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Thread: Help I have some major issues

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    Help I have some major issues

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Im having some major issues with my pour time. I have a diamond prestige machine that has an in built pour timer. Perfect shots on this machine run between 26-30 sec. I can be pulling perfect shots, perfect puck, perfect crema, perfect pour. Then my shots will swing, but not in a small way. Shot times can go as low as 10 sec or other times as high as 50 sec. This is not a gradual thing, 27sec then next shot 10sec. I then waste half a hopper on trying to get this grind to work (tapping group handle to dose more or less, tamping harder ect) or I end up dumping half a hopper and dialing the grinder in again. Effectively starting again. Not only does this cost me a lot of cash, the stress is about to reap havoc on my health. I dose the group head using a consistent method. I tamp consistently. My coffee is from a consistent brand(never had issues before).I have new filters, with good consistent water pressure. Blades in my Compak k10 have done 335kilo. We do have electric doors in our centre, but this has not been an issue in the past. I auto dose & manual dose depending on demand. I feel new to coffee but have spent the last 18 months building our cafe reputation for good coffee. We currently do aprox 35kilos a week. We live in country Vic, 3 hrs from Melb, on the coast & Im feeling like Im running out of options for help. >:(

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    Re: Help I have some major issues

    Quote Originally Posted by 3B3836333233333830570 link=1304594698/0#0 date=1304594698
    Blades in my Compak k10 have done 335kilo.
    This to me would be the first thing Id be looking at. At 35 kilos per week, you would be doing that kind of amount in 10 weeks. At least try them, theyre not expensive, and youll need them soon anyway. Theyre rated at 600kg roughly, but this can vary GREATLY.

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    Re: Help I have some major issues

    I agree. I had a lot of issues relating to blades earlier. I had thought this could be an issue, but at only half their life grinding I couldnt bring myself to believe they maybe at fault. Ill put in an order tomorrow. If anyone has any other ideas please post.

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    Re: Help I have some major issues

    Many factors can influence blade wear & reduce stated life

    1) Decaf will wear the blades quicker
    2) Heat build up will soften steel and in turn wear quicker
    2) Replacement blades are of softer steel or a different leading blade profile - this can often be from non genuine replacements

    If you are getting good results for the first 300kg and consistency is down hill past that point, then I would replace the blades at the 300 kg mark

    KK

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    Re: Help I have some major issues

    Have you asked your coffee supplier their opinion?

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    Re: Help I have some major issues

    Quote Originally Posted by 51525C59585959525A3D0 link=1304594698/0#0 date=1304594698
    I end up dumping half a hopper and dialing the grinder in again
    Off topic and I apologise for that but....
    I prefer to see cafes with empty hoppers and grinding on demand.

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    Re: Help I have some major issues

    Yes I have asked my supplier & they have been reasonably helpful, but because we are 3 hrs from the city ( it could be South Africa!!) I cant get someone down to watch and give an opinion. I have ordered new blades today and will fit Monday. We have had a good run with the first 6 kilos of the day, but Im starting to now see a shift with some shots running out at 37sec. Dose & tamped the same (auto dose). Its just so random, but seems to piont towards the burs being worn. Ill update when burs are changed and run in.
    On the subject of running blades in is there a very cheap coffee option I should use for doing this? My coffee is $25 a kilo and Im reluctant to do it the same way Ive done previously (while the cafe open). Im not looking forward to the stress it causes & thought I may be able to just run them in after hours and waste a cheap coffee rather than struggle to get good shots while we are open. Is this stupid??

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    Re: Help I have some major issues

    Off topic and I apologise for that but....
    I prefer to see cafes with empty hoppers and grinding on demand.
    ou may

    Yes your very welcome to come down and show me how this is done when there is 20 or more double shot coffee on the board. Yes i do grind to demand and when demand is high I auto dose.

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    Re: Help I have some major issues

    Regarding cheap coffee. Try aldi. I know it is less than $25/kg and there is an aldi in warnambool

    Im not a grinder expert, but the symptoms you report sound more like something loose . While you are fitting the burrs, check everything internally for excessive play and that all mounts are tight.

