Coffee - burr grinder and all of that

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Joined Nov 9, 2020
It look like it is a knock-off of the Hario Skerton Original or possibly the Skerton Plus. Here ( https://www.topoffmycoffee.com/hario-skerton-original-vs-plus-vs-pro/ ) is an article on the differences among the Hario Skerton Original, the Skerton Plus, and the Skerton Pro.

The link is evidently too long to post here, but they have upgrade kits for the Hario Skerton Original, which is a stabilization bar to accommodate the coarser grinds. My Amazon link was a mile long which this site didn't like and wouldn't post here. You can look for the same thing on your European Amazon.

The upgrade is only necessary if you are grinding coarse for a French Press.
 
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Joined Nov 29, 2012
https://www.amazon.nl/dp/B07LBQCS1M/
That's the one I ordered. Don't know why the link is so long....
I'm on limited solar as there is no power here. And the electric ones all seemed very expensive
I can't tell from the description if it has the lower stabilising bearing or not. If not, the center burr tends to wobble during grinding and won't give you the consistency you're looking for in a burr grinder. (It won't be as bad as your blade grinder, just not as good as it should be.) If it doesn't have this piece, you might be able to find it on Amazon.nl or order it from North America:

Here's a post (not mine) about installing the upgrade:
https://www.moustachecoffeeclub.com/hario-skerton-plus-blue-horse-upgrade-kt

And here's a guy (also not me) who came up with his own fix:
https://www.instructables.com/Hario-Skerton-Modification/

:)
 
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Joined Apr 14, 2020
Coffee is one of my favorite things in life, and drinking coffee is an activity that I cant wait for during the day. I usually drink a decent amount of coffee per day, so coffee runs out pretty fast. I also calculated the money that I spend on coffee during a month. It turned out that I spend an exaggerated amount of money only on coffee so I decided to buy a professional coffee grinder since it would cost less. I was on the internet one day when I found a coffee-themed website, https://www.linlin.in.th/coffee-grinders/. I saw they had a variety of different coffee grinders so I bought one. I'm satisfied with the purchase so far.
 
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Joined Nov 9, 2020
I suspect that all of the good ones I saw were conical burr grinders. If they had been flat burr grinders the verbiage in the translation should have picked up flat burrs I think. But they look like they would be able to kick out reliable grounds. What are the general prices in USD/Euros to get an idea what a decent carafe of coffee costs to grind there?
 
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Joined Nov 29, 2012
I suspect that all of the good ones I saw were conical burr grinders. If they had been flat burr grinders the verbiage in the translation should have picked up flat burrs I think.
The translations will only pick up what's in the descriptions, and it appears that the descriptions are not very detailed. It looks like quite a few of them use flat burrs, but you've got to look the pics of each grinder to see if they show interior details.
 
2,343
929
Joined Jan 8, 2010
This is going deeper than I intended.
But no worries, I am learning ;)
I'll be having my grinder early June and I'll report back on my experiences by then.
For any form of price comparisons, check amazon. It's probably easiest. Compare .com with .co.uk with .de .nl etc
All of them can be changed to english or something that is supposed to look like English (and believe me, that translation is even worse in German, Dutch etc) but thats beside the point
 
2,343
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Joined Jan 8, 2010
Just a quick update:
I got my grinder and tested it out. Seems all pretty straight forward and easy to use.
It got a nice long handle, so grinding is a breeze.
I ordered some ground coffee. 1 type ground for french press and 1 type for aeropress/filter coffee, so I can check the settings.
So far, so good :)
 
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Joined Nov 9, 2020
French Press is an immersion brew, not a filter brew (even though their is a sieve in the FP), so the extraction takes place while it is making its "soup". It is less efficient than drip methods because the FP itself has big holes in its sieve which requires the less efficient, large grounds (boulders) that the sieve can catch.

Medium grinds are used mostly and are for various types of brew methods (pour-over, siphon, aeropress, etc) each of which favors its own variation of a medium grind. The very finest grounds are too fine for most brew methods, but have the most coffee extraction surfaces exposed. Those finest grounds are for espresso and Turkish brewing.

The huge downside of preground coffee is that you don't know how fresh the coffee is, even if you bought it as beans in the store and had the store grind it all for you. Some coffee sits in warehouses for months and then sits in store stockrooms for weeks, and then on store shelves for maybe weeks. Probably most of the coffee that is sold is pretty old.

If you bought it from a coffee enterprise that roasts its own beans then you're in good shape. They get relatively fresh green beans in and you can get your coffee not long after it is roasted. The ideal timing is to start using it a week to ten days after roasting. It is good after that, but has reached its peak and goes into its inevitable decline, which you can control a great deal.

I get mine shipped up from coffee farms in Colombia within 5 days of roasting down there (roast date is always marked). The FedEx shipping takes a few days, so by the time it arrives it is generally reaching its peak.

French Press is a quick and dirty method of brewing and can never harness the best out of any coffee. All of the more complicated brewing methods are better, but are more involved, time-consuming, etc. I make two 1-Liter brews back to back daily and keep it all in a glass-lined thermal carafe all day (stainless steel lined imparts steel flavor). I still do other brews occasionally at any time, but that's just the daily routine. Cleaning my Chemex and coffee glass(es) and the carafe, grinding the beans just before each brew, and the whole process takes about an hour. So for specialty coffee fanatics that time has to be worthwhile. It is not set it and forget it.

