Adjusting the grinder is one of the key important elements to ensure we get the right quality from the TopBrewer, by hitting the right extraction time an Espresso shot takes. Its one of the most important elements of coffee brewing perfection. Adjusting the grinder in this article, centers around Espresso brewing, but could also be used for Filter coffee.
Note: if you simply want to have the machine dial in the grinder itself automatically, with no manual grinder adjustment needed, please enable "Automatic grinder adjust" in BaristaDJ or Barista Program. See a detailed video guide here: Automatic Grinder Adjust
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Troubleshooting - or issues that could result in needing grinding adjust
if the espresso is running very slowly - Around more then 35 seconds - the grinder might be set to fine and need to be adjusted coarser.
Or if the extraction is running too slow, at around 10-20 seconds or below that - the grinder need to be set finer, so the knives on the grinder gets closer to each other.
Important Note: On the machien display when adjusting the grinder, its worht noting that the manual grinder adjusts value is an index number. All grinders are individual. A value from one grinder to another, or one machine to another, is not directly comparable. Each machine is individual and the number is just a reference for the machine itself, and not the user adjusting. So please ignore that value in the display.
Coarser = faster pour = less extraction
Finer = slower pour = more extraction
You have to imagine that the key driver is the time in which the water is in contact with the grounds.
A way to control that is the particle size of the grounds - hence grinder adjust.
Grinder 1 and 2
TopBrewer Pro's have 2 grinders. Compact models have 1.
When adjusting on the display (see guide below):
Greater number = finer*
Lower number = coarser
*You can maximum adjust finer 10 steps in one go.
Desired extraction time
A good target for Espresso extraction, is around 20-30 seconds. If it's at 30 seconds its okay for fresh coffee. The reason is, if you put in fresh coffee and the extraction time is 30 seconds, then as the coffee beans age, they will deteriorate - and therefore become harder and then the extraction will decrease from the 30 seconds.
How to check the current extraction time on a TopBrewer?
You can verify the extraction time, by triple-clicking with your finger on the brewing screen (the spinning wheel on iPad while machine is brewing espresso) on iPad/iPhone, and a timer will appear. This timer gives the exact time, and you can refer to that number for adjusting the grinder finer or coarser.
Example: If timer states 15 seconds, you need to set the grinder finer, and therefore have to press the arrow up ↑ when adjusting the grinder.
How to adjust the grinder on the TopBrewer keyboard
Adjusting the grinder on all TopBrewer's is done the following way:
- ↑ on the keypad until display shows ADJUST
- Hit Yes
- ↑ until display shows GRINDER
- Hit Yes
- Grinder 1 is shown
- Toggle ↑ or ↓ to find Grinder 1 or 2
- Hit Yes on the grinder you would like to adjust
- ↑ or ↓ to adjust.
- ↑ = finer (runs slower)
- ↓ = coarser (runs faster)
- Hit Yes to store the new setting. The grinder is now adjusting.
- Test 2-3 drinks and note final result. Repeat process if necessary.
There's a lot to say about adjusting a machine correctly. There's a lot of variables. More so, than I can cover here in this article.
If you like to learn much more, you will have to read the adjustment white paper. Download it below.