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Discussions > Coffee > Q and A > My Cona clogs!!...  
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cona50
Senior Member


Joined: 16 Dec 2012
Posts: 4
Location: France
Expertise: Just starting

Grinder: Hario Mini Mill
Vac Pot: Cona Kirby beard B & C
Posted Sun Dec 16, 2012, 1:45pm
Subject: My Cona clogs!! HELP
 

I recently decided to buy a cona size B on ebay as it was remembering me some souvenirs when I was a child.

As a purist I did use a glas rod/drainer and it did work very well using supermarket coffee!

becoming a real amateur of coffee I quickly bought some pre grinded coffee to my local coffee dealer.

That was not enough! I had to grind myself, so I bought, still on ebay (!!), a Hario Mini Mill which looked perfect for my usage : coffee on week-end!

unfortunetaly, I can't find a proper setting using my mini mill. It seems like 7 clicks are the best setting I could find but still, my cona clogs when the water goes down.


I am sure, and I want to believe, that someaone could help me find a proper setting!!
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__________
Senior Member


Joined: 12 Sep 2006
Posts: 924
Location: .
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Machine now fixed ;o)
Grinder: None
Vac Pot: None
Drip: None
Roaster: None
Posted Sun Dec 16, 2012, 2:05pm
Subject: Re: My Cona clogs!! HELP
 

Hello.

I have never used the Hario Mini Mill, but it sounds as if it may not grind consistently enough - producing too much powdered coffee which clogs the filter.  

I have found the best grind (but not with a Hario grinder) is about the same as for filter coffee.

If the coffee you bought pre-ground works properly, it is probably the grinder I think.

Or...perhaps it is just because you are in France !  All the French Conas I have ever seen have had cloth filters ;o)

Not a serious point, although some of the Kirby Beard glass stems are too narrow for a glass filter to fit easily, so I just wonder if that is anything to do with the problem ?

Are you making a full pot of coffee ? The process works best if you do.

Edit - a further thought.

If you bought this used, is the seal between the 2 pots good ?  A slight leak can cause the drawdown to stop without it obviously leaking.  The rubber seals do deteriorate over time, and go a bit hard and shiny, and can also leak where they fit over the stem.  It is worth checking.  

New rubber seals are available if the stem is the same diameter as the British and German manufactured glass.  Some of the French glass is narrower, but I think they generally have a cork seal anyway (which may also be prone to leaking if it is very old).
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cona50
Senior Member


Joined: 16 Dec 2012
Posts: 4
Location: France
Expertise: Just starting

Grinder: Hario Mini Mill
Vac Pot: Cona Kirby beard B & C
Posted Mon Dec 17, 2012, 2:00pm
Subject: Re: My Cona clogs!! HELP
 

I have never thought about that but knowing that Conas are bristish coffee machines and that relationships between France & UK  have always been difficult.....my Cona could just be a trap from the "Rosbeef" as we say in France ;)

well... It doesn't solve my problem.

regarding the cloth filter, don't know why but most of the cona I see on ebay are with cloth filter but mine was coming with a glass rod. The brand new Cona model C & D are coming with glass rod.
I have several glass rods : one small and one longer. I encountered the same difficulty with both of them. I have a third one quite long and with a bigger bulbous...I need to check if it could solve my problem.

I agree with you the Hario mini mill may not grind consistently enough. I had read that the coffee should be quite coarse for the syphon, but I think I will go back to some finer adjustments.

Regarding the sealing I could not see any leak. don't know what you think about it but it I believe the sealing is good as it is very dificult to remove the funnel/stem from the bowl when it is clogged. If the seal was bad I would not have any problem to separate  them.

I always make full pot of coffee. I did try to leave more or less air inside the bowl (more or less water) but it doesn't seem to solve the issue neither.

Finally I think that the dimensions of my cona are the same as the british ones but I don't know how to be sure...


Thanks for your comment anyway, I can see that you know very well Cona coffee machine.

