The Macap MXKR-An Informal Writeup(Long)

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JmanEspresso

The Macap MXKR-An Informal Writeup(Long)

Post by JmanEspresso »

An Informal look at the Macap MXKR Stepless Conical Espresso Grinder, by a home barista just like yourself.
I have no affiliation with Macap SRL, 1st Line Equipment LLC, nor have I received or place to receive any furnishing or gratuities from this writeup from either party. This is purely my own personal view of the equipment, nothing more, nothing less.

A Large Conical Grinder, is something every espresso lover is curious about these days. But why? Is a Large Conical Better then a Large Planar Grinder? Do the slower RPMs of the burrs help preserve those delicate nuances? The jury is still out on the final word. But a few things are for certain... Large Conicals(which is to say, 63mm conical burrs, and larger) now are available at all different price points, from just under $1000, to well over $3000, with a nice array of choices, including Doser'd, and Timed Doserless models, some available in both styles. And many Professionals in the Industry, from Cafe' Owners to Competing Barista's have chosen the Large Conical's as the grinder of choice, offering both more consistency, and more longevity than their Planar Burr'd Brethren. They are monstrous beasts, some towering over machines at almost thirty inches tall, or requiring 220V power. Why? Just what is it that makes a Large Conical worth the extra cost and the added height of other, home and wife friendly grinders? I don't think I'll have the answer folks, but maybe this look at the Macap MXKR will help you in your decision of the perfect espresso grinding machine. At least I hope it does!



The Macap MXKR, is a 63mm conical burr grinder, with a doser, and a stepless, Worm-Drive. It was designed by Macap to compete with Mazzer's 63mm Conical Doser Model, the Mazzer Kony. As always, the Macap is built to be able to be offered at a lower price then the competing Mazzer models. But make no mistake, this grinder has it where it counts.

The burrs spin at a crawl of 300RPMs, compared to the Mazzer Kony's 500RPMs. These speeds are inline with other Large Conical Burr Grinders, but compare them to their Flat Burred Brethren, and you just might be shocked. The ubiquitous Mazzer Super Jolly spins at 1400RPM50hz model. Why? Well, Im no expert, but Im sure you know that, if coffee gets heated while being ground, it looses volatile flavor compounds in the process. Slower turning Burrs=Equal Less Heat. Conical Burrs also have a much longer grinding path, allowing for a more gradual breakdown of the bean, which is said to lead to a more uniform grinds makeup. I'll direct you to the ever popular Titan Grinder Project if you wish to dive deep down the Rabbit Hole of the science and engineering behind these grinders.


So, lets start with the Aesthetics. What do you see upon first glance. If you've ever seen a Macap M4 Doser model, the MXKR will be a familiar face. It has got the same Doser, similar body style, and same tinted lexan plastic for the doser window and hopper. The Hopper on the MXKR is quite large, holding 3.3lbs of beans at maximum capacity, and it's throat is wider where it meets the grinder, so there is no easy 'switch-a-roo' to get a mini sized hopper on this bad boy.

The Worm Drive works just like any other Macap Stepless. Around the top burr carrier, is a removeable black cog, which fits into the Worm Drive's gear. Adjusting the grind is intuitive and precise. Turn either of the knobs on the worm drive, to move the burrs closer together, or further apart. Which brings me to my next point. If you have been making espresso at home for some amount of time, you will know that on your flat burr grinder, stepless adjustment is essential to dialing in that perfect shot. Minute adjustments must be made daily, if not more, to keep your espresso flowing at its best. But, this isn't the case with the MXKR. Making even tiny adjustments to the shots flow rate, requires a sizeable grinder adjustment. As much as one whole rotation of the adjustment knob, will only make a small change in the shots extraction time. In fact, the number of turns required to take the grinder from True Zero, to the Espresso Range, is TEN full turns of the adjustment knob. From what I am told, this is true of all Large Conicals, and I would even go as far to say, that the stepped versions of these grinders might not suffer from the drawbacks of their flat burr brethren.

The Doser is nice and smooth, smoother then a Mazzer Doser for sure. But, it is also louder then a Mazzer doser. If you don't "ride the lever back" while dosing, it will slap back, making a nice SMACK!. This can be alleviated by tightening up the doser vanes, as if you were setting it to give a lower dose when using it full of coffee. It took me a few days to find the sweet spot, between too stiff but quiet, to too loose and loud. . . But I was able to set it so the noise lever is minimal, and the action still silky smooth. The vanes in the doser sweep the doser floor spotless, without any need for a Sweeper Mod. There will be some ground coffee that builds on the actual dosing star itself, but this is minimal at best, and I was unable to weigh the collected detritus, on my 0.1gram scale. Suffice to say, a quick brush at the end of your session will be all that is needed. No need for the Easter Egg Mod on this doser fellas! BUT, I was able to find one flaw in the doser. There is still leftward throw when the coffee exits the doser. It IS much better then the Mazzer doser, and the Portafilter fork is closer to the doser's exit, making it easy to not loose any precious coffee, even in the 53mm La Spaziale Baskets.


