Bialetti moka pot - unknown part

Coffee preparation techniques besides espresso like pourover.
LakayM

#1: Post by LakayM »

I found, in my parents' house, an old, unused 3-cup Bialetti Moka Express pot that has a part that doesn't match any Bialetti parts diagram I have seen. It is a cylindrical chamber that is open at the top, and has a small hole at the bottom. It fits in between the funnel and the heating vessel.

Does anyone know what this part is, and its purpose? I have written Bialetti itself, but the person who responded wasn't familiar with the part either.







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civ

#2: Post by civ »

Hello:
LakayM wrote:... a cylindrical chamber that is open at the top, and has a small hole at the bottom. It fits in between the funnel and the heating vessel.
Interesting ...
Never seen one of those.

Can the pot be put together (and brew coffee as expected) with the part inside?

From what I can make of it (if you can actually brew coffee with the part inside), using it would have the effect of reducing the water volume available for brewing, maybe in as much as 20/25% (?). ie: the mystery cylinder would act as the bottom water deposit.

See this cutaway to estimate the volume of water that would not be available for brewing:


Photo courtesy: Pinterest

Here's an up to date parts list for the 3-cup Bialetti:


Photo courtesy: Beans.at

And to what purpose?
Maybe to make Moka pot ristretto.
LakayM wrote: ... but the person who responded wasn't familiar with the part either.
Not unexpected.
I suspect that it may have been an usuccessful idea at Bialetti, which is why it is a rare piece.

Cheers,

CIV

ira
Supporter ♡

#3: Post by ira »

Seems like it's an either or proposition. It certainly looks like you can't use both at the same time as the two tubes look like they hit and prevent the top from screwing on. Then from the line in the cylinder it would seem something is missing as the basket you have does not seem to be what's intended to go there. Which begs the question what might go there if we found it. The piece is designed sort of like a percolator bottom that would encourage circulation of whatever liquid is in there as it heats up.

But try as I might, I can't see what might go in the middle or what the point would be in a moka pot.

Ira

happycat

#4: Post by happycat »

Could it be a piece from some other moka pot and not belong to the Bialetti? The mystery basket has a ledge halfway up which suggests a flat bottom basket might be expected to sit there over top of the spout.

It seems the tube in the mystery basket is off-centre? So it does not link up to the tube for the funnel basket?

If the two linked up, the water would bypass this mystery basket and maybe it could hold something else like milk. But I don't think that makes any sense. The milk would end up boiling.
LMWDP #603

jpender

#5: Post by jpender »

LakayM wrote:It fits in between the funnel and the heating vessel.
It doesn't look like that to me. It fits in the base but doesn't actually nest in such a way as to also accommodate the funnel. And even if it did fit it -- which it doesn't -- it makes no sense to have it in there.

I think it came from something/somewhere else and that you'll never know why it was with the moka pot.

ogir

#6: Post by ogir »

Here is your machine with same part - bialetti termocrem from 1960: https://www.puntoitaliastore.de/kaffee- ... iane-2014/

I guess it has something to do with milk frothing, have you tried it put into to upper part? But I am not sure ...

jpender

#7: Post by jpender »

Nice find!

So it does fit inside completely?

Perhaps it was a way to moderate the water temperature as suggested in this ancient post:
In 2003, Myron Joshua wrote: Thermocrem (Double boiler?) Moka Pot
Myron Joshua
2003-08-05 06:09:30 UTC
I recently saw a cut away sample of a Thermocrem Moka Pot by Bialetti
(a pot that is apparently obsolete). It included a boiler unit with a
double wall-that serves as some sort of double boiler. It was
explained to me that this can help create pressure while keeping the
water temperature lower.

Are there Moka pots in the market that use a similar system?

Best, Myron

happycat

#8: Post by happycat »

Great job guys. I couldn't find it with my search.
LMWDP #603

LakayM

#9: Post by LakayM »

I've drawn a diagram to clarify how the different parts fit together in the boiler. The cylindrical chamber has three "pimples" equally spaced along the outside edges of its bottom: these serve as feet that raise the bottom of the chamber just high enough from the floor of the boiler so that water from the boiler is able to flow into the chamber. This water flows into the chamber through a small vertical pipe attached to the floor of the chamber. This pipe is about 10mm high, and its top is higher relative to the bottom of the funnel.


jpender wrote:Nice find!

So it does fit inside completely?

Perhaps it was a way to moderate the water temperature as suggested in this ancient post:
At this point my best guess is that the extra chamber acts as a sort of heat exchanger. The water in the boiler heats up first, this heat is transferred to the water in the chamber, and this still slightly cooler chamber water is forced up the funnel by the pressure from the boiler before this cooler water has had time to equalize to the same temperature as that in the boiler. The hotter boiler water enters the chamber through the pipe at a higher level than the cooler water at the bottom of the chamber, ensuring that it is this cooler water that rises up the funnel rather than the hotter water from the boiler.

I've brewed with and without the chamber, and the few shots I've done so far seem to confirm that the chamber does keep the brew temperature slightly cooler. The temperature of the brew in the coffee collector was about 150° with the extra chamber; without it, the temperature was about 170°.

The bottom line obviously is the taste of the brew: at the higher temperature, it tasted just as good although slightly more bitter. However, this was an observation over just a few shots; I would have to do more before coming to a more definite conclusion.

That's my best guess so far; I'd be happy to hear from others who may have their own thoughts on what this extra chamber does.

In the meantime I'll be enjoying great coffee from my moka pot with its mystery chamber.

LakayM

#10: Post by LakayM »

ogir wrote:Here is your machine with same part - bialetti termocrem from 1960: https://www.puntoitaliastore.de/kaffee- ... iane-2014/

I guess it has something to do with milk frothing, have you tried it put into to upper part? But I am not sure ...
Thanks for the link, Robert - it's great to know I'm not alone!