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I think I might be done with the HG One


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In October 2014, I ordered a brand new HG One with the 83mm TiN burrs, and it has been my main grinder at home for 6 years now.  I probably drink about 500g-1kg per month.  It's fair to say it must surely be seasoned by now :)

For some reason, I am a guy who likes a manual process.  I like to develop film.  I shave with old-fashioned double-edge razors, a brush and soap.  I used to like the ritual of placing an LP on a turntable.  I have never owned an electric grinder.

My grinder history includes the Pharos (also with VoodooDaddy mods), the Rosco mini, Lido E, Feldgrind and Hausgrind.  My Hausgrind is at work for my V60s (I haven't been in the office since March 2020), and the Feldgrind has been rattling around in a box for a while.  The others were sold.

My coffee machine history has been Ponte Vecchio spring lever, Caravel(s), Cremina.  Again, all geared towards a manual process.  I've always found distribution and channeling a massive challenge.

Some time a few years ago, I realised I wasn't enjoying espresso.  I didn't really know why.  Improving is tricky because you can only drink so many shots per day before you become a caffeine zombie.  So I stopped drinking espresso, and for probably 2 years I've been on V60, Aeropress and Kalita.  The HG One has been used for home duties, even though most people would say it's not really a filter grinder.  It's been OK.

Last month, the Cafelat Robot caught my eye.  For a guy like me, who likes a manual process, the Robot is bang on target.  I duly ordered one and have been playing.  Results with the HG One have been terrible.  I had always wondered whether the narrow pucks of the levers I've used (PV is 53mm or something, Caravel 40mm and Cremina 49mm?  Might have those wrong) were responsible for the channeling issues I was having.  Well the Robot is 58mm so no excuses.  Every shot I've made with the HG One and Robot has either produced zero pressure, or just a little pressure (perhaps 2 bars) when the grinds were turkish-fine.

That's when I found the little Feld in the box on top of the cupboard :)  Now the Robot is working fine.

I spent a bit of time trying to adjust the HG One to see if I could fix its grind.  My theory was that espresso is just more demanding, and that I haven't noticed the issue on filter because the grinds are so much larger.  Despite liking a manual process, I'm not very good with my hands, and don't have much mechanical common-sense.  I followed various Youtube videos about adjusting the coplanarity and concentricity, but I just haven't got the Robot working well.

So I'm thinking about selling up.  Or maybe just shoving the HG One in its box in the garage.  I'd hate to sell someone a crap grinder.  Then again, someone with more common sense than me might be able to get it working well.  I've always loved the dosing basket thingy, so I'm definitely keeping that out and using it.

I'm just wondering if there's something obvious I'm missing.  Should I sell it at a loss for a good cheap price, declaring my own unhappiness with it?  Is there someone who might be able to adjust it perfectly for me, and I'd end up happy?  Should I try to swap it for another decent hand grinder like a Kinu or Comandante?  Or should I finally go electric and get a Niche?

I'm 53 years old, and that Feld is feeling like a bit too much hard work with espresso, certainly compared to the HG One.

Thanks for reading, I'm genuinely interested to see if anyone has any suggestions I haven't thought of.

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6 minutes ago, wintoid said:

Or should I finally go electric and get a Niche?

you know it makes sense. 

 

Dialing in takes 2 maybe 3 shots, I rarely make anything that tastes terrible.  Ours is used daily for pourover in the morning, and espresso throughout the day 

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I think I have similar tastes in machines to you as I have an L1 and a Caravel, together with an HG1 and a Niche. No problem in choking the shot on either the Caravel or the L1 with the HG1. Are you at the biting point on the HG1 and still cannot get any pressure on the Robot? I have never adjusted the orientation of the burrs as I have been concerned I could make it worse. 

However the HG1 is such a simple machine it is hard to imagine the problem could be caused by anything else other than out of alignment burrs

Have you tried marking the burrs and turning to see where the touch points are?

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5 minutes ago, Jollybean said:

I think I have similar tastes in machines to you as I have an L1 and a Caravel, together with an HG1 and a Niche. No problem in choking the shot on either the Caravel or the L1 with the HG1. Are you at the biting point on the HG1 and still cannot get any pressure on the Robot? I have never adjusted the orientation of the burrs as I have been concerned I could make it worse. 

However the HG1 is such a simple machine it is hard to imagine the problem could be caused by anything else other than out of alignment burrs

Have you tried marking the burrs and turning to see where the touch points are?

Burrs are dull ( unlikely ) 

Burrs are out of whack ( more likely ) 

https://www.home-barista.com/grinders/hg1-burr-alignment-from-source-themselves-t56852.html

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13 minutes ago, Jollybean said:

Have you tried marking the burrs and turning to see where the touch points are?

 

Ooh!  No!  That's interesting.  What should I use to mark the burrs?

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7 minutes ago, Mrboots2u said:

Burrs are dull ( unlikely ) 

Burrs are out of whack ( more likely ) 

https://www.home-barista.com/grinders/hg1-burr-alignment-from-source-themselves-t56852.html

Yeah I tried that.  Perhaps I should have another go.  I felt like I was whacking from the side in the direction of the crankwheel, and there was no more movement to be had.

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Just a sharpie or standard marker pen I think. Have not done this myself but read of others using it. Hope it helps as the HG1 is a joy to use and you may miss the manual interaction. I only use my Niche if I have visitors or feeling very lazy 😀

 

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I got my wife to have a look at it with me, as she's generally better with this kind of stuff.  We think the coplanarity is OK.

However, we don't think we can ever get the gaps between the inner and outer burr to be even.  In particular, the gap closest to the crankwheel is smaller than the gap furthest from the crankwheel, if that makes sense.  No matter how much I tap the outer burr to move it towards the crankwheel, there's just no more room for adjustment.

After reassembling, I did manage to get up to about 6 bars on a Robot shot, but it was still channeling like crazy.  I'm back to thinking I may have to retire this grinder and just suck up the loss.  Not sure I can see how anyone could fix it.

Edited by wintoid
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7 hours ago, wintoid said:

In October 2014, I ordered a brand new HG One with the 83mm TiN burrs, and it has been my main grinder at home for 6 years now.  I probably drink about 500g-1kg per month.  It's fair to say it must surely be seasoned by now :)

For some reason, I am a guy who likes a manual process.  I like to develop film.  I shave with old-fashioned double-edge razors, a brush and soap.  I used to like the ritual of placing an LP on a turntable.  I have never owned an electric grinder.

Or should I finally go electric and get a Niche?

Or upgrade your HG-One  🥳
Wug2-M1 HG-1 Motor Mod
https://wug2grinder.boutir.com/item/Wug2-M1-HG-1-Motor-Mod-(Delivery-by-022/5056342477242368 

Edited by JackHK
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