One-Trick Coffee

The coffee our old Mr. Coffee (on the counter, next to Mr. Radar) would brew used to vary unpredictably in quality. Same beans, same quantity, same water — one day’s batch was great, the next: Pfft!

I caught a clue from a PBS cooking show episode that tested coffee makers. The key factor in producing good brew was the temperature of the water going into the grounds. The problem all the lower-rated coffee makers shared was that the water lost too much energy between the boiler and the grounds basket. Another shared factor was that the path from the boiler to the basket was through a tube that passed through the water reservoir — just like my erratic Mr. Coffee.

Hmmm. The bad brew days were, as I recall, on really cold mornings when I especially needed a good cup to get started. The water going into the tank was just as cold as what was coming out of the faucet (a reverse-osmosis filter rig). Energy transfer through that tube between the boiler and basket would be proportional to the difference in temperature between the inside and outside of the tube, so filling the reservoir with warm water should give better, more predictable results.

It works. A microwave oven and a large Pyrex measuring pitcher get the process started. Just remember that you want warm water in the tank, not hot.

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Adventures in Plumbing

It’s no fun trying to cook in a kitchen where the sink won’t drain. How can the dishes get clean? The dishwasher discharges into the pipe that’s supposed to drain the sink, which results in the spent dishwater from the dishwasher filling up the sink, and the smell of the clogged drain rising up along with the water level.

So … scrape the dishes thoroughly into the trash can, then lay the dishes out in the shower stall? Not an optimum solution, especially if one has back problems. What to do?

Call <somethingorother>Rooter? I would rather find a way to fix it myself, especially if it turns into a recurring problem. $$$

The mad scientist approach shall be to cap off the traps of the two bathroom sinks downstream from the kitchen sink, then use hydraulic pressure applied at the trap of the kitchen sink to force out the clog. (I’m not concerned about the toilets or the bathtub and shower — they seem to be on a separate branch that converges with the sink drain line just before the sewer leaves the house.) If during this exercise I see water erupting from the roof vents, I’ll know the clog needs to be augered out.

I could do worse with my spare time. Somehow…

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Another Sunny Day in Cyberspace

Our Glorious Guest-President is in his Palace, and all is right with the .. I can’t continue .. my keyboard is shocking me but I refuse to glorify that jumped-up Infomercial Presenter.

(There may have been another post here a little while ago, but it seemed neighborly to remove it.)

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