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Thread: finer and finer - where does it stop?

  1. #1
    DrT
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    finer and finer - where does it stop?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi All,

    Have been off the board for a while but now back on deck with a query regarding Sunbeam EM0480 (paired with the EM6900).

    Problem is simple - I have to use grind setting 4 or less to get the EM6900 to pull a shot in the "black" and with proper texture, flow rate, etc.

    I started with grind setting 8 and that was pretty darn good but now I need to go finer and finer.

    Yep, I cleaned the grinder out really well. Yep, I tested to make sure the grind settings do as they should, i.e. setting 1 being powder and 24 being chunks.

    Either my EM6900 has been using steroids without telling me and simply blasts through anything I give it, or the gauge is way off.

    As far as taste is concerned, yep, it needs setting 4 so the gauge would *seem* to be OK. The previously used setting 8 gives me lolly water.

    I have recently completed the Sunbeam appreciation course and the equipment there needed grind setting 16 to 18 or the machines went into the RED !

    Am totally stumped and hope things dont keep changing otherwise to get the right pour I will be using the turkish setting and well lets just say I would rather not...

    Any suggestions?

    DrT


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    Re: finer and finer - where does it stop?

    DrT,

    Check this thread:

    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1155858977/11#11

    It discusses modding the grinder to overcome the issue of the grind setting gradually decreasing towards zero. I think it is to do with some wear happening.

    Matt

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    Re: finer and finer - where does it stop?

    If it is still in waranty just get them to replace it. Thats what I did

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    Re: finer and finer - where does it stop?

    Agree.
    Option 1: Replacement under Warranty (they have to be told whats happening).
    Option 2.: Do the Mod

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    Re: finer and finer - where does it stop?

    Quote Originally Posted by Thundergod link=1165192751/0#3 date=1165213484
    Agree.
    Option 1: Replacement under Warranty (they have to be told whats happening).
    Option 2.: Do the Mod
    Id be going with Option 1..... unless it hurts Sunbeam (constant stream of returned grinders) the problem wont get fixed!

    Once the warranty has finished :( - if it is still a problem - then Option 2 is the go.

    To modify something just a short time after purchase so that it meets the spec is not on - and those who do that are letting the manufacturer off the hook - the manufacturer just has to wait it out until everyone fixes the item themselves rather than them fixing the design problem at source.


    Have we, as consumers, become so conditioned by purchasing faulty goods that we no longer demand that they be made fit for the purpose for which they were sold? - that is our legal right- why have we stopped demanding it????? :-/

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    Re: finer and finer - where does it stop?

    Yeah send it back for sure. If they are making a product to suit espresso it should do the job without end user modification.

    I can understand why people do the mod at the same time so that they can have a grinder on their bench rather than sending it back all the time but at the end of the day it is up to the manufacturer to step up to the plate and ensure their product is at the level it should be, otherwise they should not be selling it. Which obviously goes for all manufacturers.

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    Re: finer and finer - where does it stop?

    I forgot to mention that after you replace it, you get another 12months warranty, just incase you didnt know. :)

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    Re: finer and finer - where does it stop?

    I returned my Sunbeam grinder and got a replacement. Ive gone from a grind of 1 on the original to a grind of 29, on a scale of 1-28.... Also on the new grinder the auto button doesnt work. It will see me through Christmas, once the bills are paid Ill be returning it for a refund and looking at a serious upgrade.

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    Re: finer and finer - where does it stop?

    Quote Originally Posted by Coffee Kid link=1165192751/0#6 date=1165218470
    I forgot to mention that after you replace it, you get another 12months warranty, just incase you didnt know. :)
    Maybe it is not such a bad thing afterall. You may get a lifetime warranty if it keeps failing in the 12 month period ;)

    Is a shame that it is such a widespread fault but it is good that they are willing to back their product. Hopefully they will sort it out and their manufacturing will be as good as their warranty.

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    Re: finer and finer - where does it stop?

    I did mean that Option 2 should only be used if the unit was now outside warranty.

    As for them continually replacing units, I suppose thats possible as long as the customer service/marketing department has more budget than the development department.

    Another example of poorly managed project work.

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    Re: finer and finer - where does it stop?

    Some very experienced words there TG, once an auditor always an auditor hey? ;)

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    Re: finer and finer - where does it stop?

    I wonder what happens to those (who dont know about CS) and go to a normal retail store and buy an espresso machine and one of these grinders.... And dont forget, most buyers dont know any better than to purchase from such a store.

