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Thread: replacing Rocky doser grinder with something much better - but what exactly?

  1. #1
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    replacing Rocky doser grinder with something much better - but what exactly?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    greetings all

    I have Rancilio Silvia V3 and Rocky doser grinder (both bought both in ~2010).

    Would it improve my espresso and ristretto if I upgraded my Rocky grinder and kept Silvia machine?

    By upgrading I mean getting something a *whole lot better* than Rocky, i.e. not 10-20% better, more like >50%-100% better.

    For example, if I were to upgrade Silvia machine to something like Rocket Giotto ~$3000 machine, then clearly I would also need to get a much better grinder to match it and get the best from the better machine. What sort of grinder would be a match to Rocket Giotto $3000 machine?

    But what about upgrading grinder but keeping same machine?

    Thoughts? Waste of money?

    So, if I wanted to buy a *much* better grinder than Rocky - could you suggest the top-3 or top-5 choices, assume budget of up to $1000 for new grinder.

    thanks!

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    Getting a great grinder is never a waste of money and it is also the first thing that I would be upgrading if I was in your position...

    Lots of terrific grinders to choose from but I reckon if I was coming from a Rocky, I'd be looking very closely at the Macap M4D. There are others around too for similar money but I just like the M4D...
    Best bet though, would be to head into one of our Site Sponsors' premises (if possible) and get some hands on experience with a variety of grinders and taste the results. Always the best arbiter in the end...

    Mal.
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    Getting a better grinder will definitely improve your product but you will, more often than not end up wanting to get a better espresso machine as well. I believe they call this a common CS symptom of "Upgraditis". Fatten up the wallet before venturing on this path.

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    Hi,

    Definitely not a waste, I think from a Silvia / rocky starting point, the grinder will mostly increase quality, while the machine will mostly increase ease of use and consistency.

    I once went from a gaggia classic & grinder similar to a rocky, to a mazzer/ giotto. The grinder came a week before the machine, and the difference in coffee quality was dramatic. I also tried the old grinder with the Giotto after it came, and the impact was there, but to much lesser extent (but results did come much more consistently, and with less effort)

    Brett
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    My starting point "decent" kit 13 years back was a Silvia and a M5 (stepped). Great combo. I eventually upgraded the Silvia after a fairly extensive rebuild and also eventually moved grinders up to an M7. I think this has been the best investment of my kit so far. Grind consistency and the ability to make average branded beans taste great in the cup - in fast time. I never missed a beat with the M5, replaced the burrs (probably unnecessarily) and that was it. So very much a thumbs up on the Macap grinders.

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    Senior Member trentski's Avatar
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    I have a k3 and would like an m4d for your budget or if money was no issue maybe a k10 selenzio. A faster grinder would be nice but a quieter grinder would be great.
    The k3 isn't noisier than the others in the price range

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    thank you everyone.

    Should I get M4D with doser or doserless?

    I have read some reports on internet that there is an issue with M4D retaining grounds.
    It requires to somehow purge the grinder from stale grounds, from the previous grind, which may have been several hours ago.
    As you know even 3 grams of stale grounds will ruin espresso.
    So, how do I effectively deal with the issue of retaining grounds?
    I read that some folks use a thin flat stick or a thin end of the teaspoon to flick all grounds from the grinder.
    Is that possible on M4D with doser or doserless models?

    I have Rocky Doser, so the hole where the grounds enter the doser is exposed, it is very easy for me to use thin flat piece of plastic stick or thin end of teaspoon to collect all fresh grounds into the doser and then into the basket.
    How do I deal with this on M4D ?

    thank you once again!

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    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    How about....just program the 1st button on the M4D to run for 2 seconds, and hit that before the first coffee of the day?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry O'Speedwagon View Post
    How about....just program the 1st button on the M4D to run for 2 seconds, and hit that before the first coffee of the day?
    thanks!
    Keep them coming folks!

