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Thread: Grind problem with new Rocky

  1. #1
    trumboli
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    New Rocky Need to zero for grind adjustment?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    The instructions with a new Rocky say that the machine is tested with beans etc at the factory. That being the case is there really a need to turn the grind adjustment until the burrs touch and then back off 2 1/2 turns or similar to adjust the machine as per the instructions?
    Mine was set at 10. That is where I normally grind on another Rocky. I get similar results on my new one. So why is there a need to do all the zeroing etc. Is it not just a matter of turning to finer or coarser untill one gets the correct grind?

  2. #2
    Senior Member fatboy_1999's Avatar
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    Re: New Rocky Need to zero for grind adjustment?

    If it is working the way you want it to, then youre probably doing all you need to.

    I daresay the test at the factory is just to prove that it can grind. I dont think the coffee would then get used to make a shot every time.

    As for zeroing, I used to do this when re-assembling the upper burr. Mainly it was just for my own benefit to know where true zero was on the grinder. I would do the adjustment with the grinder on, so it was very important that the burrs were not touching when I started and the adjustment turning was slow enough to not cause danger to self or grinder.

    True zero on my old Rocky was around -5 from memory, so a shown setting of 8 was actually 13.

  3. #3
    trumboli
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    Re: New Rocky Need to zero for grind adjustment?

    Thanx fatboy, It is working fine so I will not touch it. Just thought maybe there was some scientific reasoning behind it. Yeah, I can see there is a need after dismantling and reassembling. Just seemed a bit siilly if everytime I want to adjust the grind that I should do all the zeroing stuff as stated in the manual. Maybe just a translation thingy.

  4. #4
    trumboli
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    Grind problem with new Rocky

    I bought a new Rocky Doser on Friday. It was set on 10. I was getting reasonable shots as, I also was before with my sons Rocky on the same setting. I adjusted the setting 2 notches finer just to see what difference there was in the settings but now my shots have started through about in 10-12 seconds. seems asthough no matter what setting it just runs through. I am using a Gaggia Classic and was wondering if there is any possibility it could have something to do with the Classic and not the grind. I am tamping the same although I have tamped a little harder since this prob but to no avail. I have wasted heaps of beans. Any ideas appreciated.

  5. #5
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    Re: Grind problem with new Rocky

    What pressure are you running your OPV at? Its usually factory set fairly high... you may wanna consider the OPV mod, it should help.

  6. #6
    trumboli
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    Re: Grind problem with new Rocky

    This what I thought after reading about adjusting the OPV on Snobs. Prob is the Classic is only a couple of weeks old and was working like a charm.

  7. #7
    trumboli
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    Re: Grind problem with new Rocky

    I thinks to myself that it would be easier for some part to go out of adjustment on the grinder than for the OPV to suddenly start unwinding itself. Than again I am only a green bean. I just want to get some ideas on how settings could suddenly go out of adjustment before I take the grinder back for a warranty check. The whole thing sounds weird.

  8. #8
    trumboli
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    Re: New Rocky Need to zero for grind adjustment?

    It WAS working fine!
    Now it seems out of whack after a few uses. see my other post http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1202554263

  9. #9
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    Re: Grind problem with new Rocky

    Are your beans fresh, what kind of tamper are you using?

  10. #10
    trumboli
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    Re: Grind problem with new Rocky

    I am using a Pullman tamper. The beans are Lavazza, which are as fresh as possible for pre packed whole beans. They are the exact same beans that I ground successfully and pulkled a reasonably good shot only 2-3 hours before this all went crazy. Also the same beans that were ground on another Rocky but shots pulled successfully on a Silvia.

  11. #11
    TC
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    Re: Grind problem with new Rocky

    Quote Originally Posted by trumboli link=1202554263/0#5 date=1202594019
    I am using a Pullman tamper. The beans are Lavazza, which are as fresh as possible for pre packed whole beans. They are the exact same beans that I ground successfully and pulkled a reasonably good shot only 2-3 hours before this all went crazy. Also the same beans that were ground on another Rocky but shots pulled successfully on a Silvia.
    Not likely....Lavazza come in two states of freshness- stale and completely stale.....

  12. #12
    Senior Member ozscott's Avatar
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    Re: Grind problem with new Rocky

    You must either find a local roaster of fresh coffee or do it yourself (by far the preferred method on this site - for good reason).

