Coffee ( Discussing coffee. This includes selection of brands, methods of making coffee, etc. Discussion about coffee in other forms (e.g. desserts) is acceptable.

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Default Brewing Temperature Test, (Attempted), Melitta IBS-10S Drip Coffeem

It is now time for the third test victim in my automatic drip coffeemaker
brewing temperature test. The machines being tested are ones which I
actually own. So far, I have not asked to borrow machines of my friends for
running through this test, although, such a happening is not beyond the
realm of possibility.

Most people who have lurked in the past year, or participated on, are familiar with the Melitta Clarity, made by Salton, and the
Presto, so-called "Scandinavian-design" drip coffee brewer, made in China by
or for, Presto National Industries.

The beast currently on the kitchen counter is the Melitta IBS-10S,
(Interval Brewing System), Automatic Drip Coffeemaker made in Germany by
Melitta. Claimed capacity is ten cups. There was also an IBS-12S, 12-cup
claimed capacity model, which was already sold out and no longer available
when I bought my IBS-10S back in 1998 or so.

We had a thread or two concerning this machine when somebody announced on
the group that it was being discontinued at close to half its original
selling price. I had owned an 8-cup Melitta automatic drip model back in
the early 1980's which had some features I liked, especially that it
was capable of brewing up a good-tasting pot of coffee, and I had enjoyed
their one-cup auto-drip model which brewed its output into a nice, heavy,
traditionally shaped, 12-ounce ceramic mug. I actually still wish I had one
of those units.

Melitta claimed that the IBS models had the heating element up in the top
closer to the drip spout area,, all housed in the top section which is about
three times thicker than the drip spout section of just about any other drip
coffeemaker made contemporary to this design. Furthermore, they claimed
that it would heat the water to up to 208 degrees Fahrenheit before
releasing it into the filter basket. One participant in the thread on said that since he lived at an elevation around seven-thousand
feet above sea level, the Los Alamos, New Mexico area if I remember
correctly, this machine would not be a candidate for consideration by him,
since that high a temp would mean boiling the water, which we all agree is,
well, verboten where coffee brewing is concerned.

The other main claim to fame for this model is that it mimmicks manual
pour-over brewing. The machine heats water and pumps it into that large
top area, then dumps a farily large quantity into the filter for a few
seconds, and then it stops and takes about half a minute or so to reload
before domping the next shower of hot water into the brewing basket. That's
what they meant by "Interval Brewing".

The first time I ran my temperature measuring test, I noticed a wide
fluctuation in temperature readings, which correlate to whether or not the
machine is pouring water into the brew, and swinging over a wide range
depending on how fast the water drips out of the basket into the carafe, and
how much time passes between the time the grounds have little water, and the
time it takes the machine to reload and pour in another stream.

This temperature swing is much wider than you get with a unit like the
Clarity or the Presto which feeds into the basket at a more constant rate.
The thing that bothered me was how long this unit took to give me a reading
even close to 190 degrees Fahrenheit, still short of that 90-degree-Celsius,
(194 dg. F.) bottom end of that generally agreed-upon optimum brewing
I discounted the first test and waited until today, July 5 to try again.

If I use the same grind setting and the same ratio of ground coffee to water
in the IBS-10S as I do in the Clarity or the Presto, the filter will back up
and I have a mess coming out the top of the filter basket. I had to use
less coffee, ground considerably coarser for the IBS-10S.

Here is what I got on the first brewing run. Note, the resulting brew was a
sink drink, which made a nice drain opener. The brew was weak and wimpy,
actually in both tests I ran today. There is a possibility that this
heating element is just no longer up to the task, although the machine has
seen very little use, and had careful storage for most of the time I've had
it. I bought it mainly because it was designed around a unique brewing
concept for an electric drip brewer, and also because it was from the last
batch of brewers actually made in Germany, that Melitta was selling in North

First test: Equipment used, the cooking thermometer with voiced output of
digital readings, the same one used in the other two machine tests;
one coffeemaker;
one digital watch with stopwatch, countup timer function;
One cassette recorder to record ellapsed times and temperature readings, for
copying to the computer later.

