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Thread: Is my grinder or my machine dodgy? [extraction time/volume] Video attached

  1. #1
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    Is my grinder or my machine dodgy? [extraction time/volume] Video attached

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hey guys
    TLDR- 120 ml extracted in 25 seconds with 3 shims installed.

    I made a new thread because I've narrowed the issue down a bit more.
    Can you please help me, I'm at my wits end.

    I have a brand new Breville Dual Boiler and a 2 year old Breville Dose Control Pro that worked fine for me Sunbeam EM7000, and beans roasted 5 days ago dosing 18g.
    On the Dose Control Pros finest setting it was still extracting 150 ml in 25 seconds (1/60 on the dial and 1/10 on the burr setting).

    I found the shims I ordered ages ago and installed 2 of them as per the instructions and worked my way down through grind settings to number 1 with little difference.
    I added a 3rd shim and settings 1-15 the burrs would touch. I ground on grind 15 and dosed 18g and ended up getting 120 ml in 25 seconds with 5 bars.
    There is literally no way my grind could be finer, What is going on!? (20g touches the shower screen).

    I'd really appreciate some help.

    Video showing my technique and my grind

    Highish res pictures of the burrs and I peer (impeller looks to be needing replacement soon but I don't think that affects the grind)
    https://imgur.com/gallery/dNNDB9F

    Thank you.
    Last edited by science-teacher; 21st June 2018 at 06:31 PM.

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    Senior Member topshot's Avatar
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    I watched your video, your technique looks OK, but, how much pressure are you using while tamping?
    It looks to me like you are only tamping with light pressure.

    A good staring point is 30 pounds ~ 15kg tamping pressure.
    Bathroom scales are good to get the "feel" of a 30 pound tamp.

    If you are tamping with light pressure (a lot lighter than 30 pounds), then a heavier tamp should result in getting about 60ml in 30 seconds, which is right in the ballpark.

    Give it a go!

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    Quote Originally Posted by topshot View Post
    I watched your video, your technique looks OK, but, how much pressure are you using while tamping?
    It looks to me like you are only tamping with light pressure.

    A good staring point is 30 pounds ~ 15kg tamping pressure.
    Bathroom scales are good to get the "feel" of a 30 pound tamp.

    If you are tamping with light pressure (a lot lighter than 30 pounds), then a heavier tamp should result in getting about 60ml in 30 seconds, which is right in the ballpark.

    Give it a go!
    Thanks mate I'll give it a try, however during testing yesterday tamping as hard as I could did nothing.

  4. #4
    Senior Member WhatEverBeansNecessary's Avatar
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    Few things.

    The puck is sloppy which usually means not grinding fine enough. Did you make sure the burrs are seating/put back together properly? Is there anything like old beans etc in the grind chamber that mean the burrs won't sit quite right after you installed the shims?

    Pressure looks good but the flow is way too fast. You did get some crema so that suggests a good temp/pressure range.

    One way to test if it is the grinder is to get some freshly ground beans. Go to your local Cafe and buy a bag and get them to grind maybe 100/200g for you. If your shot is better that could indicate that it is the grind. It won't be quite right for your machine, but hopefully it will be ballpark like 10-50mls in 30 sec.
    Or see if you can borrow a grinder from someone.

    Also make sure you are using fresh beans and not supermarket stuff. The supermarket stuff can be months old. Cafes or a local roaster usually not more than a month and it can make a HUGE difference.

    Edit: make sure the cafe or roaster grinds them fresh (in front of you) and use them as soon as possible - hopefully within the hour. If you wait a day or two they will go stale and won't tell you much.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WhatEverBeansNecessary View Post
    Few things.

    The puck is sloppy which usually means not grinding fine enough. Did you make sure the burrs are seating/put back together properly? Is there anything like old beans etc in the grind chamber that mean the burrs won't sit quite right after you installed the shims?

    Pressure looks good but the flow is way too fast. You did get some crema so that suggests a good temp/pressure range.

    One way to test if it is the grinder is to get some freshly ground beans. Go to your local Cafe and buy a bag and get them to grind maybe 100/200g for you. If your shot is better that could indicate that it is the grind. It won't be quite right for your machine, but hopefully it will be ballpark like 10-50mls in 30 sec.
    Or see if you can borrow a grinder from someone.

