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Behmor Brazen users weigh in
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Discussions > Coffee > Machines > Behmor Brazen...  
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GVDub
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Jan 2008
Posts: 849
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Londinium I, Arrarex...
Grinder: Gaggia MD85, Dienes Mokka,...
Drip: Behmor Brazen, Abid Clever
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Sat Jun 1, 2013, 6:55am
Subject: Re: Behmor Brazen users weigh in
 

The one time I had the problem of the tank not fully brewing through, I figured that some particulate might be blocking the port, so I used a can of compressed air in the middle of a descaling run to blow out the portójust stuck the nozzle through the water into the port and blased while the solution was draining. Problem went away and hasn't come back.

My unit was also one of the very first to hit these shores, and that one minor thing was the only problem I've seen.
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PandaMatic
Senior Member


Joined: 26 May 2013
Posts: 40
Location: Detroit, MI
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Hario MSS-1B Mini, Baratza...
Drip: Behmor Brazen
Posted Sun Jun 2, 2013, 8:11am
Subject: Re: Behmor Brazen users weigh in
 

Thanks all for the responses. I really mean that since I didn't expect this discussion to get such overwhelming input, both from the affirmative and the negative, as it helps to paint a well-balanced picture of user experiences.

woodscomp - I have actually read some of your comments on other forums and seen your review on Amazon. In many ways, yours was the one of the dissenting voices that led me to question the Brazen's build quality and response. Your experience provides an extreme example of what a user could possible face, which is important when making a decision, so thank you for weighing in.

On the topic of buying the Brazen, I have a rule for myself to wait at least one week before making any "large" and possibly impulsive purchase. With the one week mark coming up tomorrow, and my anticipation growing day-by-day (as well as the thought of dealing with another work week of dealing with my less-than-optimal drip resulting from Mr. Coffee ), I can safely say that I am purchasing a Brazen.

To summarize the sentiment in this thread, I made a quick spreadsheet of those recommending and not recommending the Brazen. I also tried to get a sense of credibility by looking at the distribution of join date and number of posts. (OK, so now you've probably realized I'm not just a Coffee Greek, I'm also a true geek. The Actuary in me is never satisfied with any decision unless copious over-analysis was conducted even if the sample size is small.)

In the end, 9 members recommended the Brazen - 2 did not recommend the Brazen. Those recommending the Brazen were longer tenure posters with an average join date of 2007 and around 600 posts. Those not recommending the Brazen were new-comers to the forum. (Obviously this is not scientific, but it just helps to give a sense for how this discussion shook out.)

So, thank you all again for the excellent discussion. This has definitely helped me make my own decision to purchase a Brazen, and will hopefully help others on the fence weigh the positives with the negatives. I look forward to sharing my own experience with the Brazen as soon as it I get it in my hands. (Which right now, can't come soon enough as far as I'm concerned!)
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frcn
Senior Member
frcn
Joined: 23 Dec 2001
Posts: 3,352
Location: Northern California
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Vibiemme Domobar Double
Grinder: Mazzer Kony, Baratza...
Vac Pot: Hario, 2 Cory pots, 1 Cory...
Drip: Behmor Brazen, Bunn A10 mod...
Roaster: computer controlled Hottop,...
Posted Sun Jun 2, 2013, 9:24am
Subject: Re: Behmor Brazen users weigh in
 

Eleven PAGES of posts here:
 http://www.home-barista.com/brewing/owner-experience-with-brazen-brewer-t23233.html?hilit=Behmor%20Brazen

And thirty-nine pages here:
 "Now we know what GORT is (Behmor BraZen Brewer)"

Good luck with the spreadsheet!   ;-)

 
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woodscomp
Senior Member


Joined: 29 May 2013
Posts: 14
Location: Knoxville
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Sun Jun 2, 2013, 9:34am
Subject: Re: Behmor Brazen users weigh in
 

Well I do wish you luck with it.

Personally I have thought about just buying a used Curtis or Bunn pour over. My counter space is limited and a true pour over is just not needed for the two to three pots we make a day. I have settled in on either a Technivorm or a Bonavita. Most likely I will go the Bonavita route if I can find a carafe that is not glass lined.