Air temperature at test time, 77.5 degrees Fahrenheit
Temperature of water in the tank, 74.9 degrees
Temperature in pile of coffee in filter basket, 79.8 degrees

10 seconds, machine begins pumping, 81.8 degrees
20 seconds, 81.8 degrees, still no water in basket
30 seconds, 81.2 degrees
40 seconds, 81.5
50 seconds, 81.4
1 minute, 81.3 degrees, top is becoming warm
1 minute 11 seconds, 151.9 degrees
1 minute 18 seconds, 154.3 degrees
1 minute 28 seconds, 151.3
1 minute 42 seconds, 149.1 degrees
2 minutes, 147.1 degrees
2 minutes 19 seconds, 157.8 degrees
2 minutes 31 seconds, 154.1 degrees
2 minutes 45 seconds, 151.5
3 minutes, 171 degrees
3 minutes 16 seconds, 163.9 degrees
3 minutes 32 seconds, 163.8 degrees
3 minutes 42 seconds, 158.6 degrees
3 minutes 50 seconds, 158.8 degrees
4 minutes, 169.9 degrees
4 minutes 11 seconds, 163.3 degrees
4 minutes 24 seconds, 160.3 degrees
Coffee backs up, I have to stop the brew and let water drip out of the
basket into the carafe.
5 minutes 21 seconds, 169.3 degrees
5 minutes, 28 seconds, 172.1 degrees
5 minutes 6 minutes 10 seconds, 176.5 degrees
6 minutes 18 seconds, 169.9 degrees
6 minutes 27 seconds, 165.4 degrees
6 minutes 35 seconds, 163.3 degrees
7 minutes 19 seconds, 174.1 degrees
7 minutes 53 seconds, 186.3 degrees
8 minutes 186.5 degrees
8 minutes 46 seconds, 189.2 degrees
8 minutes 52 seconds, 189.1 degrees
9 minutes 1 second, 198.2 degrees, Pumping stops
9 minutes 12 seconds, 191.2 degrees fahrenheit
9 minutes 18 seconds, switch clicked
9 minutes 37 seconds, everything stops except dripping from the basket.
19 minutes, 191 degrees
10 minutes 11 seconds, 191.2 degrees

Temperature inside the carafe, still on warmer plate, still turned on:
11 minutes 9 seconds, 173 degrees
11 minutes 18 seconds, 173.1 degrees
11 minutes 25 seconds, 173.4 degrees
11 minutes 40 seconds, 173.5 degrees Fahrenheit.

Conclusions: I have too much ground coffee ground too fine for this machine
in this test. I don't like that wide temperature variation, and 191.2
degrees as a final high temp reading inside the brewing basket is definitely
not good enough by any standard.

I'll need to try this test again, using less coffee, a coarser grind, and
paying closer attention to when the machine is actually pouring water into
the basket. The size and shape of this thermometer's business end precludes
any possibility of reliably coupling it to the drip opening, and definitely
no possibility of installing it inside the drip assembly. At any rate,
brewing doesn't take place that high up in the machine; the ground coffee is
at least four or five inches further away, down in the basket.

I stil can't let this pass just yet. "Must have another go!" as I"ve heard
fold from an island a few thousand miles northeast of here say.

Air temperature, 5:53 PM, July 5, 77.5 degrees
Water temp in tank, 77 degrees
Temp of coffee in basket, 78.2 degrees

