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New owner with some issues

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Hi all, I bought a duo temp and a smart grinder about 6 weeks ago after 8 years of nespresso ownership and I'm having a few issues. All was going well to start, I bought a bag of pelican rouge barista blend beans and had reasonable results for a novice. I was using grind setting 5 and I was getting the hang of the machine and getting fairly good results, I finished the bag and bought some lavazza crema e aroma beans and that's when my main 'issues' started,?I cleaned out the grinder and refilled with the lavazza beans and pulled a shot, it dropped out about 2 teaspoons in 30 seconds. I have upped and upped the grind size so that I'm now on size 14 and get a reasonable shot. My concern is that I have upped a fair amount to get the same amount of coffee out and there must be a reason why. I am a novice and from the basic principles I have learned, slower output means the grind is too fine which I compensated for, what I'm unsure about is the fairly big increase in grind size between beans, is this down to a darker roast on the pelican rouge meaning the beans are dryer than the levazza or something else entirely?

I haven't got round to weighing or timing inputs and outputs yet, I'm more concerned with getting a decent coffee out but when I understand the variances and why they happen I will perfect a bit more.

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It sounds like you're doing the right thing, if adjusting the grind is getting you closer to the kind of flow you expect.

 

It's worthwhile (if you haven't already) investing in some scales so that you can weigh the output of coffee as well as how long it takes.

 

You will likely find that the grinder does take a bit of time to settle down anyway, so the more beans you grind (even if they're the same ones) you might have to make adjustments to grind size. The density of beans, roast profile applied, variety of beans and age since roast can all affect how coarse or fine you need to grind (as well as other factors, I'm not thinking of now). In addition, the actual temperature of the beans, humidity in the room etc. can make a big difference. You'll find that if you have quite a warm day and then a cooler one, that you'd likely need to adjust.

 

So basically, don't sweat too much what the number is. You'll have to adjust for each bean and if you keep a log maybe you'll start to get an idea of where you're targeting each bean.

 

My main feeling is, do yourself and your equipment a favour, and look into getting some freshly roasted beans from any of the great speciality coffee roasters that you'll see mentioned on this site and hopefully you will be pleasantly surprised by just how good coffee can taste. If not by all means go back to lavazza or other big brands which are unlikely (in my opinion) to have the variety or interest of flavours that you can find in coffee.


Everything my heart could desire (more or less). . .

 

https://cupperjoe.com

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Ditto to what jlarkin said.

 

I looked at this machine when launched, neat and tidy, I had this grinder, it is okay but struggles with light roasts, if memory serves I was usually about 12-17 on the settings. Remember you have a mirco adjustment ring on the burrs too incase you need to go finer.


Isomac Alba

Elektra Grinder

Flat Whites only baby.

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Thanks for the replies, it's good to know it's not me doing something wrong. I have got some scales but I haven't bothered using them yet, I am more concentrating on my technique, I shall start using them soon though. I had a play with settings etc and came out with my best results yet, steady flow with great crema, much more like the videos I have seen on YouTube, so I'm much happier with the grind/beans. I will definitely look into some fresh roasted beans, I have used commercial beans up to now simply because I can get them from Amazon the next day as part of my prime membership. Can anyone recommend a good supplier/s of fresh roasted beans?

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You can get Rave Coffee from Amazon Prime, it will be much fresher than the commercial stuff. However buying direct from the roasters site ensures they get a better bite of the profit and the beans will be fresher. Plus you can feel good about not supporting widescale corporate tax dodging, at least for one purchase (helps me sleep at night).

 

Here are a couple:

 

ravecoffee.co.uk - Signiature and Italian job are two favorites and easy to get right

coffeecompas.co.uk - Brighton Lanes Blend is a favorite

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Coffeecompass are my favourite, never had a bad bean and great service.

 

To be fair to others, I have had great service from almost all bean suppliers mentioned on here, it i shard to go wrong if you use one mentioned on this site.


Isomac Alba

Elektra Grinder

Flat Whites only baby.

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My Smart Grinder Pro was the pinnicle of inconsistency when first bought; I ended up putting a couple of KG of sacrificial (and very cheap) beans through it to season it on the advice of another owner and that really did do wonders for it and I went from having to use a very fine grind to something a bit more substantial

 

The setting of 5 that you started on is, to me, indicitive of a similar issue; that's pretty damned fine on the SG. You mention that you're now on 14 which, by fluke, is what I'm running at for my current batch of Booth's Peaberry (incidentally, surprisingly good, especially at the price!); I find that between 14 and 17 is where it's at for me, with the exception being if I'm using decaff, which seems to go through a lot quicker if not on a finer grind.

 

Anyhow. My two penneth is that the adjustments you've had to make so far are probably just the thing bedding in and where you're at now looks, to me, more normal for the SG. As has been mentioned already, invest in some scales (don't have to be expensive), aim for something freshly roasted and keep some notes. If you settle on a particular bean choice, remember that you'll still potentially have to adjust slightly between bags, but probably not by a great deal.

 

I'll shurrup now.

 

R.

