Is there a way to reduce/eliminate the static buildup in a burr grinder? I've tried a few different coffee grinders and inevitably on removing the grinds bin, I get a spray of coffee all over the counter.
My grounds bin has a lid. So while the grounds still collect static, they don't fly all over the place when I remove the bin from the grinder.
Giving the bin few sharp taps on the counter top prior to opening seems to shake off most of what clings to the top and sides. Then I tap out the grounds, wipe out the bin with a napkin, and I'm ready for the next morning.
Beyond that, try switching up your coffee. The cheap "8 O'Clock" stuff I keep on reserve is terribly staticy, while the beans I roast myself don't have nearly the trouble. I tend to enjoy a lighter roast, so keep that in mind - you might benefit from grinding beans with just a bit higher moisture content (of course, if you have a strong preference for dark roasts, this doesn't help much).
Well, recently my coffee guy went on holidays for a few weeks, leaving me to go to elsewhere (I gave Kicking Horse Coffee a shot). Interestingly enough, the static issues completely went away. So Knives was definitely on to something in trying different beans. I had tried several different roasts from my local roaster, and they all had the same static issue. I realized that maybe in our dry, cold climate, the freshly roasted beans hadn't had time to reabsorb any moisture from the environment, whereas the beans roasted in a warmer, moist climate would have a decent amount of moisture in the air they are being packed with. So I tried sprinkling about 2 drops of water into the beans bag and shaking it all up. The next day, and for the rest of that 1/2 pound, I've had no static issues at all.
As a new coffee lover, I recently got a middle of the line burr grinder which had a very clear line of complainers about 'static' in nearly all the reviews. I was not deterred because numerous people had found workarounds.
I have been beating my face on the counter trying to find my own work around, and just got one nailed down, I think. I have been doing the following for a week now...
The coffee ground receptacle is plastic and not very tall, maybe 4 inches. I pull a strip of aluminum foil about .5 inches shorter than the bin and the entire length of the roll. I coil it into a spiral, with plenty of room under where the grounds tumble into the bin. Boom, static gone! I keep the little spiral in there for a few days at a time, replacing it before I notice any problems with static.
And this little jerk (Capresso burr grinder) would detonate coffee grounds all over my counter if I found myself in a hurry and not paying attention in the a.m.
Static won't persist forever, so waiting a few minutes before opening the drawer may help. Especially in a moderately to highly humidity environment (really dry air is a better insulator than moist air). Of course, you probably don't want to grind your coffee in a sauna, so that doesn't help much.
The static charge may be being produced at the grinding surface. If this is the case and one or more of the grinding surfaces is conducting you could try grounding those parts.
The charge could also be produced as the ground coffee rubs against other materials between the grinding surface and the catch box. In that case you're not going to have a lot of luck stopping it. A conductive basin could be grounded which will help some.
/don't own a burr grinder so this is largely speculative.
I came up with a solution to the static that builds up inside the plastic chamber (but not in grinders with glass chambers). I took a length of speaker cable (any copper stranded wire would work) and splayed about 2" of the bare wire, then stuck it inside the plastic chamber (it's thin enough if you flatten it). The other end I attached to a water pipe under the sink. The static that used to build up inside the plastic chamber is now grounded by the splayed wire to the metal pipe. It's not pretty or elegant, but it works like a champ.
A dark roasted coffee such as a French Roast has a dryer interior (the inside of the bean) so it is more susceptible to static. It has nothing to do with the quality of the coffee. A lighter roasted coffee is heavier and has a higher moister content.
I own 9 coffee shops and have ground many types of coffee, the only coffee that gives me static problems is my French Roast. Sorry to say I have not solved the problem and it is very messy.
I'm not a coffee drinker, however, I have ground and made my wife's morning coffee with a French press for almost 6 years.
I purchased her a Capresso Stainless Steel Burr Grinder a few years ago. Love the grinder although using it produces a crazy amount of static electricity.
A couple of years ago I start experimenting and found that a 12oz bag in our freezer for 20 minutes virtually eliminates the static produced during grinding. A full 2lb bag goes in the freezer for about 45 minutes to produce the same result or you can separate out 12oz in a Ziplock bag for the original 20 minutes. We keep our freezer pretty cold so you may have to adjust the time based on how cold you keep your own freezer.
