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Now we know what GORT is (Behmor BraZen Brewer)
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Discussions > Coffee > Machines > Now we know what...  
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jran
Senior Member


Joined: 8 Apr 2013
Posts: 6
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sun Jun 23, 2013, 10:35am
Subject: Re: Now we know what GORT is (Behmor BraZen Brewer)
 

After reading the last two replies, I decided to disassemble my Brazen.  Why not, since I don't want to keep warranty replacing them until my warranty runs out and then be SoL anyways.  What I found was interesting.   First off, the model of solenoid is a Jiayin JYZ-3 (similar to this: http://www.yyjiayin.com/en/productsd.php?pid=21 , but it's some sub-model that I cannot find on that website).  Its a normally closed solenoid valve, with brass fittings where water flows through, and a spring loaded plunger with a rubber diaphragm on the end that presses against the outlet channel.  When the solenoid moves to the open state, the diaphragm moves back from the outlet channel, allowing water to flow.

I'm pretty sure the actual problem that is occurring has nothing to do with hard water.  What is failing is the rubber diaphragm.  The rubber looks like it has expanded and wrinkled, and it's to a point where it can no longer be retracted.  Why would this happen?  You're guess is as good as mine, but I'm going to guess that its a low quality rubber that distorts in shape after being exposed to extended amounts of hot water.  

Here is an imgur album with additional closeups of the rubber part. http://imgur.com/a/zcXn0#0
I'm going to go out on a limb and say that's not what it looked like when it was new.

jran: DSC00466.jpg
(Click for larger image)
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Jenady
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Joined: 23 Dec 2010
Posts: 22
Location: St. Louis
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Expobar Brutus IV-R
Grinder: Rocky, Compak K10
Posted Sun Jun 23, 2013, 10:52am
Subject: Re: Now we know what GORT is (Behmor BraZen Brewer)
 

This makes sense to me. When my first Brazen started making the humming noise and not releasing water it was obviously a solenoid. I worked around it by using manual mode. It might take a couple of full cycles but finally it would release the water. After seeing your picture I believe my plunger finally moved open after enough effort from the solenoid.

Do you think the cleaning solution of acid might be causing the rubber to deteriorate?
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jran
Senior Member


Joined: 8 Apr 2013
Posts: 6
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sun Jun 23, 2013, 11:40am
Subject: Re: Now we know what GORT is (Behmor BraZen Brewer)
 

I don't know, but that does jive somewhat with my experience with this latest machine.  Two weeks ago I descaled it for the first time with citric acid solution simply because I was starting to get some buildup in the reservoir.  This last week I noticed water being retained in the reservoir, and on Saturday I ran 2 cycles of 10% citric acid at 150 F as per Tahoejoe's post on page 79 of this thread.  After doing this on Saturday morning the machine seemed to be flowing water better, but as of Saturday night when I tried to make a pot of coffee, it would not release any water at all.

So it seems like there might be a relationship there, but who knows if it's the root cause, or only made it worse.
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VKirby
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Joined: 16 Mar 2012
Posts: 99
Location: World Wide
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Sun Jun 23, 2013, 11:46am
Subject: Re: Now we know what GORT is (Behmor BraZen Brewer)
 

(from) "Behmor Brazen users weigh in"?Page=6

coffeeguydenton Said:

I find it interesting as I read through the forums and reviews on this and other brewers how dramatically people's experiences vary.  Even with the Technivorm and the Bonavita I have come across plenty of reviewers with problems. The ones that interest me are the "This is my third machine and they've all had the same problem" reviews, when so many others have only had to buy one machine and never experienced that problem.  It's either really bad luck or, more likely, a user problem.

The Brazen has its issues, no doubt, but its also clear that when used as directed it makes one heck of a good cup of coffee.  My close friend has one and uses it several times a day.  He uses filtered water as instructed, and has never had an issue except with the dripping from the carafe.  This is apparently an issue that they are working to address.

In conclusion, it seems clear that you need a good filter to avoid the mineral build up problems.  The question is is the machine is worth having to buy a better filter.  I installed an RO filter under my sink for about 150.  Given that the Brazen is 100 less than the Technivorm and adds a lot more control, this seems worth it.

