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Thread: Why is it so? Messy coffee...

  1. #1
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    Why is it so? Messy coffee...

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    I'm trying a new bean from the Custom Coffee roasters here in Bendigo. It's yummy, rich and dark, hint of chocolate and lots of back palate flavours. It's a new adjustment on my grinder - from about a 5 for the el cheapo stuff and an 8 for the normal CC roast, this is out to a 13 to get the right extraction...

    But it is MESSY. The normal roaster beans grind nicely into my PF. The el cheapo's grind nicely into my PF. I have the rubber spout on the grinder spout which brings the lip down to less than a cm above the edge of the PF.

    And this new and delicious coffee sprays out the sides. I wind up with (admittedly a minor amount) coffee grounds spread over several cms all around the grinder.

    It also doesn't mound up in the middle worth a damn and seems a bit more clumpy than the others, which I understand (the clumps) is to do with moistness?

    Any idea why it might be so?

    (PS: Definitely no intention of giving up the coffee - it's too nice. Just trying to understand why the different dynamics)

  2. #2
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    What make of grinder are you using?

    I once had a Sunbeam that was very messy. Grounds went everywhere over the bench.

    I now use a Breville Smart Grinder that is very clean. The grounds drop straight down the tube from the burrs into the portafilter. If anything spills it is trapped in a grind catch tray.

    With the Sunbeam the grounds go down a tube at about 45 degrees and tend to spread.

    It may be cleaner to grind into a container and then dosing from that.

    Barry

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the reply Barry...

    I'm using a EM0480 - but with the extra spout, it works just fine with the other beans, even other good quality beans from the same roaster. (I also keep some cheaper ones for friends who insist Nescafé 43 is the epitome of coffee ) None of my other beans are messy - I wipe around the grinder maybe once a week and shake a few grounds off the grinder mat maybe every couple of days. With these beans it is clean up after each grind or suffer the wrath.

    I stuck my head down close just before while grinding - the coffee seems to be coming out at a pace that causes it to bounce off what is already in the PF. This is not happening with the other beans so I am puzzled as to what is going on with these ones.

    I'm guessing the clumping has something to do with it - the beans have a higher moisture content (perhaps, see OP) and the clumps are picking up greater acceleration from the sweep arms of the grinder. That would also explain why the coffee isn't mounding in the centre of the PF like the others do - the mound is getting blasted by the clumps.

    Or I could be totally wrong - which is why I started the thread

  4. #4
    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    Sounds like it could be a darker roast so it would have less moisture in it which would also cause it to have a higher static charge on it when ground. Both of which would lead to grounds scatter.


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    Certainly the beans are a very dark brown, uniformly so, so I don't think it is an over-roast.

    Would high static grinds clump? Wouldn't the static push them apart? (which I presume is what you're suggesting as cause for the mess?)

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    Coffee Newbie okitoki's Avatar
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    use a bottom cut off paper cup in your portafilter to fill up to reduce the mess?
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    Quote Originally Posted by okitoki View Post
    use a bottom cut off paper cup in your portafilter to fill up to reduce the mess?
    Good idea - I've seen similar suggestions before but haven't needed it up till now - there's less than a cm between the bottom of the spout and the top of the PF... Should save arguments from the missus if I forget to clean up.

    I wonder if local coffee shops will be suss if I turn up with a tape to measure the bottom of their takeaway cups...

  8. #8
    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    It's a new adjustment on my grinder - from about a 5 for the el cheapo stuff and an 8 for the normal CC roast, this is out to a 13 to get the right extraction...
    On your grinder is the higher the number the coarser the grind? If so the coffee particles would be heavier and hence have a higher momentum when exiting which could cause the 'bouncing' symptom you describe. The opposite could also be happening if it's a finer grind but instead of having more momentum and the particles bouncing the air exiting with the grinds could be lofting the particles.

    With the large difference in grinder settings between the different beans I would be a bit surprised if the grounds didn't behave differently.


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    the grinder could be grinding faster.

    this could be the reasion for the mess.

  10. #10
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    Thanks for the replies. It's an EM0480 grinder, and I had to take it to 13 to get a grind I could tamp at all - anything under 11 was sending the pressure well above to 'good' zone on my EM6910. The el cheapo beans grind at around 5 or 6 and my other good beans started about 10 or 11 and are now down to 8. The particles feel fine, by feel, as fine as the other good beans on 8.

    The grinder doesn't sound any different - I did 2 shots in a row earlier today, one of the really nice beans and one of the good stuff and I didn't notice any difference in sound. I'll force myself to have a mixed double-double shot in a larger coffee in the morning and take note of the speed.

    The beans were a Special at Custom Coffee, just called (from memory) Phoenix - they said something about getting them as some kind of special occasion which I took to mean I wouldn't be able to get them each time I go in. Easily the nicest beans I have had.

  11. #11
    Senior Member askthecoffeeguy's Avatar
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    do you still have the kidney shaped coffee storage container that came with the grinder?

    I use mine to grind into and then dose into my basket from there - that way the coffee goes where it needs to go without spraying everywhere...

  12. #12
    Coffee Nut fg1972's Avatar
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    +1 what Javaphile said.
    I've observed with my grinder when adjusting the grinder coarser, the coffee noticeably shoots out faster finer as opposed to when it is adjusted finer and the coffee just trickles out.

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    What Javaphile said is dead on.

    I got rid of the plastic spout on my 480 (which was only making the static throw worse), and chopped the top off a plastic party cup to make a funnel.

    It has three longer segments (like an upside down castle battlement) which extend around the outside of the pf between the locking lugs, which holds it onto the pf well enough.

    Much, much cleaner.

    Also makes updosing much easier.

  14. #14
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    Sounds like a plan MrJack. I will also try, on my next coffee, making the grind finer and using almost no tamp pressure - just enough to get it down to the right level in the PF.

    When you say 'plastic spout' do you mean the built-in one or this one, which slips over the pout attached to the sweep area...
    $(KGrHqJHJBsE60e3tm7QBOzgt-wIG!~~60_58.JPG

    EDIT: and of course thinking about it, of course you mean the pictured one - remove the other and the grinds come out horizontally... DOH!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Javaphile View Post
    On your grinder is the higher the number the coarser the grind? If so the coffee particles would be heavier and hence have a higher momentum when exiting which could cause the 'bouncing' symptom you describe.
    Higher is courser.

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    so is the best solution to use a paper cup?

    tried this arvo with a plastic cup but still had considerable amount of wastage because the grinds had so much static it stuck to the side of the exit chute of my vario...

    kinda pity as these are my favourite blend by far and also the cheapest and easiest to get for me .

  17. #17
    Coffee Newbie okitoki's Avatar
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    I have the OE aluminium tube thingy instead of using a paper cup/yougurt cup... and I still get grinds on the side...
    if I dont want to waste at all, I use my small paint brush (for clearing my grinder) and brush them into my PF

    no wastage....

    i have read somewhere of some people suggesting using copper sheet lining on cups or using copper wires on the exit chut or something similar to eliminate static? sounded too complicated for me to make a cuppa


    add: the paper cup will go grungy after awhile, so you will need to replace it too (plastic cups can be washed though)

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    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    seems like the messy blends are the tasty ones!



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