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Just purchased a Hario Syphon and....

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  • Just purchased a Hario Syphon and....

    Hi all,

    I have just purchased a Hario 3 cup Syphon and i'm wondering if any one can give me some do's and dont's when using one. Im assuming it takes some trial and error but some expert and amateur views and opinions on using it would be greatly appreciated. Eg temp, bean types and so on.



    PS.. wasn't sure if i should post this here or manual brew equipment so just posted it here

  • #2
    It should be under Manual Brewing where you will find other threads on syphons.

    I'm not an expert but DO
    - buy the butane burner rather than rely on the spirit burner. I've never tried the halogen heater but seems an extravagance.
    - heat the water in the kettle before adding to the syphon
    - view several Youtube videos on the technique
    - use coffee roasted for manual brewing (CS7 - 8)
    - reserve making syphons for occasions when you can take your time to prepare and enjoy
    = wash out the equipment as soon as you can after use.
    - wash your filter well after use. I soak it in water for a few hours then hang it to dry

    ..and DON'T
    - add milk
    - add sugar
    - stir too much
    - be afraid to experiment.


    • #3
      Hey Chris, try this: (rhymes!)

      16gm medium coarseness coffee
      265gm water.

      Fill bottom chamber with the water. Fix the filter in the top chamber and centre it (you can use the stirrer). Stick the top chamber on to the bottom chamber, a small press is fine, you dont have to brutally wedge it in. Bring water to top chamber under heat. then reduce the heat (if you have that option). The top chamber will be approx 94C. This is by design. Smart eh.

      Get your timer ready.

      Give the top chamber a quick stir (the water) to drop it a couple of deg.

      Tip in the coffee grinds and submerge with the stirrer, any way you can, just submerge it all. rest the lid (or something) on top for 35 seconds. Yeah, just 35 seconds.

      take the cover off, give it a nice stir in one direction, five to ten times, and pull away your heat source.

      The brew should draw down, whilst spinning/spiraling. You should be left with a 'mound' of grinds and a nice brew in the bottom. The draw down ends when you see a heap of bubbles/gurgle at the end. Gently remove the top chamber by wiggling it side to side.

      So lets recap:

      16gm / 265gm, stir water, add grinds, lid on for 35 sec, open, stir 5-10 times, remove heat source, enjoy.

      come back with your findings. feel free to experiment with more or less grinds, more or less time, and more or less water



      • #4
        wow, Flynn chimed in while I was typing with pretty much every single thing that I missed out! Absolutely use a light-roast, for filter brewing, not your regular super-dark espresso stuff. I highly recommend african coffee's (Ethiopia Sidamo, Yirgacheffe, etc)

        If you are using a burner, certainly use the kettle to pre-boil water. Otherwise you eat through a sh1t load of butane or fuel. Clean up is important, and after washing your filter, keep it in a tub of water at all times


        • #5

          I cant begin to thank you for your points of view. I have been doing some reading on it all and watching videos but thought I better ask a few people on here, Im glad i did. I did read about this lighter roast thing which is cool with me as I have quite a few ethiopian beans to roast. Can you give me a reason why everyone is saying use light roasts?
          I see its a no brainer with the heating of the water, less time to wait and less use of butane. I have purchased along with the syphon a more suitable butane burner. When you say dont add milk or sugar are you saying after the process? Im not a milk and sugar person unless its a from a machine (sometimes).. Im going to roast some etheopia tonight, i have some thats been sitting there since last thursday. When the syphon turns up i will chime in on how it went, with alot more questions im sure. Im taking the cleaning of it is inportant, how long do the filter last?
          Once again guys thanks for your valued input into it im very greatful.


          • #6
            Originally posted by coffeechris View Post
            Can you give me a reason why everyone is saying use light roasts?
            You are after the subtle florals and fruity tones that usually only lighter roasts bring out. Darker roasts tend to pass on less desirable flavours in my opinion. By all means try a darker roast but I find these taste somewhat bitter (or, at best, not as interesting); syphon brews when made properly are usually sweet.

            Yes, keep milk and sugar well away from any syphon brew. You replace the filter cloth when it becomes too dirty or ratty.

            Don't necessarily limit yourself to Africans: I have enjoyed other SOs including PNG Wahgi, Aussie MTE, Central Americans (you must try a Panama Geisha in a syphon brew), anything really especiaqlly if it is a CoE or special reserve. It doesn't have to be SO; someone once gave me a pourover made with a 2 bean blend which was magnificent. Start with the basics and then, like I said, don't be afarid to experiment.

