HomeRoast Digest


Topic: Learning a Yama... (43 msgs / 991 lines)
1) From: Ben Lowery
Greetings,
Today was a fun day, my Yama 5-cup showed up! I've never used a vac
brewer before and this sure is a pretty one. I also ordered a cony rod
with it, so it's all glass.
I just ran my first two test brews and saw some pretty slow draw-down
times. In fact, neither brew drew all the way down (filled to 5, draw
didn't return to even 4), and the second brewing was using my usual
french press grind level (and was crazy weak, but still tasted pretty
good in it's own way).
Have other folks using the Yama with a Cony rod seen this problem?
<Snip>
finer than for drip, so I think I might have some other problem.
Stirring too much? If anyone else has been through this, please do let
me know. :)
All in all though, it's a really fun way to brew coffee! Just like a
little science experiment, and the cleanup is pretty easy too.
-b
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2) From: Jeff Kilpatrick
Hey Ben-
I haven't brewed with the rod, so YMMV, but failure to drain back into the
bottom tends to happen for one of two reasons.  First, as you suggested, the
filter can get clogged.  I haven't gotten this very often with the cloth
filter that came with the Yama and I use the same grind for both vacpot and
espresso, which is great.  I would imagine that the rod would be
more susceptible to this.  In fact, I think I remember something on the SM
site about nudging the rod if the top doesn't drain to avoid implosion
(don't laugh, it can happen!).  Second, you may have insufficient vacuum.  I
got this a lot when I started because I parsed the instructions wrong.  You
need to wait a while after the top appears to boil (it isn't actually
boiling, but bubbles are coming out) before you take it off the heat.  This
allows for the outgassing (or increase in pressure, a physicist can correct
me here) that results in a vacuum as the temperature drops in the bottom.
Good luck!
-jeff
On Mon, Jan 19, 2009 at 4:11 PM, Ben Lowery  wrote:
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3) From: raymanowen
If all the water that went up doesn't come back down, there is a leak from
Pot/ Gasket or Gasket/ brew funnel.
Try running it without any grounds- water only. If all the water goes down,
a leak is almost a certainty.
If brewed coffee stays up, it means you have a leak and there is less
restriction at the leak than coming down through the grounds.
Remove the gasket and boil it just before you brew next time. Assemble it
with the gasket wetted.
The gasket might be porous. When you are brewing and the water starts to
rise, listen through a piece of hose as you move it around the gasket.
Do the same as the heat is removed and the coffee goes south. Either way,
you will hear the leak sizzle.
Cheers, Mabuhay and Magandang Gabi -RayO, aka Opa!
Got Grinder?
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4) From: Barry Luterman
The problem is usually the gasket. It is too had. Place the gasket in very
hot water, let it soak till water is tepid. Then place in ice water. Repeat
process a few times till the rubber becomes pliable.Test gasket with brewer
and no coffee. If still no good repeat water treatment until it works.
On Mon, Jan 19, 2009 at 2:02 PM,  wrote:
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5) From: Jerry Procopio
These are good solutions for gasket problems with a used pot, but I 
think Ben has a new Yama and hard/leaky gasket shouldn't be a problem.
I would suggest trying a brew with the Yama filter and see if you get 
normal north/south movement that way.  I suspect your grind is the 
problem.  Glass rods are finicky and subject to stalling with fines.  If 
it works well with the cloth filter, then you have narrowed down the 
possibilities and you can target your efforts.
