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Thread: Macap M4D user debating a change

  1. #1
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    Macap M4D user debating a change

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hello all,

    I have been using an M4D for the last 2.5 years and was my first grinder. I have a Rocket Giotto V2 machine. I've experienced a lot of clumping in the grounds and have a ritual where I weigh out the grounds tip them into the portafilter and use a toothpick to break up the clumps. I then use a distribution tool and tamp. I found this has helped minimise channeling due to the clumps. Lighter roasts have less clumps, but are still an issue.

    However, I'm getting a bit over the clumping and have done some research on a HG-One (very cool looking machine!). I'm debating whether I take the plunge and buy one of these. I feel it would solve my clumping issue as well as produce a better tasting shot. I also think I would enjoy manually grinding and 'feeling' the grind process. The only issue is they are hard to come by in Aus and are around $1,700 with postage from the US. Hard to justify the cost to myself and my wife for a hand grinder haha

    The other question is the two HG-One models. One being the stepless 71mm burr and the stepped 83mm. Which would be the better option of the two if I happened to find one second hand?

    Has anyone had experience with both the HG-One grinders or M4D or been in a similar situation?

    Thanks,
    CoolBeans
    Last edited by CoolBeans; 4th February 2019 at 06:29 PM.

  2. #2
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    Hi Coolbeans,
    I had an MD4 for many years and found in the tropics when it was humid that the clumping was much worse. Like you I had to break the clumps and used a small whisk
    I changed to a Compak F10 with a small hopper and love it. However its obviously quite different to a hand grinder
    Good luck with the choice
    Cheers
    Dave
    CoolBeans likes this.

  3. #3
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    Thanks Dr_Dave,

    I live in Adelaide, SA and it's very dry here. Humidity has rarely been issue.

    The other reason why I'm debating a hand grinder, which I forgot to mention, is the almost zero grind retention.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Welcome to Coffee Snobs Coolbeans.

    The novelty and aesthetic charm of a hand grinder wears off pretty quickly, trust me.

    Some have gone down the HG One road, most seem to show up for sale at quite a discount within a short time frame.

    I'm not aware of anyone using one as a daily grinder, although having said that I'm sure someone will put their hand up and prove me wrong.

  5. #5
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    Thanks Yelta,

    If you know of any that are being sold at a good price I'd be happy to take it off their hands! haha

    My plan at this stage if the wife lets me would be to still keep the M4D for family gatherings and situations where I'd need to make coffees in volume. I'd use the HG One for daily use (2-3 a day)

  6. #6
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    Ill give you an alternate PoV....I don't have nor used a HG1.
    But have a 60mm Class Flat Blade Grinder MicroMetric Adjustment, and a Lido2 (smaller Conical Buur)
    And yes the quality of grind with the Lido (smaller size conical burr to the HG1) is amazing and fluffy.
    But I don't rate it exceptionally above the Electric Grinder, flavour wise / adjustment / readability wise to say
    I wouldn't be rapt to invest $1700 And to not see the obvious benefits.
    In my travels what I think pays more dividends in the home setting is.....
    1/ Roast your Own
    2/ Up the barista inputs such as
    Weigh your dose in,
    Time your shots out
    Experiment with Yields
    Tools such as a matched flat base square edge tamper, scales, timer used to their potential
    will if not already in place contribute to your shot flavour dramatically.

    I know in theory no argument against clumping is easy to make, however in the real world
    the points above clearly in my experience contribute far more in the cup.

    As for channeling, I'm sorry but I see it used as a catch all excuse.
    Fresh beans correct setting of the grinder with the right barista technique insetting up the
    shot will allow you to pull a shot in whatever time volume and extraction ratio you desire...
    Dimal, coolie21 and CoolBeans like this.

  7. #7
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    Thanks EspressoAdventurer for the points.

    That's the exact reason I don't want to invest $1,700 on it. I can't justify it unless the exchange rate changes or find a second hand.

    As for the clumping and channeling. I found channeling initially to be an issue for me, but over time have managed to overcome it. The things which helped were weighing each dose, breaking up the clumps as best I could, distributing using a tool (Pullman Chisel), tamping with a precision tamper (Pullman BigStep). Doing this has given me consistent an predictable results. The channeling is not the issue as such, it's the effort I need to go through to get rid of the clumping.

