at the place i am house sitting now, they have a CG12, breville grinder, reckon this mod would work on it too?
First up, let me say thanks for all the various advice on all topics here, it is an awesome resourse and helped in my selection!
Its my first post so be gentle!!
I needed a espresso machine and grinder combo for work. Only four of us and only really gets used 7-10 days a month so not much of a budget.
Obvious choice after reading here was the Breville Ikon and a breville BCG450 grinder.
Ikon $129 and Grinder $59 at the Breville outlet in Ultimo with 12 month warranty. Cool.......
.....until I got them home!
i couldnt wait to test the Ikon so I ground up some beans in my Imat/lelit/whatever its called this week Combi and stuck them in the Ikon. Hmmm, horrible, bitter and burnt.
Yes, need that non-pressurised basket! Still, not a bad machine once the new basket is in Im thinking.
Next the grinder, in went the beans ( nice and fresh from Alan at coffeeco) and out came a nice assortment of different size grounds...none of them particularly fine....and that was on Turkish.....ie, as fine as it gets. *Aw crap !
Bit of a search on google and I find a blog with a mod for the BCG450 ( Ive attached a PDF of it). Seems theres a small plastic stop which is like a premature stop for the burr clearance. just past it is the real stop. Heaven know why breville put it there but once it is cut off you can turn the hopper a good inch and a half past Turkish. Not that you need to, two more clicks past the "Old" stop and it produces the nicest, most even and fine grind Ive seen from any grinder!
So, for $59 Ive now got an awesome little grinder producing a grind as good as my combi or the sunbeam!
One tip though, to remove the stop just cut carefully with a junior hacksaw or similar and dont remove the ring as the article suggests is an option....mine looked decidedly un-removeable!
at the place i am house sitting now, they have a CG12, breville grinder, reckon this mod would work on it too?
They say that necessity is the mother of invention, way to go guys......... Ray.
Originally Posted by gmeddy link=1204007644/0#1 date=1204024056
Sorry mate, its completely different. The 450 has a conical burr set whereas that one has a blunt flat one....basically it is without hope and should be banished!!!
I did this to mine tonight and it worked a treat. My only comment would be to make sure the stainless steel case is aligned correctly under the lip of the plastic base,It was close but not quite in place when i put it back together and the container for the grinds was a little tight. I just loosened the screws and popped it into place.
Originally Posted by petejo link=1204007644/0#0 date=1204007643
I attempted this mod but got as far as unscrewing the bottom screws - I couldnt find a fine enough screwdriver to move the triangular screws. I only had those jeweller screwdrivers and they have no handle to get a decent purchace on.
I tried this and it worked... although I just turned it a bit more clockwise than it had been able to go. Has anyone tried turning the hopper all the way clockwise? I dont want to damage the burrs...
You can remove the ring. *There are two tabs on either side of the base, you need to work the ring from one side to get it off. *Originally Posted by petejo link=1204007644/0#0 date=1204007643
Then once you can access the stop, use a thumbnail clipper. *It comes right off, no sawing motion. *Use the file to file it down if necessary.
Remember where the ring goes, if you put it on wrong, it wont turn correctly.
I thought Id try this modification out, since I bought my grinder secondhand so it wasnt super-expensive and had no warranty anyway.
I got the triangular screws off the base by lightly hammering a small jewellers flat-head screwdriver into the slot to get some grip. I needed pliers to turn the screwdriver, but it happened in the end.
So I removed the base and undid the three screws on the inner plastic base. Then the instructions say to remove the knob and button on the side of the machine. I couldnt get these off no matter how I tried. Im totally stuck, because I promise you the casing will not come apart unless theyre removed.
Did anyone else have trouble with these? Is there some trick to removing them?
please help the noob!
Yes I did it! It grinds alot finer now and I am grinding on the absolute finest setting. Shots are still a little fast though. The buttons worried me at first as I didnt want to break it but after a little more elbow grease they came off fine. Dont worry, there is nothing to break when pulling on these, I wouldnt use pliers though.
So, as I said, alot finer now, too fine I would say but with all my tamping power it still comes through too fast. Oh well.
Thanks for the PDF.
Will try on the office machine.
An update on my attempt...
After I posted a month ago saying I had trouble getting the control knobs off, I kept trying. All I managed to do was break the power switch at the bottom of the casing. Sigh. The Breville agents wanted to charge $60 to fix the switch so I politely declined and handed it over to my brother to do what he could. Turns out the knobs were *glued* on! He got them off in the end with a lot more force than I could (or would) apply. He removed the stop, fixed the switch, and reunited me with the grinder at long last.
