Rancilio Rocky - Cleaning / Replacing burrs.

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Rancilio Rocky - Cleaning / Replacing burrs.

Postby Zimpker » Sat Feb 24, 2007 11:26 am

Morning all,

I have had a Rancilio Silvia & Rocky combo for a couple of years now, and although Silvia can be temperamental and needs loads of TLC I have grown to enjoy using them.

Now I am ashamed to say, I have never cleaned the internal workings of Rocky since new, just wiped down the exterior. I am unsure as to how often this should be done or if this is necessary at all.

A couple of questions.

How often should the burrs be replaced in Rocky?
Should the inside be cleaned and if so how often?

A couple of questions on Tuning her in (yes I know I should be an expert after 2 years)

Usually I have Rocky set about 2 notches up from the zero point, but have to say if I tamp with the correct pressure the machine tends to choke a bit.

I am concerned I may be grinding too fine, I guess I may be over tamping, put have to say - I don't think I am.

I know a lot depends on beans & some tend to be a bit oily.

I have just ordered some beans from "hasbean" so am looking forward to trying them out.

Oh on another subject I was in London at the weekend & paid a fortune for the worst tasting Cappuccino I have ever tasted in my life! 10 out of 10 for the late art on top, but the taste was fowl - It was so bitter I needed to add 2 sachets of sugar (and I don't take sugar) & even then I had a lingering taste in my mouth all afternoon.

I was also mad with myself for not complaining & sending it back. :evil:


thanks,
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Postby Gadders » Sat Feb 24, 2007 1:21 pm

The Burrs in my Rocky were still reasonably sharp after a good 5 months. I reckon you should think about replacing them when the quality of the coffee goes down a bit... almost certainly after 2 years.

Image

Yea absolutely clean the inside out. I did it every month.

Firstly you have to unscrew the three screws inside the hopper which attach it to the upper burr.
With that off you now have a clear view of the burr assembly
Image


Then unscrew the top burr anticlockwise untill it comes off.... clean this thoroughly with a (toothbrush).
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With the top burr off you can now clearly see the bottom burr.
Image

Get your vaccuum cleaner out and vaccuum the inside of it, a cocktail stick is also useful to clean out the thread.
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Take the chute off (if you have a doserless) and vaccuum that out.

When you come to put the top burr back on the bottom burr, screw it lightly anticlockwise until you hear the clunk as the threads align - then screw it clockwise to tigthen it up. If you dont do this, for some strange reason that i don't understand you get a french press grind at your espresso setting!?

Be sure to run the grinder when you adjust your grind settings.

Hope this helps! :)

Phil.
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Postby CakeBoy » Sat Feb 24, 2007 1:39 pm

Just to confirm, Gadders is not suggesting you run the grinder when looking for point zero - only when dialling in once you have moved out from point zero.

Top set of photos and instructions Gadders, I have made this into a sticky for reference purposes :D
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Postby Gadders » Sat Feb 24, 2007 1:47 pm

Thanks :)
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Postby Zimpker » Sat Feb 24, 2007 3:01 pm

Thanks for the detailed reply Gadders - That will be a great help to me when I stip down Rocky for its first clean in 2 years!
:oops:
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Postby marsellan » Sat Aug 18, 2007 7:46 pm

Very interesting. I have just bought the very same combo and I'm absolutely delighted with it. This is good info for the future!

Cheers.
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Postby Jabberwocky » Sat Mar 01, 2008 9:51 am

marsellan wrote:Very interesting. I have just bought the very same combo and I'm absolutely delighted with it. This is good info for the future!

Cheers.


Hi all, thought I'd post on here so I don't clog the board up.

I've just cleaned my Rocky Grinder, and reassembled it. First time, I must have done something wrong as the settings were not alligned properly (the furthest I could set it was 15-10 or so.) Anyhow, I dismantled and reassembled again and just wondered whether someone would clarify that the furthest I should be able to set it is '0'?
Sounds like an obvious question, I know, but the grind seems to be different now it's been cleaned and I'm worried that I may have not assembled it again correctly.
Thanks everyone.
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Postby lukas » Sat Mar 01, 2008 11:33 am

Hey Phil, how about making a Wiki-Entry of it? Looks very useful. Ask Dom or Cakey for an account :)

Jabber, I don't really know the rocky, but with my Gaggia MDF I normally set the zero on the scale to the point where the burrs touch. Could be the same with yours - grind settings are always more relative than absolute (ie. you can't rely on a '4' being the same after the next cleaning session or on the next grinder model).
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Postby Jabberwocky » Sat Mar 01, 2008 12:25 pm

Cheers mate. To be honest, I think the setting I have it at now is probably the correct one. I'll keep changing the settings slightly each time and see where that takes me.

One thing's for sure, the coffee tastes a lot better with a clean grinder. :D
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Postby Gadders » Thu Mar 27, 2008 5:17 pm

Aye could do lukas, should have a wiki account already if it still works. Will do it when ive got a spare 5 mins :)
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Re: Rancilio Rocky - Cleaning / Replacing burrs.

