Even though it’s difficult to say with certainty, a flat steel burr can last grinding 500–1000 pounds of coffee, whereas a ceramic burr may last for grinding 1000–1500 pounds. A burr coffee grinder should typically last 5-7 years if used often.
Although grinder manufacturers often say that their burrs can grind hundreds or even thousands of kilograms of coffee, the truth is that, once they are seasoned, burrs lose their effectiveness gradually over time; there is no one stage at which you can declare them to be worn out.
The burrs we use for speciality coffee are often made of oil-quenched steel. The burrs will rapidly become dull after the hard shell is gone, which lowers the quality of your grind.
It might be challenging to determine when to replace the burrs, but one obvious sign is when the coffee starts to taste odd and loses its sweetness. Continue reading to learn more signs that indicate when to replace the burrs and how to maintain them to increase their lifespan.
Why You Should Replace Your Grinder’s Burrs?
Remember to replace the burrs as required to maintain the best level of performance if you want your burr grinder to last longer.
Your coffee grinder’s burrs may be damaged by several things, including unroasted beans and stones, and you can tell when that happens. Therefore, it could be challenging to see the burrs’ gradual and weak dulling.
The progressive change is undetectable after producing many bags of coffee grinds. Compared to stainless steel burrs, ceramic burrs get dull much more slowly but are more prone to cracking and breaking from any hard items that may get into the coffee beans.
There’s a reasonable probability that your coffee quality has decreased by the time you notice you need to replace the burrs and that your grinder is steadily becoming less effective. Because the grounds don’t brew simultaneously, the uneven grinding results in a nasty cup of coffee.
The vast grounds remain under-extracted (see how to remedy it) and give the coffee a sour flavour, while the extra-small grounds absorb too much and become harsh. You can reverse this impact by switching your grinder’s burrs, and your coffee will resume tasting fantastic.
A new set of burrs will make the coffee grinds more uniform and precise, resulting in more excellent coffee. I’ve listed several simple techniques for determining when the burrs need to be changed below.
Check Also: What is a Burr Coffee Grinder
Signs That Your Coffee Grinder’s Burrs Need to be replaced.
Burrs need to be replaced at least once per year or two. A burr coffee grinder should last at least five years, although most espresso grinders require burr replacements at least once or twice a year. Here are a few indicators that the burrs need to be changed.
1. The Burr’s Edges Become Dull
Feeling the burrs with your hands is the most straightforward way to determine whether they are becoming dull. The simplest way to determine the level of damage sustained is to remember how sharp the burrs were and how they felt when they were fresh new.
If you can’t detect the difference by recalling your recollection, dismantle the grinder and wipe the burrs with a clean paper towel or soft cloth. Carefully rub your fingertips over the edges.
2. Increasing Inconsistency in the Grounds
As the burrs become damaged, they do less grinding and more mashing. The beans are no longer cut through by the blunt edge; instead, they are just smashed and broken into smaller pieces. So grind some beans and sift through them. Are they all the same size? If not, it’s not a promising sign.
Remember that various grinder types can provide a wide range of grind sizes. Therefore, don’t get upset if you notice a tiny difference in grind size. Consequently, you should be concerned if you discover grounds cut so inconsistently that no single size accounts for a significant portion of the grounds.
Trying to brew coffee with varied-sized brews will not only provide poorer coffee, but the texture will also deteriorate with time. Change the burrs right away to not only extend your grinder’s life but also avoid drinking an odd mess.
3. Should I grind finer?
You might notice a minor variation in the grind quality over time when using the same setting. Your burrs may be worn out if you feel the urge to grind your material more finely.
For instance, if you previously needed to grind at 6, 7, or 8 settings to achieve a nice pour-over coffee grind, the burrs need to be replaced soon.
The burrs grow blunt and dull after repeated applications that cause this. Burrs won’t be able to grind precisely like before once they lose their razor sharpness. As a result, the finished grounds provide a rough texture.
Therefore, users frequently grind at a finer setting to get the same outcomes as before when the burrs become dull. This is only a temporary fix until you replace the burrs entirely, but consistency problems will remain.
4. Coffee ground chunks stick together
If you have an espresso grinder, this may indicate that the burrs need to be replaced. The coffee grounds may emerge in clumps when the burrs have just begun to turn blunt.
It is a good indication that your burrs have to be replaced soon, even if the heavy mass may be readily broken with your fingertips and has no effect on the flavour of your coffee.
To prevent losing the authentic flavour of your espresso, replace the burrs as soon as you realize that most of the grounds are now clumped together.
Tips To Extend Your Burr Grinder’s Life Expectancy
Based on how well you take care of it, burr grinders can last for many years. Burr grinders are no different from the other items of equipment you purchase in that they all finally hit their retirement age.
Burrs don’t last forever, and they typically experience minor wear and tear over time. You can extend the life of your machine by being a little more careful and taking good care of it. The following advice will help your burr grinder last longer:
- Never use your burr grinder for anything other than grinding roasted coffee beans, like whole spices or nuts. Using unroasted coffee beans or the existence of rocks or stones that resemble beans should be avoided. Even though they are rare, they can seriously harm the grinder.
- Never forget to grind your coffee beans properly. It can create pressure on the burr shaft and grind unevenly if you try to grind at an angle. People frequently make this mistake, which leads to uneven coffee grinds and bland coffee.
- Watch out for the early warning signals that your grinder burrs need to be replaced to prevent drinking coffee that tastes poor. Checking the burr sharpness once every two months is enough; daily care is not required.
- Avoid buying poor or badly roasted coffee beans because they might weaken the flavour and soften the burrs. Even before they have an opportunity to develop fully, the low-grade beans are harvested. These beans are put in the same coffee bag despite their different weights and thicknesses.
- Regularly clean the burr coffee grinder after use to get rid of any oils and residues since they can stick to the walls and go rancid over time. The taste of the coffee may be affected by this.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can Cocoa Beans Be Grinded In A Coffee Grinder?
Because coffee grinder burrs are not made to manage the oily liquid produced when grinding cocoa beans, it is best to avoid doing so. Moreover, since doing so can severely reduce the grinder’s longevity, you should not use a burr grinder to grind beans, grains, or other components.
Which Coffee Beans Grinder Performs Best?
Always use premium, thoroughly roasted coffee beans to maintain your grinder in fantastic condition. The finest beans are available online.
Is it possible to clean my burr grinder in the dishwasher?
You can wash some pieces of your grinder in the dishwasher, and the grind drawer and hopper should be okay to wash in the top rack. But, before placing anything in the dishwasher, make sure to check the machine manual or manufacturer’s website.
Our Final Thoughts
The burrs we use for speciality coffee are often made of oil-quenched steel. They are made of some softer metal enclosed in a hard shell. Because of this, if your burrs become worn out, the quality may suddenly decrease.
The burrs will quickly become dull after the hard shell is gone, which lowers the quality of your grind.
Too many tiny particles in your ground coffee are the main issue that dull burrs will cause. These particles will over-extract bitterly since they will extract far more quickly than the rest of your coffee.
A qualified staff member will modify the grind setting when they notice the telltale indicators of over-extraction, causing you to extract your coffee either too little or too much.
You don’t need to bother about it if you only use your grinder occasionally for guests or yourself. Consider replacing your burrs around every decade or so. If you use your grinder frequently, you might want to consider replacing them every other year.
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