    Another thought: buy a smartgrinder and set it up for correct pour rate alongside your regular grinder, but then leave empty. Next time you get the problem, chuck some beans from your regular grind hopper into the smart grinder and pull a shot. If it comes out fine, you know it is your grinder.

    Expensive, but might save a whole lot of time and wasted coffee. You can always use it for decaff duty afterward.

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    Senior Member trentski's Avatar
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    Re: Help I have some major issues

    Quote Originally Posted by 393A34313031313A32550 link=1304594698/7#7 date=1304659255
    Yes your very welcome to come down and show me how this is done when there is 20 or more double shot coffee on the board. Yes i do grind to demand and when demand is high I auto dose.

    Thanks 8-)

    I bought some coffee beans at Coles earlier in the week for $8 a kg, they were stale and I couldnt drink any of the shots I pulled using them but they could be useful for what you want them for, maybe :-/

    I bought them to help clear the smell out of a fridge and freezer that had been a week without power when I was on holiday >:(

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    Re: Help I have some major issues

    I know that what I may say is a simple thing but

    Do you on a regular basis remove the upper burr carrier and clean the blades
    The upper blade and carrier can be washed if required

    If the blades gunk up with coffee oils from repeated heavy use they wont operate as designed

    In effect the new beans just skim over the cutting edges instead of lodging in the grooves

    KK

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    Re: Help I have some major issues

    The grinder is pulled down and cleaned every Sunday close. I also run the crystal cleaner through it every month. I have noticed less of a cutting edge lately.

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    Senior Member Koffee_Kosmo's Avatar
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    Re: Help I have some major issues

    Quote Originally Posted by 4E4D43464746464D45220 link=1304594698/11#11 date=1304724219
    The grinder is pulled down and cleaned every Sunday close. I also run the crystal cleaner through it every month. I have noticed less of a cutting edge lately.

    It looks like you are doing all the right things

    In all the conversations that I have had with baristas most say its normal practice to change burrs at around 300 kg of use
    Some will change sooner & some after but 300kg is the average

    KK


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    Re: Help I have some major issues

    Thanks KK, this has helped. I must admit Ive been feeling a little ripped off when Im told I should get 600kilo & Im not. I keep a coffee diary & going back through it Im noticing a trend at the 3 month mark. My shot times begin to deviate. Im concerned that others in my chain are getting more than 600 kilo. Im a proud coffee Natzi & Im sure their coffee must suffer. theyer just not worried about it or doing anything about it. ;D

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    Re: Help I have some major issues

    Quote Originally Posted by 21222C29282929222A4D0 link=1304594698/13#13 date=1304738692
    Im concerned that others in my chain are getting more than 600 kilo. Im a proud coffee Natzi & Im sure their coffee must suffer. theyer just not worried about it or doing anything about it.
    Can you ask them if theyve noticed the same things you have?


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    Re: Help I have some major issues

    Im not an expert, but it seems my way of thinking seems to lead to the grinder as the number one factor, meaning something is loose, perhaps causing the burrs to move closer together. Check how secure your burrs are.

    Happened to me once when the burrs became unsecure and subsequently the grinds have changed to coarser, so my problem was in reverse.

    This is not a bean issue as you mentioned the pour changes from shot to shot.
    I presume technique is not the issue as you are very consistent.

    If you do change the blades, check every other aspect of the grinder.

    Perhaps coffeesnobs member Beanflying can assist as hes around the corner from you.

    Looking forward to your follow through on Monday.

    Gary at G

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    Re: Help I have some major issues

    Someone mention my name and made my ears burn* :)

    Have dropped you an email and see if I can help you out early next week. I can always throw my K10 in the car for comparison done under 100kg as far as I know.

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    Re: Help I have some major issues

    Some random thoughts:

    according to the importer, the conical burrs of the K10 are rated to 1300 kilos from memory. The 400 kilo figure mentioned above commonly relates to planar burrs.

