Kony and Other Commercial Mazzer Grinder Modifications
It's no secret that I frequent numerous coffee forums. Been doing that for eleven years; alt.coffee before it was overrun (or should I say, infested), Coffee Geek, Coffee Kid, Home Barista, CoffeeSnobs, and a few more. With a total of over 1,600 posts in each of just two of those forums, yes, you can say I am active in the coffee community. In one recent thread I was asked to detail some of the modifications I have done to my commercial grinder to make it more home-user friendly. I started to list them and surprised myself just how many changes or additions I had made. I thought that as long as I was at it, I would put it together on my website as well.
The Mazzer Kony is that company's second largest commercial espresso grinder, second only to the Mazzer Robur. But whether we are talking about the Robur, Kony, Major, or any of their larger, commercial Mazzer grinders, they are designed for commercial use. For home use some modifications can be made to create a more efficient and user-friendly tool. Some are simple, others take a bit more motivation.
Before I begin turning you into a mad grinder scientist, keep in mind that these are all related to my Kony, non-electronic, doser model. I am presenting these merely to relate what I have done. If you decide to modify your grinder I suggest that you seek out specific information for your grinder and assess you own ability level before attempting any of these modification. The information related here is not meant to be an instructional guide on modification. In other words, doing this wrong can grind up body parts or kill or cripple you with electricity. Even dropping a grinder like this can do some serious damage, particularly if it hits your foot. Take that joyous message with you as I present a list of the modifications I have accomplished:
MOD 1 - One of the very first modifications was to remove the portafilter fork. I dose per extraction, grind per extraction, and since I am dosing using multiple pulls of the lever as the grinder is "processing" my +/- 16 grams of pre-weighed beans, I move the portafilter around to get as even of a distribution right out of the doser as I possibly can manage. The forks interfere with that, so they get put into the spare parts bag.
MOD 2 - A modification I didn't have to do was to remove the doser-mounted tamper. I never received the tamper attachment for the doser, so that is not installed on the Kony. I don't believe I have heard of any serious home barista who who uses a doser-mounted tamper.
MOD 3 - I then removed the doser level switch. That has to be the most worthless accessory for a home-use Kony, or any home grinder. It is a flap that is lifted as the doser fills. When the flap is raised sufficiently it opens a switch and the grinder is turned off. After a certain number of flicks of the doser lever, the grinder is automatically started, and it runs until the doser if filled once again. Here is how I did it:
1- Unplug machine! (related to that whole death thing mentioned above).
2- Remove the bean hopper assembly and remove doser lid and place them out of the way.
3- use a 4.5mm socket (I used an extension with a 1/4" drive universal joint) and remove the two odd looking bolts which hold the doser to the body of the grinder. They are located, one to each side of the switch. If you do not have a 4.5mm socket, get one to avoid rounding the nuts. Put a towel on the doser forks and turn the doser sideways and lay it on the towel.
4- The switch is held to the doser body by two, small Phillips head screws that go in from the backside of the doser. Remove the two screws.
5- Lay a towel down on the work surface and lay the grinder onto it's left side, power switch facing upwards, with the bottom facing you (take care with the doser as you tip the Kony over!).
6- Use a slot screwdriver and remove the grounds tray clip and then the four feet. The bottom will now come off easily exposing the wiring inside the Kony. Allow the bottom to lay flat on the work surface as seen here:
The insides of the Kony are as impressive as the outside!
7- There are two gray wires attached to the junction strip on the base as indicated here:
Loosen the two screws and pull these two wires free from the strip. The switch with wires attached can now be easily pulled out of the tie wrap and out of the machine. Pull from the switch end, and replace the two screws back into the back of the switch so that if so desired, the switch can be replaced at a later date. .
8- The switch is normally closed so you need to make a jumper wire to connect the two terminals vacated by the grey wires to replace the switch in the circuit as shown here:
You may have to loosen the two little screws on the junction strip a bit more to get the wire fully inserted. Tighten the screws just tight enough to securely hold the wire but no further. Pull on the wire to be sure it is secured. Be sure that the conductor of the wire is fully concealed and that there are no loose strands of wire sticking out.
** (see MOD 4 below before proceeding)
9- Reattach the bottom, making absolutely sure that no wires or anything else gets trapped between the base and the body of the Kony! (see death warning above)
10- Be sure that the tie wrap that secured the two cables on the doser is not hung up (allow it to just drop into the grinder, still encircling the other cable), and reattach the doser to the body of the Kony.
