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Bunn ThermoFresh: Brews Too Fast; Weak Coffee
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steelgtr
Senior Member


Joined: 29 Jun 2013
Posts: 109
Location: San Jose
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Saeco
Grinder: Baratza Encore
Drip: TV Moccamaster/ glass
Roaster: WB Air Crazy/ Sifter
Posted Thu May 22, 2014, 2:55pm
Subject: Re: Bunn ThermoFresh: Brews Too Fast; Weak Coffee
 

MrBromeo Said:

UPDATE: Maybe I spoke too soon. I gave the BUNN another chance this morning and the finished coffee came out "lip-smackingly good!" I'd say every bit as enjoyable as what my Technivorm produces.

Here's what I did differently:

- Preheated everything by "brewing" 500ml of water and waiting for the tank to re-heat
- Added 40g of fresh ground coffee to a BUNN filter
- Added 750 ml of fresh water
- Using carbon filtered water to remove residual chloramine
- Pausing the brew at the 20 second mark, stirring the slurry, waiting a minute, then resuming

Preheating the brewer is an extra step, but does help by topping up any water lost via evaporation. Hmm. One could even use it as an opportunity to rinse the paper filter.

Yesterday, I picked up a new pack of Britta water pitcher filters, and flushed the BUNN tank with filtered water. Our city water tests as good or better than any quality bottled water. Mountain sourced, it is naturally low in hardness, but does have 1 ppm chloramine for sanitization. I can smell the chloramine in the water. I believe the residual chloramine significantly affects the finished coffee by attacking the organic compounds (the very function of any sanitizer). the Britta filter removes the chloramine completely.

So this tells me filtering the chloramine out is a benefit, and extending the brew time/stirring helps when making a half batch, especially when using fresh roasted beans. I'd rather skip the stirring step - the "turbulent" spray head on the BUNN should make it unnecessary. Maybe I need to try the low-flow spray head.

Of course, a potential downside of the BUNN is the cost of keeping the water tank constantly heated. Over a period of a few years, the extra $30-80 in electricity will catch up to the price differential of the Technivorm. Putting the BUNN on a timer would certainly mitigate that. Seems strange that the tank isn't more insulated - there is a lot of heat unnecessarily radiating off the machine... 40W to be precise.

I'll keep playing with both, but ultimately I'd like to be able to have a good idea of the pros and cons of each machine, especially when it comes to recommending a coffee brewer to friends and family.

Posted May 22, 2014 link

How fine of  grind? Do you have the restrictor spray head?

thx

bob
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MrBromeo
Senior Member


Joined: 23 Sep 2003
Posts: 43
Location: Seattle
Posted Thu May 22, 2014, 10:37pm
Subject: Re: Bunn ThermoFresh: Brews Too Fast; Weak Coffee
 

steelgtr Said:

How fine of  grind? Do you have the restrictor spray head?

thx

bob

Posted May 22, 2014 link

No, I don't have the restrictor spray head... yet.

How fine? If I take a pinch of the output from the grinder, it feels a lot like table salt or sugar. It's not powdery by any measure. Maybe a bit like beach sand?

One technique I read here on another thread about BUNN is to keep grinding finer until the grinds slurry comes within about 1/4" of the top of the filter. Today's lip-smakingly-good brew came within 1/2" of the top. Any finer and I'd risk an overflow... and, that was with a half batch! Keep in mind you should at least be starting with the genuine BUNN filters. They are taller than the grocery store filters.

I really wonder if the quick stir I gave the slurry is what helped the most. You'd think that "turbulent" shower head would do the stirring for me, though.

You have a Thermapen, but no coffee grinder? You need another gadget! Baratza makes some fantastic grinders. Having your own grinder improves the taste of your coffee, smells wonderful, and lets you dial in that grind to just how you like it.
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steelgtr
Senior Member


Joined: 29 Jun 2013
Posts: 109
Location: San Jose
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Saeco
Grinder: Baratza Encore
Drip: TV Moccamaster/ glass
Roaster: WB Air Crazy/ Sifter
Posted Fri May 23, 2014, 6:41am
Subject: Re: Bunn ThermoFresh: Brews Too Fast; Weak Coffee
 

MrBromeo Said:

No, I don't have the restrictor spray head... yet.

How fine? If I take a pinch of the output from the grinder, it feels a lot like table salt or sugar. It's not powdery by any measure. Maybe a bit like beach sand?

One technique I read here on another thread about BUNN is to keep grinding finer until the grinds slurry comes within about 1/4" of the top of the filter. Today's lip-smakingly-good brew came within 1/2" of the top. Any finer and I'd risk an overflow... and, that was with a half batch! Keep in mind you should at least be starting with the genuine BUNN filters. They are taller than the grocery store filters.

I really wonder if the quick stir I gave the slurry is what helped the most. You'd think that "turbulent" shower head would do the stirring for me, though.