    What I'm looking for is a potential better shot taste with the conical burrs in the HG One over the flat burrs in the M4D, with the satisfaction of grinding by hand. I wont need to break up any clumps and I would be weighing the beans, not the grounds reducing wastage.

    I've never looking into roasting my own beans before.

  8. #8
    Senior Member level3ninja's Avatar
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    If you're keen on the HG1 check out the Helor Stance Manual with Mazzer burrs. They're an Aussie company and the grinder is about $1500 AUD. If down the track you end up thinking the manual grinder is too much of a daily grind for you they make a motor kit which turns it into a single-dosing powerhouse.
    bigdaddy likes this.

  9. #9
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    CB a little more about what your using...
    Roast your using?
    Water Filtration ?
    Basket(s)?

    Have you tried speciality beans from a trusted source such as Andy's here on Bean Bay
    bigdaddy likes this.

  10. #10
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    I've been using a roaster in Welland here in Adelaide called CoffeeWorld. They have 2 roasts. Both are fairly dark. Buy 1kg bag at a time ($20) and split into 3 tupperware containers. I start using them about a week after they have been roasted. That's my staple and then I experiment from time to time with others I find around Adelaide.

    Water filter is a Britax C150

    I use a Pullman precision basket

    I've never tried beans outside of Adelaide. Didn't want to pay for postage haha
    Last edited by CoolBeans; 4th February 2019 at 10:56 PM.

  11. #11
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    SniffCoffee had an HG1 for sale back in December. It is still on the Coffee Hardware for Sale page and appears not to have sold.

    If you are using dark roast as per your last post the effort required for hand grinding should be manageable. Lighter roasts will be more challenging physically. The HG1 for sale is a 71mm model and will require less effort than an 83mm model.

    Worth a look.

  12. #12
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    Thanks Otago,

    I'll take a look

  13. #13
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    Thinking for the same price as a second hand HG One going for a Niche Zero? Any thoughts?

  14. #14
    Senior Member level3ninja's Avatar
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    The Niche has a motor. All reports are good so far. No risk of you getting sick of hand grinding. Several positives and no negatives I can think of.

  15. #15
    Senior Member coffeechris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CoolBeans View Post
    Hello all,

    I have been using an M4D for the last 2.5 years and was my first grinder. I have a Rocket Giotto V2 machine. I've experienced a lot of clumping in the grounds and have a ritual where I weigh out the grounds tip them into the portafilter and use a toothpick to break up the clumps. I then use a distribution tool and tamp. I found this has helped minimise channeling due to the clumps. Lighter roasts have less clumps, but are still an issue.

    However, I'm getting a bit over the clumping and have done some research on a HG-One (very cool looking machine!). I'm debating whether I take the plunge and buy one of these. I feel it would solve my clumping issue as well as produce a better tasting shot. I also think I would enjoy manually grinding and 'feeling' the grind process. The only issue is they are hard to come by in Aus and are around $1,700 with postage from the US. Hard to justify the cost to myself and my wife for a hand grinder haha

    The other question is the two HG-One models. One being the stepless 71mm burr and the stepped 83mm. Which would be the better option of the two if I happened to find one second hand?

    Has anyone had experience with both the HG-One grinders or M4D or been in a similar situation?

    Thanks,
    CoolBeans
    Hi Coolbeans,

    Im late to the party with this but ive been in the situation of having a grinder that clumps, that grinder although satisfactory in many ways was the MD4. Ive also had many grinders before that.. Dont get me wrong I liked the Md4, but after selling it and buying a Eureka Zenith 65E i can say that i wish i had have known in advance how good the Eureka was going to be over the MD4.

    So from my knowledge and the grinders I have had if i was you, id be going for a Eureka of some sort. Many will also say other grinders at this price level and they are also correct. But for once I can say ill have the Eureka Zenith for years to come.

    Chris
    Brewster, Dimal and magnafunk like this.

  16. #16
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    Thanks for the input. Single dosing is what I’m after. I’m leaning towards the Niche I think. The comical burrs are similar to the HG One and I reckon they would be the same taste wise?

