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Thread: Fuel for Syphon Coffee Maker?

  1. #1
    Senior Member paulau's Avatar
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    Fuel for Syphon Coffee Maker?

    Hi,

    I picked up a Hario Syphon Coffee Maker, just wonder if any one has any recommendations for a fuel to use for it? It says to use alchohol, i would assume it would be something similar to used in a camping stove, but hopefully not something that stinks to much.

    Also any advice on a type of grind?

    Thanks,
    Paul

  2. #2
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    Re: Fuel for Syphon Coffee Maker?

    Hi Paul,

    A relatively coarse grind works fairly well for me, but something finer than a french press grind. I gather that this is a "filter" grind. You can experiment with dose, but something like 10g per "cup" (ie. 120mL in Hario speak) is a good place to start.

    The key thing is to make sure that you start off with boiling water in the bottom. Heat it so that it bubbles without the top part locked in. You should, however, leave the top part in the bottom, so that the chain hits the base and provides a nucleation site for bubbles to form on when boiling the water. Once it comes to the boil, lock the top part into the bottom and watch it shoot up north. Make sure that there is still a little bit of water in the bottom, above the flame - this prevents the glass from cracking. If there are large bubbles and a lot of turbulence in the top section, you will need to lower the flame slightly. Throw the coffee in, stir, wait, cut the flame, stir and enjoy the show! I find that cutting the flame after about 30 to 45 seconds is about right.

    Im sure that theres an art to vac pots that mirrors all that we know about espresso.

    Hope that helps,

    Luca

  3. #3
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    Re: Fuel for Syphon Coffee Maker?

    Paul,

    By alcohol they mean an alcohol lamp. I use metho and it seems to work well and not smell too much.

    For my Hario I have a small butane gas burner that fits perfectly under the vac pot. It gives me much more control. I would highly reccomend getting one of those.

    As far as grind goes........ coarser than epresso but trial and error is the only way to dial in you coffee to your pot. You should also experiment with brew times, water volume, dose size etc. Lots of variables......... Luca gave a very accurate decription of the basic method that is best to follow.

    Im sure you will come to love your pot, they are great fun and make wonderful coffee.


    Billy B

  4. #4
    Senior Member paulau's Avatar
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    Re: Fuel for Syphon Coffee Maker?

    I was trying to avoid using metho due to the smell.

    I remember there used to be a shop near my work that specialized in lamps and similar, how ever unfortunately its gone now.

    Out of curiosity where did you get the butane burner from?

    Thanks,
    Paul

  5. #5
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    Re: Fuel for Syphon Coffee Maker?

    Yeah, I find the metho to be quite ok when used in my lamps. Very little smell and burns very clean. Not sure what else is easy to get.......

    The butane burner is one of my favourite coffee tools. It is just brilliant! I got mine off a friend of a friend, I know that doesnt help you much, sorry. Well worth searching for.




    Billy B

  6. #6
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    Re: Fuel for Syphon Coffee Maker?

    Hello all,

    I know I am late to this discussion: but I love my vacuum brewers!

    I was also wondering about what the very best, cleanest burning fuel to use in burners was? Most people recommend pure alcohol but as I understand it Australians cant get that too easy. We cant be trusted apparently...

    Is metho really the best product?

    Also I now have the butane burners available in my online store. Follow the link to sorrentinacoffee.com on the site sponsor pages. We have two new syphon models available.


  7. #7
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    Re: Fuel for Syphon Coffee Maker?

    I use metho in a fish smoker and it works fine. My understanding is metho is alchohol based.

  8. #8
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    Re: Fuel for Syphon Coffee Maker?

    metho (methylated spirits) is ethanol (drinking alcohol) which has been rendered toxic by adding around 10% methanol. Methanol is the simplest form of alcohol (having only 1 carbon atom in the compound, whereas drinking alcohol (ethanol) has two carbon atoms) and is incredibly toxic. It reacts with the liver to form compounds which can cause permanent blindness and basically causes very very bad alcohol poisoning.

    Chemistry is fun. 8-)

    MM

  9. #9
    sdg
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    Re: Fuel for Syphon Coffee Maker?

    And heres a handy webpage which says basically what MM just said -- but also has the added warning:

    "Do not refill a metho burner until it is cool enough to touch. This is to avoid accidentally igniting the fuel bottle"

    And fare-thee-well to thine eyebrows :o

    So thisd be *why* chemistry is such fun!

  10. #10
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    Exclamation HELP! Fuel for Syphon Coffee Maker?

    Dear Friends,

    Sorry to reply to an old quote. However I don't want to burn my house down!

    I received a Nispira Belgian-style balance siphon coffee maker for Christmas. The directions gave no indication of what fuel to use, beyond "flammable alcohol." I went out and bought kerosene (!). I know, I'm an idiot. You can imagine the current smell in my apartment. I subsequently ordered "clear lamp oil" on line. However, I am wondering if, instead, I should have bought methanol? Is there a difference between "lamp oil" and "paraffin" and "methanol"? What should I be using with this device?

