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The condensation is normal, not just with this Cuisinart Grind n Brew, but with ALL Cuisinart Grind n Brews - because of this, you will really need to clean it after every use if you want the grinder portion to last long. As far as the bean amt - Cuisinart bases it's reccomendations on a smaller-than-normal coffee cup size of 5 ozs or so. Plus, the condensation, as you mentioned, will prevent a certain portion of the grinds from flowing to the brew/filter basket. Add more beans or less water to make a stronger cup.
This happens when the machine needs cleaned. Fill coffee maker with white vineger instead of water. Turn grind off, make sure empty pot is in place. Brew a pot of hot vineger. Repeat. Brew a pot of hot water. Repeat. This process removes mineral buildups inside machine. If you have access to filtered water, start using that to brew your coffee. I do and probably do this process 1 per 6 weeks.
Is your grinder in and the lid down? My coffee maker (grind & brew) started beeping after I cleaned it and turned the left knob clockwise with the grinder still disassembled. There's a little button that is depressed when you close the lid with the grinder in there (I'd guess it's a safety feature). I pressed down that button, and the beeping went away.
You have not missed anything. Unplugging for longer than 16 minutes (has 15-minute memory) is the only troubleshooting you can perform. Call Cuisinart to find out if you are still in warranty. Serial number is engraved onto the very bottom of the coffee maker - hard to read. All electronics have a failure rate. Cuisinart's is acceptably low, but their coffee makers are the least reliable of all their products. The basic problem with electronic coffee makers is that coffee makers produce high heat, and high heat kills electronics and melts plastic. At least Cuisinart has a 3-year warranty - higher than the industry standard. Let me put it another way. All coffee makers have a high failure rate. As many Cuisinart coffee makers that break down, the non-Grind-and-Brews still have a 91 rating from Consumer Reports. Consumer Reports doesn't give ANYTHING a 91 rating. A lot break, but you probably won't fare much better by switching to a different brand. The problem with a Cuisinart breaking down is that an expensive unit broke down - you wouldn't be upset if your $15 Mr. Coffee broke every year. The law of averages is on your side - a 2nd Cuisinart will probably last longer. -Tha Mp3 Doctor PS: The DGB-550BK is better