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Old 02-02-2006, 05:01 AM   #1
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Vacuum brewers

Anyone got any experience with vacuum brewing? I've been reading about it for a while now, and was curious about the relative quality of coffee brewed this way as opposed to the Freedom (tm Bloof) Press approach. I'll probably buy a vacuum brewer anyway, but I CAN be talked out of it by someone with abyssmal experience.
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Old 02-02-2006, 07:45 AM   #2
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I'm a bit curious about them. Let us know what you think of it.



*edit*

check this out:

http://www.coffeegeek.com/search?DO=...ry=Vacuum+brew

this page has instructions and reviews
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Old 02-02-2006, 11:34 AM   #3
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I just ordered a Cona D brewer, and it should be here within the week. Once I've played with it a bit, I'll post the results and impressions.
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Old 02-10-2006, 05:27 AM   #4
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The vacuum brewer arrived Wednesday, and I took it home and cleaned it up that evening. Didn't make any coffee until last night (Thursday), and I overdid the amount of grounds. By "overdid" I mean probably twice as much as was needed and useful.

Round one went to ignorance and foolishness, but I was not to be defeated!

Poured out the miserable mess and cut the grounds in half, repeated the process, and the coffee was great. I had been somewhat afraid that the coffee would be weak, compared with that made in a Freedom (tm Bloof) Press, but it isn't. It's very good, and very close to perfect. The coffee used was Guatemala Antigua Peaberry, and unless I'm mistaken (which, you know, I'm not), it tastes even better than the Freedom Press version.

Now, this may all be due to my own incompetence with both types of coffee makers, but I have to say that I prefer the coffee (so far) made in the vacuum brewer. The main drawback is the time it takes. I made another pot this morning at home, and was almost half an hour late getting to work, but since I'm usually here at least an hour before anyone else, if you don't tell, I won't tell.

Looks like for daily coffee I'll be using the Freedom Press, and for weekends I'll use the vacuum brewer. Come on weekend.
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Old 02-10-2006, 08:27 AM   #5
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How long did it take you to brew coffee from whole beans to finished product?
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Old 02-10-2006, 08:40 AM   #6
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That's a fair question. Referring to the literature included with the brewer, they say that if it takes more than a couple of minutes to brew (once the water has been transferred into the funnel holding the grounds), then your grind is too fine. Mine took more than five minutes to return to the bowl, so my grind is in definite need of an inspection.

I had roasted the beans a couple of hours before I tried the first pot with the vacuum brewer. From grinding to drinking the first time around was probably fifteen minutes, but I was doing a lot of checking the written information before moving on the the next stages.

Second time, this morning, it only really took a couple minutes for the water to begin to boil in the lower bowl (and you start with hot water, at or near boiling, otherwise it would take forever). Once it starts boiling, it fairly quickly rises into the funnel (where the grounds are). I gave it a couple minutes still on the flame to let it work its magic a bit, and covered the alcohol lamp. The coffee begins draining into the lower bowl again, which is where the grind fineness comes into play.

The finer the grind, the longer it takes. It took a total of about five minutes for the coffee to drain completely from the funnel (grounds) into the bowl (coffee pot). The manufacturer's instructions say it should only take a couple of minutes, and if it takes longer, then the grind is too fine (or you don't have a good seal/vacuum). I will try again, with a coarser grind, tomorrow.

I'll keep you posted.
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Old 02-10-2006, 09:15 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by UnkaMikey
I just ordered a Cona D brewer, and it should be here within the week. Once I've played with it a bit, I'll post the results and impressions.
If you don't mind me asking: Where did you order from and how much was it?
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Old 02-10-2006, 09:36 AM   #8
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I guess the time is right to dig out the folks fifty year old stainless steel "Vac-u-lator" coffee pot and sell it on ebay.

I'm skeptical because the water that goes up the pipe has to be boiling hot and every brewing technique I've learned says that anything over 195F will make the coffee bitter because it dissolves more of the bitter oils in the grounds.
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Old 02-10-2006, 10:14 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Brenda
If you don't mind me asking: Where did you order from and how much was it?
I ordered it from Sweet Maria's, and it cost about $200, with shipping. I ordered from them because I know they ship right away, and they had it in stock, and I'd decided I wanted it, and I hate to wait on something I want.