    I went to Naked Coffee in Brisbane the other day - reputed to be about the best commercial coffee you can get...and it was. It was bloody excellent and made at a slow point and with time and care taken - including dosing straight through the doser from the grinder and not from old stuff already in the doser. Tamping was done with a tamper and I had asked for a ristretto pull. Having said that my wife and I agreed that the Peru Grace was the closest thing we had (both very smooth and rounded without much aftertaste) and that ours was that bit better again....and the difference must surely be down to the freshness of the beans used.

    Cheers

  13. #13
    Senior Member greenman's Avatar
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    Re: Grind problem with new Rocky

    Fresh beans are crucial to good shots. Lavazza would be stale no matter how fresh they tell you it may be!!
    I usually have my Rocky at about 4-5 nothces depending on beans being used. This is how the machine was set up when I purchased it. I will adjust it eventually.
    Good luck with it...........................

  14. #14
    trumboli
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    Re: Grind problem with new Rocky

    Thanx to all who offered help on this matter. I do not wish to sound unappreciative of the help offered but,

    I have, after reading the replies, taken my lavaza beans (whether or not has Been stated "Lavazza come in two states of freshness- stale and completely stale..... ") to another Rocky doser set on a setting of 10 and pulled a 30mil shot in 29 seconds with good crema on a Rancilio Silvia. This is why I I do not think it is the beans causing this problem as much as I agree with you all regarding the fact that prepacked Lavazza is not as fresh as the beans you are talking about. I also clean my doser out pretty well between grinds and as much as possible in the exit chute so any coffee left further internally IMHO would be no more than what is left in a doserless grinder.

    Also I realise my machine setting is not necessarily the same as my sons however I was pulling good shots on the same setting since Friday until last night when everything seemed to change.

    I guess I should not expect answers via this forum on this subject when the helpers can not actually see the machine in operation as there seem to be so many variables.
    Thanx all

  15. #15
    Gar
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    Re: Grind problem with new Rocky

    You say you have used your beans in another Rocky and it gives a good pour on a Silvia.

    Have you tried using your own grinder and testing this out on the Silvia ?

    If you are then getting a much quicker pour, it will indicate that there is something amiss with your grinder rather than your machine.



  16. #16
    trumboli
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    Re: Grind problem with new Rocky

    GAR, not as yet. I was going to that just before my last reply but my son wasnt home. Hopefully I can do that tonight. Some might think, why not ask your son for answers. Prob is we are both pretty new at this. he is making very good coffee with the methods he uses but does not indulge himself with the ins and outs of making good coffee, just grinds, tamps, and pours. While it works for him he is happy. I guess he is just lucky.
    regards
    trumboli

  17. #17
    Senior Member ozscott's Avatar
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    Re: Grind problem with new Rocky

    Ok - you might need some help from someone on here with a Classic.

    As you say try your Rocky on your sons Silvia first then try your sons Rocky on your Classic to try to narrow things down...using the same beans from the same pack if at all possible.

    Cheers

  18. #18
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    Re: Grind problem with new Rocky

    hmm.... maybe recalibrate your Rocky (find the zero point and work up from there). 6-7 notches above the zero point seems to be a good place to start.
    How much coffee are you putting into your pf? I found it made a huge difference when I didnt have enough coffee in the pf to make an imprint of the shower screen screw in the puck.
    I would definitely be hitting up the OPV mod asap though. I found it slowed my shots down to an acceptable rate rather than getting sour gushers. Oh and maybe getting out the bathroom scales to make sure youre getting the correct tamp pressure. I guess, try and get most of the variables constant and then it might be easier to diagnose. Oh, and maybe get some fresh beans.... that you can be 100% sure they are fresh.

    Hope it gets sorted out soon!

    Yeeza

  19. #19
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    Re: New Rocky Need to zero for grind adjustment?

    oops, just posted on your other topic then read this ...

