Post By readeral
Smart Grinder Pro - storing beans in hopper
I purchased a Sunbeam EM7000 back in June. Nice little machine and I decided to get a Bodum grinder to go with it.
Long story short, I'm on my second EM7000 right now, and the Bodum is actually fairly decent, but sometimes fails to (I think) grind fine enough; it can be a bit erratic.
So I managed to pick up a new Smart Grinder Pro last week for ~$160 from the Good Guys, and want to test it out today on my newly arrived roasted beans (Sumatran Mandheling Select from Beanbay... I really like this one!!).
For the past few months I've kept the beans in the bag shipped from Beanbay, and only used enough in the Bodum hopper for a single grind.
This might sound like a silly question (I'm new to this) but is it okay to keep all the beans in the Breville hopper? Will they lose "freshness" faster than leaving them in the bag? Or should I continue doing what I did with the Bodum and just add as many beans as I'd need for a single or double dose?
At my recent Home Barista course, we were told to only put enough beans in the hopper for the current session. Coffee beans will keep better in an airtight container such as the bag they came in (resealed of course). The hopper is not strictly "airtight"
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Keep doing what you're doing, your coffee will go stale fast in the hopper. Cafes can do it because they're going through the beans within a matter of hours.
I measure by weight the amount of beans I want, I throw a 1/2 TBS of extra beans into my grinder and run them through to push out any old grinds and half broken beans still between the burrs, then add the beans I want in my portafilter and grind them through. Then I squeeze all the air out of my recently opened coffee bag and set it aside in the dark.
You're doing fine. Enjoy the new grinder
I purchase fresh beans in 250g bags and throw it all in the Hopper and have never noticed a decline in freshness from the end result. I do burn through them in 1-4 days though.
Even when I get a 480g bag and put them in the Hopper, they're still fresh to the last bean. Try yourself or you'll only know the one opinion that most people repeat constantly "single dosing"
It would be really interesting to keep say 60grams of your newly opened beans in a airtight container to compare when you get to the end of your remaining 190gms in the hopper, just to see though.
Originally Posted by kyeba
I'm not saying single dosing is a must, but I think most foods keep "fresher" when in stored under airtight conditions. I only use 250gms over about 12 days.
It takes me about a week to go through 250g. When I kept the beans in the hopper, I noticed that I'd need to adjust the grind towards the end of the week. When I switched to storing the beans in the bag, I found I no longer needed to adjust the grind, and it seemed to me that they were fresher than when I left them in the hopper. Each to their own
Originally Posted by kyeba
+1 as long as the hopper is good enough to keep the four storage gremlins at bay
1) Heat - applies anywhere. Keep those beans cool!
2) Humidity / moisture - hard to control totally. Don't submerge the beans... oh, and don't drop one on a wet sink and replace it in the hopper (a "barista" did this in front of me).
3) Light - put something over it as a cover, also helps with:-
The real issue with only putting enough beans in the hopper for the shot is simple and pernicious:-
most grinder mechanisms use the weight of the beans to feed the burrs correctly.
Check the particle spread both ways and the earlier "only use enough" posters may be in for a rude shock. Uneven spread = too many unwanted fines = goes bitter earlier in the shot = need to pull the shot earlier to prevent it = more of a ristretto = too many low notes / too few high notes = less of the defining characteristics of the particular roast / bean.
Very few grinders I have encountered give an even particle spread as the last few beans go through.
FWIW, I use 250g lots & change varietal each time. My answer is to put the whole batch in the hopper every time and then store the grinder & beans correctly as above. Even then, the last two single shots are a little bit of a lottery.
I'd sooner have less even particle spread, adjust my process for a ristretto if need be, than stale coffee. BUT that's just me. Anyone can do what they want, and if stale coffee is desired then that's fine too.
Originally Posted by TampIt
My hopper is broken, and I can't remove it with any beans in it or I'll have more that a stray bean sitting in the sink... that's what's lead to my practice. If I could remove my hopper that might be a different story. Then I might choose to fill, grind, remove and store. However, I like single dosing, and don't think it's reduced my coffee enjoyment or made handling the ground coffee very difficult. I doubt I'd get a rude shock, because the coffee tastes fine.
At the end of the day, most will agree that storing beans properly is important. That's pretty much the vibe of this thread. Whether you do that by single dosing, or by taking off the hopper and putting it somewhere that won't allow the beans to be impacted by the elements.. you gotta store them well. Having an unlidded hopper out on your kitchen bench full of beans for a week is going to stale them up real quick.
I reckon, if you're happy with your process beatsntoons, stick to what you know.
But will opening your bag for every coffee and exposing it to air decline it's freshness compared to having it in a basically air tight container (hopper) with the hopper tab closed and lid on (obviously not having it exposed to heat/direct sunlight)?
I think it's a debate that won't be settled if someone is happy with their process, they're drinking it not me so doesn't worry me.
I'm sure it (opening a bag) would, but then I can squeeze 90% of it out again before it oxidises too much. How much air are you storing in a half full hopper with the beans? Air tight container keeping all that air in?
Originally Posted by kyeba
If you're using it all up within a day or two, I'm really sure it won't make that big a difference - it's the beans being stored in the hopper for a fortnight that you've gotta question. I saw on gumtree recently a bloke selling a grinder, and in the advert there were beans in the hopper and his selling point said "comes with a hopper full of beans"..! What are the chances he was selling it because his home made coffee tasted like rubbish?
As "readeral" has been alluding to, it all comes down to the rate of consumption of coffee in your household. If you are likely to go through a bag of coffee in a couple of days, then leaving them in the hopper is no biggie; just have to purge a few grams through the grinder before starting each new session, to get rid of any stale grinds.
If, on the other hand, you take several days or a week or more to consume a bag-o-beans, then doing what "readeral" suggests by keeping the beans in the 1-Way Valve bag they came in is definitely the best bet to stretching the freshness out as much as possible...