Posted June 22, 2013 link

I agree to take the dramatic reviews (both extreme positive & negative) with a grain of salt, & try to focus more on those in between, but I also don't like to make assumptions without proof either way.



roastmybeans Said:

Received my second Brazen recently so I looked down into the top and see a piece of silicone sealant sticking out of the hole.  I fish it out with a toothpick and see a small piece of stainless? steel sticking out of the silicone ( picture attached ).  The folks at Behmor along with most Canadians on this board will stick their finger in your face and blame you for using the wrong type of water or not maintaining the device properly.  In my opinion, corners were cut in Asia where the unit was manufactured.  The valve is brass and not coated with any type of material that would prevent passivation... so the minute you try to use citric acid or other cleaner a buildup occurs causing the valve to seize.   Let's say that's not the issue.. The unit is still prone to sucking bits of coffee into the opening causing clogs.  Of course anything like these issues  would not be mentioned due to the uproar.... guess it's easier to blame the consumer and hope the warranty runs out before they have to replace it.

Posted June 22, 2013 link

Well I have to admit it's kind of hard to blame you for that one, if the seal was as pictured out of the box.
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joc3721
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Aug 2004
Posts: 24
Location: CO - USA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Vertrano
Grinder: Vario, Breville
Vac Pot: Hario, Kalita
Drip: KMB, chemex & Technivorm
Roaster: gene cafe
Posted Sun Jun 23, 2013, 3:10pm
Subject: Re: Now we know what GORT is (Behmor BraZen Brewer)
 

I posted on the other thread (users experience).  It seems I'm not the only one having problems. I'm on my second machine and second carafe.  It's not me or my water, I've done everything right and according to Behmor.  For many of us, this machine has lots of issues.  Early adopters pay the price.  I would urge interested buyers to wait until the next generation of this machine.  If you must have all of its great features now, I think you're rolling the dice that you'll be one of the lucky ones.  I've gone back to my Technivorm (it always works) hoping the problems will be addressed while my unit is still in warranty.  Don't want another machine from today's batch.
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trombs
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Joined: 31 Dec 2011
Posts: 7
Location: Portland
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Mypressi Twist v2
Grinder: Baratza Vario-W, Hario Mini...
Drip: Behmor Brazen, Aeropress,...
Posted Sun Jun 23, 2013, 6:01pm
Subject: Re: Now we know what GORT is (Behmor BraZen Brewer)
 

joc3721 Said:

I posted on the other thread (users experience).  It seems I'm not the only one having problems. I'm on my second machine and second carafe.  It's not me or my water, I've done everything right and according to Behmor.  For many of us, this machine has lots of issues.  Early adopters pay the price.  I would urge interested buyers to wait until the next generation of this machine.  If you must have all of its great features now, I think you're rolling the dice that you'll be one of the lucky ones.  I've gone back to my Technivorm (it always works) hoping the problems will be addressed while my unit is still in warranty.  Don't want another machine from today's batch.

Posted June 23, 2013 link

It's a bummer to hear about the problems others have had, as after three months, I'm totally enamored with it.  The Chemex and Kone have been collecting dust since the Brazen arrived.  Yes, the carafe is problematic, as it only pours without dribbling if I take the lid off.  That's acceptable for the control you get with temperature and pre-soak, which allows an auto-drip to make great coffee.  I'm fortunate to live in an area with no water issues, so it's draining as well as it did on day one.

Maybe I'm lucky.
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Atredeis
Senior Member


Joined: 31 May 2013
Posts: 6
Location: Tampa Bay, FL
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Virtuoso
Drip: BraZen, Cuisinart, Bonavita
Roaster: Hottop
Posted Mon Jun 24, 2013, 6:22am
Subject: Re: Now we know what GORT is (Behmor BraZen Brewer)
 

jran Said:

After reading the last two replies, I decided to disassemble my Brazen.  Why not, since I don't want to keep warranty replacing them until my warranty runs out and then be SoL anyways.  What I found was interesting.   First off, the model of solenoid is a Jiayin JYZ-3 (similar to this: http://www.yyjiayin.com/en/productsd.php?pid=21 , but it's some sub-model that I cannot find on that website).  Its a normally closed solenoid valve, with brass fittings where water flows through, and a spring loaded plunger with a rubber diaphragm on the end that presses against the outlet channel.  When the solenoid moves to the open state, the diaphragm moves back from the outlet channel, allowing water to flow.

