it is a case of the way you use a fork as opposed to a chopstick and how you position it in your mouth? dont know i have not given it thought in that respect?

    Or maybe I am just a weirdo :P


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    Re: (Re)Learning to Drive

    I bought mine from an Asian $ shop.
    The bigger ones usually sell some cooking utensils etc.
    I think theyre Korean in origin IIRC.
    They can be a bit slippery but you get used them pretty quickly.

    Where I used to work there were a few Asian food places so they got a good workout.
    After lunch they just needed a quick rinse under the Zip boiling water tap and they were ready for next time.

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    Re: (Re)Learning to Drive

    yeh love the way food doesnt get stuck in them ;D

    Grant sorry for the off topic again ::)

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    Re: (Re)Learning to Drive

    Oonga
    With regards to the video as I just had a chance to view it
    I would suggest that you turn the machine on as soon as you lock in the PF and quickly place the cups under

    I have been told aeons ago that not doing so affects the taste of the coffee
    And I have always followed this routine
    Lock in PF, start timer, turn on machine, place cups under spout.

    KK

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    Re: (Re)Learning to Drive

    oh wow that is interesting! you know i have been known to lock the PF in and then go and get my milk :o ::)

    THANKS for that tip :D

    I am still playing around with grinds and measurements.

    I find if I put the timer on for 4.7seconds the puck goes up the sides? So it seems to be just a tad too much.

    So this morning i dropped it to 4.6seconds but now it is harder to play around with it and smooth it out sort of thing :(

    So i am thinking perhaps if i go up 1 notch in my grind but keep it at 4.6seconds if that will be better? Also i have been collapsing my coffee after the first dose, i might stop doing that as well?

    I dont have time to play around with it for now as i have to make a move for work and i dont have time to have 2 coffees in the mornings with a 6:30am start I had a laugh

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    Re: (Re)Learning to Drive

    Calling for some more video footage of Fringe Dweller Grants shots :D

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    Re: (Re)Learning to Drive

    Quote Originally Posted by 70545D5D5E5E6470544856543B0 link=1231714559/12#12 date=1231737887
    Oonga
    I dont have a silver button on my M4D stepped grinder I have a black button to adjust grind
    The silver button is used as a choice of single/double/continuous grind dose and as a *timer set up

    I will assume you have the stepped model
    I mostly grind between 1.5 to 2.2 on the dial

    The silver timer is set at
    Double 9.4 seconds
    Single is 5.4 seconds
    Note that is based on my machine at you may need to adjust for your machine as required

    Hope that helps

    KK
    Hey KK,

    Ive also got a M4D stepped and am having a hard time getting my grind right.
    I have worked out that for my VBM, I need to get the top of my espro about level with the top lip of the PF to get clearance from the shower head, so thats the dose sorted out. The espros 11mm thick, which sounds like a lot, but thats how it is, I guess - any more coffee in and the puck gets disturbed by the screen, which by all accounts is a bad thing *:(

    With the grind, I look at what the number is in the middle of the big silver timing/selection button, and my reading is usually around 5.5 (halfway between 5 and 6, that is).

    With monsoon malabar AA beans roasted a few days ago, Ive wound it back to 5.0 and its still going too fast (around 18s), dose is consistent throughout.

    What id like to know is, what number do you get at the middle of the silver button when your burrs are touching (cant go any finer) as a calibration with mine, please? And then, what is the number in the middle of the silver button when youre at your typical grind setting of 1.5-1.75?

    Many thanks,
    Mark

  48. #48
    Senior Member Koffee_Kosmo's Avatar
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    Re: (Re)Learning to Drive

    Gg day ml27 / Mark

    The silver button is a timer for single/ double or continuous grind
    I suggest at the beginning it is best to grind on continuous until you get your grind right then play around with the timer later

    My most used grind setting of the stepped collar *1.5 to 1.75
    In general I use 1.75 or just above with very fresh beans and gets adjusted to the lower numbers as the beans get older

    Just persist and you will get the better of it mate
    I have confidence in your ability

    See photo
    This is the grind adjusting collar and button
    Centre of button is my reference point
    Anticlockwise is fine & clockwise is course
    KK








  49. #49
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    Re: (Re)Learning to Drive

    Thanks KK,

    When I attempt to make the same setting on mine, the burrs start to touch at 1.75, which seems too fine, surely? The lowest Id be willing to go with safety would be about 2-2.25.

    Hence, I wonder if due to manufacturing variances, your zero/touching point may be at a different number to mine, and if so, what that number is.

    Ill try to set it a bit finer than I have now in the morning, and report back on results.

    Thanks,
    Mark

    ps. sorry to hijack your thread as well, Grant, but I feel that this may be useful for others in some way :)

  50. #50
    Senior Member Koffee_Kosmo's Avatar
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    Re: (Re)Learning to Drive

    Mark
    You can only get the blades to touch when the machine is clean and empty I suggest a clean and reset
    Take off the hopper and remove any beans from grinder spout
    Press the button
    and Turn clockwise about 30 turns and remove collar with top burr
    Give it a wash and dry
    Clean bottom collar/burr (vacuum works well) and put it back together

    KK



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