I just received my 8 cup Yama and I grind 3 notches coarser (on a Mazzer 
Major with new burrs) than I grind for the Technivorm and about 2 
notches finer than for FP.  I'm getting good north to south movement (my 
target is 1min+30sec) with an old Cory glass rod.  I have also noticed 
that bean density seems to make a little difference too.  Same grind 
that I used for Guat Antigua one day with a 1+38 north to south flow got 
me a 1+12 north to south flow with Kona the next day.  Both roasted in 
Hottop to FC. (Kona was intended to be C+ but I missed the mark)
Bonne Chance,
JavaJerry
Barry Luterman wrote:
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6) From: Ben Lowery
Yup, it's a new Yama and the gasket seems to be just fine. I ran
another brew this morning and got a down time of around 2 mins, which
seem to be within reason. I did get a bit of grounds in the bottom
chamber after the brew, so I'm thinking either the bubble that went up
near the end of the updraft wicked some grounds down, or I have more
fines that I think. I'm grinding with a KitchenAid ProLine, the grind
seems reasonably consistent, but I run a test with a Rocky and see if
things improve, and maybe run another round with the cloth filter and
with a coarser grind from the KitchenAid.
If anyone is using a Rocky with a Yama, approximately where do you
grind, in notches from true zero? I've only used the Rocky for
espresso, so it's hard to know where to start... :)
Thanks everyone for the assistance! :)
-b
On Mon, Jan 19, 2009 at 8:41 PM, Jerry Procopio  wrote:
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7) From: Michael Irrera
I believe Jerry is on target with adjusting your grind. In my 5T Hario  
vac, I grind between 35-40g of beans somewhere between French and drip  
in my Zass, and get draw down times between 1:00 and 1:30. .
The glass rods are tricky when it comes to grind. Some people even  
filter the fines out first with a strainer.
-AdkMike
On Jan 19, 2009, at 8:41 PM, Jerry Procopio  wrote:
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8) From: Ben Lowery
Thanks again Jeff!
My problem so far hasn't been failure to drain at all, but a very very
slow drain compared to what it seems others are getting, or a fine
drain until near the end and then it just stalls (usually at about 4
out of 5). Maybe the vacuum just isn't strong enough, like you said? I
wasn't sure if I should be seeing bubbling or not, the Yama
instructions seemed to make it seem like you had the heat too high if
you saw that.
--b
On Mon, Jan 19, 2009 at 6:36 PM, Jeff Kilpatrick
 wrote:
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9) From: Douglas Hoople
Hi All,
I just came home from a visit to SM to pick up my brand new Yama 5-cup.
Based on this thread, I also got the Cona glass rod.
Brewed the first pot with the rod, not the filter and chain. Beginner's
luck? I got a really great pot of coffee, and it behaved entirely as it was
supposed to.
A very cool way to brew coffee. I think the resulting coffee is an
improvement on both the French Press and the Chemex that I've used for
years.
Now let's see if I can make that happen again!
Doug
On Mon, Jan 19, 2009 at 2:11 PM, Ben Lowery  wrote:
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10) From: Ben Lowery
I tried the filter screen this morning and it worked out much better.
Got a good draw that pulled up to the 4 line in about 1:30, then it
just sat there. Should I be expecting to get the same volume of water
back out that I put in? I'm filling it to 5 and getting back 4 1/4 ish
both with the filter and with the rod.
thanks.
-b
On Mon, Jan 19, 2009 at 6:36 PM, Jeff Kilpatrick
 wrote:
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11) From: Douglas Hoople
Nope. Not beginner's luck at all. Five pots of coffee, all of them great,
all of them controllable, all of them consistent.
The coffee I'm getting is equal to the best coffee I've had anywhere. Ever.
It's funny. I lived in Japan for a year in 1991, and bought a vacuum pot
while I was there. I got rid of it after two attempts because I hated the
coffee it made. As I recall, my brewing steps were nothing like they're
supposed to be, but I was improvising (partly because I couldn't read the
instructions), and I don't remember how I was using it. For sure, I didn't
have the detailed SM instructions that made the 2009 attempt work right out
of the gate.
One tip that definitely seems to make a difference: put the burner on the
lowest setting possible.
To think, 18 years I've been missing out on this!
Doug
On Tue, Jan 20, 2009 at 3:15 PM, Douglas Hoople wrote:
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12) From: Angelo
At 08:35 AM 1/21/2009, you wrote:
<Snip>
1) Some of the water stays in the coffee grounds...