    Burrs wear over time. The corresponding change in grind setting occurs over time. As the operators notice the grind setting changing over time,* they keep adjusting it down to suit. Eventually the coffee tastes like crap and the crema is a dark brown colour, and the grinder will overheat during peak times due to the increased friction, but it usually continues to flow at an even rate.....IE, worn burrs do not in my experience cause coffee to flow at a certain rate for some time then almost instantly change to another rate....as stated all this normally happens gradually.

    It is possible that in areas where there are large fluctuations in humidity that when grinding burrs are badly worn and therefore the setting is getting finer and finer for a certain flow rate, then a sudden change in humidity might noticeably affect the flow..... but this is only theoretical on my part because we rarely see burrs worn so badly ( ie they are usually changed out at the right time instead of being left to a point where they are causing major problems) and we dont see wildly fluctuating humidity in my area.

    After that ofcourse, I am aways open to learn something new and would be interested to know if this issue really is related to badly worn burrs. I say badly because I couldnt see symptoms described happening with say, lightly worn burrs.... it is too extreme, and the figure given for use above seems too low for the burrs to be much more than well bedded in.

    Cutting to the chase.....I would ask my coffee supplier to lend me a grinder for a week for comparison and a professional supplier would not deny your request but as you say your supplier is a long way away, if it were me and certainly at 35 kilos per week I would buy a second grinder (in the scheme of things they are cheap and you will turn over the purchase price in one days trade or less), and then you can directly and quickly get to the bottom of whether your grinder is at fault.

    Your supplier may be a long way away but surely you have a local service provider? Do they not have a grinder you can rent for a nominal fee for a few days?

    Other random thoughts:
    a) water pump????????
    b)Water Pressure Limiting Valve?
    C) water filter?
    d) Consistent operator technique?

    In a 35 kilo a week business these are cheap to replace even if only to eliminate any possible connection to the problem.

    Without being there to see it is impossible to diagnose what is going on. Where is you service provider in all this? you are in buainess so dont be scared to pay for quick professional help as it will ultimately cost you less than trying to sort things out yourself over time.


    Hope this offers some help.

    Rgdz,
    Attilio
    very first CS site sponsor

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    Re: Help I have some major issues

    Just wondering how full your hopper was (if you noticed )when these problems were happening because Something interesting ive noticed with my k10 is that when the beans get very low in the hopper (almost empty ) the grind becomes very coarse, therefore gushing of the shot. When i top the hopper back up there is no more problem. All i could put it down to was that there wasnt enough weight on the burrs(bean on bean) when near empty causing course grind? does that make sense? I am probably off the mark here but this is what i am experiencing at present. As long as my hopper is at least 1/3 full no problem. (i use a k3 hopper)

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    Re: Help I have some major issues

    Having a play tomorrow with my K10 and some of Loadeddogs beans, not sure if he is bringing his K10 over as well to compare and have a chat. :)

    Quote Originally Posted by 7D485F5D0E0B3A0 link=1304594698/18#18 date=1304850742
    ive noticed with my k10 is that when the beans get very low in the hopper (almost empty
    Never had a noticeable problem with mine so far. Minimal popcorning so the bean feed must be fairly good even when just the throat is full. Grind retention is this grinders biggest problem IMO for home or limited commercial use.

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    Re: Help I have some major issues

    Ive also noticed that unless our 1 kilo hopper is at least 1/3rd full we will get a variance. So we keep it full.

