calblacksmith Moderator Joined: 25 Nov 2007 Posts: 7,662 Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A. Expertise: I live coffee
Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32 Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major Vac Pot: 40s era Silex Drip: Msl. Com. brewers Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Sun Mar 30, 2014, 11:48am Subject: Re: Cloth filter for Cona D vac pot
What problems are you having? I find the glass rod to be great. Mine has a hold down spring though so if you do not then you need to be more gentle with "stirring the pot" LOL
There are problems with which ever way you go, with the cloth filters, you need to replace them regularly though it isnt a big deal, one of the common daily chores women had (it was a different era) was to cut new filters from scrap cloth and clean rags. They need to be washed and keeping them from going rancid between pots is an issue.
Keep checking Ebay for the filter body, one turns up every now and then.
In real life, my name is Wayne P. Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!
Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
Posted Sun Mar 30, 2014, 12:38pm Subject: Re: Cloth filter for Cona D vac pot
Most - if not all - French manufactured Conas had cloth filters rather than glass. I think classicona.com may still be able to supply them as spares. I'd guess that most of the non-Cona ones would work OK, provided the spring length is about right. If all else fails, I have an old one somewhere which you could have, but I think they are a poor second to a properly functioning glass rod.
What are your problems with the glass rod ? Too many grounds going down into the bottom bowl ? Drawdown not working as it should ?
Grounds in bottom bowl - you will always get some because of the type of filter, but they shouldn't be excessive, and should be very very fine. If you have large amounts of coarser grounds doing so, especially just as the brewing process starts, then a couple of things to avoid :-
If you are putting the coffee in the top bowl before the water ascends (you will be advised not to do so, but most people do it that way), you must make absolutely sure not to disturb the rod even slightly, otherwise dry grounds will get undeneath the bulb part of the filter and unseat it when the water just starts to rise allowing grounds to drop into the bottom bowl.
In all cases, be very careful how you stir it.
Slow drawdown - almost always the quality of the grind is at fault. Too much dust clogging it up. You don't need a state of the art grinder, but you do need a competent one that doesn't produce too many "fines". If you get that right, drawdown should start within a few seconds of taking away the heat, and progress to completion. You don't need any of the "wet towel round the bottom bulb" etc.. procedures.
With a less than perfect grinder, you may find grinding finer helps, although I agree it sounds counter intuitive.
You can determine if the grind quality is the problem by trying out some pre-ground packaged coffee ground for filters as a test. It may not be good as coffee, but should at least have a consistent grind, and if the Cona works OK with that, you have isolated the problem
Above based on almost daily experience of using Cona with glass rod.
MadRob Senior Member Joined: 28 Mar 2014 Posts: 2 Location: Humble Expertise: I love coffee
Posted Sun Mar 30, 2014, 3:33pm Subject: Re: Cloth filter for Cona D vac pot
Thank you both for the feedback. I have been having both problems...grounds in the bottom pot and delayed drawdown. I have been adding the grounds prior to the water ascending. I will try doing it afterwards and see if that helps. I also suspected the quality of the grind and have ordered a good quality burr grinder to take care of that potential cause. I think between these two fixes., I should be up and running smoothly soon.
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