2)To get the water down faster, you can use a damp cloth on the 
bottom globe. This will cool off the globe, increasing the vacuum 
which, in turn, will pull the coffee down more quickly.
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13) From: Brian Kamnetz
Doug,
Can you tell us what kind of grinder you use?
Thanks,
Brian
On Wed, Jan 21, 2009 at 11:48 AM, Douglas Hoople  wrote:
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14) From: Douglas Hoople
Hi Brian,
My grinder's nothing special, but it is a conical burr grinder, a Krups
GVX2, so it gives me reasonably evenly ground coffee. I'm also not doing
anything special to set the grind (the espresso lovers here get crazy about
such things).
I think the grind setting I'm using must be on the sweet spot for this
brewing method, which IS a matter of beginner's luck. It's a medium-fine,
exactly the same grind I was using for Chemex drip and quite a bit finer
than what I was using for French Press.
If, as a couple of posts here suggest, an uneven grind will stall the Yama
and glass rod, then obviously a whirly-blade grinder is a no-go.
Doug
On Wed, Jan 21, 2009 at 10:08 AM, Brian Kamnetz  wrote:
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15) From: Douglas Hoople
BTW, just for a bit more information:
I'm using a gas stove with the burner turned down very low.
I preheat the water to boiling in an electric kettle.
A small bit water starts rising into the upper chamber immediately when I
put the pot on the burner.
It takes about a minute or two for all the water to rise with the later
portion rising much faster than the early portion.
I let the vapor 'percolate' for about a minute before shutting off the
burner.
It takes about a minute and 45 seconds for the water to return to the lower
chamber.
One thing that occurred to me is that there will be residual burner heat on
an electric stove, so it's probably a good idea to pull the pot off the
burner altogether in that case. I'll have to be forgiven if this is stating
the obvious, but I thought it worth mentioning.
Doug
On Wed, Jan 21, 2009 at 10:25 AM, Douglas Hoople wrote:
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16) From: Ben Lowery
Lucky. :)
I'm off to NYC tomorrow, so no more experimenting with the Yama till
Friday. I think I'll try a coarser grind still and go back to fiddling
with the glass rod.
Though I have to say, a pure water test with the filter is really
impressive. It's amazing how fast the water gets sucked back down into
the bottom and the "whoosh" is neat to hear.
On Wed, Jan 21, 2009 at 11:48 AM, Douglas Hoople  wrote:
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17) From: Barry Luterman
I add another step. When 2 cups of water have risen to the upper chamber I
stir the mixture with a chop stick and reduce the heat. When all the water
has entered the upper chamber I reduce the heat and start a timer for 1
minute. After 1 minute I remove the pot from the heat source and place it on
a trivet.
On Wed, Jan 21, 2009 at 9:16 AM, Douglas Hoople wrote:
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18) From: Ben Lowery
Just to update this thread, it turned out my problem was indeed a weak
vacuum. My gas stove has two low settings, a plain low and a "simmer",
which is just barely on. I'd been putting the pot on simmer, thinking
the lower the better, but it turns out that the plain "low" setting
works better. I get a lot more bubbling during the steep, which
actually helps roil the grounds into the water a fair bit, which I
never really got before using simmer. This morning I had a beautiful
1:30 draw down after a 1:00 updraft and 1:30 steep. Four minutes
total, almost to the second. The coffee was wonderful.
Thanks so much for the help everyone.
--b
On Tue, Jan 20, 2009 at 2:48 PM, Ben Lowery  wrote:
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19) From: Ben Lowery
So, an update on the update. :)
It turns out it was two things: a weak vacuum from not applying enough
heat AND the grinder. Since my last post, I've had hit or miss
performance using the KitchenAid and consistent, perfect performance
when using the Rocky. Guess I'm selling the KitchenAid instead of the
Rocky (I picked up a La Cimbali Max Hybrid for Christmas to replace
the Rocky, was keeping the KA for everything else, but...).