I'm pretty sure the actual problem that is occurring has nothing to do with hard water.  What is failing is the rubber diaphragm.  The rubber looks like it has expanded and wrinkled, and it's to a point where it can no longer be retracted.  Why would this happen?  You're guess is as good as mine, but I'm going to guess that its a low quality rubber that distorts in shape after being exposed to extended amounts of hot water.  

Here is an imgur album with additional closeups of the rubber part. http://imgur.com/a/zcXn0#0
I'm going to go out on a limb and say that's not what it looked like when it was new.

Posted June 23, 2013 link

There's your problem. I seriously doubt it was anything done during use. Most rubbers are compatible with acetic (vinegar) and citric acid, hence a manufacturing issue. Since it would be horrendous to try and make a rubber mold with all of those brain looking features, it is more likely there was a compounding or curing problem.

It is easy to see how those wrinkles and folds would prevent proper actuation of the valve, moreso if there is any sort of debris inside. Couple that with the design of the Behmor to funnel any and all particulate straight to that valve and Blammo! broken coffee maker.

I'm on my second and last BraZen. Behmor said I will not get any further warranty replacements because Zerowater indicates the water one zip code over from me is "too hard". I bought a Bonavita last week and love it. If it lasts 6 months, it will have outlived the Behmor.
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JBMfiend
Senior Member


Joined: 3 Jan 2013
Posts: 2
Location: Colorado
Expertise: I live coffee

Grinder: Solis Maestro
Drip: Behmor Brazen
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Sat Jun 29, 2013, 5:29pm
Subject: Re: Now we know what GORT is (Behmor BraZen Brewer)
 