    The fire department thanks you, and I thank you!

    L.C.

    Quote Originally Posted by paulau View Post
    Hi,

    I picked up a Hario Syphon Coffee Maker, just wonder if any one has any recommendations for a fuel to use for it? It says to use alchohol, i would assume it would be something similar to used in a camping stove, but hopefully not something that stinks to much.

    Also any advice on a type of grind?

    Thanks,
    Paul

  11. #11
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    G'day L.C ...

    Metho is the fuel to use. It is 90-95% Ethyl Alcohol with the rest usually Methanol to denature it.

    Mal.

  12. #12
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    Thanks! Just out of curiosity, what would happen if I used paraffin instead?

  13. #13
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    I wouldn't recommend it...

    Tends to be smoky (coal/oil based) and in certain conditions will burn at too high a temperature.
    Best to stick with what fuel is intended.

    You can also get some great little Butane/Propane burners designed expressly for this purpose so might be worth considering one of these...

    Mal.
    greenman likes this.

  14. #14
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    Hi L.C.

    I wouldn't mind trying out those butane burners Mal talks about myself.

    I use metho in a small metho burner, which fits nicely under my siphon...It is inexpensive, adjustable on how hot it can go right down to shutting off the flame. I find being adjustable useful when doing a siphon as I can adjust the heat as I see fit...Please be careful as metho has a non luminous flame... I don't get any soot or any build up on the outside of my siphon and the siphon works a treat, producing nice, clean tasting coffee...I've found It's quite nice and novel (once you have practiced it by yourself of course ) to set the siphon up when you have visitors over for dinner:0...I haven't done a siphon for quite some time actually...Should really do one soon I think.

    Cheers.
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  15. #15
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    My Syphon is a favourite brewer around our place...
    Makes a superbly flavourful, clean and sweet brew.

    Mal.
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  16. #16
    Senior Member greenman's Avatar
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    Concur with Mal on the butane burners for syphon brewing--just the ants pants!!!
    Dimal and bigdaddy like this.

  17. #17
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    I was afraid that metho would cause odors in my apartment, which not only is small (810 sq. ft. or 75 sq. m.) but also has wall-to-wall carpeting. I ordered "clear lamp oil" (click for photo). Was that a mistake?

    https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon....L._SL1500_.jpg

  18. #18
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Metho burns almost completely odourless so no reason for concern there really...

    Mal.

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    Is my “clear lamp oil” dangerous in any way?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeonardoCiampa View Post
    I was afraid that metho would cause odors in my apartment, ...
    ... as opposed to oil??

    I don't know whether it is dangerous per se, but I wouldn't use it. The label says it all: "For use in oil lamps and oil candles".

    Personally I wouldn't use oil in place of alcohol.

  21. #21
    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    I suspect there was a loss in translation...

    Aussie "Metho" = methylated spirits = Denatured alcohol
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denatured_alcohol

    As per the posts above... use "metho" in the burner you have
    or get something like this:
    burner.jpg

    ...don't use kero, paraffin, petrol, methanol, nitro...
    Dimal likes this.

  22. #22
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    Probably from the outset I should have attached a photo of my machine, so that we all knew what we were talking about. Better late than never – here it is:

    https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon....OL._SY450_.jpg

  23. #23
    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    I knew what you were talking about, they have been around for a long time... and my post above it still true.

    They are a good gizmo, if you use "metho" in the burner then when coffee has finished brewing the flame is automatically put out.

    Just get some metho and some fresh coffee and you will be fine.
    Dimal likes this.

  24. #24
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    OK, I 100% trust you! Now, let’s hope that I can find it here in America! Sincerest thanks, and best greetings from Boston.

  25. #25
    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    $8.87 for a QT at Home Depot.
    https://www.homedepot.com/p/Klean-St...5003/202249513

    ...put a coat on, it's cold outside.
    Dimal and noonar like this.

  26. #26
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    Perfect! And there's one right near my house! Many thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy View Post
    $8.87 for a QT at Home Depot.
    https://www.homedepot.com/p/Klean-St...5003/202249513

    ...put a coat on, it's cold outside.

  27. #27
    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy View Post
    $8.87 for a QT at Home Depot.
    https://www.homedepot.com/p/Klean-St...5003/202249513

    ...put a coat on, it's cold outside.
    A Wind Chill Watch, a Coastal Flood Warning, and a Blizzard Warning are all in effect in Beantown!


    Java "Got wind?" phile
    Toys! I must have new toys!!!

  28. #28
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Quote Originally Posted by Andy View Post
    ...don't use kero, paraffin, petrol, methanol, nitro...
    Haha...

    Good one mate.

    Mal.

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