One of the things I find interesting about the Brazen is they are wanting a certification from the SCAA. I don't think the SCAA will do this. And I don't see this machine ever getting it. I timed a 6 cup batch this morning it took almost 15 minutes to complete the brew process from the time I pressed the start button to the time it took for the machine to signal it was finished. And just to set the record straight yesterday I spent a good part of the afternoon doing the Behmor recommended descaling method using 4 TBSP of citric cleaner to 2C of water. I did this a total of three times. Plus I tried the compressed air method previously listed in this thread. This is right on par with any other $35 auto drip coffee maker on the market. I set the pre soak to 30 seconds. I was not interested in long "soak" times which equates to long pauses between the valve opening and letting more pass through the filter. That is not soaking. Soaking would be having the basket closed as well and let the water sit in the basket with the grounds and extract maximum flavor from the beans. This machine does not have that capability. I don't know, maybe Behmor's idea of soaking and mine are different.

That being said I found this from the SCAA about water TDS to be very interesting.

http://www.scaa.org/?page=resources&d=water-standards

According to Atredeis Brazen is now including an addendum to there instructions stating that water should be 50ppm or less for TDS.  This tolerance is less than one third of what SCAA recommends.  My interpretation of what Brazen is saying is that if you do not have the most pure clean water then this machine may not function correctly for you.

There are a few things to note about opinions both good and bad on forums in general.
Good opinions usually happen pretty quickly. Bad opinions come when something has gone wrong and the manufacture is back peddling. I suspect that Atredeis and my experiences are not the end of what is to come from Behmor. We have spoken up and I suspect as time goes on this machine will be seen for it really is.

If you want to spend $200 on a gamble that certainly is your choice.  Behmor knows about the issues this machine faces, refuses to address it and blames it on your water quality. This is the last time I will pay to be a beta tester.
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RandomTask
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Jan 2013
Posts: 67
Location: Saskatchewan, Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Barratza Encore
Drip: Behmor Brazen
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Mon Jun 3, 2013, 8:35am
Subject: Re: Behmor Brazen users weigh in
 

Just a quick addon to my reply last week. I attempted a partial pot (6 cups/880mls/30oz of water and 45G beans) and it brewed it just fine. I also weighed the leftover water in the tank a couple of mornings to see how my was left and I got 10-12 g (about 0.4 oz) so not a heck of a lot.

Woodscomp is correct that it has a fairly long brew time if you go from first press of start till completion. In my experience the first 2/3rds of that are heating the water to the specified tempurature (which you can watch in real-time on the display). Once it starts dropping water it takes less than 5 mintues. My solution is to start by filling up the water before I start weighing and grinding my beans. That usually takes 5 minutes or so and by the time I'm done water temp is usually in the 150-160 range (I have a filter jug in the fridge, so starting water temp is ~42F).

I do recommend only using filtered water for the Brazen though. Think of it as a Ferrari, you don't put regular unleaded into it when you fill it up. I've used filtered water since day 1 and have had no issues for over 3 months.

The way I see the Brazen, it's not like an auto-drip machine, its an auto-pour over machine. It makes a pot of coffee that is comparable to any pour-over I've ever used, and thats not a bad thing.

Hopefully your Brazen treats you well, I for one do not regret the purchase.
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onthemoors
Senior Member


Joined: 6 Sep 2009
Posts: 104
Location: Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Zassenhaus
Drip: Bunn
Roaster: Hottop, Behmor
Posted Mon Jun 3, 2013, 2:09pm
Subject: Re: Behmor Brazen users weigh in
 

I could be wrong but my understanding is the SCAA standards are water on grounds time, not brew cycle time as you are quoting, major difference.

Unlike you, my interpretation of TDS is a quide by the SCAA not a minimum or maximum standard but rather OK to use for brewing and not a standard for equipment. That would be determined by the manufacturers, with Behmor likley using the same standards all equipment manufacturers use, that being the lower TDS the better but not too low to have removed all mineral.
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frcn
Senior Member
frcn
Joined: 23 Dec 2001
Posts: 3,352
Location: Northern California
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Vibiemme Domobar Double
Grinder: Mazzer Kony, Baratza...
Vac Pot: Hario, 2 Cory pots, 1 Cory...
Drip: Behmor Brazen, Bunn A10 mod...
Roaster: computer controlled Hottop,...
Posted Mon Jun 3, 2013, 3:05pm
Subject: Re: Behmor Brazen users weigh in
 

A number of folks with slow flow problems state that they descale either regularly or had done a number of descales when the problem occurred but it did not help. This would point to either particulate matter in the water building up or possibly foreign matter entering the reservoir as I previously stated.

