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grinder problem: beans blocking? (Rancilio Rocky)

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  • grinder problem: beans blocking? (Rancilio Rocky)

    Im having a problem where my Rocky starts to grind but then after a little while I hear the grind mechanism, but without that wonderful sound of beans being crushed into dust. Its been happening intermittently, with a little shake of the grinder usually sorting out whatever the issue is. Last Friday that didnt fix it and I took it to Barazi who couldnt replicate it, took it apart, put it back together, cleaned it, ran some de-oiling cleaning bean things through it, and it seemed to work. Saturday morning it did it again. If I take the beans out and refill it it seems to work again, but thats rather a pain.

    So, it seems to me like the beans get themselves into a bit of a gridlock above the burrs.

    Question 1: Has anyone else run into this problem? Is it common or unusual?

    Question 2: Is it better from a freshness perspective to keep my beans in the tin or bag I get them in and only put in a few when about to grind, rather than using the hopper?

    Thanks,

    Ralf

  • #2
    Re: grinder problem: beans blocking? (Rancilio Roc

    Ralf,

    Are the beans oily? I get this problem occassionally if I use older or bought beans that have an oily surface. The oil can make them stick and since you dont have the weight of more beans to push them through they can get stuck.

    Solution - I dunno. I have read that others have removed the plastic cone in the middle of the hopper to help the beans feed. But this is a finger guard!!! - so be sure first and see what others have to say before removing it. Maybe you need fresher beans.

    Best idea is only to use what you need and keep the rest in an air tight bag or tin in a cool place out of the light. A bag is better I find since I can push excess air out.

    Matt

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    • #3
      Re: grinder problem: beans blocking? (Rancilio Roc

      I sometimes get the same thing happening with my Rocky and tap the sides. If the beans are particularly oily it tend to happen or if they are a dark roast and are therefore pretty light- in the sense that they have less weight to drag them downward.
      Do you have the standard Rocky lid or have you upgraded to the : click-clack lid?
      That helps me. Click clack are those sealing containers at Woolies adn happen to fir perfectly in the top of Rocky. When I hear the sound like the burrs are about to freewheel, I push down on the clikc clack and that sorts it.
      You could also place a large (so it doesnt get caught) weighted device on the top of the beans to keep the pressure up.
      I always have Rocky about half full but I know a fellow snob who only places the exact amount of beans in there for the brew hes making.

      In answer to your other question- After roasting I let my beans degass for 2 or 3 days and then place them in large airtight containers in a cool dark-ish place until I blend for the brew.
      hope this helps.
      RH

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      • #4
        Re: grinder problem: beans blocking? (Rancilio Roc

        Thanks Matt & RG.

        I hadnt thought about the weight of beans pushing down, but last time it happened the hopper was full.

        I do like a fairly dark roast, so that might be part of it. The beans are fresh, usually at most 3-4 weeks by the time I get to the last few (I suspect I should buy fewer more often, but then I dont know when I might have friends over and get a rush on coffees... ;-) ) The current batch are only 1 week old. Nicaraguan from Merlo.

        I was just thinking about lining the hopper a little with baking paper, which would be a bit more smooth.

        Ill do the click-clack upgrade today, thanks RH :-)

        Sound like a somewhat common problem. I just found some other reviews on coffeegeek and it gets mentioned there too.

        Maybe I should think of upgrading to a Mazzer :-)

        Ralf

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: grinder problem: beans blocking? (Rancilio Roc

          Originally posted by ralfm link=1168811361/0#3 date=1168813132
          Maybe I should think of upgrading to a Mazzer :-)

          Ralf
          ;D Yeah that may help! but its kinda like cracking a walnut with a hammer

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: grinder problem: beans blocking? (Rancilio Roc

            a) oily beans;
            b) large beans

            cause this, and it can happen to any grinder so dont rush into "upgrading" anything just yet unless you wanted to do so in any case.

            a) and b) beans tend to "bog" themselves up on each other on the way down through the witches hat in the bottom of the hopper, stopping the freeflow of beans through.

