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Thread: EM 480/440, retains grinds

  1. #1
    Rbn
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    EM 480/440, retains grinds

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Recently I have been weighing my beans for each shot, not leaving beans in the hopper.

    I have not figured how to easily make sure all the grinds are out.
    For now it means tapping the top of the hopper while grinding to get the grinds out.
    I re weigh the grinds into the basket to make sure I am correct. Usually 7gms VST basket, or 15 grams VST basket.

    Has anyone got any tips, apart from buying a better grinder.

    But most other grinders are above what I want to pay.

    Robin

  2. #2
    Senior Member level3ninja's Avatar
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    Your grinder isn't designed to handle single dosing. You'll get better particle distribution when there's beans in the hopper. From memory the EM0480 likes the hopper at least half full. You can either leave some beans on the hopper and purge a few seconds at the start of each coffee making session to clear the stake grinds, or you can keep doing what you're doing. I would suggest trialling leaving beans in the hopper and see if your shots improve.
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  3. #3
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    I just posted this (mainly) about a Breville Smartgrinder - the EM480 is similar (Yep, had two of them).

    https://coffeesnobs.com.au/general-c...tml#post653012

    TampIt

  4. #4
    Rbn
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    Aha. Now I have learnt something!

    I will go back to my "old ways" pronto.

    Many thanks, here was me thinking I was making an improvement to my technique!

  5. #5
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Agreed. If you’re just using the same coffee each day for a few days in a row then I’d suggest adding roughly 60-100g to the hopper then topping it up when it’s close to empty. Only do this twice in succession before running any remaining beans through and purging the grinder. Giving at a quick clean with a brush and/or vacuum once a week or thereabouts is a good idea.
    If you’re like me and want to be able to change between different coffees day to day or even on the same day you’ve got a couple of options:
    1. What I did was I always added about 30g to an empty hopper then weighed the output. The extra 10g or so didn’t add much weight obviously, but I found it made a huge difference simply by stopping the last few beans from being able to fly around in the burr chamber. I had success with this method on a few Sunbeam grinders as well as my old Compak K8 and K10.
    2. Keep the hopper loaded as suggested above. As you can remove the hopper on a 0480 without removing beans you can simply take it off then swap out the beans or even replace it with a spare empty hopper if you have one. There’ll always be a few beans left in the burr chamber so if you’re doing this purge the grinder with the second/emptied hopper empty before adding your new coffee.

    This whole process can obviously create left over ground coffee. I try not to waste coffee if I don’t have to so I used to keep this in a ziplock bag and use it in my The Little Guy. It made remarkably good coffee even with the preground coffee. For anyone that feels the same then some sort of option like this for the left overs is the way to go. I think another member does the same thing and uses the preground to ‘season’ his machine after a chemical backflush and also as an emergency supply in case the unthinkable happens and he runs out of coffee!!

    True single dosing can only be done with ‘straight through’ grinders. Eg. EK43, Niche Zero, Baratza Sette, Kafatek Monolith, most hand grinders etc.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Jackster's Avatar
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    On a grinder I used to have, and my single dosing adventures, I glued 4" length of plumbing pipe in substitution of the hopper, so the beans had a greater vertical height. Then a shot glass would fit down the pipe sitting on top of the beans. In the shot glass was a lump of brass off something or other.
    If the grinder wasn't such a piece of poop, it would have worked pretty well, it only needed the few extra beans to keep the burrs full at the end of the grind.
    Pretty ugly setup

  7. #7
    Senior Member simonsk8r's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeroyC View Post
    I think another member does the same thing and uses the preground to ‘season’ his machine after a chemical backflush and also as an emergency supply in case the unthinkable happens and he runs out of coffee!!
    Hahaha I have a feeling that's me :P. Ohhh you should see how much I've got stored away... goodness me. All little purges I do I just store away. It adds up! Apocalypse sorted!

    And yep I use it for throwaway shots after a chem clean too, win win!

