Living with an HG One

Equipment, technique, or just drinking the stuff

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Living with an HG One

Postby daveyb » Sat Feb 09, 2013 12:44 pm

Mine arrived yesterday, well packaged etc. Fairly simple to assemble, and away we went. It is always a bit of a let down as you read others experiences, and after 2 adjustments they are pulling shots to dream of! Perhaps I am unlucky.....LOL
Anyway, my first shot certainly tasted nice enough. then, I started to play around, and realised that I was suffering from terrible static. I mean static, worse than anything I have ever experienced. So, I tried a total of 3 bean varieties and it was the same with all of them.
So, I stopped and started reading the forums etc (Home Barista and Coffee Snobs) and it seemed fairly widespread. The culprit seemed to be anything from the type of bean (and we know certain beans are worse than others) but also atmospheric. Now, my wife has the heating on all the time and the windows closed, so I went with that theory.
Now, why the Hg suffers from this when my Eureka does not, I do not know, nor really care! So, after a lot of reading, the RDT technique was suggested. This basically means adding a couple of drops of water before grinding.
So, I went for another play this morning, determined to dial her in and solve the static. The dialling in was easy enough. I started with 2 drops of water using a pipette, and the result was no different. I then upped it to 4 drops of water and lo, no static at all. 18.03 gms in, plus the weight of 4 droplets, and 18.27 gms out, with zero retention.
So, now I can concentrate on the other aspects that the grinder brings. 18 gms takes roughly 30 seconds of turning, which is basically effortless. The more I use it I guess the better the experience will be. First impressions are that it is probably as good as the hype! Certainly well made and beautifully engineered. I am packing up my Expobar on Sunday which is going to a forum member, and my Eureka going to another forum member. My L1 arrives on tuesday so I do not suppose I will get much work done next week!
Out of interest, Reiss at Londinium told me that since posting his request on his blog, that anyone with an HG who disliked it, he would buy it from them at full price, he has indeed bought one and is delighted. No observations there, other than what is one mans meat, is another mans poison.
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RE: Living with an HG One

Postby Sarion » Sat Feb 09, 2013 1:24 pm

Great read, thank you for posting this. I never heard of this grinder before, but it sounds like a really nice contraption! :-)
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Postby Danomar » Sat Feb 09, 2013 4:45 pm

I got mine last week and also had terrible static for the first few grinds. I used a few drops of water (RDT) and it went away. Since then, I have done grind sessions forgetting to add a fe drops of water and there is still no static. It is, in fact, the least static-prone and/or retention-prone grinder I have ever used.

I had some difficulty with channeling and dialing-in the HG one for my Olympia Cremina and Arrarex Caravel. I think I finally found the right setting, back at the original 1,5 turns from lock. It seems that nearly everyone has the adjustment collar slip the first time the grinder is used with beans, and I am no different. It messed up my setting and I neglected to re-set it from burr lock.

I contacted the HG one guys and learned that the 83mm Mazzer burrs tend to concentrate fines in the center, something I have never had to deal with before. I tried using a small kitchen whisk to stir up the grinds while still in the blind tumbler and then open the plug. I give it another stir while still attached the the PF basket and then lightly tap on the counter to settle it. Remove the blind tumbler and tamp. The channeling has stopped.

My only complaint is that it popcorns a few small pieces onto my counter or floor every grind session. Not a big deal, but a minor annoyance.

The HG one guys also noted that speeding up the grind might help, but I wonder if that really does make any difference.

Experience with devices like this suggest that it will take some use before it breaks-in. It probably will work better and better with further use, but likely in the time frame of a few months.

I can honestly say that it is the cleanest and easiest-to-use grinder that I have ever owned, and I have owned quite a few. The last few years I have been using only vintage hand-crank Dienes grinders with exceptional results. It is still too early to comment, but the HG one is at least as good as the PeDe's.

Let us know how you get on with yours!
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Postby GreenBean » Sun Feb 10, 2013 10:21 am

Thank you for documenting your experiences with the HG One so far. It does sound very interesting. 8)
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Postby daveyb » Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:42 pm

A few photos of the HG and the Londinium
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Postby daveyb » Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:44 pm

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Postby daveyb » Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:48 pm

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I need to work on the grinder settings now. 27 seconds is the rcommended extraction time (ignoring pre-infusion) which I manage to hit, but also the beans I am using I roasted for my last machine, and Expobar Leva and this machine seems to require a slightly darker roast, so I am told!
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Postby CakeBoy » Tue Feb 19, 2013 4:50 am

Excellent shots Davey and beautiful looking kit. How are you finding the crema formation on the Londinium with the HG as a combo thus far?
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Postby daveyb » Tue Feb 19, 2013 8:32 am

Crema, in truth, it needs worked upon. The L1 is easy enough to maser although you have to get your head around a different set of rules, eg the zenith is 27 extraction but totally distregarding any preinfusion time, and when you are used to flicking a switch/button, and pumping the water through the head, it is odd! My HG One had the frozen burr mount problem which took me a little time to work out. The adjustment knob was not properly cemented on, which meant the lock was not 100% so I was getting minute amounts of slip when groinding. That is all fixd now. I am just playing around , seasong the burrs as we go, but I am certain before long, it will all fall into place!
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Postby GreenBean » Tue Feb 19, 2013 10:43 am

That is some serious coffee porn, Davey. 8)
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