HomeRoast Digest


Topic: Vac. pot seal breaking problem (12 msgs / 339 lines)
1) From: sci
I have a nice Hario 5 cup coffee siphon, but I keep having a problem.
After the brew is finished and it is time to take the top chamber out, it is
always very difficult to get the rubber seal out of the bottom chamber. It
seals wonderfully, and the seal is supple and pliant. But getting it out can
take 5 minutes of wiggling and pulling. Also, these pots are very hot at
this point.
Any tips on breaking that seal easily?
Thanks
Ivan
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2) From: Yakster
Not having a Hario but using a Yama Vac Pot and being an avid reader of all
things Vac Pot, I can only suggest that you use less force when you seal
it... the rubber seal will probably work well even if you don't fully mate
the base and funnel.  I know that I don't do a complete mate on my Yama and
it seals wonderfully.
-Chris
On Wed, Jun 2, 2010 at 10:09 AM, sci  wrote:
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3) From: John Borella
Are you waiting for the vacuum to break before you try to remove the upper 
globe? I use a 5C Hario V/P every morning & have no problem removing the top 
portion by tipping it to the side & lifting it out.
John B.

4) From: sci
I have been waiting until all the liquid goes south to the bottom and
there's a bubbling and sucking sound. So I'm assuming the vacuum has
equalized with ambient air pressure. The problem is that the rubber is very
"grippy." It's pretty new. I don't press it hard into the bottom, but just
gently place it there with a tiny downward pressure. I think the suction
draws it a bit deeper. The best solution so far has been the lubricant . I
found some food grade silicone lubricant and used the tiniest amount
possible on the rubber. Vasoline would do the same. The seal breaks easier
now.
 On a different note, another fine point  I've learned  for the vac. pot
afficionados, The same unit did a super-heated flash boilover that literally
exploded and spewed super-heated water out the bottom chamber like a
volcano. It scared the ever-living daylights out of me because I had been
peering over the top during earlier uses. Nowhere in the instructions, or in
anything on anybody's website, including SM, have I ever seen a warning
about this phenomena, but it is extraordinarily dangerous and could result
in a severe accident. It could happen to any unit.  It turns out that the
perfectly spherical lab glass in a perfectly clean state provided no place
for "boil generation spots." To fix this, take a diamond file and make some
scratches on the bottom inside of the bottom chamber. These scratches
provide imperfections where little steam bubbles can easily form and start
the boil. Otherwise, a super-heating event could occur. ---just saying, I'd
hate somebody to live with third degree burns on their face.
Ivan
Date: Wed, 2 Jun 2010 21:22:32 -0400
From: "John Borella" 
To: "A list to discuss home coffee roasting. There are rules for
       thislist,       available athttp://www.sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html"       
Subject: Re: [Homeroast] Vac. pot seal breaking problem
Message-ID: <
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       reply-type=original
Are you waiting for the vacuum to break before you try to remove the upper
globe? I use a 5C Hario V/P every morning & have no problem removing the top
portion by tipping it to the side & lifting it out.
John B.
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5) From: Rich
They are called sites of nucleation and promote nucleate boiling. 
Nicking the glass with a file is a good way to induce a serious stress 
riser and have the pot shatter in your face.  Scratched lab ware goes 
immediately in the trash.  Put a couple of lab boiling stones in the pot 
until it has been used enough to get some natural roughness.  Can't find 
any lab stones at the second hand store?  A couple of glass marbles will 
work also.  This is why the filter cloth with the chain was popular back 
in the day.  The chain prevents this little eruption.  Having the coffee 
pot explode on the stove is not the way to start the morning.
sci wrote:
<Snip>
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6) From: Bryan Wray
That's why the spring has a chain on the end of it... the chain acts as a r=
ough surface for bubbles to form on.  It's not just to make snugging up t=
he filter assembly easier.
Place (not sealed) the top chamber into the bottom chamber from the start.
There's a video of Matt from Intelligentsia doing a vac pot on dptdddd.com,=
 you should check it out.
-bry
Bryan Wray
Nor'West Coffee
360.831.1480
Bryan
It is my hope that people realize that coffee is more than just a caffeine =
delivery service, it can be a culinary art- Chris Owens
--- On Sat, 6/5/10, Rich  wrote:
From: Rich 
Subject: Re: [Homeroast] Vac. pot seal breaking problem
To: "A list to discuss home coffee roasting. There are rules for this list,=
 available athttp://www.sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html"
Date: Saturday, June 5, 2010, 10:51 PM
They are called sites of nucleation and promote nucleate boiling. Nicking t=
he glass with a file is a good way to induce a serious stress riser and hav=
e the pot shatter in your face.  Scratched lab ware goes immediately in t=
he trash.  Put a couple of lab boiling stones in the pot until it has bee=
n used enough to get some natural roughness.  Can't find any lab stones a=
t the second hand store?  A couple of glass marbles will work also.  Th=
is is why the filter cloth with the chain was popular back in the day.  T=
he chain prevents this little eruption.  Having the coffee pot explode on=
 the stove is not the way to start the morning.
sci wrote:
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7) From: John Borella
The upper globe should be sitting (tipped to the side) in your lower globe 
preheating while you wait for the water to start to boil. This way the chain 
is always in the lower globe when you have the burner on. As soon as you see 
bubbles lock the upper globe in place & when the water starts to fill the 
upper globe reduce the heat to prevent a rapid bubbling/excessively high 
water temp in the upper globe.
 Once I see the water rising above the cloth filter I turn the butane burner 
down until it spudders & then back up just enough to keep the bubbles rising 
up the tube. This gives me an initial water temp around 201* up top which 
quickly settles into the 199-200* range where I add my grounds.
 The vac pot is not a modern kitchen appliance designed by lawyers. It is a 
hands on old time brewing device that requires the user to exercise common 
sense. The glass is clear so there is no need to peer into the top until you 
are stirring in your grounds. Here is a link to the Itelli video: http://vimeo.com/8977253John B.

