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Cuisinart DCC-1200 Brew Central simple mod for better coffee
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PhillyRick
Senior Member


Joined: 17 Dec 2012
Posts: 30
Location: Philadelphia
Posted Mon Dec 17, 2012, 6:01pm
Subject: Cuisinart DCC-1200 Brew Central simple mod for better coffee
 

My own temperature measurements with my Cuisinart DCC-1200 provided results very similar to those of Kross (posted in April): a plateau of about 180-185 F, with the water temperature rising into the ideal range only during the last minute or two.

I examined the construction of the unit, and observed that the water is carried from the heating element to the top through a narrow plastic tube that passes through the water tank.  Perhaps insulating this tube would increase the water temperature at the brewing head, and improve the coffee.

Digging into my collection of food-grade plastic tubing (incidental to my home brewing), I found a piece with about 3/8 in inside diameter, cut it to 6 in (15 cm), and slit it longitudinally with a small V at one end (to make threading it onto the water supply tube easier).  After several tries, I succeeded, and filled the water reservoir for a test.

To measure the water temperature, I used a CDN digital cooking thermometer whose tip was inside a reservoir made from a 15mL coffee scoop, which in turn was fastened with elastic bands under the spray head.  This minimized the moment-to-moment temperature variations as the unit burbled along.

With 12 cups of water in the reservoir (starting temperature 55 F), the water at the spray head reached 195 F in 6.5 minutes, and stayed between there and 205F until the last minute (11), when steam began to escape.

With 8 cups of water in the reservoir (starting temperature 70 F), the temperature at the spray head reached 195 F at 4.5 minutes (194.5 at 4 min), and stayed between there and 205 F until steam began spurting at 8 minutes.

So, a minor modification of the DCC-1200 improves the brewing temperatures; and yes, the coffee it makes is better too.

Rick
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PhillyRick
Senior Member


Joined: 17 Dec 2012
Posts: 30
Location: Philadelphia
Posted Sat Jan 12, 2013, 10:45am
Subject: Re: Cuisinart DCC-1200 Brew Central simple mod for better coffee
 

P.S. If anyone tries this, please let me know the results!

Rick
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kross
Senior Member


Joined: 19 Feb 2012
Posts: 16
Location: Seattle, WA
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Thu Feb 28, 2013, 3:51pm
Subject: Re: Cuisinart DCC-1200 Brew Central simple mod for better coffee
 

I'm glad to see someone replicated my results with the Cuisinart.  I also thought about insulating that tube, but never bothered.  Instead I bought a Technivorm. :)

Thanks for sharing the results of your experiment!

-- Kevin
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PhillyRick
Senior Member


Joined: 17 Dec 2012
Posts: 30
Location: Philadelphia
Posted Fri Mar 1, 2013, 7:23am
Subject: Re: Cuisinart DCC-1200 Brew Central simple mod for better coffee
 

Hi Kevin,

What surprises me is that over 520 people have read that post, but nobody has reported trying the mod.

Occasionally I check the temp in the grounds with our usual 6-8 "cup" (1-1.3L) batches.  From about halfway into the brew cycle on, they're consistently 195-197F, starting with ~60F water this time of year.

I wouldn't mind one bit having a Technivorm; but my frugal New England soul squirms at spending all that money when we have a serviceable coffeemaker already.  Maybe for my birthday...

Rick
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msboo
Senior Member


Joined: 10 Nov 2012
Posts: 288
Location: Kentucky
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso, Capresso...
Drip: Technivorm, Bonavita
Posted Fri Mar 1, 2013, 9:28am
Subject: Re: Cuisinart DCC-1200 Brew Central simple mod for better coffee
 

"Pimp My Brewer"!  I read your post a while back, was amazed. I was just getting into all the info here so didn't comment at that time. When brewing your usual 6-8 cups, what's the brew time (extraction), coffee and grind are you using?  (read your timing for water heating to brew temp for 8 cups @ 4.5 mins and "until steam began spurting at 8 minutes")

Becky
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PhillyRick
Senior Member


Joined: 17 Dec 2012
Posts: 30
Location: Philadelphia
Posted Fri Mar 1, 2013, 10:05am
Subject: Re: Cuisinart DCC-1200 Brew Central simple mod for better coffee
 

The DCC-1200 takes a fairly predicable 1 minute per "cup".  I have a Krups whirly grinder (I know... but the uniformity is surprisingly good) and grind for 15-20 sec, which gives something on the fine side of "drip" on the big grinders at Whole Foods.  

I've been experimenting with several coffees lately, from Philly roasters.  My favorites so far are Burlap & Bean Peru la Florida (regular) and Coffee Scoop Kimodo Decaf.  Old City Coffee's Balzac (regular) and San Francisco Decaf (CO2 processed) are also lovely, but hard for me to get.

Rick
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msboo
Senior Member


Joined: 10 Nov 2012
Posts: 288
Location: Kentucky
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso, Capresso...
Drip: Technivorm, Bonavita
Posted Fri Mar 1, 2013, 10:30am
Subject: Re: Cuisinart DCC-1200 Brew Central simple mod for better coffee
 

Guess if you've been 'whirly' grinding for a while you've sort of perfected it in your own way. I was told when grinding with a whirly, you need to shake the grinder while grinding for a more consistent grind. I just got a Virtuoso and it seems I need to grind much finer for my Bonavita drip---even at 20 it's way too coarse.

Since your Cuisinart mod has worked so well, why not get a better grinder before investing in a brewer---if/when you decide to drop some $$ on coffee gear.
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PhillyRick
Senior Member


Joined: 17 Dec 2012
Posts: 30
Location: Philadelphia
Posted Sat Mar 2, 2013, 11:42am
Subject: Re: Cuisinart DCC-1200 Brew Central simple mod for better coffee
 

Becky,

Well, I've been thinking about a grinder, too.  I have no desire to make espresso, and I don't want to spend big bucks.  Finding a well-reviewed grinder that doesn't choke on dark beans (we're fans of French roast) is a challenge.  Might post a query on that.

Rick
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msboo
Senior Member


Joined: 10 Nov 2012
Posts: 288
Location: Kentucky
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso, Capresso...
Drip: Technivorm, Bonavita
Posted Sat Mar 2, 2013, 8:56pm
Subject: Re: Cuisinart DCC-1200 Brew Central simple mod for better coffee
 

Hey Rick,

I'm sure you've seen Baratza grinders mentioned here. Great quality and customer service is top notch. Searching/posting here about that will provide you with lots of helpful comments for your own grinder needs. I did my research but posting here helped me narrow things down and confirmed my decision with no regrets. We're not espresso drinkers at our house, only auto-drip. I do, however, have a couple of french presses I've not used in years. I plan on getting a Clever Dripper (brews like press but drips out in the end) so will need to grind coarser for that, just like French Press. A good grinder makes all the difference.

Becky
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PhillyRick
Senior Member


Joined: 17 Dec 2012
Posts: 30
Location: Philadelphia
Posted Sun Mar 3, 2013, 11:26am
Subject: Re: Cuisinart DCC-1200 Brew Central simple mod for better coffee
 

Becky,

I'm going to try to pick up a Breville conical burr grinder this afternoon.  Apparently the Baratza Encore chokes on French roast or darker, and we really like French roast.

Rick
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