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Thread: Sunbeam EM0480 suddenly grinding finer?

  1. #1
    Senior Member CafeLotta's Avatar
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    Sunbeam EM0480 suddenly grinding finer?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    My EM0480 suddenly started grinding finer on the same grind setting I've been using for some time. The grinder is about 3-4 months old and does 3-4 grinds per day of around 18grms.

    I had been grinding on '3' but today the brew wouldn't flow on that setting. I had to go to '7-8' to get the same result as before. Tried on 2 different coffee machines.
    I disassembled the grinder, cleaned burrs etc. and reassembled with all marks aligned.
    Marks were also correctly aligned when checked prior to disassembly.

    I still have to use an '8' setting (coarser) to achieve the same grind/brew as achieved on '3' yesterday while using the same 2 batches of fresh commercial roasted beans . This batch of beans is about 1-1/2 to 2 weeks old and roasted a couple of days before we bought them (as per usual).
    We have always used setting '3' on previous batches of the same beans with consistant results.

    Tried grinding a few times today to be sure but something has changed with the grinder. Visually and also by feel, the grind was unmistakenly finer (like talc) on '3' today than it was yesterday.

    Not a bad problem to have (opposite to most!) but very odd. Have noticed these beans have more chaff than previous batches but were grinding as expected on '3' until today.

    Anyone experienced this sort of thing before with an EM0480?

    Only thing I feel may be slighty of concern is a little movement in the bottom burr/shaft when held and moved sideways.
    We do tend to rock and tap the machine to dislodge grinds from the spout when we've finished grinding to avoid stale grinds next time.
    I didn't take notice of how much movement there was when new so it may be normal. Grind appears to be a consistent size though on each setting.

    Any ideas?

    Cheers.

  2. #2
    Senior Member saoye's Avatar
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    What espresso machine are you using? It may also be the machine itself has lost pressure. Possibly due to scale build up.

  3. #3
    Senior Member CafeLotta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by saoye View Post
    What espresso machine are you using? It may also be the machine itself has lost pressure. Possibly due to scale build up.
    Today I tried the same grind, same bean, same tamp as yesterday. The machines were a Saeco Via Venezia and a near new EM4820 both used yesterday.
    Both have always used filtered water and the Saeco descaled a few weeks ago as a precaution.

    We have always weighed 18gm for each grind and only thrown this in the hopper due to the EM0480 having a habit of trapping grinds in the spout, which are tapped out each day. Maybe I've been a bit too heavy handed 'tapping' out the trapped grinds and 'readjusted' the internals!

    When ground correctly, the filter baskets were always filled to a certain height and the grind looked and felt a particular way. When ground too fine the grinds started clumping and didn't fill the filter basket. Neither machine would pump water through this which was also worked out when 'dialling in' both machines originally.

    Nothing has changed since yesterday which is why I'm baffled. The grinder still appears to work fine but now on a coarser setting of '8' to match the results we had on a setting of '3' which we've used up until today.

    It was an obvious change when the grind came out like talc instead of slightly granular and the 18grms didn't even fill the filter basket aside from clogging!

    Quite a mystery.

  4. #4
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    Hey there,

    I am having similar issue... when I clean, I have to use setting 13... but after that I need to move to 14 to get the same result.

    I think it has to do with the amount of coffee that gets stuck in the top burr. Maybe you need to clean more often?

    Cheers.

  5. #5
    Senior Member CafeLotta's Avatar
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    The grinder is cleaned regularly. This literally occurred overnight between grinds. We still achieve the same result as before but at 5 stops coarser.

    I suspect it is something to do with the last purchase of roasted beans. They had alot more chaff residue after grinding and seemed to make the grinder 'grab' on occasion.

    May have just bedded it in or jolted something slightly due to the extra load.

  6. #6
    Senior Member CafeLotta's Avatar
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    The mystery was solved this morning while doing a regular clean on the EM0480 grinder. With the top burr, burr carrier and silicone spout extension removed, the usual brush and tapping out of grind residue was carried out.

    While I had the unit upside down I happened to have the light shine up the spout and noticed that there is a bit of a dog-leg in the path of the grinds exiting the grind chamber into the spout. There was a hard build-up of grinds that wasn't easy to see or reach just after the exit from the grind chamber. A long firm bristled grinder brush or small toothbrush is needed to reach this problem area.

    After previous regular cleaning sessions, grinds were quickly building up again out of sight and causing a back-up in the grind chamber. Not being able to exit the grind chamber freely caused a variation in grind size on the same setting. This was especially noticeable with "oilyer" beans and probably higher humidity days.

    Now I'm aware where the grinds were building up out of sight, I'll give this area special attention when cleaning. As the EM0480 has smallish burrs and a small grind chamber, the design of this pathway out of the grind chamber should have been better I believe.



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