avraptorhal Senior Member Joined: 20 Mar 2014 Posts: 115 Location: USA Expertise: Just starting
Espresso: Breville 920XL Grinder: Baratza Forte AP Drip: Bonavita Immersion dripper,...
Posted Fri Jun 20, 2014, 11:35am Subject: Re: Using a Siphon Coffee Maker
I hate to feel like a dinosaur but when we first set up housekeeping the coffee lovers brewing method of choice was the glass Silex brewer. We used it until it got broken. It had the original glass rod filter. I remember watching it brew and wondering how the filter worked. I finally realized that the bumpy surface of the bulge in the middle of the filter was designed to selectively allow water (coffee) to return to the bottom container while holding back the grounds. After the glass one broke we got an aluminum siphon brewer. Actually the siphon brewer and the percolator were the only two ways to brew coffee available to the average homemaker at that time (1950's). Then the Corning percolator came along until the safety concern about the adhesion of the handle to the rest of the pot killed it.
Then the automatic drip brewer exploded on to the scene and both the siphon (Actually the siphon was called the Silex by everybody) and the percolator declined. The percolator was relegated to the camper and backpacker as it is being used today.
It must be understood that there was no Internet, I'm not even sure anybody knew what a computer was. It was still before the handheld calculator so word of mouth or newspaper, magazines and radio were the only ways to spread information on life style considerations.
Just goes to prove everything old becomes new again.
Posted Fri Jun 20, 2014, 2:29pm Subject: Re: Using a Siphon Coffee Maker
Yup - everything comes round again as you say.
Now that art deco items have become so expensive, Mid Century Modern is the in thing, so stuff like percolators and syphon brewers from the 50's and 60's are right in there to match with the Eames and Arne Jacobsen furniture and re-published retro designs of the same era.
Personal favourites are the Cona Rex models (difficult to get hold of now, but I've managed to scalp a few) and the fabulous Glass percolator from Procter Silex that has the lights underneath - 1950's equivalent of the LED's you find in almost everything these days.
I think you'll find that the brewing method of choice for many coffee lovers remains a glass syphon - and the others probably haven't tried it yet.
Posted Wed Jan 28, 2015, 5:26pm Subject: Re: Using a Siphon Coffee Maker
I just picked up a all stainless Nicro 478A with original stainless steel disc filter on ebay for $41 including shipping. I hope the Nicro 500 gasket fits if needed. Any one know if it does?
Also a complete practically NOS Cory 8 cup Pyrex unit coming too. Original box and instructions included so I will compare original instructions with current ones! It is running $57. Good buys are out there if you look carefully.
Has any one used the Diguo permanent filter? Listed on Amazon as fitting Hario and most other vacuum pots for just under $20. Looks to be a ceramic disc with holes in it and an attached fine filter screen. Both parts held together with a silicone surround which looks like it is intended to act like a gasket. Held in position by a spring and hook that go down the siphon tube like in the old Nicro and glass Silex filter assemblies as well as some other current vacuum pot filters.
The automatic drip machine has become the "Standard" coffee machine since introduced and has killed off the others except for the coffee hobbyist market. I remember though when the vacuum maker was the "Good" method when most people used percolators that rarely if ever had the percolation tube properly cleaned. To me the drip maker still beats the old percolators by a mile.
Navy mess deck coffee was drip brewed but the cloth filters received minimal care and the coffee was kept hot for hours.
Posted Sun Feb 1, 2015, 7:19am Subject: Re: Using a Siphon Coffee Maker
Looking at all of the current glass vacuum coffee makers I note that they all have a narrow neck connection between the lower pot and the vacuum funnel. This makes cleaning of the lower vessel a PITA compared to the later Cory and Silex makers which abandoned the narrow neck design for ones wide enough to ease cleaning. The Nicro was always a wide opening design as were the Sunbeam C series. Of the American brewers with a narrow neck only the Silex seems to have replacement rubber seals currently available. Without a new seal many older vacuum coffee makers are likely to be collectors items only.
If buying an older used unit on ebay or Etsy FOR USE then stick with units that have rubber gaskets available or those still in current production. Of the older units, so far as I could find, gaskets are available for Nicro, wide mouth Cory, Silex wide and narrow mouth, Sunbeam C series automatic brewers and the Farberware Coffee Robot. Have fun finding a gasket if you buy another American vacuum pot brand. Based on the Cory and Nicro pots I bought on ebay or Etsy you will likely need a new gasket. After all virtually all of the units are 45+ years old based on their being out of production by 1970 or so. My Cory looks like it was never used but the gasket is hard enough so I will replace it and the Nicro gasket is hard and shrunk to the point that it is useless.
BTW for cleaning the old grunge out of a Nicro stainless steel unit I have found that Oxyclean works very well but rinse everything thoroughly after use.
Posted Sun Feb 1, 2015, 9:38am Subject: Re: Using a Siphon Coffee Maker
"...gaskets are available for Nicro, wide mouth Cory, Silex wide and narrow mouth, Sunbeam C series automatic brewers and the Farberware Coffee Robot. " _____________________________________
It would be a great service to those who have these units to know WHERE such gaskets are available.
By the way, I am the author of one of these Coffee Geek reviews of the Sunbeam C 50, and having bought a half dozen or so of these models via eBay, note that none has shown up with a hard gasket. All are still pliable and appear without fault in use. Hats off to the chemists and engineers who developed the C 50!
Posted Sat Apr 11, 2015, 10:50am Subject: Re: Using a Siphon Coffee Maker
The metal disc filter pictured in the vacuum brewing article is a Silex Regent rather than a Nicro. Much scarcer and with a different hole pattern in the disks and a IMO better spring and hook arrangement than the Nicro version. I am keeping an eye out for the Silex Regent version.
baharris has links to the gasket sources on his vacpot web site.
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