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    Re: Help I have some major issues

    Attilio (fresh_coffee) has some valid and interesting points. Define consistent! We click 3 times for 16grams, tap to consolidate, tamp & polish. This happens till the shit hits the fan. Then we will either up the dosage in the chamber, tap the group handle up to three times or just generally over dose to try and slow down the pour time. If the shots are long well again get inventive! Consistent you tell me.
    Today I had a killer grind happening! Three clicks light tamp & polish, 27sec -28sec. Perfect pour, lovely crema, oreo biscuits. Great coffee. 10am, busy & it turned to shit!! I pulled a succession of great shots and group 2 dropped a 20sec. Group 3 pulled a 26sec. Next lot 2 pulled a 19sec and 3 a 18sec. Pour looked a little fast (obviously) but biscuit, & crema still looked great... I over dosed the handle & got the times up to 26sec after aprox 8 turfed shots. Finally new grind came through and we had good shots for 20 min, then they ran long (37 - 40sec).
    We prefer to manual dose, but in busy times we just have to auto dose. My switch is in danger of falling off due to constant on/off action. Diamond services (supplier) have said the grinder is not recommended for manual dose and should be operated as an auto dose grinder. This goes against my fresh coffee policy, so we manual dose in low volume times.
    Water pressure & pump pressure are eliminated. Volumes are set in the morning & monitored on every shot. Finding we change volumes when the grind changes (topic for my next post)????

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    Re: Help I have some major issues

    Interesting information loaded.

    So, it sounds as if the issue only occurs when you are dosing by drop, rather than free dosing?

    Many doser grinders can be somewhat dodgy as the drop will depend on the fill and also how accurate the dosing mechanism is. Someone once told me that the drop mechanism can be inconsistent up to 25% of the time.

    Sounds to me like you should be contemplating a big electronic doserless grinder such as a Major-E, Robur-E or similar.*

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    Re: Help I have some major issues

    Problem is cjn, it will also do it manual dose . Its just not as big an issue. Easier to chase & change the grind. Not as much wastage. Not as much stress!!!!

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    Re: Help I have some major issues

    Quote Originally Posted by 20232D28292828232B4C0 link=1304594698/23#23 date=1304893830
    Problem is cjn, it will also do it manual dose . Its just not as big an issue. Easier to chase & change the grind. Not as much wastage. Not as much stress!!!!
    Time for a Robur-E me thinks....

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    Re: Help I have some major issues

    Sorry but this is sounding more and more like a technique related issue if not a doser/dispenser issue. Yes some dosers do not drop consistent doses (but this should not be a significant problem on the Compak like it is on some others)...and neither do some humans!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    An auto dispense grinder such as the one Chris has noted may be the go, and there are some others that also do an accurate "auto dispensed" single dose in various price brackets.

    You could also engage a trainer (your coffee supplier trainer should get first bite of the cherry) to audit your coffee making process over time. An hour spent silently watching while you are busy, without talking to anyone or getting in anyones way.....with a notepad and pen, and thereafter to advise you about what came up from that....

    Sometimes the results are an eye opener (for the cafe), with resulting marked betterment of professionalism and product afterwards...thats a win / win / won for everyone.

    Hope that helps.

    Rgdz,
    Attilio
    very first Cs site sponsor.


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    Re: Help I have some major issuesw

    I agree Attilio, we may need to look at our training. No arguments from me.
    Latest news is though
    I went across and spent an enjoyable morning talking & drinking coffee with Beanflying. Picked up his Compak K10 & replaced it for mine.

    After dialing it in, my girls only dropped 5 shots in 3 hrs. Thats incredible. Thats how we want to make coffee!!! My girls refuse to give the grinder back! I had a laugh! Better send me an invoice Beanflying!!
    This is only preliminary observations though. We only did about 1.8 kilos. Ill keep you posted on what happens tomorrow! [smiley=thumbsup.gif]

  28. #28
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    Re: Help I have some major issues

    Thats great news loaded,

    It sounds like youre doing pretty big volumes and you do need an appropriate grinder. Looks like a solution is close now.

    [smiley=thumbsup.gif] also to you bf for helping out a fellow member near you. Thats what CS is all about.

    Chris

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    Re: Help I have some major issues

    Yeah for Coffesnobs and all who have contributed to my solution! What a magnificent resource! And all at my finger tips! Last week I was at my wits end, this week I have direction and purpose!

