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Topic: New Burrs Needed? (20 msgs / 591 lines)
1) From: Dennis Guyer
I have a Baratza Virtuoso grinder that has had aprox. 100 lbs. put through it.  Lately is seems something has changed and the grind looks a little different on my usual setting.  (18-20)  Any thoughts on if it is time to change the burrs?
Thanks,
Dennis
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2) From: John Mac
Dennis-
Sounds like it's time for a change of burrs. I have the same grinder and
replaced my burrs awhile back. It made a huge difference in grind quality
and consistency. Not a very difficult task to do if you're at all handy
with some tools.
Cheers!
John in Nor Cal
On Tue, Jan 15, 2013 at 2:34 PM, Dennis Guyer  wrote:
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3) From: miKe mcKoffee
Absolutely need new burrs...

4) From: John Monteleone
how many pounds of coffee would you grind before you thought about
replacing burrs.
On Tue, Jan 15, 2013 at 2:56 PM, miKe mcKoffee  wrote:
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5) From: msmb
I have been dealing with the same issue on my Solis Maestro Classic.  First
the beans were not going into the grinder and it turned out that I needed a
paddle wheel, which the internal burr sits on.  After replacing that --in
mine, removing the burr is not difficult but a pain in the butt because it
is cross threaded and over the years tightened on; I ultimately used a
hammer gently hitting a vice grip to get it off-- the grind was uneven and
only marginally different when I changed the setting.  This unevenness is
caused by the burr holder; it has a couple of little pieces that I suppose
lock the outer burr into place and they are broken off..  Check the support
and trouble shooting section  of the Baratza web page to see if you find
your problem.
As for the life of the burrs, I think the Baratza web page  says they
should last through 300 pounds.  But the very helpful tech support person i
spoke said that really the life of the burr is much longer; that i should
get 1000 pounds.
As I am waiting to take delivery of the replacement burr holder I have been
using a hand grinder that I picked up in a second hand shop some years
ago.  There is no brand name on it but it is a fabulous little machine; it
gives me a nice even grind for drip all of the time.  There is no brand
name on the machine but it looks like some of the good ones I have seen.
the only marking on it, carved into it in crude letters is, "Houston,
1951." Thre is a little make also where the would has been gouged by
something repeatedly hitting into by the crank.  When I look into the
ginder it is very clear that it has been well used; the metal at the top of
the burr looks a little rough and uneven.  I wonder how many times this
grander has been used in the past 60 years and it makes me think that the
tech support person is not incorrect in saying that you could get that much
life out of the burr.  By the way, if you do want to change the burr they
only cost around $15 from Baratza; they were not in stock for several of
their grinders, the last time I checked, but I have been told that they
will have them.
On Tue, Jan 15, 2013 at 5:56 PM, John Mac  wrote:
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6) From: Duane Mitchell
I'm also having a problem with my Solis Maestro grinder by Baratza. It looks like new burrs are the solution. My grinder is about 8 years old.
My problem is that a fine powder is getting packed into the bottom of the cone burr area and it at first slows down the grinding and will stop it if I don't clean it after every grind. I did run some minute rice through the machine and that helped but for only one or two grinds. I'm going to get a new ring burr from Baratza. I'd like to change the cone burr as well and I'd at least like to take a look in there and maybe clean it. But it's on there pretty tight. I tried some vice grips and all it does is spin the grinder. Anyone got a suggestion as to how to get that off?
Thanks.
Duane
On Jan 15, 2013, at 9:09 PM, msmb wrote:
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7) From: msmb
A friend of mine and I put the vice grips on and then used a hammaer to tap
them (as I recall we were hitting the grips not the burr itself).  Actually
gave it a pretty good hit or two or three and it did not do damage to the
burr; it is tough.  Make sure you are hitting it in the right direction
(see the Baratza page because I forget; I think it is clockwise).  Even if
you were to damage the burr at least you will remove it and the replacement
is very inexpensive.
I used mine this morning for the first time after changing the paddle wheel
and the outer burr holder.  I works! Amazing little device; I have used
this machine for around 7 years now and I feel like it will go on for
another 7.  If you continue to have trouble I suggest that you call
Baratza; a technician there will help you.Ny the way, in my previous post i
said the maching was good for 300 ounds; the Baratza page says the burrs
will last 3 - 4 years; that is waht the tech said was so conservative.  I
gues i was figure that 4 years for me would be around 320- pounds, and my
grind continues to be good well after 500 pounds.
On Fri, Jan 18, 2013 at 12:25 PM, Duane Mitchell wrote:
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8) From: Duane Mitchell
Thanks for the info. I went back on the Baratza website. Found this pagehttp://www.baratza.com/wp-content/uploads/Paddle-Wheel-Solis.pdfAll my paddles are gone, worn smooth smooth. No wonder the coffee was getting packed into the bottom there was no way for it to get carried out. This is the info I am looking for. I'll change the burrs and the paddle wheel.
It also suggests to wrap the cone burr with a towel to protect the burrs and then clamp on the vice grips. And it is a left hand thread so you have to "give it a quick jerk" clockwise.
My grinder is probably around 8 years old. It's due for an update.
Duane
On Jan 19, 2013, at 9:58 AM, msmb wrote:
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9) From: Ken Schillinger
When I spoke to customer service at Baratza last month, the fellow said that
I should be able to grind probably 500 Lbs on my Baratza Virtuoso . before
replacing the burrs. I was all for replacing them, and he advised me to save
my money.
Ken

