Breville Smart Grinder - struggling to get the right adjustment
Thought I would post up here to try and get some feedback. I am struggling with the Breville smart grinder to get things right. I cannot seem to make small adjustments to adjust my coffee to the right point.
Not sure its just time to replace it with something better or im doing something wrong?
Breville BCG800, With shim kit (using the larger one and a smaller one). Its probably 3 years old now. Combined with the breville dual boiler.
I am struggling to get the right grinds working, or adjustments to make small changes to my grinds and test. Its absolutely frustrating as I think a small adjustment could make my espresso better.
The biggest issue (I think) I have is that the "smart"grinder isnt very smart with its dose.
I.e. I could have the grind setting to about 7 away from fine and minus 2 for dose. This will give me a dose which is a little too much for the basket and will have a full imprint of the grouphead when taken off the system after a shot.
In that example, the shot pulls for 35+ seconds.
If i just change the dose to minus 3 to get less dose, its probably a little under where i need it and get a shot that pours for about 18 seconds.
If i bump the fineness up a little, the grind amount decreases so there is too little in the basket now, and this is just a never ending cycle of being able to get to the right stage, so I am stuck leaving it at a shot which is going to go too long and cutting it at the 26 second mark manually.
This is using beans which are typically 1-3 weeks after roast date. And happens with multiple types of beans.
Its just driving me crazy cause I feel that at some points if it kept the dose the same and I could just change the grind amount slightly I could get to the right point, but I just cannot get there.
Make it a bit more course and then the grinds overfill.
So it either just the "smarts" of this grinder which is working against me, I have an issue, or need to look at a different grinder (if so any recommendations on ones that are not too expensive?)
I have found the smart thing to do with the BCG800 when doing one coffee is set it on the highest dose setting and put in just enough beans for one dose and regularly adjust the fineness to get the ideal pour.
To stop it overfilling press the stop button.
I have the same set up, BES920 and BCG800 plus large and small shim. Not sure of age though as I bought the grinder second hand. And I have literally only pulled 2 shots from the 920 and a coffee newbie to boot so you can take this for what it's worth.
I'm currently measuring out every shot, 20gm of beans seems to work though I might be slightly underdosing. I've set the grinder to 9 from the right (ie under the "S" in espresso) and vary from there. Without the shims I'd have to use the finest setting and them some. When I had the EM6910 I found each incremental change on the BCG800 sans shims translated to roughly 4-5 sec difference in shot time. Not sure if that still holds true for the BES920 though.
BTW I'm settling the basket halfway during the grinding process and tamping to 14kg (30lb).
Hope that helps.
Thanks for the info.
Was hoping to be able to let it do its dosed shots, but maybe that wont be an option
Maybe will start looking towards a compak or something
pretty sure its a timed grinder so the amounts do seem to vary with the grind. I'd do the minus 3 and add a bit.
Without rubbishing the 800 (a few friends have one - they are quite good), none of them use the auto dosing unless they are rushed. There is a reason grinders like my Vario's sell for $700... the timer is exact (within 0.1g). You gets what you pay for and Swiss engineering costs.
Originally Posted by shadoxity
Without rubbishing it either, I've used a few smart grinders and had no issues calibrating them to auto dose. Swiss engineering = big bucks and I still maintain that the Vario is overpriced- by at least $200. Sometimes you get less than you pay for. Perhaps the importer is the reason.
Someone is trying to sell a 2nd hand Vario here in NZ on Trade Me at the moment. They can't get any interest for $300. Not sure what says as normally the 2nd hand equipment market here is overpriced due to lack of numbers and variety.
Originally Posted by Talk_Coffee
Thanks for the comments.
Reading through it gave me the thought of changing it to 1 shot dose on the grinder. So now i have it set to 1 shot and hit it twice into the basket. Can get a much closer amount this way, so thats helpful!
Things have improved already, will keep an eye out for a grinder though