Postby Keith » Sun Feb 21, 2016 7:59 pm

My post is 8 years late for this thread LOL. However I thought it might nevertheless be pertinent.

Ever since I bought my Rocky, the above explanation by Gadders has been my Bible for showing simply and clearly how to take apart the Rocky, clean the burrs and then reassemble it again. Many thanks to Gadders :) . However I have often been surprised by folk, including some on this thread, who say you may find the grind settings are not the same after reassembling the machine. I have never had this problem.

This is what I do. Before unscrewing the bean container, I first turn it clockwise until fully tightened, i.e. the burrs are tightly touching (make sure you have unplugged the grinder—the last thing you want to do is turn it on accidentally at this point!). I then note the number of the notch on the bean container. For me, this number is -3.

When reassembling, I first make sure that I have tightly screwed the two burrs together, and then I make sure that I replace the bean container with the same notch number showing.

A note of caution: before turning the machine back on, make sure that you unscrew the burrs, i.e. bean container, sufficiently! You don’t want them touching when you turn the machine back on. The last thing I do is check where the zero point is (when the burrs start ever so lightly touching while they are still rotating—you will hear this when it happens). This is now the tenth time I have cleaned the machine (I bought it in 2008) and the zero point has remained unerringly at +5.
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Re: Rancilio Rocky - Cleaning / Replacing burrs.

Postby bruceb » Mon Feb 22, 2016 9:49 am

Thank you very much for the suggestion Keith. I'm sure Phil (gadders) would be pleased to hear that his explanation from 2007 is still finding usefulness. Since grinder settings are a key to making good shots any suggestions that help others, especially newcomers, with this task are very important.
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I decided I needed a bit of a change so I roasted some Monsooned Malabar. That was a change!
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Re: Rancilio Rocky - Cleaning / Replacing burrs.

Postby Keith » Mon Feb 22, 2016 11:09 am

Thanks @bruceb.

I hear this anomaly quite often on blogs so I thought I'd share my method. As an aside, regarding the view I often see stated on blogs that you should only change the grind level while the burrs are rotating, this appears to be debatable(?). Rancilio do not advise this in their manual and apparently they have even said the opposite in response to a query!! See this post and thread. So can anyone advise me on who in their opinion is right? Another issue: I wonder whether I should perhaps be not tightening the burrs too much when taking them to zero point for fear of damaging them? Again, I would be grateful for any comments.

My above post may seem a bit passé as now Rocky is generally considered inferior compared to slightly more expensive machines. But as that conclusion comes from Espresso coffee drinkers, being based on inconsistency of Espresso grind size (due to so-called "thread slop"), and as I use a Moka pot where desirable grind size is slightly larger and where size consistency on a micro-level does not appear to be at all critical to an excellent tasting coffee (I often mix two grind sizes, for example half at 17 and half at 18, with highly satisfactory results), I remain very happy with my Rocky "tank". Rightly or wrongly ... :|

[Edited 23/02/2016]
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Re: Rancilio Rocky - Cleaning / Replacing burrs.

Postby bruceb » Tue Feb 23, 2016 2:12 pm

Rather than considering who recommends what it is probably a good idea just to think about the physical situation in the grinder. When you set the grinder from coarse to fine you are reducing the distance between the burr sets. It would appear evident that if the grinder was completely clean and free of any beans or ground coffee it would not make any difference whether the machine was running or not. However, the situation is usually different. There are almost always (partially) ground fragments of beans between the burrs and it seems equally evident that trying to crush them with the adjusting mechanism of the grinder, whether geared or simply a fine thread, puts a lot of stress on that mechanism. It makes sense to let the grinder grind those remnants while reducing the distance between the burrs.
On my big Mazzer Major I often try to turn the ring a bit to grind finer, but if there is resistance I turn the machine on and the ring turns much more easily. Conversely, when adjusting the grind to a more coarse setting it makes no difference whether the grinder is running or not. It's not magic, it's just simple mechanics. It also goes without saying that we are not talking about the burrs being close enough to one another that they might touch when adjusting them.
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I decided I needed a bit of a change so I roasted some Monsooned Malabar. That was a change!
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Re: Rancilio Rocky - Cleaning / Replacing burrs.

Postby Keith » Thu Feb 25, 2016 10:55 am

Thanks!

Yeah, that makes sense. I suppose it has never been an issue for me to adjust the burrs to a closer setting with the motor off because I' generally never feel resistance. However if I ever do feel resistance in the future (and perhaps I haven't been sensitive enough to this before so who knows perhaps one or two times there was some resistance without me taking notice), I will get the burrs whirring before proceeding further.

And regarding when I am cleaning the burrs. I said I tighten the burrs until I feel the resistance of the burrs touching. This is about every six months or so for me (so not an everyday occurrence!). Is this a bad thing to tighten the burrs until they are touching before removing the hopper? As I said, I do this so I can be sure of having the same setting when I reassemble but as I know the true zero tightened setting for my current burrs is -2/-3 on the hopper dial, I can avoid this step if necessary and only tighten them until touching when reassembling clean.
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