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Thread: Macap M4D stopped - help!

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    Member Morgz's Avatar
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    Macap M4D stopped - help!

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    OK... so the Macap and I are not off to a good start. After grinding at the most 500g of beans, the Macap has stopped, mid grind, delivering anything out of the shute. I empited the hopper and took it off and can see the burrs move a few slow revolutions each time I hit the go button and then stop. Could it be clogged with my early (too fine) grinds? If so, how the hell to I clean it out? Ill leave my judgement until I figure out what is wrong and whether the nut behind the wheel (me) has done anything out of order, but so far I am less than impressed.

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    Re: Macap M4D stopped - help!

    Quote Originally Posted by 51736E7B661C0 link=1294539781/0#0 date=1294539781
    Could it be clogged with my early (too fine) grinds? If so, how the hell to I clean it out? Ill leave my judgement until I figure out what is wrong and whether the nut behind the wheel (me) has done anything out of order, but so far I am less than impressed. *
    Yes Morgz,

    Less impressed with the nut behind the wheel or the grinder? *:-? ;D

    Mix heat, humidity, and underdosing with coffee too old or too finely ground and you can easily clog a grinder.

    Best bet is remove the top burr and clean it.

    Flick the knobs off the worm drive with a thin flat blade screwdriver. Work from the centre of the drive toward the lower internal edges of the knobs. Use an allen key and remove the entire assembly and then unscrew the top burr and clean things. Brush + vacuum, but no forced air. Its best to keep grounds away from the threads and I usually lubricate the thread of the top burr with a little food safe lube to assist in reassembly.

    Reassemble and screw the burrs down until they contact and then come back 1/3 turn and then its calibrate time again- using grind on demand, NOT timed grind.

    Keep in mind that you shouldnt ever play with timed grind until you have the grind right and also dont go finer without pulsing the grinder or you can clog and/or sieze it.

    Chris

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    Member Morgz's Avatar
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    Re: Macap M4D stopped - help!

    Quote Originally Posted by 1E2B26211509252C2C2F2F4A0 link=1294539781/1#1 date=1294540726
    Mix heat, humidity, and underdosing with coffee too old or too finely ground and you can easily clog a grinder.
    Heat = yes
    humid = not really
    old coffee = no way!
    too fine = at first, yes but no more than 150g went through it before I got it right.

    The engineer in me says that something designed to grind stuff finely shouldnt become so clogged that it no longer grinds anything within three days of its first use. Anyhoo, thanks... Ill open her up and see whats up. Hopefully a good clean will get things back to normal.

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    Senior Member Koffee_Kosmo's Avatar
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    Re: Macap M4D stopped - help!

    Quote Originally Posted by 7755485D403A0 link=1294539781/2#2 date=1294568666
    Heat = yes
    humid = not really
    old coffee = no way!
    too fine = at first, yes but no more than 150g went through it before I got it right.

    The engineer in me says that something designed to grind stuff finely shouldnt become so clogged that it no longer grinds anything within three days of its first use. Anyhoo, thanks... Ill open her up and see whats up. Hopefully a good clean will get things back to normal.

    OK
    The engineer in me says to compare a similar task

    Tamping
    When you place soft & fluffy coffee grounds in your basket then compress them you end up with a hard puck

    This works in the same way between the top & bottom burr blades
    In fact because the crevices (teeth) in the blades it would make it harder for the motor to turn if the coffee has hardened into a puck

    Now you will ask how this can happen
    It happens when the exit hole is clogged due to fine grinds
    Fine grinds release more oil and it becomes more tacky and over time it turns into a blockage

    So remove / unscrew the top and vacuum the burr & exit chamber out

    KK

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    Re: Macap M4D stopped - help!

    Quote Originally Posted by 61454C4C4F4F7561455947452A0 link=1294539781/3#3 date=1294570267
    Now you will ask how this can happen
    It happens when the exit hole is clogged due to fine grinds
    Fine grinds release more oil and it becomes more tacky and over time it turns into a blockage
    Too right KK,

    I received a Lelit Combi in for a check yesterday.

    In 2 weeks, the grinder chute completely blocked with ground coffee finer than turkish- think talc. After breaking it up with a screwdriver and giving the sweepers on the bottom burr a push to dislodge the huge buildup below them which had completely seized the lower burr, we have big noise and I suspect the sweepers have been bent...Fortunately the motor sounds fine.

    I guess if you try hard enough, any grinder can be choked.

    A job for Tuesday ::)

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    Re: Macap M4D stopped - help!

    lm pleased to report that after a thorough clean things are back to normal. The grinding chamber was certainly blocked up but a combination of brushing / poking / vacuming got everything clean again.

