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Zephyp

Moka pot differences from brew to brew

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I usually make a pot with 215g water in the chamber (up to the valve) and 18g of coffee. I don't tamp, but even the heap flat with a finger.

What I don't understand is that some days the pot starts sputtering very early in the brew, while other times there is an even flow of coffee until it starts sputtering at the end. I tried pulling it off when it starts sputtering early, pour out the coffe and put it back on. It keeps brewing, but sputtering at the same time.

What can be causing this and is it a problem? 

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I usually make a pot with 215g water in the chamber (up to the valve) and 18g of coffee. I don't tamp, but even the heap flat with a finger.
What I don't understand is that some days the pot starts sputtering very early in the brew, while other times there is an even flow of coffee until it starts sputtering at the end. I tried pulling it off when it starts sputtering early, pour out the coffe and put it back on. It keeps brewing, but sputtering at the same time.
What can be causing this and is it a problem? 


From my experience, a lot is to do with the seal between the basket and the brewing chamber / filter. Make sure it’s in good condition, clean and it’s forming a good seal, with no coffee residual around.

I have a Bialetti Venus and I need to tighten it really hard to form a good seal. It’s been the case since new.

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6 hours ago, MediumRoastSteam said:

From my experience, a lot is to do with the seal between the basket and the brewing chamber / filter. Make sure it’s in good condition, clean and it’s forming a good seal, with no coffee residual around.

I have a Bialetti Venus and I need to tighten it really hard to form a good seal. It’s been the case since new.

 

That might be it. I'm heating up the water first in the chamber, so I need a towel when attaching the top part. That might make the fit a bit different from time to time. Maybe I'll try starting with cold water, or preheat in a kettle and pour it over, if it doesn't heat up the chamber too fast before I can attach it.

Thanks. :)

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That might be it. I'm heating up the water first in the chamber, so I need a towel when attaching the top part. That might make the fit a bit different from time to time. Maybe I'll try starting with cold water, or preheat in a kettle and pour it over, if it doesn't heat up the chamber too fast before I can attach it.
Thanks.

Silicone oven gloves - that’s the only thing that worked for me, as they can grip into the cylindrical shape of my Moka Pot (not hexagonal like traditional Bialettis).

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I got a Venus too, so I usually have to hold on to the valve. I haven't even heard of silicone oven gloves, but it sounds like something I should have in life.

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The Bialetti Brika is an interesting alternative you could try. It builds up the pressure and releases the coffee mostly all at once.

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I got a Venus too, so I usually have to hold on to the valve. I haven't even heard of silicone oven gloves, but it sounds like something I should have in life.


That’s the one I have:

https://www.lakeland.co.uk/14017/Lakeland-Silicone-Double-Oven-Glove

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Aren’t you supposed to brew from cold water?

The idea being that the air in the lower chamber has to expand to push water through to the upper chamber. If it’s hot, it won’t expand as much.

I tried using hot water once and it was a mess. I could imagine you could get inconsistent results if the air in the lower chamber is hot, but likely quite variable.

I have the Venus as well. From cold it’s always been consistent though I haven’t used it much recently.

Also if anyone has a guide Niche setting for it, that would be great!


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2000 - Krups Vivo + Whittard hand grinder

2010 - Gaggia Classic + Iberital MC2

2017 - ECM Mechanika IV Profi + Niche Zero

Aeropress / V60 / Puck Puck / Cafetière / Moka Pot / Ibrik (كـَنـَكـَة) / Lido E

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1 hour ago, richwade80 said:

Aren’t you supposed to brew from cold water?

The idea being that the air in the lower chamber has to expand to push water through to the upper chamber. If it’s hot, it won’t expand as much.

I tried using hot water once and it was a mess. I could imagine you could get inconsistent results if the air in the lower chamber is hot, but likely quite variable.

I have the Venus as well. From cold it’s always been consistent though I haven’t used it much recently.

Also if anyone has a guide Niche setting for it, that would be great!


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Use cold water for Brikka, but hot water for ordinary Moka pot. Despite their apparent similarities they brew & behave differently. I can give you an approximation for the Niche setting with the *Brikka* but it won’t necessarily hold true for your Niche or beans... but it’s something, I suppose... try # 25. I grind finer than many, (using a 2 cup *Brikka* pot, 16 grams, medium dark beans, 70 ml water) so also keep that in mind.

Edited by Slowpress
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Use cold water for Brikka, but hot water for ordinary Moka pot. Despite their apparent similarities they brew & behave differently. I can give you an approximation for the Niche setting with the *Brikka* but it won’t necessarily hold true for your Niche or beans... but it’s something, I suppose... try # 25. I grind finer than many, (using a 2 cup pot, 16 grams, medium dark beans, 70 ml water) so also keep that in mind.


Well I never!