    For Rocky, I weigh the beans first and put the exact amount into the grinder and grind 100% into the filter basket.
    Because Rocky doser grind retention is near zero, given that I flick out all grounds from the hole using a thin flat plastic stick, this technique works 100% of the time and delivers very good results, repeatedly. You might call is @n@l retentive but it work! 8^)

    My coffee scales accuracy is 0.01 gram, so everything is micromanaged! 8^) I had a laugh

    Would M4D permit the same technique, given there is a small coffee grounds retention issue?

    My aim is to the absolutely precise amount of ground beans into the basket with near zero waste (because even 0.5 grams makes a very big difference to the quality of espresso shot).

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    Holy crap, I could have written this exact post..

    I'm in a similar situation. I've got a Rocky Doserless w/ Silva V3 (2010-2011).

    Is there going to be much difference between upgrading to a M4D and spending an extra $1k on a top of the line grinder (eg Mazzer/Compak)? The idea being to keep the grinder forever with whatever machine comes in the next 5-10yr...

    Cheers!

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    Quote Originally Posted by noddy167 View Post
    Holy crap, I could have written this exact post..

    I'm in a similar situation. I've got a Rocky Doserless w/ Silva V3 (2010-2011).

    Is there going to be much difference between upgrading to a M4D and spending an extra $1k on a top of the line grinder (eg Mazzer/Compak)? The idea being to keep the grinder forever with whatever machine comes in the next 5-10yr...

    Cheers!
    The key difference will be that the top of the line options will most likely have conical rather than flat burrs - so they'll grind a bit faster, maybe quieter and have lower burr speed so generate less heat; all factors in a cafe environment but not so much in a domestic kitchen.

    So really it comes down to whether you prefer the taste from a conical or flat burr grinder... there are whole threads on that topic
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic_Matt View Post
    The key difference will be that the top of the line options will most likely have conical rather than flat burrs - so they'll grind a bit faster, maybe quieter and have lower burr speed so generate less heat; all factors in a cafe environment but not so much in a domestic kitchen.

    So really it comes down to whether you prefer the taste from a conical or flat burr grinder... there are whole threads on that topic
    Thanks so much for the advice!

    I'm not sure I'd notice the difference in taste to be honest. My Silvia is rather temperamental when it comes to grind quality though. She hates clumping and she hates the wrong size dose, and I hate stiring the grounds with a toothpick and making sure I start/stop grinding on time. I'm assuming a $1-1.5k grinder would take care of this?

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    Quote Originally Posted by noddy167 View Post
    Thanks so much for the advice!

    I'm not sure I'd notice the difference in taste to be honest. My Silvia is rather temperamental when it comes to grind quality though. She hates clumping and she hates the wrong size dose, and I hate stiring the grounds with a toothpick and making sure I start/stop grinding on time. I'm assuming a $1-1.5k grinder would take care of this?
    IMHO and somewhat off-topic.

    Buy a Rancilio bottomless portafiler for Silvia (and any other machine too). This is best $85 you can spend for Silvia.
    I would not own a coffee machine without bottomless portafiler, it is that good.
    There is nothing like a naked portafilter to tell you what you are doing wrong - and immediately. But an industrial quality tamper, of course.
    I tried stirring grounds with a wooden toothpick, it made no difference.
    Just gently bang the portafiler down a couple of times, it will loosen up any clumps enough.
    Just FYI - I use a grind level 5 on Rocky and I recommend you buy scales with 0.01 gram ($60?) accuracy, even 0.5 gram counts big time for Silvia.
    The standard double basket of Rancilio Silvia needs range of 16.0-17.0 grams of dry beans (min-max range), assuming zero grounds retention in the grinder.
    This will produce 38-42 ml/gr (yes, I weigh it!!) of very good double expresso/double ristretto in ~30-35 seconds (even 38-40 sec often produces good results!).
    Any more than ~42 ml/gr from 16-17 grams of beans will make for a thin tasking double shot.
    Any less than 30 seconds will likewise produce very ordinary brew.
    If you have a bigger basket (I have Synesso and also triple Rancilio) will allow for a larger volume (45-50 ml/gr) if you use 19-21 gr of beans.
    IME the best is for 1 grams of grounds beans = 2.5 grams of extracted espresso.
    Some will say this is closer to ristretto - fine, I dont really care what you call it.

