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Vacuum pot..drip...drip...
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TheBigDripper
Senior Member
TheBigDripper
Joined: 5 Jun 2012
Posts: 50
Location: Texas
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Bialetti 6-cup moka pot
Grinder: Vintage Zassenhaus
Drip: Too many too list
Posted Sat Jul 7, 2012, 10:48am
Subject: Vacuum pot..drip...drip...
 

Just got it today, and am brewing my first pot. Did everything I'm supposed to, but coffee is dripping into bottom pot one...drop...at a time. Taking forever! What could I be doing wrong?

Edit: I pretty much followed these instructions:

http://www.ineedcoffee.com/07/vacuum-pot-brewing/

Pot is a Silex (Pyrex), glass rod filter.

Edit 2: I think I found my problem: "Avoid stirring the coffee"

Click Here (www.coffeegeek.com)

I'll try adding the coffee when the water starts rising, and see if that helps, too.
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IMAWriter
Senior Member
IMAWriter
Joined: 4 Jul 2002
Posts: 5,891
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 Sat Jul 7, 2012, 2:24pm
Subject: Re: Vacuum pot..drip...drip...
 

TheBigDripper Said:

Just got it today, and am brewing my first pot. Did everything I'm supposed to, but coffee is dripping into bottom pot one...drop...at a time. Taking forever! What could I be doing wrong?

Edit: I pretty much followed these instructions:

http://www.ineedcoffee.com/07/vacuum-pot-brewing/

Pot is a Silex (Pyrex), glass rod filter.

Edit 2: I think I found my problem: "Avoid stirring the coffee"

Click Here (www.coffeegeek.com)

I'll try adding the coffee when the water starts rising, and see if that helps, too.

Posted July 7, 2012 link

Without viewing the vids, I'd advise you allow 75% of all the water in the lower globe to rise "northward", then pour in the  ground coffee, ground to a drip grind, no finer.
Then soon thereafter, there should be an EXPLOSION of water upwards, so all but maybe 40-50ml of water will be left behind.
Do one light stir with a chopstick, mainly to get the dry grounds off the sides of the upper bowl so they homogenize with the water.
Reduce the heat. Continue for 2:30.
Remove the unit from the heat source onto a paper plate that has been soaked in cool water. That will help the draw down. I actually place my Yama on top of the downdraft of my gas burners.
On the older vac pots like yours, a paper towel soaked with COOL, NOT COLD water gently held to the sides of the lower globe help also.

Drop down should commence within 30 seconds or less, and pick up speed as it goes. Generally 500-600ml should be completely down "south"in less than 1 minute.
The reason I go 2:30, is to account for the extra minute of off heat brewing and the drop down.

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


Joined: 12 Sep 2006
Posts: 919
Location: .
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Machine now fixed ;o)
Grinder: None
Vac Pot: None
Drip: None
Roaster: None
Posted Sat Jul 7, 2012, 2:44pm
Subject: Re: Vacuum pot..drip...drip...
 

Hi

Will start by saying I don't have the same makes of pots as you, but I do use Vacuum pots with glass filter rods (conas).

Try to aim for a grind just a little finer than for a drip coffee maker. A coarse grind doesn't seem to work well at all with these filters.  

It is a good idea to wait for the water to rise fully into the top globe before adding the coffee - this ensures the water is closer to the ideal brewing temperature, and the brew process doesn't start off too cool.

Use the brewer to its design capacity.  If you use much less the physics doesn't seem to work properly, and there may not be sufficient vacuum created in the bottom globe to make the process work as it should.

Make sure the gasket between the bottom pot and the top globe is sealing properly.  If it is old and hardened rubber it may be leaking and allowing air into the bottom pot and destroying the vacuum.

If all other factors are OK, a stalled or very slow draw down often has something to do with the grinder. This process doesn't demand a state of the art grinder, but it does need to produce a grind without too much dust.

Despite what you may have read, do stir to make sure all the coffee is properly submerged.  If your glass rod filter is the classic design (i.e. all glass, no spring to hold it down etc) just be careful not to dislodge it.

You don't need to do all the other additional processes some folk recommend - wrapping the bottom globe in a wet towel etc.. If you get it right the process works beautifully without all that sort of messing around.

