Brikka - nozzles not spraying evenly

Coffee preparation techniques besides espresso like pourover.
VinceM

#1: Post by VinceM »

Hello there! First post!

I'm wondering what's up with my Brikka. I just realized something. When it sprays out the coffee, only one of the nozzle holes on the stem actually seems to work properly. The other one just dribbles. The results seem fine - the "crema" foam is there and the taste is good. So I'm not sure if coffee ever came out of both nozzles.

I tried running water and vinegar through it to clean it out but nothing changed.

Is this normal behavior?

If not I guess I can try to unscrew the tip of the stem and clean that out, even though they say not to.

Vince

ira
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#2: Post by ira »

Makes no difference if it comes out one, the other or both. Likely a slight height or deburring difference in the 2 holes.

Ira

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VinceM (original poster)

#3: Post by VinceM (original poster) »

Thank you Ira!

Makes sense. Also, I was wondering if there are two separate pressure valves for each hole. If so, it's very unlikely that they would both "crack" at the same pressure - one would always go sooner, and prevent the other one from fully opening. But maybe there is only a single valve in the base of the stem.

In any case, I'll not worry about it!

One other question - do you feel the extra pressure and the aeration of the coffee to make the foam provides a much different cup than a traditional moka pot? If so, how are they different?? I've never tried a normal moka pot - I went straight for the Brikka.

Normally I do Hario v60 pourover for my more "legit" coffee experience. But these stovetop devices are fun and provide a nice cheap starting point to add frothed milk for cappuccino type drinks

jpender

#4: Post by jpender »

What two holes? Did they redesign the thing? My Brikka and every other one I've seen photos of has just one nozzle opening on top.



VinceM (original poster)

#5: Post by VinceM (original poster) »

Yes - the Brikka was changed in 2020. Here's a link to what they look like now (sorry don't know how to post pictures here)

https://www.schneordesign.com/sdwp/wp-c ... atured.jpg

jpender

#6: Post by jpender »

Well look at that! I thought the Brikka was going to be discontinued but instead they reworked it.

I wonder how it compares to the old version ?

jpender

#7: Post by jpender »

VinceM wrote:One other question - do you feel the extra pressure and the aeration of the coffee to make the foam provides a much different cup than a traditional moka pot? If so, how are they different?? I've never tried a normal moka pot - I went straight for the Brikka.

I can't say anything about the new version but with the older Brikka the main differences as compared to a regular moka were in the brew ratio and temperature profile. The old 2-cup Brikka produced a shot that was 2-3 times as strong as a typical moka pot. And most of the brewing occurred at a lower temperature. In my experience it made a reliable cup of good coffee whereas a regular moka pot required tricks to keep the coffee from being overheated.

The foam part is just a cosmetic thing. It's nice but it doesn't really affect the taste, just the overall experience.

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VinceM (original poster)

#8: Post by VinceM (original poster) »

jpender wrote:Well look at that! I thought the Brikka was going to be discontinued but instead they reworked it.

I wonder how it compares to the old version ?
Haha - sorry now you'll just have to buy the new one and let us all know!
jpender wrote:I can't say anything about the new version but with the older Brikka the main differences as compared to a regular moka were in the brew ratio and temperature profile. The old 2-cup Brikka produced a shot that was 2-3 times as strong as a typical moka pot. And most of the brewing occurred at a lower temperature. In my experience it made a reliable cup of good coffee whereas a regular moka pot required tricks to keep the coffee from being overheated.

The foam part is just a cosmetic thing. It's nice but it doesn't really affect the taste, just the overall experience.
Thanks for this - so it sounds like the Brikka was made to improve upon the standard mocha pot.

jpender

#9: Post by jpender »

VinceM wrote:Thanks for this - so it sounds like the Brikka was made to improve upon the standard mocha pot.

Yes. From the Brikka patent:
...the coffee infusion produced [by a standard moka pot] is not of an optimum quality since at the beginning of the cycle before the temperature of the water has reached the correct infusion temperature, the pressure inside the boiler is already sufficient to allow warm water to pass into the coffee vessel which then causes the coffee to infuse at a temperature below the correct temperature later infusion takes place at the correct temperature; and lastly, towards the end of the cycle, infusion takes place at a temperature higher than the correct temperature.

The Brikka is a hybrid infusion/percolation device since the coffee steeps for a certain amount of time before the valve opens. The original Brikka valve is a little problematic. I tried to measure the pressure at which it opened but found it wasn't reliable. The new design looks like it is would release in a more repeatable way.

As curious as I am about it I won't be buying the new version. I have an espresso machine now so although the Brikka made good coffee there's no need for me to simulate espresso any longer. I've compared them side by side, my Brikka coffee with espresso, and there's no contest in my opinion. So my Brikka, once used daily, now sits gathering dust.

DamianWarS
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#10: Post by DamianWarS »

VinceM wrote:Hello there! First post!

I'm wondering what's up with my Brikka. I just realized something. When it sprays out the coffee, only one of the nozzle holes on the stem actually seems to work properly. The other one just dribbles. The results seem fine - the "crema" foam is there and the taste is good. So I'm not sure if coffee ever came out of both nozzles.

I tried running water and vinegar through it to clean it out but nothing changed.

Is this normal behavior?

If not I guess I can try to unscrew the tip of the stem and clean that out, even though they say not to.

Vince
of course, you will want to make sure it's clean to ensure there is nothing obstructing one of the nozzles otherwise it probably is favouring the one that is lower. you could rotate the brikka 180 degrees and see if by turning it then it favours the other nozzle. this would point to the surface the brikka is sitting on not being level or you could just tilt it to force it to favour the other nozzle just to see if indeed the other nozzle can have a normal flow and if it still drips something may be wrong with that side either it's obstructed or some sort of manufacturing defect is preventing a normal flow.

Bialetti doesn't want you to unscrew the value so that's your business if you decide to go ahead and do it but inside there is an O ring and a silicone sleeve/cap of some sort. that silicone cap slides out and has a little slit in it where coffee passes through and it could get gummed up with coffee oils or scale or it may be damaged all in a way that may force the coffee over to one side rather than centred. being silicone it's flexible so the slightest thing could warp it so you would want to ensure there is nothing in the column itself that may be warping it when it's sitting inside. the slit itself could also be rotated so that it's not centered in the column which may cause it to favour one side over another so as best as possible you will want to make sure it's clean as well as the position of the slit is centered to allow even flow to both sides and obviously if it's damaged then you should replace it. but none of that should change the flavor of the coffee it will just look betting coming out.