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Thread: Bad shots...grinder?

  1. #1
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    Bad shots...grinder?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    So over the past few weeks Ive been experiencing some pretty ordinary extractions and its driving me mental. The shot seems to start well with a nice pre-infusion and a slow drip drip (typical ristretto extraction) then it frees right up after about 10ml and runs like a bad cafe shot. I cant seem to get a real depth of colour or flavour in it either. There is no channeling in the puck or worm holes. When knocked out, the basket is wet. This is new for me.

    I am using a Simonelli Oscar, a sunbeam 0480, Pullman tamper made by Greg to fit my Synesso basket and I roast regularly (once or twice a week) to ensure freshness.

    The Oscar seems to be in the same fantastic condition it always is, and I clean it regularly and always use filtered water. Nothing has changed there.

    My grind, dose, tamp technique is the same as Ive used forever. Although lately I have been messing around with it to try and rectify the problem but to no avail.

    The weather has been a little up and down recently but its nothing I cant overcome so I dont think that is the problem either.

    Sooooooooo unless there is something Im missing, I am pointing the finger at my grinder. Yes it is a few years old and no I havent replaced the burrs. But this is also my reason for posting. New burrs from Sunbeam cost $90 and its still going to be a Sunbeam grinder when Ive replaced them. Is this the way to go? Or is this the time to upgrade? If so, what to?
    I cant spend the national debt on one at the moment so do I need to buy second hand or is there something out there brand new for a few hundred that would be a good step up? Rancillio Rocky maybe?
    All thoughts would be greatly appreciated, cheers.

  2. #2
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    Re: Bad shots...grinder?

    First, buy a packet of coffee in the supermarket or from a local roaster if there is one, and try that. Try more than one.

    It could be the coffee you are on at the moment and its cheaper than pointing fingers at grinders first up.

  3. #3
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    Re: Bad shots...grinder?

    Thanks Fresh_Coffee. I tried some local roasted stuff this arvo but it made no difference unfortunately :(

  4. #4
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    Re: Bad shots...grinder?

    quite a few of us have breville smart grinders, which are good grinders that arent that expensive.

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    Re: Bad shots...grinder?

    Thanks Richard, that is good to hear. I did some research last night and the smart grinder seems to be the best value for money under $300 to $400 so I am looking very seriously at one. The only thing is, I really did want to go stepless this time and I believe the Breville is not? The Lelit 0460 (I think thats the one) also seems to be a good grinder for the money and it can be stepless which is a drawcard but otherwise the Breville seems, on paper, to be all over the Lelit. Can anyone confirm or deny this?

  6. #6
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    Re: Bad shots...grinder?

    My bad, Lelit PL043.

  7. #7
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    Re: Bad shots...grinder?

    We are advised to buy the best grinder we can afford, as it is a very important part of the process to have an even, consistent and adjustable grind.

    I have used both the Sunbeam and Breville grinders and I am now using a Brev Smart Grinder with my Brev Dual Boiler.

    I found the Breville to be the better one. In the design, the direct drop from the burrs helps to prevent grounds from being retained. I found the Sunbeam was very messy on the bench. While the Brev is very clean. Sunbeam now have a new spout to fix that.

    I know nothing about the Lelit.

    I donít think any of our Site sponsors stock Breville now as with less sales they cannot match the big discount chains on price.

    Barry.

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    Re: Bad shots...grinder?

    Quote Originally Posted by 745744444F69724358555758360 link=1332327134/6#6 date=1332472982

    I donít think any of our Site sponsors stock Breville now as with less sales they cannot match the big discount chains on price.

    Barry.
    breville Australia is a site sponsor

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    Re: Bad shots...grinder?

    So after much research and deliberation, I figured the Breville was the way to go seeing it was so cheap and seemed to have great features.

    I got one for an amazing price this morning at a local store and Ive gotta say Im very impressed with the all round quality of the thing.

    Whats most important is the grind consistency. It is really damn good and the beans come out cool as they should. There is little to no static build up so I dont get clumping and its not messy even with the fresh roast I did this morning. Its easy to use and quieter than the Sunbeam was.

    The only thing I can pick on it about is that, for my machine, it doesnt grind quite fine enough. It pours a great normal espresso shot but it will not get down to a ristretto which is what I enjoy.

    No big deal though, a quick call to Breville and the shim kit has been sent and will arrive in a few days at no extra cost to me.

    In conclusion, based on my first impressions, I am a converted skeptic* ::) Obviously time will tell how good it really is but at the moment Im stoked* :D

    Thanks everyone for your input and reviews. I have spent less money ( the wife is happy) than I thought I would have to, and gotten a better product than I thought I could!

    Cheers, Mike.

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    Re: Bad shots...grinder?

    Shim kit arrived, installed, works great now :)

  11. #11
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    Re: Bad shots...grinder?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5C4A494B5C4A4A5C5D66504A665B5C4A4D390 link=1332327134/9#9 date=1333628784
    Shim kit arrived, installed, works great now :)
    So the pours are much better now? Not freeing up at about 10ml and going pale and runny anymore?

  12. #12
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    Re: Bad shots...grinder?

    No not anymore, its pouring really well now jb. Still doesnt grind quite as fine as the sunbeam but grind consistency is better and it goes as fine as I need it.

  13. #13
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    Re: Bad shots...grinder?

    Certainly grind consistency is all important.

    Put it this way, when theres fine and coarse grinds in the mix, at some stage along the extraction, the fines have given up their goodness, and further extraction would result in bitter compounds being produced.

    As for the coarser grinds, if they are quite large, they may not be properly extracted as their small surface area will not release the required coffee oils for espresso, if you get my drift.

    Did you at any stage try to alter or modify your dose distribution and tamping technique prior to change of grinder?

    With particles ground uniformly for espresso, theres a greater chance for fuller extraction within the 30ml for 30 seconds window, thus every particle is utilised to its maximum, less blonding.

    Together with a great machine like yours with good temperature stability and your new Breville BCG800 producing a better grind, you and your wife are enjoying a great brew.

    Gary at G

  14. #14
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    Re: Bad shots...grinder?

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Thanks for the input Gary.

    Precisely my thoughts on the grind consistency. So yes I did try different dosing and tamping methods but nothing worked.

    The Breville sorted it out. My machine is very picky with grinds, if its not a fantastic grind then it will not produce a good result. I tried the sunbeam again the other day with a different roast and a nice warm day. It was much more stable but still not as good as the Breville.

    The Sunbeam still grinds well enough for my friends 6910 for some reason tho.

    So I guess the 0480 is not entirely in need of new burrs but it was a good excuse to upgrade* :)

    Anyone starting out need a grinder?



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