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Grinding Tips

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Grinding Tips

What setting (on my Baratza Grinder) should I use for a specific brewing method?

There is no easy answer for this important question, as so many variables affect the grind, such as:

  • Burr type - conical or flat
  • Brewing method and specific recipe
  • Type of coffee
  • Level of Roast
  • Freshness of the beans
  • Temperature of brewing water
  • Personal preference

We have done extensive testing on our grinders and have come up with some settings that we feel are great starting points, to get you going with your grinder. The key is to get started and then adjust to your own taste.

In addition, you could ask the Roaster of the beans you purchased, or your local Café, to give you a grind sample for the brew method you plan to use, then reproduce this grind sample on your grinder. Fine tune to get the taste you want. If you cannot get this information from the Roaster or Café, then you need to continue to experiment with your style of coffee and the taste.

Coffee professionals have varying viewpoints about the best grind for different brewing methods. They even vary greatly about the best way to brew using a specific brewing apparatus! Check out www.brewmethods.com to see the many different recipes for each brewing method (20 for the Aeropress alone!).

Encore Virtuoso Preciso Vario/Forte Ceramic Vario/Forte Steel
Chemex #21 #20 #20D 9L 7O
Hario #14 #13 #13B 6M 4F
Siphon #13 #12 #12B 5N 3N
Press Pot #30 #28 #28G 10B 8L
Basket Brewers #15 #14 #14F 6M 4Z
AeroPress #14 #13 #13B #6M #4M
Espresso #5 #4 #4C 2Q *

Does the grinder need to be running to make adjustments?

Please adjust the grind setting either with the unit completely empty of coffee, or with the machine running. When adjusting to a finer grind setting, the burrs are drawing closer together. If there are beans in the burrs and the unit is off, the beans are resisting the movement of the burrs. Running the grinder kicks out the large particles that are resisting the adjustment. If the unit is completely empty of coffee, there is no need to run the machine as there are no beans resisting burr movement.

How do I clean my grinder?

Please check out this excellent and detailed video and blog from our reseller Prima Coffee, using the Virtuoso grinder. As the video and blog can apply to many other grinder types, we'd like you to give some additional information, specific to Baratza grinders:

We recommend setting your conical (Encore, Virtuoso, Preciso) grinder around the setting of #20 and setting the flat burr grinders (Vario and Forte) at a setting of #5. That’s just around the middle of your grind range allowing for a solid cleaning as the pellets are ground to powder. At finer settings we have seen clogging occur and possible mechanical damage. Follow your cleaning cycle with 30-40 gram coffee bean to purge any cleaner left in the grinder.

Other resources to check out
on the topic of coffee grinding:

Verve Coffee Roasters of Santa Cruz CA created a video describing the effect of grind size on your brew method. Video: Verve Coffee Roasters – Dialing in Your Grind Setting

Seattle Coffee Gear does a video on the difference a roast type has on the outcome of a shot, all ground on the same grind setting Video: SCG – Switching Roasts and Grinds

CoffeeKind did a series of blogs on Grinders - this focuses on grind sizes  Blog - Coffee Grind Sizes - A Visual Guide