If you do pour-over, as I do, there is a thing called a "bloom" that is part of the process. Once your grounds are in the brewing cone awaiting the hot water you do a quick pour-over with just enough water to get all of the grounds hot and soaked. Then you let it sit for 45 seconds. This opens up all of the extraction surfaces and allows the CO2 trapped inside to quickly be released unobstructed. This causes the dose of grounds you are using to bloat up with a dome on top as the CO2 comes out, which smells fantastic and is called the bloom.

This is a necessary step because if you just continue with your pour-over without doing a bloom then inundation of continuous hot water prevents the CO2 from escaping properly and results in an inferior extraction. This is one of the problems with any kind of immersion brewing method that does not first allow for a bloom, including the FP. The grounds just get suspended in all of the water without giving the coffee particle surfaces the chance to blow off their trapped CO2 which affects the quality of the extraction and the flavor. When I do my FP brews I bloom the grounds first, then after 45 seconds add the rest of the hot water.

The roasting process causes all this buildup of CO2 inside the beans. Much of the CO2 involved is burnt off from the roasting while the rest is trapped inside the beans. The coffee gradually releases this trapped CO2 over time, which is not good for maintaining the freshness of the coffee, If the coffee beans are sitting in a container (bag, canister, etc.) without an escape valve, the atmosphere inside the container gets filled with excess CO2 which is bad for the coffee. Oxygen is worse. Oxygen and CO2 both cause the coffee to deteriorate rapidly. Of course, preground coffee deteriorates the fastest since there are more surfaces exposed to allow the CO2 to escape. The deterioration of coffee sitting in its constant release of CO2 is why you see cheap versions of CO2 valves on quality coffee bags in the stores now. They do help.

There are things you can do to extend the shelf life of the beans. I have mine so that I can store it for over a year and it always tastes almost as good as the day I received it. The main difference is that over that kind of time the vast majority of the CO2 is gone, is there is practically no need for a bloom nor is there the great bloom experience while brewing. But the resulting coffee tastes nearly as fresh as the first day of a batch. So for a batch of beans, the the timing of my blooms starts at 45 seconds, a month later perhaps 30 seconds, a few weeks later maybe 15 second, after that, sometimes no bloom at all.

You can tell by the bloom dome. When it is freshly roasted the bloom dome is at its biggest with sporadic occasional tiny eruptions of CO2. After a few weeks the dome is noticeably smaller with no eruptions. Eventually, there is no bloom dome. When that first occurs a 15 second bloom is appropriate. A few days after that there is almost no point in bothering to bloom although some CO2 remains trapped indefinitely in the roasted beans, so a bloom with no external signs of doing anything is still doing something. For that reason, some people always bloom regardless of the lack of obvious effects.

There are special coffee storage containers that are commonly referred to s "coffee vaults". They come in a few different sizes, but you want one that holds a pound of beans at least. Mine hold 1.5 pounds each. I keep different varieties from different growing areas in its own vault or set of vaults. These are about 6" in diameter and about 8" tall. They have an airtight seal with a clampdown hinged lid, and in the center of the lid there is a CO2 escape valve. These are what the cheap valves on the coffee bags are patterned after, but are considerably more effective. Outside air stays out and inside atmosphere stays in except the CO2 that gets released by the beans is able to escape from the container.

The CO2 valve extends the freshness of coffee beans for months, but the coffee still can go stale and rancid due to oxidation. The solution for that is inert gas. It isn't cheap (+/- $10 USD) for one can (discounts for quantity). The gas weighs practically nothing, so a full can feels just like an empty one. The power of the spray is the way you tell how full it is. I use "Private Preserve" inert gas "Suitable for all Wine, Port, Sake, Cognac, Whiskey, Fine Oil and Vinegar" and for other things you want to keep from oxidation like coffee; any perishable substance that gets oxygen deterioration after opening.

Whenever I open a vault to make a brew, after I have dispensed all of the coffee I need for that brew, I stick the aerosol can spray tube down into the container and spray for about 5 seconds (longer when the gas is low). You can feel the air coming out getting displaced with the gas. Then shut the container. Of course, some regular air gets in and stays in, but it is largely replaced with the inert gas. Enough air gets replaced that oxidation is never a problem over many months, at least a year.

The beans it protects is used up much sooner than a year's time usually anyway. If not, the coffee is still good. I have not had any coffee stored for much longer than a year, so I don't know if the gas can keep up the preservation for years, plural, but I would not be surprised if it could. It is very effective. For varieties I rarely use I still periodically open the vault and give it another blast to be on the safe side. The Coffee vault with the wine preserver gas is a winning combination.

Have fun with your new grinder. I would test its grind consistency. Even if you are grinding coarse, there is bound to still be a certain amount of fines produced. Take a small kitchen strainer with the smallest gauge openings and sift your ground coffee through it. The coarse grind is hopefully big enough to be held back and the fines will go through. Your hope is that only a small amount of fines have been rendered that can go through. I do that anyway just to keep the fines out of the French Press when I am making a brew on a brew. Otherwise, for an ordinary FP brew I don't bother. I just enjoy the fines that come through that add to the mouthfeel and texture. I only sift when I don't want the fines to mess up the brew.

My brew on a brew is when, instead of using hot water to do the FP brew, I use freshly brewed pour-over coffee. The coarse grind goes into the FP, I bloom it with hot water, then I do a pour-over directly into the FP vessel instead of plain hot water.
 
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