    Also make sure you are using fresh beans and not supermarket stuff. The supermarket stuff can be months old. Cafes or a local roaster usually not more than a month and it can make a HUGE difference.
    Hey Beans
    I would have assumed sloppy meant water wasnt getting through but your diagnosis is obviously consistent with my experience.
    Definately all good in the burrs, they squeaky clean as per the pics. Dismantled multiple times.

    I will have to go to a cafe tomorrow and ask them to grind some for me.
    Unfortunately I'm in a town of 3000 and noone I know really does their own coffee in regards to borrowing a grinder.

    Yeah definately fresh bought from a reputable roaster

    Thanks for your thoughts

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    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    I think you need to bite the bullet and invest in a better grinder. I agree that the grind is not fine enough. A quick read of reviews of your grinder indicate others have struggled with grinding for espresso and that the impeller wears out quickly (< 2 yrs).
    Treat yourself to a good quality grinder. They will last longer and your coffee enjoyment will be much greater. You can pick up a Compak K3 or Macap M2M for around $500 delivered. There are other brands at a similar price like the Rancilio Rocky, Baratza Sette, etc.
    Last edited by flynnaus; 21st June 2018 at 08:56 PM.
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    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Stop over thinking it. If you’ve got your dose and extraction time set and your yield is too high you need to adjust the grind, simple as that. If it won’t go any finer then something else is affecting the grinders ability to get a suitably fine grind. That could be anything from stale coffee to incorrect assembly of the burr housing. Is it definitely the ‘Pro’ model grinder you have? If so there’s an adjustment on the upper burr carrier. What have you got this set to? The Dose Control ‘Pro’ works best with just one, maybe two shims and the upper burr adjustment used to achieve the correct grind range. I have also heard that worn impellers and burrs are a problem on the Dose Control, which is otherwise quite a good value grinder.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeroyC View Post
    Stop over thinking it. If you’ve got your dose and extraction time set and your yield is too high you need to adjust the grind, simple as that. If it won’t go any finer then something else is affecting the grinders ability to get a suitably fine grind. That could be anything from stale coffee to incorrect assembly of the burr housing. Is it definitely the ‘Pro’ model grinder you have? If so there’s an adjustment on the upper burr carrier. What have you got this set to? The Dose Control ‘Pro’ works best with just one, maybe two shims and the upper burr adjustment used to achieve the correct grind range. I have also heard that worn impellers and burrs are a problem on the Dose Control, which is otherwise quite a good value grinder.
    Hi LeroyC
    That's why I'm pretty PO'd

    I've tested it 3x now with disassembly and reassembly so I don't think it is that.
    The coffee is definately fresh, roasted 17th of June.
    Yeah definately pro,yes the upper burr carrier is 1/10 (finest), and i tried from about setting 30 down to 1 with 2 shims in before adding a 3rd shim.

    The impeller looks worn but not dead yet, I don't really know how to tell if burrs are worn, I've got pics here https://imgur.com/gallery/dNNDB9F
    Can I buy new burrs? or is that not a thing?

    Thanks mate, any help is appreciated heaps.

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    Quote Originally Posted by flynnaus View Post
    I think you need to bite the bullet and invest in a better grinder. I agree that the grind is not fine enough. A quick read of reviews of your grinder indicate others have struggled with grinding for espresso and that the impeller wears out quickly (< 2 yrs).
    Treat yourself to a good quality grinder. They will last longer and your coffee enjoyment will be much greater. You can pick up a Compak K3 or Macap M2M for around $500 delivered. There are other brands at a similar price like the Rancilio Rocky, Baratza Sette, etc.
    Thanks mate, I'm all but sold on the sette 270W but its just not in the budget

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    Quote Originally Posted by science-teacher View Post
    Highish res pictures of the burrs and I peer (impeller looks to be needing replacement soon but I don't think that affects the grind)
    https://imgur.com/gallery/dNNDB9F
    In my opinion both the inner and outer burrs are worn out.
    A better grinder would certainly help but if you can't stretch to that, a new set of burrs is definitely required...

    Maybe consider a decent manual grinder until you can afford the Sette or something even better...

    Mal.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    In my opinion both the inner and outer burrs are worn out.
    A better grinder would certainly help but if you can't stretch to that, a new set of burrs is definitely required...

