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Topic: Moka pot, was Re: Sunday cup (16 msgs / 431 lines)
1) From: james McDougal
Thanks Brian (Floyd and Dean).
Great suggestions! I'll try a larger grind. SM tip sheet says that the
proper grind will not clump between pinched fingers but will stick to them.
I didn't test my grind this way.
I later weighed a filter full of beans and it was about 19 g with 8 oz of
water, so it was a little stronger than you make it. I'm still unclear about
whether the filter needs to be completely full or not. Some directions say
to keep the water below the overpressure valve and others say just above. I
might be able to get another oz of water or so in.
My brew time is about 10 minutes total, but it probably rushes too fast
during the seeping portion. I'll have to check it. I'm assuming that the 5
min recommendation is for the time the water is moving to the top chamber.
One problem is the diameter of the 4 tasse moka pot is small - easily sits
inside the fire ring on a gas stove. Seems like I'm wasting all the energy
up the sides of the pot unless I pull it off center so that some of the
flame is right over the center of the pot. I tried a heat diffuser but it
didn't seem to be doing what I wanted. Have you tried preheating the water
as suggested in the SM tip sheet? Perhaps then I could get more control of
the brew time with lower heat.
Thanks for all the thought provoking suggestions - I want to rush home and
try things!
Jim
On Mon, Sep 22, 2008 at 9:52 PM, Brian Kamnetz  wrote:
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2) From: Brian Kamnetz
One more thing...
As someone on the list has mentioned several times (sorry, can't think
of how it is), the best of the brew is the first half, the "extracted
coffee after the first half is getting quite thin, and quite possibly
this is when the bitter agents start appearing, so actually you can
stop anytime after than and simply add water to taste.
Brian.
On Mon, Sep 22, 2008 at 9:52 PM, Brian Kamnetz  wrote:
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3) From: Brian Kamnetz
Jim,
I do preheat the water, and it saves some time on the burner, but I
wouldn't think you would want to alter the length of time that you
allow the brewed coffee to seep into the upper chamber. It's fun to
stand around watching, waiting for the seep to begin, sort of hanging
over the stove, because just before the brewed coffee begins to seep
there is a rich coffee smell. You can't miss it.
It's sort of hard to handle the bottom of the moka pot with 200-degree
water in it. I have a silicone pad, I guess it is intended to allow
you to place hot pots on it rather than on a counter surface, etc. I
set the empty moka pot bottom on the silicone pad and pour the hot
water in. The pad is sticky enough that the bottom of the pot doesn't
turn as I screw the top on. As soon as the top is tight enough that it
turns the bottom part, I lift the moka pot using the unheated top
part, and use the silicone pad to grasp the bottom, which allows me to
tighten the two parts of the moka pot without getting burned.
I think it is best to place the moka pot on the burner as you
describe, straddling the "fire" of the burner. Otherwise the outside
of the moka pot, including the upper chamber, gets too hot. My stove
has a small simmer burner that works very well for moka pot brewing,
so I don't have this problem at home. Even on this little burner, I
turn the flame only halfway to full while the water heats enough to
start the brew, and I turn the flame all the way down as soon as the
foam starts oozing from the stem, then ease the flame back up just a
little and sort of jockey it up and down to keep the seep moving.
Again, I think it would be best to remove the moka pot from the burner
when it is half to 2/3 of the way done, and add heated water to taste,
rather than running the hot water through the grounds in the moka pot.
I grind quite finely and so my brews are particularly susceptible to
bitterness. However, I continue to live dangerously and keep brewing
until the final foam/steam comes through the stem; don't ask me why, I
think it is stupid, but I can't get myself to stop. Just can't get
over the notion that I am leaving coffee in the grounds, I guess, even
though I understand that is stupid. I guess if I ever go into therapy
this is one of the things I should bring up.
Brian
On Tue, Sep 23, 2008 at 7:51 AM, james McDougal  wrote:
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4) From: james McDougal
Thanks. Wonderful tips!
P.S. I agree that you should save your money on therapy if you have so few
issues that this might come up! ;-)
Jim
On Tue, Sep 23, 2008 at 1:44 PM, Brian Kamnetz  wrote:
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5) From: raymanowen
I just saw the topic. I was over at Valente's Italian Deli Bakery and
noticed a Sei Tazze (6) Bialetti Venus Moka Brewer yesterday. Sei Tazze (6)
= 10oz, up to the relief valve in lower tank.
Arbitrary 16g of coffee for the 10 oz H2O, normal ratio. Normal espresso
grind obviously too fine at 0.012" to 0.013", so I doubled it for first Moka
brew, 0.021" Much too fine and too short brew time.
#2 yesterday evening was 0.033" still too fine and I brewed too fast again.
Gotta be coordified.
Oh, boy. This morning was equal to my best Steinway. I arbitrarily set the
grinder to 1.0mm (0.0394") or 50.8 on the adjusting nut [actually 64.9; true
zero is actually -14.1 indicated].
Long story short- the grinder is very stable and resettable. I can dial any
particulate size I want and brew accordingly. Hot water from the Technivorm
carafe boiled quickly in the lower tank; couldn't set moka pot directly on
heat, brewed completely in 20 seconds. Let it start brewing up the stem,
then lifted away from heat element. Total brew time was 1:30.
Beautiful Brazil Cerrado...Formosa at FC (+), 18 hrs. Wow!
Cheers, Mabuhay -RayO, aka Opa!
How sweet it is...
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6) From: Brian Kamnetz
Hi Ray,
I looked up the Bialetti Venus. What a beautiful moka pot.
