Results 1 to 38 of 38

Thread: grinder problem: beans blocking? (Rancilio Rocky)

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    10

    grinder problem: beans blocking? (Rancilio Rocky)

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Im having a problem where my Rocky starts to grind but then after a little while I hear the grind mechanism, but without that wonderful sound of beans being crushed into dust. Its been happening intermittently, with a little shake of the grinder usually sorting out whatever the issue is. Last Friday that didnt fix it and I took it to Barazi who couldnt replicate it, took it apart, put it back together, cleaned it, ran some de-oiling cleaning bean things through it, and it seemed to work. Saturday morning it did it again. If I take the beans out and refill it it seems to work again, but thats rather a pain.

    So, it seems to me like the beans get themselves into a bit of a gridlock above the burrs.

    Question 1: Has anyone else run into this problem? Is it common or unusual?

    Question 2: Is it better from a freshness perspective to keep my beans in the tin or bag I get them in and only put in a few when about to grind, rather than using the hopper?

    Thanks,

    Ralf

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Sydney Oz
    Posts
    503

    Re: grinder problem: beans blocking? (Rancilio Roc

    Ralf,

    Are the beans oily? I get this problem occassionally if I use older or bought beans that have an oily surface. The oil can make them stick and since you dont have the weight of more beans to push them through they can get stuck.

    Solution - I dunno. I have read that others have removed the plastic cone in the middle of the hopper to help the beans feed. But this is a finger guard!!! - so be sure first and see what others have to say before removing it. Maybe you need fresher beans.

    Best idea is only to use what you need and keep the rest in an air tight bag or tin in a cool place out of the light. A bag is better I find since I can push excess air out.

    Matt

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    313

    Re: grinder problem: beans blocking? (Rancilio Roc

    I sometimes get the same thing happening with my Rocky and tap the sides. If the beans are particularly oily it tend to happen or if they are a dark roast and are therefore pretty light- in the sense that they have less weight to drag them downward.
    Do you have the standard Rocky lid or have you upgraded to the ::) click-clack lid?
    That helps me. Click clack are those sealing containers at Woolies adn happen to fir perfectly in the top of Rocky. When I hear the sound like the burrs are about to freewheel, I push down on the clikc clack and that sorts it.
    You could also place a large (so it doesnt get caught) weighted device on the top of the beans to keep the pressure up.
    I always have Rocky about half full but I know a fellow snob who only places the exact amount of beans in there for the brew hes making.

    In answer to your other question- After roasting I let my beans degass for 2 or 3 days and then place them in large airtight containers in a cool dark-ish place until I blend for the brew.
    hope this helps.
    RH

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    10

    Re: grinder problem: beans blocking? (Rancilio Roc

    Thanks Matt & RG.

    I hadnt thought about the weight of beans pushing down, but last time it happened the hopper was full.

    I do like a fairly dark roast, so that might be part of it. The beans are fresh, usually at most 3-4 weeks by the time I get to the last few (I suspect I should buy fewer more often, but then I dont know when I might have friends over and get a rush on coffees... ;-) ) The current batch are only 1 week old. Nicaraguan from Merlo.

    I was just thinking about lining the hopper a little with baking paper, which would be a bit more smooth.

    Ill do the click-clack upgrade today, thanks RH :-)

    Sound like a somewhat common problem. I just found some other reviews on coffeegeek and it gets mentioned there too.

    Maybe I should think of upgrading to a Mazzer :-)

    Ralf

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Sydney Oz
    Posts
    503

    Re: grinder problem: beans blocking? (Rancilio Roc

    Quote Originally Posted by ralfm link=1168811361/0#3 date=1168813132
    Maybe I should think of upgrading to a Mazzer :-)

    Ralf
    ;D Yeah that may help! but its kinda like cracking a walnut with a hammer

  6. #6
    .
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    2,312

    Re: grinder problem: beans blocking? (Rancilio Roc

    a) oily beans;
    b) large beans

    cause this, and it can happen to any grinder so dont rush into "upgrading" anything just yet unless you wanted to do so in any case.

    a) and b) beans tend to "bog" themselves up on each other on the way down through the witches hat in the bottom of the hopper, stopping the freeflow of beans through.

    If you like the coffee beans you are using and want to keep using them you can look at making the path through the witches hat a little easier but if the grinder is under guarantee I wouldnt race into that without checking with your vendor first about whether there might be any implications for your warranty.