            If you like the coffee beans you are using and want to keep using them you can look at making the path through the witches hat a little easier but if the grinder is under guarantee I wouldnt race into that without checking with your vendor first about whether there might be any implications for your warranty.

            Regardz,
            FC

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: grinder problem: beans blocking? (Rancilio Roc

              Yes, there is that. But what a hammer ;-)


              So I just made myself a cuppa wth only a few beans in the grinder, and repeated shuffling around of them needed. They seem like quite a large been actually.

              I was also quite aware of the sound of it all. I might make a recording and post it tonight after work. Id be interested in hearing other peoples grinders in action.

              Ralf

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              • #8
                Re: grinder problem: beans blocking? (Rancilio Roc


                Thanks FC -- I think Ive got that combination which has exacerbated my issues. Ill learn to work with it, Im sure :-) Its good to get confirmation that it doesnt appear to be a flaw of the individual unit though.

                Ralf

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: grinder problem: beans blocking? (Rancilio Roc

                  I was getting frustrated by this problem with mine early in the piece. I took the step of removing the finger guard, and did find this improved the situation a lot - but occassionally everything still comes to a (non)grinding halt. I find that getting them going again is MUCH easier without the finger guard though - a tap, a little pressure onto the beans with fingers, and off we go again.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: grinder problem: beans blocking? (Rancilio Roc

                    Have had the same problem. Bought my rocky on Oct 13/06 and have had
                    problems but this was the first time a simple tap would not do. So clean (soap&water) seems to fix it. In process found this bent screw. I assume this would be the stop to prevent rotation to past zero point. Strange.
                    I have never put this kind of force on the hopper. Especially on plastic. (pic below) Is this common Doserless rocky.
                    Originally posted by rayzurhed link=1168811361/0#2 date=1168812421
                    have you upgraded to the : click-clack lid?
                    That helps me. Click clack are those sealing containers at Woolies
                    RH
                    Click-clack?
                    Woolies?
                    Could you provide more info?
                    Woolies is a retail outlet?
                    Never heard of it.


                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: grinder problem: beans blocking? (Rancilio Roc

                      Woolies = Woolworths

                      Where are you located Wes?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: grinder problem: beans blocking? (Rancilio Roc

                        Originally posted by Wes V link=1168811361/0#9 date=1170814078
                        I assume this would be the stop to prevent rotation to past zero point.
                        I have never put this kind of force on the hopper. Especially on plastic. (pic below) Is this common Doserless rocky.
                        Gday Wes and welcome to CoffeeSnobs [smiley=thumbsup.gif],

                        Yes, quite a few grinders including the Rocky have a screw in place to block the travel of the upper burr carrier to prevent clashing of the burrs..... As you can imagine, tool-steel burrs grinding away at each other isnt great for longevity. I just removed this screw right from the outset on my Rocky and verified the exact Zero position manually before the first bean was put through it, and then never looked back.

                        I guess its possible that your Rocky may have received a vicious blow during transport which resulted in the screw being bent. So long as you are the only person using the grinder, it would be safe to remove the screw and check your actual Zero like a lot of us have done. If there is likely to be others using Rocky though, it might be better to leave it in place to prevent a high iron content in your next coffee ,

                        Mal.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: grinder problem: beans blocking? (Rancilio Roc

                          Thx guys.
                          No Woolworths North of the 49th. (Alberta)
                          The Woolco stores were taken over by walmart
                          probably ten years ago.
                          The zero is so close to this default screw I really have no desire to
                          change it. But I may take out the fingerguide as my
                          beans are pretty greasy. Wonder if Varsol would clean
                          them beans better than the carb cleaner I been using
                          Thx again

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: grinder problem: beans blocking? (Rancilio Roc

                            Woolworths is an Australian store Wes.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: grinder problem: beans blocking? (Rancilio Roc

                              Originally posted by Thundergod link=1168811361/0#13 date=1170844716
                              Woolworths is an Australian store Wes.
                              No connection with what I was thinking of.
                              Interesting website. Never heard of a Quke before.


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