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Thread: Talking about recent grinder acquisitions?

  1. #1
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Talking about recent grinder acquisitions?

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

    Have just taken delivery of a much loved La San Marco grinder, a Model SM-90A. It is one very significant presence as far as grinders go but after powder-coating to the same shade of Fire-Engine Red as the Bezzera some time in the future, Im sure itll look right at home. Rocky is almost dwarfed when sitting next to the LSM, only in stature though, not performance. Oh well, Rockys gonna be cleaned up and put up for grabs soon so if anyones interested, keep an eye out in the 4-Sale column in the next week or so.

    Now all I got to do is learn how to tame the LSM into submission. I tell you what though, that doser is a real gem.... not a single grain of coffee is missed by the rotor arms, the base and sides of the doser are swept perfectly clean every time. Gonna have to make up a little probe cum sweeper tool to remove coffee from the grinders discharge chute but thats about the only thing that needs doing. Fun times ahead... :)

    Cheers All,
    Mal.


  2. #2
    tim
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    Re: Talking about recent grinder acquisitions?

    Thats a very nice beast Mal! Reminds me of the Gino Rossi I used to have (woulda kept it but S.O. didnt like the size of it in the kitchen).
    Are the burrs in good nick?

    Tim

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    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Talking about recent grinder acquisitions?

    Gday Tim,

    The burrs are worn a bit but still not too bad. I notice that our good friends at CoffeeParts stock replacement burr-plates for a very reasonable price so might lash out and get a new set. Cant wait to match it up with the Bezz though and see what sort of shots can be delivered.... should be good :),

    Mal.

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    Senior Member coastal_coffee's Avatar
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    Re: Talking about recent grinder acquisitions?

    Mal, I am currently playing with a Compak k8 with new burs (the machine is burnt red, very quiet and dead sexy!) Aged gracefully i would say.

    It grinds beautifully, I think I will move my Fiorenzato T80 A aside for awhile as it is doing a better job, I also have a Gino Rossi so I may do a 3 way shootout..it will be interesting.

    At Home have a new K3 touch it is smooth and i love it so far,

    Oh and la cimbali cadet out the back, and a hand grinder(thanks Dennis)

    I feel a bit like Dennis come to think of it.

    Craig.

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    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Talking about recent grinder acquisitions?

    I really think you need to buy a few more grinders Craig ;).... Youll be getting bored soon ::),

    Mal.

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    Re: Talking about recent grinder acquisitions?

    Nice beastie Mal.....I think a retro grinder club may be in order.

    A suggestion, [without wanting to sound too obvious] re the retained grains.

    I found with my K8, that a double grind takes about 9 sec, but once switched off, the rotor takes about 40 sec to stop spinning. Therefore it would take too long to add the retained excess to the PF.

    If you can fabricate the sweeper tool, so it is just the right length to SAFELY clear the chute, but with a STOP, [so it cannot ever touch the spinning burrs], then you can add the excess grinds to the doser as part of your dosing routine.

    I grind by volumetric dose, when I hear that the grinder has finished, I flick off the switch and whilst the grinder is still spinning [from its own momentum], I pop the hood, clear the remains in the chute, and complete the last of the thwacks.
    Its a nice feeling to know your getting every last bit of fresh coffee into the PF.

    Hi CC [Craig], I dont know if you still have the K8, but was wondering if you noticed any play in the upper burr.

    After my"aged" K8 got its first thorough cleaning [heaps of old grinds in the threads etc] I noticed the play. It was significant enought to effect a bad pour if you wobbled the hopper.

    It could be easily stabilised by tightening the adjustment lock screw, but [being a CSer] I took it a step further with a bit of teflon tape.....It works a treat, tightening the adjustment screw is no longer necessary.

    There is no obvious damage to the thread so it appears to have been manufactured like this.

    The service agent I spoke to [over the phone] reckoned the play is normal and the upper burr is stabilised by the adjustment lock screw. Furthermore, he added that the "loose fitting thread" is designed to allow for coffee works its way into the thread [sort of like teflon tape]

    So just wondering if this explanation sounds about right based on others experience.

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    Re: Talking about recent grinder acquisitions?

    Quote Originally Posted by reubster link=1183570692/0#5 date=1183951523
    Furthermore, he added that the "loose fitting thread" is designed to allow for coffee works its way into the thread [sort of like teflon tape]
    That sounds like a total load of BS, spun out to placate those who have noticed poor production tolerance. But as Ive said in the Rocky thread, some amount of play is inherent in this style of grinder.

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    Re: Talking about recent grinder acquisitions?

    i imagine its the same even with mazzers. Play in the treads of mazzers is dealt with by having heavy springs pushing up against the upper bur carrier. Im not sure but I think this is the aspect of the mazzer grind adjustment that holds the patent? Anyone know anything more about this?