You have a Thermapen, but no coffee grinder? You need another gadget! Baratza makes some fantastic grinders. Having your own grinder improves the taste of your coffee, smells wonderful, and lets you dial in that grind to just how you like it.

Posted May 22, 2014 link


I do have a Cuisinart grinder but it's inconsistent, lots of fines.  I'll try your method, for sure.  

thx

bob
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MrBromeo
Senior Member


Joined: 23 Sep 2003
Posts: 43
Location: Seattle
Posted Fri May 23, 2014, 1:28pm
Subject: Re: Bunn ThermoFresh: Brews Too Fast; Weak Coffee
 

steelgtr Said:

I do have a Cuisinart grinder but it's inconsistent, lots of fines.  I'll try your method, for sure.  

Posted May 23, 2014 link

Ah, the amazing Cuisinart grinder. Yeah, it's, well, a $30 grinder. I had two of them fail - cheap electronics. Plus, they're loud, especially when you run out of beans and it turns into an air raid siren. Seems like these big corporations only care about adding more features: brushed stainless steel accents, buttons, blinking lights, beepers, blue backlit LCD displays, etc...

I can recommend Baratza for a quality grinder: well built, easy to clean, relatively quiet, and runs at a well controlled 450 RPM, even without beans. The best part is the consistency of grind - very minimal fines. They seem to be a company that still gets it: you have to care about the customer and make the very best product you can.

Do post back if you get your BUNN making great coffee.
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CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,399
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Fri May 23, 2014, 3:19pm
Subject: Re: Bunn ThermoFresh: Brews Too Fast; Weak Coffee
 

steelgtr Said:

I do have a Cuisinart grinder but it's inconsistent, lots of fines.  I'll try your method, for sure.  

thx

bob

Posted May 23, 2014 link

Cuisinart is useless as mentioned, you don't have to spend a lot of money, a Baratza Encore will be more then enough for your needs, it's hands down the best grinder in it's class/price range, and easily the best as far as grind quality and consistency (lack of fines production, something the Infinity Capresso knows nothing about lol). Plus get fresh roasted beans, Charbucks is charging you $$ for stale burnt beans.

Though I remember someone on here did a test, they found cheap store bought or preground worked better on low end machines vs something like the Bunn, Bonavita etc. Anyone remember that?
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steelgtr
Senior Member


Joined: 29 Jun 2013
Posts: 109
Location: San Jose
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Saeco
Grinder: Baratza Encore
Drip: TV Moccamaster/ glass
Roaster: WB Air Crazy/ Sifter
Posted Fri May 23, 2014, 6:10pm
Subject: Re: Bunn ThermoFresh: Brews Too Fast; Weak Coffee
 

CMIN Said:

Cuisinart is useless as mentioned, you don't have to spend a lot of money, a Baratza Encore will be more then enough for your needs, it's hands down the best grinder in it's class/price range, and easily the best as far as grind quality and consistency (lack of fines production, something the Infinity Capresso knows nothing about lol). Plus get fresh roasted beans, Charbucks is charging you $$ for stale burnt beans.

Though I remember someone on here did a test, they found cheap store bought or preground worked better on low end machines vs something like the Bunn, Bonavita etc. Anyone remember that?

Posted May 23, 2014 link

What's better the Baratza or the Capresso mentioned earlier?


bob
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MrBromeo
Senior Member


Joined: 23 Sep 2003
Posts: 43
Location: Seattle
Posted Sun May 25, 2014, 8:58am
Subject: Re: Bunn ThermoFresh: Brews Too Fast; Weak Coffee
 

steelgtr Said:

What's better the Baratza or the Capresso mentioned earlier?

Posted May 23, 2014 link

I have never used a Capresso grinder, but CMIN seemed to indicate above that it produces more fines than the Baratzas.

I have a friend with a Baratza Virtuoso and it is a great machine. The Esatto scale makes it super convenient. Baratza has a great article on choosing a grinder here:
Which Grinder is Right for You
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steelgtr
Senior Member


Joined: 29 Jun 2013
Posts: 109
Location: San Jose
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Saeco
Grinder: Baratza Encore
Drip: TV Moccamaster/ glass
Roaster: WB Air Crazy/ Sifter
Posted Fri May 30, 2014, 7:43am
Subject: Re: Bunn ThermoFresh: Brews Too Fast; Weak Coffee
 

MrBromeo Said:

No, I don't have the restrictor spray head... yet.

How fine? If I take a pinch of the output from the grinder, it feels a lot like table salt or sugar. It's not powdery by any measure. Maybe a bit like beach sand?

One technique I read here on another thread about BUNN is to keep grinding finer until the grinds slurry comes within about 1/4" of the top of the filter. Today's lip-smakingly-good brew came within 1/2" of the top. Any finer and I'd risk an overflow... and, that was with a half batch! Keep in mind you should at least be starting with the genuine BUNN filters. They are taller than the grocery store filters.

