Posted Sat Feb 23, 2013, 8:28am Subject: Bodum Santos bad gasket seal
Hi Guys, I got a Bodum Santos for Christmas, and I'm having a hard time getting the vacuum process to work. Roughly 50% of the time the coffee will not drain/vacuum back down to the lower carafe. I have been trying to change my technique each time, but I have not been able to determine what is causing the lack of vacuum. My technique is pretty standard, I put the top carafe on and seal it pretty much immediately when I start heating the water, and I steep the coffee for usually 90 seconds once all the water is in the top carafe.
This morning I made two pots and neither of them vacuumed successfully. I put my ear up to the gasket and I could hear it whistling pretty good, so there was a vacuum present, but I think it's all leaking out around the gasket. Any ideas about how I can fix it? I was considering putting some Vaseline on the inside of the gasket.
What do you guys think? Is there something wrong with my gasket? Should I bring my complaint to Bodum? Or am I doing something wrong?
Posted Sun Feb 24, 2013, 7:34am Subject: Re: Bodum Santos bad gasket seal
Josh, I and several others have posted "alternative" techniques for brewing vac pot. For instance, heat your water without the top on. Get an inexpensive thermometer, or for $20 you can get a thermocouple device. Grind your coffee when the water is up around 150f. When the water gets to 190f, wet the gasket, and secure the upper globe. the water will rise, when the water is about 2/3 up, put the ground coffee in. When the explosion occurs, stir a few seconds gently with a chopstick. Reduce heat, just to keep the coffee lightly bubbling. it's not boiling, don't worry. You should AKWAYS make a full pot. 1/2 pots don't work well. After 3 minutes up, remove the pot from the burner, place on a paper plate that's been dampened with cool water. This will help to initiate, and speed up the trip down south.
Let us know if that helps.
EDIT: Make sure the grind is not not too fine, nor too coarse either. Start with a slightly finer than drip grind. Also, many of us here replace our OEM filters (I have a Yama and Nicro style stainless pot) with glass filters. Google glass vac pot filters. It will tell which is best for your Bodum.
Posted Mon Feb 25, 2013, 6:21am Subject: Re: Bodum Santos bad gasket seal
Thanks IMAWriter. I have tried the method you described, adding the top when the water is about 190f, I have tried that several times with inconsistant results. All your advice is really great, I would love to buy a glass filter and so forth, but I'm not sure that any of this is addressing my issue of a leaky gasket. Or maybe the gasket isn't the issue at all. I have an old Hario that I tried the method I described and it worked fantastically well. Maybe I have not searched enough, but it doesn't seem like other people are saying the Bodum Santos is normally this inconsistant.
Also, you said to let it steep for 3 minutes, that seems like a very long time.
EvanOz85 Senior Member Joined: 9 Jul 2011 Posts: 271 Location: Lafayette, LA Expertise: I live coffee
Espresso: La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi II Grinder: Baratza Preciso, Hario... Vac Pot: Bodum Santos, Yama 5-cup Drip: Chemex, Kone 3, Kalita Wave,... Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Mon Feb 25, 2013, 8:21am Subject: Re: Bodum Santos bad gasket seal
Your grinder could be producing too many fines and clogging the filter. I've never used the KitchenAid Retro Burr that you are using, but I have not heard good things about it.
If your Santos is new, I *highly* doubt that the gasket is the problem.
Are you stirring a lot before the draw down? Too much stirring, especially circular stirring, can also cause stalled pots.
Three minutes may seem like a long steep time, but it's dependent on the size of the grounds. Coarser grounds need to steep longer, and finer can steep shorter. Some people prefer super fine/super quick grind/times, and some people prefer coarse/longer grind/times. Experiment. However, as long as you are using that KitchenAid, you should stick to finer grind settings because the coarser you go, the more fines will be produced.
Another thing to try is to let the bottom carafe come to a rolling boil before adding the top globe. Once the globe is added, keep the heat on high for a few moments so that the water stays turbulent in the top for a while. Then reduce the heat, grind your coffee, and add it when the temperature has dropped to around 200 degrees (stirring the water can bring down the temp quickly). I find that the more violent the rise in the beginning is, the faster the flow down at the end is.
Posted Mon Feb 25, 2013, 9:40am Subject: Re: Bodum Santos bad gasket seal
Oh, I totally don't have that grinder anymore, it burned out in spectaular fasion. I'll update with my current grinder later today.
But I have it set between drip and french, so it's on the coarser side. I'm not stirring a ton. I'll try out a longer steep, is pressure continuing to build as the steep continues?
Is the filter the problem? I'm using that plastic thing that it comes with. It seems to do a pretty good job of filtering the setiment, but maybe it gets super plugged up. Do you think I can use the paper filter/contraption that my hario uses? I should try that out.
The reason I replaced the hario is that I wanted one I could use on the stovetop, is there a better option available for a stovetop vac pot?
Posted Mon Feb 25, 2013, 10:02am Subject: Re: Bodum Santos bad gasket seal
Good stuff, Evan. A plug here for the Yama vac pots. NEVER a stall, as their gasket is unreal good. I've never used a Bodum here, but have at a friends house. Worked fine, made excellent coffee. I don't use the Yama cloth filter assembly. I love my Cory and Silex "Lox-in" glass filters. Easiest clean-up, and guaranteed results.
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