            One other thing: I usually don't fix in the upper chamber until the water in the bottom chamber begins to boil; just rest it loosely in there until it does. You really don't need to press it in hard as the vacuum that is created will help seal it. You can also use a milk steaming thermo to check the temp if you want but JamesM's indicator 94 deg is spot on. One of the tricks is applying the right amount of heat; some say enough to keep the water running up the tube when it gets down to the last couple of cm. Don't expect all the water to be pushed up into the top - the last bit won't hurt.
            Last edited by flynnaus; 4 September 2012, 10:01 AM.


            • #7
              I have a couple of milk steaming things lying around, as well as the thermocouple from the data logger if i want to get a real acurate reading. I have taken on board what you have said about the beans, its makes sense when you think about it. I will be sure to give a few of the ones you mentioned ago. I have time on my hand to experiment which will be good. Thank for the advice and i will keep you posted on how it goes.




              • #8
                I've found, when roasting my own, about 30sec past first crack is ideal (hitting rolling). You will just have to experiment. You'll nail it and brew something really special

                Some say the filters only last six or seven times, but I've found by not letting them dry out (keep them wet) they last longer.


                • #9
                  Thanks for the advice James. I think back to when i started roasting alot of my roasts i pulled pretty early due to being unsure weather rolling first crack was second crack. Since then i have gone a little darker but im happy to try them at just after first crack. I have a few suitable bean types for that roast depth so i will see how they go. thanks for your points of view on this.



                  • #10
                    Ok so i received my Syphon today and so excited i gave it ago. After reading up on it and getting info from you guys on here it turned out not too bad. However i'm very sure there are a lot of things too master and improve on. I roasted some coffee monday night to about C7 with some Ethiopia Sidamo, the taste was quite nice but feel with some time and experimenting things can become a lot better. I tried my best to follow all of the above views on it to achieve my first coffee from a Syphon. Although i have already said i'm sure i can make some improvements i will say this, i think you can make some great coffee of of these things!!

                    A few questions if you don't mind. Should i be finding some grinds in the bottom chamber after i have taken it off the heat and poured a coffee? secondly With storing the cloth filter should i take it off steel filter to store it in water or store the entire lot in water? Or does someone have a view on storing it dry?




                    • #11
                      Originally posted by coffeechris View Post
                      A few questions if you don't mind. Should i be finding some grinds in the bottom chamber after i have taken it off the heat and poured a coffee?
                      No. Check that you aren't grinding too finely and more importantly ensure your filter is seated properly.

                      secondly With storing the cloth filter should i take it off steel filter to store it in water or store the entire lot in water?
                      Leave the cloth on. Too much of a hassle to re-tie it

                      Or does someone have a view on storing it dry?
                      I've seen arguments for and against eg pop it in a glass of water and store in the fridge. For sheer convenience I hang mine up after soaking a few hours and let it dry; whether that is best, I don't know.


                      • #12
                        thanks Flynn, I was thinking there shouldn't be any grinds in there but. Im taking it i should have it pretty corse and i will make sure the filter is seated properly. I am about to try again as i have some time on my hands. As for your store and clean advice i like that.


                        • #13
                          I used to rinse, clean and dry out my filters, but now I keep them in a small container with a small bit of water in there. the whole filter, inc metal holder. The filters last longer, they get a bit ratty when you dry them out. It's probably not a big difference, but my use tells me they last longer if kept wet


                          • #14
                            Thanks James, after giving it another go this afternoon i have just put it in a small container with water in it. As for the my third go i cant say im getting any better but i am enjoying it. One thing i will say is that, how i don't know but i have found that i'm not getting a sour, bitter or highly acidic taste in the coffee which is great. Im watching what im doing and im still getting a small amount of grinds in the coffee at the end. Im grinding it on pretty much a plunger setting on my Ditting grinder. I am noticing when i put the ground coffee in, it boils a little and lifts the filter up allowing coffee to slip through. I not sure if its something im doing wrong or just a little more practice..


                            • #15
                              I pretty well follow the system that Steve has outlined above and support his roast suggestions too...

                              Syphon done right, creates pure nectar in the cup and is by far and away, my preferred method when it comes to drinking black coffee. Can't get enough of it....