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al_bongo
Senior Member


Joined: 26 Aug 2008
Posts: 455
Location: Scotland
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Starbucks Barista
Grinder: Solis 166/Iberital MC2
Vac Pot: Cona
Drip: Chemex/Melitta
Posted Mon Jun 18, 2012, 7:48pm
Subject: Clever Coffee Dripper Issues
 

I've more or less given up on my Clever and wondered if anyone had overcome the issue of the filter not draining fully in a reasonable time?

I have been aiming for a steep time of 2.5 minutes with the aim of completing the draw down by 4 mins or so. Unfortunately by the 5 min mark there is usually 30 -40ml of brew left which takes for ever to drain. Sure I can ditch the brew at 4 mins but it annoys me and frankly the brew tastes sour and over extracted. Further complicated by fact that when I brew more coffee to compensate for what doesn't drain I'm left with an even larger residue up top.

Grind size is largely irrelevant since the filter clogs irrespective of this. Predominantly use Melitta filters. Have tried stirring/not stirring.

The grinder is not the issue since I'm using a new commercial grinder (not an espresso grinder).

Generally having very disappointing results from what on paper looked an ideal brewing method.
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frank828
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Joined: 23 Feb 2011
Posts: 581
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: Professional

Posted Mon Jun 18, 2012, 11:14pm
Subject: Re: Clever Coffee Dripper Issues
 

ive started using chemex filters to avoid this.  it works well but quite a bit more pricey.
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SoundGuyAndy
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Joined: 22 Mar 2012
Posts: 11
Location: New York, NY
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Alex Duetto II
Grinder: Virtuoso+Esatto, Vario-W
Drip: Aeropress, Chemex, Norelco...
Posted Tue Jun 19, 2012, 3:29am
Subject: Re: Clever Coffee Dripper Issues
 

I know you don't think it's grind size, but I'd bet it is. Just a small adjustment can make a huge difference in draw time. What kind of grind are you using? I suspect you're way too fine. For a 2:30/4:00, I use 25ish on my Maestro Plus. To go up to a 3:30-4:00 steep, I coarsen up to 28 or so.

-Andy
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Netphilosopher
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Joined: 14 Jan 2011
Posts: 1,602
Location: USA
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Tue Jun 19, 2012, 4:29am
Subject: .
 

.
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DrugOfChoice
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Feb 2008
Posts: 102
Location: CT USA
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Rancilio Rocky
Vac Pot: Yama 5 Cup
Drip: Krups Moka Brew, Behmor...
Posted Tue Jun 19, 2012, 5:04am
Subject: Re: Clever Coffee Dripper Issues
 

I grind the same as I do for drip and don't have stalling problems using a Melitta filter.

The OP states that stalling occurs irrespective of grind size, but that is not my experience.  My experience is that there is a threshold of fineness that will produce stalls, but it isn't THAT fine, and you have a lot of flexibility to experiment above the threshold. One of the advantages of the CCD is that you can adjust grind to avoid stalling and then adjust steep time to your grind size.

One tip that I read somewhere that I follow is to preheat/prewet by filling the cone/filter with hot water and then discarding the water by pouring it out the TOP of the cone (not by draining it through the filter by placing it on a cup). Supposedly this reduces stalling by washing away any loose filter particles. I haven't really comparison tested this method and don't know how valid the explanation is, but I do it and don't have stalling problems.

 
Just because it happened to you doesn't make it interesting.

In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.
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sweaner
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sweaner
Joined: 16 Nov 2007
Posts: 1,141
Location: Yardley, PA
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Espresso: Vetrano, Arrarex Caravel, La...
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Roaster: Poppery II
Posted Tue Jun 19, 2012, 5:50am
Subject: Re: Clever Coffee Dripper Issues
 

I must be either grind size or too many fines in the grind. I have not had the problem unless I try to grind too fine.

 
-Scott
“Coffee - the favorite drink of the civilized world.”
Thomas Jefferson
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svyerkgeniiy
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Dec 2006
Posts: 380
Location: New York City, NY
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: (-ish) Bialetti moka pot
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Vac Pot: Yama (large 8-cup)
Drip: Technivorm KBT; Clever...
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Tue Jun 19, 2012, 6:58am
Subject: Re: Clever Coffee Dripper Issues
 

al_bongo Said:

I've more or less given up on my Clever and wondered if anyone had overcome the issue of the filter not draining fully in a reasonable time?