The Speed at which this grinder puts coffee into the doser isn't going to win any competitions, but I personally am liking the slower output more and more. By putting coffee into the doser slower, it makes it easier to dose into the basket without having big mounds fall where you don't want them. Running a 15gram dose at your average, slightly ristretto extraction, will take between 8.5-9.5seconds. The exit chute is wider then I expected, and coupled with the low RPMs of this grinder, coffee is not thrown out into the doser like you may be used too, on a Super Jolly or a Major. The Wide Chute fills up quick with grounds, and continued grinding shows a sort of "extrusion" of coffee into the doser. But for you neatniks, the wide chute has it's advantages. Its not only wide, but its short, and sweeping it clean is a trivial matter. You'll need to remove the finer guard from the doser, but thats pretty much Standard Operating Procedure for the Home Espresso Aficionado. The coffee enters the doser beautifully fluffy, with only a soft clump here and there. But like I said, it's a soft clump... Even the slowest doser thwackers wont see any clumps in their filters baskets, as they are pulverized by the softest touch of the doser vanes, and the drop into the basket.



So what about the taste you say? I thought you'd never ask. I started by using Counter Culture's Aficionado blend. I loaded up the hopper, dialed in for a 15gram shot, to yield about 1.5oz, in 30-32 seconds, and I was running at 93C(or about 199F). After a couple shots to get me dialed in, I was ready to taste some espresso. Remove the portafilter, dry it out, dose into the basket without downward taps, a quick finger level, lock and load. The shoot beaded evenly across the basket quite quickly, and then slowed down right away to a nice ristretto flow. 30seconds later, I stopped the shot, and admired my handiwork. This was it.. the moment I had been waiting for, for months. The Espresso made by the hand of a Conical Grinder. Will it stand up to my expectations? A quick swirl in the cup, and I took my first sip with a slight slurping action.... Then another... Pause... And the final sip. . .

The shot had been marvelous. A mouthfeel so rich, so decadent, so full of flavor. The crema was like a caramel chiffon, the liquid, like molten chocolate bars. There was an almond note that stood out that was so smooth, so sweet, I immediately thought of the first time I tasted Amaretto. I didn't want the taste to end, but alas, as every good shot of espresso.. It was soon over. But, we still have the wonderful aftertaste to remind us of the wonderful espresso we had just consumed. I immediately washed the cup, and prepared to pull another shot. Grind, dose, tamp and pull. This time the shot beaded slower, and stayed slow. The shot ran a tad longer, and I stopped it just as the cone was about to collapse. A quick swirl in the cup, and I sipped, with the slight slurping action as before. Magnificent. Once again, the caramel chiffon mixed with the molten chocolate, all the while, a subtle sweet almond note, hinting at you in the background.

I pulled a couple more shots, and each one was a good as the previous shot. Had I acheieved espresso nirvana? I thought I had.

Until the next morning. I woke up, so excited to have more of the magical espresso, that made me think of what Willy Wonka's espresso blend would taste like, had he made one. A cooling flush, purge the grinder, grind dose tamp, lock and pull. I kneeled to bow to the altar of espresso nirvana, about to unfold before my very eyes, and just as I looked up. . . AAARRRRGGHH!!! A sprayer right to front of my glasses! Through my other lens, I could see the back gauge panel being bombarded with an espresso sprayer attack, and I watched the poor little demitasse become disgraced with a swirling, spitting, spraying waterfall of an espresso nightmare. Stand up, turn off the pump. WHAT THE HELL?!?! I worried deeply... Was my new grinder, this vehicle to espresso nirvana, as inconsistent as a blade grinder? Determined to experience the lush beverage I had the day before, I began clean up, and prep another shot. I locked in, apprehensive of what was about to come from the portafilter. I used my mirror this time, as to avoid another money shot of crema. The pump started, and I waited.. those few seconds took a lifetime. And then, out of nowhere, a gush of channeling yellow dreck on one side, and the other side, a wonderfully extracted shot. What have I done?! Disapointed, angry, upset, sad.. I cleaned up the mess, and walked away to clear my head. What had happened?