Throw the switch:
210 seconds, 29.1 degrees
30 seconds, 79.2 degrees
40 seconds, 79.2 degrees
50 seconds, warm top
1 minute, water begins dripping in
1 minute 20 seconds, 145.3 degrees
1 minute 23 seonds, 140.5 degrees
1 minute 34 seconds, 137.1 degrees
1 minute 43 seconds, 139.3 degrees
1 minute 55 seconds, water pours in, 146.7 degrees
2 minutes, 163.4 degrees
2 minutes 14 seconds, pouring stops, 152.7 degrees
2 minutes 28 seconds, 149.8 degrees
2 minutes 46 seconds, water pours
3 minutes 167.6 degrees, water not pouring in
3 minutes 16 seconds, 162.5 degrees
3 minutes 40 seconds, water pours, 173.5 degrees
3 minutes 50 seconds, 183.8 degrees
4 minutes, no pouring, 170.4 degrees
4 minutes 26 seconds, 163 degrees
4 minutes 31 seconds, pouring, 179 degrees
4 minutes 36 seconds, 186.1 degrees
4 minutes 42 seconds, 180.7 degrees, pouring stops
4 minutes 55 seconds, 170.5 degrees
5 minutes 18 seconds, 165.5 degrees, water begins pouring in
5 minutes 24 seconds 182.6 degrees
5 minutes 30 seconds, 187.1 degrees
5 minutes 37 seconds, pouring stops, 180.2 degrees
5 minutes 47 seconds 174.9 degrees
6 minutes, 171.2 degrees
6 minutes 11 seconds, pouring begins again, 175.2 degrees
6 minutes 16 seconds, 184.1 degrees
6 minutes 25 seconds, pouring stops, 179.5 degrees
6 minutes 40 seconds, 173 degrees
6 minutes 54 seconds, 169.6 degrees
7 minutes, pouring, no announced reading
7 minutes 13 seconds, 184.3 degrees
7 minutes 44 seconds, 174.9 degrees
7 minutes 51 seconds, 176.5 degrees
8 minutes, 177.3 degrees
8 minutes 10 seconds, 173.8 degrees
8 minutes 17 seconds, 172.5 degrees
8 minutes 15 seconds, 171.3 degrees
8 minutes 35 seconds, 173 degrees
8 minutes 45 seconds, pumping stops
9 minutes, slurping the bottom
9 minutes 4 seconds, 174.2 degrees
9 minutes 11 seconds, 174.1 degrees
9 minutes 17 seconds, 171.5 degrees
9 minutes 23 seconds, 170.7 degrees.

Check temp inside carafe:
10 minutes 36 seconds, 176.3 degrees
10 minutes 43 seconds, 176.3 degrees.

This time, I did not see any 190-degree-plus Fahrenheit readings.

I think this beast is headed for the laundry room folding table where it
will be fair game for whomever wants to snarf it up.

OH, the coffee? Sink drink. Hey, my budget won't stand for much of this,
even if it is Eight O'clock 100-percent Colombian wWhole Bean Coffee mixed
equally with Eight O'Clock French Roast Whole Bean coffee.

From the Clarity, it had a nice strong flavor with a good sharp, estringent
bite. From the Presto, it was much smoother, without the estringent bite,
and with more of the floral and fruity notes generally said to be
characteristic of a good Colombian coffee. I like them both for different
reasons, and would not usually prefer one over the other unless a specific
mood of the moment might dictate a preference.
Now, because my Presto seems to do a better job of bringing out the finer
and more subtle nuances and complex characteristics of a flavor profile than
dows my Clarity, between those two machines, if I'm trying an origin new to me,
and I trust that the source has not committed some kind of attrocity against
it in the storing and roasting phase, I will choose the Presto over
the Clarity as my machine of choice for brewing it, at least for the
first try. If I'm going to brew up any beans bought from Starbucks
or something like Eight O'clock French Roast, The Clarity might be my
brewer of choice over the Presto.

My Braun KF-157 and KF-187 actually usually get me both things in the same
brew; the complex subtle notes are brought out, and there is still that
estringent bite of the top note that the Clarity seems to favor.

The IBS-10S is goin' Bye! Bye! Quite a number of people I know would say I
have far too many coffee grinding and brewing machines, anyway. <BwaHa!Ha!>

IN this machine's case, it made no difference whether it was made by Turks
and Albanians, under German supervision in a factory in Germany, or made by
Mexicans under German supervision, in a factory in Mexico.

When this line was discontinued after being sold through most of the 1990's,
Melitta contracted Salton to make an electric drip-brewing machine for them,
with their name on it, in a factory in Hong Kong, which was still a year
away from passing from British to Chinese sovereignty, and we got the
Clarity as a replacement.

OK, so I"ve bored some of you to beers. But at least this is about coffee
and coffee brewing equipment, instead of a dust-up about whether or not has "hit bottom," and whether or not it was "good to the last
drop". Wait a minute! That's somebody else's line! Sorry! Well, maybe
Anyway, guys, it's only coffee. When you hit bottom, you can make more,
reload, and keep on drinking.

Brent Reynolds, Atlanta, GA USA
Email: Phone: 1-404-814-0768
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