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First impressions with the wilfa Uniform grinder

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Hey all.

First off, my usual grinder was the sage smart grinder pro. 

It was ok. Nice range on it. But I was looking to upgrade specifically for brew / pour over and get a more consistent grind for that only and reduce the fines somewhat.

So after a lot of research, I found either the vario with steel burrs, or the forte BG. I settled on the forte and eagerly awaited one to come up for sale. Strangely the BG model seems very difficult to find.

But then I discovered the uniform from wilfa. Seemed to tick all the boxes for me. Specifically for brew, flat burrs etc. Looked pretty nice and good old james hoffman gave it the thumbs up. Plus it was less than half price of the forte so, it was a no brainer.

Now, I'm not sure what I was expecting. maybe some coffee aficionadoes with far more experience than me will chip in. 

But I decided to test it out on my trusty chemex. I know how to brew a good chemex with my eyes closed and i'm fairly familier with what i'm tasting for.

Natural coffee from square mile, roasted only 3 days ago.

So the little booklet gives a range for pour over so I kicked it off at grind setting 24. 

This produced a ridiculously long draw. 7 minutes 30 seconds. So I thought... ok its simply too fine. Lets go 34. Thats when I got really confused. This produced a draw of... 7 minutes 40 seconds.

Hmm, now unless i'm off with my maths here... that shouldn't be happening. Same environment and procedure. Everything was the same exept the setting. If I made grind adjustments on my sage, it made a noticeable difference in the draw.

And yes, the coffee tasted a touch bitter. In all honesty, it wasn't ... bad. Just you know, hmm. not great!

Now, granted i've still got some experimenting to do and it would unfair to jump to harsh conclusion over only 2 brews. I've got some other coffees to try. I'm not complaining... yet... but i'm wondering if others have experience with this machine? And if my expectations are way off to get a pretty consistent grind at this price? The uniform did seem to bill itself as the perfect grinder for my needs.

But in any case, I shouldn't be getting a longer draw at a higher grind setting unless something really off is happeneing with the fines.

Would love any thoughts on this or if anyone has experience or suggestions. I'm wondering if I should just pack it in and go for the forte bg when one comes up.

Thanks.

 

 

 

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Without knowing your dose and water Pouring regime, waht your Pouring with etc  I can't really comment on what's happening with you chemex recipe and the draw down time. 

 


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Sure.

So 30g coffee to 500g water.

80g bloom, then pour to 350g. Wait until 1m 30s to make some room in the brewer. Fill to 500g, swirl very briefly, then look for a draw between 4m 30s to 5m mark.

Pouring with a gooseneck temp controlled kettle in even circles. Usual stuff.

Thanks.

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Is 34 as coarse as it goes?

Wendelboe & Hoffmann don't seem to split the pours, see what happens when you do a single large pour after blooming?


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Posted (edited)

Do you have a Kruve or some other sieve to see if you can find a difference between 24 and 34? The grinder goes to 41, which means 24 to 34 is going from 59% to 83% of the grinders spectrum. If you don't have a sieve, grind a little with 24 and a little with 34, put them on a piece of paper and scatter to see what it looks like.

I'm interested to hear about more attempts, because that seemed strange. I don't have a Chemex, so I'm not familiar with it, but I would still expect a change in brew time with such a big jump in grind size. They say that while not ideal, you could use it for espresso, which means the range should be large enough to cover both espresso and coarser pour over.

Unless the grinder had a weird amount of fines, I have a hard time seeing how the number of pours should matter in OP's test. Of course, two brews is not a lot to base anything on, so keep trying and report back.

I found a guy that compared the grind from a Comandante C40 to a Wilfa Uniform: https://imggra.com/media/1952903043842401953

Edited by Zephyp

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20 minutes ago, Zephyp said:

Unless the grinder had a weird amount of fines, I have a hard time seeing how the number of pours should matter in OP's test.

Amount of fines won't be weird, unless the grinder is broken (this would be fairly obvious).

It's how coarse, or fine the grind is, that is the principal issue. If the grind is overall finer than OP has been using with the conical grinder, you want a greater weight of water above the bed to speed up flow (for the same brew weight). Number of pours dovetails with grind size & has as much impact on extraction.


“Coffee evokes the most insane reactions in people”, Rene Redzepi.

 

https://markwjburness.wordpress.com/

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Drawn down time is more related to how you agitate the bed, how many times you pour than strictly grind size. Try doing less pours, pouring gentler towards the middle and minimizing agitation if you want quicker draw down time.

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8 minutes ago, MWJB said:

Amount of fines won't be weird, unless the grinder is broken (this would be fairly obvious).

It's how coarse, or fine the grind is, that is the principal issue. If the grind is overall finer than OP has been using with the conical grinder, you want a greater weight of water above the bed to speed up flow (for the same brew weight). Number of pours dovetails with grind size & has as much impact on extraction.

Right. I just imagined the brew time changing at least a little towards something shorter with that big of a jump in grind setting, but maybe the brew time is not as linear as I thought it would be. I know brew time can change a lot, but still. Maybe the Chemex works a bit like that since the filter is thicker.

The brew time itself seemed very long for the dose, and since he's just 7 clicks from the coarsest setting, I was expecting a difference.

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Hey guys. 

I don’t have a kruve although considering getting one. I’m kinda keen not to go too deep on this as it can be a black hole as I’m sure some are aware. I love a nice cup of coffee brewed first thing in the morning and I just want something that will give me the best quality grind I can get for home. 