I will continue my efforts!!! until it works!!
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__________
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Posts: 924
Location: .
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Machine now fixed ;o)
Grinder: None
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Drip: None
Roaster: None
Posted Mon Dec 17, 2012, 5:20pm
Subject: Re: My Cona clogs!! HELP
 

cona50 Said:

I have never thought about that but knowing that Conas are bristish coffee machines and that relationships between France & UK  have always been difficult.....my Cona could just be a trap from the "Rosbeef" as we say in France ;)

Posted December 17, 2012 link

Mais non! Les produits Cona de Kirby Beard sont Françaises ! Fabriqué par les grenouilles ;o)))

Peut-être en Anglais...mon Français est si mauvais ....;o(

The Glass made in either the UK or Germany will say either "British Made" or "Made in W.Germany".  The glass made in France normally has "Verre Pyrex" and "Kirby Beard Cie Paris Cona Brevete"etched into it.

You are right.  The new Conas (only sizes C and D are now made I think) all have glass rod filters.  I think the UK is the only place of manufacture today.  The German and British glass parts are interchangeable I think, but the French ones....not always.

I do not know the history between Cona and Kirby Beard.  I presume the basic design was licensed for manufacture in France, but you are right. Unlike the British and German made Conas which have glass filters, all the French ones I have seen have cloth filters, and many have slightly narrower stems.  If yours was not designed for a glass rod, you would find it a very tight fit or not able to fit one at all.

Putting all that aside (and forgetting Agincourt, Jeanne D'Arc, Waterloo etc...  ;o) You are right - if the seal was at fault, it would be easy to separate the glass bowls, and also of course, it worked fine when you used shop-ground coffee.

My suspicion points to your grinder.  

It sounds illogical, but grinding finer may be the solution.  A lot of grinders do not work well when using a coarse setting, creating "dust and boulders".

I hope you find the solution.

Yes, I like Conas - now have a model A, 3 model B's, 2 C's, 1 D and 2 "Rex" models, plus a few spare parts.  All of them get used from time to time. I think the "B" is the best size out of all of them, but the 1951 "Rex" is easily the most stylish - and now getting expensive too.

Bonne chance, et nous tenir informés.
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cona50
Senior Member


Joined: 16 Dec 2012
Posts: 4
Location: France
Expertise: Just starting

Grinder: Hario Mini Mill
Vac Pot: Cona Kirby beard B & C
Posted Tue Dec 18, 2012, 1:48pm
Subject: Re: My Cona clogs!! HELP
 

Definitely you are THE expert of Cona coffee machines! I am impressed! and you speak french!!! so many qualities!!

I didn't know that they were made by kirby beard in France. Actually I still don't really know what was exactly this" Kirby Beard". I just found some old advertissements about watches and a few objects including the cona machine from this shop called Kirby beard in Paris.

My cona can receive a drainer as it seems to fit "naturally" inside the stem.

I will definitely try some finer grinding this week-end & I hope it will work. It has to work. My dignity is at stake!! ;) I failed in front of my wife a dozen of times, in front of my parents and worst in front of my mother in law...luckily I made a succesful demonstration with pregrinded coffee.

The problem is that now I am like a little boy with his toy and I want it to work (maybe because I just had a son 3 weeks ago and that my first girl is only 19 months...). I love to see the cona working, but I like very much grinding coffee to fill my cona!!

will keep you informed this week end!

I agree with you the B model is probably the ideal size. I have 1 +1/2 B, and 1 C model. I am impressed by your collection...don't think my wife can understand that...I did see some rex models on ebay but I still prefer "the kirby beard design". I will look more closely to those models now...
I got my half B from my parents this summer (who also have a D model that they never use...what a shame!) and I just kept looking for some oportunities on ebay since then

By the way, I just bought this evening another B model that I will offer to my parents....I realized that they were like envious watching me using "their" cona when they visited me....very funny as they were never using it...so I decided to offer anpother one to them for Christmas!! This will be a good way for me to use a Cona when I  visit them ;)


cheers!
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cona50
Senior Member


Joined: 16 Dec 2012
Posts: 4
Location: France
Expertise: Just starting

Grinder: Hario Mini Mill
Vac Pot: Cona Kirby beard B & C
Posted Sun Dec 23, 2012, 1:39pm
Subject: Re: My Cona clogs!! HELP
 

Here we are....I made a new trial....I dismantled entirely my Mini Mill and I used the same setting which previously worked (7 clicks from tight)...and guess what...

IT WORKED!

I didn't have time to try again today but I wonder if the MiniMilll would not create more dust when not perfectly clean.

will try again at 7 clicks with a clean grinder to check if I can repeat it.

Merry Christmas!!
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