Coffee Maker Craziness

0918151119bCoffee is an essential element to a farm morning, don’t you think? It is a comforting ritual to start the day over a hot cup of fragrant coffee and plan the chores to tackle in the day ahead. We used to share a french press full of coffee together in the mornings before we both headed off to work, and that was nice. Then our kids bought us a Keurig single cup coffee maker.

I like the convenience of making just the flavor and level of caffeine you need, based on an assortment of little plastic coffee pods, but I don’t like the idea of the waste of plastic added to the landfills and the cost per cup. However, the kids thought ahead and also bought us a refillable plastic cup so we can use our own coffee and dump out the grounds to reuse it each time. All good, and we have happily adapted.

Here is the problem. Over time, mineral deposits clog up the works and you have to go through a tedious process of running pure vinegar through the pipes, brewing a cup of it at a time until the acidic solution dissolves the crud and it washes through. This sounds easy enough, but what happens each time to me is that it gets stuck in there somewhere and the flow just quits. I have to stand there and smack the Keurig repeatedly on the counter until the liquid flows in little spurts and sputters. This is so frustrating! The process takes a good hour, plus the recommended 4 hours to let it sit and rest in between. (I lost the instructions, so now it is a bit of guesswork on just how many times to do what and for how long.)

Today, I lost my patience and got out the screwdrivers. I unplugged and dismantled the machine, hoping to find a more effective way to get at the clogs. No good, all I uncovered was the electronics, nothing that granted access to the water pipes. Through some mysterious chain of events, putting it back together and running another cup of vinegar through worked fluidly this time. All I want to know is the trick. Something makes it go from stuck and sputtering to smooth and strong, but I can’t figure it out.

I don’t want to have to throw the machine away and buy a new one, because it will just build up again and I’ll be in the same spot all over again. Any help out there from my mechanical engineering friends?

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About bluestempond

Hobby farmer living at Bluestem Pond in Michigan.
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4 Responses to Coffee Maker Craziness

  1. Benjamin says:

    We run filtered water through ours; cuts down on the gunk building up AND makes then coffee taster better! Bon Chance! Cheers, Ben

  2. No help here, just a suggestion. Perhaps running vinegar through on a regular basis will have a preemptive effect. And then maybe you can use a bit less vinegar if doing it more regularly.

  3. bluestempond says:

    So interesting! I thought more people would be struggling with my same issue, but maybe it is just our water. I am doing the “de-scaling” routine every two or three months, much more frequently than they suggest, and it irritates me every time.

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