Post By Darkfalz
Post By TOK
Having consistency issues. Wondering if it's my Breville Smartgrinder
I've had a Breville BES900 and Smartgrinder combo for over a year now. Results in the cup over that time have ranged from amazing to reasonable, but lately I've been having a ton of trouble with consistency. I'll grind on a specific setting and get a great 30 sec pour with about 8.5 bars of pressure, then the next day I'll use the same beans and settings but get a 20-22 sec pour with only 6-7 bars. If it makes any difference I've had the issue with both Campos and Pablo and Rustys beans.
All I want out of my setup is predictable repeatable results but at the moment I often have to make two or three cups before I get respectable pours despite tuning my grind. The only thing I can think of is that I don't measure my bean quantity exactly, so often roughly one shot will sit in the grinder overnight. Would that limited exposure to air cause this kind of fluctuation?
Since Christmas is coming round, I'm debating if I want to ask the SO for a grinder upgrade, but if the issue could be something else I'll likely hold off. Any input would be welcome.
If there are any beans left in the hopper over night, grind them out before you start, then add beans.
Weigh the coffee out, not in. Get some scales large enough to take your whole group, tare it empty, and weigh your dose. I found my dose will vary depending on the beans I am using, but once you've got it (going on the height of tamped coffee in the basket is normally the best way), it's the absolute best way to ensure consistency.
If you're not storing your beans well (vacuum or at least air tight/sealed bag in dark place) then they could degrade that much overnight.
Check for channelling in the puck - adjust dose, settling and tamp accordingly until it is gone.
If you had a fire in the kitchen, put out by the fire brigade. :-D
Originally Posted by Darkfalz
Sounds more like possible issues with the Breville burr carrier. I don't know much about this grinder but there is a reason
why good grinders cost $$$.
I don't agree with the necessity of weighing beans and portafilters, sound technique is
repeatable and consistent. ( and your grinds won't degrade while you're fluffing around with scales ;-D ).
Its your management of the beans/grinds.
Originally Posted by Andykay
I dont understand whether you are leaving 1 shot of grinds in the grinder Or 1 shot of beans.
Grinds left in the grinder overnight will be crap next morning so turf them out and grind fresh.
Nothing wrong with leaving a small quantity of beans in the throat of the grinder, meaning there will be a small amount of grind retention in with the burrs. So in this case when you want to make your cuppa next morning, just grind out a small quantity of grinds and turf them so you make coffee with the fresh grinds.
While I said its ok to leave a small quantity of beans in the throat of the grinder, just remember that they do stale off but not to the same extent as left over grinds....If you left the beans in there over a few days and didnt use them, then I would suggest grinding them right out for the bin before adding new beans from your air tight container. But if you use the set up regularly )ie every day) it is my opinion (as long as you are not in a high humidity environment) that you can carry on perfectly well as per my previous comments.
This negates any *need* to weigh out ingredients....not necessary except if you want to....
That should take care of it, and I hope that helps.
Originally Posted by Andykay
Not disagreeing with any of the earlier posts, however one batch of oily beans will leave a lot of caked on gunge in any grinder. A friends smartgrinder did the same thing. He had several goes to clean it out, but it still was not grinding consistently*. When he brought it over I did a rough clean (it didn't look too bad) and then hit it at 40psi with my "twin water trapped" airline. Filled half my backyard with grinder dust. Worked as per new after that!
not grinding consistently*: use the white paper test. Put a few grinds on a sheet of paper and see what kind of variation you get. In your case, repeat next time you use the grinder: they should be about the same mix of sizes. http://www.coffeegeek.com/pdfs/Barat...rs%20%20SM.pdf has a fairly complete set of pics to give you a guide as to what it should look like.
My other point: after only a year of domestic use (assuming it is not an extended family of 50+), I doubt it needs shimming. Having said that, it remains a possibility.
Hope this helps