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Topic: newbie and grinders (22 msgs / 459 lines)
1) From: bv welch
Since it seems to be a slow day on the list, I am re-trying this post also.
It was originally sent about 4 days ago.
I was initially concerned that I'd need a $500 grinder to go with my $3 air
popper.  Then I found I could do pour-over and french press without an
inexpensive grinder. In fact, SweetMarias discusses this topic on this web
page:http://www.sweetmarias.com/prod.electricmills.shtml#bodumCmillHowever, I'm interested in finding a hand-grinder, but I have no idea how to
evaluate the ones on EBay, antique stores, and elsewhere.  I welcome any
suggestions. How can I tell the difference between an old grinder that is
just "for looks", and a real, useful one?
I have no plans for espresso anytime soon-- just pour-over, french press,
and a moka pot.
Thank you,
Bill
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2) From: Lynne
Thank you, Bill, for solving the slow-day problem here! ; )
There are a few subjects which will emit stronger opinions than this. I'm
happy
w/my whirly blade (for now), but there are good grinders out there for less
than
$500 (so I've read).
Whatever you decide - good luck & keep having fun.
Lynne
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3) From: Coffee
The idea is that a good grinder will produce a more uniform particle  
size. The coffee will extract more evenly. If you have a cheap grinder  
that has a bunch of powder along with the larger particles, the powder  
will over-extract giving you more bitterness in the cup and it will  
pass through your french press filter.
I noticed a distinct improvement in all my coffee brewing methods when  
I upgraded from a De'longhi grinder to a Rocky. If you are not  
planning on doing espresso, you might consider one of the fine  
grinders from Baratza.
-Peter
On Feb 27, 2008, at 11:38 AM, bv welch wrote:
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4) From: Jim Gundlach
Bill,
     for a hand grinder I recommend a Zassenhaus knee grinder.  I  
prefer the knee because the grinding mechanism has better anchors and  
makes a more even grind.  The key to identifying the knee grinder is  
that when you look at it from the front the sides gently curve in.    
There is a mislabeled one on eBay now number 300201025479	.
       pecan jim
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5) From: Barry Luterman
Safest way is to stick with Zassenhaus with one thing to look out
for.Therewas a period about 3 years ago when a bunch of defective ones
hit the
market. If buying off e-bay look for an older one that has been in the US.
People in the States usually have them for decoration in their
kitchens. They seldom use them for grinding. The ones from Europe are
usually well used and the postage eats you up.Buy a new one if you can swing
it and you will be safe. If you go electric in the future they are always
good for travelling.
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6) From: Brett Mason
Bill, any ZASSENHAUS grinder will do.
(grin - I only own 2 right now, plus an Armin Trosser, an antique Cory
grinder, a Grindmaster a Rocky and a whirley blade.  I suppose i have
crossed the 500 level - but not as bad as others around here...)
Old wooden grinders can ruin beans with the best of them - that's why the
Zassenhaus comes with such high recommendations...
Brett
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7) From: BeanMeUp
I've been away a while, so I hope my two cents aren't too tardy.
After an inordinate amount of research, I chose the Capresso Infinity  
Conical Burr Grinder that can be found at many e-tailers for about  
$65. The gear reduction motor grinds very effectively with little or  
no static issues. One thing to watch out for is that all burr grinders  
are not the same. You want a "conical" burr, and not those other  
"burr" grinders with two metal rings that are about as effective as  
putting the beans in a bag and hitting them with a hammer. The  
Infinity keeps the beans cool and is surprisingly consistent given the  
price. Whole beans increase their volume by about 15% - 25% after  
grinding with the Infinity, so if you dose with a spoon instead of by  
weight, you'll need to factor this into your brews.
I hope this helps!
Brian
P.S. Want more? Visit:http://www.capresso.com/coffee-grinders-burr-infinity.shtmlOn Feb 27, 2008, at 7:03 PM, homeroast-request 
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8) From: Brett Mason
You know, if you're at $65, why not go 70-78 for one of the Zassenhaus
grinders that Tom carries?
Get one that will last a lifetime!http://www.sweetmarias.com/prod.zas.shtmlBrett
  Zassman
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9) From: Bill
Brian,
All the Capresso Infinities that I've seen have static issues.  That might
be due to the dryness here, or maybe just seen 3 bad ones and assumed they
all have that issue.  It was a selling point on the Maestro Plus...
Anybody have any info on that?
bill
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10) From: Brett Mason
A gentle sprinkling of water, or a mist into the cup will eliminate the
static...
  (no dry, no static)
Some of my earlier burr grinders had that exact issue.
