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Topic: New to vacpot (14 msgs / 329 lines)
1) From: Richard Webber
I just got my first vacpot - the Yama 8 cup - during last week. I have used it 3 times so far and clearly have much to learn. However, my first observations are that the resulting coffee is vastly superior to anything I have had before. I am rediscovering coffee in its pure, unadulterated form.
So far I have tried Bonko "Black Sun" and Bali "Blue Krishna". Both were excellent - with my Rocky set to 25 above true zero I am getting very few fines in the pot and a 1:25 draw down on my new 8 cup Yama (with Cona rod) filled to the 6 cup mark. The results have been a polished coffee that I am only just beginning to explore. 
I have noticed that when I put the hot water in to the bottom half and insert the top, the water slowly starts to rise up even though it's not close to boiling. I assume there is enough vapor pressure to start the process. This means the bottom of the grounds become wet for quite a while before the "migration north" picks up speed. I have to assume that this water is too cold for proper extraction - however the results so far have been excellent - if it gets better from here then I am more than happy. Does anyone else see this same behavior? Am I missing a step?
I am sure I'll play around with steep time and grind in addition to roast levels - so many variables! 
I don't find the process or cleanup to be arduous - no harder than french press.
Richardh
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2) From: Barry Luterman
The water rises when it's temperature is about 203 degrees.
On Sun, Mar 29, 2009 at 6:07 PM, Richard Webber  wrote:
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3) From: Seth Grandeau
Barry, I've started with cold water and I'll get northward migration well
before 200 degrees.  I've switched over to bringing it to the first signs of
a boil, killing the heat down to "simmer" and adding the top globe.  Water
rises pretty fast.  When it's all up top, I add the coffee, make sure
everything gets wet, let it steep for about 80 seconds, then move it off to
head south, which seems to take about 2 minutes for a full 8-cup pot.
On 3/30/09, Barry Luterman  wrote:
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4) From: Doug Hoople
"The water rises when it's temperature is about 203 degrees."
That's actually not correct. Once the funnel is placed and the seal is
established, the water rises because of a relative change in pressure. I've
measured water temps as low as 176F in the upper chamber when starting with
colder water and placing the funnel prematurely.
So the timing for placement of the funnel is actually significant.
Generally speaking, water just off the boil is sufficiently hot. So pouring
water out of a kettle into the pot and placing the funnel right away works
just fine, although it leads to the slow-ish rise time that Richard is
referring to.
There are a couple of possible refinements here, with the caveat that, at
this point, it might be splitting hairs. But both of these suggestions
feature the advantage that the amount of time that the coffee is extracted
is consistent pot-to-pot.
The first is to not put the coffee grounds in the funnel until the rise is
completed. This is favored by many posters.
The second, which takes a bit more finesse, is to continue heating the water
in the pot until it's starting to bubble lightly, at which point it's a
little hotter than just-off-the-boil. Then place the funnel already filled
with the dry grounds. If the timing's right, then the rise time will be very
fast, around 10-20 seconds, thus eliminating the highly variable slower
rise.
Richard's observation is correct. Even with so-so brewing procedure, vacpot
coffee is great. There are diminishing returns in these refinements, but for
the devoted those smaller returns can be where the action is.
Congratulations, Richard, on your 1:25 drawdown time with the Cona rod.
You've answered my question about whether a better grinder will help with my
longer drawdown times on the 8-cup Yama. The answer is, definitively, YES!
An I hereby welcome the chorus of 'I told you so.' for everyone here who's
been telling me that for months. :-)
Doug
On Mon, Mar 30, 2009 at 9:43 AM, Barry Luterman  wrote:
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5) From: Barry Luterman
It also depends on sea level as to the temp rise point. I am at sea level. I
just heat my water in a kettle for about 3 minutes. Then transfer to the
lower bowl.Put the top on which contains ground coffee and put the stove on
simmer. After 2 cups rise, stir and reduce heat. When all the water has
migrated to the top I turn on the timer for 1 minute. After the minute
passes I remove the entire assembly to a trivet. Enjoying a Peru FTO brewed
in my Bodum right now and thinking about my trip to Vegas Friday. Roasted a
pound of Bali to take with my Aeropress.For all the good food found in Vegas
the coffee there sucks.
On Mon, Mar 30, 2009 at 7:02 AM, Doug Hoople  wrote:
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6) From: Richard Webber
Thanks for all the helpful comments. One idea I was going to pursue is just a variant of suggestions others have made. I was thinking of not putting in the glass rod until the water was close to 203. Then add the grounds right after putting the rod in place. I'm sure with a little experimentation it wouldn't be hard to judge this point - I have a thermocouple that I could drop in place until I got a good "feel" for it.
I agree that the water is well below 200 when it starts the slow migration north.
Like I said before - if it gets better from here then I am quite happy.
Richard
From: Barry Luterman 
To: homeroast
Sent: Monday, March 30, 2009 10:22:14 AM
Subject: Re: [Homeroast] New to vacpot
It also depends on sea level as to the temp rise point. I am at sea level. I
just heat my water in a kettle for about 3 minutes. Then transfer to the
lower bowl.Put the top on which contains ground coffee and put the stove on
simmer. After 2 cups rise, stir and reduce heat. When all the water has
migrated to the top I turn on the timer for 1 minute. After the minute
passes I remove the entire assembly to a trivet. Enjoying a Peru FTO brewed
in my Bodum right now and thinking about my trip to Vegas Friday. Roasted a
pound of Bali to take with my Aeropress.For all the good food found in Vegas
the coffee there sucks.
