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Author Topic: Isomac Granmacinino - Not Grinding Fine Enough.  (Read 12389 times)

Divey

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Isomac Granmacinino - Not Grinding Fine Enough.
« on: 09/11/2011, 11:57 AM »
As the subject says, this little machine is not grinding the coffee beans fine enough for me. Does anyone know how to adjust/modify one of these to achieve a finer grind. ?



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Isomac Granmacinino - Not Grinding Fine Enough.
« Reply #1 on: 09/11/2011, 01:05 PM »
If you are sure that is the problem per se.....and not something else to do with your coffee making technique...

Sorry, but if this is a brand new grinder take it back and have them make it suitable for the task rather than do it yourself.  It should be suitable to the task straight up especially if it has been sold to you as a grinder supposedly suitable for your pump driven espresso machine (which would be the only reason you might want to grind finer than it may be doing....your coffee making technique aside).

Also if it is  brand new, and you have been sold it as being suitable for your pump driven espresso machine.....ask if they will change it over for a more suitable grinder and you pay the difference. You wont be sorry.

Hope that helps,
Attilio
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Divey

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Isomac Granmacinino - Not Grinding Fine Enough.
« Reply #2 on: 09/11/2011, 01:38 PM »
The machine was bought some time ago by a friend who had a better machine. It just sat around doing nothing so he decided to give it to me....what a nice bloke!!

I'm pretty handy with my hands so I think I'll have a little look see as per AM's post.  :)

Brett H

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Isomac Granmacinino - Not Grinding Fine Enough.
« Reply #3 on: 09/11/2011, 04:39 PM »
Having owned one of these and a Lux I am surprised to read that this wouldn't grind fine enough.  Are you sure that it hasn't been damaged or just needs a really good clean?
Quickmill Achille, La Pavoni Professional, Robur, Rancilio Rocky, Behmor 1600Plus, BBQ Roaster (retired), KKTO

Divey

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Isomac Granmacinino - Not Grinding Fine Enough.
« Reply #4 on: 09/11/2011, 04:57 PM »
The machine is new.

I've been 'told' by another person that it is not fine enough!! I wish there was some method how you could positively identify the fineness of the grindings.

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Isomac Granmacinino - Not Grinding Fine Enough.
« Reply #5 on: 09/11/2011, 05:38 PM »
there is.....and on the basis of your post I would work it out myself rather believe what the other person told you. It should work straight up (even if I'm not a fan), therefore the content of my last post.

I gather then you may not have a tried and proven technique "down pat" for making your coffee, as this will easily tell you whether the grinder is grinding down to an acceptable fineness for the purpose.

Therefore, bear with me & do this and you will work it out close enough,

My assumption is, you are using some kind of pump driven espresso machine. If not, the following may not be suitable but got to start somewhere......pending further info from you.

a) start at wherever you now have the grinder set to (ie, any arbitrary setting);
b) grind enough coffee to overfill the filter;
c) settle the grinds in the filter by tapping the group handle on the bench a couple of times (please protect the benchtop from dents)
d) using a straight edge (a straight knife handle, a doser spoon handle or whatever) run it over the top of the filter to give you a full flat surface.
e) tamp down into the filter. (Not too hard....if you have a set of bathroom scales put them on the bench and tamp down into the filter on the scales. Stop at a tamping weight of 13 kilos, but it really doesnt matter what you tamp to for this excercise as long as you keep using exactly the same technique and tamping weight after every grinder adjustment). Tamp as evenly as you can...no diagonal surfaces please.
f) Fit the tamped group handle into the group.
g) If you have a stop watch activate it at the same time as you flick the group flow switch on.
h) If the end result is you got close to 30 ml coffee liquid flowed out somwhere within say 20 to 30 seconds time, then your grind setting is close enough to ok and the rest is fine tuning. 

i) If you dont get 30 ml of coffee flowed out by the time you get to 30 seconds of flow, then the grind is probably too fine. Readjust and do the above over again.

j) If you get more than 30 ml of coffee flowed out by the time you get to 20 seconds of flow, then the grind is probably too coarse. Readjust and do the above over again.

That will help you work out whether you have been spun a yarn.....

Of course, the above only helps you to work out of the grinder is delivering a range of suitable grinds for an espreso machine. It doesnt account for the differences between coffees whether they be single origins or blends, with aging (staleness), and to get best possible character in the cup of coffee for any particular coffee. Those things only come with more trial and error with your grind & technique, and with considerable sampling.