    They would have zero - or next to it - in the way of tuition or support, and so would have an uphill battle making an espresso if everything was working as it should. We all know how hard it can be to get your technique "just right"....

    Then the grinder does its slowly deteriorating thing...... what are they going to do? After much fiddling and pulling of hair the machine and grinder will probably be consigned to the back of the cupboard in frustration.

    Another potential coffee lover lost to our community. :(

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    Re: finer and finer - where does it stop?

    Harvey Norman and Myer among others are responsbile for a great and serious offence against good coffee in my opinion.

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    Re: finer and finer - where does it stop?

    Quote Originally Posted by JavaB link=1165192751/0#11 date=1165228202
    I wonder what happens to those (who dont know about CS) and go to a normal retail store and buy an espresso machine and one of these grinders.... And dont forget, most buyers dont know any better than to purchase from such a store.

    (
    Hopefully, if theyve bought a Sunbeam (and maybe a Breville now?) they do the free course and learn how to use the thing. And to Sunbeams credit, said course isnt designed just for the high end machines in their range - its everything from about $150 up. I found it really useful - I didnt actually learn much that I hadnt read about here, but it is very helpful to actually see someone doing all this stuff first hand, rather than just reading about it and hoping that youre doing it the right way yourself. And 9 out of the 10 people in the course I did hadnt heard of Coffeesnobs or any such forum, so for them it was a real eye opener, and they come away knowing how to froth milk, and that a grinder and fresh coffee is important (the EM0480, of course...), as well as a list of local roasters (surprisingly, not just where to get Paul Bassetts beans). So, while the quality control may still be sadly lacking (I havent had any issues yet, touch wood), at least they are making an attempt to show people how to make coffee...

    [Is this such a good strategy though...its just going to make them want to upgrade ;)]

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    Re: finer and finer - where does it stop?

    Quote Originally Posted by DrT link=1165192751/0#0 date=1165192750
    Am totally stumped and hope things dont keep changing otherwise to get the right pour I will be using the turkish setting and well lets just say I would rather not...
    Gday Dr.T,

    As a matter of interest, how are the pucks after a shot is pulled and knocked out? Nice and dry and cohesive, or a bit soft and mushy? If its the latter, maybe youre not dosing quite enough into the PF basket. If you do a search for info on tamping and dosing by 2mcm, he has posted a really detailed method for getting as much coffee into the basket as possible. This results in grinding slightly coarser but might be worth a try just to prove whether the grinder is A-OK or not.

    Mal.

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    Re: finer and finer - where does it stop?

    Quote Originally Posted by varanid99 link=1165192751/0#13 date=1165238005
    So, while the quality control may still be sadly lacking (I havent had any issues yet, touch wood), at least they are making an attempt to show people how to make coffee...
    Should have known.... less than 12 hours later:

    the old blow-the-lug off trick. Classic.


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    Re: finer and finer - where does it stop?

    OUCH!

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    Re: finer and finer - where does it stop?

    Unlucky! Murphys Law strikes again.

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    Re: finer and finer - where does it stop?

    That has the potential to do someone a real injury..... :(

    Im surprised they havent been recalled and that fault rectified.

    Then again General Motors didnt recall the cars which had exploding petrol tanks on impact (their lawyers / bean counters figured it was cheaper to compensate the families for their death rather than to recall and fix the faulty model....)

    Dollars speak loudest these days.... Go figure!!!! :-/

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    Re: finer and finer - where does it stop?

    Quote Originally Posted by DrT link=1165192751/0#0 date=1165192750
    Either my EM6900 has been using steroids without telling me and simply blasts through anything I give it, or the gauge is way off.
    Steroids.

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    Re: finer and finer - where does it stop?

    Quote Originally Posted by JavaB link=1165192751/15#18 date=1165275292
    That has the potential to do someone a real injury..... :(

    Im surprised they havent been recalled and that fault rectified.

    Then again General Motors didnt recall the cars which had exploding petrol tanks on impact (their lawyers / bean counters figured it was cheaper to compensate the families for their death rather than to recall and fix the faulty model....)

    Dollars speak loudest these days.... Go figure!!!! :-/
    Is sad when people can put a price on life like that, dont know how they could sleep at night.

    Has anyone else had the portafilter problem? I havent read anyone else complaining about that before so might have been a one off faulty one. Not that it is an excuse.

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    Re: finer and finer - where does it stop?

