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Topic: moka pot first time user (8 msgs / 218 lines)
1) From: Jeffrey Dobrowski
I know there have been a lot of posts regarding moka pots.  I would  
love to know what everyone's methods are.  I am going for a lot of  
crema and I am trying to avoid that bitter taste.  I brewed the first  
batch and found that my valve works.  I won't tamp next time.  I  
would like any feedback you mokafiles have on the subject.

2) From: Robert D. Crawford
Jeffrey Dobrowski  writes:
There are probably better people to respond to this but I will throw in
my .02 worth.  
Here is what I do:
1.  Measure amount of beans to grind.  I use 18g for my 3 tass pot.
2.  Grind beans fine.  I am currently using a setting of "20" on my
Rocky.  I have not tested very much, so this might be too fine.
3.  Pour the beans in the filter basket and gently tap the basket
against my hand to even up the grounds.  Do not tamp as the water vapor
rising through the grounds causes them to swell and tamp themselves (or
so I've read).
4..I microwave the water I am going to use.  I am not sure the reason
but if I heat the water only in the pot I get off tastes in the coffee.
I heat the water to almost the point of boiling and use hot water from
the faucet to rinse the bottom section of the pot.  This helps to keep
the water close to temp as it is going on the stove.    
5.  Assemble the pot.  Keep a dishtowel handy as the pot will be very
hot.  Place the pot on a preheated eye... no need to wait any longer
than you have to.  I have a glass top stove, so settings might not
apply but I set the eye to high until I get the pot on there and then
start turning it down.  
6.  Listen to the pot.  As soon as the water starts making noise in the
bottom, turn the heat down to a little higher than medium... about 65%
between off and high.
7.  As soon as I see the first bit of coffee I turn the eye down to
about 35%.
8.  Pull the pot before it runs out of water.  I usually get it off just
before it starts to sputter.  I have read the coffee is better if you do
not allow the last bit through but have not tested to see for myself.
9.  Pour the coffee and let it sit for a while.  Waaaay to hot to drink
right now.
Now, I must warn you that I have not been using the moka for long.
After I first got it several months ago and tried to use it I kept
getting off tastes in the coffee.  I originally attributed this to the
rubber gasket "tainting" the coffee.  For some reason, if I heat the
water and then brew gently (instead of turning the eye on high to bring
it to a boil and then reducing the heat toward the end) I do not get the
tastes.  Also, My moka is a cheap, aluminum model and not the nice SS
model that SM sells.  In my defense, it was a gift.
Robert D. Crawford                                     robdcraw
I did this 'cause Linux gives me a woody.  It doesn't generate revenue.
(Dave '-ddt->` Taylor, announcing DOOM for Linux)

3) From: Tim TenClay
I generally follow Roberts approach although I don't preheat the
water.  I also don't tend to grind so finely.  I use a Zass (hand
powered) and grind at about 5-10 past where I hear the blades start
touching - that probably means nothing to you, but that's about 5-10
minutes LESS than I grind for drip.
I also don't mess with the temp.  I set it low and leave it that way
until the pot is about 3/4 full, then I turn it off and wait (I have a
gas stove so that actually turns the heat of - of you have electric,
you'll have to remove it from the burner).
Perhaps the most useful advice is that I tend to measure my beans
whole in the Moka pot's filter.  A full filter of whole beans works
perfectly for what the pot requires once ground.  I do that for my
espresso machine too - that works well too.
(Side note: 5-10 min?  the fineness of the grind on my Zass is
determined by a small nut that I have to turn in a circle.  I pretend
the circle is a clock.  Espresso is 15-20 minutes BEFORE the hour
[counterclockwise], moka 5-10 min after the hour and drip 15 minutes
after the hour.  Hope that helps.)
On 5/31/07, Robert D. Crawford  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)
Blogs:http://www.tenclay.org/blog ...org/baby ...org/ragbrai

4) From: Angelo
I've read somewhere that that valve is a one-time valve. We'll have 
to let the engineers on the list confirm or deny this...

5) From: Floyd Lozano
"Warning: the valve on this pot is a one time steam release valve.  If any
steam escapes from this valve, please allow pot to cool and then discard.
Call the 800 number on the bottom of the pot to order a replacement.  Thank
you for shopping with us!"
ps if you do not wish to discard, simply hacksaw the lid off and use as a
pps I am not responsible for any damage you do to your mokapot because you
unwisely believed me
On 5/31/07, Angelo  wrote:

6) From: raymanowen
If that overtemperature relief blows, I think it means you didn't remove the
heat as soon as you should have. As long as there is water in the bottom,
the temperature of the pot will be lower than the bp of water.
Once it melts out, it's gone. Like on a pressure cooker, the relief should
never relieve- it's a low melting temp alloy of lead, I think. How about
some lead in your espresso?
Unless the base of the pot is smaller diameter than the ring of fire if you
are heating on a gas burner. Then the heat from the flame could overheat the
pot above the water level, and the coffee up top would get superheated as
Like some percolaters brew, red hot coffee is ++Ungood. Probably would be
hotter than Blue Blazes and  taste like the Devil, too.
Cheers -RayO, aka Opa!
Got Grinder?

7) From: Phil Genera
Angelo wrote:
I've definitely choked my moka pot and had the relief valve... relieve 
without any long-term consequences. This is an aluminum bialleti with 
the "new style" checkable relief valve (it has a sort of nubbin on the 
outside so you can verify it hasn't been welded shut by scale). Its just 
a spring holding a conical plunger into a hole, in my case.
(of course, I'm just a software engineer... :)

8) From: Larry Johnson
The tamping is what caused the relief valve to blow. I'm not sure about the
"one-time" aspect. As for using the mokapot, here's what I do:
Fill the bottom of the moka pot with bottled water (doesn't matter whose,
just as long as it's "taste-free"). I measure the beans with the basket,
IOW, I fill the basket level with whole beans and I have just about the
right amount when ground. I grind the beans about 2 clicks finer than the
little portafilter symbol on my Solis Maestro. Put the grounds in the
basket, giving a little tap now and then to get them to even out. I use the
plastic bin from the grinder, the one the grounds are in, to sort of smooth
out the pile in the basket. I DO NOT TAMP. I leave the grounds slightly
rounded. Put the pot together, put it on my electric stove with radiant
element on med-hi.  As soon as it starts making noise, I turn it down to
low. When coffee starts to ooze up the spout, I move it off the element. If
the coffee looks like it's going to stop oozing, I put it back on half-way.
If it starts to run clear, I pull it off and pour. Most of the time, I make
a Cafe Americano, adding hot water to make a full cup. Yum. Most important
(besides not tamping): Stop the brewing before it runs clear. This is what
works for me. YMMV.
On 5/31/07, raymanowen  wrote:
Larry J
Sometimes I get the feeling the whole world is against me, but deep down I
know that's not true. Some smaller countries are neutral.
- Robert Orben

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