    Regardz,
    FC

  7. #7
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    10

    Re: grinder problem: beans blocking? (Rancilio Roc

    Yes, there is that. But what a hammer ;-)


    So I just made myself a cuppa wth only a few beans in the grinder, and repeated shuffling around of them needed. They seem like quite a large been actually.

    I was also quite aware of the sound of it all. I might make a recording and post it tonight after work. Id be interested in hearing other peoples grinders in action.

    Ralf

  8. #8
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    10

    Re: grinder problem: beans blocking? (Rancilio Roc


    Thanks FC -- I think Ive got that combination which has exacerbated my issues. Ill learn to work with it, Im sure :-) Its good to get confirmation that it doesnt appear to be a flaw of the individual unit though.

    Ralf


  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    145

    Re: grinder problem: beans blocking? (Rancilio Roc

    I was getting frustrated by this problem with mine early in the piece. I took the step of removing the finger guard, and did find this improved the situation a lot - but occassionally everything still comes to a (non)grinding halt. I find that getting them going again is MUCH easier without the finger guard though - a tap, a little pressure onto the beans with fingers, and off we go again.

  10. #10
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    9

    Re: grinder problem: beans blocking? (Rancilio Roc

    Have had the same problem. Bought my rocky on Oct 13/06 and have had
    problems but this was the first time a simple tap would not do. So clean (soap&water) seems to fix it. In process found this bent screw. I assume this would be the stop to prevent rotation to past zero point. Strange.
    I have never put this kind of force on the hopper. Especially on plastic. (pic below) Is this common Doserless rocky.
    Quote Originally Posted by rayzurhed link=1168811361/0#2 date=1168812421
    have you upgraded to the ::) click-clack lid?
    That helps me. Click clack are those sealing containers at Woolies
    RH
    Click-clack?
    Woolies?
    Could you provide more info?
    Woolies is a retail outlet?
    Never heard of it.



  11. #11
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    10,496

    Re: grinder problem: beans blocking? (Rancilio Roc

    Woolies = Woolworths

    Where are you located Wes?

  12. #12
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Warwick, QLD
    Posts
    16,870

    Re: grinder problem: beans blocking? (Rancilio Roc

    Quote Originally Posted by Wes V link=1168811361/0#9 date=1170814078
    I assume this would be the stop to prevent rotation to past zero point.
    I have never put this kind of force on the hopper. Especially on plastic. (pic below) Is this common Doserless rocky.
    Gday Wes and welcome to CoffeeSnobs [smiley=thumbsup.gif],

    Yes, quite a few grinders including the Rocky have a screw in place to block the travel of the upper burr carrier to prevent clashing of the burrs..... As you can imagine, tool-steel burrs grinding away at each other isnt great for longevity. I just removed this screw right from the outset on my Rocky and verified the exact Zero position manually before the first bean was put through it, and then never looked back.

    I guess its possible that your Rocky may have received a vicious blow during transport which resulted in the screw being bent. So long as you are the only person using the grinder, it would be safe to remove the screw and check your actual Zero like a lot of us have done. If there is likely to be others using Rocky though, it might be better to leave it in place to prevent a high iron content in your next coffee ;),

    Mal.

  13. #13
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    9

    Re: grinder problem: beans blocking? (Rancilio Roc

    Thx guys.
    No Woolworths North of the 49th. (Alberta)
    The Woolco stores were taken over by walmart
    probably ten years ago.
    The zero is so close to this default screw I really have no desire to
    change it. But I may take out the fingerguide as my
    beans are pretty greasy. Wonder if Varsol would clean
    them beans better than the carb cleaner I been using;)
    Thx again

  14. #14
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    10,496

    Re: grinder problem: beans blocking? (Rancilio Roc

    Woolworths is an Australian store Wes.

  15. #15
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    9

    Re: grinder problem: beans blocking? (Rancilio Roc

    Quote Originally Posted by Thundergod link=1168811361/0#13 date=1170844716
    Woolworths is an Australian store Wes.
    No connection with what I was thinking of.
    Interesting website. Never heard of a Quke before.



  16. #16
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    10,496

    Re: grinder problem: beans blocking? (Rancilio Roc

    Quke?

  17. #17
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    9

    Re: grinder problem: beans blocking? (Rancilio Roc

    Quke aka cucumber I think.
    Its in their fresh magazine.

