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Author Topic: Percolators  (Read 1803 times)

old boy brewer

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Percolators
« on: 14/10/2017, 10:21 PM »
Looking for advice from anyone that knows the subtleties of using a percolator. I have acquired an old Corning Ware unit and would like to hear form anyone with experience with timing etc.
roger


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LeroyC

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Percolators
« Reply #1 on: 15/10/2017, 06:04 AM »
I picked up one of these recently -



I’ve only made one coffee with it so far, but I was pleasantly surprised by how nice it was. They don’t have the best reputation, but I’d say that’s probably got more to do with the way they were used in the past and the terrible coffee that was put in them. Certainly if you have a look online there’s no instructional videos from anyone in the specialty coffee industry on how to use them. All the videos I watched on YouTube were by American baby boomers taking a trip down memory lane and putting 4 or 5 heaped tablespoons of store bought, pre ground coffee in their percolators then waffling on about how nice the coffee was that they made. Yeah right.

Still, they were worth watching as I learned the basic method then applied the sort of principles that I’d use for making any filter coffee, especially syphon or French Press. The coffee I got from mine was very similar to what I get from my syphon actually. Anyway, here’s what I did:

- Pre boil the water in the kettle
- Weigh everything. Brew ratio is always important and I used a ratio of about 1:13.
- Grind really course. Sort of what people used to recommend for French press. It needs to be course enough that not too much coffee falls through the filter holes into the water.
- As soon as the water had stopped boiling in my kettle I poured it into the perc and placed it over a medium heat on the stove. I popped the coffee in the basket and put it all together.
- Keep the heat relatively low as you don’t want the water to actually boil.
- Once I saw the water start to bubble in the sight glass I started a timer and let it brew for 3 minutes.
- As soon as it was done I took it off the heat and poured it into my mug. It was a bit hot so I let it cool and it was at its best between 5 and 10min later.

Enjoy.
I love coffee. It's as simple as that.

fg1972

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Percolators
« Reply #2 on: 15/10/2017, 10:04 AM »
Hi,
I tend to grind fine and pack just enough coffee grounds almost to the point of choking the device as I like it strong and not too watery. Takes a bit of trial and error but when done right, you can get a thin layer of crema as coffee comes up the chute.
The main thing is not to overcook the coffee by letting it boil. When you hear the gurgling sounds and coffee is rising up the chute don't wait for the very last drop cause the coffee thats already brewed is overcooking. When i see about 3/4 brewed thats enough for me. The other thing I do as soon as I've taken it off the heat is dunk the whole thing in cold water to stop it burning.
Hope this helps.
That's a nice one Leroy.

LeroyC

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Percolators
« Reply #3 on: 15/10/2017, 12:16 PM »
Hi,
I tend to grind fine and pack just enough coffee grounds almost to the point of choking the device as I like it strong and not too watery. Takes a bit of trial and error but when done right, you can get a thin layer of crema as coffee comes up the chute.
The main thing is not to overcook the coffee by letting it boil. When you hear the gurgling sounds and coffee is rising up the chute don't wait for the very last drop cause the coffee thats already brewed is overcooking. When i see about 3/4 brewed thats enough for me. The other thing I do as soon as I've taken it off the heat is dunk the whole thing in cold water to stop it burning.
Hope this helps.
That's a nice one Leroy.

That sounds more like a moka pot than a percolator?? I can’t see how you’d get any form of crema using a percolator as it’s closer to full immersion brewing and has more similarities to a syphon than a moka pot. I guess in some ways it’s half way between, but I think percolator needs it’s own specific techniques to get the best from it.
I love coffee. It's as simple as that.

Brett H

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Percolators
« Reply #4 on: 15/10/2017, 02:10 PM »
Yep, I'm inclined to agree Leyroy. the secret to percolating is to try and regulate the temperature and kill the heat as soon as you've got it rolling.
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fg1972

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Percolators
« Reply #5 on: 15/10/2017, 05:59 PM »
That sounds more like a moka pot than a percolator?? I can’t see how you’d get any form of crema using a percolator as it’s closer to full immersion brewing and has more similarities to a syphon than a moka pot. I guess in some ways it’s half way between, but I think percolator needs it’s own specific techniques to get the best from it.
Yeah you’re right Leroy, my bad. My comments were based on a moka pot which I often hear called a percolator.