8) From: Michael Irrera
I think that the issue is more with those of us (I'd venture to say the majority on the list?) that use a glass rod filter, rather than a cloth filter.  Even the glass stem of the top globe resting in the lower as the water heats is usually enough to promote boiling.  
But to make sure, I usually add a couple of coffee grounds, too.  A few overextracted grounds doesn't affect the flavor, and I've had a superheated blowout, too, and they're no fun.
-AdkMike
On Jun 6, 2010, at 8:44 AM, John Borella wrote:
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9) From: Rich
The glass rod does nothing to reduce the possibility of super heating. 
Vibration does though so if the kitchen floor bounces like a old 
trampoline that will solve the issue.  Also for the glass rod users, the 
rate of heat application makes a difference on the ease of producing 
superheat.  A very low heat rate will cause it much more often than a 
rapid heat rate.  The dissolved gases come out of solution at about 160F 
with a rapid heat application and this stirs teh mass of water.  A slow 
application may allow the bulk of the water to reach 160+F with no 
agitation and then all gases evolve instantaneously.
Michael Irrera wrote:
<Snip>
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10) From: Edward Rasmussen
<Snip>
Petroleum based lubricants are noted for breaking down rubber.  I wouldn't use Vaseline.
Ed
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11) From: sci
Thanks for all the tips on avoiding super heated boil overs. One would think
that some explanation of this phenomena would come with the unit, lawyers or
not.   I have used a modern Santos for years, and a glass rod Cory. I never
had the boil over with either one. Nor have I ever seen any pot or kettle do
this either on a gas stove. The Hario had not done it after a few uses,
until this one time. The spherical shape and the small opening may have
exacerbated it. It was perfectly clean, and the water was heating in a
perfectly calm state the whole time, until kabam. But I do think I was using
lower heat. Obviously the stars were in the wrong place that day and the
Force was out of balance.  Fortunately, I was not in the wrong place.
I put two tiny scratches in the bottom on personal advice from a vac. pot
expert who has a collection of dozens of  pots. He told me that was a way to
stop this from happening, creating nucleation sites. LOL, you never know
about the advice you get sometimes. The bubbles now nucleate around those
two scratches, but I do now put the top section in with the chain and that
helps too. Just saying this again--I've read lots of things about vac pots
over the years, and followed the advice and instructions from several good
sources, and nobody ever mentioned this as a possible problem.
Ivan
++++++++++++
Date: Sun, 06 Jun 2010 09:40:24 -0500
From: Rich 
To: "A list to discuss home coffee roasting. There are rules for this
       list,   available athttp://www.sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html"       
Subject: Re: [Homeroast] Vac. pot seal breaking problem
Message-ID: <4C0BB358.8070602>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii; format=flowed
The glass rod does nothing to reduce the possibility of super heating.
Vibration does though so if the kitchen floor bounces like a old
trampoline that will solve the issue.  Also for the glass rod users, the
rate of heat application makes a difference on the ease of producing
superheat.  A very low heat rate will cause it much more often than a
rapid heat rate.  The dissolved gases come out of solution at about 160F
with a rapid heat application and this stirs teh mass of water.  A slow
application may allow the bulk of the water to reach 160+F with no
agitation and then all gases evolve instantaneously.
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12) From: John Borella
In 15 months of daily use I've never had this happen with my Hario 5C but I 
always set the upper globe in right after lighting up the burner.
  The only instructions included with my NCA5 were in Japanese so any 
warnings wouldn't have been very useful. Last time I checked Hario was still 
refusing to sell their vac pots in the U.S. due to liability issues. I see 
that HarioUSA/Roustabout products now lists a couple of the smaller models 
but the prices are ridiculously high so I doubt they are buying direct from 
Hario. All my equipment came from Avenue 18 Tea in Vancouver, B.C.
John B.


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