    Also, ease up on tamping strength, the advice of 10-15 kg is way over the top.
    I use light tamp ranges 1-3kg, depending on batch of beans and sometimes even less, like 0.5 kg.
    The key is to make sure the tamp is 100% flat horizontal.


    The problem I have with Rocky is that it does not have enough grind finer levels for espresso/ristretto.
    i.e. I need something in the middle between a level 5 and level 6 i.e. level 5.5, level 4.5, level 6.5 and so on.
    I am hoping something like Macap M4D will provide more fine grind levels for espresso compared to Rocky but the grounds retention inside the grinder seems to be a problem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by acid_rider View Post
    Would M4D permit the same technique...
    G'day a_r & noddy,

    No value whatsoever and in fact completely counterintuitive to pay $$$ for an accurate digital timer if you have no intention of using it...

    It's also 100% clear that that the answer must therefore be EK43
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    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by acid_rider View Post
    The problem I have with Rocky is that it does not have enough grind finer levels for espresso/ristretto.
    i.e. I need something in the middle between a level 5 and level 6 i.e. level 5.5, level 4.5, level 6.5 and so on.
    I am hoping something like Macap M4D will provide more fine grind levels for espresso compared to Rocky but the grounds retention inside the grinder seems to be a problem.
    How long since you replaced the burrs? A well cared for Rocky with burrs in good condition will grind fine enough to choke any machine.

    I'm surprised you have to ask this question, after reading your last post it's obvious you are quite knowledgeable about things espresso.
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    Senior Member readeral's Avatar
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    Gosh, I think I'd give up home espresso if I had to spend 5 minutes preparing my dry dose every day. Timed grinder is the bomb. Forget about retention and scraping and clumps and... Just purge a little and enjoy your morning cuppa.
    Otherwise buy a hand grinder with little retention. Same effort, less money, and you're using it how it's designed.


    [Edit - I make on average 4 coffees per day in our household. Single dosing was something I did maybe for my first month of making coffee, and it got: 1. very tiresome, 2. inconsistent (you might think that is counterintuitive). There's no way I'd single dose 4 espressos when having 100g+ in my hopper gives me more consistent grinds and saves me time. If all you're drinking is one espresso a day, sure, but much more than that I'd say stop single dosing, take the plunge and actually use your hopper.]
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    Quote Originally Posted by acid_rider View Post
    IMHO and somewhat off-topic....

    I am hoping something like Macap M4D will provide more fine grind levels for espresso compared to Rocky but the grounds retention inside the grinder seems to be a problem.
    - I use my naked portafilter 90% of the time
    - Tamp I got from Coffee Parts in their startup pack thingy
    - 20g VST basket (fits 21-22g easy)
    - Hario scales/timer (.01g)

    I find my problem is matching the right grind time to the correct tamp weight. I do try to keep them as regular as possible but it's frustratingly easy to screw it up a little but have large errors as a result.

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    Senior Member trentski's Avatar
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    It's the 98mm group handle you need to keep the EK43 balanced that concerns me.

    Maybe put the scales away for a while and develop the art of coffee making rather than following a scientific process.

    I almost always pulled good shots on my Rancilio Lucy and never weighed anything.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    How long since you replaced the burrs? A well cared for Rocky with burrs in good condition will grind fine enough to choke any machine.

