Preventative Maintenance and Cleaning for Your Baratza Encore Grinder

Extend the Life of Your Baratza Encore

 Essential Maintenance and Cleaning Tips

By: James Butler       Revised by: Mark Cambell   Last updated: Apr 14, 2024

If your grinder is running but nothing is coming out, your grinder might be clogged, and today I'd like to show you how to routinely clean and troubleshoot any damaged parts you might have. Like any precision machine, the Encore requires regular maintenance and cleaning to continue operating at its best. This article will provide a comprehensive guide on preventative maintenance steps to keep your Baratza Encore grinder running smoothly for years to come.

Maintaining your grinder is a great way to ensure you're getting the most out of your machine with every cup you brew. Cleaning the Baratza Encore is super easy, and I have some quick tips to tell you.

First, you want to unplug the grinder. Next, you'll empty out your grounds bin and empty out the hopper if you have any residual coffee left in there. 

You'll then remove the hopper by giving it a counterclockwise twist so the grind indicator is past setting 40, and then you can lift it up. Once you have the hopper removed, lift out the gasket and the burr holder underneath. Set those parts aside for now and clean them later. This will give us access to the lower burr. We can remove it by unlocking the quick release knob by turning it counterclockwise and removing it. After the knob is removed, you should be able to lift out the burr. Please be aware that some models have a shim underneath the quick release nut, so be careful and don't lose that. 

Now take the brush that came with the grinder, bend the back of it, and use it to lift the paddle wheel up. You can even turn the grinder upside down, but just make sure not to lose any of the six shims that are under the paddle wheel. These shims are essential for the calibration of your grinder. Now, use a brush or a vacuum to clean out the grind chamber and the chute. We don't recommend using canned air though, since there are some chemicals that you don't want to get inside your grinder. Then clean the discharge chute from the top and from the bottom with the brush. Then use a warm, non-scented, soapy towel to clean out all the parts that we set aside earlier.

After cleaning all the parts, you want to make sure to dry them off completely. You don't want your burrs to get oxidized. Some may ask how often should we be cleaning our grinder? And the short answer is every three months. But it does depend. If you're using darker and oilier coffees, you're going to want to clean your grinder once a month. However, if you're using lighter roasted coffees, you could get away with cleaning it every three to six months.

Now, before we put everything back together, we want to make sure that all of our parts are in good shape. First, let's take a look at the gasket. If you see any small tears on the gasket, I do recommend replacing it since it does prevent coffee from getting into the grinder. You may notice a small circular blemish, but fear not, it's just a manufacturing spot and it will not affect your grind.

Next, we want to make sure that the paddle wheel is still in good shape. When inspecting, you want to make sure that the wheel still has all four paddles. If one is worn or even missing, I do recommend replacing the paddle wheel.

Now we want to look at the burr holder. To make sure that this is in good shape, we want to look at all three tabs of it. For the Encore, all the tabs are different sizes, but we want to make sure that there's no pressure cracks or any damage to the tabs.

When replacing the paddle wheel back into the grinder, you want to make sure that you add the six shims and felt, followed by the paddle wheel shim. Once the shims are in place under the wheel, you can align it one of two ways on the shaft. The burr will just slide down onto the wheel. You want to make sure that the pins of the paddle wheel lock into the holes of the burr. If your Encore came with a quick release knob shim, don't forget to reinstall that after placing your lower burr back into the grinder. You can spin the wing nut back on by rotating it clockwise.

Now that the bottom burr is installed, we can go ahead and install the top burr. The top burr's burr holder has three different tabs, and they're all different sizes, which means there's only one way you can really put this in. You're going to want to line up the red tab with the red tab inside the grinder, which sits around setting 27.

Now we can place the gasket onto the top burr. When installing, you want to make sure the thicker side goes towards the grinder and the thinner side faces up. After everything is put into place, we can install the hopper. We want to make sure that the silver grind tab indicator is placed on top of the silver arrow next to setting 40. Push down and rotate to your preferred grind setting. And just like that, you're done! Preventative maintenance and cleaning can be so easily done with the Baratza Encore grinder. 

Properly maintaining and cleaning your Baratza Encore grinder is essential for ensuring optimal performance, consistent grind quality, and an extended lifespan for this invaluable coffee tool. By following the simple steps outlined in this guide on a regular basis, you can help preserve the integrity of your Encore and continue enjoying perfectly extracted coffee every time. With a little proactive care, your Baratza grinder will continue to be a trusted companion in your daily coffee routine for many years to come.