    Quote Originally Posted by 66424B4B48487266425E40422D0 link=1294539781/3#3 date=1294570267
    The engineer in me says to compare a similar task
    I understand how this happened, I just hope it isnt a regular occurrence. I am still yet to get through 500g of coffee with it so the first grinds must have been way too fine. Now I know where to start I have the grind about right and hopefully wont get things so jammed up again. Leaving beans in the hopper overnight during the setup (something I dont normally do) may have had something to do with it.

    Cheers for the tips Chris.

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    KJM
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    Re: Macap M4D stopped - help!

    Morgz - I have an M4C (the "deli bag" version). Ive taken mine to bits (as you do...) and while it is a terrific grinder there are a couple of things you do need to watch/clean.

    The "sweepers" Chris referred to leave a tiny space around the edge of the grind chamber. This is a pest - you get coffee crud stuck there. The only way to clean it is to remove the hopper/top burr.

    Im not excessively zealous in my cleaning of this build up though. Done it a couple of times so far - so thatd be maybe quarterly or so.

    In the 6 or so months Ive been using the Macap, Ive never had it stall out. So I think your experience is maybe a one off.

    Cheers
    /Kevin

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    Re: Macap M4D stopped - help!

    Thought Id update this thread with my experience with the Macap now that a few weeks have passed since i managed to stop it doing its thing :-[

    I havent had any further dramas now that the grind is in the right ballpark so the issue was definitely the first few grinds being way too fine and clogging the chamber (i.e. the nut behind the controls was at fault ;D I still havent dialled in the timer with measured dosing but thats more to do with me not having the time than it being a difficult process (which it isnt). I purchased some jewellery scales on eBay so as soon as the partners parents head back to Europe Ill spend an hour or so and get it all tuned up. Macap M4D?.. two thumbs up ;)

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    Re: Macap M4D stopped - help!

    Hi Morgz,

    Just to let you know, your not the only one who had this problem. I bought the M4D on the weekend just gone, and had a similar experience (but not the same). It was actually a little different but the result the same - clogged grinder.

    I had no problems with the first 200g of beans which I tipped straight in after setting it up (and reading the manual). I got through these VERY QUICKLY cause as you know, this beast is very fast!! I ran these through until there was nothing left in the hopper or burr set, then tipped a freash batch from another supplier in - and just like that the grinder stopped after a few revs, and I could not get it running. I had to empty out everything, back the top burr set right out (but not removed) and tip out the remaining beans. Once I had the grinder completely empty, I refilled the hopper and it started grinding again - by the time I dialed in the grinder AGAIN, maded a few over-under extracted coffees I had only just enough beans for the following mornings coffee....so I did consume quite a bit of stock during my learning curve. And had one coffee the next day to show for it. :P

    I completely removed the top burr and cleaned out the grinder last night - so its back to normal now..

    Anyway, I suspect the following. In my attempt to dail in the first batch of beans, I reckon I may have gone way too fine and produced some megga fine ground coffee that semi-clogged up the internals. I wasnt so clear to me which direction the top burr needed to turn so I reckon I went to wrong way- and too far.

    I think I should have taken more time to get used to the dial-in process and movement of the collar before adding beans - I was not aware of how sensitive these devices were to newbie mistakes. Comming from my old EM0480 grinder, which seemed to previously handle all my bad techniques.

    In any case am quite pleased with this grinder. Its very fast, deliveres the ground beans direclty into the portafilter basket with ease and to my eye has a pretty good distribution. I have tinkered with the elec timed dosing previoulsy but not since I changed to a new bean - so the timer needs to be reset again. The quality of coffee in the cup has definatley improved, and I am enjoying the results... :D

    Perhaps this is useful information to people considering grinder upgrades.

    Julian

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    Re: Macap M4D stopped - help!

    ohhh get back from me evil upgradius, SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO would like to get a MD4, but money money where for art thou money...... will happen this year just not right now, sigh......

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    Re: Macap M4D stopped - help!

    While waiting for mine I went searching...

    When I got it I followed the information shared in this post

    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1213487719

    Adjusting out (coarser) 20 turns cost me a few beans but also saved a lot of grief.


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    Re: Macap M4D stopped - help!

    Quote Originally Posted by 6B707B6667277A6064797A6667090 link=1294539781/9#9 date=1296534828
    ohhh get back from me evil upgradius, SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO would like to get a MD4, but money money where for art thou money...... will happen this year just not right now, sigh...... *

    Waaahh ha haaaaaaaaaaaaaa.