We don't keep our coffee in the freezer. I just put it in the freezer, set a timer for the appropriate time and grind it as soon as I remove it from the freezer.
This has worked great for me. Hope it helps others.
A length of tin foil that is near the spot where beans shoot into the basket, and enough sticking out to be held by hand will ground the charge.
It's a common solution in woodworking to ground dust collection systems which can start fire due to the dry wood particles otherwise.
You can do it real proper and run a length of bare copper from the middle screws on an outlet to inside the bin.
This has annoyed me for years, and I knew that is was only a problem with the darker roasts which had been dried out more in the roasting process. Just put a few drops of water into the grinder along with the beans, and that does it. I just put my fingers under cold water for a second, and then drip a few drops in the grinder. Done. So easy, I kick myself for not doing it sooner.
Add few drops (2-3) of water into coffee beans right before you start to grind it. Works like magic. Here's a video in case you need to see how to do it. Hope this helps.
Good tips here. I tried to find some that suit my own situation, and also looked back at similar threads. Local low humidity is not the issue here in Okinawa, Japan. Until today I had no idea the problem was so common, because I never experienced it until I got my current (blade) grinder a month ago. I'm sure it has to do with the type of plastic that is used. The problem is definitely worse with my preferred dark roasts. I think the simple fix of a couple of drops of water would work, except I had seen someone suggest using metallic tape to line the container with and I had some aluminum tape on hand. It seems to work but it may wear off quickly, in which case I'll try the water cure. Waxing the insides would be worth a try too.
Problem completely and easily solved!
I have the same problem. I have a Capesso Infinity burr grinder with the small plastic drawer that pulls out. Sometimes there is static electricity and sometimes not. I honestly believe it's either the moisture content of the coffee beans I'm grinding, or the local humidity that determines whether or not there is a static electricity effect.
But what solves it for me is placing a coffee filter inside the grounds drawer. A #2 paper cone filter fits nicely with only a small amount of folding.
When I grind coffee, it goes directly into the paper filter which I then remove from the drawer. Have not had even one flake of flying coffee grounds do to static electricity since I adopted this method.
I have a Capresso 650.05 burr coffee grinder and have had a severe static problem. The fix was to line the receptacle with aluminum tape available at any hardware store. The foil tape is placed on the inside and extends over the top edge of the container to contact the outside metal surface of the grinder.
Pure speculation here: look inside the well where the grounds-catching cup/box goes. If there is any exposed metal in there it might be grounded, so lining the cup with aluminum foil (maybe just partly would work) with a flap that continues outside the cup that could fold down over the outer wall and touch the metal, might have a chance of grounding it out and dissipating the static charge.
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.
We completely fixed this ANNOYING problem by moving the coffee grinder away from the electrical outlet into which it was plugged when we grind the coffee and empty the well. When not in use, the coffee grinder is against the wall near the outlet. We move it to the front of the counter, away from the wall, before we load it with beans, grind them and empty them into the coffee press or espresso maker, the only 2 methods of brewing coffee in our house. We discovered this by accident and have not had a single encounter with the static problem since.
I use a Black and Decker single cup coffee maker as recommended by the Coffee Geek for having just the right brewing temperature. What comes out is favulous. So...to defeat static, I simply put a #2 Melitta coffee filter into the plastic resevoir of my Capresso burr grinder. Lift out the paper filter with the ground up coffee and Voila, no static issue.
LET IT SIT!
I've been having this same static issue since we got the Capresso infinity burr grinder. I read all the complaints. Then one day about two weeks ago I ground the coffee but forgot to put it in the coffee maker. I came back several minutes later (10-15 min?) and to my suprise, virtually all the static was gone.
I tried it again a week and a half ago and intentionally left the grinder alone after grinding the coffee for probably 15 mins. Voila! No grinds all over the place, hardly any on the counter...the static seems to have dissipated all by it self just by sitting for a few minutes. The down side... it's easy to forget you've left the coffee grinder alone in the process of making the coffee. And there's no short way to do this step.