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LeroyC

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Percolators
« Reply #6 on: 15/10/2017, 06:37 PM »
Yeah you’re right Leroy, my bad. My comments were based on a moka pot which I often hear called a percolator.


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Yeah I’ve heard and seen that too, mostly in the US, which is weird cause that’s where actual percolators were and still are most prevalent. When I was traveling in the States in 2009 big electric percolators were still common in hotels.
It’s not a technically incorrect description for a moka pot either as the water does kind of ‘percolate’ up through the device. It’s just a bit confusing is all.
I love coffee. It's as simple as that.

old boy brewer

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« Reply #7 on: 15/10/2017, 10:25 PM »
Thank you very much for that.  I'll give it a go.  :)
I picked up one of these recently -



I’ve only made one coffee with it so far, but I was pleasantly surprised by how nice it was. They don’t have the best reputation, but I’d say that’s probably got more to do with the way they were used in the past and the terrible coffee that was put in them. Certainly if you have a look online there’s no instructional videos from anyone in the specialty coffee industry on how to use them. All the videos I watched on YouTube were by American baby boomers taking a trip down memory lane and putting 4 or 5 heaped tablespoons of store bought, pre ground coffee in their percolators then waffling on about how nice the coffee was that they made. Yeah right.

Still, they were worth watching as I learned the basic method then applied the sort of principles that I’d use for making any filter coffee, especially syphon or French Press. The coffee I got from mine was very similar to what I get from my syphon actually. Anyway, here’s what I did:

- Pre boil the water in the kettle
- Weigh everything. Brew ratio is always important and I used a ratio of about 1:13.
- Grind really course. Sort of what people used to recommend for French press. It needs to be course enough that not too much coffee falls through the filter holes into the water.
- As soon as the water had stopped boiling in my kettle I poured it into the perc and placed it over a medium heat on the stove. I popped the coffee in the basket and put it all together.
- Keep the heat relatively low as you don’t want the water to actually boil.
- Once I saw the water start to bubble in the sight glass I started a timer and let it brew for 3 minutes.
- As soon as it was done I took it off the heat and poured it into my mug. It was a bit hot so I let it cool and it was at its best between 5 and 10min later.

Enjoy.
"The whole world knew that it was impossible except for the fool who went ahead and did it anyway"  Marcel Pagnol

old boy brewer

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Percolators
« Reply #8 on: 15/10/2017, 10:37 PM »
I picked up one of these recently -



I’ve only made one coffee with it so far, but I was pleasantly surprised by how nice it was. They don’t have the best reputation, but I’d say that’s probably got more to do with the way they were used in the past and the terrible coffee that was put in them. Certainly if you have a look online there’s no instructional videos from anyone in the specialty coffee industry on how to use them. All the videos I watched on YouTube were by American baby boomers taking a trip down memory lane and putting 4 or 5 heaped tablespoons of store bought, pre ground coffee in their percolators then waffling on about how nice the coffee was that they made. Yeah right.

Still, they were worth watching as I learned the basic method then applied the sort of principles that I’d use for making any filter coffee, especially syphon or French Press. The coffee I got from mine was very similar to what I get from my syphon actually. Anyway, here’s what I did:

- Pre boil the water in the kettle
- Weigh everything. Brew ratio is always important and I used a ratio of about 1:13.
- Grind really course. Sort of what people used to recommend for French press. It needs to be course enough that not too much coffee falls through the filter holes into the water.
- As soon as the water had stopped boiling in my kettle I poured it into the perc and placed it over a medium heat on the stove. I popped the coffee in the basket and put it all together.
- Keep the heat relatively low as you don’t want the water to actually boil.
- Once I saw the water start to bubble in the sight glass I started a timer and let it brew for 3 minutes.
- As soon as it was done I took it off the heat and poured it into my mug. It was a bit hot so I let it cool and it was at its best between 5 and 10min later.

Enjoy.
  By the way LeroyC. that is a very nice looking percolator. It looks like it would have been top of the line in it's day. The Corning Ware perc that I've got seems a bit plain now.
"The whole world knew that it was impossible except for the fool who went ahead and did it anyway"  Marcel Pagnol

askthe coffeeguy

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Percolators
« Reply #9 on: 16/10/2017, 05:48 PM »
I'm in the medium to coarse grind camp with less water for a stronger coffee

different set up but I still like cranking out my atomic stove top for the amazing creamy coffee syrup that it produces

best

ACG

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