I wasnt around when the grinder was disassembled, or Id post pics. After the mod I can dial the grind about another centimetre past Turkish, so its not as far as Id hoped, but every little bit counts.
I only got the grinder back last night, and I still need to experiment with the dose, grind, and tamping, but I think the results are better already. So I guess Id recommend this procedure, but only if your controls arent glued on. Or if you have someone whos willing to fix up your messes (love you Pete!)
I also did this mod a while ago and it improved the grind immensely. Another useful one is taking the top burr out and putting a few layers of electrical tape between the metal burr and the black plastic ring that surrounds it. I found that this fixed the burr in place a bit more firmly as it was quite loose before
thanx for everyone , just did the same to mine the only thing i did differently is after opening the grinder and located the small plastic i needed to cut i just used a very hot screwdriver (flat) and melted the piece off . its an easy way to do it.
anyway the guide is great and the grind is so fine now!!
Photos of the Breville BCG450 Grinder modification being performed.
The job took about 20 minutes (however I am a retired technician so probably a bit more used to pulling things apart than most)
I just follwed the instructions found elsewhere on this board, up to point 7, there was no need to further dismantle anything.
I used just 4 tools; a flat bladed jewellers screwdriver for the triangular screws holding the base on, a phillips head screwdriver for the 3 screws holding the cover on, an ordinary serated kitchen knife to saw the lug off, and an emery board to smooth it off a bit.
The instructions at paragraph 2 mention 7 screws, note there are 4 beneath the feet, then after you prise off the base you find 3 down the holes holding the cover. There is no need to remove the 2 triangular ones holding the round power cord cover.
The tools I used (with optional view).
Removing the feet.
Unscrewing the four screws holding the base, then prise off the base.
Removing the three screws that hold the cover.
Slide off the cover.
Taking care not to lose the plastic bit under the start button.
The cover is off.
Heres the bit that has to go.
Cutting it off with a serrated steak knife (dont tell my wife).
Smoothing it with my wifes emery board.
The little blighter after its removal.
The end result is a grind as close as I can feel, to that which my local Coffee shop supplies so I am happy. *:)
Would the improved grind be acceptable to use in a Silvia? I know it wont be the best, but would it be better than pre gound?
You would have try it for a definitive answer.
Preground is stale which is a bad start for it but a course grind wont taste right either.
The consistency of particle size also matters. With a mix of large and small particles in the grind, the large tend to under extract and the small to over extract.
As Greg said above..... consistency of particle size is of paramount importance.
The manufacturer of these grinders *(Breville, Krups, DeLonghi et al) have limited the size they go down to because the wobble and play in the burrs is significant..... and although you can "cheat" - the results compared to a grinder designed to grind that fine will be disappointing. :P
I modified a KG100 aka Solis166 as per instructions on the internet some years ago now..... sure it then ground fine enough for espresso..... but take a pinch of the resulting grinds and roll them about in your palm.... and there was everything from reasonably large grinds to dust!!! And the resulting espresso was poor! >:( With the smallest change in grind setting you will go from a "gusher" to no flow at all..... it is almost impossible to dial in the correct grind! :-[
If these grinders were capable of grinding that fine..... dont you think the manufacturer would have built them that way? After all they could then ask a lot more money for them..... The truth is they just arent capable..... and doing the mod is a waste of time (other than for the sake of experimentation). The tolerances are just too great.... the manufacturers know this and limit the range to what they can handle! They have designed the grinders for pressurised (crema enhancing) baskets - which require a coarser grind.
If you want a good grinder for "normal" espresso baskets.... then pay the necessary dollars to get one which is DESIGNED (by the manufacturer) to grind for espresso.
Thanks guys, I was just wondering if it would be a short term proposition, designed for failure, so that I could then justify I good grinder. But I think Ill go down the nag-pout-plea etc. path. Ill make do with getting small amounts ground by the shop once I get my silvia.
It will be a very frustrating short term solution..... as you wont be able to get the best from the Silvia by any means. The Silvia is capable of excellent espresso when matched with an equally capable grinder. You will find it very hard (likely impossible) to get to the "sweet spot" of the correct grind size with one of these modded lesser grinders....
Also freshly ground coffee will only remain fresh for a few minutes..... so again that will hold back the potential of the Silvia.....
Suggest the *"nag-pout-plea etc. path" for a decent grinder is your best option. ;)
I could threaten divorce - but he might say yes, as he is not yet fully convinced on Silvia.