Greetings all. For those of you looking for a good brewer, just wanted to post a note/reply regarding the Behmor Brazen after now having been an owner for quite a while. Bottom line, STAY AWAY from this one. First off, let me say I am a Joe Behm (TahoeJoe) fan. He's a great guy and has good ideas. But his products just have too many annoyances - Behmor is NOT ready to play with the big boys. The Brazen has 2 MAJOR drawbacks: a.) it does NOT make great cup of coffee (and don't we live for a good cup!?) and b.) the annoyances on this machine are so many, it is nigh unbelievable. For a machine that has so many bells and whistles, this beastie was just poorly thought out (not to mention being poorly constructed - China - go figure). From the constantly drippy lid to the constantly drippy brew head (not WHILE brewing...a day AFTER brewing and it still makes a mess) to the intermittent failures to drip through all the water to the grounds overflow with even a modest amount of grounds (and yes, I have tried all the tricks that Behmor tells you and yes, I can get it to not overflow but not when I am using the amount of coffee I want at the grind I want) to the agonizingly long wait time for a pot of coffee (and the list goes on), this machine is just poorly executed from start to finish. AND, after all that, to get a sub-par cup of coffee is just unacceptable. As I said, I like Behm...so, I went with his products. Bought a 1600 roaster and a Brazen. And you know what, I get a WAY better cup from ANY bean at nearly any grind that has come out of my iRoast roaster and been brewed through my $89 Zojirushi brewer. The 1600 just is not built to produce anything but a mediocre roast in a bean...and if you go to dark, you'll have a chaff fire on your hands. The iRoast gives me a fantastic roast every time. Then, as to the brewer (and this is something I found at Sweet Marias in one their old how to brew posts a long time ago), any brewer gives better coffee if you can stir the grounds while brewing. To do that, you have to be able to lift the lid and get to the grounds as the water drips in. The Zojirushi allows for that (and it has a cone filter) and it makes a far better cup than the non-accessible grounds in the (basket style, by the way) Brazen. The Zojirushi's Achilles heal? It has an aluminum heater in the boiler so you're not going to get optimal brew temp...I get about 180. Nonetheless, after MANY brews in the Brazen, I have yet to drink a single cup that is as good as I get from the Zojirushi. If you have the cash, go Technivorm...simple, straight forward, bomb-proof machine that produces GREAT coffee...copper heating element, cone filter, grounds accessible, good brew head, no overflow...etc. Sorry Joe, your stuff is ok, but its not great and its not worth the hassle...not with machines as awesome as Technivorm out there. AND just look at all the excuses Behmor has to make! "Oh, the machine is stopping short of emptying because the lid does not fit right and you have "vapor lock"...probably true but C'MON...seriously...you build a coffee brewer that can VAPOR LOCK? Are you kidding me? Then there's the "you're water is too hard" excuse and now they are in bed with Zero Water. First off, I have had many coffee makers in my lifetime and have lived in many places with water so hard you could play baseball with the mineral deposits. Again, Behmor is probably right...but, guess what, millions of people live in places with hard water! And you throw a machine on the market that hard water will totally disable in a week??? Please. Oh, and by the way...Zero Water? Really? If you would like to know how well people like Zero Water stuff, grab a look at the reviews on Amazon for ANYTHING they make. AND, when I bought the Brazen, I sure did not see any warnings about hard water making the machine non-functional inside of a few brews. I know, I know...ya can't expect a company to cover EVERY detail on the sales side, right? Nope...but they sure manage to do so on the warranty side...reminds me of insurance companies. The Brazen??? WAY too many hassles: FAR too short of good coffee: MADE in China...go Technivorm if you can...Zojirushi if you don't have the cash...either way, you'll get a better cup than the Brazen is capable of and you will not have the headache.
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imsnowbear
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imsnowbear
Joined: 31 Dec 2001
Posts: 29
Location: Iron Mountain, Michigan
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso
Vac Pot: Several, including Sunbeam...
Drip: Technivorm, Melitta Clarity,...
Roaster: SC/GG/Behmor 1600
Posted Sun Jun 30, 2013, 4:59am
Subject: Re: Now we know what GORT is (Behmor BraZen Brewer)
 

JBMfiend:

Your comments about the quality of the brew from your Brazen do not match my results or those of the vast majority of posters here. Your opinion is certainly valid, however, as it is yours.

As far as the incomplete water flow problem, try leaving the lid ajar to allow the pressure in the heating chamber to equalize. I theorize that the partial vacuum created by out flowing water causes the water to drain slowly enough that the brew cycle times out before all the water passes through.See my post and relies here: "Behmor Brazen users weigh in" (starting at the end of page 7). I'm not sure if this is the problem, but it seems to work so far. Another poster has mentioned that there was a production problem resulting in misshapen lids.

I'm willing to put up with some quirks since the coffee I'm getting is so much better. It's too bad you are not getting the same results.
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roastmybeans
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Joined: 24 Oct 2012
Posts: 13
Location: Coffeeville
Expertise: I live coffee

Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso
Drip: Chemex, Mocamaster
Roaster: Nesco
Posted Sun Jun 30, 2013, 5:40am
Subject: Re: Now we know what GORT is (Behmor BraZen Brewer)
 

imsnowbear,
Fill your Brazen up to a full pot and do a manual release without the lid or any heat involved.... still getting water left in the top?


imsnowbear Said:

JBMfiend:

Your comments about the quality of the brew from your Brazen do not match my results or those of the vast majority of posters here. Your opinion is certainly valid, however, as it is yours.

As far as the incomplete water flow problem, try leaving the lid ajar to allow the pressure in the heating chamber to equalize. I theorize that the partial vacuum created by out flowing water causes the water to drain slowly enough that the brew cycle times out before all the water passes through.See my post and relies here: "Behmor Brazen users weigh in" (starting at the end of page 7). I'm not sure if this is the problem, but it seems to work so far. Another poster has mentioned that there was a production problem resulting in misshapen lids.

I'm willing to put up with some quirks since the coffee I'm getting is so much better. It's too bad you are not getting the same results.

Posted June 30, 2013 link

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