And then I remembered.. It hit me. GROUNDS RETENTION! Conical grinders have large burr chambers, but the burrs only take up half of it. This leads to a large amount of retained coffee, not to mention whatever was left in the chute from the night before. How could I have been so silly to not remember this.

So, I went back to the bench, and purged through a good amount of coffee, about 15 seconds worth. I thwacked it all onto the doser lid, and put it aside. I grabbed the portafilter, eager to see if I was right.. to see If I could achieve that glorious shot once more. Grind, dose, tamp lock and.. start. Again I used my mirror.. The pump started, and I could hear the machine come up to full pressure. 1second... 2second..(is it choking?).. 3seco... BEADS! Even, beautiful brown beads, emerging from the basket as if it were magic. Once more, the shot beaded quickly, and then slowed down to a wonderful ristretto. i was so eager to taste it, I removed the cup before shutting off the pump, gave it a swirl, and tasted it.. Only then did I turn off the pump. I took the first sip as I always do, with a slurp. Another sip... Pause.. smell the aroma.. The final sip. And just like that, I had once more, achieved that perfect shot from the day before. I had two more shot, followed by a machiatto, which transformed into a freshly toasted marshmallow and hazelnut goop. Fantastic. I continued along the following week, using others coffees, like Counter Cultures Ethiopian Shakisso, Gimme's Leftist, and Rustico. All quite different, BUT, minus the shakisso, all coffees I know quite well...



So what is the moral of this story? Two points I want to make:

1)Though this is a 63mm, smaller then the most Elite of grinders.. It still holds a good amount of coffee in the burr chamber. I weighed that coffee that I had on the doser lid, and it was in the area of around 40grams. Thats bad.

2)Once purged, this is quite the consistent grinder, and the flavors it allows to emerge, are wondrous. I feel as though it accents varietal flavor more then roast flavor, which is something I like. The consistency is what gets me. Grind changes during the life of a certain coffee, are minimal. Maybe one grind change over 10days. the speed is nice, for dosing evenly.. and mind you, this was without the WDT. Just grind, dose, tap to settle, tamp and go. Centered, dead on pours, one after the other.


But I want to stress something else. The reason I was able to pull those shots that really were, some of the best espresso Ive ever had.. are not solely because of this grinder. Yes, this grinder is consistent, and brings out flavors that before, were not there. The flavors and nuances are crisp, clear and defined, and the shot remains balanced. But, heres the thing. The Aficionado was on day 8 and 9. That is the prime window for that blend. Its also a blend I am quite familiar with, and have Ive bought frequently since owning the Vivaldi. Its not a hard coffee to work with, and while having the Macap certainly helps in making it easier to nail those shots.. do not think for one second that just because you dont have a conical grinder, doesnt mean you cant pull great shots. What makes the conical stand out, is two things mainly. One, the flavor profile is different from a flat burr. The flavors a certain blend is known for, are more clearly defined, and crisp. Nuances that were very subtle before, now pop out more. Two, is the consistency. The grind setting, wherever it may be, stays pretty solid. And I suppose because of how the conical burr grinds the coffee, it settles better in the basket.. Because I have simply been dosing to a centered mound, and tamping. If i was off center, a quick finger lever to knock it down, and then tamp. Some shots I used the Nutating tamp(a fave of mine), and some shots I didnt. Nutating is a habit of mine, so I always want it be worthwhile to preform.. but I didnt see a NEED to do it. Shots that I didnt use it, were just as good as the ones I did.


So, my take on this grinder is simple. Its a wonderful grinder, its very consistent.. and it simply makes the process easier. But its not going to do the work for you. YOU still need to know how to change the dose to get the flavor right. You need to know when to change the temperature, and why. But as long as you are able to do that(and I suspect, that if you actually read to this point, that you are of course plenty capable), then this grinder may be a good match for you. Do I think its better then my now gone Mazzer Major? Its hard to say, because the flavor profile is so different. I only had one day to use the two together.. and I was having an easier time getting those perfect extractions with the MAcap then the Major.. But one day is not enough time to evaluate a grinder. But I will tell you this... I am 100% thrilled with this grinder, and while I was VERY sad to see the major go when I actually was packing it up, the Macap has filled his shoes nicely, quickly, and with more style.(my major was not aesthetically pleasing to me).

So, I hope you enjoyed reading my look into the Macap MXKR, and my experience with it. I dont hope to persuade you one way or other on the debate over which burrs make a better shot, because quite frankly.. I dont know which is better, IF one is better. I do hope you got a good idea of what using the grinder is like, and I hope you enjoyed reading it.

