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Thread: work in progress: de-pressurised filter

  1. #1
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    work in progress: de-pressurised filter

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    hey all. gave my spare Sunbeam double filter to a guy at work and asked him to machine off the outer pressurising layer. see photo below.

    the filter had a year of use and yes, it was that clean inside! Just regular water flushes after use, nothing in there that could have blocked it up (finer ground coffee may have though)

    Havent tried it out yet as the only beans in the house are green and I dont have a roaster yet*, but will keep you posted on how it goes.

    Any tips? (eg adjusting coffee grind?)


    *spent an hour this arvo shopping for a cheap popper with no success, but Ill get a B&D one tomorrow. I had a perverse desire to get a Sunbeam popper to complete my set. Its also the heaviest feeling popper, which imparts some feel of quality that may or may not be at all relevant, and the screws under the rubber feet were plain Phillips, not tamper-proof, so mods would potentially be easier. On the downside though, its the only model with a shutoff microswitch on the (non-removable) lid, which means youd have to hack the lid in half to fit a chimney...


  2. #2
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    Re: work in progress: de-pressurised filter

    noice! I never tried that way of depressurising things.

  3. #3
    Senior Member robusto's Avatar
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    Re: work in progress: de-pressurised filter

    Buy the popper with the cheapest price and longest waranty.

    Robusto

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    Re: work in progress: de-pressurised filter

    Just bought a B&D popper - $23 :)
    Need to make me a chimney now. I thought Id be in luck and able to use some 3" tubing from work, but the popper hole is just a fraction too small... time for plan B...

  5. #5
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    Re: work in progress: de-pressurised filter

    I bought a couple of strainer baskets (for cooling) as well this morning. I only just read the label on them:

    HIGH GRADE LMPORTED
    STAINLESS STEEL BASKET
    NETTING SERIES

    The product can be used in
    washing rice, cleaning rice
    bran and grail will make you
    healthy.
    The water will be drained if
    you putting some vegetable,
    fish and snail in it , when
    putting them into oil pan, the
    edible oil may be splashed
    and your skin may be
    scaled . It is elegant ,healthy
    and luxury for putting some
    fruit in meeting room and
    receiption room.

    ACCEP TANCE CERTIFICATE

  6. #6
    Senior Member robusto's Avatar
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    Re: work in progress: de-pressurised filter

    Nothing like a snail to drain water. Must be an ancient Chinese practice!

    Must also be the holy grail of health --- and a must as decoration for every "receiption" room.

    What more could one want from a strainer.

    Robusto

  7. #7
    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    Re: work in progress: de-pressurised filter

    They forgot to include that if you put it on your head it will block the Alien Thought Rays! ::) :o

    Java "And this one time...at UFO camp...." phile

  8. #8
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    Re: work in progress: de-pressurised filter

    more progress! Picked up a chimney - a chrome exhaust tip from Autobarn. Perfect fit! presses into the popper and doesnt fall out. 8-)


  9. #9
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    Re: work in progress: de-pressurised filter

    Bling Popper! ;D


  10. #10
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    Re: work in progress: de-pressurised filter

    weighed out 125g of PNG Sireheni AX on the $4.99 K-mart scales...


  11. #11
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    Re: work in progress: de-pressurised filter

    ...grabbed the Robic lap timer, and got roasting!
    A few stirs to get it turning over... I was prepared for the chaff (roasted in the garage), but not for the fact that Id have to stick my face in it to see what was going on inside! :( lucky I wear glasses...
    first crack from 4:00 to 5:00, then second crack started at about 6:00. Pulled the plug at 6:10, at which time the colour was changing really quickly! dumped into the colanders and poured between them for a few minutes.

    Results below. maybe could have gone a little longer as the surface of the beans is still dry - no sheen appearing... a few inconsistent beans as well, but overall it should be good.

    Will return tomorrow when I have a taste!


