[Homeroast] Need Advice on Brewer

Robert Foster foster49801 at gmail.com
Mon Aug 28 06:22:56 CDT 2017


I have read that softened water is not idea for bringing out the flavors in coffee: https://www.google.com/search?q=is+soft+water+good+for+coffee&oq=is+soft+water+good+for+coffee&aqs=chrome..69i57j0.7756j0j4&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8
This agrees with my anecdotal experience.

In addition, even softened water still has plenty of tds. For instance our softened water out of the tap in a hard water area tests at 426 tds per whatever the measure is. Softening will neutralize calcium, iron or lime, or whatever it is that makes water "hard" but clearly does not eliminate other total dissolved solids.

I filter unsoftened water with a Zerowater which brings the hard water tds down to zero. Unfortunately coffee apparently needs some minerals in the water to extract the coffee flavors. In a forum somewhere I read that Behmor (TahoeJoe) says the best flavor is produced with water between 75 and 125 tds. The Brazen documentation says water over 50 tds should not be used. I combine Zerowater with Brita filtered water to approximate this reading and with regular descaling, no problems so far.

I religiously descale with citric acid (obtained by the pound from that monolitic retailer whose name shall not be mentioned) every couple of months just to be safe. I'm on my 5th Brazen, currently the Plus model, and have had a little over 2 years of problem free service. And great coffee.

IMO, while Behmor blamed the many failed original machines on hard water, a post in this forum attributes the problem to a specification error by a subcontractor. But it could well be that the bad component issue was exacerbated with the use of hard water.

All in all, the Brazen and the company that produces it are top-notch.

rgf

On Aug 25, 2017, at 12:36 PM, miKe mcKoffee wrote:

