Interesting. Canít say I noticed a decrease in quality when using the Hoffmann method. Basically, quality differences tend to be hard to perceive in a moka pot, in my case. Maybe Iím too used to it to notice but, unless thereís a burnt flavour or some such, I get consistent quality (with the same beans). Still itís nice to think about other effects that method may have, apart from shortening brew time.
For what itís worthÖ I tried spraying the inside of the top part of my 6 cup Moka Express, just before coffee started flowing. One thing which surprised me is that the water didnít evaporate. Given the size of droplets and the direct contact with the allegedly very hot bottom surface of that receptacle, I would have expected the water to turn to steam right away. While itís much lower temperature than beans coming out of a roaster, I expected a similar effect. What I saw instead was a little puddle at the bottom of the receptacle. If I had sprayed a lot more, it would have been an Americano effect! Ok, thatís an exaggeration. What I mean is that spraying there didnít bring much support to the idea that the moka pot gets so hot that it burns the coffee. This batch flowed rather slowly and was as unburnt as usual. The heat level was around 6Ĺ on a Whirlpool ceramic top (ďHiĒ is 9). In my case, when the heat level is either too high or too low as when the grind or the quantity of grounds arenít appropriate, I may occasionally get burnt coffee. My guess is that it has to do with the physics of getting enough pressure in the boiling chamber to push non-boiling water through the grounds all the way up the chimney. Iíd say that increasing the density of the grounds too much or changing the rate of the pressure buildup in the boiler can have detrimental effects. In the Brikka, the size and shape of the boiler may allow for an increase in the pressure buildup so that liquid can push up the ďtop hatĒ and push coffee through these tiny holes to create the emulsion. So that itís even more sensitive to heat level, in some way. But my understanding of physics is very limited and this may be way off. Iím basing these ideas about the process on what Iíve noticed while brewing with these devices.
Posted Thu Aug 18, 2011, 6:05am Subject: Re: Confessions of a Brikka Lover
Interesting observation. I like to try out a lot of things so I tend to experience way more clogs than an average person and yes, I did notice that clogging up the pot tends to produce boiling coffee. It could be that excess pressure build up is possibly heating up the pot even faster. Just to add to that though, I'm thinking that it may also be possible that the coffee was extracting so slowly that it already got to boiling point before even reaching the top container.
Do you have a 2-cup to test on? Possibly your brikka? It might be possible that bigger pots simply heat up slower than smaller models so they're less likely to burn up. When I start from cold with my 4-cup and I don't cool down the top container beforehand, I would sometimes see tiny bubbles form up from the couple of droplets I leave on there. Boiling coffee isn't really so much of a problem but it does occasionally get borderline enough that I need to atleast take notice of it and add just 1 or 2 extra steps to the process to deal with it. For me, a few minutes of fridge water cooldown for the top container before assembly is usually effective enough even without using the pre-boiling methods.
Noticed the same thing. Itís all the same effect, it sounds like. Anything where you need higher pressure. The temperature of the top chamber matters less, in this case. Itís really about the water which goes through the grounds. Thereís a possibility that requiring more pressure also implies higher water temperature.
Doing a couple of searches, what Iím finding about the physics of moka pot brewing is based on either opinion or inconclusive evidence. Sounds like ďthe jury is still outĒ as to the temperature of water going through grounds in a moka pot. My own opinion is that there are conditions under which this temperature may be too high but that itís possible to avoid those conditions.
Do you have a 2-cup to test on? Possibly your brikka? It might be possible that bigger pots simply heat up slower than smaller models so they're less likely to burn up.
Thatís a friendís hypothesis but I wouldnít say itís that clear-cut. I think the Brikka is more sensitive to problems associated with the heat level. Part of it might have to do with size (my friend uses a non-Brikka). But there might be something about the pressure needed. I saw something about the pressure being needed after the water goes through the grounds but Iíd imagine that it works like a tube at this point and the pressure is needed from bottom to top. Or something.
a few minutes of fridge water cooldown for the top container before assembly is usually effective enough even without using the pre-boiling methods.
Posted Fri Aug 19, 2011, 3:48am Subject: Re: Confessions of a Brikka Lover
I think the Brikka is more sensitive to problems associated with the heat level. Part of it might have to do with size (my friend uses a non-Brikka).
Yeah. That's what I was talking about. I'm thinking that since bigger pots like the 6-cup have more metal in them that can take in heat, it might be possible that overheating is a way less problem for them than on something like a 2-cup model.
Oh, thatís interesting! Another thing I might try. It doesnít make assembly more difficult?
Absolutely not. It just feels a bit gnarly the first time you do it because of the really cold metal. Don't forget to discard the cold water before doing the assembly though or you might accidentally spill it somewhere else (I know I did once lol).
Just to update on the sieving grounds discussion:
The finest mesh I could buy still had holes that are sized at about .8mm. However, I noticed that when sieving, the grounds fall through in a segregated fashion with dust getting removed first. Because of this, I eventually reached a point where only particles that had 'drip grind' sizes (.5mm-.8mm) were falling through.
In conclusion, it may not have worked the way I expected but I'm still pretty confident that this fine mesh will serve me well when I try doing drip-style brews again.
ybl8te Senior Member Joined: 22 Aug 2011 Posts: 4 Location: New Zealand Expertise: Just starting
Posted Mon Aug 22, 2011, 11:26am Subject: Re: Confessions of a Brikka Lover
Hi all, first time user and first post...
am going to buy either the moka pot or brikka - two people will be using this for size, and if we measure our normal cups they are about 400mls of liquid we normally drink including milk (instant moccona)
I like coffee strong, when at tech I normally drink short blacks, SWMBO (she who must be obeyed) likes a coffee but weaker and if I make it stronger, more sugar goes in!
At home its instant moccona range with 2-2.5 teaspoons in a cup with a little milk and 3/4 teaspoon of sugar......
I have been reading this very long thread, interesting I must say. Some people are very anal about how things should be done - a bit like myself when playing my vinyl records and valve amplifier and Tannoy speakers I guess!! Any way I was thinking about the Brikka due to thinking it makes more crema.........but reading 154 pages - I am thinking maybe people enjoy the taste of the moka pot more......
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