Thanks, and I hope your journey towards espresso nirvana is fun, the entire time.
JmanEspresso


P.S.- Regarding waste, there is a very simple way to cut the daily waste/purge down to 10grams. At the end of your session, sweep the exit chute clean. Close the hopper gate, and remove the hopper. Using a demitasse spoon or something similar, scoop out the beans sitting in the burrs' throat.. it will be about 40grams or so. Scoop out what you can, and add it to the hopper. Put the hopper back on the grinder, with the gate closed. When your next session starts, turn on the grinder to grind through the beans left in the burrs. Sweep the chute/bump the motor until no more coffee comes out. Now open the hopper gate. Turn on the grinder for a couple seconds, allow the chute to fill up some(about halfway), and turn off the grinder. Sweep out the chute good. then, go about your grinding needs as usual, without having the first three shots be stale.

P.S.S.- My experience with single shot dosing, is not enough to warrant delving into that. At the point, all I can say, is there was more popcorning then I thought was OK, and I had planned on using the hopper since before the grinder arrived. I may update this post if and when I try the grinder in single dose operation, which may or may not happen.


P.S.S.S-Ethiopian Single Origins Kick Ass
oton

Re: The Macap MXKR-An Informal Writeup(Long)

Post by oton »

Thank you for the Macap "novel". :grin:

So the 40gr are from non-grinded beans. How many grams of grinded beans are left in the grinder?
Endo

Re: The Macap MXKR-An Informal Writeup(Long)

Post by Endo »

Very detailed write-up. (A bit "off topic" considering this is a S1 Vivaldi forum though).

Just a suggestion: You might get a few more interested readers if you posted it as a review on CoffeeGeek. That's typically where I go to look for this kinda stuff.
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slo
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Re: The Macap MXKR-An Informal Writeup(Long)

Post by slo »

It is not off topic at all!! This is the coffee grinder forum!

I have always wondered what the MKXR would taste like with the Vivaldi. Now I have a good idea when related to the information from the Titan grinder project. I always thought it would be a good match with the Vivaldi and I am now even more convinced.

To be completely honest I have been searching Ebay, Kijiji, Craiglook, Les PAC, Coffeegeek, ... for about a year in the hope of finding a used MXKR to no avail. I even would have "settled" for the M7K but I didn"t find one of those either. This to me is a good sign. The owners are not letting them go!

Thank you very much Jeff, This was very thourough, well presented, humouristic and entertaining. Well done all around.

P.S: Yes! Ethiopian SO are great.
Vivaldi II, Multiple (a collection really) Lever machines
Currently on deck grinders: Mythos and MXKR
Backup grinders: Robur, Major.
Toper Cafemino Electric and Poppery 1 roaster

I have a serious problem ... Can you guess what?
Endo

Re: The Macap MXKR-An Informal Writeup(Long)

Post by Endo »

OK then. Just thought considering the length of the review, it would get more readers on CG. So it would be better to post there rather than cross-posting on a dedicated S1 forum.

Whatever.
JmanEspresso

Re: The Macap MXKR-An Informal Writeup(Long)

Post by JmanEspresso »

oton wrote:Thank you for the Macap "novel". :grin:

So the 40gr are from non-grinded beans. How many grams of grinded beans are left in the grinder?

Correct. The throat is wide on top of the burrs, and holds enough coffee that you probably could get away with keeping just that topped off with beans, and skip the hopper.

After scooping all those out that I can, I grind whatever is in the burrs, halfground, through. That, plus what is in the chute, and whatever I can purge out from the chamber, is pretty low(~10gr), considering what many are describing as 30-40grams left behind. However.. If you just purge until you get fresh coffee, no sweeping the chute, or emptying the throat.. its a lot more coffee, because of how the chute "extrudes" the coffee, and how much is in the burr chamber when the system is "full". Took me a little while, and the first few days, I blew through coffee(and I was also dialing in the timer too, so).

Im glad you guys enjoyed it.. I tried to shnazz it up a bit. Slo, thank you for the kind words.

Endo, I agree, Coffeegeek would be an Ideal place.. I thought I might post it here first, see how it was recieved, and then if it was recieved well, post it on CoffeeGeek.

Slo, with regards to the M7k.. you know that its the larger or the two right? The M7k is a heck of deal too.. but there is apparently a discount on the K10WBC, which brings the price of the two to the same area. With that, Id get the Compak, purely because the M7K doesnt have a start capacitor, and is only available stepped from Jim at the moment. Though, it appears stepped adjustment would be fine on the large conicals, as the adjustments are much bigger then what Im used to on the Major. Endo, Im sure you know.. sometimes its only a 1/4notch that needs to be adjusted. The Macap.. an equivalent adjustment is about a full turn.(thereabouts)
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slo
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Re: The Macap MXKR-An Informal Writeup(Long)

Post by slo »

Thank you again Jeff.