After a bit more inspection, it's pretty obvious that I'm getting a
much much more consistent grind out of the Rocky vs the wildly
fluctuating grind I get from the KitchenAid. The KitchenAid gets a
good vac pot about one time in four, the Rocky has yet to fail when
I'm using the grind size. This is all using the Cony glass rod; with
the supplied cloth filter the KitchenAid works just fine, but I really
prefer the cleanup using the rod.
Thanks again everyone.
-b
On Fri, Jan 23, 2009 at 9:08 PM, Ben Lowery  wrote:
<Snip>
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20) From: Wally Merrin
Ben...
On Jan 25, 2009, at 8:32 AM, Ben Lowery wrote:
<Snip>
About what grind setting are you using on the Rocky?
Thanks.
Wally
==
Wally Merrin
wmerrin
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21) From: Ben Lowery
35 from true 0.
--b
On Mon, Jan 26, 2009 at 6:54 PM, Wally Merrin  wrote:
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22) From: Ben Lowery
So a last followup to this already long thread.
I made a video of the vacpot in action. This may be the most boring
video in the world to most people, but I find it fascinating. :)http://vimeo.com/3109378--b
On Tue, Jan 27, 2009 at 11:48 AM, Ben Lowery  wrote:
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23) From: Brian Kamnetz
Very interesting. I have never seen a vac pot work, at least since the
early 1960s when my mother used a metal one. Thanks for posting the
video.
Great looking stove you've got there.
Brian
On Fri, Feb 6, 2009 at 4:18 PM, Ben Lowery  wrote:
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24) From: Kris McN
Thanks for the video, Ben.  It's inspired me to take my vac pot out of the
back of the cabinet and try it out tomorrow.  I haven't been terribly
impressed with the brew in the past (especially since moving to the dark
side), but I'm sure it's me and not the method.
Best,
Kris McN
On Fri, Feb 6, 2009 at 1:18 PM, Ben Lowery  wrote:
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25) From: Scott Miller
Looks good Ben!
I've been using the FP and Moka Pot  for a while now and haven't used
my Silex Vac. May have to get it out this weekend.
cheers,
Scott
On Fri, Feb 6, 2009 at 4:18 PM, Ben Lowery  wrote:
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26) From: raymanowen
"Great looking stove you've got there."
Stove? You only saw the coffee pot and the Stove?
My Word!
Cheers, Mabuhay and Magandang Gabi -RayO, aka Opa!
On Fri, Feb 6, 2009 at 5:55 PM, Brian Kamnetz  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
"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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27) From: Angelo
Nice video. Hoever I couldn't help yelling at the screen, "Stir it!, 
Stir it!", when the water was lifting the grounds.. Very frustrating, 
indeed. :-)
Angelo
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28) From: Brian Kamnetz
Uhh, yeah...... what'd I miss?
Brian
On Fri, Feb 6, 2009 at 10:18 PM,   wrote:
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29) From: Jeff Kilpatrick
Ben-
That's a great video!  How was the cup?
If you're interested in going off the deep end with the vacpot, you may find
these of interest:http://forum.coffeed.com/viewtopic.php?p%631#p25631-- this is a long
discussion on when and how to stir.  It's pretty crazy, but it kept me
entertained for a week or two playing with their ideas.http://www.barismo.com/labels/vac%20pot.html-- a very different and
promising looking method for vacpot brewing.
-other jeff
On Fri, Feb 6, 2009 at 3:18 PM, Ben Lowery  wrote:
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30) From: raymanowen
Mein Freund, die Frage ist - brauchen Sie Verbesserungslinsen?
Die schöne Fräulein, oder ist Ihr Monitor sehr viel wie ein Spiegel, da=
ss
Sie nur Ihr eigenes Gesicht sehen können?
Cheers -RayO, aka Opa!
Was zum Teufel?
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31) From: Jeff Kilpatrick
Eben.