    Ive had my EM0480 for a good 5 months now and I dont have the problems mentioned here... in fact, Im getting outstanding results... I range for 15-18 on the grinder... and get excellent espresso pours - like in this thread...
    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1164881708

    To Sunbeams credit, they are doing there best to educate the owners of there product... no other major is doing it. They even have the expertise of Paul Bassett at there disposal - that wouldnt have been cheap... Sure, some QC issues are there with the EM6900 (My Em6910 is performing extremely well) and yes, you are within your right to be upset by it... but Sunbeam HAVE supported there product very well (I should know, Im on my 4th machine).. in fact, it was 2 working days not weeks when I got the last replacement...

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    Re: finer and finer - where does it stop?

    I know this may be a really dumb question and it is not about the grinder but the espresso machine - when did you last de scale it etc?

    I have read various recommendations of monthly, 2 monthly etc but I have found that I need to run the descaling fluid and cleaner through my Gaggia once a month. Although we have very hard water in Adelaide and I only ever use rain or filtered water to protect it too.

    Just a thought.

    and V99 :o :o :o :(

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    Re: finer and finer - where does it stop?

    And a very good thought...

    Sunbeam suggest every 3 months - use there cleaning tablet (yes, it is a very powerful tablet and very effective)

    Marc

  25. #25
    DrT
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    Re: finer and finer - where does it stop?

    Hey Guys & Gals,

    Hot topic huh !

    Mal - Pucks come out as they should - firm, slightly moist, just like a biscuit. No problems there.

    Lucinda - have not yet descaled, but have been using the product for 2.5 months now so I guess the time is right.

    Methinks I will call Hardly Normal and get a replacement.

    Thanks to All,

    DrT

  26. #26
    DrT
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    Re: finer and finer - where does it stop?

    Rang Harvey Norman and the lady there tells me the Sunbean rep. has not heard of the problem..... He wants to have a look at it tomorrow.

    I also gave her my e-mail address so the rep can e-mail me and ask for a hyperlink to this exact thread for "further" information.

    While the unit is mechanically and electrically fine, it cant do the job on their recommended settings so in my book its faulty and I told the lady I would be seeking a new unit irrespective.

    We will see what happens.

    DrT

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    Re: finer and finer - where does it stop?

    We will have to make sure we play nicely than

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    Re: finer and finer - where does it stop?

    Quote Originally Posted by Coffeechaser link=1165192751/15#20 date=1165275696


    Has anyone else had the portafilter problem? I havent read anyone else complaining about that before so might have been a one off faulty one. Not that it is an excuse.
    I think from memory that mattyj had a similar issue (or maybe his was the problem with the bit that the lugs clip into breaking - cant remember exactly, but I know Ive seen a picture similar to mine).


    Quote Originally Posted by JavaB link=1165192751/15#18 date=1165275292
    That has the potential to do someone a real injury..... :(
    I think youd have to be really, really unlucky to get injured by this. Theres 3 lugs (at least, there used to be) - i heard a loud snap, so I switched the machine off straight away. nothing actually blew apart - a little water and coffee started seeping out though - when I took the pf handle off, that was when I saw the broken bit. I think that to do any major damage youd have to blow two of them at once, which would be a bit of a freak occurrence Im guessing.

    Cheap metal + stress = breakage at some point. I rang Sunbeam and theyre sending me a new pf handle in the mail, as its under warranty (a bit under 3 months old), but that will take up to 2 weeks. The local service place is out of stock as well (the part runs about $13, so Id have bought one to use now and keep the replacement as a spare). Lucky Ive still got my little thermal mug plunger thing (gave the other plunger away), or those beans I roasted yesterday would have been a total waste.

    But, on the original topic - (and Im tempting fate by saying this, I know) - the EM0480 has been faultless so far - I know the numbers are useless when comparing things, but Ive got mine set between about 18-20 usually (still waiting on my depressurised baskets too), so theres definitely no problems with having to grind right at the absolute limit of its range.

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    Re: finer and finer - where does it stop?

    Quote Originally Posted by varanid99 link=1165192751/15#27 date=1165289230
    But, on the original topic - (and Im tempting fate by saying this, I know) - the EM0480 has been faultless so far - I know the numbers are useless when comparing things, but Ive got mine set between about 18-20 usually (still waiting on my depressurised baskets too), so theres definitely no problems with having to grind right at the absolute limit of its range.
    When you get the depressurised baskets, youll be possibly going a tad finer... but your right, the EM0480 has been great!

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    Re: finer and finer - where does it stop?