No I am not exaggerating! I really enjoyed it and I am very happy that you decided to post here. There is a very different feeling on this site and the comments given from someone that is using (or has used) the same machine as the one on your counter are just priceless.

With regards to the Compak, I really couldn't live with that machine on my counter. And because it such a good performer at a decent price, I really would want to like it but in my eyes it is BUTT UGLY! I mean no offense to John and Keith that just got one and love it I am sure. But to me it just does not do it.

If I can't find a used MXKR before next year I may bite the bullet (and move to the dog house) and buy an Elektra Nino (I have to put aside about $50.00 a week for this). I'll let you know in one year how I managed that. ;-)
Vivaldi II, Multiple (a collection really) Lever machines
Currently on deck grinders: Mythos and MXKR
Backup grinders: Robur, Major.
Toper Cafemino Electric and Poppery 1 roaster

I have a serious problem ... Can you guess what?
Dodger1

Re: The Macap MXKR-An Informal Writeup(Long)

Post by Dodger1 »

slo wrote:With regards to the Compak, I really couldn't live with that machine on my counter. And because it such a good performer at a decent price, I really would want to like it but in my eyes it is BUTT UGLY! I mean no offense to John and Keith that just got one and love it I am sure. But to me it just does not do it.
No offense taken.

I've always been an advocate of function over form and while you might think it's BUTT UGLY, imho it looks pretty good.

Image

BTW, Jman I think your review is outstanding and thanks for sharing it with us.

I did a quickie review yesterday on my K10 WBC @ http://www.coffeegeek.com/reviews/grind ... nic/Dodge1
michael
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Re: The Macap MXKR-An Informal Writeup(Long)

Post by michael »

i find these detailed reviews helpful in deciding on new purchases since there are no home trial periods;

does anyone have any views/experience on the different flavor profiles between the kony e and the robur e 8)
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slo
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Re: The Macap MXKR-An Informal Writeup(Long)

Post by slo »

Dodger1 wrote:No offense taken.

I've always been an advocate of function over form and while you might think it's BUTT UGLY, imho it looks pretty good.
I am sorry. I shouldn't have written Butt ugly. It is not that bad and it was inconsiderate.

I just do not like the overall look of it. Hey! I think that the La Cimbali Max (not the hybrid) looks good, while most people seem to not like it at all.
Vivaldi II, Multiple (a collection really) Lever machines
Currently on deck grinders: Mythos and MXKR
Backup grinders: Robur, Major.
Toper Cafemino Electric and Poppery 1 roaster

I have a serious problem ... Can you guess what?
JmanEspresso

Re: The Macap MXKR-An Informal Writeup(Long)

Post by JmanEspresso »

Wow,

Im really glad you guys found the review helpful.. I actually didn't really "plan" to write a review.. but I was up late one night, and decided.. what the heck!

I am continuing to love this grinder more and more. I have disconnect the Gralab450 Timer for the time-being.. using it made be lazy, and I would adjust dose, instead of large grind adjustments, and this would lead to poor tasting shots in some cases. I got annoyed with myself for being so stupid, so I disconnected the timer, as I dont feel that, right now, it is helping me. So, Ive gone to old-skool dosing, counting in my head, and checking the dose on a scale. A bit slower, but it works, and I dont rely on the timer to "do the work".

Ive also been using 18gram doses for the last, idk, about a week?.. with WONDERFUL results. IDK if its the grinder, or the coffees, but at 18grams, the shots are not tasting muddy, nor do they have less clarity... They are simply thicker, sweeter, richer shots. YMMV, but, FOR THE TIME BEING, Im liking the larger doses.(FYI-this is SOP for me, I will go through phases where I use low doses/Fruity coffees, Higher doses, mellower coffees.. so, take it for what it is.. )


Oh..

I too think the Compak K10WBC looks... GREAT(Sorry Slo!). But, I prefer the look with the stock hopper. Not just on the compak, on any grinder. I dont think superjollys and majors look right without their respective hoppers. I dont think they look bad either, but I think they look better with their stock hoppers. Just MO.
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slo
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Re: The Macap MXKR-An Informal Writeup(Long)

Post by slo »

No need to feel sorry for me... I have different (some will say bad) taste that is it. :grin:
Vivaldi II, Multiple (a collection really) Lever machines
Currently on deck grinders: Mythos and MXKR
Backup grinders: Robur, Major.
Toper Cafemino Electric and Poppery 1 roaster

I have a serious problem ... Can you guess what?
Endo

Re: The Macap MXKR-An Informal Writeup(Long)

Post by Endo »

JmanEspresso wrote:I have disconnect the Gralab450 Timer for the time-being.. using it made be lazy, and I would adjust dose, instead of large grind adjustments, and this would lead to poor tasting shots in some cases.
I also have a digital Gralab 450 I got off E-bay a few months ago. I've been trying to decide if I like it as well. I've always been undecided, so I haven't even bothered to disconnect the stock mechanical "twist" timer on my SJ. Which kind of defeats the purpose since I now have two switches to hit. :-? Did you bother to short the stock switch on yours?