On Mon, Mar 30, 2009 at 7:02 AM, Doug Hoople  wrote:
<Snip>
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7) From: Dean De Crisce
Any reason for not putting in the glass rod?
On 3/30/09, Richard Webber  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Sent from my mobile device
Dean De Crisce, MD
Special Treatment Unit
8 Production Way
Avenel, NJ 07001
Mobile: 310-980-8715
decrisce.md
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8) From: Richard Webber
It was a lapse in logical thinking. I didn't think closely enough about the dynamics of the whole thing and thought that by not putting the rod in place I would prevent the syphon from starting. That is wrong of course. So what I did last night was get the water to about 200 and then insert the whole upper section. The migration north started immediately and was pretty quick. I let it steep for a minute and then moved it off the burner. The migration south took almost two and a half minutes - but the resultant coffee and almost zero fines - I could drink my cup all the way to the bottom - and tasted fantastic. It was Bali "Blue Krishna" at C+ with 3 days rest.
Richard
From: Dean De Crisce 
To: homeroast; Richard Webber 
Sent: Tuesday, March 31, 2009 10:58:10 AM
Subject: Re: [Homeroast] New to vacpot
Any reason for not putting in the glass rod?
On 3/30/09, Richard Webber  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Sent from my mobile device
Dean De Crisce, MD
Special Treatment Unit
8 Production Way
Avenel, NJ 07001
Mobile: 310-980-8715
decrisce.md
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9) From: Seth Grandeau
Richard,
The water will still go north without the glass rod.  You want to keep the
top globe off, until you are at a relatively high temp (either pre-heated
water or heating it without the top globe).
On 3/31/09, Dean De Crisce  wrote:
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10) From: John Grubbs
Richard,
You don't have to be that particular about when the water goes up. It will
continue to get hotter as you continue to heat the water remaining in the
lower globe. Just wait until the upper water reaches your desired
temperature before adding the coffee.
John, in Birmingham
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11) From: Dean De Crisce
I hear others recommending not to put the top part on till the water
gets hot. It seems easier to me to put it all on, leave the coffee
out, and check temp of water by putting a thermom in the upper
chamber. When the water moves north it continues to heat. I add the
coffee when the temp is 195-200 and start counting brewing time from
that point.
On 3/31/09, Richard Webber  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Sent from my mobile device
Dean De Crisce, MD
Special Treatment Unit
8 Production Way
Avenel, NJ 07001
Mobile: 310-980-8715
decrisce.md
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12) From: Jim Wilson
Date: Tue, 31 Mar 2009 13:08:20 -0700 (PDT)
From: Richard Webber >
Subject: Re: [Homeroast] New to vacpot
To: homeroast
Message-ID: <66188.77276.qm>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
It was a lapse in logical thinking. I didn't think closely enough about the dynamics of the whole thing and thought that by not putting the rod in place I would prevent the syphon from starting. That is wrong of course. So what I did last night was get the water to about 200 and then insert the whole upper section. The migration north started immediately and was pretty quick. I let it steep for a minute and then moved it off the burner. The migration south took almost two and a half minutes - but the resultant coffee and almost zero fines - I could drink my cup all the way to the bottom - and tasted fantastic. It was Bali "Blue Krishna" at C+ with 3 days rest.
Richard
~~~I've been drinking a lot of vac pot lately as my espresso machine is in for repair.  the other night I did something different but it wasn't the first time I tried it, I let the bottom vessel come to almost a boil w/o the top part on, then I set the top on (Yama 5 cup), the water came up into the top almost immediately, I added the coffee and let it steep the normal amount of time I've been steeping for (2 minutes)
For my tastes, the resulting cup tasted too bitter as the water was too hot
what I normally do when preparing vac pot, I fill the bottom pot to the 5 cup line with water, place the pot on the stove with the top part on (cloth filter), turn it on high (electric).  when the water starts to rise I turn it (usually) the stove temp control to the halfway mark, then as the water from the bottom is almost all in the top, I turn the element to the lowest temp setting
When the water is fully in the top, that's when I add my freshly ground coffee, stir to mix, then set the timer for 2 minutes.  The result is a coffee not as hot and not as bitter
Taste is subjective and I think all of those new to brewing vac pot need to work out a regime that tastes best for them.  I know what I like and it might not be the same for you
I've done a lot of IMV in this pot, almost to the 5 cup line (water), 34 grams of coffee (weight).  I always grind right after the pot of water hits the stove.  others may have better and different ideas
Jake
Reddick Fla.  
History teaches us that we learn little from history...
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13) From: Phil Palmintere
<Snip>
trip to Vegas Friday. Roasted a pound of Bali to take with my Aeropress.For
all the good food found in Vegas the coffee there sucks.
I wonder if the coffee in Vegas sux in part because the water in Vegas
majorly sux -- because of the drought, they are sucking water from farther
down in Lake Meade that is exceptionally hard and foul tasting.
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14) From: Doug Hoople
I've only been to Vegas once, and, not to start any flame wars, but the
whole town screamed "I don't give a crap about anything you care about."
Even the *$ was a tired, run-down pale imitation of the "real thing."
Maybe the water's bad, but I'm of the distinct impression that, even if it
was good, the coffee would be bad.
Sorry for the attitude, but that's my $0.02.
Doug
On Mon, Apr 6, 2009 at 2:36 PM, Phil Palmintere 


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