> Better yet add filter and softening to your cold water tap. Most home water needs it. Which of course does not remove the need to descale but makes the frequency MUCH less.
> 
> Slave to the Bean miKe mcKoffee
> www.CompassCoffeeRoasting.com
> URL to Rosto mods, FrankenFormer, some recipes etc:
> http://www.mckoffee.com/
> 
> Ultimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I must first not know. And in knowing know I know not. Each Personal enlightenment found exploring the many divergent foot steps of Those who have gone before.
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Homeroast [mailto:homeroast-bounces at lists.sweetmariascoffee.com] On Behalf Of John Nordling
> Sent: Friday, August 25, 2017 8:05 AM
> To: A list to discuss home coffee roasting. There are rules for this list, available at http://www.sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html
> Subject: Re: [Homeroast] Need Advice on Brewer
> 
> I know it's not a popular place to buy, but when my mom bought it on Amazon, the connected version was $15 more than the brazen plus (and both were womewhat lower in price than SM is asking for the Brazen plus).  So, not $100 different, for sure.  Had the cost differential been that big, I would have made sure she bought the plus.  $15 difference was a small enough price to pay for the novelty factor.
> 
> Thanks for the hard water tip.  Even after 6 brews, I'm noticing white flakes in my reservoir.  Guess I need to add descaler to my next green bean order (and wipe out the reservoir every couple days)
> 
> -John
> 
> 
> On Fri, Aug 25, 2017 at 9:38 AM Robert Foster <foster49801 at gmail.com> wrote:
> 
>>> I could easily see finding a good setting and getting someone who 
>>> likes good coffee and is also a techniphobe set
>> up
>>> with a solid recipe and treating it like a Mr. Coffee - one button 
>>> and
>> boom.
>> 
>> Exactly. IMO the "connected" feature is just another "Gee Whizz look 
>> what I can do" feature that is basically pointless. Not to mention 
>> that it will cost you an extra $100 for the connected version.
>> 
>> The original Brazen 1.0 had a ton of problems, primarily because of 
>> lower quality valve components. Behmor stood behind the product and 
>> replaced mine
>> 3 or 4 times at no cost, even overnighting the last one to me. When my 
>> last
>> 1.0 died at least 2 years ago, I promptly bought the Plus. It has 
>> performed flawlessly ever since.
>> 
>> One issue with the Brazen is the necessity of avoiding hard water, 
>> which will scale up the components, especially the pulse brewing 
>> valve. I use a Zero Water filter to filter my extremely hard water, 
>> and *IMPORTANT* descale with citric acid every month or two. Somewhat 
>> of a PIA, however I'm coffee OCD so I don't mind doing this in order 
>> to get great coffee. While I don't expect it to last as long as my 20 
>> year old Technivorm, if I get 3 or
>> 4 years use out of it before having to buy another one, I don't mind. 
>> As you observe, at half the price of a Technivorm you can afford to 
>> replace it twice as often, all the while drinking superior coffee.
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> On Aug 25, 2017, at 8:22 AM, John Nordling wrote:
>> 
>>> I just got a connected version of the Behmor.  (It was a gift from 
>>> my parents).  I'm not fully sold on the connectedness of it adding 
>>> any value vs. a standard brewer, but if I was going to hit the high 
>>> points I've
>> found
>>> that Behmor could use for marketing:
>>> 
>>> 1) Regarding connectedness: My parents are visiting today, and I'm 
>>> at work.  I ground coffee for them, programmed the brewer ahead of 
>>> time from my phone (the app is pretty intuitive), and generally got it set up.
>> When
>>> they want coffee (or another pot, since I made some for me before 
>>> anyone else was up), all they have to do is put the grounds in the 
>>> basket, add water, and push the giant button on the front of it.  
>>> The nonconnected version is much more intimidating, because so many 
>>> buttons - I presume it can do the same things though.  I could 
>>> easily see finding a good setting and getting someone who likes good 
>>> coffee and is also a techniphobe set
>> up
>>> with a solid recipe and treating it like a Mr. Coffee - one button 
>>> and
>> boom.
>>> 
>>> 2) The alert I get on my phone when my coffee is ready is basically 
>>> pointless.  But funny enough that I have left them turned on.  (I 
>>> saw 20 minutes ago from my office 20 miles away that my coffee is ready).
>>> 
>>> 3) It makes good coffee.  superb really.  I'm getting flavors from 
>>> this Guatemalan (SM's greens, roasted to somewhere around half way 
>>> between
>> first
>>> and second crack) that I only get on my best pourovers.  I have 1/2 
>>> a
>> dozen
>>> or less pots through it, but I'm getting consistency and quality 
>>> that I don't always getin my pourovers.  I can get better coffee 
>>> sometimes from
>> a
>>> pourover (I think), but I don't do it enough to have perfect 
>>> technique,
>> so
>>> it's mostly luck.  Longevity of the brewer is yet to be determined.
>>> 
>>> Quality versus Technivorm - I really wanted a technivorm (I mean 
>>> REALLY wanted one), but at half the price, with coffee this good, I 
>>> am more than satisifed with the Behmor.  I've not had an SCAA 
>>> certified drip brewer before, so I'm not qualified to comment beyond 
>>> that on comparisons to
>> other
>>> brewers.  My last brewer (dead for a couple years now due to 
>>> neglect-induced scale buildup that I have not been able to dissolve 
>>> away
>> or
>>> find the right tool to take apart and physically chip away) was a
>> Cuisinart
>>> Grind 'n Brew.
>>> 
>>> -John
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> On Thu, Aug 24, 2017 at 10:08 PM Robert Foster 
>>> <foster49801 at gmail.com>
>>> wrote:
>>> 
>>>> My Technivorm sits unused most days next to my Behmor Brazen Plus. 
>>>> The Brazen allows extensive control over the brewing process: water 
>>>> temperature, pulse brewing, ability to specify length of bloom 
>>>> time, calibration for altitude, plus programmable start time for brewing.
>> That,
>>>> and the fact that once dialed in the coffee from the Brazen is 
>>>> superior
>> to
>>>> the Tech to my taste. The Brazen also costs less than the Tech.
>>>> 
>>>> I confess I don't understand the logic behind the "connected" version.
>>>> What's the difference between pushing buttons on your phone as 
>>>> opposed
>> to
>>>> pushing buttons on the coffee maker?
>>>> 
>>>> BTW why do you think the heater is going on the Tech? Have you 
>>>> descaled
>> it
>>>> thoroughly with citric acid or the like? Maybe the heating element 
>>>> is
>> just
>>>> coated with calcium/lime and descaling would remove that. 10 years 
>>>> is nothing for a Tech.
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> On Aug 24, 2017, at 5:57 PM, Jon Rosen wrote:
>>>> 
>>>>> It looks like my Technivorm brewer is about to bite the dust after 
>>>>> 10
>>>> years of faithful service; I think the heater is going. I’m waiting 
>>>> to
>> hear
>>>> back from Technivorm about the cost of repair, if they still have a 
>>>> replacement heater. But, I’m inclined to replace it with a new brewer:
>>>>> 
>>>>> Another Technivorm?
>>>>> The Behmor Plus or the new Plus
>>>>> The Bonavita
>>>>> Another high tech drip brewer?
>>>>> 
>>>>> Your suggestions are appreciated.
>>>>> 
>>>>> Jon
>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>> Homeroast mailing list
>>>>> Homeroast at lists.sweetmariascoffee.com
>>>>> 
>>>> 
>> http://lists.sweetmariascoffee.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast_lists.sw
>> eetmariascoffee.com
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>>>> Forum</a>
>>>>> <a href="http://www.sweetmarias.com/library">Our new Coffee
>> Library</a>
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> Head Wrangler,
>>>> Foster's Cat Ranch
>>>> "Premium felines raised in God's country.
>>>> Call for prices, recipes and suggested wine pairings."
>>>> 
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>>>> 
>>> --
>>> ~~
>>> "Can't believe how strange it is to be anything at all."   Neutral Milk
>>> Hotel, *In the Aeroplane Over the Sea*
>>> 
>>> Email:  john.nordling at gmail.com
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>>> Library</a>
>> 
>> Head Cat Wrangler
>> Foster's Cat Ranch
>> Fully certified seeing eye cats.
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
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>> Library</a>
>> 
> --
> ~~
> "Can't believe how strange it is to be anything at all."   Neutral Milk
> Hotel, *In the Aeroplane Over the Sea*
> 
> Email:  john.nordling at gmail.com
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