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Thread: Grind coming out very clumpy?

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    Grind coming out very clumpy?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi,
    i tried searching, but no luck... I have just started using my new doserless K3 push grinder, and for those who read my other thread after a lot of stuffing around it seems to be able to grind finely now.

    When the grinder is set at 5 or 10 mins off "zero" the grind seems to be right but it comes out very clumpy. I have seen a demo youtube clip of SCG using this grinder and the grinds weren't clumpy at all?

    thanks for any advice.
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    Senior Member CafeLotta's Avatar
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    I notice that the "clumpiness" varies bean to bean, proabably due to moisture/oil content and how fine they need to be ground for a decent brew.

    The bean I'm currently using barely clumps at all. Others I've used have clumped a little more. Not really a big issue as any clumps collapse very readily when tamped or even lightly touched.

    Check the link below also.

    Compak K3 Touch and Elite Details

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    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    13bob, pic looks not too bad to me. As Cafelotta said, clumping will vary with the beans, and also the weather (humidity etc). Mine often break up complete with the tap on the grinder forks (or you can run a toothpick around the basket before tapping if you are really energetic). I wouldn't use the existence of clumps as the primary diagnostic for any problems you're having. How is the coffee pouring / tasting? Grinding finer will produce more clumping, so if there's a chance that you are dosing too low and compensating by grinding finer, that may contribute, but honestly it's what is in the cup that matters.

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    Hi Bob,

    I'm glad you overcame your issues with the grinder, solving problems make you learn more about the subject

    Regarding the clumps in the grind, as CafeLotta mentioned, it varies from bean to bean a little and of course on the fineness setting. With a doserless machine of the class K3 is, clumps appear as a result of electric charge they get when passing through the fast moving metal cutters. I usually make a collar from a plastic or a foam cup that fits snug right into the portafilter, so I can grind directly into it without spilling coffee around (especially if I want to overdose). Moreover, I use a bamboo skewer (or a small whisk) to quickly mix the coffee and break up the big clumps, that helps with uniformly dosing. Then I gently remove the collar and level the coffee with the skewer.

    Here are the photos of the collar, just use a heated pointy object to cut a section of a preferably thin walled cup that fits well. Foam cups also work, or you can shell out for a "professional" metal one.


    Cheers!
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    Quote Originally Posted by CafeLotta View Post
    I notice that the "clumpiness" varies bean to bean, proabably due to moisture/oil content and how fine they need to be ground for a decent brew.

    The bean I'm currently using barely clumps at all. Others I've used have clumped a little more. Not really a big issue as any clumps collapse very readily when tamped or even lightly touched.

    Check the link below also.

    Compak K3 Touch and Elite Details
    hi cafelotta, thanks for the feedback and the link was really helpful!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry O'Speedwagon View Post
    13bob, pic looks not too bad to me. As Cafelotta said, clumping will vary with the beans, and also the weather (humidity etc). Mine often break up complete with the tap on the grinder forks (or you can run a toothpick around the basket before tapping if you are really energetic). I wouldn't use the existence of clumps as the primary diagnostic for any problems you're having. How is the coffee pouring / tasting? Grinding finer will produce more clumping, so if there's a chance that you are dosing too low and compensating by grinding finer, that may contribute, but honestly it's what is in the cup that matters.
    Thanks for the advice barry. I've only poured a handful of coffees so far and they are pouring and tasting pretty good.

    I will try dosing higher and grinding a little coarser and see how I go.

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    Quote Originally Posted by demq View Post
    Hi Bob,

    I'm glad you overcame your issues with the grinder, solving problems make you learn more about the subject

    Regarding the clumps in the grind, as CafeLotta mentioned, it varies from bean to bean a little and of course on the fineness setting. With a doserless machine of the class K3 is, clumps appear as a result of electric charge they get when passing through the fast moving metal cutters. I usually make a collar from a plastic or a foam cup that fits snug right into the portafilter, so I can grind directly into it without spilling coffee around (especially if I want to overdose). Moreover, I use a bamboo skewer (or a small whisk) to quickly mix the coffee and break up the big clumps, that helps with uniformly dosing. Then I gently remove the collar and level the coffee with the skewer.

    Here are the photos of the collar, just use a heated pointy object to cut a section of a preferably thin walled cup that fits well. Foam cups also work, or you can shell out for a "professional" metal one.