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    Re: work in progress: de-pressurised filter

    oh, and in case you didnt believe me about the strainer label:


  13. #13
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    Re: work in progress: de-pressurised filter

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt King link=1141290048/0#8 date=1141379592
    Bling Popper! ;D
    Fully sic! Next itll be one of those oversize tachos sitting on the outside. Does it play doof doof music? Nice Job ;)

  14. #14
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    Re: work in progress: de-pressurised filter

    hell yeah! and it goes vrrrmmmmmm-pshhh! on every gear shift! :D

  15. #15
    TC
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    Re: work in progress: de-pressurised filter

    Im seeing a couple of subbies, ecu chip, tint and some vinyl flames down the side.....and how about a fully sick paint job?? *8-) *;)

  16. #16
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    Re: work in progress: de-pressurised filter

    That popper looks remarkably like my Chief brand popper. Only thing thats missing is the sick fart can. I think i need some side skirts, and a big spoiler.

    They must all use the same factory, Chief/Mistral, B&D, and Kambrook. All the poppers are identical, except colours.

  17. #17
    Senior Member robusto's Avatar
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    Re: work in progress: de-pressurised filter

    Also a dead ringer for the Aldi popper.

    Robusto

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    Re: work in progress: de-pressurised filter

    well, just brewed up the first lattes...

    hmm. Id love to know how the "volumetric" dosing on the Sunbeam works: I used the depressurised filter and pressed the two cup button, and got about a double shots worth into each of two cups, in the same time it normally takes for a double...

    Im suspicious that the "volumetric" dosage is in fact just a timer circuit, and that it relies on the presence of the pressurised filter to control the flow rate, on the assumption that coarse-ground supermarket coffee will put up little resistance...

    reasonable coloured crema, but a bit thin and it wasnt lasting... still, at least I know it came from the coffee itself, and not from the filter. :)

    taste was a bit strong. over-extracted maybe? I dont know enough about tasting...

    grinder was set on 11. maybe a finer setting will work, and just controlling the dose manually?

  19. #19
    Senior Member robusto's Avatar
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    Re: work in progress: de-pressurised filter

    Matt, judging from the photo, you wouldnt want the beans any darker. And if you wait for the glossy sheen, again, way over-done. Some like them that way, but by then most of the flavours are dead, and the beans will also oxidise quickly.

    Robusto

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    Re: work in progress: de-pressurised filter

    fair call. The photo colour is a little misleading though They look a fraction lighter in person. I was nervous about leaving them too long, so basically yanked it when I heard 2nd crack. By today a few oil spots had appeared on some of the beans.

    By way of reference to other newbies, Im surprised how easy it is to identify the crack noises. I was expecting something more subtle, but 1st crack is like popping popcorn in a lidded saucepan, and 2nd is like loud ricebubbles in milk. Both are clearly audible over the poppers fan noise.

    sadly Im in NZ for the next few days so I wont be able to taste/experiment with my handiwork...

    anyway, despite the cost (~$20) Im stoked with the bling chimney. seriously, it couldnt be a more perfect fit, the pipe steps down in size so it cant go any deeper, and the end is very very slightly flared so it doesnt just fall out again. Pure fluke that they make them that size. The rolled lip doesnt seem it impede dumping the beans out (but you can get straight-cut tips if that thoughts an issue. Time will tell if the mild steel inner surface shows signs of rust...

  21. #21
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    Re: work in progress: de-pressurised filter

    well, first good step with the de-pressurised filter tonight. I took my over-done batch of Mandheling from last night, loaded up the grinder and started playing with the grind settings.

    Given Sunbeams recommendation of an "espresso" setting of 12-16 on the scale, I was previously nervous about going to extremes, but inspired by Mattbs post in the grinder section I threw out the caution, grabbed a stopwatch and started timing.

    I ended up with a best setting of about 5 on the scale (in the realm of what Sunbeam reckon is the "Turkish" range). Pour time was finally up to the 30 second range. The coffee was oozing and creamy, the cup ended up about 2/3 crema by the end. Looked beautiful. (I tried one run at a setting of 4, the whole cupful was crema, but it was super-bitter.)

