May 15, 2009|
Question


Dear Dr. Brew,

We have a customer with a BUNN Dual Soft Heat brewer and interface G9 grinder. They recently switched from using a Swiss Water Decaf coffee to a Natural Decaf. However, the grounds are now overflowing the filter when we brew the Natural Decaf (either side). We don't wish to coarsen the grind and alter the regular coffee, so we tried an -078 sprayhead and lowered the throw, but it's not an ideal solution. I know with a more advanced digital brewer we could program pre-wetting and extend the pulse, but what is the workaround with this wonderful analog Soft Heat brewer?

The water here is very hard, and the customer has a softener, and we also use a BUNN Taste/Odor/Lime filter for the brewer. The brew water shows 7 grains of hardness on my test strip. I welcome your suggestions!


Mike
Leelanau
Coffee Roasting Company

Answer

Dear Michael,

Brewing decaffeinated coffee has always been a challenge compared to the regular counterpart. Adding a water softener only increases the annoyance of long brew cycle times and no filter margin or overflow of grounds in the funnel. You mention the "brew water" measuring 7 grains of hardness (1 grain = 17.1 mg/L or PPM). Is this after the water treatment systems or from the main water supply? Is the overflow only occurring on the largest batch size or does it happen for all three volumes?

You mentioned changing to a slower flow rate spray head and reduced weight -- did you maintain your water-to-coffee weight ratio? I need to do some research from my end to understand the effects of softened water and using a lime sequestering filtration system together. As you can tell, this time I have more questions than you.

To Be Continued

Happy Brewing,
Dr. Brew


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