I followed these instructions, and Im really happy with the result. Up until last week I had Breville Cafe Roma, and BCG450 grinder to match. For my 30th birthday my wife and family surprised me with Miss Silvia, and the Breville grinder just wasnt up to the task, producing undrinkable 10 second shots. I will eventually upgrade the grinder, but Rocky is rather on the expensive side, so I tried this mod as an interim solution.
A couple notes on the modification:
1) The triangular shaped screws on the bottom came off with a mid-sized jewelers screwdriver wedged against one side of the triangle, and a second smaller screwdriver in the remaining space to prevent the main screwdriver from slipping.
2) The 3 Phillips screws (X shaped, #2 size) were buried much deeper inside the machine than any of my screwdrivers would go (approximately 6 inches). I had to try 2 hardware stores to find such a long screwdriver in an appropriately small head size.
3) pull the timer nob off before removing the case. The start button has to be pressed down and wedged under the case as it comes off. This caused slight superficial damage to the surface of the button, and made getting the case off much more difficult.
4) I used a thin bladed hacksaw to get the plastic tab off, very easy and painless.
5) I moved the ring around to see exactly what the tab I was cutting off did, I failed to return the ring to its initial position before putting the cover back on, which made things a bit more annoying down the line. The ring needs to be in the same position it started off in to get the hopper back in properly once the machine is reassembled. This can be done once the cover is back on, but its easier with the cover off.
6) Getting the case back on over the start button was also a bit difficult, I ended up using a screwdriver to wedge it in there. In the process of getting the cover back on I managed to break the power switch on the back of the machine. The actual switch part is held to the rest of the circuit by two flimsy plastic rings which broke. I fixed this by tying the switch to its housing with a twist tie. The machine works fine, and the twist tie is in the back so no one will notice.
7) I followed one persons instructions here to try to reduce the play in the top burr by inserting several strips of paper between the metal and plastic parts until I could no longer jiggle the burr in the housing.
Once I got everything back together it appeared as good as new. The dispenser box fits in as well as ever, the hopper turns easily, and it grinds without any problems. I can now move the grind settings in nearly a full circle (many inches past Turkish, not just one as some people have described). With the grind set past Turkish just to the point that I can no longer see any of the writing on the hopper I produced a very fine even grind. Rolled in my palm its indistinguishable from the grind my local roaster gives me for Silvia. Im pulling 25-30 second shots, with a nice deeply coloured crema. Im still getting to know Silvia and her foibles, and my tamping technique changes from shot to shot, but the shots I pulled using coffee from the modded grinder, and those I pulled using beans ground at the roaster (within an hour of grinding there), were pretty much indistinguishable. For where I am know Im very well pleased with this modification. I have no doubt that Ill eventually want to upgrade, but Im really happy with the way the Breville is performing, and plan on using this grinder for at least the next several months - 1 yr.
Thanks for all the wonderful advice.
Enjoy your Silvia. Shes capable of giving a lot of joy in the morning.
I am trying to do the mod to my BCG450, but i cant get the timer knob off and i dont want to break it by forcing it.. Are they glued on? or just pushed on?
petejo, mayhewga, gourmetproject & All
A huge thanks for posting this data, I have a very awesome grinder for a low price & really appreciate all of your input.
Idiotbov, I just pulled hard on the knob & it came off with no issues. :D
I sorted it out last night, and as it has been said, just pulled the dial off, no idea why it wasnt working before, just to make me look like an idiot i suspect... but after the mod it is grinding nice fine coffee like the stuff i buy.. so beans for me next to try it again.. my nephew has some illy beans here but i have always found illy to be a little on the weak side, nice flavour but not strong enough... it could just be me and what i have been used to for years..
hi all, i just modified my BCG450 grinder as well. Although it is doing finer grind it no wea close to wat i need for my expresso machine. does anyone know if thea is any other technique to make it grind even finer? wud appriciate any help.
Got the grinder yesterday and did the modification today without any hassles thanks to the excellent instructions and further information in this thread.
The timer knob came off with a fairly decent pull combined with a sideways rocking motion, while the start button was much easier to remove.
I used a junior hacksaw to remove the offending piece of plastic without removing the ring, and smoothed the area with a hobby knife.
I also took the opportunity to wrap about 4 layers of electrical tape around the top burr to reduce the play it had in the housing.
The end result is that I can move it easily an inch past the old stop, so I am going to give it a run in the morning about half way to its new end point and see how it goes.
Thanks for the excellent resource!
