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Topic: Vac Pot and A Bad Case of Stupidity (12 msgs / 334 lines)
1) From: John Grubbs
Ladies and gents, allow me to relate a lesson learned the hard way. It is
related to the Yama vac pot and its cloth filter system. Hopefully, no one
else will have to learn this firsthand:
After reading on this list several times about the advantages of cleaning
the Yama cloth filter with OxyClean, I got some and tried it out. I soaked
the cloth/metal filter assembly, rinsed it many times, washed with
dishwashing soap, then rinsed several more times. Sure enough, the OC
cleaned/bleached the filter quite well. I wouldn't call it white like new,
but I was very pleased with the results.
The next time I tried the Yama, my coffee had a new taste... and not a
desirable one. Thinking I had under-brewed by not getting the water hot
enough, I tried it again the following week. (Vac pot is usually a Saturday
morning method for me.) Again, the peculiar taste.
Determined to find out what was going on, I cut the cloth filter away from
the metal holder. Trapped inside, I found a good amount -- maybe 1/8 tsp. --
of granules the size of sugar or salt. By now, I'm sure you have guessed
what they were... yes, OxyClean! Just to be sure this was what was
causing the odd taste (as if there could be any doubt), I made a vac pot
using a paper filter wrapped around the metal filter holder (which worked
very well, BTW). Sure enough, the bad taste was gone; the expected vac pot
taste was back.
Lesson: Simple... If you elect to use OxyClean, make sure it is COMPLETELY
dissolved in water before soaking the filter. If any undissolved granules
get into the filter, it seems no amount of rinsing will get them out.
John, in Birmingham
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2) From: Barry Luterman
A basic instruction with Oxy-clean is to completely disolve the gruanules in
hot water. Desolving the granules releases the Oxygen.
On Thu, Apr 2, 2009 at 12:46 PM, John Grubbs  wrote:
<Snip>
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3) From: Doug Hoople
I've seen writeups of how to clean the cloth filters with Oxi Clean, and I'm
sure some of the posters here actually do have a working routine.
I haven't had the same luck, although I haven't been getting buildup of Oxi
crystals on my filters. My problem is that I haven't gotten them completely
clean.
Yesterday, I ran a test, just to see how much remained on the filter after
cleaning.
I brewed a pot of hot water through the cloth filter, and poured the results
into a cup. I also heated up a pot of water in the lower bowl, and poured
the results into a cup. Finally, I poured a cup full of hot water from the
kettle.
The cup brewed through the cloth filter had a distinct taint of coffee in
it.
The cup from water heated in the lower bowl had no taint. This was my proof
that it was the filter and not the pot.
The cup from the kettle had no taint, as expected.
I don't know what to change in my cleaning ritual, but it's obvious that
it's not a simple dip and rinse, even a rigorous dip and rinse.
Good news for me, though. I finally bought a decent grinder, and I can brew
my vacpot coffee with the glass rod and not worry about whether it's going
to stall. I'm thinking that I might even give up the 2-cup Hario for mid-day
solo drinking, just to avoid the neurosis of the cloth filter cleaning
ritual.
BTW, the coffee that's coming out of the pot with a decent grinder is
fantastic! What a difference. I know everyone told me so, but the proof is
in the cup. Add me to the group that says the grinder is the most important
piece of gear in the kitchen!
On Thu, Apr 2, 2009 at 3:46 PM, John Grubbs  wrote:
<Snip>
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4) From: John Mac
John-
Why would you feel the need to have the filter fabric bleached white?
Do you feel that some discoloration of the fabric changes the taste?
I've used my Yama for years now and change the fabric every four or five
months at best.
Maybe you should have spent a few bucks on new filter fabric from SM,
instead of so much effort for so little gain.
And what taste would the "brown" filter fabric material impart on your brew
?
Hmmm,  coffee I'd say, as long as that is all you have been brewing in you
pot.
Just my two cents and humble opinion on a very "murky" area of coffee filter
cleaning.
Cheers,
John in Nor Cal
On Thu, Apr 2, 2009 at 3:46 PM, John Grubbs  wrote:
<Snip>
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5) From: Doug Hoople
"And what taste would the "brown" filter fabric material impart on your brew
? Hmmm,  coffee I'd say,"
Old coffee, by definition. I've just posted about the taint left behind if
the cleaning's not perfect. It does color the pot yet to come.
On Thu, Apr 2, 2009 at 4:18 PM, John Mac  wrote:
<Snip>
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6) From: raymanowen
"HIII !   BILLY MAYS HERE...  or It's Vince Witch..."  Whatever, you don't
need their stuff- There's probably something better like Simple Green or
generic automatic dishwasher powder.
However you choose to clean the cloth, the last step should be a rinse in a
pan of boiling water with a couple of tsp of white vinegar added followed by
a boil out in water with baking soda added and then a pure water boil out.
Cheers, Mabuhay -RayO, aka Opa!
Got Grinder?
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7) From: Doug Hoople
Hmmm....
Let's see, now.
1) Mix a caustic powder into hot water.
2) Soak the cloth filter and frame assembly in the caustic liquid.
3) Rinse cloth filter and frame assembly in a pan of boiling water with
vinegar.
4) Rinse cloth filter and frame assembly in a pan of boiling water with
baking soda
5) Rinse cloth filter and frame assembly in a pan of boiling water.
Versus
1) Lightly rub glass rod with soapy sponge and rinse.
Yeah, I'd much rather do the cloth filter thing! :-)
-RayO, are you pulling our leg?
