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Thread: Breville BCG820 -

  1. #1
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    Breville BCG820 -

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

    Been on this coffee snob journey for around 10 years now, and completed 2 barista courses for kicks.
    Love my coffee but very much the amateur.

    So, 3 questions....and apologies for the verbosity.

    About 1 month ago, I started noticing that my BCG820 was starting to grind slightly less with each grind.
    I run a Sunbeam Café series EM7000, single floor (2 cup) basket.
    The grinder was spitting out 22grams, on a 22.4 second grind, with settings of #1 ( LCD) and #1(internal finest setting)
    This was generally enough to give me a 3-4 second choke, and extracting 30mils in approx 30 seconds.
    I typically single tamp and definitely on the heavy side ( my scales run to 3 kg and I am well over that)

    I know, not perfect, but it was giving me great coffee.....

    So fast forward to this last weekend.

    Had our morning coffee and noticed that it wasn't great, so time for a clean of both grinder and machine.
    Now some of you will be horrified, but this is the first good clean in probably 12 months.
    We use filtered and de mineralised water, so the coffee machine was surprisingly clean, very little buildup under the shower screen etc and the water from the clean cycle was unremarkable.

    On to the grinder.
    Cleaned out with compressed air, no signs of the worn plastic impeller that is described on the web, apparently mine is fitted with the later version, stainless steel impeller.


    Made a coffee and noticed immediately that the first 3-5 mils was almost clear.
    I have never noticed this before and assumed that maybe the first run was a dud, so made a second grind and pour...SAME THING.
    Weighed the grind, and found I was getting 18grams.
    (I use about a Kilo of beans a fortnight)

    So, upped the grind time, and ended up with 28 seconds to get my 22 grams.
    Ran a pour and again, the first 5 mils was clear.

    I have chased my tail for a week, trying to get a clear understanding of what's happening.

    I have inspected the burrs, they appear to be sharp to the touch, no signs of damage in either the primary or secondary grind areas.
    The grinder doesn't sound like its labouring ( ie low RPM).

    A friend has an identical grinder and is getting similar grinds quantities that I used to. His is approx 1 year younger and obviously less use.
    Mine was purchased in 2014, and I estimate has ground 3500 x 22.4 second grinds.


    SO, at this stage, after trying multiple different high end coffees, I'm stuck with the things pointing at the grinder.
    I have checked thermo-block water temps, tried different infusion settings, tried courser grinds and even made a shim to lift the bottom burr ala BCG800 style.

    Q1. Could this much use really degrade the burrs to an extent that its not "cutting" the coffee, which is then affecting the pour?
    Q2. Has anyone else suffered this type of issue with the Breville unit ?

    After 4 years, I cant say I have had a bad run and unless anyone can point me at a similar priced unit, I would have to say I would gladly buy another...

    Or Q3. is there something I have missed here ?????


    Looking forward to some insightful banter...….

    Regards
    Dave

  2. #2
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    If the water coming out is truly "clear" then it can't be passing through the coffee at all. Must be a leak somewhere.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by saeco_user View Post
    If the water coming out is truly "clear" then it can't be passing through the coffee at all. Must be a leak somewhere.
    Unfortunately No, no signs of channeling, There is no possible way its can be a "leak" It all passes through the group head, through the grind.

    If i manually run the pour and extend the infusion to 5 seconds, its not clear.

    Hence why I checked the water temp, was thinking that a low temp, but that's all ok too

  4. #4
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    Still unlikely to be the grinder as even if the burrs were highly worn it would have happened gradually and you wouldn't have noticed a sudden change in espresso quality.
    I don't know enough about the Sunbeam to offer advice on what else may be wrong.
    Last edited by saeco_user; 1st August 2018 at 12:54 PM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by saeco_user View Post
    Still unlikely to be the grinder as even if the burrs were highly worn it would have happened gradually and you wouldn't have noticed a sudden change in espresso quality.
    I don't know enough about the Sunbeam to offer advice on what else may be wrong.
    ??
    It has happend over a period of a month as stated above.

    Thanks for the response..

    Regards

  6. #6
    Senior Member level3ninja's Avatar
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    Your best bet is to take your machine to your friends house and use both grinders on both machines and compare. That will tell you where the problem lies. Otherwise where are you located, is there a CS member nearby that can do something similar or at least loan you a grinder? I'm in western Sydney and have a spare BCG820.

  7. #7
    Senior Member level3ninja's Avatar
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    Also can you grind some coffee and spread a bit out on a piece of paper so we can see the grind quality.

  8. #8
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    SOLVED -

    Complete back to back with my mates setup - he has teh same grinder and the same Coffee Machine

    It tunes out that the issue was the filter basket - I think that in my attempt to clean a few blocked holes with a sewing needle, it has accidentally enlarged the holes to teh point where it changed teh flow rates.
    Swapped baskets and all is good again....

    ( FYI - I simply wiggled a sewing needle in the holes that remained blocked after a soak in descaling / cleaner. It would seem that while you cant visually see a difference, its obviously affecting it !)

    Thanks for the responses....
    level3ninja likes this.

  9. #9
    Senior Member level3ninja's Avatar
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    That's about the easiest fix you could have hoped for, good result! If you want to clean the basket holes in the future, use a gas blowtorch or the cleaning tool that came with the machine.
    Darkyellow likes this.

  10. #10
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    I have used a light industrial grade steam cleaner. Gas torch is an interesting option. Would a heat gun on high do the same?

  11. #11
    Senior Member level3ninja's Avatar
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    Not sure, possibly. The flame burns up the coffee so if the heat gun got hot enough it might, would take a lot longer than the gas.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Lyrebird's Avatar
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    No, it won't work. Just clean the thing with something mildly alkaline and be done with it.

    The buildup is due to the unsaturated fatty acids in the coffee polymerising with heat and oxygen. If you clean it with something with a pH high enough ( >11) to saponify the residual fatty acids it will come straight off. I use caustic soda (I have plenty of it for cleaning tanks at the winery) you could also use sugar soap.

    The alternative is to supply enough heat and oxygen to get the residuals to combust: fun, but completely unnecessary. You also risk warping the thing if your heat is too localised.
    Last edited by Lyrebird; 27th August 2018 at 07:35 PM.



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