    The pucks were coming out much more solid than ever, still some sludge on top if I popped the PF early, but I think thats a machine characterstic.

    The taste still isnt to my liking (not that Im an espresso drinker), but Im hoping thats partly due to the over-roasted beans. Next step is to try a lighter roast.

    Well, enough of me crapping on. Thanks for tolerating it :) And thanks for all your input, even those who havent replied directly but who have offered advice in all the other threads on this forum.

    cheers all.

  22. #22
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    Re: work in progress: de-pressurised filter

    well after last nights feelings of triumph, Im feeling demoralised again today.

    I roasted some Panamaria last night, came out looking good after 6 mins (~1 min post 1st crack, 140g in, 120g out).

    Dialled in the grinder to yesterdays setting (5), and completely choked the machine :(

    backed off a couple of notches, still choking.

    backed off to 10, only barely some flow after about 20 seconds.

    backed off to 12, finally got some pour.

    I reckon 11 would have been perfect, but by then I was nearly through the whole batch, in just 4 shots. Seems like the Sunbeam double filter holds about 25g!

    Man this is confusing me. In the last week Ive roasted ~400g of beans, and made one (average) drink out of it. I was happier pulling gushers through the crema enhancer, and not caring or knowing about this geekiness. Please tell me its worth persisting.

  23. #23
    Senior Member fatboy_1999's Avatar
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    Re: work in progress: de-pressurised filter

    Matt,

    It is SOOOO worth persisting.

    Most of us have been through similar patches.
    You get better at all things related to coffee.
    You learn how to roast your favourites. You learn how to better guess the start point on the grinder for a new bean when you change over. You get to the point when you can look at the same bean youve been using for the last 4 days and think "I reckon I need to go 1 notch coarser today" AND BE RIGHT.

    Dialing in the grinder was something that took me a good while to master. Part of the problem was my dose/tamp routine was not rigid enough. Once you have a set routine, things get easier.

    Keep trying, keep learning, and if you run short of beans between polls, send out an SOS and Im sure one of us can get some to you in an emergency chopper!

    And keep asking questions. The people here love to help, and Ive certainly learnt a lot from them!

    Brett.

  24. #24
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    Re: work in progress: de-pressurised filter

    ... and let your coffee rest a bit! brewing the day after roasting in my experience, is bloody hard work!

    The beans are still degassing, so when you brew a shot, what starts out pouring nicely suddenly puffs up and looks like a blonde gusher. So you compensate with a finer grind, or a higher dose or a heavier tamp ... and it chokes the machine.

    Rest your beans for 2-3 days, and try again!

    Mattyj

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    Re: work in progress: de-pressurised filter

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt King link=1141290048/15#21 date=1142502754
    Man this is confusing me. In the last week Ive roasted ~400g of beans, and made one (average) drink out of it. I was happier pulling gushers through the crema enhancer, and not caring or knowing about this geekiness. Please tell me its worth persisting.
    Grasshopper, it is not the destination you seek...it is the journey.

  26. #26
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    Re: work in progress: de-pressurised filter

    You are tantalisingly close --- dont give up now. You find youself in the desert now, but one more step could set you on the oasis you seek.

    If a setting of notch on the grinder makes no appreciable difference, try two or three and see what happens. That will point you in the right direction without wasting as many beans.

    Robusto



  27. #27
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    Re: work in progress: de-pressurised filter

    I WAS doing jumps in the grinder setting. Alan Frew reckons one click made a ~9 second pour difference. My first tests showed up similar results. But between one day and the next (different bean, different roast) I ultimately adjusted ~6 clicks...

    The other factor is that the resultant product is typically about as palatable as paintstripper (though I did like the newfound "body" of some of my trials that the crema enhancer could never do).

