Our Valued Sponsor
OpinionsConsumer ReviewsGuides and How TosCoffeeGeek ReviewsResourcesForums
Coffee: Machines and Brewing Methods
Stumptown's 'how to' for stovetop espresso makers -- pre-heating water, etc.
Italian Coffee
Italian coffee beans, grinds and pods from Kimbo, LavAzza, Miscela d'Oro & Bristot. Qty. discounts!
www.espressozone.com
 
Not Logged in: Log In to Postlog in
New Topics updated topics   New Posts new posts   Unanswered Posts new unanswered  
Search Discussion Board search   Discussion Board FAQ faq   Signup sign up  
Discussions > Coffee > Machines > Stumptown's 'how...  
view previous topic | view next topic | view all topics
showing page 1 of 3 last page next page
Author Messages
mkraft
Senior Member


Joined: 19 Jan 2005
Posts: 78
Location: U.S.A.
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bialetti Caffetiera stovetop...
Grinder: KitchenAid Pro Line...
Posted Thu Aug 1, 2013, 3:18am
Subject: Stumptown's 'how to' for stovetop espresso makers -- pre-heating water, etc.
 

Stumptownís website includes some instructions for use of a stovetop moka pot that I havenít run across before.

http://stumptowncoffee.com/brew-guides/moka-pot/

These include:

ē pre-heating the water in a separate unit (before transferring to the moka pot), and
ē placing the pot under running cold water (or wrapping it in iced towels) to Ďstopí brewing.

On an initial experiment with pre-heating, I didnít notice any reduction in how hot the moka pot got (the apparent reason for the separate pre-heating) and (though I didnít try it) I would expect subjecting a hot pot to cold water to be undesirable -- both for the pot and the coffee.

Whatís the view of &/or experience with these methods here?

Thanks.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
MWJB
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Jun 2013
Posts: 132
Location: UK
Expertise: I like coffee

Grinder: Rocky, Lido, Porlex, Hario...
Drip: Not enough room to list...
Posted Thu Aug 1, 2013, 4:55am
Subject: Re: Stumptown's 'how to' for stovetop espresso makers -- pre-heating water, etc.
 

Both these tips are also suggested by James Hoffmann.

For me, the critical thing with moka pot brewing is not letting it go on too long & sending steam up through the grinds (rather than surface temp of the bottom chamber). I usually preheat the water in my 2-cup, aluminium pot, so that a brew is reasonable time length for paying close attention & killing it whilst you still have liquid coming out of the pipe. Using cold water takes so long I usually get distracted, wander off and come back to find a "flolloping" pot & a scorched brew.

I have used the cooling method to kill extraction dead, but usually now, I just take it off the heat when I see the liquid stream, run clear & thin and dying.

When I stay with my parents, they have a larger, 6 cup, steel pot. Pre heated brew water doesn't seem to work as well with this, I'm not sure that preheating with their pot has any benefit, the pot is quick to heat up even on low heat & brews are usually rather underextracted (by moka pot standards), if still very drinkable.

So I'd try both ways & play with heat level. My folks have a gas hob & I have an old electric hob (that I preheat whilst filling & assembling the pot)...if that has any bearing.

Either way the water only needs to be hot enough to build up the pressure in the lower chamber, it shouldn't get to boiling. Gasket life may also be a consideration if the pot is repeatedly overheated.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
mkraft
Senior Member


Joined: 19 Jan 2005
Posts: 78
Location: U.S.A.
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bialetti Caffetiera stovetop...
Grinder: KitchenAid Pro Line...
Posted Sun Aug 4, 2013, 10:21pm
Subject: Re: Stumptown's 'how to' for stovetop espresso makers -- pre-heating water, etc.
 

MWJB Said:

For me, the critical thing with moka pot brewing is not letting it go on too long & sending steam up through the grinds (rather than surface temp of the bottom chamber). I usually preheat the water in my 2-cup, aluminium pot, so that a brew is reasonable time length for paying close attention & killing it whilst you still have liquid coming out of the pipe. Using cold water takes so long I usually get distracted, wander off and come back to find a "flolloping" pot & a scorched brew.

Posted August 1, 2013 link

Thanks.  You seem to be recommending the method not because it improves the coffee but because it makes it less likely that youíll forget about it and end up with ďa scorched brew.Ē  I set the microwave timer, which seems a lot simpler than pre-heating water and then transferring it to the moka pot.