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    Re: Help I have some major issues

    I will be over with the attack milk slops drinking Whippets to reclaim it If I need to ;)

    Great it is working much better for you, catch you mid week and interested to look at your K10 compared to mine.

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    Re: Help I have some major issues

    Im happy for you loadedogg.

    i can smile inside i can contribute to helping a fellow snob that leads to a satisfactory outcome.

    I guess you have to choose whether to overhaul your current grinder or get a completely new one.

    All the best.

    Big shout to Beanflying for taking the trouble of hauling the grinder over and helping a neighbour in need.
    Sorry to burn yer ears in the first place. ;)

    Gary at G

  32. #32
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    Re: Help I have some major issues

    Quote Originally Posted by 7C666B6A786E767C7C0F0 link=1304594698/30#30 date=1304952253
    Big shout to Beanflying for taking the trouble of hauling the grinder over and helping a neighbour in need.
    [smiley=tekst-toppie.gif]

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    Re: Help I have some major issues

    aw shucks you guys :)

    So hard standing around a machine making and drinking coffees sorting out problems, time I reconsidered my day job if that was all it took.

    I could do with another K10 grinder maybe I could buy the dodgy one from Loadeddog cheap and get mine back at the same time ;)

  34. #34
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    Re: Help I have some major issues

    Howdy loadeddog,

    How did the new blades go?

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    Re: Help I have some major issues

    Ok! So now Ive personal spent 11 hrs on beanflyings grinder! This is what making coffee should be like. Such a pleasant warm feeling to know the product your delivering to guest is the best you can make!!! We have been having trouble with our grinder since the beginning! Weve blamed our skills, and spent $$$$ on training stuff we already knew (can never stop learning). Weve blamed our machine and spent $$$$ on service and techs we didnt need. I have Diamond picking up our grinder on Friday and dropping a replacement loaner grinder. I have not put new burs in because I want them to assess the machine as is. There is such a better feel in my cafe, no stress. I did 7 kilos today with next to no concerns at all. Manual to auto and back to manual, no problems. Hopper full, hopper empty no problems. Ive been reading post that say how good the K10 is!!! Well last week I thought you all mad and how mine did nothing but suck!!! Now Ive used beanflyings grinder, Id be happy to continue with compak. I will post results of Diamonds findings as soon as they come to hand. Thanks coffee snobs.

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    Re: Help I have some major issues

    Bent drive shaft?
    I cannot think of anything else that might cause a good grinder with new burrs to produce bad coffee.

    I look forward to hearing what it was and am happy that Bean Flying helped you troubleshoot it. Nice.

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    Re: Help I have some major issues

    Its an odd one with the other K10. I dropped the upper burr out yesterday and it was very even clean and showed no signs of off centre wear or touching the lower burr at least with the naked eye. Certainly not a cleaning issue or build up issue as it has been getting a weekly strip and clean by loadeddog in the past. By my reckoning it is also slightly newer than my WBC specced one too if that makes any difference to the doser over the standard K10.

    Going back to my slow DRM at around 22 seconds a triple makes me want back the sub 5 second K10 soon :)

  38. #38
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    Re: Help I have some major issues

    Quote Originally Posted by 2027232C242E3B2B2C25420 link=1304594698/36#36 date=1305154593
    Going back to my slow DRM at around 22 seconds a triple makes me want back the sub 5 second K10 soon
    Sounds like it could do double duty as a shot timer ;D

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    Re: Help I have some major issues

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Quote Originally Posted by 6E687F746E6971731A0 link=1304594698/37#37 date=1305165198
    Sounds like it could do double duty as a shot time
    Yep not fast but between this one and my other one I have crunched through 8 or 9kg in a day in between tripping out the thermal overloads ::)

    Retrieved my K10 late today, nearly had to go back to the car for the baseball bat to take it away from the staff but LD had nearly sorted out the loaner from Diamond. Should mention mine did come back with a full strip and clean of the burrs and doser before pickup 8-)

    It is going to be interesting to see what they find with the other K10.



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