Thanks all for the info. 

I have done further brews. 

I initially thought that maybe my last experiment had something to do with the coffee being natural processed. Can occasionally be gummy and sometimes I need to grind slightly coarser to compensate but nothing like this.

so I tried again using both methods above. My method and a single pour as recommended using my regular processed coffee from coffee collective.

7 minutes draw at 34 setting again. Then I went full on maximum coarse setting. This resulted in 5min 45 draw but the coffee was very weak and watery and not nice at all. Looking at the grind, lots of boulders and lots of fines.

tried on my v60 and this simply clogged it.

also tried on my kalita. The kalita is very forgiving because of its flat base so it did draw down but the coffee was just not as good at all as what I got out of my smart grinder (sage)  

looking at the grind quality on a sheet of paper there are indeed a lot of fines even at higher grind settings.

Must say I’m a touch disappointed with the wilfa uniform. I’m pretty competent at pour over coffee. Been to several lessons from award winning baristas over the years and I’ve been brewing for years.

maybe I got a dud machine, maybe the machine promised more than it is, maybe I expected more that what’s realistic at this price point or maybe my sage smart grinder is actually a pretty damn good machine and I need to go seriously higher to beat it.

I really wish people the best getting a nice brew out of this grinder, but It’s not for me.

 Lovely looking slick machine and I love the concept of Not having a hopper. 

everything seemed perfect except the actual grind. It’s just not up to par in my experience. 

 

 

 

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With no experience with this particular grinder, do you purge between changing settings?

Judging grinds from photos are difficult, but sharing one might not be the worst idea after all.

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1 hour ago, string said:

My method and a single pour as recommended using my regular processed coffee from coffee collective.

7 minutes draw at 34 setting again. Then I went full on maximum coarse setting. This resulted in 5min 45 draw but the coffee was very weak and watery and not nice at all. Looking at the grind, lots of boulders and lots of fines.

tried on my v60 and this simply clogged it

maybe I got a dud machine, maybe the machine promised more than it is, maybe I expected more that what’s realistic at this price point or maybe my sage smart grinder is actually a pretty damn good machine and I need to go seriously higher to beat it.

All grinds have boulders & fines, as well as  a large range of normal particle sizes.

If the 5:45 brew was watery & weak, the other 7 min plus brews were over...doesn't that suggest there might be a happy point in between?

I have never seen a V60 clog, that's quite a feat. I would have though the Chemex more prone to clogging.

If your grinder is broken, it should be replaced/refunded.

Maybe make  video of a brew?


“Coffee evokes the most insane reactions in people”, Rene Redzepi.

 

https://markwjburness.wordpress.com/

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Yes I purge everytime I change grind setting and coffee type. I take 4 or 5 beans, grind and throw.

This was setting 34. There's no scale reference here but this is into the recommended range for filter / french press. Not for pour over (which stops at 28). I know these are very rough guidelines though.

very curious for opinions on the distribution in any case. Like I said, this clogged my V60 and resulted in a 7 min + chemex draw.

IMG_6799.thumb.jpg.a54c594575014e69be9d1c912c63939c.jpg

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1 minute ago, string said:

Yes I purge everytime I change grind setting and coffee type. I take 4 or 5 beans, grind and throw.

This was setting 34. There's no scale reference here but this is into the recommended range for filter / french press. Not for pour over (which stops at 28). I know these are very rough guidelines though.

very curious for opinions on the distribution in any case. Like I said, this clogged my V60 and resulted in a 7 min + chemex draw.

IMG_6799.thumb.jpg.a54c594575014e69be9d1c912c63939c.jpg

No one can give an opinion on the distribution from this. It doesn't look in any way weird for a coarse grind though (not that it easy to tell anything from pictures).


“Coffee evokes the most insane reactions in people”, Rene Redzepi.

 

https://markwjburness.wordpress.com/

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2 minutes ago, MWJB said:

All grinds have boulders & fines, as well as  a large range of normal particle sizes.

If the 5:45 brew was watery & weak, the other 7 min plus brews were over...doesn't that suggest there might be a happy point in between?

Yeah possibly. I'll experiment. Its about the taste after all. I haven't seen any recipe though that asks for longer than 5 minute draw. My feeling is its going to overextract.

I'm thinking that the reason the maximum setting still took so long was because of the fines. The high grind resulted in way underextracted coffee and the fines clog it up.

I have never seen a V60 clog, that's quite a feat. I would have though the Chemex more prone to clogging.

I should clarify. It was drawing down but so slow I gave up. This was setting 34 again.

If your grinder is broken, it should be replaced/refunded.

Yep. 

Maybe make  video of a brew?

Yeah could do. 

 

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Posted (edited)

I asked if you had a sifter not to sift every brew, but sift a sample to get an indication of the particle size. I wouldn't get a Kruve just for it though.

Clogging a V60 with the coarsest setting does sound strange.

Edited by Zephyp

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"Yeah possibly. I'll experiment. Its about the taste after all. I haven't seen any recipe though that asks for longer than 5 minute draw. My feeling is its going to overextract."

It won't over-extract based on time alone, if it takes a long time & is weak & watery, then it is a long, under-extracted brew. Grinder sets extraction, the clock tells the time :-)


“Coffee evokes the most insane reactions in people”, Rene Redzepi.

 

https://markwjburness.wordpress.com/

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