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Mignon Specialita - Crazy dial


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Two months old Mignon Specialita. I had been using the same beans for the last month and was getting consistent espresso shots with the dial set to 2 (around 18s for 15g). 

Last night a friend brought some beans for grinding (~300g), so we played a bit with the dial and after finishing I set it back to 2 for my usual beans.

Next morning and the place is a mess because of channeling. I grind finer until I have the same results, and the new setting of the dial is now at 0.5.

Is that expected? Can anyone explain why this happens and is there a way to restore it back to the initial scale?

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Did you adjust coarser for the bean your friend brought and did you have the grinder running while adjusting back to your original setting? 

Is there a taste difference or is it just the marking on the dial that's different?

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Yes, first coarser and then finer. Unfortunately, the grinder wasn't running at the time.

It's not only the taste difference, there is a lot of channeling and the brew time went down from 30s to 18-20s (for the same input & output 15gr in, ~32gr out).

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Did you purge the grinder after the old beans? Sounds like you might just be retaining a lot of the old grounds and hence the shot is completely different. 
 

usually have to purge a few grams whenever changing beans or grind setting to ensure all of that dose is of the same consistency

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Where is the touching point for the burrs?   Mine touch at -0.5 and to be honest most of my espressos are ground at 0 to 0.5.  2 would be much too course. What you are experiencing now seems normal to me 

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53 minutes ago, trapatsas said:

Will clean the grinder and let you know. Btw @RobDGio what can happen if you change the dial without the grinder working?

Hi Green Bean,

Going courser without the grinder running should be fine, but going finer might cause for some jamming so always best to run the grinder at the same time (so I was told somewhere.) I'm not sure if it causes a bigger issue as I believe you can always dial courser again and that will resolve the jam but it's a bit of a heart in mouth "oh shit, why is my grinder not working" kind of moment! 

 

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You want to have the motor running when you adjust finer so you don’t cause the burrs to jam (I don’t for fine adjustments) you don’t need to do it for adjusting coarser.

I think your fast running shot is due to retained coarser grinds, purge some and get yourself back to base, you shouldn’t be wildly out from your previous setting.

Some good advice I’ve had is to not frequently make adjustments unless a defect is obviously caused by grind. If you are not purging there will always be a few grams of your previous grind setting mixed with the new and you will be forever chasing your tail. Try a run of shots and see if they are ok then decide what to do with it - sometimes a shot was just bad by itself, this will help you see the wood for the trees.

Edited by Kjk

PMA all day!

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Could be retained grounds as mentioned.

If you adjust finer without the grinder running I was thinking the threads on the adjustment might have slipped against pressure from grounds trapped between the burrs but it's just a guess and I don't know if that's possible. 

 

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54 minutes ago, trapatsas said:

Just checked the touching point now and it is around 0. Don't know where it was before though.. @Mark70 if you grind espresso so fine in the scale, what would you use for Greek or Turkish coffee?

Never made Greek or Turkish.  I’m currently at just at 0 for a medium roast for espresso. A medium dark roast I use is at 1 which would be about 1.5 on your machine   Any more would be a gusher for me 

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I was reading there was a seemingly bad batch of grinders recently they were taking longer to grind etc... 

My new Specializa (2 days old) grinds 15 grams in 8.3 secs set at 2.8 ish on the grind scale. Your grinder seems to be taking quite a long time. The unit shipped with 9 seconds being a double so I would expect small variables around this.

18 secs for 15 grams sounds similar to those that I was reading were the bad batch so it might be worth checking with the retailer you purchased from that your machine is working properly.

 

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3 hours ago, Mark70 said:

Never made Greek or Turkish.  I’m currently at just at 0 for a medium roast for espresso. A medium dark roast I use is at 1 which would be about 1.5 on your machine   Any more would be a gusher for me 

How long it takes to grind 15gr with your setting? My Specialita also shipped with 9 sec for a double, but that is totally off. 

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1 hour ago, trapatsas said:

How long it takes to grind 15gr with your setting? My Specialita also shipped with 9 sec for a double, but that is totally off. 

I don’t do 15 but 18g at zero is about 13 seconds bean dependent.   Mine was bought just over 12 months ago before the problem ones were about and I don’t use supermarket coffee!!!!  
 

Also I am grinding finer now I am using a DE1 but not much 

I would talk to your vendor if it’s taking 18seconds for 15g.  

Edited by Mark70
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I am circa 12 and 13 secs for 18g with Rave Signature blend. Is it important to have the grinder running and beans feeding through whilst adjusting the grind dial finer?

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1 hour ago, Buster said:

Is it important to have the grinder running and beans feeding through whilst adjusting the grind dial finer?

It's only important if there are beans in the burr chamber as they can get squished and jam the grinder.

There is no need to have beans feeding through. It can just be quite a hassle to empty the chamber and block off the hopper everytime you want to adjust the grind finer. It's far easier to just waste a gram or two of beans.

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Just a thought. As I've not tried it and don't know the answer. But does the adjuster refuse to move if there was a blockage or is there clutch type mechanism to allow the adjuster to move but not move the burrs with enough pressure to prevent damage if you were to force it? I was just thinking if there was it would explain the vastly different grind settings for the same bean when adjusting fine for espresso to coarse and back to fine again without running the grinder. 

 

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13 minutes ago, FlyingPianist said:

Just a thought. As I've not tried it and don't know the answer. But does the adjuster refuse to move if there was a blockage or is there clutch type mechanism to allow the adjuster to move but not move the burrs with enough pressure to prevent damage if you were to force it? I was just thinking if there was it would explain the vastly different grind settings for the same bean when adjusting fine for espresso to coarse and back to fine again without running the grinder. 

 

I think it’s a little more simple than that - if you go way coarse you can end up with a large piece of coffee trapped between the burrs which will stop them moving. You go finer with the burrs moving to literally grind yourself finer.

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PMA all day!

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