HomeRoast Digest


Topic: Baratza Maestro Plus problem (11 msgs / 334 lines)
1) From: =?Windows-1252?Q?=C5sa_Butts?=
Hi all!
I'm new to roasting, about 6 months or so. I like my coffee ground rather f=
ine, and bought a Maestro Plus because it seemed to fit what I wanted. It d=
id for a while, but in one recent roast there was a pebble disguised as a b=
ean, the same color and shape. The mill ground to a halt and I instantly tu=
rned it off. Got the pebble/rock out with help from my husband and there se=
ems to be no effect on the burr, but when starting it again, the motor runs=
 but it does not grind. Something was stripped but what & why? And shall I =
try to get it fixed, i.e. will it be repaired with an equally fragile part?=
 So far no reply from Baratza. =
Thanks
Åsa
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2) From: Jeff Kilpatrick
Asa,
Ouch!
Did the center burr stop turning or are the burrs just not close enough
together now?
Thanks,
-jeff
On Fri, Jul 10, 2009 at 9:15 PM, Åsa Butts  wrote:
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all
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bl=WLHMTAG&crea=TXT_MTRHPG_Travel_Travel_TravelDeals_1x1
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ee.com
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3) From: Doug Hoople
Hi Åsa,
Barazta will fix your mill, and their customer service is just fantastic!
The mill is designed so that it will break a replaceable part if the burrs
are stopped by a stone (or, in my case, a green coffee bean). The
alternative is that the motor will burn out, that the drive train parts will
become permanently distorted, or that the burrs will become damaged.
The fix is something that Baratza does regularly (according to Kyle), and
your grinder will be as good as new (because nothing permanent has been
damaged).
Believe it or not, this "fragility" is actually a good thing.
Doug
On Fri, Jul 10, 2009 at 7:15 PM, Åsa Butts  wrote:
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all
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bl=WLHMTAG&crea=TXT_MTRHPG_Travel_Travel_TravelDeals_1x1
<Snip>
ee.com
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4) From: raymanowen
Between the motor and the grinding burrs, the gear box is plastic. Except
for the spiral bevel end of the motor shaft, all the internal gears are
plastic too, IIRC.
Think the $400 job with the shiny cheesecake and buttons is any better?
Better believe that all the "gurus" with a financial interest will find it
to be the best grinder since push button shave cream.
None of the "gurus" ever inspect the actual grounds or blind cup the results
between different grinders. "Uses commercial Mahlkonig ceramic burrs."
Guess what happens to "commercial Mahlkonig ceramic burrs" when you happen
to grind a pebble? Unlike metal burrs, ceramic can't be peened and filed
back into a nice, sharp edge. A stone in the craw would likely crack the
ceramic burrs. Then they'd whip themselves into an oblivion of tasteless
ceramic gravel.
Cheers, Mabuhay -RayO, aka Opa!
-- 
Persist in old ways; expect different results - suborn Insanity...
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5) From: Doug Hoople
Think you're being a bit harsh here, RayO?
I do. I'd go so far as to say you're being downright mean. The ""gurus" with
a financial interest" are actually a figment of your imagination. The
Baratza folks are a decent, committed bunch of people, and they do a
(really) terrific job serving the market segment that they target.
We don't all have to have a grinder whose chief positive attribute is the
abiliity to grind 10 pounds of coffee a day for 10 years before breaking
down. Who grinds 10 pounds of coffee a day around here, anyway? This is a
"home roasting" list, right? Are you really running a stealth commercial
venture?
Sorry, had to get that off my chest. I feel much better now. I hope I don't
get banned from the list for this little outburst.
Doug
On Mon, Jul 13, 2009 at 1:57 PM,  wrote:
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6) From: raymanowen
Your reply is valid, because I made no mention of my re-introduction to home
roasting being an air popper and a 30-year old whirly blade Grind Master.
"...a grinder whose chief positive attribute is the abiliity to grind 10
pounds of coffee a day for 10 years before breaking down. [You're sitting in
the rong pew if that's all it takes to make you happy] Who grinds 10 pounds
of coffee a day around here, anyway? This is a "home roasting" list, right?"
Do you even realize what 10 pounds per day represents? Glaciers go faster.
And who home roasts, anyway? Just because one wants fresh roasted. That's
Bizarre.
[First grinder upgrade was a 99 cent thrift store Solis Maestro grinder with
comical burrs. Except for the Virtuoso burrs that Kyle Anderson sent me
later, those thrift store burrs were the absolute best I ever saw for the
Solis Maestro series!]
What a Neat design, I thought. As soon as I replaced the hopper lid, grounds
bin, burrs, switch timer and knob, I repaired the open thermal fuse in the
motor field winding.
Motors are almost always repairable- especially series wound universal ones.
Made it run fine, but all the mounting ears were broken off the gearbox, so
the rotating center burr had no spatial relationship to the adjustable ring
burr. It couldn't grind. Love busted machines- reason to take apart and
learn something new.
The next bigger repair part end item was the Maestro Plus, heavier by the
mass of the cast zinc base added on the base. Same execrable burrs, same
miserable problems. Worse, because the grind adjustment ring had probably
