Bellman CX25 brew basket holes!?
Greetings fellow coffee lovers,
I've recently purchased a bellman cx25 style machine from eBay. It's obviously an old machine not one of the more current remakes. I'm struggling to get a good brew from it so far and I'm trying to troubleshoot the machine, as I've followed every tutorial I could find on the best way to brew with a bellman to no avail. All the seals are intact and have not perished but I'm not getting a steady flow of coffee from the spout even if I close the coffee valve after the first few drops come through and wait for pressure to build. I may not be waiting long enough (2-3 minutes) but all I'm getting is watery brown liquid, nothing like the shots I've seen coming from these devices on YouTube. The leftover water after brewing looks like a better coffee than what I'm getting out of the spout! Well maybe not but it's obvious I'm getting some leakage back into the boiling chamber. Since the seals appear to be ok my only theory is that the leakage is occurring in the brew basket, I don't have another machine to compare it to and I've googled images of the replacement brew baskets and none of them appear to have any holes on the side of the brew basket, but mine does! Two small holes about 2/3 of the way up the basket at 12 and 6 o'clock. Could any other bellman owners confirm if they have such holes. They appear to be there by design not a user mod but maybe I have an old revision and need to purchase a new basket or change the brewing method to get better coffee. Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated.
upload a picture
I hope this works, if it does, here's an image of said holes.
I have a CX25P, it's a couple of years old and it does not have holes in the side of the basket. I believe that they will be allowing some of the brew to escape back into the boiler.
Perhaps you could try plugging them with epoxy putty. This would probably be a very temporary solution, but should allow you to see what sort of brew you can get without the holes.
I use some of the method shown on a youtube video guide called proper use of a Bellman CX25P.
But I do tamp the grounds lightly with a wooden disc that has a hole in the middle. I find that with slightly firmer tamp I can use the "six cup" spacer, but the "three cup" is hopeless.
Last edited by deegee; 30th April 2015 at 10:32 AM.
Reason: Bad Link
It looks like your filter basket is aluminium. That means you have an older style unit, possible from when the design was owned by Benjamin and Medwin before Bellman bought the rights to it. The new model is all stainless steel including the filter basket. Fortunately the new parts still fit the old units and you can get a brand new filter basket from Di Bartoli for about $25 +shipping. I currently own a new Bellman CX-25, but I previously had an older style with a badly pitted aluminium filter basket. I replaced the filter basket with a new one (+ new seals and filter screen) and the older unit was suddenly like new again so I sold it to a family member. Its now just as capable as my new one of making a really good brew. I'd suggest you consider getting a new filter basket from Di Bartoli.
Hi deegee and Leroy, cheers for your responses.
Yeah I suspected the holes would not be there on the newer units, I really can't see the point in them to be honest. No wonder bellman did away with them in their revision. Mind you, if you follow the original instructions as opposed to allowing extra pressure to build as per the proper use video, the holes may not be so much of an issue as the brew will just head straight out of the spout; rather than water being in the basket long enough, with a significant enough amount of pressure for any to get back to the boiler. I've not tried this yet as I'm really just trying to avoid wasting precious beans. Also I've been using the reducer but many people seem to think it's a complete waste of time to use it at all. I'll give the six cup a try and try to fashion some sort of tamp as suggested.
I had thought about buying some food safe epoxy to plug the holes but by the time I've forked out for that I may as well have just plumped for a new basket. What I might do is wedge some wooden toothpicks in there from the inside to get a nice interference fit then just break them off and sand them down flush. I'm hoping this will give a tight enough seal to see what kinda brew a fresh basket would give me before I decide to buy one.
Thanks Leroy, I've seen the Di Bartoli store. I was actually looking at getting a CX25P from there in the first place (gotta love that gauge) but they're out of stock. Then I saw this guy on eBay and it was a no brainer really since it was only 28 bucks. Good to know the parts will be interchangeable though. I had assumed as much but your confirmation is reassuring.
I'll give the toothpick idea a go and see how it works.
Thanks again for your help guys.
The toothpick plan sounds good. I agree that you are better off spending nothing until you've tried it out.