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Avoiding static with a burr coffee grinder

ponyboy Jul 4, 2006 11:33 AM

Is there any way to do this? I got the Starbucks Barista Burr Grinder as a gift and I love it except for the fact that there are loose grounds flying everywhere when I go to put the grounds in my coffee maker.

Anyone have any solutions on getting rid of the static?

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    pdxnaomi RE: ponyboy Jul 4, 2006 07:22 PM

    I'm been pondering this myself, out of sheer "Can this marriage be saved?" My husband is the grinder; I am the one who ends up cleaning the "spots" that he missed.
    Since I love him, and the morning latte, there has to be a solution.
    I'm thinking: Why not swipe the container with a scent-free Bounce laundry softener sheet, or an eyeglass lense cleaner?
    Both just occurred to me, this very second. (He uses a Bodum & loves it.)
    Naomi in Portland, Oregon

    1 Reply
    1. re: pdxnaomi
      LastRanger RE: pdxnaomi Jan 14, 2010 06:32 AM

      Don’t make it so complicated. Just wipe the outside of the input and output bin with a damp paper towel. Walla, static gone. I usually just dampen my hands, run my hands around the whole outside, and then wipe off excess moisture with a paper towel.

    2. k
      Kirk RE: ponyboy Jul 4, 2006 07:31 PM

      The only solution I found was the Kitchenaid ProLine burr grinder, which has a glass carafe. Unfortunately, it is very expensive...about $200 at retail.

      1. Curtis RE: ponyboy Jul 4, 2006 07:33 PM

        This was a really bad problem when I first bought my burr grinder, but after a year of use, it went away. I'm sure you don't want to wait that long, but I just wanted to reassure you that it won't last forever.

        On another related note, do either of you find that your grinder gets clogged on the finer/finest settings way too easily? I made the early mistake that grinding beans directly from the freezer was a big no-no, but still, especially with nice oily beans, grinding espresso usually means that I have to break out the brush immediately after or face a coffee bean "log jam" the next time.

        a sante,

        1 Reply
        1. re: Curtis
          CindyJ RE: Curtis Feb 2, 2009 07:07 AM

          I also think it's more a function of the bean than the grinder. I made a departure from my usual brand of whole bean coffee and used a bag of Dunkin Donuts whole bean that someone gave me. I noticed that there was virtually no mess when I emptied the contents of the holding container into my coffee maker. No grounds were left behind and my counters stayed clean. But the appearance of the DD beans was noticeably different -- dry-looking and dull. As soon as I went back to my regular brand, which is darker and much more oily, coffee began flying everywhere again.

        2. Non Cognomina RE: ponyboy Jul 6, 2006 04:41 AM

          Try putting a very light mist of non-stick cooking spray (such as PAM) into the grinder and the lid. Let it sit overnight, then wipe out as much as you can with a paper towel. Grind beans as usual, and use a pastry brush to brush out the remaining ground coffee.

          1. c
            chaaty RE: ponyboy Jul 26, 2006 08:26 AM

            Humidity or a fine mist of water tends to neutralize static. I also read online with regard to one grinder that it was the act of removing the receptical for the grinds that generates the static, and that doing it slowly made a big difference.

            1. applehome RE: ponyboy Jul 26, 2006 06:27 PM

              This is not exactly cookware, but it works for any static problem:


              I've had a zerostat for over 20 years and it's still working. It's just amazing when you watch socks undo themselves, balloons come off of ceilings (my kids used to shoot the balloons off ceilings after we would rub them on our hair and stick them up).

              I still use this on my record collection as well as on negatives and slides - no longer for enlargement, these days, but for scanning.

              And guess what - it works on the coffee grinder! We grind a lb. every 2-3 weeks, all in one shot, since we do cold-drip. That's several fills of our burr grinder and it sure gets messy with the grinds sticking to the container all over - there's so much on the outside after the first or second fills, that it's hard to stick the unit back into it's chamber. The coffee brush moves the grounds around, but it's hard work to actually get the grounds to come off. A zap with the zerostat, and the coffee just floats off - what doesn't, can be easily removed with the brush.

              Follow directions carefully - they may have improved the product over 20 years (it's now a Zerostat 3 and no longer sold by Discwasher), so it may be more user friendly. Mine requires that you patiently pull the trigger - evenly and slowly. If you pull fast and "snap" the spring, the piezo has discharged and there are no more ions coming out. But it's very easy to use.

              2 Replies
              1. re: applehome
                carswell RE: applehome Jul 26, 2006 06:34 PM

                Hah! Was wondering if they still made these. And was facetiously going to suggest trying it out on a grinder. Good to hear it works.