You can find them for less, if you shop around a bit. Also, the Bodum vacuum brewer is considerably cheaper, as are a few others. I just liked this one.
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Old 02-11-2006, 05:17 AM   #10
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Well dang it

On the way home from work yesterday, I had an accident, and wound up totalling my F-150. Both vehicles were totalled and hauled off, but nobody was hurt in the least. Happened in the center (turn) lane of the busiest street in this part of Texas, so naturally there were plenty of people around to guffaw, holler and point at us. Very pleasant, standing in the middle of the road with folks on both sides staring and ogling, and the passing drivers giving looks like, well, I'd rather not say.

I kept thinking, "I wish I had some coffee."
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Old 02-11-2006, 10:42 AM   #11
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That really stinks, UnkaMikey. At least no one was hurt.
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Old 02-11-2006, 11:47 AM   #12
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I'm terribly sorry to hear that Unk, but take it from someone who knows all too well, have that spine checked out by a chiropractor. Have him/her take x-ray's, and do a sensitivity exam on your arms and legs with the "pizza wheel," etc. It's not enough to get away without broken bones, etc. There are spinal displacements that can occur and have slow building, long term, far reaching effects in your life, and can result in your being twisted, and losing flexibility and nerve function over time. These symptoms might seem like something else, but could all be related to spinal misalignment.

Everyone, even people who have never taken a bad fall, or been involved in a car accident, has certain things happen over the course of every year, that cause minor spinal displacements that should be corrected at least twice a year by chiropractic adjustment, and accessory methods like Electronic Muscle Stimulation and accupressure. Many chiropractors employ these methods and even set up practices with in house massage therapists for maximizing the post chiropractic treatment effect.

Once a spine has been adjusted, the patient needs to understand the importance of maintaining and gaining back, if necessary, good posture and keeping all the muscles of the body well toned in order to keep everything, including vital organs, in their proper place. Massage therapy and even seemingly passive exercises like long walks can go a long way toward helping the chiropractor put things back where they belong and keep them there.

I get very concerned when I hear about vehicles being totalled and people not really being hurt at all. That's what happened to me, and I was hurt badly, but no broken bones. Coming from someone who had a possible professional athletic career destroyed by the after effects of that accident, and has been physically compromised since that day nearly 28 years ago, don't believe you might not be hurt. There's ALWAYS something going on in your neck or back when that happens, even if you don't feel it right away, or think it's done any harm.

It took me a year and eight months after my accident to figure out I needed a chiropractor, and the fact that no bones were broken, and my wounds were stitched up, had not been enough to prevent serious and permanent damage. It was too late to save the best part of my physical abilities. My athletic abilities were never the same. The spine and it's care are glossed over far too often and treated so superficially by most people, including the established medical profession, that many people suffer a loss of vigor in their lives and never understand why.

Now back to topic. Sorry.
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Old 02-11-2006, 03:04 PM   #13
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Bloof, I will take your advice, since you appear to know what you're talking about. Massage therapy, huh? Wonder if they'll have decent coffee
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Old 02-11-2006, 03:28 PM   #14
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Old 02-11-2006, 03:30 PM   #15
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By the way, just to reinforce what I said, Tiki Barber has his own chiropractor, massage therapist and accupuncturist. I met a chiropractor who was once in the running to become Jerome Bettis' personal chiropractor.
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Old 03-13-2006, 07:07 PM   #16
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Been playing with the vacuum brewer for a while now, and I like it. It's a bit more complicated than a Freedom Press, but it's fascinating to watch. The coffee it makes is excellent, and all but free of residue. I enjoy using it, but still really only use it on weekends. I'd say get one if you like to stare at fireplaces, or have fun listening to rain hit a tin roof, or just gazing at a sunrise/sunset.
It's that kind of thing.
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Old 03-14-2006, 06:51 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by UnkaMikey
I'd say get one if you like to stare at fireplaces, or have fun listening to rain hit a tin roof, or just gazing at a sunrise/sunset.
It's that kind of thing.
I'd love to get one but, $200 is too steep for me. I guess I'll just have to wait for mother nature to bless me with sunsets, fire and rain.
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