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Strange behavior with Yama vacpot - question (yet another one)
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r_avital
Senior Member


Joined: 19 Jun 2013
Posts: 2
Location: NH
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Jun 19, 2013, 6:03pm
Subject: Strange behavior with Yama vacpot - question (yet another one)
 

Hello all,

I signed up to post the following question, in the hope that you knowledgeable folks have ideas about this.

I'm a happy owner of the Yama 8-cup (40 oz.) vacpot, which gave me some headaches with stalling until I replaced the seal, and since then, it's been working just fine and dandy.

I noticed a strange behavior, but first I'll give you my procedure, so you can follow what I'm doing:
  1. Pre-boil the water in a kettle - I want to minimize the time the glass pot spends on my unreliable and inconsistent electric range.
  2. When water has boiled, I let it cool a minute, then pour it into the bottom bowl, insert the top bowl/funnel, which already has the cloth filter and fresh coffee grinds.  I put that on medium heat on the range.
  3. When the water in the bottom bowl has gone down to the 5-cup mark, I give the top bowl a rigorous stir, and never stir again.
  4. When all the water that CAN go up the tube has already gone up (about 3-4 minutes), I leave the pot on the medium heat for about 90 seconds to create a good vacuum.
  5. After 90 seconds, I remove the entire contraption from the heat, put it on a trivet on the counter.
  6. The coffee draws down nicely, within 5 to 6 minutes.  At the end, always, without fail, I see some nice, vigorous bubbling/gurgling activity, indicating the draw-down is done.  I also hear it (and I'm hard-of-hearing).  
  7. I wait until that gurgling is pretty much over, then gently remove the top bowl from the bottom, and again, every time, without fail, I hear the distinct "pop" sound that happens when vacuum is released.

I believe that 6 and 7 above mean that I'm getting a pretty good vacuum and I have a good seal, correct?

So here's the strange part, and it happens every single time: during the draw-down (say, when the "returned" coffee is at around the 5-cup mark), the tube from the top bowl slowly empties, and I see a large amount of very tiny bubbles on the surface of the coffee.  Almost like an effervescent process, like an Alka-Selzer dissolving in a glass of water.  This slows down the draw-down process, but it keeps going.  Coffee keeps going down the tube, but in little streaks and drops.  By the time the coffee in the bowl has gone up to the 7-cup mark, the tube from the top-bowl slowly fills up again, and the rest of the brew at the top continues to draw-down normally.

Doesn't bother me too much, but for curiosity's sake, I'd like to know if any of you have observed anything like this, and/or have an explanation for it.  Incidentally, this happens regardless of whether or not I overfill the bottom bowl.

Thanks in advance!
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IMAWriter
Senior Member
IMAWriter
Joined: 4 Jul 2002
Posts: 5,877
Location: Brentwood, TN
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Strega
Grinder: Forte, OE Pharos,...
Vac Pot: Adcraft SS, Yama 8 cup
Drip: Brazen, Kalita, Chemex,...
Roaster: Behmor 1600, CO/UFO combo
Posted Wed Jun 19, 2013, 7:07pm
Subject: Re: Strange behavior with Yama vacpot - question (yet another one)
 

If I may, as I have the same , and a couple of other vac pots, may I "amend" your technique a bit?
Hearing no objections (lol) try this:
#1 Pre heat your water, but not to 200f. When the water is get close slowly pour the pre-heated water into the bottom carafe. I would be good if you put a bit of warm water in the bottom, then pour out, so that you're not pouring hot into a cold glass pot.
#2. Grind your coffee, and as you're doing so, turn on the heat of the burner to MEDIUM. BTW, it would be wise to have a little metal heat diffuser under the pot when placing the pot directly on an electric burner.
#3. When the water down south is slightly bubbling, FULLY attach the the upper globe, first lightly wetting the gasket.
The water should start rising up north. When the water is half up north, SLOWLY pour the ground coffee into the upper globe. When you're done, nearly all the water should be up top, just prior to the final explosion. When the explosion up occurs, lower the hear to low, but high enough to maintain the slurry upstairs.
LIGHTLY stir with a chopstick, but mainly to free any grind sticking to the sides of the upper globe.
Counting the moment from the explosion, set your timer for 3 minutes. In a Yama, there will always be, and should be a bit of water down south. The steam from this is what maintains things up top. It is not boiling, but I use a thermocouple to check temp, just to make sure I'm around 202f.
DO NOT STIR while the brew process is going.
#4. When the time goes off, remove the pot from the heat, and gently place on a cool surface, or better still the vent blower, of you have one. Not sure if it's electric. Soak a couple of paper towels in cool, not cold water. Place them lightly on the sides of the upper globe for a few seconds. This will help to speed up the "drop down" back south.
You should see that start within 20-30 seconds.

SEE how this works for you.

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
My Music Production web site:
www.robertjason.com
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r_avital
Senior Member


Joined: 19 Jun 2013
Posts: 2
Location: NH
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Jun 20, 2013, 8:21am
Subject: Re: Strange behavior with Yama vacpot - question (yet another one)
 

Thanks, Writer, I'll give it a try.

Yes, I neglected to mention, I do use a diffuser under the lower globe, always.  No burn marks of any kind on the glass.

About cooling the upper globe with wet paper towels - did you mean the LOWER globe, by chance?  I know that cools down the steam and helps create a stronger vacuum.

At any rate, thanks again, I'll try and report in a few days.
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IMAWriter
Senior Member
IMAWriter
Joined: 4 Jul 2002
Posts: 5,877
Location: Brentwood, TN
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Strega
Grinder: Forte, OE Pharos,...
Vac Pot: Adcraft SS, Yama 8 cup
Drip: Brazen, Kalita, Chemex,...
Roaster: Behmor 1600, CO/UFO combo
Posted Thu Jun 20, 2013, 8:51am
Subject: Re: Strange behavior with Yama vacpot - question (yet another one)
 

r_avital Said:

Thanks, Writer, I'll give it a try.

Yes, I neglected to mention, I do use a diffuser under the lower globe, always.  No burn marks of any kind on the glass.

About cooling the upper globe with wet paper towels - did you mean the LOWER globe, by chance?  I know that cools down the steam and helps create a stronger vacuum.

At any rate, thanks again, I'll try and report in a few days.

Posted June 20, 2013 link

Whoops..YES,. the lower globe. Nice catch!!

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
My Music Production web site:
www.robertjason.com
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