    Well in truth I was going to buy a new machine to replace the SB, but the question of "Grinder" also came up. *As you know, machines can cost 2-3 times the price of a grinder. *So I settled on buying a grinder (BUT only for the time being),

    And then a stange thing happened....I went into Talk Coffee with the sole purpose of getting an M4 or a Mazzer Mini -but everything from this point forward until I got home and unpacked the box is now a little fuzzy. *I reckon there was someting in the coffee there....who knows.

    Next is a new machine - but I have to wait until I get a new job.....

    Money doesnt grow in trees, only beans do


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    Re: Macap M4D stopped - help!

    Quote Originally Posted by 3E213831273D3A3B2E66646564540 link=1294539781/8#8 date=1296531524
    wasnt so clear to me which direction the top burr needed to turn so I reckon I went to wrong way- and too far.
    I found the easiest way to remember which way to go is - Turn away- grind gets smaller - Turn towards you - grinds get bigger _ works for me :D

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    Re: Macap M4D stopped - help!

    Yes, Roger that. this is my methodology as well.

    Initially, was confused by the LH threaded top burr.

    How long have you had your MACAP - how long did it take for the burr set to stabilise?

    Cheers

    Julian

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    Re: Macap M4D stopped - help!

    I just got one.... *8-)

    I think I love shiny things. :o

    Thanks Chris.... and that Yemen Bani Ismail was awesome, could still taste it 30min later.

    As soon as I got it home, got it out of the box onto the bench and then resisted the urge to just start grinding.
    Read the manual :P
    ok enough reading, loaded up the hopper and spent the next 90 min and 250g of beans playing with grind settings, dosing etc
    impressed with the speed, quietness and cleanliness.


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    Re: Macap M4D stopped - help!

    Beautiful combo there cdc.... 8-)

    Mal.

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    Re: Macap M4D stopped - help!

    Thanks cdc,

    Glad youre happy with the grinder. Your setup looks complete now 8-)

    That Yemen was pretty spesh, wasnt it?

    Chris

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    Re: Macap M4D stopped - help!

    Hey cdc - yes nice setup! (Lets see ... I have the same silver Grindenstein knockbox and the Breville! :-[)

    Speaking of the Breville - I guess you use it for decaf? - can you give us a idea of how the grind quality/cupping changes when you spend the big bucks on the (yes, very shiny!) M4D? ... oh hell, I want it anyway!!

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    Re: Macap M4D stopped - help!

    Thanks Mal, looks arent everything ;)

    @Chris, very happy with the setup and yes that Yemen is definitely spesh, now, how can I get some!!!

    @JJ I made the mistake when dropping in on Chris (to pull a few shots) and happened to glance over at the grinders, lots of shiny things, I was dazed and was hit with the dreaded upgraditis. I had no chance and succumbed but must admit as soon as I sat it on the bench next to the rocket the coffee improved ;) ::) well it at least looks the part 8-)

    One advantage the M4D has I like is that you easily see 9my eyesight is not what it used to be, maybe thats why I am attracted by shiny things) the coffee being deposited into the portafilter and its easier to maneuver the portafilter to get a better distribution.

    The adjustments to the grind are much finer with the M4D whereas with the 800 you can almost see or at least feel the difference in adjustment for each step.

    JJ, not sure what Im going to do with the 800 yet, it maybe used to service the French press, Stovetop or sent to a new home to be appreciated (as I do) for what it is.

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    Re: Macap M4D stopped - help!

    Nice one cdc,

    Im thinking you picked up the demo one - well done.

    Dialled in, timed dose and life is brilliant.

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    Re: Macap M4D stopped - help!

    Spot on cksyd, picked up the demo, means the burrs have had a little bit of time to start to bed in ;) Also kinda helpful that Chris had already dialled in the beast and given me a good starting point. 8-)

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    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Macap M4D stopped - help!

    Quote Originally Posted by 46484F7E69616D0C0 link=1294539781/18#18 date=1298192911
    Thanks Mal, looks arent everything* ;)*
    I actually intended the all encompassing beauty mate, not just the skin-deep variety. Sure going to allow you to make some beautiful espresso.... ;)

    Mal.

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    Re: Macap M4D stopped - help!

    Quote Originally Posted by 55787C707D110 link=1294539781/21#21 date=1298270238
    Quote Originally Posted by 46484F7E69616D0C0 link=1294539781/18#18 date=1298192911
    Thanks Mal, looks arent everything* ;)*
    I actually intended the all encompassing beauty mate, not just the skin-deep variety. Sure going to allow you to make some beautiful espresso.... ;)

    Mal.
    Mal, I kind of figured what you meant and youre definitely right, my comment was more akin to now I need to learn how to get the best out of the setup ;)
    Im enjoying the experience and its a steep learning curve but its all good. [smiley=thumbsup.gif]



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