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Poor Man's Clover
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gt
Senior Member


Joined: 29 Jan 2007
Posts: 210
Location: Mpls/St Paul MN
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: None
Grinder: Virtuoso
Drip: Cones & CCD
Roaster: P1 w/ variacs
Posted Sun Dec 16, 2007, 11:20am
Subject: Re: Poor Man's Clover
 

WonderClown Said:

I would guess that the sides don't get vacuumed dry nearly as well as the bottom.  Did it come out more soggy?

Posted December 16, 2007 link

I didn't notice but I'm sure there would be more retained water.  For the 16 oz I'm doing a little more retained water is a small percentage of the total but would probably be significant for your smaller concentrated brew.  I'm going to use these for a few days and I'll weigh the finished filter and grounds.

WonderClown Said:

If I do it without the hose attached, the air escapes through the vacuum port instead, and it goes much more smoothly.

Posted December 16, 2007 link

Yes, that's how I do it now.  I fill the funnel then attach the hose and start pumping.
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WonderClown
Senior Member


Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 220
Location: NC, USA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gave away a Saeco Via Veneto...
Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso, Zassenhaus
Drip: Buchner funnel + vacuum...
Roaster: WB Poppery I
Posted Tue Dec 18, 2007, 12:38pm
Subject: Two-stage brewing
 

For my past few brews, I've been experimenting with running a little more water through the grounds, though still not the full dose.  I've upped the amount of water I use to about 140mL to 22g coffee, which is about 50% more than I've used before.  But I'm not doing it all at once -- I initial do about 90-100mL, and let that filter almost completely.  Just before it finishes filtering, I release the vacuum pressure and drizzle the remaining water over the top.  I let that seep into the grounds for 5-10 seconds (no stirring), and then resume the vacuum and let it finish filtering.  The liquid that results from the second round is still quite dark, but not nearly as opaquely black as the concentrated stuff that comes out initially.

All I can say with certainty at the moment is that this does not result in anything undrinkable.  In fact, it's quite good.  Of course, what I started with was quite good, so a head-to-head comparison with all other variables being the same is required.  Unfortunately, I can only drink so much caffeine in a day, so such experiments can be difficult to arrange.  I will say that the result seems to be a bit stronger than what I'm used to, and perhaps not quite as smooth, which makes some sense.  (Of course, I was expecting it to be stronger, so this could be placebo effect.  I'll have to train my wife as an assistant to do the actual brewing so I can do the blind tasting.)
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WonderClown
Senior Member


Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 220
Location: NC, USA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gave away a Saeco Via Veneto...
Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso, Zassenhaus
Drip: Buchner funnel + vacuum...
Roaster: WB Poppery I
Posted Mon Jan 7, 2008, 7:25am
Subject: Poor Man's Vacuum Pump
 

I took my whole vacuum setup with me during my holiday travels, and managed to break my hand pump early on, probably because I didn't pack it carefully enough.  I initially despaired, but then decided to try using my lungs as a vacuum pump -- I just stuck one end of the tube on the flask, and the other end in my mouth, and sucked the air out.  Turns out human lungs make a pretty decent vacuum pump, and it's convenient in a way because you have your hands free to deal with pouring the coffee/water.  And you can pretty easily regulate the amount of vacuum, and you can take a break by closing up the end of the tube with your tongue.  The one problem is that it occasionally gives me a mild headache, a bit like "brain freeze" from drinking a milkshake too fast.  But the headache goes away quickly.

I still haven't replaced my pump, and I'm wondering now if I'm going to bother.  If I do, I'm going to replace it with one of the more expensive metal pumps, which should be more durable.  I'm waiting for one to show up cheap on ebay.
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gt
Senior Member


Joined: 29 Jan 2007
Posts: 210
Location: Mpls/St Paul MN
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: None
Grinder: Virtuoso
Drip: Cones & CCD
Roaster: P1 w/ variacs
Posted Mon Jan 7, 2008, 8:09am
Subject: Re: Poor Man's Vacuum Pump
 

I tried that once when my pump stuck in the middle of a brew.  It worked but I didn't think it worked all that good so I haven't tried it anymore.  I find I have to put a little vegetable oil on the pump's piston fairly often to keep it from sticking.  I think you're right about a better metal pump.

I'm waiting for a bigger (Coors #60244) funnel to arrive so I can dump all 16 oz in at once and hopefully speed up the process a little more.  I keep alternating between my vacuum setup and a simple #4 Melitta cone filter.  The cone is just as fast as the vacuum for the first half or two-thirds of the process but getting the last third through the cone filter is really slow.
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gt
Senior Member


Joined: 29 Jan 2007
Posts: 210
Location: Mpls/St Paul MN
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: None
Grinder: Virtuoso
Drip: Cones & CCD
Roaster: P1 w/ variacs
Posted Mon Jan 7, 2008, 3:18pm
Subject: Re: Poor Man's Vacuum Pump
 

My bigger (Coors #60244, 550ml) Buchner Funnel got here today and the biggest surprise was it has the same number of holes as my smaller one and the holes are smaller (#57 drill size =.043" dia vs #48 drill size = .076" dia).  I expected the holes would be smaller but I thought there would probably be more of them but there are 127 holes in each funnel.  