I have used the cooling method to kill extraction dead, but usually now, I just take it off the heat when I see the liquid stream, run clear & thin and dying.

Thatís what I do as well.  I donít see what the cooling method accomplishes, and I suspect that over time it may have an adverse affect on the metal (stainless steel) -- i.e., subjecting it to sudden extreme cold immediately after finishing brewing.

Stumptown also recommends tamping the coffee.  Iíve read just the opposite concerning moka pots.  Without the type of pressure one gets from a true espresso maker, I donít think the steam pressure one gets with a moka pot navigates through a tamped basket well.

Either way the water only needs to be hot enough to build up the pressure in the lower chamber, it shouldn't get to boiling. Gasket life may also be a consideration if the pot is repeatedly overheated.

Can one really control this with a stovetop maker?  How can you tell (since you canít see it) whether the pressure is optimal and the water not boiling?

BTW, Stumptown also recommends using a coarse grind with stovetop makers.  I've run across this recommendation from time to time, but have always wondered why -- I never get a good brew from a stovetop maker with a coarse grind.  I always use a near-true espresso maker grind (i.e., very fine).
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
MWJB
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Jun 2013
Posts: 132
Location: UK
Expertise: I like coffee

Grinder: Rocky, Lido, Porlex, Hario...
Drip: Not enough room to list...
Posted Mon Aug 5, 2013, 1:39am
Subject: Re: Stumptown's 'how to' for stovetop espresso makers -- pre-heating water, etc.
 

mkraft Said:

Thanks.  You seem to be recommending the method not because it improves the coffee but because it makes it less likely that youíll forget about it and end up with ďa scorched brew.Ē  I set the microwave timer, which seems a lot simpler than pre-heating water and then transferring it to the moka pot.

Posted August 4, 2013 link

Not scorching the coffee does tend to "improve" it. ;-) It's easy to overextract & burn the coffee in a moka if left to run unattended.



Thatís what I do as well.  I donít see what the cooling method accomplishes, and I suspect that over time it may have an adverse affect on the metal (stainless steel) -- i.e., subjecting it to sudden extreme cold immediately after finishing brewing.

mkraft Said:

Stumptown also recommends tamping the coffee.  Iíve read just the opposite concerning moka pots.  Without the type of pressure one gets from a true espresso maker, I donít think the steam pressure one gets with a moka pot navigates through a tamped basket well.

Posted August 4, 2013 link

I haven't tamped the grounds in a moka, but I have seen a couple of recommendations to do so. If the flow through your grounds is too fast & the coffee severely underextracted, then maybe it's worth a try?


mkraft Said:

Can one really control this with a stovetop maker?  How can you tell (since you canít see it) whether the pressure is optimal and the water not boiling?

BTW, Stumptown also recommends using a coarse grind with stovetop makers.  I've run across this recommendation from time to time, but have always wondered why -- I never get a good brew from a stovetop maker with a coarse grind.  I always use a near-true espresso maker grind (i.e., very fine).

Posted August 4, 2013 link

The pressure is "optimal" (I don't quite know what optimal means in this case, it just has to be enough to transport the brew water through the grinds at a sufficient rate) when you get a good result in the cup. You could measure the temperature of the output to determine brew temp, within a couple of C? Moka pot brews with medium to coarse grinds are probably the low side of normal extraction, if not underextracted, this in part, suggests the water is not too hot?

If I use a very fine grind I usually filter the moka pot brew through a paper cone filter or Aeropress to reduce grit in the cup. But mostly, I'll aim to use a grind that keeps silt (and washing up) down, more like medium drip grind. With my pot/method I do, however, expect that I'd need a finer grind to get in the 17-20% yield range.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
jpender
Senior Member
jpender
Joined: 11 Jul 2011
Posts: 626
Location: California
Expertise: I like coffee

Grinder: OE LIDO
Vac Pot: S/S Moka Pot
Drip: Aeropress
Posted Mon Aug 5, 2013, 10:53am
Subject: Re: Stumptown's 'how to' for stovetop espresso makers -- pre-heating water, etc.
 

mkraft Said:

Stumptown also recommends tamping the coffee.  Iíve read just the opposite concerning moka pots.  Without the type of pressure one gets from a true espresso maker, I donít think the steam pressure one gets with a moka pot navigates through a tamped basket well.... BTW, Stumptown also recommends using a coarse grind with stovetop makers.

