Mastering grind by weight coffee grinders: a quick guide

Mastering grind by weight coffee grinders: a quick guide

After years of training baristas, we've found that dialling in a grinder can be quite challenging, however we think a grind by weight (GbW) coffee grinders provides ease and efficiency.

Most specialty coffee shops use on-demand grinders, which grind coffee for a set amount of time to match your recipe. When you adjust the grind size, it affects how hard the grinder works. For example, a finer grind slows the shot but requires more grinding time to achieve the correct dose. This means you often end up with less coffee than needed. Adjusting the grind size involves trial and error to find the right balance, which can be frustrating.

The grind by weight solution

A grind by weight grinder aims to stop this problem by controlling the variable of time. Rather than having to grind for a set amount of time and trying to hit your recipe (18g ground coffee, for example), you just program in the dose you need and the grinder does the rest for you!

The best bit is that when you need to adjust the size of your grind, you know you're going to get the right amount of ground coffee, without making any adjustments. The clever technology in a grind by weight grinder is an absolute game-changer. Not only does it save time in service, it reduces waste and can cut training time to a fraction of what it normally is.

Setting up your grind by weight grinder

While you should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions on setting up and calibrating your grinder, in this blog, we’re going to share a few tips we’ve picked up along the way.

Below we have listed a step-by-step process to set up your GbW grinder, however, if you find it easier to watch videos, check out these from Mahlkönig.

Setting up is a straightforward process that ensures you get consistent and precise doses of coffee every time. Follow the steps below to get your grinder ready for coffee making:

  1. Begin by carefully unboxing your grinder and inspecting all components. Make sure you have the grinder, hopper, portafilter cradle, and any necessary cords or accessories.
  1. Place the grinder on a stable, level surface. Attach the hopper to the top of the grinder, ensuring it clicks securely into place, so it will hold the coffee beans. Also, tighten screws and adjust the portafilter support.
  1. Turn on the grinder and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to calibrate the load cell. This typically involves placing the empty portafilter on the cradle and zeroing out the weight to ensure the grinder accurately measures the coffee dose.
  1. Program the desired weight for your coffee dose using the grinder's interface. For example, if your recipe requires 18g of ground coffee, input that value into the grinder. This step ensures that the grinder knows exactly how much coffee to dispense each time.
  1. Run a test grind to make sure the grinder is dispensing the correct amount of coffee. Weigh the output to verify accuracy. Adjust the programmed dose or grind settings to achieve the desired result if necessary. This step is crucial to ensure consistency in your coffee preparation.

By following these steps and the manufacturer's instructions, you can set up your grind by weight grinder for consistent and efficient coffee dosing, ensuring every cup meets your precise standards.

Calibrating and adjusting the grind

Calibrating and adjusting the grind on your grind by weight grinder is essential for achieving the perfect coffee consistency and flavour.

Advanced models like the Mahlkönig E65S GBW and E80 Supreme GBW come equipped with Disc Distance Detection technology. This feature allows you to set the grind size based on the actual distance between the burrs, providing a high level of precision. By knowing the exact burr distance, you eliminate much of the guesswork typically associated with dialling in a grinder, leading to more accurate and consistent results.

To adjust the grind size, utilise the grinder’s interface to modify the distance between the burrs. For a finer grind, decrease the distance between the burrs; for a coarser grind, increase it. Always make small, incremental adjustments and test the output after each change. This careful approach helps you find the perfect grind size without overshooting the desired setting.

Consistency is key to producing high-quality specialty coffee, trust us, we know this all too well! Regularly check the consistency of the coffee ground by weighing the output to ensure it matches your programmed dose. If discrepancies arise, make the necessary adjustments to the grind size. This regular monitoring helps maintain the quality and consistency of your coffee, ensuring every cup meets your standards as well as your customers.

Maintenance tips

Proper maintenance of your GbW grinder is crucial to ensure its longevity and consistent performance, after all, it’s an expensive bit of equipment, so you want to look after it. We’ve popped some of our essential maintenance tips to keep your grinder in top condition below:

  • Clean the grinder regularly to prevent coffee build-up, as this can negatively impact both taste and performance. Use a brush to clean the burrs and a soft cloth for the exterior. Regular cleaning helps maintain the grinder’s efficiency and ensures that your coffee remains fresh and full of flavour.
  • Over time, the burrs will wear out and need replacing. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines on when and how to replace them to keep your grinder performing at its best. Typically we find the burrs on the Mahlkönig E65s GbW need replacing after around 700 kilos of coffee grinding, whereas on the Mahlkönig E80 Supreme GBW it is around 1500 kilos. Sharp, well-maintained burrs are essential for achieving a consistent grind size and optimal coffee extraction.
  • If your grinder includes firmware, ensure it is kept updated. Manufacturers often release updates to improve performance and add new features. Regularly check for and install these updates to keep your grinder running smoothly and benefiting from the latest technological advancements.
  • Consider having your grinder professionally serviced annually by the Rounton team. A service ensures that all components are in good working order and can extend the life of your grinder. Regular servicing can also catch potential issues early, preventing costly repairs down the line.

With reduced waste, speed of service, and a huge reduction in training times, grind by weight grinders are fantastic in our opinion. Check out the Mahlkönig E65s GbW here, or its larger sibling, the Mahlkönig E80 Supreme GBW on our website.

Want some advice on grind by weight grinders? Get in touch with our team today – we'd love to help you on your coffee journey.