Re: How about that versalab grinder already?
- From: jim schulman <jim_schulman@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Thu, 04 Aug 2005 19:35:38 -0500
On Wed, 03 Aug 2005 13:52:06 -0500, jim schulman
>Mine came in this morning. I'm done for the day, since I also cupped
>six coffees before it arrived. Here's the exerpt from the log I'm
Here's today's log continuation (tell me when you get bored):
(Aug 3) B: A roll of bubble wrap, acting as a compressable wedge,
makes a perfectly satisfactory basket holder mark 2.
C: Andy called and remarked the grinder was a lot slower than the
mini. It didn't seem that way for me. I realized the time gained on
dosing made up for the slower grinding time:
Mini Procedure: M3 Procedure: difference: Mini - M3
spoon coffee in ditto 0 sec
--- mount basket - 2 sec
grind ditto - 6 to 10 sec*
sweep spout & throat --- 4 sec
get basket and dose --- 8 sec
tamp ditto 0 sec
4 sec to no difference
*varies with bean and hopper versus "bean jumping"
D: Checked on the motor after Andy called. It's only a 1 amp
brushless DC motor! But after being belted down from 2500 to 500 rpm,
the effective torque is the same as from a 5 amp motor, giving roughly
the equivalent of a 1/2 HP AC job according to the Bodine data sheets.
A: Did a 6 coffee cupping using the grinder, after finding and
marking the correct setting.
The threading is finer than on the mini, and it required 120
degrees loosening rather than 90 as on the mini to go from epresso to
french press. Oddly enough, the torque on the barrel was higher for
the coarse grind, and the lock-nut had to be firmly closed. If the
lock nut is not closed, the adjustment slips to a finer grind, not
looser -- very odd
Doing the cupping grinding was a joy, basically taking no time at
all. One can clamp a cappa cup into the funnel (using the handy mark 2
bubble wrap roll), spoon in the coffee and grind. By the time one has
put the beans away, and measured the next lot, the cup is ready to go.
The moving wiper on the exit chute is what retains the 1/4 to 1/2 gram
of grinds, so a quick finger wipe on it when removing the cup is all
Today's recupping came out very different from yesterday's first
cupping, but this is not too unusual. I'll need to do some blind
testing of MM versus M3 cupping grinds just in case the grind is
playing a role.
B: I tried a few shots on the La Peppina, and had spilled grounds.
The funnel is 1mm or 2mm larger than the 48mm basket, and it doesn't
seal perfectly. Moreover, the wiper blade scrapes on the basket lip.
I'll need to figure out a workaround. The shots didn't seem any
clearer than the Tea's using this grinder. Yet another thing to test.
C: Overloading baskets iis hard on this grinder. The grounds come
out distributed in a donut or volcano shape, with a crater in the
middle. This creates a higher pile than usual, so the basket requires
careful handling prior to tamping. The shape is due to the way the
grounds are centrifugally flung against the funnel wall by the burrs
and kept there by the wiper blade. In effect, the grounds come
sheeting down the funnel walls like a waterfall.
The good news on this is that the grounds distribute beautifully
in the basket. I played with underfilling the LM triple using only 12
grams of coffee. Even the light tamp pour was even, albeit nasty
looking, since the puck dissolved midshot. A hard tamp produced an
even and somewhat acceptable pour.
Aside: could the varying opinions about tamping necessity be
dependent on how much head space people leave between the puck and
showerscreen? If there's enough so the puck doesn't swell to the top,
a soft tamp is going to have the puck dissolve part way through the
D: The M3 grounds retention is odd. There's no stale grounds going
into the next shot; but often, the grounds don't all make it to this
shot either. Instead, 20 seconds later, theres a small pile on the
grinder base. Probably, this is stuff coating the chute and flywheels,
going under the scrapers, and falling out when the static dissipates.
E: I did shots of the cupping coffees using the M3. This is usually
fairly unpleasant, given the light roasts, and one has to "taste
beneath" the lemon peel. In this case there was lots of acidity in
terms of tongue tingle, but none of the lingering lemon peel. If this
holds up (no central in this set), I'll have gotten the wider SO range
for which I bought the grinder.
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