Sie war aber nur kurz zu sehen.  Vielleicht hat er geblinkt.
-der andere jeff
On Sat, Feb 7, 2009 at 12:32 PM,  wrote:
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dass
<Snip>
ee.com
<Snip>
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32) From: MichaelB
Ben,
Thanks for the video. No telling what will entertain us coffee geeks. Nice
clean technique. The less messing around the less likelihood of screwing up.
Here are some alternatives steps I like to use.
1. Let the water rise completely to top bowl first. Then add the grinds and
stir gently to wet them evenly. I think there is better heat
retention adding grinds to the full amount of optimally hot water
versus the addition of a little bit of just risen water into the cool
grinds.
2. Use a whisk for stirring. It quickly wets all the grinds with very
little agitation of the water. Very helpful if you use the step 1 method.
3. Stir gently with whisk just as downward flow starts. This creates a
gentle whirlpool that encourages the grinds to form an even mound around the
filter and ensures even extraction through the grinds.
However you do it, making vacuum coffee is fun.
On Fri, Feb 6, 2009 at 4:18 PM, Ben Lowery  wrote:
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--
MichaelB
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33) From: Brian Kamnetz
QWNodCBEdSBMaWViZXIhIChJIGhvcGUgdGhhdCBpcyBHZXJtYW4gZm9yICJTb24gb2YgYSBndW4h
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X2l0ZW1JZD03ODIw

34) From: Bob Hazen
Ray,
I have suspected you speak a different language.  Now there's proof!  (VBG)
I took 3 years of German in High School.  Herr Molter didn't speak a word o=
f =
English to us until the last day.  His first words in English were =
"congratulations, you have the vocabulary of 5 year olds!"
We were non-plused
Bob

35) From: raymanowen
Ich spreche kein Deutsch, aber-
Auch drei Jahren im Hoch Schule- Fraulein Ziegler, die Lehririn.
But my friends John, Walter and Craig were native Germans. Only Old German
spoken in their homes.
Study Hall was a blast- viel Spaß.
 First temporary assignment out of Clark was Don Muang AB/ Bangkok
International (BKK). We set up across the runway from the main terminal.
Next afternoon, we're all set up with radio relay across the runway,
bordering rice paddies being worked by Water Buffalo and chestnut skinned
guys wearing bamboo coolie hats.
Here come some of the switchboard operators over from the main terminal-
"nothing but rice paddies and water buffalo before, what's all this?" -I
presumed they were chattering in Thai...
Like a schoolboy, "Ich Kannitverstahn- wie bitte?"
Then, the most gorgeous creature on this planet turned around and looked at
me with luscious big almond eyes-
"Oh, Sprechen Sie Deutsch?"
She was speaking to me! In our own private language!
"Ja, aber nur ein Wenig-"
Some of the guys about fell over- "Ray, how did you speak with her- she's
Gorgeous..." That was 43 years ago. I never saw her again.
My Honey's maiden name was Luft, but that changed 38 years ago. Schultz,
Hagerbaumers, Pappenhausens; Lou Imig, the Tazewell county coroner were all
on that side of the family.
Karen and I would visit them on a date; On goes a fresh pot of coffee. Not
weakfish either. Me and the Germans got a Thing going, that's for sure! I
like coffee their way...
Owen, Miller, Glenn on my side are all Scotch/ Welsh. Maybe the Scotch has
some application to coffee brewing strength- not Ray's way...
Cheers, Mabuhay und guter Abend -RayO, aka Opa!
Got Grinder?
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36) From: Douglas Hoople
Hey Jeff,
Thanks (!) for the links. Couldn't be more timely for me. I posted on
another thread about my weekend vacpot crisis, the dome, the stirring
ritual, barista mojo, the imploded lower pot with the glass drainer, etc.
So this is all great. Catching up on the vacpot revolution all in a couple
of days.
It's lost on me. I came to the vacpot from reading the SM recommendations,
and love it, totally independent of all the tragically hip buzz that it's
accumulated.
