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Vacuum Brewing Method
Home >> Coffee >> Vacuum Brewers >> VacBrew Method

This is not the first photo based how to set on the net regarding vacuum brewing. Not by a long shot. In fact, here's one I found recently by a fellow homeroast list subscriber, Dave Clark. But since I promised a series of shots on how to vac brew some time ago to a few citizens, here we go.

A few notes: First, these pics are with my old digicam, so apologies for the slightly off colors, especially in the metals... but they still came out pretty good. There's a lot of pictures, as I tried to take one at every possible state. Clicking on the small images gives you a larger one.

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Adding the Coffee
No, my hand isn't that big - this is one of my smaller vac pots (about 18 oz of brew), one I used to use every day. I usually ad 3 heaping tablespoons of fine ground coffee to it, and brew about 15 oz of water, enough to fill a thermos. That's 23 grams of coffee to those outside the US. Note white cloth filter
Starting the Heat
The little Silex stove that came with this vac pot is awesome. They were all mint when I bought them, never used before, but I couldn't resist, now this is my daily coffee maker for my newspaper reading. Here, I just plugged the stove in - see the red coils?
Still Heating Up!
What, you couldn't see the red coils in the previous photo? Well now you can... :-) It takes the Silex about 4 minutes to boil this water.

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Near Boiling
Here, the water is just about hot enough to add the top globe. I never add the top globe to any vac pot I own (except the metal ones) before I start to see steam wiffs from the water in the bottom globes - just tastes better this way as the grinds are only exposed to water at near perfect temperatures.
Added Top Globe
Just added the top globe, and thanks to the near boiling water, the trip north up the syphon tube is about to begin. See the spoon?
Water Starts to Come Up
Well, I'm not ready for the spoon just yet. The water in the top globe is just breaking the surface of the grinds. I'll wait for it to be about 1 or 2 inches in the top globe before I...

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Stirring it Up
... Start a' stirrin'. Note, you do NOT have to do this, as the later rapid rolling action should do it for you, but I do it anyway. Check out the natural crema on top of the beans - you get this only from really fresh coffee.
Lid Goes On
Done stirring, lid goes on and we wait for the kick up, or as I like to call it, the "trip north" for the water. The Silex stove is VERY hot, so it doesn't take that long for it to happen. The lid prevents possible overflow from very fresh grinds.
Water Going Up (still!)
Water is still heading north, but almost all done. Note my Chemex brewer in the background :-) That's my drip device these days - I don't own an auto drip machine any longer.

And that, my friends, is it. Vac pot coffee isn't hard, but it sure is good!

Other Parts of the Vacuum Brewers Section.
The Vacuum Brewer FAQ Are Vacuum Brewers Different?
Still not quite 1.0, but here it is, one of the most complete FAQs online for vacuum brewing enthusiasts. Updated for the new site. [ more ] Check out this short piece that I wrote in the newsgroup, and expanded upon. It details minor differences in today's vacuum brewers. [ more ]
Vacuum Brewer Hey Day  
Here's a little article going back to 1999 that I decided to leave very much intact, warts and all. It's a history of vacuum brewers. [ more ]  

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Other Vac Pot Tips

- I like to stir the slurry everytime I use a vac pot. It just helps complete saturation and extraction from the grinds.

- With few exceptions, wait until the water is near boiling before adding the top globe (one notable exception is the Starbucks Utopia / Bodum eSantos brewer).