    Cheers!
    Hi demq, thanks for the explanation and the pictures, makes sense.

    Your plastic cup and skewer method looks pretty good, might have to give that a go.

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    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 13bob View Post
    Thanks for the advice barry. I've only poured a handful of coffees so far and they are pouring and tasting pretty good.

    I will try dosing higher and grinding a little coarser and see how I go.
    No worries Bob. FWIW, demq's method with plastic collar / skewer is functionally the same as what i do with a flashy steel collar (funnel) and toothpick. Seems to work well if i run into a bean that doesn't behave itself as well as I like (i.e. shows me up a little).

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    Senior Member Journeyman's Avatar
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    I've found clumps vanish when I shake the PF from side to side, which I do anyway to remove the mound in the centre. Procedure is, grind till mound is obvious, shake a bit, grind some more, shake, couple of light taps on counter, tamp. By the time I tamp I have a level spread of coffee with no clumps. The double tap step also tells me if I have enough coffee in there.

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    Thanks journeyman, like you say, a good tap should level things out.

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    Grind coming out very clumpy?

    I'm a new K3 push user as well and get clumps like in your picture. Where I'm dialled in at the moment is making really good coffee. Possibly I could be making better but would probably need a better and more experienced palette than mine to find it.

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    Senior Member CafeLotta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 13bob View Post
    hi cafelotta, thanks for the feedback and the link was really helpful!
    The other tip that may be useful to you has been mentioned in previous posts elsewhere but I'll add it here as well.

    I found using the vertical edge of the black plastic collar as a pointer very useful and accurate for taking a reference reading of a grind setting to return to. As the numbers are just a guide and don't really give a 1-10 type indication of grind fineness, taking a reading using this "pointer" allows for fine adjustments between the dots on the top burr carrier. In the photo below the "pointer" corresponds with a setting of 25. The current bean I am using is 2 dots less at the equivalent of 23 etc.

    P1000211(1).jpg

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    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    Soft clumps as in the picture are generally not an issue at all. The WDT (Weiss Distribution Technique--or toothpick stir ) is useful.

    It is also pretty normal for the clumping to decrease as the burrs wear in.

    Greg

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    Quote Originally Posted by GregWormald View Post
    Soft clumps as in the picture are generally not an issue at all. The WDT (Weiss Distribution Technique--or toothpick stir ) is useful.

    It is also pretty normal for the clumping to decrease as the burrs wear in.

    Greg
    Thanks Greg, I hope the clumsiness improves as the burrs wear in, because it sure is clumpy at the moment!

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    I picked up a K3 yesterday, couldn't resist the amazing $399 price from Talk Coffee, and I was blown away by the quality of the grind, in terms of lack of clumpiness.

    After 3 shots to dial in, it was producing better coffee from my Giotto than my modified step less Rocky.

    I'm quite happy to accept that might just be a perception thing, new toy and all that, but what definitely did happen was the grounds came out with zero clumps, a beautiful even stream of grounds, just like in the SCG video.

    Once I've played with it a bit more I'll have a chance to properly assess it against the Rocky, but my initial impressions are very positive.

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    I have found that on windy or low humidity days the coffee from my grinder will clump. I over come this problem by putting a drop of water on the weighed out beans before they are ground. The water helps remove the static charge that can contribute to the clumping.

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    TC
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    Some clumping is normal and it will be influenced by the factors mentioned in earlier posts. It will also improve with time.

    My Robur-E produces some clumping as well- as do all doserless grinders.

    Chris

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    My Macap M4D produces clumps especially in a humid climate where I live. I bought a funnel (orphanespresso) and use a small whisk to break up the big clumps. It works well for me and the result in the cup is excellent
    Hope that helps
    Dr Dave

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    Senior Member CafeLotta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by declan View Post
    I over come this problem by putting a drop of water on the weighed out beans before they are ground. The water helps remove the static charge that can contribute to the clumping.
    Not sure putting a drop of water on the beans is such a good idea. I was under the impression that any excess moisture on the burrs could cause them to rust.

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    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CafeLotta View Post
    Not sure putting a drop of water on the beans is such a good idea. I was under the impression that any excess moisture on the burrs could cause them to rust.
    I suspect heat generated by grinding of the beans and the rotating burrs would quickly evaporate this small amount of moisture, regardless adding water (regardless of quantity) is not something I would do, my preference is to add the water after I grind the beans, not before.



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