JmanEspresso wrote: I too think the Compak K10WBC looks... GREAT(Sorry Slo!). But, I prefer the look with the stock hopper. Not just on the compak, on any grinder. I dont think superjollys and majors look right without their respective hoppers. I dont think they look bad either, but I think they look better with their stock hoppers. Just MO.
I also loved the W10WBC when I saw it, but I'm afraid if I brought it home it would overwhelm my kitchen.

I completey disagree with the stock SJ hopper looking good. It's a huge, ugly funnel that only looks good in a cafe. On the other hand, the super small Mazzer hopper is just too small and also makes it look unbalanced (IMO). Luckily I had a left over medium sized Mini hopper around so I swapped it. In my mind at least, I think it looks the most balanced of any SJ I 've seen. This year, there is a new Mini hopper that is rounder and looks even better. If I can find one, I may swap for that.
Mazzer with Stock Mini Hopper
Mazzer with Stock Mini Hopper
mazzer.jpg (83.57 KiB) Viewed 26906 times
JohnB

Re: The Macap MXKR-An Informal Writeup(Long)

Post by JohnB »

[quote="Endo I also loved the W10WBC when I saw it, but I'm afraid if I brought it home it would overwhelm my kitchen.

I completey disagree with the stock SJ hopper looking good. It's a huge, ugly funnel that only looks good in a cafe. On the other hand, the super small Mazzer hopper is just too small and also makes it look unbalanced (IMO). Luckily I had a left over medium sized Mini hopper around so I swapped it. In my mind at least, I think it looks the most balanced of any SJ I 've seen. This year, there is a new Mini hopper that is rounder and looks even better. If I can find one, I may swap for that.[/quote]

I like the look of the short Mini hopper on the SJ/Major but any of the stock commercial hoppers are too much for the home. Useful in a cafe but as Slo would say "butt ugly".

As for the K10WBC vs SJ I doubt you'd notice a big difference in size with the small (K3?) hopper. It's deeper because the grounds tray is built in which I really like but only .5" taller then the Major. The body is approx 7" wide, same as the Major but the round body of the K10 makes it look bigger.
Endo

Re: The Macap MXKR-An Informal Writeup(Long)

Post by Endo »

JohnB wrote: As for the K10WBC vs SJ I doubt you'd notice a big difference in size with the small (K3?) hopper. It's deeper because the grounds tray is built in which I really like but only .5" taller then the Major. The body is approx 7" wide, same as the Major but the round body of the K10 makes it look bigger.
Stop it! You're a bad influence. :lol:

The "World Boxing Council" stamp on it almost has me sold!
JohnB

Re: The Macap MXKR-An Informal Writeup(Long)

Post by JohnB »

Endo wrote:
JohnB wrote: As for the K10WBC vs SJ I doubt you'd notice a big difference in size with the small (K3?) hopper. It's deeper because the grounds tray is built in which I really like but only .5" taller then the Major. The body is approx 7" wide, same as the Major but the round body of the K10 makes it look bigger.
Stop it! You're a bad influence. :lol:

The "World Boxing Council" stamp on it almost has me sold!
Oh yay, if they liked it it has to be good! Here's more: viewtopic.php?f=51&t=1259#p15830
JmanEspresso

Re: The Macap MXKR-An Informal Writeup(Long)

Post by JmanEspresso »

I also have a digital Gralab 450 I got off E-bay a few months ago. I've been trying to decide if I like it as well. I've always been undecided, so I haven't even bothered to disconnect the stock mechanical "twist" timer on my SJ. Which kind of defeats the purpose since I now have two switches to hit. :-? Did you bother to short the stock switch on yours?

No, I didn't short the switch, because my grinder is on/off. When its plugged into the timer, and I turn on the grinder, nothing happens until I hit start on the timer. With a timer switch though, yeah, you'd need to short it.. or somehow get it stuck in the on position, in a hopefully reversible manner. :shock:
Endo

Re: The Macap MXKR-An Informal Writeup(Long)

Post by Endo »

JmanEspresso wrote: With a timer switch though, yeah, you'd need to short it.. or somehow get it stuck in the on position, in a hopefully reversible manner. :shock:
When I first got it I tried jamming the switch, but it's got a pretty strong spring so it never stuck long.