Hope this helps.

Rgdz,
Attilio
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PS.....if you have to change to a finer setting, be aware that if you make large changes you can jam up the grinder. In this case run the grinder while you grip firmly, depress the locking pin, and move the adjuster ring... ;)...its a three handed affair  :D

Going to a coarser setting wont present the same problem so can be done without running the grinder.

Dont forget that every time you make a change to the grind adjustment, before you go doing all the above again you must grind out and waste (throw out) a little coffee before refilling the filter with new grinds. If you dont do that, you are putting some of the previous grind back into the filter with the newly adjusted grind, and that will confuse the volume and pouring times and give you a false verdict.

Please be aware, trying to help, trying to give you advice in writing that would be better done in person, lengthy, detailed, time consuming, no responsibility taken if I left anything out or you get something wrong  :)
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Rider

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Isomac Granmacinino - Not Grinding Fine Enough.
« Reply #6 on: 09/11/2011, 08:49 PM »
I think you covered it Attilio, and covered it well.

Great post.

Divey

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Isomac Granmacinino - Not Grinding Fine Enough.
« Reply #7 on: 09/11/2011, 09:12 PM »
This is going to throw a cat amongst the pigeons. ;)

Seeing as I am extremely new to home roasting and have therefore not been really interested in grinding my own coffee as we have a fully automatic Saeco Incanto Sirius S Class Machine, which does the whole deal for you.

Now that I am roasting my coffee at home, and, have numerous varieties at the moment (nineteen I think) which I am very keen to taste, I am grinding single amounts of coffee for a single shot which I can put into the machine that has a preground coffee setting, open the little chute and chuck it in.

Is it considered naughty to own one of these Automatic monsters. ???

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Isomac Granmacinino - Not Grinding Fine Enough.
« Reply #8 on: 09/11/2011, 09:57 PM »
Appreciate your kind comment Rider.

Divey, you can own and use whatever you like but what I wrote for you is for a manual use machine. We can keep it here for future use.....maybe the mods can put it up as a "sticky" on how beginners can start to work out their grind settings.......

In your case and given that we now find you are using an auto, I will surmise that your adviser ( "grind too coarse") hasnt understood that autos dont behave or brew out the same as manual machines so the usual "rules of espresso" dont really apply....presumably he has seen the coffee pouring out fast (as it does in the usual domestic autos ie "normal") and has given you a bum steer on the grinder....guilty until proven innocent I'm afraid  ;D  That is, we will have to assume the grinder is fit for purpose (as it should be).

If you have 19 different coffees to try, but you are not fully conversant with checking grind settings and changing / working out a new setting to suit each coffee for each different way it is roasted at any particular time, I am afraid you are in some hot water old son ;)

Also, what you (or your adviser) have assumed to be a grind setting too coarse, may actually be too small a dose for the machine. If you dont use a consistent correct dose, you will never work out the grind.

Read the manual for the machine, find what they recommend to be the correct dose of grinds to stick into the hole in the top of the machine. Usually they give you some kind of doser spoon but be aware not all doser spoons are the same size, so use the one they provided with that machine. Note you can underful, fill or overfill the doser spoon before placing the dose in the hole so always be CONSISTENT with everything you do, otherwise you cant work out the grind (already said that eh!). Suggest you choose an arbitrary dosing technique, and autos like large doses so do this:
grind coffee (again at whatever setting its at now)
use a spoon to spoon the grinds into the "doser" spoon.
Overfill it
now settle the grinds down into the spoon by tapping it on the bench say once or twice. Whatever you do, always do the same thing to be consistent.
use the straight edge to level off the dose over the top of the doser spoon
place the dose in the hole and make coffee
time it if you like, but I dont know if it will tell you anything with an auto.
Cup ( taste) the coffee and see if it has a good character, nothing sour (which would indicate too coarse).
If the coffee flowed out far too fast and has given you a light brown liquid with whitish crema, its too coarse.
Go again after adjusting the grinder down finer by say two notches (dont foget to waste a bit before redosing)
If the coffee still flows too fast resulting in a brown liquid with yellow-whitish crema, its still too coarse (but getting better)
Go again, until you get a dark brown liquid and tan coloured crema.
That's probably about as good as it gets out of an auto, but if your beans are good and roasted well, you should get a mellow character in the brew...nothing "off".

