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Thread: Rocky is playing up

  1. #1
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    Rocky is playing up

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hey all,

    Today when I went to grind some coffee, the motor revved but no coffee came out, I could hear the burrs spinning. I tried tapping it, shaking it from side to side, no luck. Rotated the degree of fineness thingy, no luck either!

    It finally worked when I tipped it almost upside down and back up again.

    Has anyone had the same problem?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Lovey's Avatar
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    Re: Rocky is playing up

    Gday Bloop,
    I think youll find that this is a common problem, but one that is easily overcome.
    When the hopper isnt chock full of beans, there isnt enough weight inside the hopper to force the beans into the throat of the grinder. This causes the beans that are in the throat of the grinder to bounce around or popcorn inside the hopper. The easiest solution is to either:
    1- fill the hopper with beans to keep a decent amount of weight on the beans in the throat of the grinder. (This has adverse freshness implications though), or
    2- put enough beans into the hopper for the shot youre pulling, and put a tamper on top of the beans to prevent the bouncing or popcorning effect.
    If the beans do get stuck, you can try and jiggle them with a chop stick or other slim item (ONLY WHEN THE GRINDER HAS STOPPED) "Safety warning" ;)
    Hope this helps,
    Steve.

  3. #3
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Rocky is playing up

    Hi,

    Ive also found that a few judiciously focussed light taps on the side of Rockys housing frees up most recalcitrant beans (Rockys pretty tough you know >:(), while still running. If this doesnt do the trick though, then youve no choice left but to follow Loveys advice above.... after the power is off and the burrs have stopped rotating.... and poke with a small stick or chopstick, etc. I use the handle of the plastic measuring scoop that came with my Mokita for that (bends around corners easier ;D).

    Cheers,
    Mal.

  4. #4
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    Re: Rocky is playing up

    This happens to my Rocky also. I find it is usually due to the beans wedging themselves in the throat of the grinder. Probably something to do with their irregular shape.

    If a gentle tap doesnt fix it, turn the grinder off and stick something (finger, spoon) down underneath the finger guard to loosen things up a bit. Make sure you wait for the burrs to stop spinning first ;)

    Scott

  5. #5
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    Re: Rocky is playing up

    Wow you coffeesnobs stay up late and wake up early, must be all the caffeine hehe

    Cheers for all the tips Steve. The hopper was half full so I think it was just the big fat beans getting stuck.

    "Ive also found that a few judiciously focussed light taps on the side of Rockys housing frees up most recalcitrant beans (Rockys pretty tough you know Angry), while still running. "

    This worked first time yay thanks Mal!

    "Probably something to do with their irregular shape. "

    I think youre right, the beans in there now are the largest Ive ever put into Rocky. That must be it because its never happened before.

  6. #6
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    Re: Rocky is playing up

    Some times the beans can stick because of the oil on the skin (doesnt have to be visible to the naked eye). When it happens to me, I use a cleaning brush to poke the little buggers into their spinning hell to meet their maker. ;D

    Do so at your own peril.

    Boris

  7. #7
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    Re: Rocky is playing up

    I did a grinder swap for a few days with Lucas Rocky...
    I would just fill enough for each shot and grind out a bit (as the beans were above the level of the collar area), then stick a black plastic tamper on the throat/collar area. The tamper had two different sized ends and the smaller one would just fit in the throat area. This preventing the beans from jumping out of the burr area. I also found that beans would love to get stuck in the grooved area where the screw was located on the plastic hopper.



    You might have a blockage of ground coffee in the outlet path of the Rocky (is it a doserless version?). Because the grinds seem to snowball out, sometimes, if they retained too much static or were too moist, they would clump into large balls and block the outlet hole. I used a chopstick to poke around the area, after removing the plastic snout - be careful when reattaching it , dont overtighten as you could crack the doserless snout.

  8. #8
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    Re: Rocky is playing up

    hmmm my Rocky is a bit different to that photo. On top of that hole it has like a little hood to stop the beans popping back up, will take a photo when the hopper is empty.

    I have the doserless version, but the clumps that come out are about the size of peas, nothing too big.

  9. #9
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    Re: Rocky is playing up

    The photo above indicates a grinder where the plastic safety cone has been removed form inside the hopper. I guess its up to the individual if he or she wishes to do that.

    Sometimes that cone can cause the beans to bog up on themselves as they go around and under it into the throat of the grinder, due to there bring little room between the edge of the cone and the hopper. It is more likely to happen if the beans are oily or if they are bigger than a certain "standard" (eg like maragogipe gigante where the beans are probably on average double the size of "regular" beans).

    In theory the cone is supposed to allow a better/easier flow of beans into the throat of the grinder by making them flow around and under it giving a better & more even feed of beans....rather than, if you remove the cone, having the possibility of the beans hanging up on themselves as they fall straight in.....but some grinders behave well with the cone in, and some dont, so it can be an individual thing dependent on model of grinder, design of hopper/cone, and type/supply of beans being used.

    Of course the cone also doubles up as a safety device to stop you putting your finger in that extremely dangerous little hole!

    Regardz,
    FC.

    PS, if your grinds are clumping and particularly if the clumps are the size of peas may I respectfully suggest it is possible you are grinding far too finely for any espresso application. This is most usually the result of grinding more and more finely to slow down the rate of pour, where the rate of pour may be far too fast due to underdosiing of the coffee filter in the group handle. Just a thought!

  10. #10
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    Re: Rocky is playing up

    When Rocky first arrived at my place, did the set up thing as per instructions, put some beans in, they went round and round, just like Bloop described, but no ground coffee came out, I was starting to get anxious, wife was really impressed (not).
    In desperation I emptied beans out and cleaned out the chamber with vacuum cleaner (hint use some drinking straws taped together and fitted into the nozzle of the cleaner, they will fit into the chamber and wont cause any damage) Why was the chamber dirty? apparently due to factory testing, I suspected afterwoods that maybe the oily residue was inhibiting the beans from entering the burs?
    Also increased the grind setting, reloaded some beans and it worked.

    Since then no problems, and;
    - I generally only ever put in beans that I am going to use straight away, but that means cleaning the chute out every time....boy I cant wait to try the chute mod posted recently,
    - Also am now using a much finer setting than the first one used.

  11. #11
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Rocky is playing up

    Hi All,

    I dont worry too much about cleaning out Rockys discharge chute every time I make a coffee. Rather than remove the unused grounds at that time, I just discard the first few grams of the next batch I grind..... a quick sniff will tell you straight away when the freshly cut coffee is coming out [smiley=thumbsup.gif].

    Cheers,
    Mal.



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