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  • Changing beans changes so much!

    Every time I need beans I choose from the look and smell of whats on offer.
    The last lot were huge beans, mild roast with a very pleasant nose (called Blue Mountain I think).
    My grinder is the De Longhi with the floating top burr, which I tweaked to allow it to "almost touch" the lower half.
    With this bean I found I had to set the grinder to the finest grind, and tamp with excessive pressure, to get my 6910 to give a reasonable shot. THis was bugging me. so I wrapped a couple of turns of mylar tape round the to burr carrier to stiffen things up. This improved things a bit, then I ran out of beans.
    Well the next selection of beans were a very small Ethiopian bean, and to my surprise the first shot attempt blocked the 6910 completely.
    I reduced the tamp down to next to nothing, but found I also had to coarsen the grind by 4 steps to get a decent pour.

    Is this huge (to me) variation between beans what I should expect?

    The changes to the grinder make it run a lot quieter under load, and the feel of the grind when rubbing it between my fingers seems to be much more consistent and less grainy, so Im happy to continue using it while I research a replacement.

    Bruce

  • #2
    Re: Changing beans changes so much!

    Originally posted by 796F4E5555525857525D5D5E3B0 link=1254242288/0#0 date=1254242288
    Is this huge (to me) variation between beans what I should expect?
    yes, pretty much. Every bean is different and will require a different grind setting. Itll probably change throughout the day too. With my grinder I find that I have to move between 2 different ranges of grind settings depending on whether Im using a blend or a single origin. I know roughly where I have to move it to when I change from a blend to an SO and then make finer adjustments from there.

    Originally posted by 796F4E5555525857525D5D5E3B0 link=1254242288/0#0 date=1254242288
    the feel of the grind when rubbing it between my fingers seems to be much more consistent and less grainy, so Im happy to continue using it while I research a replacement.
    yeah, consistency of grind particles is important. Its one of the best things about my K10, the grinds are very, very consistent.

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    • #3
      Re: Changing beans changes so much!

      Ethiopian beans are often small and hard and usually require a course grind setting. Large beans that are not as hard will usually require a finer grind setting. What your describing is absolutely normal.

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      • #4
        Re: Changing beans changes so much!

        Hey Muppet man

        Great rules of thumb. Are there any other general rules that apply to help hit the grind mark when changing beans??

        Also, for whatever reason, i find that purchased fresh roasted coffee from good suppliers always seem to require finer grind settings than my own SO roasts - does that indicate anything about my roasting levels - too long, too short...?

        cheers

        argon

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        • #5
          Re: Changing beans changes so much!

          Originally posted by 5546535B5A340 link=1254242288/3#3 date=1254281235
          Hey Muppet man

          Great rules of thumb.  Are there any other general rules that apply to help hit the grind mark when changing beans??

          Also, for whatever reason, i find that purchased fresh roasted coffee from good suppliers always seem to require finer grind settings than my own SO roasts - does that indicate anything about my roasting levels - too long, too short...?

          cheers

          argon
          I have no idea how you are roasting or cooling but I have found darker roasts need a finer grind setting. I imagine the reason being that darker roasted beans become softer as the cellulose structure of the bean breaks down. It would take a better barista then me to predict what grind is required based on origin/roast/age/atmospheric conditions before pulling a shot. As with most things coffee related there are many exeptions.

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          • #6
            Re: Changing beans changes so much!

            Im normal! Thats good to hear, and youre right, todays efforts needed a notch finer grind than yesterday.
            I keep asking my wife if this cup is better than the last, but she just says "theyre all good". Mind you, we had a coffee after lunch at a vineyard in the Swan Valley yesterday, and she did say that coffee wasnt anywhere near as good.

            Maybe Ill experiment with more smaller beans for a while.

            thanks
            Bruce

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            • #7
              Re: Changing beans changes so much!

              Originally posted by 1F09283333343E31343B3B385D0 link=1254242288/5#5 date=1254295028
              Im normal!
              well, youre a coffeesnob ... thats not saying much though!  ;D ;D

              Originally posted by 7C6A4B5050575D525758585B3E0 link=1254242288/5#5 date=1254295028
              Mind you, we had a coffee after lunch at a vineyard in the Swan Valley yesterday, and she did say that coffee wasnt anywhere near as good.

              and that sir, is one of the MANY beauties of grinding fresh and making the shot right away. Lots of (non speciality coffee) places dont bother to and so are on the backfoot from the outset with their potential shot quality.

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              • #8
                Re: Changing beans changes so much!

                Other things to take into account are freshness of the beans. A SO that hasnt properly degassed yet will often require a courser grind to get a decent crema unlike a stale coffee that requires a finer grind to produce any crema at all.

                Another possible factor is the altitude the coffee is grown in and if it was a full sun coffee or shaded.

                High altitude coffee is denser in its make up which allows for longer roasting and possibly denser final product... shade grown coffee is possibly also denser due to prolonged ripening periods?

                Another thing?...it might just be your grinder? ;D

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