I really wonder if the quick stir I gave the slurry is what helped the most. You'd think that "turbulent" shower head would do the stirring for me, though.

You have a Thermapen, but no coffee grinder? You need another gadget! Baratza makes some fantastic grinders. Having your own grinder improves the taste of your coffee, smells wonderful, and lets you dial in that grind to just how you like it.

Posted May 22, 2014 link

Don't forget the extra minute "soak" time. The stir may have been insignificant?

bob
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Rocker66
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Jun 2012
Posts: 32
Location: MO
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia
Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso / Vario
Vac Pot: Mocha Express/Aeropress
Drip: Bonavita/Pour over
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Fri May 30, 2014, 10:28am
Subject: Re: Bunn ThermoFresh: Brews Too Fast; Weak Coffee
 

Hi all. It has been a while since I've posted. So, thought I would chime in.

Anyway, not sure I will add a whole lot that others haven't, but just thought I would share my .02. I use a Bunn Velocity Brew (NHB), but from what I've seen, they all pretty much work nearly the same. I only use it through the week and typically use Costco's whole bean Colombian. Yes, I know, not exactly the freshest. But, I have found it to be pretty good for the price. I do roast my own and use that for espresso every morning and pour over on the weekends. The Costco stuff keeps the cost down a bit and saves me from having to roast as often.

Here is my typical procedure:
  1. Turn on hot plate.
  2. Grind 64-66g of coffee in my Baratza Virtuoso, setting 28. This gives roughly a slightly coarser than sand grind and falls within the 1/4" recommendation from the top of the filter.
  3. Fill tank with about 44oz. of water and set pot on hot plate to preheat.
  4. Add ground coffee to filter and pre-infuse for anywhere from 15-30 seconds, depending on how sidetracked I get. When I'm paying attention, what I usually do is let the water flow into the basket until a stream comes out the basket then open the lid to stop the water flow. Let it sit until the stream breaks up then close the lid again and let brew. Typically takes about 3 minutes.

That really is about it. I use to do the whole preheating thing and all of that, but I found it doesn't make enough difference to waste the water. I save my scientific coffee-making for the weekend. :)

Other than that, there isn't a whole lot to it. My coffee comes out tasting very good and I like relatively strong coffee. I measure anywhere from about 1.25-1.36 on my refractometer. So, it coincides with the SCAA optimal brewing chart.

Oh! BTW, I use the standard spray nozzle. I have the reduced flow one but never find I need it.

Not sure I added anything that hasn't been said already. Just more confirmation the Bunn will brew excellent coffee.

Dave

 
Dave
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steelgtr
Senior Member


Joined: 29 Jun 2013
Posts: 109
Location: San Jose
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Saeco
Grinder: Baratza Encore
Drip: TV Moccamaster/ glass
Roaster: WB Air Crazy/ Sifter
Posted Fri May 30, 2014, 9:05pm
Subject: Re: Bunn ThermoFresh: Brews Too Fast; Weak Coffee
 

Rocker66 Said:

Hi all. It has been a while since I've posted. So, thought I would chime in.

Anyway, not sure I will add a whole lot that others haven't, but just thought I would share my .02. I use a Bunn Velocity Brew (NHB), but from what I've seen, they all pretty much work nearly the same. I only use it through the week and typically use Costco's whole bean Colombian. Yes, I know, not exactly the freshest. But, I have found it to be pretty good for the price. I do roast my own and use that for espresso every morning and pour over on the weekends. The Costco stuff keeps the cost down a bit and saves me from having to roast as often.

Here is my typical procedure:
Turn on hot plate.
Grind 64-66g of coffee in my Baratza Virtuoso, setting 28. This gives roughly a slightly coarser than sand grind and falls within the 1/4" recommendation from the top of the filter.
Fill tank with about 44oz. of water and set pot on hot plate to preheat.
Add ground coffee to filter and pre-infuse for anywhere from 15-30 seconds, depending on how sidetracked I get. When I'm paying attention, what I usually do is let the water flow into the basket until a stream comes out the basket then open the lid to stop the water flow. Let it sit until the stream breaks up then close the lid again and let brew. Typically takes about 3 minutes.

That really is about it. I use to do the whole preheating thing and all of that, but I found it doesn't make enough difference to waste the water. I save my scientific coffee-making for the weekend. :)

Other than that, there isn't a whole lot to it. My coffee comes out tasting very good and I like relatively strong coffee. I measure anywhere from about 1.25-1.36 on my refractometer. So, it coincides with the SCAA optimal brewing chart.

Oh! BTW, I use the standard spray nozzle. I have the reduced flow one but never find I need it.

Not sure I added anything that hasn't been said already. Just more confirmation the Bunn will brew excellent coffee.

Dave

Posted May 30, 2014 link

Do you think it's really designed for a full pot of coffee and I'm asking too much trying to brew 25 ozs?

bob
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