MOD 4 - As long as you are into the wiring inside the grinder, you might as well
disconnect the doser-lever switch. It starts the grinind motor when the doser lever is pulled a number of times. If the main switch is left in the "power" position (on but not grinding), the grinder can start when you are cleaning the doser.
The easiest way to defeat the switch is to disconnect the two black wires indicated here. If you are not sure, just trace the wires back up through the inside of the grinder, up to the doser.
I doubled them over and secured them under the twist-lock organizer and used a wire nut to keep them from shorting against other electrical connections,. These wires, once disconnected, are not charged. They merely connect to a microswitch.
MOD 5 - To make use of the now-accessible chute, I made a special brush that reaches all the way into the grind chamber. Here is a picture of that brush:
One end has a "hook" that acts as a rake to remove the majority of remaining coffee in the throat. The length of it is specific to allow its use while the grinder is running if the vertical portion of the handle is held parallel to the grinding chamber. Flipping the tool 180 degrees allows the use of the brush at the other end to remove the last remaining coffee in the throat. That end is long enough to reach past the throat and into the grinding chamber. The "Z" bend and long center section keeps fingers clear of the thin, metal edges of the doser.
With the hopper switch out of the way and using the brush, the grounds retention of the Kony is about as close to zero as one could hope. After completing the dosing, bump the grind switch, brush, repeat, and the grind chamber and chute are clean.
MOD 6 - I installed the Schectermatic by Andy Schecter which is in this thread. It is a "schnozzle" which directs the doser output more directionally. The patern is available in PDF format HERE. If you like your new Schectermatic Shnozzola and think it will save a significant amount of mess and waste this year, consider going to CoffeeKids.org and contributing a few bucks. Put "Shnozzola" in the comments section.
MOD 7 - I did a simple mod to the doser to get it to sweep more effectively. First I screwed the dose adjustment knob all the way down which piggy-backed the upper and loser doser vanes as closely as possible. I cut little tabs (approximately 26 x 15mm iirc) from a plastic-coated, standard poker deck playing card and using tweezers, I slid them into the gap between the upper and lower vanes, one on the leading edge of each pair of vanes. These act as wipers and leave the doser fairly clean.
MOD 8 - I removed the huge plastic hopper from its mounting collar, leaving the mounting collar in place. This is done by CAREFULLY lift the tabs of the collar to allow the raised band on the hopper to pass by. If you can get another pair of hands to assist in this you will have an easier time of it and will be less likely to break off a tab.
The hopper safety switch (activated by the tab "2" which fits into the indicated slot) is still operational for my own safety since this grinder can mulch a cat overcome by curiosity. I single-dose into the grind chamber, close the hopper slide shutter "1," then put the second dose into the collar on top of the slide. This allows me to grind one double then adjust the grind if desired, then pull the shutter open to load the second, pre-measured double of beans into the burrs. And yes, it is necessary to stop the grinder before loading the second dose AND to close the shutter-slide before grinding unless you want to play "52 Beans Pickup."
MOD 9 - And recently I ran across another mention of a mod that can be done without tools or removing any parts. On the bottom of the doser there is a metal stop cast as part of the bottom plate. When the heavy steel dosing lever returns it is quite loud. This comes under the same genre as what my fraternal grandfather use to tell us when we said we were bored and there was nothing to do: "Go bang your head against the wall. It will feel so good when you stop." Thanks, Grandpa. But here, the noise might not bother you, but once you silence it you will ask,"Who's making all that quiet in there?"
I used a double-layer of little foam dots that came in the assortment pack of stick-on protectors that I used on the Vibiemme DD to quiet the framework from vibration noise. I tried some that were less resilient and a little thicker, but they did not allow the lever to return far enough to reset itself for the next pull. A strip of closed cell foam would work as well.
Other Noteworthy Efforts I haven't Tried
- This mod, or something similar, is tempting me. It would seem the final step in turning the Commercial Kony into a Home Kony.
- For those looking for what might be the ultimate doser mod, check out Craig's amazing work HERE. His Mazzer mod is not only highly effective it also looks very nice. LED lights in the doser might not be for everyone, but this Mazzer can give yours doser envy.
A logical response to all this would be, "Get a doserless grinder, stupid."
And I would respond, "No. Make me. I like dosers." If you think of them as dispensers and not a measuring device, they begin to make sense:
- They allow you to slowly dispense the coffee into the portafilter while moving the portafilter around which allows almost perfect distribution with little further activity.
- It allows grinding while not in attendance.
- They can help channel static away.
But these are just my reasons. There's no argument against doserless grinders here. Might as well argue boxers vs. briefs. My boys like support and I like dosers.