                Grinder static is mainly a function of the amount of plastic used in the machine. Top-of-the-line grinders, like the Macap and Mazzer doserless models (both made almost entirely from metal except for the bean hopper), generate relatively little static. Which is not to say they aren't messy; grinding coffee is a dirty business.

                1. re: applehome
                  scubadoo97 RE: applehome Jan 23, 2008 12:52 PM

                  Applehome, you beat me too it. I have a Zerostat that I've had from my vinyl days. This thing is over 30 yrs old and still works. I've advocated it for use with coffee grinders or for anything else where you need to reduce static. They are not too cheap these days if you buy one new but for all of us old farts out there that may or may not remember the 70s, look to see if you still have one. It works!

                2. c
                  cherylkilcollins RE: ponyboy Aug 1, 2006 01:16 PM

                  This is awesome! I am going to be getting my new grinder is a few days and it nice to get some good advice on how to stop static and the clean-up etc... Love this website!

                  1. o
                    ODubCO RE: ponyboy Jan 23, 2008 12:14 PM

                    I had the same problem with static making the grounds fly everywhere. I majored in electrical engineering, so I tried an electrical solution. I opened up the grinder and tied the neutral side of the AC line to the motor housing. That effectively "grounds" the motor to reduce static build-up on the device. (I don't recommend this method to anyone, unless you know what you're doing. I got the neutral off of the internal shut-off switch. Make sure it's not the hot side with an ohm meter.) This probably voids the warranty, so be warned.

                    So far it seems to have helped. This morning I ground some beans and the grounds stayed in the container until I dumped them in the filter.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: ODubCO
                      ODubCO RE: ODubCO Jan 24, 2008 12:22 PM

                      After 2 days of grinding, it seems to be working. A few grounds still stick to the plastic container, but they don't fly out like before. The motor seems a bit louder now, but that could be my imagination.

                      1. re: ODubCO
                        ODubCO RE: ODubCO Jan 26, 2008 01:23 PM

                        After 3 days it was back to generating static-y coffee grounds. So the fix didn't work. I removed the wire. Then I slightly loosened the screws holding the grinder assembly to the base. That fixed the noise problem. Apparently I over-tightened them.

                        This morning I wet the grounds container with tap water before grinding. That method seems to work the best.

                    2. b
                      blogs RE: ponyboy Jan 26, 2008 07:20 PM

                      try touching the grind container to your tap or touching the tap with your other hand while holding the container, it seems to at least reduce the static, probably does'nt work so well if you plastic plumbing

                      1. c
                        coffeelover9 RE: ponyboy Feb 11, 2008 01:21 PM

                        Found this product on ebay called "Stick Stop". You spray it on the cover, let it sit, whipe it out and you are good to go. Thought it might not work so well at first, as grounds appeared again after the 5th grinding but all I had to do was knock on the cover and they all fell back into the grinder. Coffee still sticks on the bottom of my grinder but that's due to the oils. This product worked for me.

                        1. ponyboy RE: ponyboy Aug 14, 2008 06:26 AM

                          When I made this post, I was buying/drinking Peets Major Dick. Since switching to Intelligentsia about 10 months back, I have had no static issues.

                          Could it be the coffee?

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: ponyboy
                            applehome RE: ponyboy Aug 16, 2008 03:54 PM

                            I would guess that it could be a factor. Is it a darker, oilier roast?

                          2. c
                            Colleen ML RE: ponyboy Feb 2, 2009 04:31 AM

                            I solved my static problem with the President's choice burr grinder.
                            I cut a strip of tinfoil about 1 inch wide and as wide as my roll of foil. I draped it over the side of the ground coffee receptacle equal amounts on each side (in and out) . Put on the cover, grind, and the coffee grounds stick to the piece of foil. When I open the cover I gently shake the grounds off the foil and no mess.

                            1. Channa RE: ponyboy Feb 2, 2009 07:40 AM

                              I keep a metal jar lid inside the container. The coffee falls onto the lid as it's ground, and something scientific happens, solving the problem. The lid must be metal, of course, not plastic, and as large as will fit in the container. Mine is from Smuckers peanut butter.

                              1. v
                                vernlew RE: ponyboy Nov 29, 2009 06:18 AM

                                I also significantly decreased the amount of static electricity (about 90% solution) produced when grinding various brands of beans (primarily Starbucks Caffe Verona- amount of static electricity produced varies with each bag) in a Breville burr grinder by just placing a piece of common kitchen aluminum foil into the grinder's ground coffee receptacle...a simply great solution...enjoy less mess with your great cup of java!