  18. #18
    Senior Member tasadam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Near Devonport, Tasmania
    Posts
    278

    Re: grinder problem: beans blocking? (Rancilio Roc

    My rocky sometimes stops grinding but a bit of a shake and it gets going again, dont even need to turn it off. I can live with that.

    Interested to learn more about the click clack woolies lid....


  19. #19
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    10,496

    Re: grinder problem: beans blocking? (Rancilio Roc

    click clack lids have a ruber seal around the edge to help make them airtight on their containers.

    If you get one the right size you can push it down on the top of your hopper and force a burst of air through the chute to clear the remaining grounds.

    I took my hopper to Wollies to try the lids out.
    Unfortunately my Macap hopper is between click clack sizes.

  20. #20
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Warwick, QLD
    Posts
    16,870

    Re: grinder problem: beans blocking? (Rancilio Roc

    Quote Originally Posted by Thundergod link=1168811361/15#18 date=1171522048
    Unfortunately my Macap hopper is between click clack sizes.
    Now doesnt that just give you the clicks ;)

    Mal.

  21. #21
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    45

    Rancilio Rocky

    Hi Coffee Snobs & Rocky vendors,

    I see many posts insisting the Rocky grinder is a *must* companion for the Rancilio Silvia to make the best coffee.

    Can any coffee guru add some science to this claim?
    I use a deLonghi KG100 which does a great grind.
    If you use a freshly roasted bean that is ground immediately before filling your filter basket, Id like to know the theory and learn some tips on how a Rocky grind can make the difference?

    Thanks,
    Mick

  22. #22
    Senior Member fatboy_1999's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    2,125

    Re: grinder problem: beans blocking? (Rancilio Roc

    Mick,

    Welcome to CS.

    I dont think it is specifically the Rocky that is a must to go with the Silvia. The point is, you needs a grinder of a minimum quality.

    The KG100 is not quite up to the job. It goes very close (I used to have one) and indeed can be tweaked to give acceptable results. However, to get the best out of ANY machine, the grinder needs to be in the next bracket from a KG100. A Rocky, an Iberital challenge or even the Sunbeam EM0480 are a better bet than the KG100.

    There are a whole range of reasons that grinders are considered better than others. Burr speed, size, heat produced, fineness of adjustment, build quality etc.

    I suggest you contact one of the sponsors and ask them for some info. Im sure they will steer you in the right direction for your personal needs.

    Brett.

  23. #23
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    3,498

    Re: grinder problem: beans blocking? (Rancilio Roc

    Gday Mick and welcome to CoffeeSnobs....

    Well if you can get a reasonable grind out of a KG100 (AKA Solis 166) you are extremely lucky- if you can get a "great grind" you must be God - or at least on first name terms with him! ::)

    Where do I start..
    The KG100 burrs arent held firmly in place. The burr set is conical - which requires them to be held even more precisely. :(
    The minimum grind isnt really good enough for espresso (there is a mod to make it finer - but having done it - I wouldnt bother!) :(
    There are too few steps and they are too far apart to track the aging of the beans.... :(
    The burrs wear pretty quickly when making fine grinds... :(
    The ground coffee not only has the correct size grinds but loads of finer particles.... which block the small spaces between grinds in the puck and mess up the extraction.... :( >:( >:(

    But other than that - they are great - NOT!! :-X :-[

    I have one (long since retired) - they are a PITA to get any decent espresso grinds from - but they are excellent for plunger coffee!!

  24. #24
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    45

    Re: grinder problem: beans blocking? (Rancilio Roc

    Thanks Brett, JavaB

    Interesting to hear your views. I will still be buying the Silvia in two weeks (next payday : ) and I will now test my bargaining skills in stepping up to a more expensive (& better quality) grinder. Maybe I will have to do the "package" deal !!

    Thanks,
    Mick

  25. #25
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    3,498

    Re: grinder problem: beans blocking? (Rancilio Roc

    Mick,

    Yep, it would be wise to go for something better, thats for sure.

    The importance of the items in the making of quality coffee are (in order)..

    1. Barista skills - learnt through courses and practice - still working on mine
    2. Quality freshly roasted, freshly ground beans - I roast my own
    3. A quality grinder (with fine adjustment of grind size)
    4. A coffee machine.

    Yep, coffee machine is lowest on the list - without the other things above it - you wont get good coffee.