  17. #17
    Senior Member magnafunk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CoolBeans View Post
    The comical burrs are similar to the HG One and I reckon they would be the same taste wise?
    The comical burrs do tend to leave a funny taste
    bosco, coffeechris, Dimal and 10 others like this.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by magnafunk View Post
    The comical burrs do tend to leave a funny taste
    How so? I’m curious

  19. #19
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CoolBeans View Post
    How so? I’m curious
    Magnafunk is referring to your use of 'comical' (i.e. amusing, funny) rather than 'conical' (i.e. cone-shaped). Of course, the burrs could be both, but would need to have been manufactured by a stand-up guy.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by CoolBeans View Post
    Hello all,

    I have been using an M4D for the last 2.5 years and was my first grinder. I have a Rocket Giotto V2 machine. I've experienced a lot of clumping in the grounds and have a ritual where I weigh out the grounds tip them into the portafilter and use a toothpick to break up the clumps. I then use a distribution tool and tamp. I found this has helped minimise channeling due to the clumps. Lighter roasts have less clumps, but are still an issue.

    However, I'm getting a bit over the clumping and have done some research on a HG-One (very cool looking machine!). I'm debating whether I take the plunge and buy one of these. I feel it would solve my clumping issue as well as produce a better tasting shot. I also think I would enjoy manually grinding and 'feeling' the grind process. The only issue is they are hard to come by in Aus and are around $1,700 with postage from the US. Hard to justify the cost to myself and my wife for a hand grinder haha

    The other question is the two HG-One models. One being the stepless 71mm burr and the stepped 83mm. Which would be the better option of the two if I happened to find one second hand?

    Has anyone had experience with both the HG-One grinders or M4D or been in a similar situation?

    Thanks,
    CoolBeans
    G'day CoolBeans

    See https://coffeesnobs.com.au/coffee-ha...hg-1-sale.html for a s/h HG-1 on sale for $1250.

    At that price I am tempted myself to use it as a camping grinder (car nearby to carry the beast). Spraying with water to reduce static is probably its main PITA - unless you count the effort of turning it by hand.

    If clumping and static is your issue save about $400 from the HG-1 and get a Mahlkoenig Vario gen3 new. I originally bought a gen2 and loved it to the point of buying a second one for my other site. Followed that up with a gen3 and then added the optional steel burrs to one of the gen2s for "non espresso use" (cold steep / drip, pourover / my modded stirrer plunger / Rommelsbachers). Having compared a couple of HG-1s (with the larger burrs) to my Vario gen2's, the actual performance in the cup is virtually indistinguishable (not better / worse, just very slightly different when comparing light roasts from the same batch - none of us could pick a difference using medium or dark roasts).

    Why the Vario? Incredibly even particle spread, minimal grind retention (important for me as I have the odd day which only does 2 coffees widely spaced in time for myself), no fuss, no mess on the bench and dead accurate on the digital timer.

    Overall, the Varios are the easiest grinder to live with I know - and that includes a Major and about 50 others since 1970.

    Mine have been 100% reliable, however I maintain all my gear scrupulously. Several other CS'r's have had issues which are mostly "user induced" as far as I can tell. I have even repaired a handful of them for friends / fellow CS'r's and all repairs (so far) have been pretty simple - and have yet to need a part. Not surprising - get a commercial Swiss made Ditting commercial module (as strong as any commercial grinder) and wrap it in a lightweight, compact domestic shell - the "peripheral shell stuff" is fragile to save size and weight. Most common faults - abuse the adjusters and pop them out of whack - a 5 minute fix. Have the micro switch fail due to getting grounds into the switch (i.e. a cleanliness issue) - blow the offending crap out, hit it with circuit cleaner and reassemble - a 15 minute fix (including the 10 minutes to fire up my airline).

    Your call - I reckon you would be happy with either the HG-1 or the Vario.


    TampIt
    Last edited by TampIt; 14th February 2019 at 10:11 AM.

  21. #21
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    Hahaha got some comedians here
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by CoolBeans View Post
    Buy 1kg bag at a time ($20) and split into 3 tupperware containers.
    That is the best price I have ever seen for non supermarket roasted beans. If it is ok I would expect them to have people beat I ng a path to their door.

  23. #23
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    Yeah they’re super cheap. Pretty good coffee as well. I’m using ONA coffee at the moment, which I’m loving. That’s $40 for 1Kg.



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