    Compac have a similar design but it is all held tight by a locking nut rather then the springs. If the locking nut does the job, then there isnt much to complain about because thats how it was designed to work.

  9. #9
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Talking about recent grinder acquisitions?

    Quote Originally Posted by reubster link=1183570692/0#5 date=1183951523
    Nice beastie Mal.....I think a retro grinder club may be in order.
    Gday reubster,

    Yes, it is a very nice beastie mate, and especially after I get it powder-coated the same colour as the Bezz :). Regarding retro-grinder owners, I think there must be quite a few of us around the traps now, with some of the owners maybe even more retro than the grinders they own ;).

    Quote Originally Posted by reubster link=1183570692/0#5 date=1183951523
    I found with my K8, that a double grind takes about 9 sec, but once switched off, the rotor takes about 40 sec to stop spinning. Therefore it would take too long to add the retained excess to the PF.

    If you can fabricate the sweeper tool, so it is just the right length to SAFELY clear the chute, but with a STOP, [so it cannot ever touch the spinning burrs], then you can add the excess grinds to the doser as part of your dosing routine.
    The LSM seems to have an auto rotor-brake fitted such that when the power is off, the rotor is held tight and when powered up the brake lets go. From flat-out to stop is very quick, only a matter of a couple of seconds so Im a bit lucky there, can get in almost straight away to clean the chute out.

    Quote Originally Posted by reubster link=1183570692/0#5 date=1183951523
    I grind by volumetric dose, when I hear that the grinder has finished, I flick off the switch and whilst the grinder is still spinning [from its own momentum], I pop the hood, clear the remains in the chute, and complete the last of the thwacks.
    Its a nice feeling to know your getting every last bit of fresh coffee into the PF.
    Yep, Im a volumetric doser too and also a bit anal about removing the last remnants of grinds from the chute. Definitely do not like stale coffee grounds, even just a few. And even when I do this, I still allow the first few grams of the next grind to run through to a little waste container ::), hopefully making sure that not a single stale ground gets into my next cuppa :P.[/QUOTE]

    Cheers mate,
    Mal.

  10. #10
    Senior Member coastal_coffee's Avatar
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    Re: Talking about recent grinder acquisitions?

    Quote Originally Posted by reubster link=1183570692/0#5 date=1183951523
    Hi CC [Craig], I dont know if you still have the K8, but was wondering if you noticed any play in the upper burr.

    After my"aged" K8 got its first thorough cleaning [heaps of old grinds in the threads etc] I noticed the play. It was significant enought to effect a bad pour if you wobbled the hopper.

    It could be easily stabilised by tightening the adjustment lock screw, but [being a CSer] I took it a step further with a bit of teflon tape.....It works a treat, tightening the adjustment screw is no longer necessary.

    There is no obvious damage to the thread so it appears to have been manufactured like this.

    The service agent I spoke to [over the phone] reckoned the play is normal and the upper burr is stabilised by the adjustment lock screw. Furthermore, he added that the "loose fitting thread" is designed to allow for coffee works its way into the thread [sort of like teflon tape]

    So just wondering if this explanation sounds about right based on others experience.

    Reubster,

    I havent noticed any play as yet, but to be honest I have had little to do with it yet and am planning to check it out in earnest this week, I will let you know the results.

    Craig.

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    Re: Talking about recent grinder acquisitions?

    Quote Originally Posted by muppet_man67 link=1183570692/0#7 date=1183972095
    Play in the treads of mazzers is dealt with by having heavy springs pushing up against the upper bur carrier. Im not sure but I think this is the aspect of the mazzer grind adjustment that holds the patent? Anyone know anything more about this?
    Yep, as I said in the other thread, its the stepped, metal burr carrier grinders that are affected by this. The Mazzer spring loading is patented and is primarily used to allow stepless adjustment but the burr stabilisation is a nice bonus - I have no idea if the Mazzer designers intended this or whether it was just serendipidous.

  12. #12
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Talking about recent grinder acquisitions?

    Quote Originally Posted by kaanage link=1183570692/0#10 date=1184028208
    Yep, as I said in the other thread, its the stepped, metal burr carrier grinders that are affected by this.
    Dont think this applies to all non-Mazzer designs. If the LSM I just bought is anything to go by (bought new in 1998 and in busy commercial service during nearly all that time), there is absolutely no play between the upper/lower burr-plate sections.... its absolutely rock solid and I imagine there are lots of other commercial grinders out there that are built to similarly robust standards. It uses a very fine 1.25mm thread pitch very cleanly cut into a solid block of brass that weighs about 1.25Kg (for the top carrier section) and there just isnt any side play what-so-ever that I can determine by applying a lateral force.