Modification can damage your burrs and give you permanently uneven grinds. *
I have seen it happen and it is not worth it. *The size of the grinds is limited to the design of the burrs. It cannot get much smaller by bringing the upper and lower burrs any closer together because the gap between the ridges of the burrs probably dictates the size of the grind. *
You can get it a tad finer, but there is no protection as to where the limit is before the burrs get damaged. *Once it is damaged, the grinds become uneven, and the grinder is permanently useless.
Yep,Originally Posted by 6D6E71757B1E0 link=1204007644/29#29 date=1251503831
I think this applies in particular to Conical Burr Sets whereas the Flat Burr-Plates have a flat ground section around the circumference of both burr-plates so that in the event of getting "too close" it is just steel rubbing on steel; not cutting edge on cutting edge...
From the little play around Ive done with a Conical Burr grinder I owned, if the burr set is adjusted so that they touch, cutting edges do in fact make contact with each other and cause damage as a result. So, be very careful that you never allow the burr sets to come into contact with each other, your coffee may suffer... :(
It took some time for me to get around to doing this mod. The hardest thing was getting the outer casing back on - a bit of jiggling sorted it out in the end. I noticed that there is a second stopper about 30mm from the tab that I cut off. This prevents the "ring" from turning too far, preventing the burs from making hard contact.
The result: Same beans, same dose, same tamp 40 minutes apart: Before the mod - 30 ml in under 15 seconds. After it took 25. The creama was what I expected from good coffee (as opposed to being about 1 mm previously). The flavour was so much more intense - it was like drinking a whole new coffee. Im glad my new CS order arrived in the post this morning - I think Im going to enjoy it even more than the last lot somehow!
Breville Ikon BES400 / Breville Grinder BCG450
Update: Ive managed to achieve 30 seconds for 30ml using a Breville unpressurized basket. This requires a heavy dose, and a hefty tamp. My last two coffees have been my best ever (using CS Espresso WOW).
Thanks for documenting this grinder mod. Cheers!
Breville Ikon BES400 with unpressurized basket / Breville Grinder BCG450
Well done WRJ. Thanks to excellent instructions, I managed the modification and even got the beast back together without any left over parts. After a couple of fine grinds and much improved coffee, the machine jammed up and I have not been able to remove the grinders. >:(
On the strength of this I wass able to use this as an excuse to get anew Rocky and Silvia ;D but I still have a jammed BCG 450 - any advice?
Hi all, I just tried this mod and after about half an hours effort I have a machine with a noticeably finer grind - the hopper turns now 5.5cm past its previous limit. Thank you to all of the posters about for the fantastic diagrams and instructions! :)
One small tip from my experience - when reassembling the case, gravity is your friend. Rather then trying to wedge the start button between the body and the housing, simply place the button into the housing, turn over so upside down, the slide easily back over the body.
Also, one quick question - several of you have mentioned placing electrical tape over the top bur in order to reduce variability in the grind (which I am now noticing).
Is the top burr the one that mates immediately with the hopper - which you can actually access and unscrew by hand while the grinder is fully assembled but the hopper is out? If so, where exactly did you place the tape? Would anyone please be able to post a photo or diagram?
Thanks again to you all :)
Thanks for the instructions and the photos, Ive just chopped off that annoying little piece of plastic after 2 hours of hard work.
One question: Is it safe to now turn it all the way until it hits the 2nd stopper? I am doing it a tiny bit at a time but would love to hear from others who have done it before!
Thanks heaps. *:)
Yes, the top burr is the one you can take out normally.Originally Posted by 14050E1409030C055556600 link=1204007644/35#35 date=1257151581
Sorry, never tried!If so, where exactly did you place the tape?
I just modded mine recently. *I havent gone "all the way" in case the burrs meet and I grind metal! *But a few clicks passed the old limit is giving better results.
I figure they put the limit there because thats as fine as you can go with the Breville dual-wall baskets. *If they sold a machine that backed up whenever you used one of their grinders on "finest" Im sure theyd have a lot of people who think they had broken machines, and tried to return them.
I just thought Id add that the triangle screws come straight out using a 1.5mm hex key. Ive got a set called Monster Grip and the smallest is 1.5mm, it fits straight between the triangle and comes out just like any other screw.
hello mayhewga and all,
many many thanks for this post (especially for the pics mayhewga ! )Have done all as explained, worked a treat and now between this mod BCG450 and a saeco with mod unpressurised basket am pulling great 30ml shots.
I put white marks (with white out correction fluid) on the hop just past the "Turkish" fine grind mark. Just using the slight clicks you feel as you rotate clockwise I marked out two more stops (at 4 clicks each) in this clockwise direction.
Uh Oh!! I bought this grinder AFTER reading this thread in the knowledge it can be modified. It arrived this morning and I performed the mod after one test grind - the finest Turkish grind was useless for espresso.