I'd like to know how it works for the rest of you.
Grinders will always generate an amount of static electricity when there is no path to ground, or efficient dissipation system in place. So, your options are to either dissipate the charge, or earth it out. This seems to be a major design flaw in nearly all grinders.
Dissipation - If you have an electric grinder, lining aluminium foil in places where static is a problem is a good idea - eg. inside and out of the collection bin, and the bean hopper. The more surface area of foil open to air, the faster any static charge will be dissipated.
Earthing - On the other hand, if you have an all-metal design (eg. ROK Grinder), you may find it more worth your while to create yourself an Earth/Ground lead with an alligator clip for the grinder. Attach the clip to the grinder wherever is most convenient for you while using the device.
Go through an electrician if possible. Simply snipping the Active&Neutral prongs off the plug, and soldering an alligator clip to the other end of the Earth wire will be suitable. Clip the alligator clip to your grinder - plug the Earth prong into the wall. Static Electricity will be discharged through the Earth circuit before it manages to build up enough to bother you. If you follow this advice, do not introduce any water into your beans prior to grinding.
Perfect Every time...
I added a comment almost 4 years ago (Mar 4, '15) ... make my wife's coffee with a French press ... but for almost 10 years now. My previous suggestion worked okay but only some of the time. Because of that, I have continued to pursue a consistent non-static laden grind.
No freezer or special wiring. Here's what I'm doing now.
I measure 12oz of coffee beans into a 6"x8" container with a lid and add a single teaspoon (1 tsp) of water. I cover the container with the lid and shake the beans for 30-45 seconds. I flip the container from right-side up and to upside-down and back several times as I shake it to distribute the water as evenly as possible.
--- Update Aug 10, 2020 --- Recently found that you can cut the top off a sealed 12oz bag, add the water into the bag, hold the end of the bag shut and shake it to distribute the water. Has worked just as well. --- Update Aug 10, 2020 ---
Take the lid off, dump the beans into the grinder hopper and start grinding. The coffee dumps out of the bin with no static every time.
Some of the beans will stick to container as I dump them into the hopper. I just scrape them into the bin with my hand.
Some of the beans stick to the side of the hopper as I'm grinding. I pick-up the grinder (just a half-inch or so) and set it down with a little force to free the beans.
The beans may stick stop the coffee from reaching the burrs (You'll be able to tell be the sound of the grinder). Again, I pick-up the grinder (just a half-inch or so) and set it down with a little force to free the beans.
Coffee may collect under the hopper around the silicone parts. I found this happens when I added too much water or didn't shake the beans long enough to evenly disperse the water before I started grinding. I check these parts after I finishing grinding and haven't had any problem since I found the correct combination. When coffee collects on these parts I just take them out, wipe them off with a paper towel and put them back.
I hope this helps.
I am an avid at home coffee grinder, I just periodically wash and then wax my container inside and out [the lid too], let it set for a while and then wipe it shiny clean, it helps tremendously with static, just depends on what type of wax you use on how long it last. And I don't worry about toxic effects, I have been doing this for a long time and I am fine, I just make sure I wipe it really good, just like you would your car!
If your receptacle is plastic and smooth you can try sanding it or scuffing it up with some steel wool.
When you drag your finger across it, if it seems sticky (static friction), then you can sand the insides down. After you've sanded it, wash it with soap and let it dry. Next time you drag your finger across you will notice a big difference.
I noticed this static thing you all are discussing when I started grinding beans in a burr grinder. I found that the best solution for me is to wait a couple minutes after the grind. If I can't wait that long ( a whole two minutes), I simply open the lid of the bin holding the ground coffee and give it a quick stir with a "metal" spoon and the static is gone. No fabricating is necessary. Sometimes I use the same spoon to tamp the coffee into my cone filter of my drip coffee maker and I've noticed richer brews. Of course, YMMV.
The static charge may be being produced at the grinding surface. I think maybe the grinding speed become lower, the less static charge is produced. the burr grinder(espcially conical burr grinder) always works under a very low speed.
Also, everytime before grinding, it is better to use a sharp goods to touch the millstone to leak the static on it.