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pulck

Mazzer Super Jolly - new burrs not grinding fine enough

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I recently replaced the burrs on my Mazzer SJ with some brand-new stock burrs from Coffehit. (I bought the SJ secondhand a couple of years ago and the old burrs were what were in the machine when I got it.)

For the first few days, the new burrs seemed great. Making my morning cappuccino on my Gaggia Classic, I was getting a nice slow extraction (around 20 second) and the taste was a definite improvement on the old burrs. But this morning it gushed through way too quickly - in about 5-10 seconds. I tightened the burrs as close as possible to 'chirping point' for a second grind and got exactly the same thing. 

Now I'm thinking I did something wrong when I changed the burrs. I was very careful putting them in. I cleaned out the chamber thoroughly and made sure the new burrs were nice and tight. The only thing I can think of is that when I was putting them in, I kept the spindle from rotating by gripping the central bolt with a spanner. Could that have caused anything to become loose?

Any tips from SJ experts would be greatly appreciated.

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Posted (edited)

Bit of a pain, but I think you are going to have to take the upper burr carrier off and check. 

Edited by AJP80

EK43S-Coffee Burrs-V60-RokGC-Stagg EKG-Osmio Zero

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Thanks, @AJP80.

This is what I've just done. Perhaps you can offer your opinion.

- Removed upper carrier on SJ to check everything in order. Burrs still look nice and tight (checked with screwdriver). Carefully screw the upper carrier back in, adjust to just below chirp point (between 5 and 6 o'clock), grind an espresso. Result: 3 second gusher!

- Removed upper carrier again. This time check VERY CAREFULLY that I'm not cross-threading as I screw back in. Adjust to chirp point, which puzzlingly now seems to be nearly 90 degrees tighter than previously (around 3 o'clock). Grind an espresso. Result: completely chokes the Gaggia.

- Backed off the grind to 6 o'clock and grind an espresso. Result: 3 second gusher!

- Tried tightening grind again, but this time it starts chirping almost immediately I start turning. So realistically I cannot tighten to a grind that won't produce a gusher.

What on earth is happening here?

Could I have previously cross-threaded the upper carrier so that now it won't seat level? (I don't think this is possible because I have been very careful screwing it in each time.)

Or is there something else which can affect the seating of the burrs?

 

 

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Posted (edited)

That does sound strange. I’m not one of the forum’s grinder experts, but I used to have a Mazzer and know that they are simple enough that the cause of your issue should be reasonably easy to identify.

A few things to check. 1) Was the burr chamber spotless when you fitted the new burrs (I used to wipe with alcohol after vacuuming out the dust and grains)? 2) Are the new burrs centred correctly (there is usually some lateral play before fully tightening the screws)? 3) Did you tighten the burr screws evenly and a little at a time (to avoid the screws distorting the burrs (taco shelling))? 4) Have you checked the brass underside of the upper burr carrier adjustment ring and the surface of the upper burr carrier against which it presses? Are they free of debris and clean? (I once acquired a small bump of chrome on mine which threw the grind out in a similar way to what you are experiencing).

Edited by AJP80

EK43S-Coffee Burrs-V60-RokGC-Stagg EKG-Osmio Zero

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How did you remove the lower carrier ??  Did you notice the small key / tit at the bottom of the shaft ?  Did you line it up with the groove in the lower carrier when you replaced the carrier ?

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1 hour ago, AJP80 said:

A few things to check. 1) Was the burr chamber spotless when you fitted the new burrs (I used to wipe with alcohol after vacuuming out the dust and grains)? 2) Are the new burrs centred correctly (there is usually some lateral play before fully tightening the screws)? 3) Did you tighten the burr screws evenly and a little at a time (to avoid the screws distorting the burrs (taco shelling))? 4) Have you checked the brass underside of the upper burr carrier adjustment ring and the surface of the upper burr carrier against which it presses? Are they free of debris and clean? (I once acquired a small bump of chrome on mine which threw the grind out in a similar way to what you are experiencing).

Thanks for your suggestions.

I didn't wipe with alcohol but I did clean thoroughly and vacuum before fitting the new burrs. Everything felt centred, but to be safe I suppose I should now disassemble and start again from scratch (and hope I haven't damaged anything permanently in fitting the new burrs).

A couple of questions:

- When you say, "Are the burrs centred correctly," do you mean with respect to the spindle/sides of the carrier? It's difficult to see how they couldn't be centred correctly if the screws which hold them to the carriers are fully tightened.

- The "brass underside of the upper carrier adjustment ring"... you mean the underside of part MAZ.86 in this diagram, right? It is worth me pointing out that there are 2 screws in this part which appear to limit the amount I can turn the adjustment ring. (Each time I disassemble I have to take these out.) Are these supposed to be fully screwed in when I reassemble?

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48 minutes ago, El carajillo said:

How did you remove the lower carrier ??  Did you notice the small key / tit at the bottom of the shaft ?  Did you line it up with the groove in the lower carrier when you replaced the carrier ?

