[Homeroast] Monday Morning Cup

Doug Hoople doughoople at gmail.com
Wed Aug 25 12:12:55 CDT 2010


I don't have a clue what you're actually getting at here, RayO, but that's
nothing new. You're often getting at not much, almost always entertainingly,
though.

A year ago, when I was experiencing regular drawdown delays and stalls in my
Yama vacpots with a Cory rod, Barry suggested that the answer to the problem
was, in his words, "Grinder, Grinder, Grinder," a mantra we hear around here
a lot.

Turns out that assertion was wrong in two ways, 1) that the problem would go
away with the introduction of a great grinder, and 2) that there was no
other way of addressing the problem.

Barry ran a short, but relatively conclusive, test that indicated coarsely
ground dark roast coffee from either a Mazzer Mini or a Cimbali Max Hybrid
still caused drawdown delays in a Yama vacpot with a Cory rod.

That's not to say that the problem wasn't lessened by the introduction of a
"great" grinder, only that it wasn't solved outright.

In the meantime, using the terminal heat burst method, I was able to take
the output of the Baratza Virtuoso, a "good" grinder (longevity relative to
the Mazzer tanks notwithstanding), and make the problem go away entirely,
using any grind level and any level of darkness of roast.

Now it could be argued that neither the Mazzer Mini nor the Cimbali Max
Hybrid are "great" grinders, but you're starting to really split hairs at
that point. And who wants to sign up for a Robur or a Ditting in the hopes
that "grinder, grinder, grinder" is the whole answer, especially if the
answer is actually "not really."

Was my research exhaustive? No. Could it actually be called research? Under
the tightest definitions, no.

But do I have enough information to demonstrate conclusively that I don't
need a $3000 grinder or a kitchen-reducing tank in order to get my glass-rod
vacpot to behave properly? Absolutely.

So put that in your Super Jolly and grind it, RayO. :)

Doug

On Wed, Aug 25, 2010 at 8:40 PM, <raymanowen at gmail.com> wrote:

> "A great grinder wasn't going to solve the problem, and you helped me to
> prove that." [The research was a farce if you already knew the answer.]
>
> "Doesn't mean that a lousy grinder wouldn't confound the problem, just that
> a
> great grinder wasn't going to fix it."
>
> Congratulations! You proved a negative. Does your proof hold in every case,
> or only in the case of Great Grinders from Grinders-R-Us, that you can hold
> at arm's length in one hand?
>
> Maybe you proved that 2 different POS grinders are identically bad, so you
> can't detect the difference between them.
>
> When two grinders both make grounds with with wild size and shape
> variation,
> neither has control of the particulate size, and the operator has no
> control
> over the brewing characteristic of grounds that resemble Martian surface
> rubble.
>
> Different size coffee particles brew and extract differently. Otherwise why
> make small pieces out of the fairly uniform-sized beans in the first place,
> and why make the grinders adjustable at all??
>
> The one statement that would answer both questions is ludicrous. If you
> need
> size variation in a particular brewing method or it doesn't make any
> difference, you're sitting in the rong pew.
>
> Blade grinders generate the exact rubble you seek and they preheat the
> grounds at no additional charge. When viewed with an inspection loupe, even
> the grind from new Mazzer burrs is seen to vary by as much as 10:1
>
> The particle volume variation is 1,000:1. (r³ and all) If that doesn't make
> any difference, *$ has your coffee. Helluva note! Happily, there aren't
> many
> fines from the new burrs. The old [new] burrs lasted 5 years before they
> started making fines, even though they felt very sharp. ¿Maybe grinding
> bread flour wrecked them? No more of that, but it worked.
>
> If a different brew requires a different grind size, then proper brewing
> can't possibly use the variable rubble size of most grinders. Of course, if
> you like stalled brews in vacuum pots, don't change a thing. Keep doing
> what
> you've done and you'll keep getting what you got.
>
> Cheers, Mabuhay -RayO, aka Opa!
>
> Got grinder?
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