  20. #20
    trumboli
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    Re: Grind problem with new Rocky

    If I turn the adjustment on the hopper towards "0" it stops (I guess that is touching the burrs) and "0" is dead centre with the arrow on the front of the grinder. Does that mean it is calibrated OK already. I have since done a grind on "7" instead of the "10" I was using originally. I now get a pull of 20 seconds for my 30 mils, whereas I was getting 30mil in around 29-30 seconds on "10" (which is coarser) when it was new only 3 days ago. Still better then my original post of 30mil in 10-12 seconds. My question still is, could it get out of adjustment in such a short time. As far as I can tell I am not using any different technique to my first use of Rocky. I hope I am not annoying you guys with my going around in circles. I realise it is so hard to diagnose when you cannot actually see the situation. Anyway when I get home tonight I will do the tests with a Silvia etc and go over my filling and tamping and see what I come up with.
    maybe it lies in the calibrating, but do I need to take the hopper off and reassemble to do it properly. going by the manual It is no more than turning the hopper one way and turning it back. As I said the "0" is dead centre already on burr touch. Maybe I am missing something. Possibly a few neurons!.
    Thanx again.

  21. #21
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    Re: Grind problem with new Rocky

    Quote Originally Posted by trumboli link=1202554263/0#14 date=1202621677
    I have since done a grind on "7" instead of the "10" I was using originally. I now get a pull of 20 seconds for my 30 mils, whereas I was getting 30mil in around 29-30 seconds on "10" (which is coarser) when it was new only 3 days ago. Still better then my original post of 30mil in 10-12 seconds. My question still is, could it get out of adjustment in such a short time. As far as I can tell I am not using any different technique to my first use of Rocky. I hope I am not annoying you guys with my going around in circles. I realise it is so hard to diagnose when you cannot actually see the situation. Anyway when I get home tonight I will do the tests with a Silvia etc and go over my filling and tamping and see what I come up with.
    I adjust my grinder more than 20 times a day to keep the grinder dialed in. Factors such as grinder heat, humidity and weather all play a part in changing the grind setting. The best advice I can give you is to keep a consistent dosing and tamping technique....and never change it.

  22. #22
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Grind problem with new Rocky

    Gday trumboli,

    All the advice given above is good advice but of course, no matter how well described the advice is, you still have to interpret it and then turn it in to action.... and thats the hard part :-?.

    I think you need to set the Single Basket aside for the moment and just stick with the Double as it is more forgiving of slightly erroneous technique and will allow you to get the processes of your technique fine-tuned. Once youve got using a Double Basket sorted out, it will be a lot easier to dial-in for the Single.

    What everyone is saying about Lavazza beans is true, whether you believe it or not. There is a rule of 3s that is oft quoted by one of our most experienced CSers, JavaB, and it is pretty close to the money. It concerns the freshness of coffee beans and is a good rule of thumb to work by.....
    Basically, it goes like this:

    Green beans are good for 3 years (given ideal storage conditions),
    Roasted whole beans are good for 3 weeks (again, given ideal storage conditions), and
    Ground coffee is good for about 3 minutes (maybe longer if stored with diligent attention to detail).


    The enemies of roasted coffee are (in no particular order) Moisture, Heat, Light and Oxygen. That is why most of use black, resealable 1-Way Valved Bags and also why reputable roasters supply their freshly roasted beans in the very same bags. You would be doing yourself an enormous favour by finding a reputable specialist roaster in your locality and developing a rapport such that you know when your favourite beans are being roasted.

    Regarding your Rocky, that Zero position may be actual Zero and it may also not be. Rancilio and other manufacturers often site an over-travel screw within the adjustment mechanism to prevent accidental over-adjustment and cause the burrs to clash. This can cause a bit of noise but is not actually very harmful to the burrs or the grinder as the mating surfaces of the burr-plates have been polished flat at the factory and it is only these two surfaces rubbing together which causes the noise.

    To determine where your actual Zero is, you will need to unwind the top burr-carrier/bean hopper so that you can gain access to this screw and remove it, either temporarily or permanently, and then refit the burr-carrier/hopper and wind down until the burr-plates actually touch. This is your true Zero. This whole exercise though, is really only of academic interest as for all your espresso shots, and even Turkish Coffee if you ever wish to try that brewing method, will have you nowhere near actual zero.

    So, in summary, throw the Single Basket in the kitchen drawer for now and concentrate on getting everything right with the Double. Throw the Lavazza in the bin and get yourself some decent, high quality freshly roasted coffee. Practice all the elements of your technique until you are confident that you can reliably and consistently, Dose, Distribute, Tamp your coffee the same way every time. This then only leaves the single variable of the Grinder Setting to fine-tune your shots so that you can pour all your shots within the constraints of the Golden Rule..... 30/60ml of espresso within 25-30 seconds. Remember though, that this is only intended as a guide, it isnt law. Far more important than getting your shots to meet this exact criteria, is that you watch your shot progress closely and stop it at the first signs of Blonding. Theres a great article on how to do all of this here on Home Barista and it makes for great reading.