But I'm just being lazy. I'll open up the bottom someday soon and bypass the mechanical timer. If I remember correctly it had 4 wires. 2 blue and 2 tan colored. Anybody remember offhand which gets shorted? In any case, if not I'll dig out the multimeter and find out. I think someone once said attach blue wire to blue wire......or was that an episode of Mission Impossible? ;-)

I originally was thinking of adding one of these Delta timers into my Mazzer housing. But the Gralab popped up for a good price, so I ended up with that. I kinda regret not getting the Delta. :cry:

http://www.wolfautomation.com/Product.a ... ctID=25314
JmanEspresso

Re: The Macap MXKR-An Informal Writeup(Long)

Post by JmanEspresso »

Its funny you bring that up(well, its not actually funny, but, oh hell, you know what I mean), because......

EspressoParts.com(EPNW) will now mod any grinder, with a timer just like that. I haven't seen it advertised on their website, but I haven't done any serious looking around for it either. It is however shown in their printed catalog, on a Mazzer Robur(Or a royal). It looks real nice and professional, and you can get it accurate to 1/100 of a degree. Though, I HIGHLY doubt it comes cheap.. Im guessing 200-300, and thats probably being very generous. Nevertheless, I was intrigued.

So, I thought I might try out the Gralab first. I really liked the timer on the Vario.. but the slow-speed of the conical that I love, is what makes the 450 kind of a PITA. As you know Endo, its only able to 1/10'ths up to 9.9seconds, and then its full seconds up to 99.... So, often times, with the Macap(tho not always), I would need to split the grind time in half, ie: two "6.4s doses", for a 12.8 dose. It works fine, but I will admit, the Vario was easier to use. The other thing is, there is no pulse button on the Gralab. THAT would be ideal. On the vario, I could program on of the buttons for a 1.5s dose, and use that as a pulse button for a quick fix on the dose. On the gralab, there is no such love.

Still.. With the prices Gralab450/451's go for on ebay, as long as you dont have a robur, its a great plug-and-play timer.
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slo
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Re: The Macap MXKR-An Informal Writeup(Long)

Post by slo »

There! After much research, I finally found a MXKR that I could afford.

I have had the grinder for about 2 weeks now but it needed a lot of cleaning and a good tune-up before I could bring it in the kitchen. I checked the burrs and they are as sharp as new!

I will not go into the depth of Jeff writeup but I can confirm that this is the best grinder I ever used. (which doesn't say much but still I say it!). The grounds are so fluffy and evenly spread. No variation in density or clumps. WDT is unnecessary.

I have yet to pull a bad shot with this grinder. The grinder is so forgiving! Some other reviewer would probably call it consistent. Once you are in the large ballpark of the right grind setting the shot is good. When you are on the right setting the shot is SO good.

I do not want to put down my B-Vario but the MXKR is in a different class (sure you all knew that!). I was hoping this would be true and it is.

Now, there are some draw backs... It is loud and large. It is a doser (not all bad but...). And it is slow. I read post where some poeple were stating that the B-Vario was slow. Well if the »B-Vario is slow than the MXKR is not grinding at all. That is how slow it is! But I like that! I start the grinder, turn on the scale, tare the basket, start twacking ( did I mention how silky smooth the doser lever is? I is freakishly smooth! ), poke the scale so that it does not turn off, twack some more, weight the shot.

As was mentioned before the chute is large and very easy to clean once the finger guard is removed. The doser sweeps very clean (did I say that it was silky smooth?).

I love this grinder! Thank you again Jeff for your writeup that gave me the push to get it!
Vivaldi II, Multiple (a collection really) Lever machines
Currently on deck grinders: Mythos and MXKR
Backup grinders: Robur, Major.
Toper Cafemino Electric and Poppery 1 roaster

I have a serious problem ... Can you guess what?
JmanEspresso

Re: The Macap MXKR-An Informal Writeup(Long)

Post by JmanEspresso »

Yeah the doser lever IS quite smooth. The action is unique.. I was reading Mark Prince's Review of the Macap M5(Large Hopper'd, Stepped M4) and he describes the feeling of the doser thwacker as almost feeling pnuematic. I totally see where he's coming from.. Its obviously not, but it feels kinda like that.