But sadly, even after the mod the grind is still nowhere near good enough.
What now? :(
I bought a Sunbeam EM6910 on the weekend and modded my old Breville grinder; no problems at all - the wife suggested a bread knife to slice off the bit that had to go!
I wind the grinder all the way around to where it now stops, 20 seconds on the timer for the double shot, a fairly hard tamp and I hit dead centre on the gauge on the Sunbeam.
Thanks to everyone for their input into this thread. I recently purchased a Silvia and was given a BCG450 for my birthday. Performed this mod last night and while it was 100 times better, it still wasnt quite fine enough. I ended up removing the tab that sits about 2cm on from the original one we removed. This gave me about 2cm more rotation (but I only adjust about 1cm of that to avoid getting the burrs to close). The Align inidicator now almost lines up with the grind line. That extra centimetre has now given me a pretty good grind and was able to pull some very nice looking shots. Very happy now and this should do me until I become a massive snob :)
Woo Hooooo! You guys totally rock! * [smiley=cheesy.gif] *Im a student and have a Gaggia Classic, and have been relying on the roaster to grind my beans. Finally took the plunge and bought a discounted grinder (BCG450) today. Happy right? Wrong! Got home and made my first coffee - totally destroyed! (should have reviewed/researched grinders!). Thought the grind looked pretty suspect, but no appreciation for HOW suspect it really was!
Was about to take it back & thought I should check out alternatives online, came across this posting and 20mins later, PRESTO! Not perfect but the best grind my $79 can buy.
To those looking for perfect - Go spend $750+ and get a proper grinder. To the rest of us more budget conscious folk, do the modification, and enjoy fresh espresso @ home.
Awesome work everyone, thanks for making my day! *[smiley=laugh.gif]
To all you bararoma owners, I have a question.
I just recently received this grinder as a present. After following the pre-use instructions, I removed the black plastic ring which contains the metal circular ring around the conical blade.
Now though, when reassembling, does the plastic container simply drop back in or are you supposed to screw it in somehow?
@nsx_23 you mention both a black plastic ring and a plastic container.
Do you mean the clear container with lid that you put the beans in? *If so it has to line up first with the arrows, then press down gently and turn it to change the grind fineness.
If you mean the small black plastic ring around the upper blade (the one that can be removed), then no it doesnt need to be screwed in. *You can pretty much leave it where it falls, so long as its lined up.
I hope this answers it for you!
Not really relevant to the modding, but Ill tell my story here for the benefit of others searching.
I bought one of these from Kmart a while back. On discovering that it could not grind nearly fine enough for even my cheap espresso machine I rang Breville customer support -- assuming I was using it incorrectly. The lady on the phone told me that this was a common complaint and that I should take it back for a refund.
I did, and ended up getting a Sunbeam EM0480 on special at Myer for the same price.
It would thus seem to me that the claim on the box that it can grind "the finest Turkish coffee" is a bold-faced lie, and certainly grounds for a refund under the statutory warranty of fitness for purpose. If youve bought one of these machines recently and find yourself disappointed, Id recommend trying for a refund before a mod.
Originally Posted by 3F3E232222264D0 link=1204007644/47#47 date=1269980168
Haha yea the finest turkish coffee written on it is a joke. It cant even grind fine enough for espresso leave alone turkish coffee. :P
Late to the party on this one, but have owned a BCG450 for 8 months now.
Was an impulse buy at Wantirna trash market, $40, thought I had a bargain.
So got it home and same problems that you have all had, so started playing around to see what I could do, thought what the hell, its only $40.
My fix didnt have it disassembled like most of you have, no dealing with opening the casing up.
After much inspection, remove/replace basket, remove/replace top floating burr set, play with how the screw base adjust up/down, etc. *
Realising that the floating burr just clips into the top, second look and youll see that the screw rails are exactly the same below.
So simple really, all I did was apply a bit more pressure when fitting the floating burr back in, (think I clipped one side in first then bit of pressure until the other side clipped down)
Total time to fix (once I figured out what to do) about 5 minutes and now alls good with my cheapy Breville, can grind for 5 second pours (yuck) all the way up to 60second pours, *although this is too much, poor little sunbeam doesnt like it and neither do I, I feel like hiding under bench in fear of it exploding :o *
Better still Ive just checked the grinds Ive been using and particle size to my eyes are all the grinds are all the same, no course grounds or dust, just nice fluffy grinds.
This mod I suppose is not for the faint hearted, but defiantly easier that pulling the case apart.