Sticky Aeropress Seal - Page 2

Coffee preparation techniques besides espresso like pourover.
jpender (original poster)

#11: Post by jpender (original poster) »

Brewzologist wrote:Yep, my 20yr old aeropress did the same thing. Rubber seal was stiff and had an oily look on the surface. Tried several things and gave up.
The Aeropress has only been around for 16 years.

Mine is only three years old and while it's worse now it was very stiff straight out of the box. I've had three Aeropresses, each lasting a few years, apparently whether it got used very much or not. A disposable plastic device. Rather than buy a new seal perhaps it makes more sense to simply toss out the whole thing and buy a new one.

As an aside it turns out that Aeropress was sold to a holding company a couple of months ago.

vit

#12: Post by vit »

jpender wrote:I tried soaking in boiling water for a couple minutes. It helped a little but it was still pretty stiff.

Somehow the Chapstick thing still sounds gross to me. I'd just as soon smear a little vegetable oil on it. At least that's considered food.

I tried sanding it. I ended up reducing the diameter by 0.7-0.8mm. It's a little better but still really hard to press. I don't want to sand it any more. I wonder if I have an outlier in terms of the seal diameter or if it's just really stiff.


Can someone measure the diameter of an Aeropress seal and let me know what you have?
It looks like I filed it more than I thought (didn't actually look when writing previous post)
On my clone, inner cylinder diameter is 57.0mm and the seal is filed to 57.1-57.2mm
It seals up to about 20kg force; above that (in near espresso aeropress experiments) it started slowly leaking, but no big deal for me - I never use more than 1-2 kg ...

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jpender (original poster)

#13: Post by jpender (original poster) »

vit wrote:On my clone, inner cylinder diameter is 57.0mm and the seal is filed to 57.1-57.2mm
So you have a seal that is only 0.1mm larger than the cylinder? That seems dangerously close to being too small.

I'm not sure how you even measure it that accurately since it's squishy. My seal was roughly 58.8mm. I sanded it down to around 58.0-58.2mm (probably it isn't exactly round). So it is about ~1mm larger than the inner (57mm).

I guess I'll buy another Aeropress. If I could I would alter the design. But despite its flaws the Aeropress remains King for travel, in my opinion. I kind of hate buying another because it comes with a bunch of junk (funnel, stirrer, scoop, paper holder) and way too much cardboard, all of which has to go into the bin. It just feels wasteful. I could buy a new seal for $8 but until I do how can I be sure that the cylinder isn't somehow part of the problem? I've retired two Aeropresses in the past because the cylinders wore out.


EDIT: I just noticed that Aeropress sells all of the parts separately. So I can buy a new cylinder, plunger, seal, and cap without all the other junk, and it's $25 shipped instead of $30.

vit

#14: Post by vit » replying to jpender »

Yeah, if the seal is available separately, best solution is probably to buy a new one instead trying to fix the old one, especially if the new one is silicone

Measured it one more time, it indeed isn't more than 57.2mm now, but it's working fine for normal aeropress brewing pressure

As about small kit for travelling, I found that for me, simply cooking the coarse ground coffee in csezve and pouring it through filter directly into a cup results in pretty much the same taste as inverted aeropress method for me (as it is also a similar combination of immersion and drip), as long as the temperature is right, so I never bothered taking Aeropress to travel ...

jpender (original poster)

#15: Post by jpender (original poster) »

vit wrote:As about small kit for travelling, I found that for me, simply cooking the coarse ground coffee in csezve and pouring it through filter directly into a cup results in pretty much the same taste as inverted aeropress method for me (as it is also a similar combination of immersion and drip), as long as the temperature is right, so I never bothered taking Aeropress to travel ...
Yes, of course. But often when I travel hot water is available from an electric kettle but there is no option for cooking. And even when there is the Aeropress is the lighter weight option. Add to that the speed of pressing and the trivial clean up and it's hard to beat.

vit

#16: Post by vit »

2 cup csezve (enough for me) 127g. Aeropress clone 224g (not sure about original) :wink:

Jonk

#17: Post by Jonk »

My two aeropresses weigh 178g and 228g with just plunger, cylinder and cap. So it depends on the plastic used, there's been a few iterations.

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jpender (original poster)

#18: Post by jpender (original poster) »

Mine is also about 178g, lighter than previous versions. The latest is the same I believe except that the seal is now silicone instead of elastomer.

Either way your csezve is lighter. You still need a stove though.

If you have a stove it's very likely that you already have at least one pot or pan so you don't really need any sort of brewer. That's what I did backpacking this past summer: I just used my pot. No need for filters. But it was slower (6 min vs 2) and cleanup was a bit more effort. It's one of the beauties of the Aeropress that you can pop out the puck and it's pretty much clean.

jannus

#19: Post by jannus »

Just as a comment- I also have an old aeropress with a sometimes sticky seal. I do also have some silicone grease (yes it's rated food safe). Silicone is generally considered safer (or healthier, if rubber has health) than petroleum based grease as far as rubber goes, from my limited knowledge. I find that a tiny bit around the edges of the seal lasts quite a while. Long enough that I'm definitely not about to buy a new one.
YMMV, but that works for me.
Cheers!

jpender (original poster)

#20: Post by jpender (original poster) »

jannus wrote:I also have an old aeropress with a sometimes sticky seal. I do also have some silicone grease (yes it's rated food safe). Silicone is generally considered safer (or healthier, if rubber has health) than petroleum based grease as far as rubber goes, from my limited knowledge. I find that a tiny bit around the edges of the seal lasts quite a while. Long enough that I'm definitely not about to buy a new one.
Thanks. I have some silicone grease too, for the silicone seal on my espresso machine, but I wasn't sure about its compatibility with an elastomer seal. Good to hear it's fairly durable on an old Aeropress seal.