    By the way the KG100 is a rebadged Solis 166 - which was designed to be a match for the Solis SL70 and SL90 machines- both of which use pressurised baskets (grind size and consistency is far less important). Replace the baskets with normal unpressurised ones - and the 166 cant cut it any longer (I had to upgrade- and it then produced excellent shots...)

  26. #26
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    45

    Re: grinder problem: beans blocking? (Rancilio Roc

    Thanks JavaB, Thanks Fatboy,

    1. What Barista skills do I need if I only have double doppio strength, no milk, no sugar?
    2. I roast my own too and rate freshly roasted beans higher than bean quality - though the better the quality bean the better the coffee of course. My analogy is that of freshly baked bread - you can break pieces off and eat it fresh without any topping. Bread that is a few days old is still edible - tastes great with ham & cheese or your favourite topping but straight-out-of-the-oven fresh bread is so much better.

    My biggest disappointment when I have coffee served in a cafe is bean freshness - some (like an American coffee chain in Australia that roast in the USA and ship roasted beans to Down Under) give coffee a bad name - thats why I rate freshness ahead of bean quality if it came to that choice.

    3. Thanks to FATBOY bagging my KG100 http://coffeesnobs.com.au/templates/forum/default/grin.gif, I now have a Sunbeam EM0480 ($165 new).

    4. Today, my Rancilio Silvia arrived and tomorrow I pick up 8.5 kg of green beans http://coffeesnobs.com.au/templates/forum/default/cool.gif

    Thanks Coffee Snobs,
    Mick

  27. #27
    Senior Member fatboy_1999's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    2,125

    Re: grinder problem: beans blocking? (Rancilio Roc

    Mick,

    1. You need to know how to grind, dose, tamp, load and get the best extraction you can from your machine. A Silvia is capable of pretty good shots. Practice will get you there.

    2. Yep. makes a big difference.

    3. No worries. JavaB bagged it too! ;-) The Sunbeam is a better unit. Gives you a much better chance of getting great shots.

    4. Enjoy!

  28. #28
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    3,498

    Re: grinder problem: beans blocking? (Rancilio Roc

    Mick,

    Yep the Silvia and the EM480 will produce what you are after - no problem.

    As fatboy said above.... get your tamp correct (13.5Kg - check with bathroom scales by tamping on them)... adjust your grind to get 60 ml (total) from a double in 30 seconds..... enough coffee in the basket so it just touches the showerscreen as you load - and all will be good.

    A close fitting tamper (like Greg Pullmans) will make getting a good tamp right to the edge much easier by the way.

    And yep I did, and will continue to, bag the KG100 for espresso use (but it makes a great grinder for plunger coffee).

  29. #29
    Senior Member robusto's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    2,710

    Re: grinder problem: beans blocking? (Rancilio Roc

    Quote Originally Posted by redeyegreeneye link=1168811361/15#25 date=1172840318
    4. Today, my Rancilio Silvia arrived and tomorrow I pick up 8.5 kg of green beans http://coffeesnobs.com.au/templates/forum/default/cool.gif

    Thanks Coffee Snobs,
    Mick
    That quantity should get you through a whole week of trial and error experiments!! ;)

    Only joking. *Good luck with your journey

    --Robusto

  30. #30
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    45

    Re: grinder problem: beans blocking? (Rancilio Roc

    Hmmm, seems like CoffeeSnobs is a bit like Alcoholics Anonymous for Coffee Addicts : )

    Thanks to Fatboy, JavaB and Robusto for your help.

    Even after watching the DVD of Aussie World Champion Barista I did not see anything about tamp pressure. Now (thanks to a CoffeeSnobs sponsor link) I see the Espro Tamper is designed to give a 13.5 kg tamp every time. Worth the money ($139)? ... or as JavaB points out, practice with bathroom scales to get it right? I am using a 58mm convex solid stainless steel tamper I thought might be OK?

    I am still working on getting things right.

    correct grind setting * *= <tba>
    correct dose * * * * * * * *= <tba>
    correct tamp pressure = 13.5 kg
    correct shot timing * * * = 25 seconds

    I might have to continue tomorrow as I try not to have more than fifteen double doppios per day.

    : ) Mick



  31. #31
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    3,498

    Re: grinder problem: beans blocking? (Rancilio Roc

    Mick,

    The Espro tampers will get the pressure correct for you but arent a good fit in most baskets (you need a tamp right up to the edge of the basket to get a good seal) and although say a 58 mm tamper is exactly 58 mm the baskets are always larger ..... and that can cause problems....