    The thing which would concern me most re the photo of the "broken" lug on the PF is that it appears to have come off cleanly. Without a closeup its a bit hard to say definately.

    But if that is the case then the lugs have quite possibly been added (welded?) onto the PF once this has been cast and machined (easier = cheaper to manufacture). All PFs Ive seen before (even the really cheap Krups ones) are all cast in one piece.... if one of the lugs came off, so would a chunk of the main body (highly unlikely for this to happen).

    To put this in perspective.... a 58cm PF with 9 bar of pressure behind it has a total force > 230 kg trying to get it out of the machine - and that is quite a bit of force.....

    Maybe the remaining lugs will hold the PF in the machine and only a bit of water and grounds will come out.... but it looks to me there is a design issue here.

    Can someone post a closeup photo of the lug and where it came off?

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    Re: finer and finer - where does it stop?

    sure can...

    its a little hard to see from the pic, but the older one does look like its been welded, judging by the little bits of dreck that have accumulated in the crack - the new one (which arrived today by air express - not bad considering I only broke it yesterday :)) seems to be cast from a single piece.

    The old one is the one in the foreground:




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    Re: finer and finer - where does it stop?

    Yep,

    The old one definately looks like the lug is an "add on"....

    The new one does appear to be better..... can you please post a photo looking at the new one from the spout end....

    Certainly is fast service... you got to be happy with the level of support Sunbeam provide...

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    Re: finer and finer - where does it stop?

    but the break itself was pretty clean - I just took to the old one with a hammer & screwdriver (my grandfather is rolling in his grave about the screwdriver part.... Sorry pa, but theres no room for all your tools in this little flat.) - its pretty much sheared off at the same point - Ive got one lug left so Ill have a go at this one with a hacksaw.

    The discoloration in the next photo is a bit misleading - it looks like 2 totally different bits of metal, but the inner ring is just the groove where the little spring-locking wire sits.

    heres one of the break:


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    Re: finer and finer - where does it stop?

    and, by request, the spout end. actually, looks pretty much the same as the old one.

    Cant fault the replacement service, granted, but it does appear to be poor design. There is a more solid one on the "higher end" lower end machines (mines a lower end lower end) - I think the 5800s have a brass-and-something pf handle, which is supposedly more sturdy. I think if it breaks again, Ill be asking for one of those....


  35. #35
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    Re: finer and finer - where does it stop?

    MMMM....

    There looks to be a bit of a gap where the lug joins onto the body.... hard to tell.

    They have either machined the lug and the pf so that it is a really sharp edge at the joint .... or it is also an "add on".

    Most PFs have a filet (curved edge rather than a sharp one) where the two join as it is not possible to cast a sharp joint like the one on the picture...

    looking at your earlier photo, where the lug has been "knocked off" - (and yeah I also use a screw driver as a chisel from time to time ::))- the metal surface appears to be crystalline - I suspect they have used an Aluminium alloy rather than pure Aluminium.

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    Re: finer and finer - where does it stop?

    Yeh, I think the higher end lower machines have a Brass PF... but nothing like the commercial type in weight, but they arent bad...

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    Re: finer and finer - where does it stop?

    Quote Originally Posted by JavaB link=1165192751/30#34 date=1165373186
    MMMM....

    There looks to be a bit of a gap where the lug joins onto the body.... hard to tell.
    hard to say - once theyve shinied it all up, its difficult to tell whats happening underneath. Better go get the screwdriver again....

  38. #38
    DrT
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    Re: finer and finer - where does it stop?

    Back on topic of the sunbeam grinder......

    Sunbeam took it back and "serviced" it.

    The end result? I now use setting 5 to do the same job as I used to on 4. According to the rep., it now performs "to spec". Why then do they recommend setting 12 to 16 for espresso??

    The interesting bit is that there are plenty more than 24 clicks now..... Supposedly the lugs that move with the clicks had come a little undone or something and they tightened them but why more clicks now? Nothing was replaced.

    I do not know if I should hassle Sunbeam again and just go for a complete replacement or if this truly is normal.

    Any thoughts from any body?

    DrT

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    Re: finer and finer - where does it stop?

    Why not just wait it out a little and see if it stays around the 5 mark or if it changes as it wears?

    Depends on how much warrantee you have left though really.

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    Re: finer and finer - where does it stop?

    DrT, very good question... see how long it stays on 5... if you have to venture out below 5 again Id insist on a replacement... .. The lowest Ive gone on mine is 15, and that was for a ristretto double :)



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