    Maybe consider a decent manual grinder until you can afford the Sette or something even better...

    Mal.
    Hey Dimal.

    Thanks mate, i appreciate your opinion.
    It is my udnerstanding breville only replace the top burr so a new grinder that has both replacable would be the way to go.
    Should I consider anything other than the sette?
    I had a eureka atom but i have 1 coffee every other day so the atom had too much retention and was diffuclt to single dose.

    Can you think of anything that fits my needs? I like the Rok but grinding for 70 seconds is toooo long

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    You won't wear burrs out on a grinder like this in 2 years, they're pretty tough and will last many more years.

    The coffee machine delivers pressure to the coffee puck solely based on the resistance to flow through the puck. More resistance = more pressure. You get more resistance by either grinding finer or upping the dose.
    18g is a suitable dose so that leaves you with grinding finer.

    To get a grind suitable for espresso on a burr grinder like this, they do need to be very nearly touching if not touching a little bit.

    I would suggest to just keep going finer until you hit the limit of the grinder, i,e, when it's trying to grind but nothing comes out. If you still have issues then you definitely need another grinder.

    Excessive motor shaft play in the grinder could also be an issue and not one that is remediable.

  13. #13
    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    Thee burrs look reasonable.

    Is the top burr adjustable on these like on the 820? You might have it installed on the coarser end? Run the grinder empty starting on coarse and fine up the grind and see if you can hear the burrs start to clash. If you cant then something isnt quite right and your burrs are not getting close enough.

    Cheers

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    Quote Originally Posted by artman View Post
    Thee burrs look reasonable.

    Is the top burr adjustable on these like on the 820? You might have it installed on the coarser end? Run the grinder empty starting on coarse and fine up the grind and see if you can hear the burrs start to clash. If you cant then something isnt quite right and your burrs are not getting close enough.

    Cheers
    The top burr is adjustable, it's on setting 1/10 which is the finest. The burrs clash at about 15 and I've ground at that and lower with no success unfortuately. Grinder clogged up and stopped on grind setting 1/60

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    Quote Originally Posted by science-teacher View Post
    ... Grinder clogged up and stopped on grind setting 1/60
    I have a slightly different model Breville grinder (BCG600), but it has the same basic arrangement as far as the burr and top carrier go.

    I do not understand your terminology vis-à-vis 1/10 1/15 1/60 etc, but if you are getting your grinder clogging once you get to finer settings, it really indicates the sweeper (the correct name, not impeller) is probably worn. Get a new sweeper and fit it, then see how you get on after that.

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    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HomeBrew View Post
    I have a slightly different model Breville grinder (BCG600), but it has the same basic arrangement as far as the burr and top carrier go.

    I do not understand your terminology vis-à-vis 1/10 1/15 1/60 etc, but if you are getting your grinder clogging once you get to finer settings, it really indicates the sweeper (the correct name, not impeller) is probably worn. Get a new sweeper and fit it, then see how you get on after that.
    That’s the same model. I agree that a properly functioning impeller/sweeper is imperative.

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    [QUOTE=WhatEverBeansNecessary;632510]

    The puck is sloppy which usually means not grinding fine enough

    I have to disagree with this.
    A sloppy puck means for this particular machine and basket you are dosing too low.
    Search the 5c piece test here, you’ll find it, and get the correct VOLUME for your basket. Weigh that then use it as a baseline (a baseline only, like anything with coffee).
    Just because you are dosing 18g does not mean it’s rught for your set up
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    Ronin, the reality is that a sloppy puck can mean a few different things. I think in this case it is probably more likely the grind is not fine enough over a too low dose. Although it is a good point worth uping the dose to see if that helps.

    Either way trying a different grinder/getting a local cafe to grind some beans will rule a few things in/out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HomeBrew View Post
    I have a slightly different model Breville grinder (BCG600), but it has the same basic arrangement as far as the burr and top carrier go.

    I do not understand your terminology vis-à-vis 1/10 1/15 1/60 etc, but if you are getting your grinder clogging once you get to finer settings, it really indicates the sweeper (the correct name, not impeller) is probably worn. Get a new sweeper and fit it, then see how you get on after that.

