HomeRoast Digest

Topic: The Rewards of Home Roasting and Vac Pot Questions (10 msgs / 194 lines)
1) From: John Ferguson
A while back, the mother of a friend of ours was visiting from Taiwan. She was greatly 
missing her coffee shop back home and seemed to enjoy my home-roasted brew. 
Throughly pleased that someone at last appreciated my coffee - no-one at home drinks 
the stuff - I roasted about 3 or 4 lbs for her to take back (wishing that I had something 
bigger than an I-Roast.) When she returned a week ago, she had brought me a Hario 
Deco 3-cup vac pot as a gift! Which goes to show that the rewards of home roasting can 
sometimes be very tangible! I was thrilled as I'd really been wanting a small vacuum 
brewer for some time.
Now for the first question. I'm having problem using the vac pot. The problem is that once 
the water starts going north, air bubbles head up the tube too. They are accumulating 
under the metal filter disc (the one that the cloth filter is stretched over) and once there 
are enough, they actually lift the entire filter assembly allowing coffee grounds to fall 
down around the sides and into the bottom chamber. What am I doing wrong? Is it that 
the seal is not tight enough in the first place, letting in air? (There are a lot of bubbles 
when almost all of the water has headed north.) I thought I had sealed it up pretty tight 
and the water has no problem heading upwards. My first thought was that I'd ground the 
coffee too fine and this was not allowing the air to escape through the cloth fillter - but the 
problem persists even if I add no coffee at all! The cloth weave just seems too fine to let 
the air bubbles through.
Second question. I'd always thought that if I bought a vac pat that I'd like to try a glass 
rod instead of a paper or cloth filter. Does anyone know which glass rod would fit the 
Hario Deco 3-cup best?

2) From: John Blumel
On Apr 30, 2005, at 5:54pm, John Ferguson wrote:
It sounds like there isn't enough tension on the spring that holds the 
filter in place. I'm not sure how to solve this problem without 
rebuilding the filter assembly with a shorter or tighter spring. Is it 
possible that the spring has been over-stretched or that the 3 cup 
requires a shorter spring and that somehow you've gotten a filter 
assembly for a 5 cup unit? (I've never had this problem with my 5 cup 
John Blumel

3) From: John Ferguson
John, you were exactly right - there wasn't enough tension on the spring. In fact there 
was none at all as I hadn't hooked it to the bottom of the syphon! I didn't realise this 
needed to be done and was going to plead ignorance of Japanese but the instructions 
even show this clearly in pictures. Well, thanks for sorting that out! Now to try it with 
By the way have you tried using a glass rod ? Even without this hitch, the cloth filter 
seems a little finicky - especially for that rushed morning cup of coffee.

4) From: John Blumel
On Apr 30, 2005, at 7:42pm, John Ferguson wrote:
I've used my cona rod in my 5 cup once or twice but prefer the cloth 
filters since they are less stall prone. Once you get used to using 
them, the cloth filters aren't that much trouble. The main thing is to 
run water through the funnel upside down as you release the filter so 
that it washes the grounds away from the filter and you don't get any 
on the underside.
John Blumel

5) From: Gary Townsend
I have 3 vacpot's and I'm pretty happy with the glass cory rods with
my 'antiques'. my Yama pot came with the stainless steel disk and
stretched cloth filter. Anybody have a good source for either the
cloth or the actual cloth filters?
I admit that, like John, I prefer the cloth filter, now, over the
glass rods. it's my weekend method of making coffee, and the 5 cup
model is perfect for sharing 2 'real' cups between my wife and I.
Also, you should keep the cloth filter in a glass of water in the
refrigerator. If you allow it to dry out, it invites bacterial growth,
and weakens the cloth. or so i'm told
"Not all things that are countable, count, and not all things that count,
are countable". Albert Einstien

6) From: John Blumel
On Apr 30, 2005, at 8:40pm, Gary Townsend wrote:
It's recommended that it be kept in water, although, now that I don't 
use mine as often, I just dry it out between uses and it doesn't seem 
to bother the cloth. If it is kept in water, it's probably a good idea 
to refrigerate it to suppress bacterial growth.
Also you can clean it in Oxyclean periodically but make sure you rinse 
it well and let it soak in good size container of fresh water for a 
while afterwards to remove any residual Oxyclean. After each use, I 
found it good to rub/work the cloth vigorously under running water to 
dislodge any particles that have embedded themselves in the cloth.
John Blumel

7) From: David M. Lewis
At 5:54 PM -0400 4/30/05, John Ferguson wrote:
Nice! I think what you're doing wrong is in the insertion of the 
filter. On the bottom of the filter is a spring. At the end of that, 
there's a piece of wire bent into a hook, and a pull chain. You drop 
the filter into place, then pull on the chain to stretch the spring 
until you can hook the bent wire piece over the end of the glass tube 
that extends into the lower bowl. If it's not hooked into place with 
the spring stretched, it will behave exactly as you describe.
"A fool and his money are soon elected."
	- Kinky Friedman

8) From: David B. Westebbe
Maybe the spring could use shortening?  Or maybe your flame is too high?
If you reduce the heat, you will reduce the violence of the boiling.

9) From: David B. Westebbe
Wow.  I didn't realize that there were cloth filter advocates here.
I use a cloth filter in a Sunbeam CoffeeMaster, which I make from big
gauze pads.  They need to be rinsed before use, to get rid of the cotton
flavor, but after that, they seem benign.
So what do think is the main advantage of a cloth filter in an antique
vac pot?  I've tried the cloth filter in my narrow-neck Silex, but I use
a Cory rod in it on a daily basis.
Do you like the fact that there are fewer oils?  Do you think the
difference is significant?

10) From: John Blumel
On May 1, 2005, at 2:11pm, David B. Westebbe wrote:
I don't own an antique vac pot but I would say the main advantage would 
be the elimination of almost all stalling risk.
I don't think there is a significant difference based on my experience 
with a Cona, which uses a glass filter and other vac pots that use 
cloth. I don't, however, use cloth filters with the Cona but that's for 
aesthetic reasons.
John Blumel

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