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file grinder and grind questions

  • jtotheh
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11 years 6 months ago #3618 by jtotheh
grinder and grind questions was created by jtotheh
Hi all, first post from another espresso newbie. Just purchased my first starter grinder, a Virtuoso, at the advice of Colin and others. I'm using it with a cheaper pump machine with a pressurized PF for now.

First question: To get the grind to the point where it won't clog my machine and I can pull a good shot in the proper time, it seems coarser than the store-ground stuff I started with. Is this because it would be a little more inconsistent than a commercial grinder or something else?

Second question: Contrary to others complaining that the Virtuoso will not grind fine enough for espresso, I have to have mine at \"17\" to not clog my machine. I've heard some vendors re-calibrate, or is this more to do with my pressurized PF or something else?

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11 years 6 months ago #3631 by jtotheh
Replied by jtotheh on topic Re:grinder and grind questions
Hi, does anyone have any feedback on my grind questions?

I tried another type of espresso bean, and still needed to grind at 16-17 to get a 25-30 sec shot, anything below that took close 45 seconds or more.

The shots seem to look and taste normal, to my untrained eye and palate, i'm just wondering why I seem to have to have my setting so much higher than others, and why my grind seems coarser than my previous store-bought stuff.


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11 years 5 months ago #3726 by lock_load
Replied by lock_load on topic Re:grinder and grind questions
If you're still out there, if you're getting 30 sec. shots then your grind is where it should be. Your shot times (and thus your grind size) will vary with type of bean, degree of roast, freshness, humidity and probably a handful of other reasons. The numbers on your grinder only mean something to you, and maybe someone else who has an identical grinder, but maybe not so much. The virtuoso can be re-calibrated if you use it primarily for espresso (see their website to download instructions) but this doesn't change anything other than lowering the range of numbering. However, if you are able to get a 30 sec double with the grind setting you are currently using, unless it's a 1 or a 2, you probably don't need to calibrate it. Since you are making the coffee in a

"cheaper pump machine"

, it's possible the inconsistency lies with your pump. My first machine was a gaggia coffee and it never pulled two consecutive shots consistently. You are probably hitting the 30 sec. target with a coarser grind because your pump is putting out less than 9 bar, which is not unusual in a machine of that quality. I would suggest you focus more on what is required to get the most out of your current setup and enjoy it for a while, regardless of what the settings are. If, after that, it still isn't meeting your needs, you can either save up and get a better espresso machine, or live with what you have and when you need a better espresso, head for the local coffee shop.
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