There you go, probably as good as it gets except for "fine tuning", such as seeing what will then happen if you increase the size of your dose but be aware that after a certain sized quantity (that you placed into the hole) the machine may not take in and use all that you put in the hole, so look in the hole after brewing, and also take a look in the spent grinds box to see if a certain proportion of unused grinds are being ejected.

Its been a while since i did this so may be a little sketchy and not quite right but...I dare say it will give you a leg up and get you started.

good luck,
Attilio
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Importer of BFC espresso machines in Australia

UNM

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Isomac Granmacinino - Not Grinding Fine Enough.
« Reply #9 on: 09/11/2011, 10:34 PM »
Is it considered naughty to own one of these Automatic monsters. ???



Divey, you can own and use whatever you like but what I wrote for you is for a manual use machine.
In your case and given that we now find you are using an auto, I will surmise
[snip snip] (cut out some useful and helpful stuff)


 probably as good as it gets except for "fine tuning"

So basically  what Attilio is saying is 'Yes' :stir


 ;D


Sorry, that time of night, all meant in good humour.
Good on you for willingly admitting what you are using rather than trying to pretend it is something else, or just going quiet...

Seriously, I suspect Attilio's suggestions are going to help you get the best out of it.
It may not be the best cup of coffee in the world, but with good beans in, it is likely to be far better than some piece of bling with crap pre-ground beans.

My experience of super-autos predates my desire for good coffee, so I can't be much help. Attilio, on the other hand, actually knows quite a bit from a professional perspective.
 

"There is never interpretation, understanding and knowledge when there is no interest,"
Edward Said

Fresh Coffee

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Isomac Granmacinino - Not Grinding Fine Enough.
« Reply #10 on: 09/11/2011, 11:12 PM »
and thank you too UNM for the kind words.

Rgdz,
A
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Divey

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Isomac Granmacinino - Not Grinding Fine Enough.
« Reply #11 on: 10/11/2011, 05:08 AM »

In your case and given that we now find you are using an auto, I will surmise that your adviser ( "grind too coarse") hasnt understood that autos dont behave or brew out the same as manual machines so the usual "rules of espresso" dont really apply....presumably he has seen the coffee pouring out fast (as it does in the usual domestic autos ie "normal") and has given you a bum steer on the grinder....guilty until proven innocent I'm afraid  ;D  That is, we will have to assume the grinder is fit for purpose (as it should be).

good luck,
Attilio
very first Crema site sponsor

Thank you very much Attilio for your very informative posts.  :) As a result, I'm going to talk to my friend and tell him he is talking total crap.

The coffees that the auto is producing with the pre-ground coffee are far better that if I just place the beans the auto's hopper and let it do it's own grinding thing.

And to be totally honest, I was surprised when he said that the Granmacinino  was not grinding the coffee fine enough.

Brett H

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Isomac Granmacinino - Not Grinding Fine Enough.
« Reply #12 on: 10/11/2011, 08:41 AM »
Thank you very much Attilio for your very informative posts.  :) As a result, I'm going to talk to my friend and tell him he is talking total crap.

No need to shoot down a guy who's trying to help you.  He's just as many of us here are, on a learning curve, but aren't we lucky to have contributors like Attilio.  Tell him the grinder is great and use it for plunger until you get a manual machine... or EBAY!!!  ;D
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Isomac Granmacinino - Not Grinding Fine Enough.
« Reply #13 on: 10/11/2011, 09:25 AM »
Good morning Divey.

oh oh....Echoing Bretts good words....please.....dont do that. Be nice....he was trying to help. By all means let him know you dont think there is anything wrong with the grinder, but be nice!

For the rest of it, just be aware for the future that if you want to continue with extensive home roasting and cupping excercises (well, I think 19 diff types of coffee is extensive  :) ), that you may want to think about changing over to more suitable equipment set up (machine and grinder) for the purpose.

Rgdz,
Attilio
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Importer of BFC espresso machines in Australia

UNM

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Isomac Granmacinino - Not Grinding Fine Enough.
« Reply #14 on: 10/11/2011, 10:33 AM »
Not that you need a machine to get good coffee of course...

You already have the grinder, so can experiment with brew methods other than espresso too. :coffee2:
"There is never interpretation, understanding and knowledge when there is no interest,"
Edward Said

Divey

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Isomac Granmacinino - Not Grinding Fine Enough.
« Reply #15 on: 10/11/2011, 11:19 AM »
Thanks folks.   :)

My son has just taken possession of a Sunbeam EM5600.  :coffee2:

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