I'm sure you'll get it sorted.
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singhgolfer
Senior Member


Joined: 12 Jun 2012
Posts: 6
Location: CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sat Jul 7, 2012, 3:01pm
Subject: Re: Vacuum pot..drip...drip...
 

I own one too but it has been a while  I used it. You should be able to produce a good cup of coffee if you read the manual carefully and follow the instructions.
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IMAWriter
Senior Member
IMAWriter
Joined: 4 Jul 2002
Posts: 5,891
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 Sat Jul 7, 2012, 3:22pm
Subject: Re: Vacuum pot..drip...drip...
 

__________ Said:

Hi


It is a good idea to wait for the water to rise fully into the top globe before adding the coffee - this ensures the water is closer to the ideal brewing temperature, and the brew process doesn't start off too cool.

Posted July 7, 2012 link

With the water 75% up, my water temp measure 196f, IMO hot enough for brewing. I preheat my water in an electric kettle to 190f, which certainly makes this fact.
If the OP is starting with cold water, then turning on the heat, I would tend to agree on the "all the water to the top" approach. I just like having all the ground coffee in the top globe before the explosion, so there is a better distribution of the grind/water.

You don't need to do all the other additional processes some folk recommend - wrapping the bottom globe in a wet towel etc.. If you get it right the process works beautifully without all that sort of messing around.

This is true with my Yama, not so withy my stainless Nicro nor vintage Silex.
The Nicro, especially likes a little help! I use a Silex Lox-in glass rod, which has a chain. I'm sure you know this!

All else you said was 100% spot on, especially the fact that these brewers were designed to brew to capacity, thus the varying cup capacities.

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
My Music Production web site:
www.robertjason.com
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TheBigDripper
Senior Member
TheBigDripper
Joined: 5 Jun 2012
Posts: 50
Location: Texas
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Bialetti 6-cup moka pot
Grinder: Vintage Zassenhaus
Drip: Too many too list
Posted Sat Jul 7, 2012, 3:33pm
Subject: Re: Vacuum pot..drip...drip...
 

Here's my procedures for two trials...

First trial: 6 cups pre-heated water, fresh drip grind Columbian, grounds added prior to water going upstairs (stirred twice). Drip. Drip. Drip. One. At. A. Time. Grrr!

Second trial (not wasting any more beans!): 8 cups in the bottom and heat started, pre-ground company coffee (added when the water started rising into top pot), *not* stirred but kinda pushed the grounds into the water (I'd read that stirring *could* cause a stall), a *little* better flow, but then stalls. I tried cooling the lower pot with a damp washcloth, which seemed to help some, but still stalled when about half the lower pot was filled. Gasket makes a good seal (I cracked it open a bit and could hear air being sucked in...it helped flow a bit, but then stalled).

Oh...there's about an inch space between the bottom of the tube and the bottom of the lower pot. Is that much water supposed to remain? Seems like an awful lot. This a pic of my pot,if it matters...

Click Here (1.bp.blogspot.com)

The rod appears crooked, but it's not hooked. It seems to set perfectly upright.
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alanfrew
Senior Member
alanfrew
Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 643
Location: Melbourne
Expertise: Professional

Posted Sat Jul 7, 2012, 3:55pm
Subject: Re: Vacuum pot..drip...drip...
 

Your problem is caused by fines in your grounds blocking the little channels created by the bumps on the bottom of the glass rod filter. The answer is to either get coffee ground by a better grinder (commercial Dittings work) or to wait 15-20 seconds to see how your drawdown is going.

If it looks like it's stalling, put the pot back on the heat immediately and wait until the water up top starts bubbling, then remove from the heat. Fines will have all compacted together, then been blown out of the way, and drawdown will be speedy.

Ritual behaviour like not stirring, adding coffee only at a certain point of the process etc. has no effect whatsoever. See also http://www.coffeeco.com.au/altcof/altcoffeepage8.html. Obviously smaller quantities of more finely ground coffee require less brewing time.

Alan
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__________
Senior Member


Joined: 12 Sep 2006
Posts: 919
Location: .
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Machine now fixed ;o)
Grinder: None
Vac Pot: None
Drip: None
Roaster: None
Posted Sat Jul 7, 2012, 3:59pm
Subject: Re: Vacuum pot..drip...drip...
 