10) From: miKe mcKoffee
There is a HUGE difference between manufacturers rated burr life AND actual
quality grind burr life. And some "fellow in customer service" isn't exactly
the official company stance either.
For example in order to maintain quality grind a Mazzer Major needs burrs
replaced at 700-800lb, Super Jolly 'bout 400lb, Mini 300lb. Rancilio Rocky
70-100lb. This of course assumes grinding for espresso. Even assuming coarse
grinding like for Press Pot 500lb quality grind burr life for the Virtuoso
is laughable.
Slave to the Bean miKe mcKoffee
www.CompassCoffeeRoasting.com
URL to Rosto mods, FrankenFormer, some recipes etc:http://www.mckoffee.com/Ultimately 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/

11) From: Sandy Andina
FWIW, I bought my Rocky used in 2006 from a fellow CoffeeGeek member and my=
 Mazzer Mini in 2007 on eBay from a café that had gone under and was liqu=
idating equipment. Both had their original burrs. Haven't had to replace th=
e burrs on either yet (though I pull maybe a double ristretto a day on the =
Mazzer and a decaf shot every two or three on the Rocky). Your mileage may =
(and undoubtedly will) vary.
On Jan 23, 2013, at 8:18 PM, Ken Schillinger  wrote:
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Peace & Song, =
Sandy Andina
www.sandyandina.com
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12) From: msmb
For the solis grinders Baratza speaks of the life of the burr in terms of
years.  The web pages says 3- 4 years, if i recall correctly.  For me that
would be around 250 - 350 pounds.  But the guy at Baratza -- he was the
tech support person probably-- told me far more; i think he told me up to
1000, remarkable as that might seem.  Not sure why he would so overestimate
the life of the burr, especially since the company can earn more based on
the lower figure.  Actually, I have probably now used my grinder for close
to 600 pounds and I do not see any need to change the burr. That is almost
exclusively grnding for drip. But let me admit to being rather lowbrow in
the matter; other people on the list seem to take much greater care.  I
suppose that ignorance is bliss.   Perhpas I should ask you, then, what is
it that determines the quality for you; taste, of course, but what are the
visible signs of having to replace the burrs?
On Wed, Jan 23, 2013 at 11:29 PM, miKe mcKoffee  wrote:
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13) From: miKe mcKoffee
No "visible" signs unless really REALLY shot. Run the tip of a finger nail
along a burr cutting edge, will it cut it or does it slide easily? Truth is
many or most "tech support" people are low trained parts replacement monkeys
not trained trouble shooters or quality control conscious. 
It's ludicrous to speak of burr life in terms of years. If it's done with
consumer grinders like Baratza it is for marketing using some estimated
"average" home usage and IMO less than critical taste criteria. One user
might grind an ounce of beans a day another 8 ounces (or more) wearing the
burrs 8 times as fast. One user might grind extremely coarse for a long
Press Pot infusion time while another much finer even grinding for Press Pot
but with short 2 or even 1 1/2 minute infusion instead of 4 or 5 minutes
often used - again resulting in much more burr wear. 
The finer the grind the more the burrs are working and dulling. As burrs
dull they slowly "cut" less and less and "crush" more and more resulting in
greater and greater grind unevenness and fines. With espresso shot pulls
become more and more inconsistent dull and or bitter tasting. Non espresso
brewing cup change can be less detectable because the changes are so gradual
and brewing processes not as demanding. Until one day one might realize
there coffee doesn't taste as lively as it once did but bland and dull. When
they finally break down and spend a few bucks on new burrs the taste
difference is (usually) night and day, as in huge.
Slave to the Bean miKe mcKoffee
www.CompassCoffeeRoasting.com
URL to Rosto mods, FrankenFormer, some recipes etc:http://www.mckoffee.com/Ultimately 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/

14) From: Robert Rayburn
All those fellows I've spoken with in customer service have been the best guys in a cs dept that I've ever seen....bar none!  Personal service, free upgrades and parts.  I've replaced a drive gear (free) but never a burr.   I grind maybe 40% for espresso.  But I'll tell you it's those fellows in the cs dept that keep me coming back for baratza gear....
Sent from my iPad
On Jan 23, 2013, at 10:29 PM, miKe mcKoffee  wrote:
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15) From: Barry Luterman
 Burr dulling is insidious. You really do not notice the general decline in
your shots as it occurs. It is only after replacing the burrs that you say
Wow why didn't I do that a long time ago
On Wed, Jan 23, 2013 at 9:00 PM, Sandy Andina  wrote:
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16) From: Seth Grandeau
And if you've ever had the misfortune to get a coffee bean shaped rock go
into your grinder, burr dulling will be accelerated.  That being said, I
think I probably need to order a new set for my gear.
On Thu, Jan 24, 2013 at 1:07 PM, Barry Luterman  wrote:
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17) From: John Monteleone
I am interested in learning more about this idea of grind unevenness and
fines.  Are there any good videos or images out there that can help me
identify this issue.  That might help me know if my burrs are dulled.
John
On Thu, Jan 24, 2013 at 11:17 AM, Seth Grandeau  wrote:
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18) From: Terry McVay \(rr\)
There was a pretty thorough discussion on this some time ago, don't recall a
video but it was very informative. Will try to locate and post a link to the
thread.
Terry/Kona, Hawaii

19) From: John Mac
I was just checking out the prices of the new burrs and talk about sticker
shock. I paid $37, shipped, for both  burrs two years ago and now they want
$35 for just the cone burr! Talk about a MAJOR price increase! What gives
at Baratza ? Talk about taking advantage of the consumer.
On Thu, Jan 24, 2013 at 3:25 PM, Terry McVay (rr) wro=
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20) From: Larry Dorman
"Rancilio Rocky 70-100lb."
Why do you suppose the Rocky has such a short life?
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