HomeRoast Digest

Topic: stove top espresso? Exploding Brikkas (7 msgs / 243 lines)
1) From: Myron J
What do you mean exploding..??
How fine are you grinding your coffee...?
Are you tamping it.?? I hope NOT!!
Is the weighted cap assembled over the stem and orifice?? I recently heard 
that the cap is coming unassembled..
Myron Joshua
Kibbutz Kfar Etzion
+972-(0)2-9935 178

2) From: john nanavati
Just as you may be imagining, it really isn't pretty. I think that the pot
is building too much pressure and erupting like a volcano everywhere.
It's a two cup Brikka. I'm filling below the prescribed level, no tamping,
not overfilling the grounds (about 2 tablespoons), and keeping the fire
lower than my Moka. I've checked the pin in front (wiggled, etc) and checked
the filters for being clogged. Everything seems okay.
As I said, I think that it's building too much pressure and blowing. I don't
have a good grinder (+10 year old Mr. Coffee Whirly) and am hoping that the
issue is the grind. Unfortunately, I need to wait until mid December in
order to afford one. I did have a commercial grind that worked nicely in my
Moka but think that it's still too fine for the Brikka.
I'm going to wait on my experiments until I get the grinder because failure
is too painful - although, my two-year old loves watching the coffee go
everywhere and my reaction.
If you have other suggestions in the mean time, I'm taking notes for when
the experiments start up again.
Happy day.
John Nanavati
Plainfield, New Jersey

3) From: Myron J
If it is exploding coffee it means that it is NOT happening via the 
"wiggling pin"..the security valve that should release pressure if the 
coffee is tamped...or not allowing the water through the filter basket...
So, where is it exploding from?? The area of the connection between the 
upper and bottom chambers??
Or from the stem? I find this hard to picture that coffee how coffing coming 
via the orifice in the stem that under the small weighted Brikka cap would 
explode over the kitchen and not just be diverted, (by the little Brikka 
cap) to the upper chamber.
Myron Joshua
Kibbutz Kfar Etzion
+972-(0)2-9935 178

4) From: john nanavati
It is coming from the "Hat" in the top reservoir (the place where the
finished coffee should go ... as opposed to all over my kitchen ;- )
At the beginning a little brew seeps out - it looks just like some of the
youtube demos that I've watched - until the eruption. I will, sometimes hear
a little water escape from the wiggly pin, which is one of the reasons
that I think the Brikka is building too much pressure. I have ensured that
the gaskets appear secure and fresh, and that the top and bottom are screwed
together tightly.
Once the eruption takes place, all the coffee streams out of the Hat too
fast and spatters everywhere. The Brikka lid diverts most of the splatter
but the pressure lifts it up. Plus there's a natural exit though the spout.
John Nanavati
Plainfield, New Jersey

5) From: Tim TenClay
I had a similar problem with my Moka when I first started -- You may
have your stove set at too high of a temp (causing it to finish off
too fast) or your grind too hard (causing too hard of a puck...and
then a "break through.")  Try starting with cold water (if you're not,
although I know some people here recommend starting with hot to cut
down on the time) and set your stove at REALLY low...We have a cheapo
gas stove, I set it at just the point where I can actually keep a
flame going.
Out of curiousity, how long does the brew take?  I haven't timed it,
but mine probably takes a good 15 minutes or so.
You also might try removing the Moka from the heat as soon as the
coffee starts coming out - there's probably enough pressure in the
bottom to keep the rest of it brewing.
Grace and Peace,
On 11/28/06, john nanavati  wrote:
The content of this e-mail may be private or of confidential nature.
Do not forward without permission of the original author.
Rev. Tim TenClay, IAPC, NATA #253
Dunningville Reformed Church (www.dunningville.org)
Personal Blog:http://www.tenclay.org/blog

6) From: john nanavati
I'm good on the Moka. I have that one down to a science:
   - 1/2 cu cold water
   - 2T coffee ground little rougher than espresso
   - Med+ heat on my small burner
   - 7 minutes
   - Drink.
I get a nice cup and a descent puck - airy but fills the space, and has
crispy top and bottom. I had some trouble with the Moka until I realized how
much the size of the maker mattered - I bought a big one. I returned it and
got a smaller (4 cup) and life was good.
The Brikka, not so much. I've lowered the heat and the amount of water. I
have been successful twice with half the suggested amount of water. I took
the same philosophy from the Moka and bought a 2 cup Brikka.
The Brikka takes about 4-6 minutes until eruption. When I get a good
grinder, I'm going to start my experiments again. I'll try lowering the heat
further and see if extending it to a 8-10 min+ brew will improve things.
John Nanavati
Plainfield, New Jersey

7) From: Myron J
Oh, dear me, John..it does sound messy...
Taking the pot of the fire once the coffee begins to flow sounds like a good 
By the time i got my Brikka, i already had a decent grinder..hope getting a 
better grinder solves the problem.
Myron Joshua
Kibbutz Kfar Etzion
+972-(0)2-9935 178

HomeRoast Digest