Doug
On Sat, Feb 7, 2009 at 9:48 AM, Jeff Kilpatrick
wrote:
<Snip>
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37) From: Ben Lowery
The cup was great.
Thanks for the links, I'll check 'em out. From a quick skim of those
pages, my first impression was it seemed overly fussy, but definitely
something to play around with. I was thinking about trying the cold
towel trick, but I'm a little worried about shocking the glass and
breaking it. I know it can deal with a fair bit of shock, but a cold
towel on hot glass just gives me the willies.
--b
On Sat, Feb 7, 2009 at 12:48 PM, Jeff Kilpatrick
 wrote:
<Snip>
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38) From: Ben Lowery
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39) From: Ben Lowery
*shrug*
I'd read that early and often stirring leads to clogs, but maybe I'll
give it a shot. The cup is already pretty freaking good, so.. :)
-b
On Fri, Feb 6, 2009 at 11:22 PM, Angelo  wrote:
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40) From: Ben Lowery
So I tried out the procedure from Barismo this afternoon. Changed the
grind to their rec, let the water move north, stablize at 195F (91C),
dropped in the grounds, did the fancy stir with my aeropress stirrer,
waited, stirred, pulled the heat, towel, whole works.
Stalled like a champ. :)  Not a full stall, but enough that I was only
back up to the halfway to the 3 mark on my yama 5-cup after three
minutes of draw down. Enough to call it and pull the top.
Did a slight variant, opened up the grind back to what I was on before
(30 -> 35 from true 0 on the Rocky), only did the initial stir and
gently. Rocked out. Best cup out of the vac yet, and on my goofy new
Guat Oriente / El Salvador Kilimajaro 50/50 blend.
I like the late drop of the coffee (for me) and the temp checking. I
let it steep for 1:15, then pulled the heat and had about a minute
draw down, no towel needed.
-b
On Mon, Feb 9, 2009 at 12:57 PM, Douglas Hoople  wrote:
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41) From: Michael I
I almost went to the event described in the second link you have  
there, but missed it.  Interestingly, my brewing method is almost  
exactly what they've outlined there.  I do stir differently -- I only  
stir to wet the grounds initially, then let the turbulence do the rest  
-- and I don't always use the towel technique, as I get draw downs  
from 1:00 - 1:15 anyway.
Perhaps I will experiment with stirring at different times, based on  
what they recommend there.
In Ben's video, I would think that (depending on grind size and temp)  
the coffee would be overextracted.  It's in contact with the water for  
a good 3:45 or so, while mine is for about 2:15.  There are quite a  
few variables in play, but was that pot bitter at all?
Thanks for the links, guys.
-AdkMike
On Feb 7, 2009, at 12:48 PM, Jeff Kilpatrick wrote:
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42) From: Ben Lowery
<Snip>
Not that I recall, but it's been a while now. :)  I remember it being
quite good. The temp there was probably in the low 190s, grind is a 35
from 0 on a rocky, which is (I think) between drip and press. I know
it's coarser than is called for by the guys at Barismo, but it works
for me.
Since then I've been going a bit quicker. I let the water bubble up,
stabalize at 195, then dump in the grounds and stir a bit. Let it
steep for 1:15, then kill the heat. Usually end up with about 3:00 of
total exposure and it tastes good to me. :)
-b
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43) From: raymanowen
Natürlich-
Vielleicht einmal... aber nur einmal!
Oder, vielleicht ist es ganz dunkel, wo er seinen Kopf hat. Schalten Sie den
Lärm aus-
Öffnet die Augen, blicken Sie nicht!
Böse, böse!
"This is classified- eyes only."
If you're not it, don't read this.
Cheers, Mabuhay -RayO, aka Opa!
On Sat, Feb 7, 2009 at 11:48 AM, Jeff Kilpatrick
wrote:
<Snip>
, dass
<Snip>
ee.com
<Snip>
ee.com
<Snip>
-- =
"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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