Congratulations on moving into a new form of extraction. Sounds like
you are greatly enjoying getting the moka pot dialed in, and making
quick progress.
Brian
On Tue, Sep 23, 2008 at 3:30 PM,   wrote:
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7) From: james McDougal
Hey Ray!
16 grams of coffee must not have filled up the filter. Is that true? Did you
have a puck?
Jim
On Tue, Sep 23, 2008 at 3:30 PM,  wrote:
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8) From: Coffee
You make it sound good RayO. I'll have to break out my moka pot and  
give it another try. My first couple of tries were not spectacular...
-Peter
On Sep 23, 2008, at 12:30 PM, raymanowen wrote:
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9) From:
I also use it off center. I always fill the 'portafilter' but have adjusted grind size for strength of brew. Never paid much attention to time...use fire 1/2 way till brew starts then turn it to very low. When it finishes to the first sputter...i take it right off the heat.
With grind I can vary from the cleanest cup to an ultra FP sedimented cup. 
Dean De Crisce
Sent from a Treo phone.

10) From: raymanowen
" My first couple of tries were not spectacular..."
Mine weren't either, but there were hints. I knew where it was going with SM
Super Kaffee Verdi.
You'll get there too. Don't stop now- Fun for all.
Cheers, Mabuhay -RayO, aka Opa!
Got Grinder?
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11) From: raymanowen
16g does not fill the filter. Maybe 2/3 full, and the INSTRUZIONI D' USO
said not to pack the coffee into the filter. I tapped it to settle it down,
but not aggressively. 1.0 mm particle size is large, but the puck is pretty
solid at the end
The grounds always expanded to fill the available filter volume during the
brew. Had to knock out the puck after brewing each time.
I'll try to start by just wetting the grounds next time, then advancing the
brew slowly through 2, maybe 3 minutes. übung macht den Meister, or "You =
got
to Prat'ce," said Mr. Vegna, my trombone teacher about 53 years ago.
Starting with hot water in the lower tank will take some heat modulation
because it boils so easily. Even starting with cold water, we'll be off to
the races once it starts boiling. I'll take the hot start.
Notes to self:
   - Use the welding gloves, Ray! Hot water makes it hotto.
   - The black handle is almost a decoration. Careful!
Cheers, Mabuhay -RayO, aka Opa!
Got Grinder?
On Tue, Sep 23, 2008 at 1:45 PM, james McDougal wro=
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"When the theme hits the bass, I dance the Jig!" - -Virgil Fox at the Mighty
Wichita (ex- NYC Paramount) WurliTzer- 1976
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12) From: Bill
in the 4T i use 19g coffee.  fills to the brim.  i don't pack but i will
gently shake from side to side to settle the grounds.  then a quick run of
my finger around the rim to remove any grounds, and into the bottom full of
hot water.
bill
On Wed, Sep 24, 2008 at 1:09 AM,  wrote:
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13) From: Brian Kamnetz
On Wed, Sep 24, 2008 at 3:09 AM,   wrote:
<Snip>
I used to think that too, because the puck was rounded up and solid
where it met the upper filter. However, if you tap on the surface, it
breaks, and you will probably find that it is hollow underneath. I
think it is because the hot water passes up from the bottom of the
grounds toward the top, "tamping" the grounds upward in the process,
with a solid top.
Brian
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14) From: raymanowen
OK- Here we go, checky check. Same as #3, but I'll be very deliberate about
the application of heat. 1.0 mm grounds, 16g, 2 - 3 minutes this time.
Brazil CS-DMF is now about 54 hrs since FC+ roast.
With 10 oz H2O to the safety relief, I wonder what Unit of Measure there are
Six of? Not a mug, but a Grand Cup of coffee!
Here we go- flash freeze, grind, tap filter down, hot water, modulate heat,
brew, enjoy. And Tell!
- - - Tempus Fugit - - -
Oh, Boy! Brand New experience. 2:30 brew time, but the roast has already
excess age I think.
I brewed so slowly that there was a divot where the grounds did not all
float up to the top filter disc. They did expand some, but not that much.
Correctomundo, Brian.
New Plan: Roast in morning- the Costa Rica p berry this time, and a final
double shot of the Brazil. The temperature will be decremented to keep it
from overextracting, and it will be an Expresso! (Original term)
Cheers, Mabuhay -RayO, aka Opa!
Got Grinder?
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15) From: Brian Kamnetz
Thanks for the report, Ray. I THOUGHT I was correct, but often when I
think that I turn out to be wrong, so it's always nice to get a bit of
validation from others more expert than I am.
Glad to hear that you are enjoying the moka pot and continuing to
experiment with it. I love these things!
Brian
On Thu, Sep 25, 2008 at 12:17 AM,   wrote:
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16) From: raymanowen
"...others more expert than I am."
I agree, they're on the list. I run across them all the time myself.
On my own, I learn at a slow rate called osmosis. Such has been the case
with the Thursday morning cup. The Brazil Cerrado... Formosa might be
getting beyond its prime I thought last night. I'll have to add this to my
CV. Double shot was a big surprise. Lowered the brew temperature a couple of
degrees
So I did the Coste Rica in the speedy* Fresh Roast. Got all of First Crack
and cooled, trying for the diminutive City roast. We'll see. *[Roasting time
is 5 minutes + 2 min cool] Throttled heat for 12:05 roast time. This should
be a blast.
Cheers, Mabuhay -RayO, aka Opa!
Drink no coffee beyond its time. Alter the grind and brew differently.
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