    Out of interest I just setup a Dial Gauge laterally up against the side of the upper burr carrier to see if there was any measurable side play during grinding but the most I could see, was a rapid oscillation of the Dial Gauges indicator needle that approximated about half the width of the needle itself and even this could have been due to the vibration of the entire grinder, as the Dial Indicator Stand was sited immediately next to the grinder on the kitchen bench, not an engineering plane base or similar and naturally, the grinder has rubber feet. When the grinder is spinning idle, there is no needle oscillation and no apparent vibration.

    Mal.

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    Re: Talking about recent grinder acquisitions?

    The LSM must be very well made. None of the stepped, metal burr carrier grinders that I have used have been free of some play (Rancilio Rocky, Rancilio MD50, Cunill Tranquilo, Macap M5).

  14. #14
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Talking about recent grinder acquisitions?

    Gday kaanage,

    Yes it is very well made but maybe that is a reflection of the age of the grinder and its intended purpose, there is absolutely no accommodation for anything other than it being a commercial workhorse. I have no doubt that the unashamedly utilitarian presence of the LSM would not suit every CSer out there but then I have always been a function over form sort of bloke, often to the chagrin of my lovely wife but I am allowed to get away with a few things now and again ;).

    I must also mention, I decided to replace the burr-plates so that I am at least starting from a known perspective but have to give credit where its due and thank Coffee Parts once again for their excellent service and terrific customer care [smiley=thumbsup.gif]..... absolutely second to none 8-).

    Cheers,
    Mal.

    Mal.

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    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Talking about recent grinder acquisitions?

    Well,

    I just finished fitting the new burr-plates and Wow! What a difference this has made :o.... quite obviously the old burrs were a lot more worn than I thought. The resulting brews are much sweeter now, individual intrinsic flavours are very discernible and the coffee is just great right to the very last drop in the cup. Simply superb 8-).

    The grinder is much quieter now too, a lot quicker, with the resulting grind being very uniform and gritty, with practically no fines or dust evident what-so-ever so I am now a very happy camper indeed with my retro LSM. Cheers all,

    Mal.

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    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: Talking about recent grinder acquisitions?

    Good one Mal - is that the Rocky hiding in the shadows of the pic?

    Im guessing the cream casing is cast aluminium?

    Also noticed that it seems like it might be a fair drop for the coffee before it lands in the PF. Is that correct? Do you need to make any "a la mazzer" style adjustments for that or are the grinds well behaved and drop straight down into the PF?

  17. #17
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Talking about recent grinder acquisitions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis link=1183570692/15#15 date=1184143321
    Good one Mal - is that the Rocky hiding in the shadows of the pic?
    Yes mate it is..... I think Rocky was a bit intimidated by the size of the LSM so preferred to hang back a little ;)

    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis link=1183570692/15#15 date=1184143321
    Im guessing the cream casing is cast aluminium?
    Yes mate, right again :). Theres no plastic on this baby apart from the hopper, the doser barrel and the lids. Everything else is either brass, stainless or aluminium.... one very solid piece of kit indeed 8-).

    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis link=1183570692/15#15 date=1184143321
    Also noticed that it seems like it might be a fair drop for the coffee before it lands in the PF. Is that correct? Do you need to make any "a la mazzer" style adjustments for that or are the grinds well behaved and drop straight down into the PF?
    Hmmm, dont really know mate as I havent used it that way as yet. Still just dose into a Tupperware measuring cup and transfer to the Plunger/French Press, and I guess the PF Basket when the Bezz is up and running.... less mess this way (read, no mess at all). I have noticed though that when I dose into the measuring cup that the coffee seems to drop pretty well straight down so I guess time will tell :-?.

    Even if it doesnt drop straight down, Im not going to start modding the LSM in any way, I like it just the way it is :),

    Mal.

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    Re: Talking about recent grinder acquisitions?



    Nice one Mal. I do love the old commercials, as theyre usually pretty bulletproof.

    Now Im even more anxious to hear about the Bez LSM combo...

    Cheers,

    Mark.

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    Senior Member robusto's Avatar
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    Re: Talking about recent grinder acquisitions?

    Looks like the real-McCoy, industrial strength of old we sorely miss in new products, Mal. A good get. And all the more satisfying with the new teeth, I bet.
    Should put even more excitement into pulling a shot.

    --Robusto

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    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Talking about recent grinder acquisitions?