    When it gets clogged, is when the burrs are touching alot. like i will barely run when theres no beans because the burrs are clashing.
    Sorry, let me elaborate.
    The machine has 60 macro settings, it is in the finest. 1/60
    The top burr also has 10 micro settings, it is also on the finest. 1/10

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    Quote Originally Posted by WhatEverBeansNecessary View Post
    Ronin, the reality is that a sloppy puck can mean a few different things. I think in this case it is probably more likely the grind is not fine enough over a too low dose. Although it is a good point worth uping the dose to see if that helps.

    Either way trying a different grinder/getting a local cafe to grind some beans will rule a few things in/out.
    Yes I've tried 20g and get the shower screen imprint, and the puck looks like death. I can try 19g

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeroyC View Post
    That’s the same model. I agree that a properly functioning impeller/sweeper is imperative.
    Replacement impeller here for $45 https://www.shapeways.com/product/NA...ionId=59828416

    10% of what the sette would cost. Hmmmmmmm

  22. #22
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by science-teacher View Post
    The top burr is adjustable, it's on setting 1/10 which is the finest. The burrs clash at about 15 and I've ground at that and lower with no success unfortuately. Grinder clogged up and stopped on grind setting 1/60
    It could well be the grinder that’s the problem then. I agree with what noidle22 said above that the burrs should last many years, but I’ve heard of at least one other person having a similar problem with the same grinder and it was fixed by replacing the burrs. So I wonder if there’s the occasional faulty set or if they get damaged by being set incorrectly and smashing into each other. They’re hardened steel and it could just be one two damaged teeth that are enough to give an inconsistent result even if they’re not particularly worn and are still capable of what looks like a good espresso grind.
    Replacement burr sets used to be available for this model for about $50 so it would be worth checking with a Breville service agent. You can also get replacement impellers. Not sure how much they cost.
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    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Love all this ‘puckology’. The sloppy puck may or may not be an issue. Personally I’d ignore it as you don’t need to examine the puck to diagnose your problems. It really is as simple as DOSE-TIME-YIELD.

  24. #24
    Senior Member WhatEverBeansNecessary's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeroyC View Post
    Love all this ‘puckology’. The sloppy puck may or may not be an issue. Personally I’d ignore it as you don’t need to examine the puck to diagnose your problems. It really is as simple as DOSE-TIME-YIELD.
    Wouldn't exactly call this 'puckology' as I agree 'puckology' is bit like reading tea leaves. But what a sloppy puck does show is that something is wrong as in general a nice firm dry puck is good and in the OP's case where he cannot get any closer to an appropraite 'DOSE-TIME-YIELD' with his current setup. The puck may suggest one thing over another - in this case a finer grind seems to be more appropriate.

    Stating it's all '
    DOSE-TIME-YIELD' doesn't help the OP solve his problems as he has mentioned that he knows his yield is way off. He is out of room to make his grind finer (with the current setup), already dosed to pretty much the max the basket can handle and kept a timer in his video.

    I appreciate your views on puckology based on your experience but the OP is looking for a solution to their woes.

  25. #25
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WhatEverBeansNecessary View Post
    Wouldn't exactly call this 'puckology' as I agree 'puckology' is bit like reading tea leaves. But what a sloppy puck does show is that something is wrong as in general a nice firm dry puck is good and in the OP's case where he cannot get any closer to an appropraite 'DOSE-TIME-YIELD' with his current setup. The puck may suggest one thing over another - in this case a finer grind seems to be more appropriate.

    Stating it's all '
    DOSE-TIME-YIELD' doesn't help the OP solve his problems as he has mentioned that he knows his yield is way off. He is out of room to make his grind finer (with the current setup), already dosed to pretty much the max the basket can handle and kept a timer in his video.

    I appreciate your views on puckology based on your experience but the OP is looking for a solution to their woes.

    It sounds like you agree with me then based on this statement -

    “Stating it's all DOSE-TIME-YIELD' doesn't help the OP solve his problems as he has mentioned that he knows his yield is way off. He is out of room to make his grind finer (with the current setup), already dosed to pretty much the max the basket can handle and kept a timer in his video.”

    And actually you’ve explained perfectly that you don’t need to examine the puck to know something is wrong.