Brett
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11) From: Dave Huddle
I notice static problems with my Zass knee mill at the office during
the winter.    I huff (& puff) into the hopper and grind slowly in an
attempt to lessen the problem.
Dave
Westerville, OH
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12) From: Bill
Dave, that's interesting, I hadn't heard of anyone having any static issues
with a Zass...  I figured that with the lower RPMs than an electric motor
creates, you wouldn't have a static issue.  Thanks for the report.bill
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13) From: Mike Koenig
Brian,
It's not quite as simple as "conical burrs good,  flat burrs bad".  In
fact virtually all of the "top-end" home grinders (which are really
smaller commercial grinders such as the Mazzer Mini and Super Jolly,
or the Macap M4) or the popular Rancilio Rocky are flat burr grinders.
Unless you are going up to a massive beast like a Mazzer Kony,  you
won't find a conical grinder that will out-perform these flat burr
units, and even then difference there is minuscule.   (see the Titan
Grinder project over at home-barista.com)
I don't want to start a conical vs. flat holy war,  just want to point
this out before someone else takes it as "net wisdom".
--mike
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14) From: Allon Stern
On Feb 28, 2008, at 4:10 PM, Mike Koenig wrote:
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I have a hand grinder that looks nice and rustic, and the grind it  
produces is also....rustic.
This was a unit my parents were getting ready to throw out; it's  
pretty old. I doubt it has much value, but I saved it because it's  
pretty to look at.
I tried it for coffee and decided it's pretty to look at.
I should take some pictures of the conical burrs. They look totally  
hand made with very little precision or care.
-
allon
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15) From: raymanowen
" There is a mislabeled one on eBay now... "
The two terms "mislabeled" and "eBay" are asymptotic -ro
On Wed, Feb 27, 2008 at 12:53 PM, Jim Gundlach 
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16) From: BeanMeUp
I know this may make me sound like a plebe, but I do not care. When I  
posted my thoughts on the Infinity, it was all I could do to keep from  
gushing. Since I have not experienced the purer knee grind of a Zass,  
I cannot compare, but next to the whirly blade I've used for decades,  
the Infinity is almost perfect. Not only have I not had any static  
issues, but I haven't had *any* issues whatsoever with the robust  
little unit. Perhaps I don't have a problem with static because I am  
in South Carolina, but that hasn't stopped my giggling 8-year-old  
daughter from cross-country skiing across the carpet just to see how  
large of an electrical arc she summon against me.
So why do I think the Infinity is *almost* perfect? Because I know it  
won't last as long as a Zass--beyond that, it leaves me wanting for  
nothing.
Now watch the timer switch break on it tomorrow.
Brian
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17) From: Brett Mason
Good burrs: GOOD.
Bad burrs: BAD
That about sums it up,
Brett
  Rocky and a bunch of zasses
  Good burrs.
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18) From: Barry Luterman
Brett now that you have the new espresso machine we have to get you to move
up to a Mazzer. You won't regret it.
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19) From: Brett Mason
... will think about it!
Thanks,
Brett
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20) From: Bill
Brian,
Good to know that your grinder doesn't have static issues.  I hope it didn't
hear me badmouth it or any of its relatives!  Seriously, the important thing
is that it tastes good in your cup!  So glad that you're enjoying it and
remember to clean it!  Was it Brett that used cooked rice?
bill
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21) From: BeanMeUp
Indeed, Bill, it does make for a better cup than the whirly blade.
Mike, thank you for clarifying my ill-informed knowledge of flat  
burrs. When I was performing my research, I noticed that all the burr  
grinders under $50 not only had flat burrs, but also had horrible  
customer reviews. Since I limited my search to grinders under $150, I  
never encountered the better flat burr variety.
John B. graciously confirmed by an off-list response to my cheating  
request what I had already begun to expect from my new Behmor. As  
such, I just finished roasting eight ounces of Kenya AA Nyeri -  
Gachatha, a bean which I have hot-air roasted to great effect a number  
of times before. Following John's lead, I nailed a very nice City +.  
The profile? 1/2 P1 B ++, then hit cool with 2:22 left on the timer.  
First crack ended with about 2:50 left on the timer, and the smell was  
better than I ever experienced with my popper or Fresh Roast, probably  
due to the greater volume of beans.
Wishing I didn't have to wait for the little buggers to rest,
Brian
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22) From: Chuck Haines
I have a Zassenhaus,http://sweetmarias.com/prod.zas.shtml,mahogany
knee mill.  I absolutely love it.  I had it bought for me as a
birthday present and I must admit, I don't use electric grinders
anymore.  The grind on the Zassenhaus is one of the best grinds I have
ever seen and it's absolutely consistent.  Every time I make a grind
it's perfect.  I highly recommend it.
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