    I'm surprised you have to ask this question, after reading your last post it's obvious you are quite knowledgeable about things espresso.
    thanks for your vote of confidence! 8^)

    re burrs - I have never replaced them, how often do I need to do this and where do I do this (I live in Melbourne) ?

    if I make say ~15 double-shots per week on average, how many weeks of grinding will Rocky burrs last, approx?
    I bought Rocky in middle of 2010, so this makes it ~300 weeks old, so 300*15 double-shot grinds done on existing burrs.

    thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by readeral View Post
    Gosh, I think I'd give up home espresso if I had to spend 5 minutes preparing my dry dose every day. Timed grinder is the bomb. Forget about retention and scraping and clumps and... Just purge a little and enjoy your morning cuppa.
    Otherwise buy a hand grinder with little retention. Same effort, less money, and you're using it how it's designed.


    [Edit - I make on average 4 coffees per day in our household. Single dosing was something I did maybe for my first month of making coffee, and it got: 1. very tiresome, 2. inconsistent (you might think that is counterintuitive). There's no way I'd single dose 4 espressos when having 100g+ in my hopper gives me more consistent grinds and saves me time. If all you're drinking is one espresso a day, sure, but much more than that I'd say stop single dosing, take the plunge and actually use your hopper.]
    I see your point but it does not take 5 min to weigh the beans and grind them using Rocky.

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    Quote Originally Posted by noddy167 View Post
    - I use my naked portafilter 90% of the time
    - Tamp I got from Coffee Parts in their startup pack thingy
    - 20g VST basket (fits 21-22g easy)
    - Hario scales/timer (.01g)

    I find my problem is matching the right grind time to the correct tamp weight. I do try to keep them as regular as possible but it's frustratingly easy to screw it up a little but have large errors as a result.
    My Synesso ridgeless double fits 20 grams comfortably and maxes out on 21 grams, so 1 gram smaller than your VST, I guess.
    Using 1 gr of beans for 2.5 ml/grams of espresso extraction rule you should aim for ~45-50 ml/grams double shot in 30-35 seconds, in my opinion.
    Every time I had < 30 sec extraction for 45 ml double shot was not memorable, not in Silvia and not in Gaggia Classic that I owned for 6 years prior to Silvia.

    Slower extraction seems to be better, up to a point. If I get to >45 seconds extraction for 40-45ml then I usually throw it out and do it again.
    Many YouTube barista videos I have seen that show you how to make great espresso are a bit too fast for my taste.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by acid_rider View Post
    thanks for your vote of confidence! 8^)

    re burrs - I have never replaced them, how often do I need to do this and where do I do this (I live in Melbourne) ?

    if I make say ~15 double-shots per week on average, how many weeks of grinding will Rocky burrs last, approx?
    I bought Rocky in middle of 2010, so this makes it ~300 weeks old, so 300*15 double-shot grinds done on existing burrs.

    thanks!
    Well and truly time for new burrs, in fact I suspect overdue.

    You can do the job yourself if your a bit handy, buy genuine Rancilio burrs not aftermarket stuff, or I'm sure Chris from Talk Coffee could do the job for you. Talk Coffee | Professional Coffee Machines
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    Quote Originally Posted by Talk_Coffee View Post
    G'day a_r & noddy,

    No value whatsoever and in fact completely counterintuitive to pay $$$ for an accurate digital timer if you have no intention of using it...

    It's also 100% clear that that the answer must therefore be EK43
    pardon my lack of knowledge, what is EK43?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    Well and truly time for new burrs, in fact I suspect overdue.

    You can do the job yourself if your a bit handy, buy genuine Rancilio burrs not aftermarket stuff, or I'm sure Chris from Talk Coffee could do the job for you. Talk Coffee | Professional Coffee Machines
    thanks! That should be much cheaper than spending $1000 on Macap M4D 8^) I had a laugh

  25. #25
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by acid_rider View Post
    thanks! That should be much cheaper than spending $1000 on Macap M4D 8^) I had a laugh
    It certainly should be, a new set of burrs approx $60.
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    Quote Originally Posted by acid_rider View Post
    I see your point but it does not take 5 min to weigh the beans and grind them using Rocky.
    I dare you to time it from the point you grab your bag of beans to the point that you've finished tamping. 5 minutes might have been facetious, but I'd posit you're up there in the 2-to-3 minute mark after you've swept out and found your .01g dose. My timed grinder (Profitec T64) gets me my dose in 7 seconds. So, I have my prepared puck at about 15 seconds, before you've plucked out that one extra stray bean.