    So to get back to helping the OP - while the condition of the puck COULD be an indicator of the issue it’s not necessary to consider it. You have obviously reached the limits of your equipment and it seems like the grinder is the most likely cause of the problems. Rather than jumping into spending money on repairs or a new grinder is there any way you could borrow one from someone to see if you can get a better result?

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeroyC View Post
    It sounds like you agree with me then based on this statement -

    “Stating it's all DOSE-TIME-YIELD' doesn't help the OP solve his problems as he has mentioned that he knows his yield is way off. He is out of room to make his grind finer (with the current setup), already dosed to pretty much the max the basket can handle and kept a timer in his video.”

    And actually you’ve explained perfectly that you don’t need to examine the puck to know something is wrong.

    So to get back to helping the OP - while the condition of the puck COULD be an indicator of the issue it’s not necessary to consider it. You have obviously reached the limits of your equipment and it seems like the grinder is the most likely cause of the problems. Rather than jumping into spending money on repairs or a new grinder is there any way you could borrow one from someone to see if you can get a better result?
    Thanks mate, I think you've hit the nail on the head.

    So at this point it looks like it's the burr or sweeper, but would cost more than its worth to replace.

    Except those that say it isn't the burr

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    I have an older Breville Smart Grinder and a 7 month old Breville dual Boiler and went through the same problems that you are having.
    The grinder is shimmed to the max but I still do not feel it is fine enough.
    Even though I had fresh beans I still got gushers and sloppy pucks.
    I eventually managed to get consistent pours by changing from oily, dark roasted beans to a much lighter roasted blend.
    I now use Griffiths Kingston blend which is yummy and will consistently pour at around 8-9bar in 35secs.
    It still does not taste quite as nice as when I buy a takeway cup from the only place I know in Sth Oz that uses it (Port Elliot Bakery) but pretty damn close.
    I no longer weigh my dose but I found 18g insufficient (razer tool was useless) and reckon I probably run at 19g with a very hard tamp.
    Next week I plan on researching Pullman tampers and baskets >19g which is the cheaper option but I'm sure my grinder is not up to scratch(will have to wait till xmas).

    Valvster

  28. #28
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by science-teacher View Post
    Thanks mate, I think you've hit the nail on the head.

    So at this point it looks like it's the burr or sweeper, but would cost more than its worth to replace.

    Except those that say it isn't the burr
    I’m not saying it’s definitely the grinder, but I’d want to eliminate it as the issue before looking at the coffee, your technique or your espresso machine.

    Overall your prep technique looked ok except for maybe the excessive tapping of the portafilter on the mat before tamping. I’d definitely stop doing that and see if it makes a difference. Just tap it a few times on the side with your hand to settle the grounds.

  29. #29
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    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    /!\ /!\
    + it looked like OP was using the OEM Tamper ....which are not matched to the Basket.
    And not much chop IME. They have far too much side clearance too fully weight the puck.

    THO at this time the OP has far greater issues than 1%'ers such as matched tampers and tamp weight.

    If the grinder burrs are shot then it is easily assessed by swiping you fingers across the face of the cutting edges.
    If they're serviceable they'll feel as tho they want to cut you. Where as a shot burr set will feel as dull as a blade of a carving knife.

    Given the OP ( via his other thread) is trying to Dial In a new machine. And given the wild swings in shot volume / very short shot times. "150ml in 25sec"
    I'd source a known good bean blend, with a known roast date within 2 weeks. ( yes he was first using 4 days old beans) but....
    Given the issues thats the first and easiest 'one' thing to change out and compare.
    If its not an issue...no worries ...tightly bag up and hold ...he'll need them in the next week!

    I'd start there. STICK to a set dose rate. Given 20g is stated as over dosing and 18g is leaving a head height where water is pooling.
    I'd find the dose obv around 19g and then stick to it.
    Record all your results. For taste. Plus shot time, preinfusion time and of course shot volume / times.
    At 19g if the shot doesn't meet a base setting of (max) 40-44g volume at a shot time of over 25sec. Then I'd keep chasing it.
    As it will be far too quick a shot. As in the video posted up. A very light 'biege' crema that appears underextracted.
    If still no success...
    From there I'd begg or borrow a grinder for half a day, to swap out yours.
    Remember only change one thing at a time.
    And by marking up the grind settings and checking the shot results will help direct you what changes are then logically required.

    Good Luck



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