    All the best trumboli, youll get there, just takes a bit of time and lots of practice.... :)

    Cheers,
    Mal.

  23. #23
    Senior Member ozscott's Avatar
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    Re: Grind problem with new Rocky

    I cant suggest enough not using any supermarket bought beans to try to get your grind, dosing and tamp right - it will likely be hit and miss and frustration packed. If you insist, then perhaps you might like to make sure that the volume and tamping is exactly the same each time - that may entail you weighing with electronic scales and tamping on a set of scales also...you will find with fresh beans that you dont need to do this and will get it all right so much easier.

    I think that the advise so far is as far as anyone can take it for you...you really need to spend a fair bit of time trying to get the dosing and tamping consistent - you might like to use up all those rubbish beans:)

    Cheers

  24. #24
    Senior Member ozscott's Avatar
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    Re: Grind problem with new Rocky

    ...the funny thing is that Lavaza charge so much

  25. #25
    trumboli
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    Re: Grind problem with new Rocky

    Well, this is the last word on this as I do not think I have either explained my problem properly or it is just not being understood.

    Using the very same stale/staler/whatever Lavazza beans on a setting of "10" on a different Rocky which also is normally used for a similar blend and use by date of Lavazza beans as mine the result is identical to grind the owner gets with his. I do not use a single basket. My grinder was working satisfactorily on a setting of "10" three days ago when new. Now "10" is way too coarse and I have gone down to "6" a big jump after only 7-8 grinds! My rocky without beans in the hopper on a a setting of "6" and higher it is whisper quite.

    Now this is what I have noticed since my original posting, if I want to go finer to "5" or under (without beans) I get a metallic noise and when stopping it sounds a little like an old electric fan does when hitting on the safety guard. I assume this is the burrs touching, not sure as I have never heard touching burrs before. OK, so say now "5" is actually zero and my latest grind is already on "6" there is no room to move finer. Can recalibrating fix this? Or is the recalibrating just an aesthetic thing.

    I hope this explains it. If not I will not bother you guys anymore and just say thanks for your patience.

  26. #26
    trumboli
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    Re: Grind problem with new Rocky

    SEEKETH AND THOU SHALT FIND

    Just found this from 20005 very similar problem to mine!! http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1111463669 Looks like it is not an isolated problem either.


    Rocky Burr Alignment Problem
    on: 22. Mar 2005 at 14:54 Quote
    Hi Guys,
    I noticed that when my Rocky was turned down to below 5 on the dial there was a noise that appeared to be the burrs catching. They are not grinding on each other but seem to catch each time the motor turns. This produces a knocking noise and gets worse the finer the grind.
    I took the hopper and the top burr off but when re-assembled there was no improvement.

    After some research on the net Ive seen that a number of others have experienced the same problem with their Rockys.
    Just wondering if anyone has had this problem and if so, is there a fix you can perform? Im expecting to have to take it to Cerebro to be checked out but if there is an easier way around it Id love to know.
    The replies to this post apply exactly to my Rocky as well except he had actually taken his apart and couldnt get the warranty as they reckon it was his fault. Looks like I take it for a warranty check.

  27. #27
    Senior Member ozscott's Avatar
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    Re: Grind problem with new Rocky

    If "6" on your Rocky is still too course for a decent shot and then one more notch brings carrier contact then that puts a different complexion on things...and you should call the supplier for a warranty claim.

    Good luck.

    Cheers

  28. #28
    trumboli
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    Re: Grind problem with new Rocky

    Problem fixed. I got a full refund on my Rocky and have since bought a stainless steel Cunill Tranquilo as recommended by another CSer. Best move I ever made. What a dream machine. Matched it up with fresh beans as advised by fellow snobbers and am now enjoying real coffee!

  29. #29
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Grind problem with new Rocky

    Great news trumboli.... 8-)

    Yep, the Tranquilo is a very capable grinder and built like the proverbial brick ****house and will give you many years of reliable service :).

    Cheers mate,
    Mal.



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