Doug
On Thu, Apr 2, 2009 at 4:33 PM,  wrote:
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8) From: Slinkster
John Grubbs wrote:
<Snip>
Shouldn't the lesson here be "remove the filter for cleaning"?
FWIW, I boil my cloth filter with washing soda, aka sodium carbonate; 
buy it buy the 55-gallon drum at your local pool supply place.
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9) From: John A C Despres
I'm with Doug. A glass Cory rod filter is the way to go. Ebay has 'em pretty
often, I understand. No muss, no fuss.
And the resulting brew is delicious!
John
On Thu, Apr 2, 2009 at 7:37 PM, Doug Hoople  wrote:
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10) From: Michael I
Just what I was thinking, Doug.  I usually make at least one vac pot a  
day, and my cloth filter assembly has been stashed in a drawer for a  
very long time.  Unless your grinder is really terrible, I can't  
figure out why people would use them at all.  I just use a Zass with  
mine (too lazy to change the grind on the Macap), and the results are  
delicious.
-AdkMike
On Apr 2, 2009, at 7:37 PM, Doug Hoople wrote:
<Snip>
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11) From: raymanowen
"RayO, are you pulling our leg?"
No. In fact, the vacuum pot my folks used had a rough nail-shaped glass rod
with a cloth sock on the big upper end. Mom had some spares to use but
cleaned the devil out of the old sock every Monday morning. One of the
spares was the next week's sock and she cycled through them. I let the
"violence" of the warring chemistry do the work.
I remember when they got a percolator- wasn't quite sure how it worked. Why
would water blow up and out the stem with some force, when the whole thing
was just sitting on the bottom of the pot? (TV's, Mr Coffee, et al. are
similar, w/o the loose stem assembly)
The grinder went back on the wall after the new kitchen was built, ending
the period of the percolator and canned coffee. Then the beans got harder to
find- Who Knew?
Cheers, Mabuhay and magandang Umaga -RayO, aka Opa!
Got Grinder?
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12) From: Jim Wilson
Date: Thu, 2 Apr 2009 16:10:17 -0700
From: Doug Hoople >
Subject: Re: [Homeroast] Vac Pot and A Bad Case of Stupidity
To: homeroast
Message-ID:
<8b623baf0904021610y7eacd706p79ace65281baf1c9>
Doug wrote-
I don't know what to change in my cleaning ritual, but it's obvious that
it's not a simple dip and rinse, even a rigorous dip and rinse.
~~~Best to run a pot of straight water to boil through the vac pot (using the cloth filter) after every pot.  downside, it's laborious as hell= : - )
My routine is after I finish a pot, I rinse, wash with Joe Glo.  Specifically, I put slightly less than a teaspoon  in the bottom, fill to the 5 cup mark with very hot water, shake to dissolve, then pour this solution into the top with the cloth filter in place taut, place the top on the bottom, let soak for 5 minutes anyways, dump the TSP water solution into my coffee cup, pouir out after washing the cup with this solution, rinse all well with very hot hot water, then fill the lower pot top the 5 cup mark (this is on a yama 5 cup pot), insert the top with filter in place, bring to a boil, take off the heat.  After the water transfers to the bottom I pour this hot water over my cioffee cup in the suink for a good hot water rinse, set all aside for the next go around
But there are times I make two pots back to back and no cleaning inbetween but w/o fail, after my vc pot episode, I clean in the fashion described above.  time consuming yes.  I'm also going through a fair amount of Joe Glo.  Sometimes I'll rotate Joe Glo and use straight bulk TSP but I like Joe Glo so muych better as the proprietary formula does a better job all around, especially rinsing 
BTW, the coffee that's coming out of the pot with a decent grinder is
fantastic! What a difference. I know everyone told me so, but the proof is
in the cup. Add me to the group that says the grinder is the most important
piece of gear in the kitchen!
~~~Especially so when it comes to espresso!  Using the Ranchilio MD-50 I bought used installing new burrs, pulling a good shot of espresso is a non issue.  There are I'm sure, better and certainly more expensive grinders out there, but in my experience, the MD-50 does an adaquate job of grinding for espresso.  While my esppresso machine is in for repair, I opened the grind up for vac pot and like it better as vitually no fines in the cup with a coarser than espresso grind for vac pot.  Others may have better and different ideas
Jake
Reddick Fla.
I've seen writeups of how to clean the cloth filters with Oxi Clean, and I'm
sure some of the posters here actually do have a working routine.
I haven't had the same luck, although I haven't been getting buildup of Oxi
crystals on my filters. My problem is that I haven't gotten them completely
clean.
Yesterday, I ran a test, just to see how much remained on the filter after
cleaning.
I brewed a pot of hot water through the cloth filter, and poured the results
into a cup. I also heated up a pot of water in the lower bowl, and poured
the results into a cup. Finally, I poured a cup full of hot water from the
kettle.
The cup brewed through the cloth filter had a distinct taint of coffee in
it.
The cup from water heated in the lower bowl had no taint. This was my proof
that it was the filter and not the pot.
The cup from the kettle had no taint, as expected.
I don't know what to change in my cleaning ritual, but it's obvious that
it's not a simple dip and rinse, even a rigorous dip and rinse.
Good news for me, though. I finally bought a decent grinder, and I can brew
my vacpot coffee with the glass rod and not worry about whether it's going
to stall. I'm thinking that I might even give up the 2-cup Hario for mid-day
solo drinking, just to avoid the neurosis of the cloth filter cleaning
ritual.
BTW, the coffee that's coming out of the pot with a decent grinder is
fantastic! What a difference. I know everyone told me so, but the proof is
in the cup. Add me to the group that says the grinder is the most important
piece of gear in the kitchen!
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