Posted August 4, 2013 link

The resistance to flow is related to both grind size and degree of tamping. So a grind that would be too coarse without tamping might be perfect with a little tamping. More resistance means a hotter average brew temperature and/or slower flow.

mkraft Said:

Can one really control [temperature and pressure] with a stovetop maker?  How can you tell (since you canít see it) whether the pressure is optimal and the water not boiling?

Posted August 4, 2013 link

Pressure is trickier to measure but temperature not quite as hard. The temperature of the coffee coming out of the top is going to be different (more than a few degrees) than the temperature of the brewing coffee.

Here's one way to intall a thermometer into a moka pot. Since CoffeeGeek only allows one photo per post this is a series of eight posts in a row.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
CoffeeRoastersClub
Senior Member
CoffeeRoastersClub
Joined: 6 Jul 2005
Posts: 4,369
Location: Connecticut
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Vintage La Pavoni Lever...
Grinder: Breville Smartgrind,...
Vac Pot: Vintage Silex, Nicro...
Drip: Technivorm Moccamaster...
Roaster: javaPRO-CRC AIR Fluid Bed...
Posted Mon Aug 5, 2013, 11:02am
Subject: Re: Stumptown's 'how to' for stovetop espresso makers -- pre-heating water, etc.
 

My view is "overkill" on both issues.  Use the darn things as instructed and you will get the best results.  It really isn't rocket science, why make it?

Len

 
"Coffee leads men to trifle away their time, scald their chops, and spend their money, all for a little base, black, thick, nasty, bitter, stinking nauseous puddle water." ~The Women's Petition Against Coffee, 1674

www.CoffeeRoastersClub.com     www.javaPRO-CRC.com     www.KaffeeFrisch.com
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
jpender
Senior Member
jpender
Joined: 11 Jul 2011
Posts: 626
Location: California
Expertise: I like coffee

Grinder: OE LIDO
Vac Pot: S/S Moka Pot
Drip: Aeropress
Posted Mon Aug 5, 2013, 3:48pm
Subject: Re: Stumptown's 'how to' for stovetop espresso makers -- pre-heating water, etc.
 

Somebody had a bad cup of moka this morning.

Actually I'd be willing to bet that a lot of people did. Because if you follow the instructions (whose instructions?) there's a good chance your coffee will be terrible. The "standard" instructions say something like this: (1) Fill with cold water to the valve (some say you must be below the valve); (2) fill the funnel with coffee (some say espresso grind, some say coarse espresso grind, some say coarser still); (3) do not tamp; (4) "place on medium heat" (Bialetti) or "on the lowest flame possible" (Illy). Bialetti says the coffee will be done in 4-5 minutes. Illy insists that one take the pot off before it starts to gurgle, sacrificing the last 20% or so of the coffee.

I don't think moka is rocket science anymore than other forms of brewing are. Which is to say, obtaining the best results isn't that simple.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
CoffeeRoastersClub
Senior Member
CoffeeRoastersClub
Joined: 6 Jul 2005
Posts: 4,369
Location: Connecticut
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Vintage La Pavoni Lever...
Grinder: Breville Smartgrind,...
Vac Pot: Vintage Silex, Nicro...
Drip: Technivorm Moccamaster...
Roaster: javaPRO-CRC AIR Fluid Bed...
Posted Mon Aug 5, 2013, 4:11pm
Subject: Re: Stumptown's 'how to' for stovetop espresso makers -- pre-heating water, etc.
 

jpender Said:

Somebody had a bad cup of moka this morning.

Actually I'd be willing to bet that a lot of people did. Because if you follow the instructions (whose instructions?) there's a good chance your coffee will be terrible. The "standard" instructions say something like this: (1) Fill with cold water to the valve (some say you must be below the valve); (2) fill the funnel with coffee (some say espresso grind, some say coarse espresso grind, some say coarser still); (3) do not tamp; (4) "place on medium heat" (Bialetti) or "on the lowest flame possible" (Illy). Bialetti says the coffee will be done in 4-5 minutes. Illy insists that one take the pot off before it starts to gurgle, sacrificing the last 20% or so of the coffee.

I don't think moka is rocket science anymore than other forms of brewing are. Which is to say, obtaining the best results isn't that simple.

Posted August 5, 2013 link

I hope you weren't referring to me about having bad moka.  My moka is perfect every time.  Common sense (and a bit of experience) rues the day when making moka.  Use fresh clean water off tap (if you have clean off tap) or filtered.  Fill basket with very finely ground good coffee beans (don't pack).  When done pour immediately.  Pretty simple.  

