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  • Zassenhaus grinder woes

    After 3 years of grinding beans for espresso coffees successfully in  a Zassenhaus Knee Mill, I decided to get their top-of-the-range model (Zassenhaus 169 dg) as a backup.

    The Zassenhaus sales-pitch says:

    Zassenhaus 169 dg

    Destined to be a family heirloom this grinder (properly treated) should last a lifetime.

    This sales-pitch may be true.  But in my hands, I cannot persuade it to grind beans; the beans just sit in the hopper over the grinder thread and never feed into it.

    Is it me or the machine?

    All advice will be gratefully received.


    Felix Karpfen    

  • #2
    Re: Zassenhaus grinder woes

    hi Felix,

    it may be that you need to adjust the new Zassenhausens burrs... they may have been factory set to zero, and that would mean that nothing would get in between the burrs at all, bar a few molecules of air perhaps...
    i dont know that particular model, but all Zassenhausen-s have, as far as i know, an adjustment knob for the burrs.
    find it, turn it until beans start feeding through from the hopper and then see what fineness of grinds you get out of the machine... tweak the grind from there.
    good luck!!

    L

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Zassenhaus grinder woes

      We have three Z grinders, all ancient. However, looking at pictures of yours at
      sweetmarias, the hopper and burr arrangement is very similar. These have an
      adjustment underneath -- a little "lever" on the bottom of the burr carrier. Yours
      seems to adjust from the top.

      For espresso, I adjust by first setting it so the burrs lock up -- cant move the
      handle. Then back off so that they move, but with noticeable friction and a bit
      of noise. This setting produces a pretty even espresso grind (albeit slowly).
      Backing off a touch more gives a good aeropress grind, a bit more again for
      plunger, so that it just moves freely.

      Ive put all sorts of beans through on these settings, mostly plunger though.
      Never had a problem feeding the beans through. The Zs are the most
      consistent of the hand grinders we have (a little collection now).

      Maybe start at a really coarse grind, where the gap is much bigger, and see if
      you have any luck. And work back.

      Well thats pretty much what Lizzi said, only more longwinded
      Lets know how it goes.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Zassenhaus grinder woes

        not longwinded, Haz, just with much more techno detail!!

        L

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Zassenhaus grinder woes

          Originally posted by hazbean link=1190843000/0#2 date=1190895966

          SNIP

          Never had a problem feeding the beans through. The Zs are the most
          consistent of the hand grinders we have (a little collection now).

          Maybe start at a really coarse grind, where the gap is much bigger, and see if
          you have any luck. And work back.

          Lets know how it goes.

          Firstly, my thanks to all who shared their experience.

          Secondly, the problem is with the beans - Malabar Monsoon-washed beans supplied by CoffeeSnobs.

          The beans are **too big** for the grinder; even at its most wide-open setting.  Retracing bean-grinding technology to an earlier era for the initial grind (pestle and mortar), solved the problem.

          I am still trying to come to terms with paying an extra $30 for the top-of-the-line model.  The cheaper, knee-held model grinds the large beans without any problems.

          Felix

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Zassenhaus grinder woes

            Thats interesting.

            Next time I roast those, Ill do a survey of our six (hmm) hand grinders
            and see which pass the test.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Zassenhaus grinder woes

              Originally posted by hazbean link=1190843000/0#5 date=1191021622
              Thats interesting.

              Next time I roast those, Ill do a survey of our six (hmm) hand grinders
              and see which pass the test.
              Please advise outcome.

              Using mortar-and-pestle is a PITA.

              Felix

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Zassenhaus grinder woes

                "Please advise outcome. "

                Well I did the test with most of our grinders, two Italian BG grinders
                and three Zassenhaus of various sizes (including one quite small
                that I use for travelling). I omitted the Spong no 2 because that will
                grind anything. All at finest possible grind.

                No problems at all with any of them. I also used some Nicaraguan
                Maragogype, which are monster beans. No problems again.

                Im very surprised at the problems youre having.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Zassenhaus grinder woes

                  SOmetimes the width at the top of the funnel does not allow for larger beans to be easily caught by the burrs. I know that with the Iberital challenge you sometimes need to encourage AAA grade and even AA grades with a bit of pressure from above.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Zassenhaus grinder woes

                    Originally posted by hazbean link=1190843000/0#7 date=1192952711
                    "Please advise outcome. "

                    Well I did the test with most of our grinders, two Italian BG grinders
                    and three Zassenhaus of various sizes
                    grind anything. All at finest possible grind.

                    No problems at all with any of them. I also used some Nicaraguan
                    Maragogype, which are monster beans. No problems again.

                    Im very surprised at the problems youre having.


                    Bad news. It looks as though my new Zassenhaus is a lemon.  It took 14 minutes to grind 40g of (very large) coffee beans.

                    The problem flagged in "grendels" reply is relevant:

                    " SOmetimes the width at the top of the funnel does not allow for larger beans to be easily caught by the burrs".

                    But my new Zassenhaus needs more than a prod to coax the beæns into the funnel opening. No such problems with my old Zassenhaus!

                    Felix    

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Zassenhaus grinder woes

                      Felix, if you bought it new, i would go back to the supplier and put the situation to them....
                      it just doesnt sound right...

                      L

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Zassenhaus grinder woes

                        Originally posted by Lizzi link=1190843000/0#10 date=1193013876
                        Felix, if you bought it new, i would go back to the supplier and put the situation to them....
                        it just doesnt sound right...

                        L
                        Alas!

                        Easier said than done.

                        The new Zassenhaus was a present brought by a visitor from the US :-( .

                        I fear that it is a lost cause.  Zassenhaus (Germany) has undergone some recent internal turmoil.  I am unclear what the story is, but I suspect that the company is now under new management and selling somewhat different products (after lacking a web-site and being reported as "out-of-stock" by US and Australian suppliers for some 18 months).

                        Thank you for the interest.

                        Felix

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Zassenhaus grinder woes

                          in that case i would write an email to Zass US and put it to them....you never know!

                          L

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Zassenhaus grinder woes

                            Originally posted by Lizzi link=1190843000/0#12 date=1193100028
                            in that case i would write an email to **Zass US** and put it to them....you never know!

                            L
                            If Zass US exists, then they do not have a web-page.

                            But my search did turn up the following up-to-date review:

                            http://www.coffeegeek.com/reviews/grinders/zassenhaus_manual_mill/fugue137/4466

                            which includes the following quote:

                            "With a fine grind I find that I need 137 turns for a shot--this is the Fine Structure Constant, so I believe that the Zassenhaus is trying to tell me something fundamental about the nature of the universe every time I grind".

                            Felix

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Zassenhaus grinder woes


                              137 turns for a shot?

                              Sounds like you need a cordless drill Felix.

                              Comment

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