Apr 21, 2009|

Dear Dr. Brew,

In a setting in which users can be forgetful (I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt), coffee pots with very little remaining coffee are often put replaced onto a powered warming plate. The result is wasted, burned coffee.

While we wish that everyone would be both considerate and thoughtful, that is not always the case. Although many home machines feature time-off features, this may not always be practical in an office setting. Therefore, I wish to propose the following suggestion for a commercial coffeemaker: incorporate some sort of photo or light sensor to monitor remaining coffee in the pot. When a particular level is reached, the burner will shut off. This would reduce burnt coffee and pots, and, fire hazards. Alternatively, a weight scale could be built into the plate, but this seems more complicated.

Carl Brody


Dear Carl,

Turning off the warmer (s) at the end of the day or when the server is empty should be an easy task. There are models available with time deactivated warmers. The times can normally be set in 1 hour intervals up to 4 hours. The timer is reset with each additional brew so the warmers are active during normal operating hours. Using weight scales is not reliable due to irregular tare weight of servers. Light sensors work as long as the servers are clear and clean.

Here's a brewer with an automatic warmer shut-off feature.

Happy Brewing,
Dr. Brew

Tags: warmer time


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