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A coffee grinder is the most important piece of coffee gear in making that perfect cup of joe. It will transform your coffee experience inside and out. Without it, you simply cannot make great tasting coffee. Burr grinder maintenance is a must to prolong the life of your burrs.
If you’ve invested on a decent coffee burr grinder, make sure that you take good care of it and clean it every now and then. Otherwise, oils can go rancid and ruin future brews. Coffee dust will infiltrate every nook and cranny of the grinder, causing it to fail.
If you can’t remember when you last cleaned your coffee grinder, then it’s probably been too long.
It will only take you a couple of minutes to keep your grinder at peak condition. Let me walk you through the journey.
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Get the grit out
Cleaning your burr coffee grinder may not be the most glam part of being a member of the great-coffee-at-home tribe, but it is one of the most important steps you need to take to keep your grinder in good condition.
Removing dust and debris in your burr grinder will go a long way to ensuring that your coffee will taste as great as it did when you poured that first fragrant cup. A soft bristled brush works well for getting the grinds out of those hard-to-reach places.
Know when to clean your grinder
Let’s face it. Not everyone cleans their coffee grinder regularly. Some of you may not have cleaned it for years. After all, you only use it for coffee, so that’s okay, right? Not really.
If you don’t clean your burr grinder regularly, you’ll find oils, chaff, and random coffee grounds stuck in places in your grinder that you didn’t even consider. Cleaning should be done at least once a week. The more frequently you use the grinder, the more often it should be cleaned. As a general, you should clean the grinder once you notice the build up of oils on the surfaces.
Grinders need occasional deep cleaning
Coffee grinders can get dirty over time. Oil from the beans can build up and coffee dust gets everywhere. Even if you clean your grinder regularly, it needs occasional deep cleaning.
Grinder cleaning pellets are great for when you need to do a bit of deep cleaning. They are a convenient solution to soak up the coffee oils and remaining coffee grounds and chaff that are lingering in the grinder.
Simply run the pellets through the grinder like you would any coffee. Then, run a handful of beans through it. It will help get rid of any lingering, yet invisible residue. Plus, it puts a bit of oil back into the machine. Having a thin coat of oil in your grinder will help prevent rust and oxidation.
Never run rice through your grinder
Some would say running rice ] can help clean out the grinder. While we admit that cleaning with rice is effective, we also have to note that rice is harder than your average coffee beans, which can stress the motors. Also, some manufacturers say they don’t cover damages caused by the use of rice. If manufacturers say don’t do it, then you should listen.
Burr grinders need breaking in
New burrs ordinarily require a seasoning or break in period before they work their best. It is a good idea to save a few kilos of your old coffee and use it for breaking in those new burrs. It will be a shame to use fresh coffee for the breaking in period. That will equate to a lot of wasted coffee grounds.
Some people suggest using uncooked rice, but that’s a no-no. Never grind non-coffee objects. It will cause premature wear on the machine.
Replace your burrs
Over the course of several dozen bags of coffee, you will notice a slow, inevitable dulling of your burrs. When burr edges become dull, the grounds become increasingly inconsistent. Thus, you may notice your coffee quality to go downhill.
Burr life vary depending on the burr size and the how often you use the grinder. Your burrs are slowly dulling each and every time you turn on the grinder. As a general rule, replace your grinder burr when the edges become dull and your grounds become inconsistently sized.
Burr grinder maintenance helps keep your machine in good working order
A grinder is one of the most important coffee making tool in your arsenal. How and how often you clean and maintain will have an effect on the quality of coffee you make. Regular upkeep is also the key to extending the life of your machine.
The more often you use the grinder, the more frequently it should be cleaned, checked, and maintained. If you notice that it is not performing as well as it used to, then it may be an indication that there is a build up of oil and other residue. Or maybe the burrs need replacing.
A clean grinder means great tasting coffee. Burr grinder maintenance will go a long way towards keeping it working optimally. The good news is that keeping your grinder clean and in tip top shape is reasonably straightforward. It won’t suck too much time out of your day. As a coffee afficionado, you want a clean machine that delivers excellence.