  8. #8
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    I had the Sunbeam EM0480 for some time.
    I felt the grinder required some weight to push the beans down into the burrs. I didn't like keeping too much coffee bin there so I would keep about 100g and placed a clean ball in there that was just barely large enough to clear the sides of the hopper. It was rubber, kinda like a super ball. Worked a treat.

    I would use a timber squewer to poke around in the exit chute after grinding, it would dislodge most (90%) of the trapped grinds imo.

    At the end of the day I'd suck the grinds from the chute with a battery powered hand-held vacuum. The next morning no squewering would dislodge anything.

    I used the same squewer to loosen any clumps, which there always were. It did help to stir the grinds.



    I upgraded that particular grinder to the Breville Smart Pro and whilst it's no better than the EM0480 in terms of taste, it's a much easier grinder to get consistent results from. So if you don't mind the unforgiving nature of the EM0480 (shimming and dialling in) as well as slow workflow, it's actually a very good grinder.

    Hope that helps.

  9. #9
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    Just to add a little to this thread - when I had access to a laser refractometer I did a fair bit of testing different grinders. The EM480's and Smartgrinder's (we had a few of each) were both a tie in performance as long as you had enough weight in the hopper to allow them to work. They are both small conical grinders using similar burr design and motor layout so it makes sense that they would be close in performance. I concluded that you could pay another $50 and get an easier to use beastie or "sava da muny" and have no hand holding. Either would be a valid call depending upon desires and budget considerations.

    My Mazzer Major was quite a large step up (in size and cost as well as quality in the cuppa) as long as it had enough weight in the hopper.

    Post laser refractometer access I tested a number of newer grinders (including the earlier Settes - I believe the later ones have been redesigned).

    My take - If you want a big improvement over the humble 480, Mahlkoenig Vario is about 4 times the price and significantly better than any of the cheaper (say under $1,000) grinders. Certainly not 4 times as good... Law of diminishing returns bites hard when it comes to coffee grinders.

    Just possibly the newer Settes may also be a big jump up - however every conical grinder we measured (including some very upmarket ones) has a "twin peak" particle spread which gave too many unwanted fines. The twin peaks seems to be inherent in that grinder technology. The finer you grind the worse the conicals perform, and the more the unwanted fines you get as a percentage. That is OK for darker roasts, however it is a "kiss of death" for light to medium roasted single origins if you go for VST (or equivalent - if there are any) baskets.

    Above that level you are really way outside the home market and most commercial grinders (i.e. like my Major) have way too much grind retention for light duty home use.

    As I stated earlier in the linked thread - I have never tested any grinder where the particle spread does not deteriorate (significantly) if there is not enough weight in the hopper to feed the burrs properly.

    Oh, and please let your taste buds be your guide. If you reckon the coffee is good, just lay back and savour your cuppa. That is what it really is all about.


    TampIt
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  10. #10
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    When I used my EM480 I had the same concerns about keeping the bean fresh for longer as I was the only coffee drinker in the household. So in order to achieve the effect of having enough beans in the hopper what I did was to fill the hopper with 60-70g beans (enough for 3-4days) but also place a bag of rice on top of the beans to add weight -I just used a plastic bag filled with normal uncooked rice. The rice is denser to adds enough weight, while using the plastic bag allows the weight of rice to spread and sit evenly on top of beans.
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  11. #11
    Rbn
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    Well guys. Thank you for all the replies.
    If we are willing to learn we can often find something new every day.

    For sure it has made a difference to go back to "filling the hopper".
    I have had move the grind a click coarser, as it was getting close to choking!

    So great work, I should have checked in here before my move to weighing the exact amount in and out!

    Robin
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by justacuppa View Post
    When I used my EM480 I had the same concerns about keeping the bean fresh for longer as I was the only coffee drinker in the household. So in order to achieve the effect of having enough beans in the hopper what I did was to fill the hopper with 60-70g beans (enough for 3-4days) but also place a bag of rice on top of the beans to add weight -I just used a plastic bag filled with normal uncooked rice. The rice is denser to adds enough weight, while using the plastic bag allows the weight of rice to spread and sit evenly on top of beans.
    G'day justacuppa

    Brilliant idea - I stand in awe...

    TampIt
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