I made one quick run and 16 oz of coffee went through in 40 sec so I didn't lose any on the time but I had hoped to shorten the time.  I think even though the total hole area is much smaller (.184 sq in vs .576 sq in), the lesser puck effect keeps the flow up near the end.

As a comparison I measured my AeroPress filter area and got this:

97 holes
#31 drill size = .120" dia
Total filter area = 1.096 sq in

gt: Picture 152s.jpg
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WonderClown
Senior Member


Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 220
Location: NC, USA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gave away a Saeco Via Veneto...
Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso, Zassenhaus
Drip: Buchner funnel + vacuum...
Roaster: WB Poppery I
Posted Mon Jan 7, 2008, 6:45pm
Subject: Re: Poor Man's Vacuum Pump
 

Here is a case where raising the filter above the perforated plate might help.  Then you will use the entire filter paper surface more effectively, rather than just the area directly above the holes.  I think I've mentioned before that I've done this by using two layers of paper, or even better by putting a piece of cloth cut from a white t-shirt beneath the filter paper.  I have also seen lab supply places selling plastic (HDPE, I think) filter supports that achieve the same thing.

I don't do any of that anymore, since after getting the grind right I don't have problems with filtering.  But then, I'm filtering a much smaller amount of water than you are.
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rmongiovi
Senior Member


Joined: 7 Feb 2006
Posts: 407
Location: Atlanta, GA
Expertise: I like coffee

Grinder: Ditting KR805
Drip: Technivorm; Bonavita...
Roaster: Hottop B
Posted Tue Jan 8, 2008, 9:05am
Subject: Re: Poor Man's Vacuum Pump
 

The plastic funnels are pretty cheap, and if the holes aren't large enough it would be a pretty easy matter to drill them a bit larger....

How does the filtering time compare using a Buchner funnel and no vacuum?  I know the Melitta pourover filter speed is heavily influenced by the number and size of the holes.  I'm wondering how much time the vacuum actual does reduce the filtering time....
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WonderClown
Senior Member


Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 220
Location: NC, USA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gave away a Saeco Via Veneto...
Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso, Zassenhaus
Drip: Buchner funnel + vacuum...
Roaster: WB Poppery I
Posted Tue Jan 8, 2008, 9:36am
Subject: Re: Poor Man's Vacuum Pump
 

rmongiovi Said:

How does the filtering time compare using a Buchner funnel and no vacuum?  I know the Melitta pourover filter speed is heavily influenced by the number and size of the holes.  I'm wondering how much time the vacuum actual does reduce the filtering time....

Posted January 8, 2008 link

It's quite a bit faster with vacuum.  I get only a few drips through without vacuum.  A coarser grind (such as used for drip coffee) would probably allow faster filtration without vacuum.  However, I've found that the vacuum need not be very strong to get things moving -- even a very mild vacuum will make a big difference.  All of this depends on grind and the filter medium, of course.  And also probably on the water/grounds ratio -- more water would give gravity more to work with I suppose.  This is probably why pourover filtration slows down so much toward the end when there's little water left.
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gt
Senior Member


Joined: 29 Jan 2007
Posts: 210
Location: Mpls/St Paul MN
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: None
Grinder: Virtuoso
Drip: Cones & CCD
Roaster: P1 w/ variacs
Posted Tue Jan 8, 2008, 10:07am
Subject: Re: Poor Man's Vacuum Pump
 

WonderClown Ė Iíve been trying putting a poly disk (I got from Scott Marquardt) under the paper basket filter but I keep having trouble sealing.  The paper basket filters that fit so nice in my smaller funnel donít work so good in the bigger funnel.   Bunn makes larger diameter filters but I donít have any of them.

rmongiovi Ė Youíre right the plastic funnels would be easy to modify but Iím concerned and clueless about them being food safe.  I agree with WC, vacuum greatly speeds up the filtering in all cases.

Iíve been trying to grind out the upper half of the flutes in this cone so I could get a seal but no luck so far.  This is a 4-hole cone that works fast when full so I would only need to apply vacuum near the end to finish the process.

One things for sure - If Alan ever makes a double capacity AP, it would totally take care of my needs.

gt: Picture 092s.jpg
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rmongiovi
Senior Member


Joined: 7 Feb 2006
Posts: 407
Location: Atlanta, GA
Expertise: I like coffee

Grinder: Ditting KR805
Drip: Technivorm; Bonavita...
Roaster: Hottop B
Posted Tue Jan 8, 2008, 12:02pm
Subject: Re: Poor Man's Vacuum Pump
 

gt Said:

rmongiovi Ė Youíre right the plastic funnels would be easy to modify but Iím concerned and clueless about them being food safe.  I agree with WC, vacuum greatly speeds up the filtering in all cases.

Posted January 8, 2008 link

That would be a prime worry of mine, too.  But I'd expect something designed for lab work would be designed not to contaminate the mixture being filtered.  That could just be naive on my part, though.  As long as  the temperature range of the plastic is good for boiling water, I'd think you'd be pretty safe considering the time the water is in contact with the plastic.  After all, we don't seem to have problems with drinking expensive bottled water that is in contact for much longer and is known to have dissolved plasticizer chemicals in it....
Roy
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