 
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woodscomp
Senior Member


Joined: 29 May 2013
Posts: 14
Location: Knoxville
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Mon Jun 3, 2013, 4:11pm
Subject: Re: Behmor Brazen users weigh in
 

You are absolutely correct about the water to grounds. I am going to make a pot tonight, drop the pre-soak to lowest time allowed and time it from the moment it starts to dispense water into the grounds. I will let you know what I get. The other standard that has to be met that I see as a challenge is the carafe has to maintain a minimum of 176 degrees for 30 minutes.  I don't think I have ever gotten a pot of coffee out of mine that was at 170 at the end of the cycle. And I brew mine at 205.

The way I interpret the SCAA on TDS is exactly how it reads on that web page. There's an optimum range and then there is an outside range which has a  low and high. Behmors addendum is below the low side. And SCAA states they have listed TDS levels to mimic what users are dealing with in the real world. That's pretty plain to me. Behmor is out to lunch on the TDS issue. They need to make it plain language to people if your going to use our machine be prepared to have the purest of water sources or it might not function correctly.

Ferrari - no. Mr. Coffee with a face lift and options + high price tag - yes.  From what I gather the carafe Behmor is bundling with this machine is a Mr. Coffee carafe.  My guess is these are being rolled out of the same factory as Mr. Coffee.  I just can not imagine in the design phase that of all the carafe's on the market, they said "hey Mr. Coffee has the best carafe to go with our new hot rod brewer". Maybe Mr. Coffee is the partner in this deal. I could be wrong, either way, Behmor is taking my machine back and replacing it.  When I get the replacement I am going to donate it.

The cleaning and problem machines. I can see the correlation between the two. If the valve is aluminum and not stainless that citric cleaner will eat it away. I wish Behmor would let me take it apart without me voiding the warranty. I ran a teaspoon of cleaner a week through the machine for months.  Behmor suggests four tablespoons which is eleven more teaspoons than what I currently use. That is a crazy amount, they seem to think it is okay.  I have seen what the citric cleaner does to gaskets and even dishes if used to heavily.
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woodscomp
Senior Member


Joined: 29 May 2013
Posts: 14
Location: Knoxville
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Mon Jun 3, 2013, 6:13pm
Subject: Re: Behmor Brazen users weigh in
 

I ran two pots through and one cleaning cycle to be fair about it, and to ensure I started off right I also calibrated the machine and my thermometer before starting.

The results I got varied slightly between the two pots I brewed and did not see any reason to brew a third. Maybe the issue is my particular machine and I will not be able to decide that till the replacement arrives. then I will update this.

My first pot brewed with a 15 second pre-soak, brewing temp of 205 with 58 grams of coffee.  From the moment the valve opened till the end beep was 7:55 seconds, five seconds under the SCAA specification. However I had approximately 1.5 cups of water left in the kettle and had to run manual release to get the rest out, raising my time by another 49 seconds. The temp in the pot at the end of all this was 177, 1 degree above the specification, at the end of the 30 minutes it was at 169. This would have failed the certification even if the brewer was on time with releasing all the water.

My second pot I ran the same deal, got the same brew time, this time with less than a cup in the kettle and it took an additional 18 seconds to release the water. The coffee temp was a very nice 188 (3 degreees above the specification), at the end of 30 minutes it was 181. This pot of coffee might have met the standard if it released all the water as it should have, and I knew what temperature the carafe needed to be to have the coffee in the right temp zone.

The difference between the pots of coffee temps is in relation to brewing back to back pots. Having the first carafe warmed by the hot tap water and the second by the first pot of coffee made a huge difference.

I would conclude from my unscientific analysis that the Brazen brewer in the real world would fail the SCAA certification due to the carafe. I did not measure the temp at the beans, maybe when the new maker arrives I will do that as well.

The Brazen has the potential to do it, but you know what they say about potential, it is nothing more than effort wasted.  Sorry couldn't resist that bit of pessimism. It can do it, I am doubtful that it will in it's current development.  It is a good coffee maker when it is working correctly. I sure do wish mine lasted longer than it did.
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VKirby
Senior Member


Joined: 16 Mar 2012
Posts: 99
Location: World Wide
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Tue Jun 4, 2013, 8:10am
Subject: Re: Behmor Brazen users weigh in
 

PandaMatic Said:

To summarize the sentiment in this thread, I made a quick spreadsheet of those recommending and not recommending the Brazen. I also tried to get a sense of credibility by looking at the distribution of join date and number of posts.  

Posted June 2, 2013 link

Your logic sounds air tight...  any chance of seeing a screenshot of that spreadsheet?
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