                                1. r
                                  rgesner RE: ponyboy Mar 1, 2011 08:35 AM

                                  A far simpler solution is to steam the beans for a few seconds before grinding. This brings a little oil to the surface and completely eliminates static, even with beans from the freezer (I store my beans frozen to keep them fresh). I put them in a small wire mesh basket to steam them for about 5-10 secs. It may make them clump a bit in the grinder hopper, especially if you get them too oily, but that doesn't hurt and it's far easier to nudge them in the hopper than it is to deal with static.

                                  1. d
                                    Druekberg RE: ponyboy Apr 4, 2012 02:53 AM

                                    I tried some of these like the foil trick but nothing helped. Finally I found just letting the grounds sit for 5 to 10 minutes did the trick. PS Don't keep beans in the freezer folks, it dries then out

                                    5 Replies
                                    1. re: Druekberg
                                      rosetown RE: Druekberg Apr 4, 2012 06:07 AM

                                      " Don't keep beans in the freezer folks, it dries then out"
                                      That is not my experience. Many years ago, I and many others, used to believe that, but no more.

                                      Below is a link to a comprehensive study by Ken Fox and others:

                                      1. re: Druekberg
                                        rgesner RE: Druekberg Apr 4, 2012 08:45 AM

                                        Keeping beans in freezer does NOT dry them out if they are in a heavy well-sealed bag. It is did, you would see an accumulation of ice crystals in the bag ... after all, for it to dry beans out, the moisture has to go somewhere.

                                        1. re: rgesner
                                          Druekberg RE: rgesner Apr 4, 2012 06:19 PM

                                          I stand corrected. Thanks for the education.

                                          1. re: Druekberg
                                            Tinkerbell RE: Druekberg May 28, 2012 08:53 AM

                                            Been looking for a on sale kitchenaid pro coffee grinder. If anyone sees a good deal, let me know. Thanks.

                                        2. re: Druekberg
                                          bsims76 RE: Druekberg May 28, 2012 04:45 PM

                                          Note that the flavorful oils in coffee beans are highly volatile. It's why ideally you should use beans within a couple weeks of roasting. Because grinding, of course, vastly increases the surface area, the oils evaporate extremely quickly after grinding. While waiting 5-10 mins certainly isn't as bad as buying stale, pre-ground, for best results, you really are supposed to start brewing within ~2 mins of grinding.

                                        3. p
                                          panmalv RE: ponyboy Dec 23, 2012 09:35 AM

                                          At last I found a solution! It is surprisingly low tech, but works every time with our Virtuoso. Just take a stainless steel fork, spoon, or knife, and stir the ground coffee in the plastic recepticle. After a few stirs, the static is gone and you can pour the ground coffee into the filter without a mess. Hopefully it will work for everyone - good luck.

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: panmalv
                                            scubadoo97 RE: panmalv Dec 23, 2012 09:58 AM

                                            Yes it works. I've never had a static issue with my Solis grinder but on my Mazzer I would get some static when dosing. I use a paint brush to clear the chute of old coffee after grinding and found that if I brush the coffee away from the chute and before dosing the static is gone.

                                            1. re: scubadoo97
                                              Druekberg RE: scubadoo97 Dec 23, 2012 07:52 PM

                                              Problem here is as soon as I pull out the receptacle the static blows the grounds all over the grinder, counter, my hand, etc. Fork & brush to no avail. I have to wait 5 minutes. I'm sorry, if a significant amount of volatile oils escape in that amount of time, I'm quitting the coffee biz. I would like a scientific study on the escape rate of volatile oils from ground dark roast beans.

                                              1. re: Druekberg
                                                scubadoo97 RE: Druekberg Dec 24, 2012 02:17 AM

                                                Get yourself a Zerostat gun. It will work

                                                Pricey these days but it will eliminate the static


                                          2. m
                                            mz_weather RE: ponyboy Apr 25, 2014 09:15 PM

                                            stir the grounds with a knife, that helps too and is simple

                                            1. c
                                              Coffeenowplease RE: ponyboy May 6, 2014 07:10 AM

                                              Aluminum foil, forks, etc., etc., I made a liner for the catch bin from an aluminum can, with a tab over the lip to hold it in place. I used kitchen scissors to cut a piece to fit (sanded it to improve electric contact and to remove the PBR logo, classy) curved it o fit tight and it works, ta daaaa!!!

                                              1. p
                                                poser RE: ponyboy May 7, 2014 03:48 PM

                                                Simple solution. Need one eye dropper. Three small drops of water on the unground beans= no static.

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