A bit of experience is necessary to determine the best heat range.  I will give you that.  I have found that high heat (electric) just until about 1/4 of the moka comes out, then reduce heat to low for the remainder until done.

Where do most people screw up?  I'd say a good majority use bad water.  They pack the grounds.  They keep the burner on high for entire length of time and keep it on after the moka is done and let it sit there.

Len

 
"Coffee leads men to trifle away their time, scald their chops, and spend their money, all for a little base, black, thick, nasty, bitter, stinking nauseous puddle water." ~The Women's Petition Against Coffee, 1674

www.CoffeeRoastersClub.com     www.javaPRO-CRC.com     www.KaffeeFrisch.com
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
jpender
Senior Member
jpender
Joined: 11 Jul 2011
Posts: 626
Location: California
Expertise: I like coffee

Grinder: OE LIDO
Vac Pot: S/S Moka Pot
Drip: Aeropress
Posted Mon Aug 5, 2013, 4:34pm
Subject: Re: Stumptown's 'how to' for stovetop espresso makers -- pre-heating water, etc.
 

CoffeeRoastersClub Said:

I hope you weren't referring to me about having bad moka.

Posted August 5, 2013 link

I was but I meant it in fun. I hope you took it that way.


CoffeeRoastersClub Said:

My moka is perfect every time.  Common sense (and a bit of experience) rues the day when making moka.  Use fresh clean water off tap (if you have clean off tap) or filtered.  Fill basket with very finely ground good coffee beans (don't pack).  When done pour immediately.  Pretty simple.  

A bit of experience is necessary to determine the best heat range.  I will give you that.  I have found that high heat (electric) just until about 1/4 of the moka comes out, then reduce heat to low for the remainder until done.

Where do most people screw up?  I'd say a good majority use bad water.  They pack the grounds.  They keep the burner on high for entire length of time and keep it on after the moka is done and let it sit there.

Posted August 5, 2013 link

I think selecting the best grind size isn't trivial. It goes hand in hand with heating rate, which is a place where even you admit to deviating from the standard instructions.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
Netphilosopher
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jan 2011
Posts: 1,602
Location: USA
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Mon Aug 5, 2013, 5:04pm
Subject: ...
 

...
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
showing page 1 of 3 last page next page
view previous topic | view next topic | view all topics
Discussions > Coffee > Machines > Stumptown's 'how...  
New Topics updated topics   New Posts new posts   Unanswered Posts new unanswered     Search Discussion Board search   Discussion Board FAQ faq   Signup sign up  
Not Logged in: Log In to Postlog in
Discussions Quick Jump:
Symbols: New Posts= New Posts since your last visit      No New Posts= No New Posts since last visit     Go to most recent post= Newest post
Forum Rules:
No profanity, illegal acts or personal attacks will be tolerated in these discussion boards.
No commercial posting of any nature will be tolerated; only private sales by private individuals, in the "Buy and Sell" forum.
No SEO style postings will be tolerated. SEO related posts will result in immediate ban from CoffeeGeek.
No cross posting allowed - do not post your topic to more than one forum, nor repost a topic to the same forum.
Who Can Read The Forum? Anyone can read posts in these discussion boards.
Who Can Post New Topics? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post new topics.
Who Can Post Replies? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post replies.
Can Photos be posted? Anyone can post photos in their new topics or replies.
Who can change or delete posts? Any CoffeeGeek member can edit their own posts. Only moderators can delete posts.
Probationary Period: If you are a new signup for CoffeeGeek, you cannot promote, endorse, criticise or otherwise post an unsolicited endorsement for any company, product or service in your first five postings.
Saeco Espresso Machines
Large selection in-stock, includes Free Gifts and Free Shipping!
www.espressozone.com
Home | Opinions | Consumer Reviews | Guides & How Tos | CoffeeGeek Reviews | Resources | Forums | Contact Us
CoffeeGeek.com, CoffeeGeek, and Coffee Geek, along with all associated content & images are copyright ©2000-2014 by Mark Prince, all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Content, code, and images may not be reused without permission. Usage of this website signifies agreement with our Terms and Conditions. (0.384254932404)
Privacy Policy | Copyright Info | Terms and Conditions | CoffeeGeek Advertisers | RSS | Find us on Google+