I've been making vacuum coffee for over a year, first the Yama 5 cup, then the 8 cup, and now the Cona C since Xmas. Never even a hint of trouble or an indication that something could go wrong. I typically get a forceful rise, enough to really jiggle the glass filter, and the water shoots up very quickly. Then I stir to wet all the grinds, wait a minute, and turn off the flame. The coffee descends rapidly, and you can watch the grinds with bloom on top get sucked dry and see the foam appear in the bottom bowl. Result, velvety smooth coffee with just the tiniest hint of residue in the bottom of the bowl after pouring the last drop into an insulated carafe. This morning the coffee went up as usual but would not come down. Instead of streaming down in force, it barely dribbled down. When it was evident it was not coming down on its own I used kitchen tongs to grab the glass filter and managed to turn it enough to get the coffee to flow down. It was reallly hard to budge so there was still a very strong pressure differential. There was no loss of vacuum - if anything it was the opposite. Could it have been too strong? The only thing I recall that might have been different is that I had it on a real high flame (higher than usual) till almost ready to rise and then turned it down considerably (lower than usual) just before the water started to rise. Could this have been the cause? The coffee, two day old Green Stripe, is so good that the slight sour taste of sitting on the grinds too long is a minor component of the overall wonderful taste. Quite drinkable and enjoyable. Just finishing my last cup now. Maybe this will never happen again (hard to type with fingers crossed :-) but any thoughts on how to avoid a repeat will be appreciated. -- MichaelB
This is a multi-part message in MIME format. It sounds as if you are using a Cory Rod. My guess is you are right. You = were boiling too vigorously and popped the rod as the last water = traveled north. When the rod popped some grinds got between the rod and = bowl resulting in a stall.
I brew with a Yama so I do not have experience with the Cory. I am thinking that if grounds were stuck in the filter it seems like it would allow more grounds to pass south and not cause a stall. From the description of the problem it sounds like the vacuum was intact but something was clogging the filter. Are there changes in the grind that might cause more fines to be produced which might in turn clog the filter? I don't know if it would help, but I do not add the ground coffee until all the water is north, then stir and start the timer. Gene On 2/22/07, Barry Luterman wrote: <Snip>
Hmm... Since you still had vaccuum, can't say the seal gave way. I have noticed that some coffee's, I dont want to say are more 'dusty' because I really can't prove that.. but they just seem to be more 'clogsome' than others. I use a Bodum electric vac pot and also use a swiss gold 1 cupper extensively and yes there have been issues there too. Some coffees just dont like to play well during the drain phase.... for some reason my Kona's typically tend to be a big PITA for the first cup I brew but after the filter is heated up by one dose, rinsed well and made ready with another, the clogging problem tends to all but go away. I have also noticed that some of the SG's tend to be more picky than others.. and cleaning makes a HUGE difference. Rinsing in water is not enough, you have to soak them in cleaners to really clean the screen properly. I actually use an ultrasonic cleaner, and even after a soak in coffee brite or any cleaner of your choice, throw it in the US for 3 minutes and you'd be amazed at the crap you still pull out. Might want to check how clean your bottom filter is. Wetting it down before grounds adding might help too... run it under warm / hot water, throw grounds in, put rig together like youd normally do for coffee. Only other thing i can recommend without knowing all the details is, grind it a bit coarser see if that helps, and on that, get a spoon and drag it across the bottom filter of your vac pot just enough to clear some of the grounds / grunge away and it should be enough to let the force of the vacc suck it down into the pot. If you do have vaccuum present it will suck the liquid down if you clear a path for it. Given the grounds have been steeping already, it shouldn't hurt the flavor too terribly much. Are you sure the thing was being held down by a strong vaccuum and not just squinched down really tightly? Let us know if you figure out what's gone wrong here. Aaron
Thanks for the ideas. I'll try again tomorrow and will grind coarser. IMO coarser grinds often produce sweeter brews than the finer grinds so there shouldn't be a downside to opening up the grinder a bit. BTW, the Cona vac pot comes with a glass filter.http://www.sweetmarias.com/prod.brewers.vacuum.shtml.No need to shop for an aftermarket Cory or other antique glass rod. I love the Yama pots with the cloth filters but I love the all glass Cona even more. I'm still amazed at how well they work. (Well, perhaps just a little bit less amazed than I was yesterday.) On 2/22/07, Aaron wrote: <Snip> -- MichaelB