Post By NewbieACT
How to know when to replace Conical Burrs
I've had my Sunbeam Conical Burr Coffee Grinder EM0480 for a long+ time (I think Adam might have been a boy when I first got it)and my No.1 son is suggesting that it might be a good idea to upgrade to a new Burr Set.
How does one know when to upgrade - I/we are still enjoying the coffee we make - will it improve????????????
With any burr-set, conical, planar or any variation thereof, you need to go by the results in the cup and/or close observation of the espresso pours.
Provided that your grinder internals are kept reasonably clean - If there is an overly large distribution of fines in the end result (a symptom of inefficient burrs), your brews will start to taste more and more bitter as this process gets worse. You will probably also notice that the nearly black trickle at the start of a shot will go on for a bit longer as well. You may also notice that it is becoming increasingly difficult to produce pours which are consistent in flow rate despite paying attention to all the key aspects of your preparation technique. Some of this can also apply to the use of stale beans too, so ensure that your beans are of the highest quality and freshly roasted.
If you had access to a set of fine particle grading screens, you could do a basic grading of the various size fractions that your grinder is producing but not everyone can do this. That's why it is always best to go by the quality of the pour in the cup. Hope this helps a bit...
With regard to changing the burrs out on a Sunbeam or similar grinder, you probably should weigh-up the benefit of doing this as replacement burr-sets can run up to ~$90/Set depending on where you can get them from. Might be better to consider putting the money towards one of the specialist grinders available...
Thank you for your suggestions I will definitely consider them before committing myself to the next step - I will also refer them to No.1 son residing, at the moment, in the UAE.