    I know it's not all about speed - for some the enjoyment of preparing espresso is more on the preparing side than the drinking side, each to their own. But there is definitely a law of diminishing returns at play here, and you'd surprise yourself at how much you wouldn't lose by timed grinding from a semi-filled hopper.

    So - get a timed grinder, and enjoy it. OR change your burrs, and enjoy how you're currently preparing your espresso
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    Why do threads of this nature always seem to turn into a p*ssing contest, must be a gonad thing (my method is better than yours)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    Well and truly time for new burrs, in fact I suspect overdue.

    You can do the job yourself if your a bit handy, buy genuine Rancilio burrs not aftermarket stuff, or I'm sure Chris from Talk Coffee could do the job for you. Talk Coffee | Professional Coffee Machines
    Really? New burrs after grinding 300 double shots? Seems a little bit of overkill to me.

  29. #29
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    'Cause people ask about timed grinders AND single dosing in the same question...

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    Quote Originally Posted by fatboy_1999 View Post
    Really? New burrs after grinding 300 double shots? Seems a little bit of overkill to me.
    4500 double shots.

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    Funny thread. Highly doubt anyone here is using .01g resolution scales

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatboy_1999 View Post
    Really? New burrs after grinding 300 double shots? Seems a little bit of overkill to me.
    Math fatboy, 15 x 300 = 4500.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kbilleter View Post
    Funny thread. Highly doubt anyone here is using .01g resolution scales
    See mentioned in post #10! Still, you're probably right ;P

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by kbilleter View Post
    Funny thread. Highly doubt anyone here is using .01g resolution scales
    I am! very small, very accurate, very light, very easy to use and very cheap, cost me about $15 inc postage over 5 years ago, used multiple times daily.
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    I use scales of 0.01 gr precision because they only cost $50.

    I used the lesser scales of 0.1 grams precision before, bought 6+ years ago and it could be easily 0.2 grams off the mark.
    With 0.01 grams precision I can only be 0.02 grams off the mark.
    Same low price, better precision.
    Rocky cost $400, scales $50, good price performance compared to $1000 grinder.
    Cheaper machines like Silvia need all the help you can give them so I adopted very scientific method that produces very good double shots, reliably and repeatedly.
    I could spend $2500 on a Rocky Giotto and $1000 on a grinder and forget about it for $3500-$4000, at least 3 times the price of Silvia/Rocky.
    You get what you paid for.
    I paid $800 for Silvia, $400 for Rocky and $50 for 0.01 gr scales, which is the price of just a Mazzer Mini grinder.
    At home I have luxury of time, because Silvia needs a minimm of 20 minutes to warm up so if I need to spend 5 min of that to weigh and grind it really is not noticeable in the end. I dont do espresso parties and I dont work as a barista.
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    I reckon your Rocky's burrs would still be in good nick to be honest. Perhaps a good clean will make a difference...

    4,500 Dbl Shots, allowing 20g per shot with roughly 10% wastage only comes to around 100Kg of coffee. Should be good enough for another 200-300Kg more yet before they should need replacing...

    Mal.
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    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    I reckon your Rocky's burrs would still be in good nick to be honest. Perhaps a good clean will make a difference...

    4,500 Dbl Shots, allowing 20g per shot with roughly 10% wastage only comes to around 100Kg of coffee. Should be good enough for another 200-300Kg more yet before they should need replacing...

    Mal.
    They claim a set of burrs should handle around 300 kg, in my experience I found a marked drop in performance well before that figure, replaced with a set of aftermarket jobs, they performed well for a few months then rapidly degraded, installed a set of genuine Rancilio, they were still going strong a couple of years later when I sold the grinder.
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  38. #38
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    Ah, fair enough mate....

    I agree with you re: the replacement burr-set - Original is the only way to go. Got bitten myself when I went with a replacement generic set of burrs (years ago). Only lasted around 50Kgs so was very disappointed...

    Mal.

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    4500 shots x20g per shot = 90kg. That's a long way shy of of the life of Rocky burrs. Given the Mazzer Mini burrs will last for 300kg throughput, even at a conservative guess of 200kg for the Rocky, you still leave a few years left. There are indicators for worn burrs such as longer grind times and consistently poorer quality shots.
    I think a significant grinder upgrade would make a difference in coffee quality, moreso than a machine upgrade. However, you didn't indicate your grinder cleaning regime.
    If you do buy a new grinder, expect a running-in period such as new burrs producing inconsistent shots for the first 3+kg and getting used to a new grinder.
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    Quote Originally Posted by flynnaus View Post
    4500 shots x20g per shot = 90kg. That's a long way shy of of the life of Rocky burrs. Given the Mazzer Mini burrs will last for 300kg throughput, even at a conservative guess of 200kg for the Rocky, you still leave a few years left. There are indicators for worn burrs such as longer grind times and consistently poorer quality shots.
    I think a significant grinder upgrade would make a difference in coffee quality, moreso than a machine upgrade. However, you didn't indicate your grinder cleaning regime.
    If you do buy a new grinder, expect a running-in period such as new burrs producing inconsistent shots for the first 3+kg and getting used to a new grinder.
    thanks.
    My Rocky cleaning regime is once a year (approx).
    Looking inside it after 1 year, there is actually not much to clean.
    This is because I flick out all grounds from the hole between the burrs and the doser with a plastic stick after each grinding session (so I am guessing).

  41. #41
    Senior Member fatboy_1999's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    Math fatboy, 15 x 300 = 4500.
    Yeah, sorry 4500 doubles. My bad!
    But still the total gone through the burrs is not so large.
    4500 x 20g (being generous) = 90kg. Still doesn't seem like a huge amount.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by acid_rider View Post
    I use scales of 0.01 gr precision because they only cost $50.

    I used the lesser scales of 0.1 grams precision before, bought 6+ years ago and it could be easily 0.2 grams off the mark.
    (Quick Google later...)
    Well I'll be... they do seem to be around. Recommended to use a hood as moving air affects the measurement :-). Think I'm pretty happy with a decent .1 display +/- .05g

  43. #43
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kbilleter View Post
    (Quick Google later...)
    Well I'll be... they do seem to be around. Recommended to use a hood as moving air affects the measurement :-). Think I'm pretty happy with a decent .1 display +/- .05g
    Morning all.

    Just because I've got them doesn't mean I use em to that degree of accuracy, you wont find me breaking beans and adding fragments to nail the weight spot on, usually +/- 0.05 gram, nope not fiddly, use a small light weight container, scoop the beans, normally very close, then add/subtract few beans to get what I want.

    Here's a pic similar to what I use, available on the Bay for about $8.ZC14700-D-7-6.JPG
    DesigningByCoffee and Dimal like this.

  44. #44
    Senior Member Magic_Matt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by readeral View Post
    I dare you to time it from the point you grab your bag of beans to the point that you've finished tamping. 5 minutes might have been facetious, but I'd posit you're up there in the 2-to-3 minute mark after you've swept out and found your .01g dose. My timed grinder (Profitec T64) gets me my dose in 7 seconds. So, I have my prepared puck at about 15 seconds, before you've plucked out that one extra stray bean.
    Thought I'd try this - ~1:30 from go to whoa, give or take 10 seconds and I'm enjoying the fruits of my labours within 4 minutes. I'm happy enough with that!

    FWIW I don't think my single dosing process is exceptional in any way - weigh beans into a spare double basket that also serves as a lid on the grinder to prevent beans popcorning out - I drop it onto the scales and tare, pour my dose, dump into the grinder throat and hit the go button; once it's ground I sweep the chute, drop the P/F onto scales and tare, dose and weigh. Typically I'm between the intended dose to 0.2 g over. Level off with a finger, pushing a few grounds out if the dose is over, reweigh, tap to settle and tamp. I very rarely have to adjust the dose a second time.

    Unless it's the last shot of the session I'll normally have one dose in the throat ready to go and another sitting in the basket on top - so can dump the second dose by pushing the edge of the basket to flip it. Particularly helpful if making two doubles back to back.

    Quote Originally Posted by readeral View Post
    So - get a timed grinder, and enjoy it. OR change your burrs, and enjoy how you're currently preparing your espresso
    Totally agree with this - the goal is a repeatable process that leads to a reasonably consistent sized, freshly ground dose delivered and distributed consistently into the basket. There are lots of methods using different equipment that can achieve this; single dosing with a commercial grinder with large conical burrs and doser is one of them, a timed doserless grinder is another. I wouldn't want to be single dosing in a commercial environment, but have observed very busy cafes using a similar process, albeit with a pre-doser between the hopper and grinder throat and a grinder designed for single-dosing. Personally my previous grinder was doserless, so I wanted to play with a doser grinder and am enjoying the technique (as well as the results).
    Yelta likes this.

  45. #45
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    I used to single dose with my compak k3 for a few months until I tried filling up the hopper and using it that way (the way it is designed to be operated) then doing a comparison. Have to say there was a huge difference in taste between the two methods. My conclusion, right or wrong, was that there are a lot more fines produced in the last part of the grind with a single dose grind and this makes the shot bitter. If you look at the top burr of the k3 and I suspect lots/all other similar planar grinders are the same, it is quite wobbly when you move it around or touch the hopper. It is not fixed rigidly. It relies on the space between the two burrs being full of coffee to hold the burrs plates parallel and at the proper separation to get a precise grind.

  46. #46
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic_Matt View Post
    Thought I'd try this - ~1:30 from go to whoa, give or take 10 seconds and I'm enjoying the fruits of my labours within 4 minutes. I'm happy enough with that!

    FWIW I don't think my single dosing process is exceptional in any way - weigh beans into a spare double basket that also serves as a lid on the grinder to prevent beans popcorning out - I drop it onto the scales and tare, pour my dose, dump into the grinder throat and hit the go button; once it's ground I sweep the chute, drop the P/F onto scales and tare, dose and weigh. Typically I'm between the intended dose to 0.2 g over. Level off with a finger, pushing a few grounds out if the dose is over, reweigh, tap to settle and tamp. I very rarely have to adjust the dose a second time.

    Unless it's the last shot of the session I'll normally have one dose in the throat ready to go and another sitting in the basket on top - so can dump the second dose by pushing the edge of the basket to flip it. Particularly helpful if making two doubles back to back.


    Totally agree with this - the goal is a repeatable process that leads to a reasonably consistent sized, freshly ground dose delivered and distributed consistently into the basket. There are lots of methods using different equipment that can achieve this; single dosing with a commercial grinder with large conical burrs and doser is one of them, a timed doserless grinder is another. I wouldn't want to be single dosing in a commercial environment, but have observed very busy cafes using a similar process, albeit with a pre-doser between the hopper and grinder throat and a grinder designed for single-dosing. Personally my previous grinder was doserless, so I wanted to play with a doser grinder and am enjoying the technique (as well as the results).

    Without going in to boring detail, I single dose and my work flow is very similar to yours Matt, have tried a weight on top of the beans (my tamper) to prevent popcorning, to my taste makes little or no difference in the cup, so I weigh em and dump em into the grinder, then clean up, 18 grams in = pretty darned close to 18 out, a quick and simple process, nope have never felt the need to time myself, it ain't a race, I'm makin a cuppa coffee and I'm not pressed for time, works well for me, clean the grinder out every month or 6 weeks, not enough build up to worry me.

    Life is good.



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