    Congrats on obtaining the LSM Mal.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mal link=1183570692/0#14 date=1184141689
    Well,

    I just finished fitting the new burr-plates and Wow! What a difference this has made :o.... quite obviously the old burrs were a lot more worn than I thought. The resulting brews are much sweeter now, individual intrinsic flavours are very discernible and the coffee is just great right to the very last drop in the cup. Simply superb 8-).

    The grinder is much quieter now too, a lot quicker, with the resulting grind being very uniform and gritty, with practically no fines or dust evident what-so-ever so I am now a very happy camper indeed with my retro LSM. Cheers all,

    Mal.
    A nice surprise for you.

  21. #21
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Talking about recent grinder acquisitions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sparky link=1183570692/15#17 date=1184152398
    Nice one Mal. I do love the old commercials, as theyre usually pretty bulletproof.
    Very true Mark. I must admit to being a little intimidated by the LSMs size and weight to start with but after fitting the new burrs and sampling the quality of the resulting brew, its very much starting to grow on me ;D.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sparky link=1183570692/15#17 date=1184152398
    Now Im even more anxious to hear about the Bez LSM combo...
    Youre not trying to hurry me up there, are you Mark? :P

    Mal.

  22. #22
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Talking about recent grinder acquisitions?

    Quote Originally Posted by robusto link=1183570692/15#18 date=1184153687
    Looks like the real-McCoy, industrial strength of old we sorely miss in new products, Mal. A good get. And all the more satisfying with the new teeth, I bet.
    Should put even more excitement into pulling a shot.
    In a word.... Absolutely 8-)

    Mal.

  23. #23
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Talking about recent grinder acquisitions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Thundergod link=1183570692/15#19 date=1184159510
    Congrats on obtaining the LSM Mal.


    A nice surprise for you.
    Thank you TG and yes, a very pleasant surprise indeed [smiley=happy.gif]

    Mal.

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    Re: Talking about recent grinder acquisitions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mal link=1183570692/15#20 date=1184165823
    Quote Originally Posted by Sparky link=1183570692/15#17 date=1184152398
    Nice one Mal. I do love the old commercials, as theyre usually pretty bulletproof.
    Very true Mark. I must admit to being a little intimidated by the LSMs size and weight to start with but after fitting the new burrs and sampling the quality of the resulting brew, its very much starting to grow on me ;D.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sparky link=1183570692/15#17 date=1184152398
    Now Im even more anxious to hear about the Bez LSM combo...
    Youre not trying to hurry me up there, are you Mark? :P

    Mal.
    Hell no Mal. Take your time. Im sure well see the end results before the final Harry Potter film is released. ;) ;D

  25. #25
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Talking about recent grinder acquisitions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sparky link=1183570692/15#23 date=1184196883
    Hell no Mal. Take your time. Im sure well see the end results before the final Harry Potter film is released. ;) ;D
    I had a laugh ;D... Good one Mark

    Mal.

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    Re: Talking about recent grinder acquisitions?

    I did the first real test of the capability of my new Rocky today. Im normally grinding at 8-9 for espresso, and I had a challenge of grinding for an Ibrik.

    Slowly dialled it down, trying to hear any scraping/contact noises. Managed to get to -2 until there was some resistance, so ground at -1 & produced a very nice, fine powder - perfect for Turkish coffee.

    I still prefer the taste of espresso though ;)

  27. #27
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Talking about recent grinder acquisitions?

    My Macap and Expobar are just on 1 year old now so probably dont count as recent acquisitions any more but rather than start a new thread I thought Id respond to shaunos comment about preferring espresso to Turkish.

    I drink both. Turkish is something I grew up with. Espresso is what I try occasionally now as a benchmark for my own roasting and coffee making exploits.

    I finally got around this morning to trying to make a Turkish coffee with my home roasted beans.
    I have been wanting to compare them to the Bushells I grew up with.

    At first I had a problem with the grinder.
    Not being sure how fine to go I adjusted it until I heard the burrs start to touch then backed off 1 notch.
    It seemed to work at first as I got about a teaspoonful out before disaster struck.
    It seems it was too fine at it refused to give up any more grinds even after adjusting towards course for a notch or 3.

    So I stopped and removed all the beans and gave the grinding chamber a good brush out.

    Second attempt was better and the grind happened without further incident.

    Now I know where to grind for Turkish.

    On to the coffee making/tasting itself.
    A great success.
    A friend that was over gave it the thumbs up.
    She had to discount the sugar though as my wife and I prefer our Turkish with 1 and our friend drinks hers without.

    My wife said it was the best coffee shes had so far with my beans (and she doesnt drink Turkish more than a few times a year).

    I liked it too.
    There was less bitterness than what we get from the Bushells.
    I suppose the smoothness and mildness of the PNG Kimel was showing through just as it has been in my espressos and milk based drinks.





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