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ajohn

How To Check ANY Sage grinder

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This needs to be done with some care but some background first.

When these grinders are manufactured some poor person in China screw an outer burr and it's carrier into the mechanism until it touches the centre burr. They then adjust the setting mechanism to suite at what ever it's lower setting is. That part of the process is rather fiddly. The adjusting mechanism varies, the actual internals that these drive doesn't. That is a part that has a screw thread on it for adjustment and a large worm wheel on top of that to provide the drive. It carries the outer burr. There are videos on youtube relating to the Smart Grinder that show them but the one I am aware of is on a much older than current model - some things have changed since then so don't worry about replacing parts that the grinder no longer has.

The grinder needs to be fairly clean and set some way up into it's coarse range. Where the manuals suggests to start for tuning shots should be ok. So brush the inner and outer burrs and put the outer back in making sure it clicks firmly back in place. Grinds trapped in the register can interfere with that.

Then while the grinder is running slowly adjust the grinder finer and finer. Ideally when the grinder is at it's minimum setting the burrs should rub and slow the motor down slightly. As soon as it does set coarser again so that they run clear. That may need an increase of 2 settings coarser. There is some play so when ever making a final setting always make it in the fine direction. If it needs to be set coarser always go too coarse and then fine.

All being well the motor will slow down on the minimum setting and not before that. It did for me on both a Barista Express and a Smart Grinder.

If it's a used grinder thanks to numerous old youtube  videos some one may have adjusted the out burr setting. In that case the burrs may rub well before the min setting is reached. Personally I would reset them to where they should be and go through the process again. One might get assembled like this as well. I'd adjust the burr coarser and try again if it was significantly away from the min setting. The arrangement can't be that precise so say the rubbed a couple of settings away from min they may as well be left like that. Just remember the setting as there should never be any reason to grind at it, only above it.

The burrs may not rub at all at the min setting. Set the burrs one "notch" finer and try it again and so on. Run out of notches and something is wrong - worn out or faulty.

One fault can mess this up and is what I had happen on my Barista Express. When the burrs are adjusted the threaded outer burr carrier mustn't rotate. It should just go up or down. There are parts fitted to achieve this but for some reason mine stopped meshing correctly. The net effect was that the grinder adjusted coarser from 6 or so but wouldn't go any finer. Sage fitted a new grinder for me - that's how I know how they are initially set up. I watched an engineer do it and the burrs do rub at min setting. It was easy for me to see what was happening as I measured the burr movement with a dial test indicator. If some one is sure this is what is happening on their grinder they basically have a faulty one and it needs putting together again properly or replacing.

I'm pretty sure my BE grinder messed up when I was cleaning it and rapidly moved the burrs from min to max and back and forth at the same speed. I did this as it had a stiff spot at a setting of 4 from new. That went but the burrs no longer adjusted correctly. :) Best not to do.

Rather than ever repeating all of this again I'll just post a link to it. Can't tune beans crops up now and again and bad beans are usually blamed. They may be in part but could also be influenced by the above. I've put all sorts of crap through mine to see what the beans were like and never had any problem grinding them and never ever had to use the min setting either. It's not there to be used. It's just a calibration setting really and all grinders are calibrated in much the same way.

John

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In Use Sage DB+IMS Shower Screen, Niche. Others Sage BE, Mazer Mini A,. Projects Little Gem, Gaggia M7D

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Better add what happened on my SGP as any of there grinders could be the same. When it arrived I set the min setting and turned it on. I did this to check my BE grinder and that was set correctly. The motor just sounded a little busy. The SGP sounded very busy and slowed more over a couple of seconds. Stopped it very quickly and no damage.

What I should have done is slowly set it finer and finer with the motor running. That actually is also a decent way to check for correct setting. At min the motor should just slow a little but don't run it there for long. Also as mentioned to get them to run clear go to coarse and then fine. Many grinders have some form of free play like this.

Turned out that  my SGP had the outer burr set to the wrong number. When that was corrected it was ok.

If the burrs touch at some low number either correct it or remember what the number is.

No need to clean the grinder out when doing this. Just brush the burrs clean.

John

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In Use Sage DB+IMS Shower Screen, Niche. Others Sage BE, Mazer Mini A,. Projects Little Gem, Gaggia M7D

SageBanner_v01.jpg.a45786743a4eb401969788b45ae7f893.jpg

 

 

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I may not have been too clear about the grinder sounding busy. It's pretty clear what it means if some one has ground. Essentially the motor slows down a touch. If it then starts slowing down even more stop immediately as it's set too fine. My SGP was like that. If some one winds the setting down and the burrs rub a bit at some low setting an option is to just remember what it is. There should never be any need to try and grind that fine.

When grinding with them I recollect some one changing because they thought that it was struggling as the motor speed changed while grinding and might fluctuate. It's just a characteristic of the grinder motor they use.

John

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In Use Sage DB+IMS Shower Screen, Niche. Others Sage BE, Mazer Mini A,. Projects Little Gem, Gaggia M7D

SageBanner_v01.jpg.a45786743a4eb401969788b45ae7f893.jpg

 

 

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Hi John, I was attempting to dial in a shot today using my new single wall basket. New SGP, first attempt at dialling in, using 18g then 19g of Horsham coffee roasted 8 days ago (https://www.horshamcoffeeroaster.co.uk/collections/single-origin-coffee-beans/products/honduras-liquidambar-estate-washed).

Started at 12, with small changes to get the shot to take longer than the initial 15 seconds, ending at all the way down to grind setting 1 with the shot finally taking around 25 seconds. 

Surely I shouldn’t need to to go all the way to 1, and I probably needed to go further? Of course could be user error but I thought it would choke long before that.  Should I try adjusting or just take it back to the shop and get them to sort it?

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