No, I replaced the lower burr by unscrewing the old one in situ. Is that incorrect? Hence, I didn't notice any small key / tit at the bottom of the shaft.

Is it advisable to take the whole of the lower carrier out when replacing the lower burr?

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Posted (edited)

Hi , yes that’s what I mean by centred correctly. I thought there was a tiny amount of play, but on reflection it probably wouldn’t impact pours in the way you are describing.

Regarding the adjustment ring, yes it’s part Maz86. It’s absolutely critical that the underside (and the opposing face of the carrier) is smooth and level (I used to add a few dots of food safe grease, too). The screws you refer to shouldn’t have an impact (so long as they aren’t limiting you turning the ring).

Im pretty sure you’d know if you’d cross threaded the adjustment ring. For example, it is highly unlikely that you’d be able to adjust fine enoug to hit the chirping point, with crossed threads. They would lock up long before then (and the threads would be destroyed).

Edited by AJP80

EK43S-Coffee Burrs-V60-RokGC-Stagg EKG-Osmio Zero

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There is no need to remove the lower carrier to replace the lower burr.     If you wish to remove the lower carrier you require a puller, levering it off from underneath WILL deform / buckle it. If you do not line up the tit and groove in the carrier it does not sit right down on the shoulder and damages the carrier, affecting adjustment.

Make sure the centre bolt is tight, the tit locates and the bolt applies friction to prevent carrier turning.

Remove adjuster and top carrier, check the root of the adjuster thread down by lower carrier. This often gets jammed with compacted coffee grounds, clean out with pin or fine screwdriver.    Remove the stop screws in item 86, then wind down adjuster while rotating the lower burr and carrier until they touch. Listen to see if it is touching equally as you rotate the lower burr.  Insert the R/H stop screw to prevent going past this point. Back off about 90 deg and check grind for fineness.

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Just to update on this... I started from scratch again and I think it's OK now.

Here's my process, in case this helps someone else:

  • Removed the adjuster and checked there were no bumps on the bottom of the brass thread. Cleaned with rubbing alcohol;
  • Removed the upper carrier and burrs, cleaned everything thoroughly (using rubbing alcohol on the upper carrier);
  • Removed the lower burrs, cleaned lower carrier (in situ) with rubbing alcohol;
  • Cleaned inside threads with fine screwdriver and rubbing alcohol (couldn't get every last bit of gunk out, but there was definitely not enough left in there to obstruct the thread);
  • Positioned lower burrs carefully and screwed back in evenly (to avoid 'taco shelling');
  • Put burrs back in upper carrier, again very carefully, and place upper carrier back in grinder;
  • Screwed adjuster back in till it couldn't turn any more, then backed off (not quite 90 degrees, probably more like 60 degrees);
  • Checked there was no 'chirping' and got a decent espresso grind first time.

It seems to be running fine now, at least for the last couple of days, so thanks for all the help.

Side note 1: the screws which hold the burrs onto the carriers seem really crap and I can see that they would easily round out if I were to replace the burrs a few times. Does anyone every replace these with better ones?

Side note 2: I have to get very close to 'chirp point' on my SJ to get decent espresso-level fineness. Is this usual for the SJ (or indeed for other grinders)?

 

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Posted (edited)

Don’t new burrs take a while to season and they maybe some inconsistency until this point......so the Hoff fella says.

As far as I recall when I adjust from moka to espresso ( while spinning) on the major it does start to “ chirp..... or at least make a noise as if the burrs are touching...so to speak”, but as soon as I stop moving the collar the chirping stops.

The other thing I would say......other day I had some 5 day old fresh beans from coffee compass.....took a bit but I got the burrs ok for a half decent shot. The next day or day after the same happened what happened to you.....the espresso flew through in less than half the time.....so I adjusted a couple maybe three lines on the major.

I will say now 7 days on the shot time today was as stable as yesterday, so although there may be slight tweaks, it will be nothing like the jump it made when the beans were more fresh.

I do realise I was trying my beans way too early according to some reading I have done, I heard for espresso at least twelve days after roasting.

@pulck

Edited by Wuyang

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You may be right @Wuyang. I suppose it will take me a few weeks to season the new burrs, so maybe the chirping point will be different by then.

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Just now, pulck said:

You may be right @Wuyang. I suppose it will take me a few weeks to season the new burrs, so maybe the chirping point will be different by then.

How fresh your beans

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I’ve just checked and if I turn the collar any more the chirping stays after I’ve adjusted it.

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2 minutes ago, Wuyang said:

How fresh your beans

Relatively fresh - roasted within the last couple of weeks. But these are Nicaraguan beans that I've never used before, so maybe they require a very fine grind to get espresso. 

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I’m guessing everything’s ok...wouldn’t worry. The jump mine made the other day after just a couple of days was quite amazing.

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1 minute ago, Wuyang said:

I’m guessing everything’s ok...wouldn’t worry. The jump mine made the other day after just a couple of days was quite amazing.

Yeah, I'm sure you're right. I can get unnecessarily obsessive about getting things perfect!

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