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I will start using my scales, I am getting much better results now so now it's time to fine tune a bit more now I have got the basics down.

i shall definitely get some better quality beans once I have used up the lavazza I currently have, it's a little more expensive which is why I chose a cheaper bean to practice.

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The setting of 5 that you started on is, to me, indicitive of a similar issue; that's pretty damned fine on the SG. You mention that you're now on 14 which, by fluke, is what I'm running at for my current batch of Booth's Peaberry (incidentally, surprisingly good, especially at the price!); I find that between 14 and 17 is where it's at for me, with the exception being if I'm using decaff, which seems to go through a lot quicker if not on a finer grind.

Interesting, I've always thought my smart grinder pro just plain wasn't very good as it never goes fine enough. I start most beans a week after roasting at about 6-8 and have to go to about 1 or 2 after a couple of weeks to get anything resembling a fine enough grind. I've tried adjusting the upper burr too, doesn't really make much difference. Guess I should finally book that white glove service and have someone from Sage look at it?

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There were problems with the Sage Smart Grinder when it first came out and was reviewed by a few people on this forum. To Sage's credit they responded to the 'doesn't grind fine enough' advice and began to add a 'shim' (basically a washer) below the bottom burr to move the burrs closer together.

 

However since the original grinder they released the 'Pro' which should have had these issues fixed from the outset. If your grinder isn't grinding fine enough for espresso then it isn't good enough. If it's within warranty send it back and get one that can.

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There were problems with the Sage Smart Grinder when it first came out and was reviewed by a few people on this forum. To Sage's credit they responded to the 'doesn't grind fine enough' advice and began to add a 'shim' (basically a washer) below the bottom burr to move the burrs closer together.

 

However since the original grinder they released the 'Pro' which should have had these issues fixed from the outset. If your grinder isn't grinding fine enough for espresso then it isn't good enough. If it's within warranty send it back and get one that can.

It is the Pro, and it's been like this since day 1. It was a freebie with the Dual Boiler and I plan to replace it with the Sette 270W but till then yes I should get Sage to replace it!

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Sounds like there are some hefty differences going on between alledgedly identical grinders here! Mine is obscenely fine on its lowest setting; far too fine for me to actually do anything with really. Its been the pinnacle of consistency since it got past what I'm classing as a bedding-in period; hopefully I've not just cursed it by saying that.

 

But yes, if yours in in warranty, chase it and aim for a replacement; it doesn't sit right with me. If nothing else, it means you'll have a newer grinder to sell on when the new one arrives. :-)

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It is the Pro, and it's been like this since day 1. It was a freebie with the Dual Boiler and I plan to replace it with the Sette 270W but till then yes I should get Sage to replace it!

 

Hi, did you ever get your grinder working?

 

I too have a new Sage Pro, and it is on the finest setting on the dial and number three on the ring. 16 grams in 19 seconds (32g of liquid). Definitely not good enough!

Just pulled 18g in 24 seconds (36g of liquid), so up dosing isn't working either.

 

I could choke the Gaggia Baby with my cheap hand grinder so I know it's not the Gaggia.

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Hi, did you ever get your grinder working?

 

I too have a new Sage Pro, and it is on the finest setting on the dial and number three on the ring. 16 grams in 19 seconds (32g of liquid). Definitely not good enough!

Just pulled 18g in 24 seconds (36g of liquid), so up dosing isn't working either.

 

I could choke the Gaggia Baby with my cheap hand grinder so I know it's not the Gaggia.

 

If it's under a year old get it replaced (not fit for purpose). If over a year/out of warranty then contact Sage and hope they still send out shims.

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I've emailed them, I'll report back on what they say

 

What was the coffee your using ? Is it fresh ?

Have you moved from a pressurised basket with the gaggia to a non pressurised one with the sage ?


I write a blog, it's nothing to do with coffee ...

https://rjwinc.wordpress.com

Instagram - rjw_inc

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Hi, did you ever get your grinder working?

 

I too have a new Sage Pro, and it is on the finest setting on the dial and number three on the ring. 16 grams in 19 seconds (32g of liquid). Definitely not good enough!

Just pulled 18g in 24 seconds (36g of liquid), so up dosing isn't working either.

 

I could choke the Gaggia Baby with my cheap hand grinder so I know it's not the Gaggia.

 

I did get a replacement and it was pretty much the same. Got a sette 270w in January and it's a whole other world. Fluffy grinds with no clumps in a fraction of the time, no need to up doses, standard settings easily go fine enough for any bean I've put through it. Very happy.

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Good to hear a happy sette owner - please let us know on here how u get on with it sweetmate, few of us thinking of getting one ;-)


Plumbed in Vesuvius - BWT Bestmax - Niche in Black. Aeropress and Aergrind

 

Live and Let Live

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Hi Dylan,

Thanks for the tip on ravecoffee and coffeecompass... I am currently using pact coffee, do you know how their coffee compares to the two you mentioned?

Thanks

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Nothing at all wrong with Pact's coffee outside personal taste preferences. I've had some tremendous shots from Pact beans, but also from other suppliers such as Pact.


1973 La Pavoni ++ Niche Zero ++ Aeropress ++ V60

Coffee by the Casuals

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