    Am I just a wussy cant-handle-a-real-mans-espresso drinker, or is there more to it? (I assume/hope the latter, given the infinite variables of beans, roast, equipment and technique...)

    anyway, thanks for the encouragement.

  28. #28
    A_M
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    Re: work in progress: de-pressurised filter

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt King link=1141290048/15#26 date=1142559732
    I WAS doing jumps in the grinder setting. Alan Frew reckons one click made a ~9 second pour difference. My first tests showed up similar results. But between one day and the next (different bean, different roast) I ultimately adjusted ~6 clicks...

    The other factor is that the resultant product is typically about as palatable as paintstripper (though I did like the newfound "body" of some of my trials that the crema enhancer could never do).

    Am I just a wussy cant-handle-a-real-mans-espresso drinker, or is there more to it? (I assume/hope the latter, given the infinite variables of beans, roast, equipment and technique...)

    anyway, thanks for the encouragement.
    Well I have just cut the bottem out of one of my filters (old manual EM3600 Sunbeam) and looking to see if that helps me get away from the dreadded 10sec double shot. Grinding and tamping I am happy with and I take hart in reading what you are persisting with.

    Please keep us informed of your progress...

  29. #29
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    Re: work in progress: de-pressurised filter

    I havent updated for a while so Ill let you know where Im up to. (sorry in advance that this is so long...)

    I just roasted the last of my newbie starter pack tonight (will need some more in a week or two!). Coffee has been great, though without a decent reference point (ie a better roaster than me) I cant really spot the flaws...

    The de-P double basket is awesome! I have settled in the EM0480 to about 8 and it pulls ~25 second doubles with great flavour (by my amateur palate). A coffee-loving (but non-geek) friend of mine said it was the best tasting latte hed had in ages, so I must be doing something right. My usual method is to fill the basket pretty much to the brim (after tamping).

    If you dont get the grind right (much finer than what you needed with the Pd baskets), you WILL get 10-sec gushers! On the flipside, get the grind right and suddenly the machine runs much quieter as the coffee itself loads up the pump and slows the flow.

    I pulled out the plastic insert in the portafilter ("stabilising baffle"?) and found a stainless screw and nut (M3) at work to plug the hole. It smells much better than the other PF I have (which still has the plastic). Im not anal enough to do a taste comparison though.

    I also got the single basket de-Pd and dont have much luck with it. Even over-filling the filter and tamping hard and grinding at 7, it still pours in about 10 seconds. Manually dosing, its OK for a milk drink. If I dont cut short the shot manually, the automatic volumetric doser on the EM5800 flows too much water (probably 50ml!) and the shot ends up over-extracted and bitter. (with the standard Pd filter, this didnt happen, it would nail 35ml on the nose). I think this is due to the large filter area of the single (its well over half the area of the double - maybe 80%).

    Ive figured the EM5800s volume dosing system isnt as simple as a timer (eg, choke the machine and it will labour for much longer than if it free-flows). But theres still some undefined relationship between the volume, time and backpressure...

    My steaming technique has steadily improved and I can get a reasonable creamy microfoam (better than most average cafes, though Im sure no match for the good ones), and pour some swirly patterns (not brave enough to call it "art"). Need a couple of different jugs though (bigger for two mugs worth, smaller for a single cappa).

    Im not a straight espresso shot drinker so Ill admit that my results may still horrify a purist, but its working well for me. The fiance needs some more training though (eg letting the machine warm up, pre-heating the PF, cups, etc is a waste of time to her).

    Some time soon (late May I hope) I should be going on the Sunbeam Coffee Appreciation course (checked the eligibility criteria on their website, and since I bought a replacement machine in December I can go), so it will be interesting to see what they say.

  30. #30
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    Re: work in progress: de-pressurised filter

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    follow up - got some better behaviour out of the single de-P filter today.
    Grinder set on 5 choked it.
    Grinder set on 6, slightly less fill than I normally do (tamped maybe 1-2mm below the top of the filter), and it trickled black gold. :)



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