IMAWriter Said:

With the water 75% up, my water temp measure 196f, IMO hot enough for brewing. I preheat my water in an electric kettle to 190f, which certainly makes this fact.
If the OP is starting with cold water, then turning on the heat, I would tend to agree on the "all the water to the top" approach. I just like having all the ground coffee in the top globe before the explosion, so there is a better distribution of the grind/water.

Posted July 7, 2012 link

I'd agree about the temperature, the "all water up top" is based on my experience of using glass rod filters without the chain/spring thingie. When the last drops of water go into the top globe the rod can bounce around a bit for a few seconds until things settle down.  There's a risk that ground coffee will drop back down when that happens.  Having now seen the pic of the OP's device, it won't be relevant, and wouldn't make any difference to the OP's problem anyway.

IMAWriter Said:

This is true with my Yama, not so withy my stainless Nicro nor vintage Silex.
The Nicro, especially likes a little help! I use a Silex Lox-in glass rod, which has a chain. I'm sure you know this!

Posted July 7, 2012 link

Please don't take the comment about not needing to do this personally ;o) I had written it and posted it before I saw your reply of slightly earlier.  Interesting about the S/S one, but I guess S/S isn't a good conductor of heat, so perhaps doesn't cool that quickly on its own.  I'm used to using devices with thinner glass like your Yama probably, rather than the old Silex things which are probably thicker I guess, so perhaps that has something to do with it.

As to the OP's continuing problem, other things seeming to have been eliminated, can't help thinking it is to do with the grind.
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IMAWriter
Senior Member
IMAWriter
Joined: 4 Jul 2002
Posts: 5,891
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 Sat Jul 7, 2012, 4:04pm
Subject: Re: Vacuum pot..drip...drip...
 

I believe both trials are flawed.
Try it as it was explained by "KeepitSimple."
Use exactly as much water as was recommended for your model. If you don't know, Google your pot and you'll find that answer.

There is always a bit of water remaining, to prevent the lower bowl from cracking.
If you are using an electric heat source, you need a little metal diffuser. A portion of coat hanger will work.
Gas, this is not necessary.

In both trial methods, I'm guessing your water was not hot enough. I'd keep the bowls separate, get a k type probe, and make sure the water at the bottom is at least 190f before attaching the EMPTY upper Globe. Lightly wet the gasket before attaching, but don't get residual cold water on either globe.

Attach the upper globe, allow MOST, or maybe all the water to the top..there should be a bit of explosion when there very last bit of water goes North.
Add the coffee, stir as I instructed, and reduce heat, making sure the water has some slight bubbling at the bottom. The water up top may show bubbling, but this is just caused by heated air, not a boiling process.
If the bottom globe shows egregiously coffee colored water, either your seal is bad, or you need to raise the heat a bit.

Do the rest as posted above. Perhaps cool without the aid of cool towel, but make sure the unit is on a cool surface.
If you still don't have it going, I'd bet the problem is with your ZASS. If it was a ZASS made for espresso grinding, you need another grinder.
IMO, manual grinding for vac pots is not so good, and i have 2 wonderful vintage KyM grinders. Great for espresso, not so with coarser grinds.

At minimum, a Baratza Encore, or refurbed Maestro Plus would be an excellent choice for drip/vac pot/French Press.

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
My Music Production web site:
www.robertjason.com
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IMAWriter
Senior Member
IMAWriter
Joined: 4 Jul 2002
Posts: 5,891
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 Sat Jul 7, 2012, 4:13pm
Subject: Re: Vacuum pot..drip...drip...
 

Alan, your post must have showed up whilst I was slowly typing mine!!

Dave, Alan is a MOST respected coffee professional, and I would certainly view any materials he has on the subject.
I might interject that all these beastie brewers have their little quirks, and the additional of multiple filter options increases that quirkiness.

That said, I think you might want to consider the most dependable vac pot I've ever used, the Yama stove top.
Absolutely FOOLPROOF. Terrific gasket design.
They come in 5 cup and 8 cup (40oz, Texas size! LOL)
Just Google Yama vacuum brewer, etc.

In over 100 uses, with 4 different grinders, I've NEVER had a stuck pot, not even CLOSE.
As Alan said, it's looking like your grinder, or the grind itself could be the issue.

Hang in there, and let us know how it goes.

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