filter basket frustrations


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Mar 6, 2006
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our shop is "low tech" we only recently switched to older auto brewers. before switching, I had a problem with filter basket overflow. now have a problem with dry spots in the coffee after a brew cycle. I have tried tamping, tapping, prewetting. What I can't do is use less coffee. using 6 oz per 72 oz water. does anyone have any suggestions?
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problem solved in a most unorthodox way. I bought a stainless steel vegetable steamer, the kind that "unfolds" to accomodate the size of the pan used to steam the veggies. I took off all the fins that surround the center disk, leaving a perforated disk which is then placed with a touch of firm pressure, on top of the ground coffee in the filter basket. this disk has 3 legs that go down into the coffee and a stem that sticks up. This stem and the weight of the disk keep the coffee from both overflowing and floating on top of the water staying dry. After the brew cycle, the disk can be easily lifted out by the stem that is sticking up, when the grounds are dumped. This worked so well, I bought 4 steamer baskets and we are using them with ease! And, the coffee is really good!
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well, they are older Cecilware brewers. I found them used at a local commercial equipment store and decided to try them. probably we will upgrade to a newer system once we start to see some profit from roasting our own beans...

Check with cecilware and see if they make larger baskets for your machine, sometimes its possible and that would probably cure the overflow problem. As far as the dry spots go, does the machine use sprayheads to distribute the water evenly, if not can you put sprayheads on it.
I agree with Morrisn. Cecilware has been around for a very long time- getting replacement parts should not be too difficult. Some of my clients here use the brew units- the average age being 12-15 years old! Still working fine in most cases- normal problems are the filter baskets are damaged, or more often the wrong filter paper is being used.
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A repair man checked for me, no larger filter basket is available. (don't know why that would be..but that's what tech support told him) I called Cecilware, and they suggested different paper filters, which I tried. I just think the older brewers are not meant to handle larger throws of fresh roasted coffee. And the larger bunn gourmet filter baskets don't fit. My problem was the coffee tends to float on top of the water and stay dry. guess that's why pulse brewers are so popular now. but anyway, the retrofitted steamer bottoms are working like a charm.