But it took some getting used too. I was accustomed to the Thwacker on my Major, which is stiffer and just feels totally different. And maybe its just me, but I think the Macap's thwacker has a slightly longer throw, because I constantly don't let it back 100% so it doesn't "re-catch" on the gear, and Im just thwacking away and nothing is happenin until I purposefully let it click all the way back. A very minor annoyance, but, worth mentioning I thought.
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slo
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Re: The Macap MXKR-An Informal Writeup(Long)

Post by slo »

JmanEspresso wrote:A very minor annoyance, but, worth mentioning I thought.
Really, the only thing that really dislike about the lever is the noise it makes when it hits back at the end of the course. I tried to install a little piece of felt to dampen the noise and similar to your experience the lever would not hook on the drive gear every time. So I removed the felt and I am holding the lever on the return stroke. Very minor annoyance as you say.

Something terrible happen this week. I do not know how it got there but a 1/4" stainless steel nut got in my beans and the grinder.... :evil: . I roast in the garage on my work bench. This is probably where the nut fell in a fresh batch somehow. :oops: I have been thinking about it it ever since and cannot even begin to figure out a scenario where the nut would make it there... It certainly did not come from the grinder.

Anyway. The nut got squashed, mangled and ripped but did not make it though the burrs. It was bouncing in the upper portion making an awful ungodly noise for about 2 or 3 seconds as I was steaming milk for my wife cappa. The MXKR geared down motor is so powerful it is scary! The grinder never stopped turning! :shock:

I inspected the burrs and there are a few nicks on the upper cutting burrs There does not seem to be any damage on the shaft as the lower burr seem to be turning true. I cannot swear that I saw a clear difference in the grind but the it seems that it is a little less fluffy and the extraction seems different. But I roast with a Poppery so the coffee itself varies a lot as I am learning the process trying beans and roast profiles.

I have ordered a replacement set. I will post pictures of the mangled nut and burr damage when I take the burrs out for replacement.
Vivaldi II, Multiple (a collection really) Lever machines
Currently on deck grinders: Mythos and MXKR
Backup grinders: Robur, Major.
Toper Cafemino Electric and Poppery 1 roaster

I have a serious problem ... Can you guess what?
MichaelN

Re: The Macap MXKR-An Informal Writeup(Long)

Post by MichaelN »

slo wrote:Something terrible happen this week.
That is a real bummer, my heart sank reading your post. I crunched the sport trim on my 6-month old car last night and was feeling bummed out about that. For some reason reading your post made me feel better because I realize that accidents happen. If I had to choose between the two accidents, I think I'd rather crunch my car than crunch my grinder. It would be much more tolerable to live without my car for a few days than to suffer through a few days without my treasured machine!

Michael
Endo

Re: The Macap MXKR-An Informal Writeup(Long)

Post by Endo »

oooooooh :confused2: That's painful just thinking about it.
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chas
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Re: The Macap MXKR-An Informal Writeup(Long)

Post by chas »

Check out the photo below. This "metal protector" was inside the box with my Kony, but it didn't seem to actually be a Mazzer item nor was it mentioned anywhere in the manual. I had no idea what I was supposed to do with it. I finally e-mailed Jim at 1st Line and asked. You insert it in the hopper with the magnet dangling sideways above the burrs. It's intended to catch metal bits that have made their way into the beans. You might check with him to see if you can buy this device. Hard to believe it would cost much.

So far in my years of espresso drinking and bean roasting I have never gotten any metal in my beans. I have had pebbles and the occasional small chunk of cement which this device won't help.
BoltCatcher.jpg
BoltCatcher.jpg (44.97 KiB) Viewed 26530 times
Chas
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Mazzer Kony E, Customized Rocky
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Endo

Re: The Macap MXKR-An Informal Writeup(Long)

Post by Endo »

Hey! Cool! Looks like one of those goofy "magentic energy bracelets" those suckers buy from the shopping channels.

I use an equally simple method: Just use the "single dose" grinder method. Not only does it improve consistancy and waste (as discussed in the grinds retention posts), if you weigh out your 16g worth of beans for each shot, it's almost impossible to get anything in there but beans. It also gives you the opportunity to cull out those badly roasted smaller beans.

I pulled out a black chuck of rubber, a wire piece (twist-tie?) and one pebble so far using this method and have never scrapped a burr set. Magnet would not work on these.
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slo
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Re: The Macap MXKR-An Informal Writeup(Long)

Post by slo »

This thing would not have caught my nut; Stainless steel ... non-magnetic, relatively soft, I would guess 302. Luckily, if it had been hard alloy steel things could have been much worst.
Vivaldi II, Multiple (a collection really) Lever machines
Currently on deck grinders: Mythos and MXKR
Backup grinders: Robur, Major.
Toper Cafemino Electric and Poppery 1 roaster

I have a serious problem ... Can you guess what?
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