I have been aiming for a steep time of 2.5 minutes with the aim of completing the draw down by 4 mins or so. Unfortunately by the 5 min mark there is usually 30 -40ml of brew left which takes for ever to drain. Sure I can ditch the brew at 4 mins but it annoys me and frankly the brew tastes sour and over extracted. Further complicated by fact that when I brew more coffee to compensate for what doesn't drain I'm left with an even larger residue up top.

Grind size is largely irrelevant since the filter clogs irrespective of this. Predominantly use Melitta filters. Have tried stirring/not stirring.

The grinder is not the issue since I'm using a new commercial grinder (not an espresso grinder).

Generally having very disappointing results from what on paper looked an ideal brewing method.

Posted June 18, 2012 link

I have seen this problem exactly.  In my case, it was the grinder itself.

I own a Vario.  Whenever I used the Vario, no matter how coarse the grind, the drain from the CCD was slow.  Even a coarse grind was slower than it should have been, and the resulting cup was astringent.  My diagnosis was that there were too many fines in the grounds, and this correlates with Mark Prince's observations on the Vario.

I switched to a Preciso.  The dust is significantly reduced.  I can even grind finer and the drip still completes in a reasonable time.  It is probably not worth it for you to switch grinders, but it was the issue for me.

Another option to check is the actual filter type itself-- perhaps you'll see improvement if you switch brands, especially if Chemex works better for you.  I've found that Melitta filters from the local grocery are more likely to plug up on me, but the Filtropa brand that I get from Sweet Maria's are much better at draining faster.  Chemex filters are about 7.5c each, but Filtropas are 4.5c each.  I just order multiple-boxes each shipment from SM's, but I shop there a lot anyway.

Perhaps you didn't notice this problem with other drip brewers because you might not have to wait for those last drops to consider your mostly-full pot "done".

 
Donald Varona
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EricBNC
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EricBNC
Joined: 22 Jun 2010
Posts: 1,869
Location: North Carolina
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: QM Silvano, LP Stradivarius,...
Grinder: K30, Major, Preciso, Pharos,...
Vac Pot: Sunbeam C30, Bodum Santos...
Drip: Bonavita BV-1800,...
Roaster: Behmor, Melitta, Fresh...
Posted Tue Jun 19, 2012, 1:17pm
Subject: Re: Clever Coffee Dripper Issues
 

al_bongo Said:

The grinder is not the issue since I'm using a new commercial grinder (not an espresso grinder).

Posted June 18, 2012 link

How new is the grinder? Maybe the burrs are not broken in yet.

 
I chew coffee beans with my teeth while gargling with 195 F water to enjoy coffee. What is this "coffee brewing" device you speak of?
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frank828
Senior Member


Joined: 23 Feb 2011
Posts: 581
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: Professional

Posted Tue Jun 19, 2012, 1:24pm
Subject: Re: Clever Coffee Dripper Issues
 

i definitely feel this is an issue with the filters i was using.  In my case, about 75-80% of the coffee would drain predictably then the remaining water would pool up and take a long time to drain.

i saw a shop near me using the chemex filters on their clevers so i decided to give it a try and now i have no issues with my drain time.

i wonder if other brands of filters may be better.  i was using some cheapie stuff that i got from amazon.
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al_bongo
Senior Member


Joined: 26 Aug 2008
Posts: 455
Location: Scotland
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Starbucks Barista
Grinder: Solis 166/Iberital MC2
Vac Pot: Cona
Drip: Chemex/Melitta
Posted Tue Jun 19, 2012, 6:51pm
Subject: Re: Clever Coffee Dripper Issues
 

EricBNC Said:

How new is the grinder? Maybe the burrs are not broken in yet.

Posted June 19, 2012 link

I guesst this is a possibility, since it's only a month or so old, with a pound of beans going through it a week. Do they really need a break in period?

Very frustrating since I recently replaced my Maestro plus with a Mahlkoenig Tanzania (over kill and then some). The coarsest setting on this is 9 = 900microns which I read on another post on here corresponds to 22-23 on a Baratza Virtuoso.

I'm taking the Virtuoso correlation with a pinch of salt since 9 in too coarse for a French press with a steep time of 4 mins. The grind appears superbly even compared to the Maestro Plus as you would expect so I am not suspecting a fault nor that it is wrongly set since the results are excellent with French press. Ironic since I prefer a cleaner filtered brew.

I also had exactly the same problem with the Clever using the Maestro plus with settings of between 22-28. The Maestro latterly may have been worn or possibly even faulty (too uneven a grind even for the Aeropress).

I'll try the Filtropa and Chemex filters and the tip to empty the rinse water out the top. I suppose in the interim the burrs may bed in.
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