    A Greg Pullman tamper (around $80 delivered) will fit perfectly - but wont get the pressure right for you - thats where the bathroom scales come in.... and after a while you will be able to get the correct tamp every time!

  32. #32
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    45

    Re: grinder problem: beans blocking? (Rancilio Roc

    Thanks JavaB,

    The Pullman tamper looks great.
    I might just give in and get one as soon as I am back in the black.

    I did try the bathroom scales technique.
    I was surprised at how much pressure 13.5 kg is.

    After some tests I realize I had been tamping only to 9kg or 10 kg tops.

    My Sunbeam EM0480 is set on 19 out of 25 (coarse) because anything finer wont flow or give a crema. Still working on that optimum combination. I know I will succeed : )

    Cheers,
    Mick




  33. #33
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    3

    Re: grinder problem: beans blocking? (Rancilio Roc

    One trick is to remove the screws that hold your finger guard in place, remove the finger guard, put the screws back in and then put the finger guard back in the slots on top of the screws.

    This will lift up the finger guard (while still doing its job) and leave extra room for the beans to go through so they dont get jammed. Of course before you insert your fingers or anything else in the grinder to force beans down make sure it is unplugged.


  34. #34
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Sydney Oz
    Posts
    503

    Re: grinder problem: beans blocking? (Rancilio Roc

    Quote Originally Posted by Thundergod link=1168811361/15#18 date=1171522048
    click clack lids have a ruber seal around the edge to help make them airtight on their containers.

    If you get one the right size you can push it down on the top of your hopper and force a burst of air through the chute to clear the remaining grounds.

    I took my hopper to Wollies to try the lids out.
    Unfortunately my Macap hopper is between click clack sizes.
    Dredging up an old thread.. but I just discovered today that the lid off my 750cc Vacuvin is a perfect air tight fit for the rocky hopper and can be used to blow out unused grounds. I was a little surprised about how many grinds are left behind in the short chute after grinding stops. I cant believe it took me two years to discover this :-[ At least my Vacuvin is of some use now :P

  35. #35
    Senior Member Lizzie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Bridport, Tas
    Posts
    1,151

    Re: grinder problem: beans blocking? (Rancilio Roc

    sorry, got to this thread a bit late in the game...
    our Rocky stalls on big beans... small or oily beans no problem, big beans (particulalry when in a blend with smaller beans) catch several times during one day.
    you can hear the bean "getting caught" and putting the brakes on the burrs.
    dialing up the grind (coarser) while running the motor for a second generally dislodges the bigun.

    L

  36. #36
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    131

    Re: grinder problem: beans blocking? (Rancilio Roc

    I plugged in my new rocky last night, and found the same problem - large/oily beans can get blocked, and need a tap to get them flowing again.

    Can the witches hat in the bottom of the hopper be removed easily (ie without cutting plastic)?

  37. #37
    Senior Member fatboy_1999's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    2,125

    Re: grinder problem: beans blocking? (Rancilio Roc

    shauno,

    Yes, it is technically a finger guard, so removing it exposes a risk of the burrs chewing up something they perhaps shouldnt have access to.

    Having said that, there are 3 screws that hold it in (and are a GREAT place for beans to settle).

    However, I found that leaving it attached was good for reducing the popcorn effect of beans jumping around. This would only be an issue if you load beans as required. If you normally have an amount of beans in the hopper, then removing the finger guard should do the trick for you.

    What I ended up doing when I had mine was leaving the guard in and putting small pieces of dowel in the 3 holes to stop beans getting in there.

  38. #38
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Posts
    118
    does the dome nut on the top of the rockys burr set have a left hand thread???

    thinking of making up a steel arm like the sunbeams have to spin around stop the beans hanging up occasionally in the hopper,


    cheers/
    Last edited by koshari; 19th December 2014 at 12:23 PM.



Similar Threads

  1. Problem setting grind notch on Rancilio Rocky
    By fender222 in forum Grinders
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 13th June 2013, 11:27 PM
  2. Replies: 3
    Last Post: 24th February 2012, 09:42 AM
  3. Replies: 15
    Last Post: 13th July 2011, 11:55 PM
  4. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 26th March 2011, 09:57 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •