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Thread: Using white rice to clean a grinder?

  1. #1
    Senior Member benandfaith's Avatar
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    Using white rice to clean a grinder?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    I just read about using rice to clean out a grinder... what do CSers think about this? Safe? good? stupid thing to do?

    Also, is there a definitive step-by-step guide to grinder cleaning and maintenance? I have just gotten an Iberital Challenge and it sure leaves grounds all over the place!


  2. #2
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    Re: Using white rice to clean a grinder?

    Coffee goes in the coffee grinder.

    There are tablets you can use, specifically for grinders, but I wouldnt put rice through the grinder. Youll just make another mess trying to clean up the first one.

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    Re: Using white rice to clean a grinder?


    Bad!

    There is an internet wisdom that putting rice through a grinder will clean it. But the details are a bit more subtle. The rice thats discussed is a special 2-minute rice thats pre-cooked and hence not as hard.

    Uncooked rice is very hard, compared to coffee beans. That means it can wear out your grinder burrs in quick time.... Is this just some more arbitrary internet advice? Nope. I did it... once (before I was clarified on the 2 minute rice issue) and it seemed to work, but it took a bit of coffee grinding to clean out all the rice and when all was said and done, the grinder setting had changed (ie I had to grind finer to achieve the same shot times). I also think the shots were never as good afterwards.... I was amased how much damage the rice did. So I bought a new grinder and let the neighbours have the dud (afterall they only drink Harris in a pressurised basket, so any benefits in having a good grinder are lost).

    So DONT DO IT....

    Cheers,

    Mark.

  4. #4
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    Re: Using white rice to clean a grinder?

    It is one of those American things that you should not believe.

    Try grinding your coffee into a small plastic container so it catches all the grinds and doesnt make too big a mess.

    Regardless of what you do, you will still spill coffee grounds all over the place. It is just one of those things.

  5. #5
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    Re: Using white rice to clean a grinder?

    Hi Benandfaith,

    Absolutely agree with the other posts,
    I read similar thing also, in time past.
    Uncooked rice will damage the burrs,
    and while slightly cooked rice is softer and doesnt damage the burrs,
    it can build up in the burr teeth and effectively stop the grinder from functioning as it should. Happened to me once, took me ages to clean the burr teeth.....

    Best recommendation for cleaning the grinder, is to wipe out infeed side regularly, and relatively infrequently the grinder can be disassembled and the burs and grinding chamber vacummed and brushed out.

    Regards
    Bullitt

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    Re: Using white rice to clean a grinder?

    All I do is stick the getting into small places attachment onto my vacuum cleaner and use that.

    No problems at all.

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    Re: Using white rice to clean a grinder?

    Yup agree with the others re the rice,

    To an extent, the burrs tend to clean themselves [of built up grinds] with each subsequent use, however there will be an eventual buildup of coffee oils on them.

    The other problem is that other internal parts of the grinder [in and around the burrs etc] will retain grinds which over time will go stale and then smell bad.
    [I found this out the hard way]

    Rice [BAD] and or "Grindz" [special grinder cleaning tablets] may clean and remove the oils from the burrs, but neither removes and cleans all the other internal parts of the grinder.

    Pulling apart the grinder to get access to the lower burrs and getting in there with a brush/vacuum cleaner/air blast [try a service station tyre pump] is the best method of cleaning.

    Once you have access, the burrs are easily removed [usually screwed into place] so pull em out and give em a quick clean with detergent, then replace after drying very thoroughly.

    Disassembly will be specific to yourr grinder so consult the maintenence section of your manual.
    Ive seen it discussed in other threads, that with the Iberital [and its worm gear] that you should take note of the position prior to each disassembly.

    I do a brush out clean about once a month, and a burr scrub about every third time.

    If your in Melbourne, site sponsors Veneziano Caffe, have a grinder use and maintenence course
    http://www.venezianocoffee.com.au/training/course5

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    Re: Using white rice to clean a grinder?


    I have tried the Grindz product and it seems to work as advertised, although theres probably no substitute for "proper" cleaning by disassembly.

    Being the sort of time-poor person that I am, the Grindz product is my solution. Im happy with the way it works.


  9. #9
    Senior Member benandfaith's Avatar
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    Re: Using white rice to clean a grinder?

    What about vacuuming out the grinds rather than blowing it out? Any problems with vacuuming out the chute (from the bottom) and the burrs (from the top)?

  10. #10
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Using white rice to clean a grinder?

    I vaccum mine clean occasionally.
    I managed to find some mini vacuum attachments.
    About the size for cleaning keyboards.
    Theres an adapter for the regular hose and the attachments are about 1cm diameter.

    It came with a variety of pieces with and without brushes.
    Its doing well so far.
    I wont be pulling the Macap apart until its out of warranty in a month or so.

  11. #11
    Senior Member benandfaith's Avatar
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    Re: Using white rice to clean a grinder?

    Does it have to be a very low powered vac or can you go at it with the normal 1600W+ home vacuum cleaners?

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    Re: Using white rice to clean a grinder?

    low powered vacs dont work well.

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    Re: Using white rice to clean a grinder?

    I think people use everything from those little car-vacs all the way up to the big canister workshop vacs to do the job b&f..... what ever youve got will be fine :). The big no-no with machines like this though, is to use high pressure air from a compressor, etc. This has the potential to drive debris of all sorts (including water) into and throughout the grinder motor and mechanics possibly leading to premature failure :o, so NO to high pressure air and YES to a vacuum cleaner 8-)....

    Mal.

  14. #14
    Senior Member robusto's Avatar
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    Re: Using white rice to clean a grinder?

    Vacuum cleaning success will depend on the build of the grinder. On the Iberital, a vacuum will suck out loose grounds -- but they are not the problem.

    Over time, fine particles will compact into a solid inaccessible mass in the grinding chamber where the sweeper cant reach. No amount of vacuuming will shift this.

    You may occasionally see a clump break free and fall through the chute --- It will be solid, not a light, airy clum which easily disintergrates. Chances are that it will be very, very stale.

    The biggest pain with the Iberital is also one of its biggest attractions -- the infinite worm drive.

    That is the reason I bought mine, because on my old manual mill one setting was too coarse, and the next too fine. No inbetween detents.

    It is very difficult to guestimate how many turns of the screw will be necessary to adjust the grind. This is especially so after a fresh batch of roasted beans. The sink gets the benefit there.

    It is not a matter of half a turn, or one full turn or even two or three turns --- small amounts make no discernable impression on the extraction.

    --Robusto

  15. #15
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Using white rice to clean a grinder?

    Quote Originally Posted by robusto link=1183423952/0#13 date=1183729487
    Over time, fine particles will compact into a solid inaccessible mass in the grinding chamber where the sweeper cant reach. No amount of vacuuming will shift this.
    Usually just use a toothpick or a chopstick sharpened into a probe where the toothpick is too short, in association with the vac to do the trick. Worked well with the Lux, works well with Rocky and no doubt will still do the job now on the LSM. Just a matter of using whatever works, and if nothing immediately to hand will do the job, doesnt usually take much to knock something up. Like TG mentioned either here or in another thread, you can get a range of after-market small attachments that will fit most vacs including a small flexible hose like thing which is really handy for getting behind things while you probe away with the chopstick, etc,

    Mal.

  16. #16
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Using white rice to clean a grinder?

    I picked up a spare set of attachments the other day in Vinnies for $1.



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