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Topic: Hacking the Maestro [WAS:Re: +reality] (8 msgs / 189 lines)
1) From: Robert D. Crawford
stereoplegic  writes:
OK, thus far it is 1 for the Maestro and 2 against.  I am curious what
hacking you did.  Also, what kind of Gaggia?  Classic?
Robert D. Crawford                                     robdcraw
Claret is the liquor for boys; port for men; but he who aspires to be a hero
... must drink brandy.
		-- Samuel Johnson

2) From: miKe mcKoffee
Ask about the SMP on a site frequented by those deep into the darksde like
home-barista.com and I'm quite sure that 1:2 for:against ratio will
dramatically change:-) Course you'll also find extremists doing things like
building a travel grinder Zass' clone using 83mm Mazzer Robur burrs! (Just
the Robur burrs cost more than an SMP)
Agreed the WDT stirring method can make up for all kinds of grinding
problems in clumping in distribution. Also agree that Maestro burrs can
grind evenly enough for espresso when burrs sharp. And all grinders will
need their burrs replaced periodically to maintain optimal grind quality.
But a SMP will need the burrs replaced about twice as often as for instance
a Rocky (And Rocky needs 'em every ~100#). For fun did a 100# usage per year
cost analysis between Mazzer Super Jolly and Rocky both new. Rocky with
annual burr replacement, SJ every 5 years. (that's at about 50% mfg
suggested maximum burr life which is what is required to maintain good grind
quality for espresso duties.) At ten year point Rocky cost as much as a
Super Jolly.
Since the Maestro burr set runs about the same cost as Rocky burr set and
will need replacing roughly twice as often "cost of ownership" for a Maestro
will reach Rocky even sooner than Rocky reached Super Jolly. Just ran
scenario with Rocky's burrs replaced annually and Maestro's semi-annually.
At six year point both will cost $450 to own, after that Maestro cost of
ownership higher than a Rocky (If the Maestro holds up that long while
grinders like Rocky highly likely will, mine already almost at 6 years old.)
Pacific Northwest Gathering Vhttp://home.comcast.net/~mckona/PNWGV.htmKona Kurmudgeon miKe mcKoffee
URL to Rosto mods, FrankenFormer, some recipes etc:http://mdmint.home.comcast.net/coffee/Rosto_mod.htmUltimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I must
first not know. And in knowing know I know not. Each Personal enlightenment
found exploring the many divergent foot steps of Those who have gone before.
Sweet Maria's List - Searchable Archiveshttp://themeyers.org/HomeRoast/

3) From: Patrick S. Harper
I love mine

4) From: stereoplegic
okay, first of all i have a *$ barista burr grinder (solis 166, same 
burrs as the Maestro and Maestro Plus). while i had it open to swap the 
adjustment ring (the "Solis Maestro Upgrade Kit" on Baratza's site-has 
thicker tabs, less likely to break-see RayO's posts about an 
unadjustable grinder) i had to file the hopper to fit the new tabs (i'm 
cheap, didn't feel like ordering a new hopper, i have 2 already). before 
taking the ring off, note where it is set (mine has a line drawn w/ a 
red sharpie)-you will probably want to move it at least a notch or two 
clockwise (finer). it's also a good idea to mark where your stock 
espresso range is w/ a different-colored sharpie. while i had the ring 
off, i took off the piece below that (another ring with several small 
circular holes around its top rim, threaded in the middle: twist 
counter-clockwise to remove, but be careful with the small ball bearing 
(that fits in the aforementioned circular holes) below that, there's a 
spring beneath the bearing that will send it flying-the ball bearing and 
the spring are what hold your settings in place while you grind). once 
this second ring is off (and hopefully marked twice, once by the factory 
and once by you), comes the fun part: bringing out the hobby knife (be 
VERY careful, this plastic is much thicker than your skin. cut carefully 
and SLOWLY). now, remember those small circular holes? you'll be cutting 
between these, in the range of where you marked the factory espresso 
setting (i guess you could just use a small file, but after a few years 
in the sign business, i'm pretty comfortable w/ hobby knives). i cut 
gaps just smaller than the existing holes-after all, you don't want to 
lose the ball bearing just when you think everything's back in place. i 
think i did four to finer than the factory setting, and two coarser (so 
i could dial in lungos/cafe cremas as well as ristrettos. once the 
cutting and/or filing is finished, screw this ring back in place, again 
being mindful of the ball bearing and spring. snap the adjustment ring 
in place (either the original or the upgrade, although you won't have 
much adjustment range left w/ the original-even with the upgrade ring my 
grinder doesn't go coarse enough for French Press anymore, one of the 
reasons i got the Trosser) a notch or two finer than it was originally 
set (set it where the factory sharpie mark is, then move it clockwise to 
where you want it and snap it back in). even though the trosser does a 
great job in this range (and it's stepless) i still use the Barista 
every day for espresso, as it's so easy to dial in. i really like it for 
lungos and ristrettos. be warned that you can reach absolute zero (burrs 
touching) with this mod, though you will feel more resistance when you 
near this range.
btw, list members, this isn't the same Barista i found at the thrift 
store for $2 w/ the bum motor/capacitor/whatever, but a newer model i 
received as a gift (shhh, they don't know i hacked it).
rob, to answer your second question, i have a Gaggia Carezza that i got 
from eBay for $117 shipped (i quickly found out why, the tube from the 
pump to the boiler had a leak, but fixing that cost me about $.01 of 
tubing. also, the plastic piece holding one side of the pump's rubber 
holder broke off, so i bolted it to the inside of the back of the 
machine's case-nobody's gonna see it anyway-about a $1 fix even w/ 
rubber washers to deaden some of the sound). all in all, $118.01 plus 15 
minutes troubleshooting and labor (my own). since then i've replaced the 
stock steam wand w/ Silvia's steam wand (great mod, very easy), and i'm 
working on PID brew temp control (PID came in today, still waiting on 
the SSR).
robdcraw wrote:

5) From: stereoplegic
i'm not saying for a minute that it's better or even comparable to a 
Rocky IF you can afford it. if you can swing it, then go Rocky, don't 
look back! if not (like me for the time being) this mod+Weiss technique 
just might get you the grind range/quality you need to start pulling 
phenominal shots (not claiming god shots, but a minimum of 50% crema 
every shot. 90% of the time now it's more like 75% crema).
hmmm... hand grinder w/ Mazzer burrs, you say... i just found a pair of 
Major burrs, was thinking about selling them on eBay, but i'll need a 
new project once i finish hacking the Carezza.
mcKona wrote:

6) From: Brett Mason
This is a tremendous account of excellence in hacking!  Way to go!
On 5/16/07, stereoplegic  wrote:

7) From: stereoplegic
homeroast wrote:

8) From: Robert D. Crawford
"Brett Mason"  writes:
I completely agree.  I wish I still had the eyesight and the know-how to
do such things.  Kudos!
Robert D. Crawford                                     robdcraw
Some people have no respect for age unless it's bottled.

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