Steel grinder, huh?


#1

Hey! So, the grinder is steel, right? What influenced that choice?
I have a grinder with a ceramic burr currently, and I was under the impression that ceramic was more durable than metal. Do you know if that’s the case?

Thanks.


#2

My best guess is that steel burrs are a heck of a lot cheaper to make and replace. Ceramic burrs can withstand more force, but are also easier to shatter.
I’m sure Matt will be able to answer the exact reason he chose the model he did when he’s done with World’s Fair Nano.

And the great thing about mugsy is that if you wanted to, I’m sure you could mod it to work with a ceramic grinder, although it’d be more expensive (and I’m not sure you’d see much benefit).


#3

I went with steel over ceramic for a couple of reasons. First, I personally could not find any noticeable difference in taste between grind types. Most folks who claim to be able to taste a difference tend to only be able to do so when making espresso which Mugsy doesn’t do. Additionally, ceramic typically creates more fines, which makes pour over water flow harder to predict. Finally, steel grinders are about 75% of the cost of ceramic.

I understand that flavor is totally subjective, so my findings may not jive with yours. But David is correct, since we use a standard burr sizing, they can be replaced with an after market ceramic burr. We may actually snag some of them when we place our order and offer them on our Mugsy parts store.

Thanks for the great question and thanks Dave for the assist!


#4

Hey guys. Thanks for the info. I hadn’t heard about the possible different flavour with metal burr before. I know that’s a thing people say about metal blade grinders.

I’m sure the metal burr will be fine, but it’s cool that it can be upgraded too.

Thanks.


#5

Yes, steel burrs are better for brewing. Btw what sizes of the burrs it will be and who is the maker of the burrs? Will they be preseasoned? And i think there might be issues with burr alignments. A decent grinder itself cost more than whole mugsy, and there a lot of issues with grinders. For example how much retention expected to be in mugsy?


#6

Hey @aldarund, apologies for the delay in replying. I took a couple of days off after the campaign ended.

Grinder size is:
Outer: 48X20mm;
Inner: 31.8X20mm)
Material:SUS420(3Cr13)

The manufacturer we are using is a Chinese company that supplies burrs for many of the prosumer level grinders. So, not something you would find in an actual cafe but very high quality for home or office. I’ve taken apart a ton of these grinders, everything from $100 entry level units to $1000 grinders and although there is definitely an improvement from the lower cost ones, a lot of that money is wrapped up in custom tooling and very large margins.

As for alignment issues, we have a very simple but sound mechanical gearing system to make the burr separation completely adjustable and stable. It is also makes cleaning and disassembly really simple. I won’t say the grinder will never go out of alignment, but resolving it will be a very simple fix.

Initial testing shows retention is very low but no hard numbers yet. We have a design/addon for a purge cycle but it will not be a stock feature.

The burrs will not be pre-seasoned. To do so would double the cost of our grinder mechanics as well as lowering the lifetime of the burrs. There are definitely some good reasons to pre-season but at this price point it’s just not possible. This may change after V1 is out in the wild and we are expanding the company in preparation for the V2 release.


#7

It’s really great that your keeping the cost in mind. I had assumed the grinder was custom made by you but it’s good to hear that you are using off the shelf. This means it’s possible to upgrade. Although if you ever need custom grinders made there are some machine shops in Seattle you could check out.