I think I better dust it off and have a go then. How hot is the water supposed to be before adding the upper chamber? Off the boil?


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2000 - Krups Vivo + Whittard hand grinder

2010 - Gaggia Classic + Iberital MC2

2017 - ECM Mechanika IV Profi + Niche Zero

Aeropress / V60 / Puck Puck / Cafetière / Moka Pot / Ibrik (كـَنـَكـَة) / Lido E

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Aren’t you supposed to brew from cold water?

The idea being that the air in the lower chamber has to expand to push water through to the upper chamber. If it’s hot, it won’t expand as much.

I tried using hot water once and it was a mess. I could imagine you could get inconsistent results if the air in the lower chamber is hot, but likely quite variable.

I have the Venus as well. From cold it’s always been consistent though I haven’t used it much recently.

Also if anyone has a guide Niche setting for it, that would be great!


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Use hot water. Based on here:

https://www.stumptowncoffee.com/blog/brew-guides-moka-pot

And here:


And some geeky stuff:


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Those are both great video guides on Moka pots , particularly Gabor’s (“Back to the Moka pot”)!

And, there is also the “bed wetting” approach, for Moka pots:

www.home-barista.com/brewing/how-to-improve-your-moka-pot-coffee-t48638.html

See it in action here:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=rRtF_CGY8GE

 

The key with Moka pots is to experiment (persistently, need be) to get the taste you seek. If at all possible, brew over a gas flame. Gas heat is just that much better than electric burners in this application. Ideally, it would be a micro-burner gas flame, one that keeps heat centred under the pot rather than up the sides.

 

 

Edited by Slowpress

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I'm using induction and it might not be ideal. If I set it low, it keeps brewing i pulses. If I go too high, it brews too fast. I don't know if pulsing has a negative effect on the brew. 

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1 hour ago, Zephyp said:

I'm using induction and it might not be ideal. If I set it low, it keeps brewing i pulses. If I go too high, it brews too fast. I don't know if pulsing has a negative effect on the brew. 

I have used induction with a small stainless steel moka pot (magnetic), and it works; I just prefer the taste from my old-school aluminum Brikka, which cannot be used on induction (non-magnetic). That said, I’ve never encountered “pulsing” in either type of pot. With either induction or micro-burner gas flame I use a medium (to medium +) heat setting. Have you played with different grind settings, to see if that changes the behaviour? 

Brew & taste, then repeat (many times 😉) ... see if you are getting close to the flavour you want. Tasting each brew will tell you a lot, and guide you in your brewing adjustments.

Edited by Slowpress

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36 minutes ago, Slowpress said:

I have used induction with a small stainless steel moka pot (magnetic), and it works; I just prefer the taste from my old-school aluminum Brikka, which cannot be used on induction (non-magnetic). That said, I’ve never encountered “pulsing” in either type of pot. With either induction or micro-burner gas flame I use a medium (to medium +) heat setting. Have you played with different grind settings, to see if that changes the behaviour? 

Brew & taste, then repeat (many times 😉) ... see if you are getting close to the flavour you want. Tasting each brew will tell you a lot, and guide you in your brewing adjustments.

It's because the induction hob is turning on and off at an interval that fits the power level I've chosen. At 3/10, it give these short bursts that are audible. If I put it on 7/10, it stays on longer every time, but also turns on and off the same way. I guess it can only run at full power, so it has to regulate output by turning on and off.

In the pot, I see some coffee dribble out, then there's a small pause, then it flows again. I can record a video of it one day.

Yeah, I guess experimentation is always the solution.

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I have also thought the sputtering started earlier when I used a finer grind. I took it off when that happened, resulting in less beverage. 

May that also have to do with pot assembly or could I get less output with finer grind? I'm not talking about a few grams, but enough to make it visibly noticeable in the pot. 

The final beverage weight may end up the same if I just let it sit there and sputter until there's nothing but steam coming out. 

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2 hours ago, Zephyp said:

 

The final beverage weight may end up the same if I just let it sit there and sputter until there's nothing but steam coming out. 

If you pass steam through the bed, it's going to cause off flavours.


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3 minutes ago, MWJB said:

If you pass steam through the bed, it's going to cause off flavours.

Yeah, that's what I've learned. Which is why I've pulled the pot off the heat once it starts sputtering, but it starts at different levels, giving different BEV from brew to brew. What I don't know is if there's steam being pushed through when the sputtering first starts. There's still coffee coming out and will do for some time until it's out.

I wonder if the induction hob can have something to do with it. That the pulsing behavior cause it to pull in some air through the output-pipe, which then is pushed back up again.

This isn't my main brewing method. It's primarily my GF for breakfast and usually with milk, so it's probably not something I'll spend too much time on. I also grind with an electric Wilfa WSCG, which doesn't produce the best grind. Would be nice if I could make a consistently decent brew though. 

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