been set up by the same automaton I got on the phone every time I called
Baratza and ordered burrs, hoping to get a good set.
I was exceeding $200 for a $149 grinder. Exasperation loomed. My Celtic
Critic, who already hated "floor coffee" at the nurse's station, OK'd a
Mahlkonig. Not that I needed 6# per minute at the Turkish setting, or a
reason to finish my variable frequency static converter for three phase
power...
.
A "Heads up" from list member miKe mcKoffee re: the Starbucks Mazzer
grinders showing up on eBay- I opened my account 7yrs ago. Got the Mazzer
Major- $225 shipped and $60 for a new set of burrs. Haven't spent a nickel
on a grinder since.
That's mighty low annual expense for a machine that enhances everything I
feed it. What do I spend annually on coffee beans? Not much at all, but the
grind quality is exquisite. When you can make tiny changes in the grind size
and taste the difference as the roast ages, you appreciate having the taste
sensation.
A good grinder won't necessarily guarantee sensational flavor from all your
coffee. The converse is true- a toy grinder will absolutely make your best
work yield pretend coffee. You can take that to the bank next time you're
ready to commit funds to the best green coffee on the planet.
Do your level best roasting- the toy grinder returns coffee bean confetti
scraps. Camp coffee is better. If you're a little short for a good grinder,
just remember it's the bottleneck for the whole process.
If you don't have a good grinder, all your expense and efforts are for
naught.
I found a good home for the SMP grinder, and a good home for the Damn
Bronco. The SMP worked fine, finally, and the new Bronco owner was happy to
work on it...
Cheers, Mabuhay -RayO, aka Opa!
-- 
Persist in old ways; expect different results - suborn Insanity...
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7) From: Doug Hoople
You do like the splash and shattered earth of a melodramatically thrown
bomb, don't you Ray?
"Camp coffee is better."
No it's not.
But your point is taken.
You forgot to mention that the price of a great grinder for under $400 is
that giant appliance taking up a quarter of your kitchen. Anyone can pick up
a Super Jolly or a Major at unbelievably low prices and pop in a new set of
burrs. But not all of us have the counter space or a partner who will
understand when we mount that monument to mid-20th century technology in our
kitchens. .
The price of a really top-quality grinder that actually fits in the typical
kitchen starts at $500 and moves up quickly from there. And part (not all,
mind you) of what makes it so expensive is that extravagantly long life
expectancy, which is independent of the output quality. I mean, some lucky
guy is going to get another 20 years out of yours when the doctor tells you
10 years from now that you'll drink your next cup of coffee at your mortal
peril. Who needs your downstream buyer to make out so brilliantly at your
up-front cost? :)
Doug
On Tue, Jul 14, 2009 at 8:58 PM,  wrote:
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8) From: raymanowen
"...not all of us have the counter space or a partner who will understand "
First, decide exactly what you want the grinder to do. The simple expedient
of a chain saw can materialize the necessary counter space and alter the
mindset of the affected partner.
We moved from a 5 br ranch home to a 1 br apartment. First thing across the
threshold here was the approximate size and weight of a fire hydrant, with
burrs. No bottleneck here.
Re: the doctor that tells me 10 years from now that I'll drink my next cup
of coffee at my mortal peril- Send Him In. It's going to be a ten-year
blast!
Do tell where all the graduates go from Mass. General, Cook County, CU med
center, L.A. County and all the other teaching hospitals. Replacements?
Evolving technology? New Pills?
Their life span won't be enhanced by my accelerated demise- That's been the
subject of a nasty rumor. Even now I pinch my right elbow, hoping my left
knee won't hurt. Besides, if he predicts my early demise, his math career is
shot- he can't even count.
My future, truncated as it may be, won't include a funeral caused or catered
by Starbucks. Even bilge water coffee triggers a spew response, not physical
harm. Maybe the good doc is aware of some actuarial or forensic study done
on Khaldi's goats, or never has enjoyed truly good coffee. It's all in his
head.
Cheers, Mabuhay -RayO, aka Opa!
Eschew toy grinders and camp coffee
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9) From: Bruce Garley
I love your chainsaw solution! There's nothing wrong with the world that a
chainsaw and a little duct tape can't fix. That may be why I live alone.
Reminds me of the old Red Green show and their handyman sketches.
Bruce
Bruce Garley
Plant Whisperer
San Juan Capistrano, CA
 
Vivir con miedo es como vivir a medias.
 
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10) From: Doug Hoople
"First, decide exactly what you want the grinder to do. The simple expedient
of a chain saw can materialize the necessary counter space and alter the
mindset of the affected partner."
Hmmm... My wife is scared enough when she sees a chainsaw in my hands, let
alone when I'm trying to use it as a tool of persuasion!!! :)
Doug
On Wed, Jul 15, 2009 at 12:11 PM,  wrote:
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11) From: Rich
I tend to agree.  And, that is probably why we live alone or only have 
animals.  They don't seem to get excited when you drag home a grinder 
that takes a hand dolly to move around.
Bruce Garley wrote:
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