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PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2007 10:43 am
by GeorgeW
Whenusing meths it's best to put in a little water which will stop any sooting.

PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2007 11:34 am
by lastcoyote
really?! what just a dribble? how's that work then?

PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2007 12:35 pm
by zix
Lastcoyote, Sweden´s coffee enthusiasts thank you!

Edit: sorry, i have a cold and make a lot of mistakes when writing. Please just read this again, I have edited it.

Yep, I can confirm that a little bit of water in denat spirits brings the sooting down to very low levels. You get a little longer warm-up time, but perhaps that is not a big problem indoors. I mostly did that with Trangia stoves' burners, outdoors.

There is a parallell discussion going on at, a swedish coffee forum, where it has surfaced that methanol could also be used, if you can obtain it. I am not sure of the techno-chemical difference between methylic alcohol and methanol, but it seems that methanol burns without sooting.

PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2007 12:40 pm
by phil2spill
lastcoyote wrote:oops's just that i answered zix directly.

Apologies LC I jumped the gun :oops: . Thanks for the tip about the different burners -- that's useful to know.

PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2007 1:05 pm
by zix
Oh, and pure (96%) ethanol is also very good... verry verrrly goodh.

PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2007 4:07 pm
by Craig
I never thought of buying a Cona vac pot.....till now. Very nice looking, although I am a little surprised at the price €150!

Found this while looking for prices, just a tad more expensive......mmmmmm

PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2007 5:41 pm
by Beanie
Yeah that's the one I've been 'waiting' to get for the last couple years too, Craig :roll: :( Actually, I was thinking of the smaller 'rounded' version... but am not sure yet ;) He sells them on e-bay at MUCH better prices than retail, of course ;)

PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2007 6:08 pm
by phil2spill
zix wrote:. . . it has surfaced that methanol could also be used, if you can obtain it. I am not sure of the techno-chemical difference between methylic alcohol and methanol.

Had a quick look in wiki; methanol is toxic by inhalation / drinking / contact with skin so probably not something you'd want to have around the house. Methylated spirits is ethanol with either some methanol, or (more likely) other additives to make it less appetising. Ethanol would be great, but you'd have to pay liquor duty on it :( So looks like methylated is the best option.

PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2007 8:43 pm
by Lambo
Anydody got any experience of the "kitchen" version that goes on a cooker? Might be safer with me around - less chance of explosions/singed eyebrows!

PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2007 9:50 pm
by zix
Thanks, phil!
I found out now too. Was uncertain before I finally found it on the swedish wiki, and then I saw your input. I guess the sooting comes from the additives then, as neither methanol, nor ethanol soots very much. Or maybe they do when combining them?
Hobby stores that sell R/C model airplanes, cars and such may also sell methanol. But yes, it is poisonous - on the other hand, so is methylated alcohol, because it contains a certain percentage of methanol. So none of them are drinkable.

I only have experience of the Bodum Santos stove top vac pot. Very convenient. I can't think there is any big difference in taste between stove heating and meth heating, but you have to stand guard at the stove, while a burner lets you put the vac pot on the table so you can host a little coffee show. Fun.

PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2007 10:12 pm
by bruceb
As long as one refrains from drinking or bathing in them methanol and methylated spirits (which nowadays usually contains methyl ethyl ketone rather than methanol) are relatively harmless. They are really only dangerously toxic if you drink them. Keep them away from children, of course.

PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 12:42 am
by Coffee Maniac
It was actually on behalf of me zix asked about the purple liquid... I wasn´t approved as a member back then. Ah those old days... ;)

Anyway, I bought 5 liters methanol and a smaller bottle for easy filling from a hobby stores that sell R/C model airplanes, cars and such. They run on methanol (or methanol based mix of some kind, they have pure methanol so people can mix their own fuels).

Methanol sure is deadly, if you drink it. But why would you? Do you drink all you household chemicals?
By inhalation... yeah, sure. A lot of stuff is toxic by inhalation, but do you actually need to be sniffing the stuff? I don´t think it is so freakin deadly that it really matters (if you handle it correctly). If it was sooo poisonous they wouldn´t be allowed to sell it at all.

The big and dangerous thing about methanol is that it smells and tastes just like normal alcohol. So you can sell it for alcohol to someone, or you can mistakenly drink it if you are stupid. I guess that is why it has such a "bad name", because idiots sell it to young kids and then they go blind or die or something (again, when they make drinks with the stuff).

Keep it away from kids, and tell them that this shit is DEADLY, and mark each bottle with it with big letters. Tell your kids so they know before they get to the age when they start "borrowing booze from dad, because he will never notice...". Just make it clear to them that this methanol is deadly if you drink it.

Anyway, back to the Cona!

I made my first pot today, and I liked it. Kenya Gethumbwini single origin. Next time I will add like 10% or 20% Monsooned Malabar to it, because I think I want "more taste", a deeper taste, or however I would describe it.

No sooting at all from the methanol. Boring methanol has no color like your stuff... So I added a drop of green "food color" to the little bottle of methanol I pulled from the 5 litre canister. It went all green! :shock: (surprise)

It looks more fun, lika a chemical experiment or something. I ordered some blue color too, and I have red also. I think I will go for a purple color, or a totally blue or something.

The colors adds another level of playing to the Cona. ;) :D

PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 1:22 pm
by lastcoyote
don't be offended..but you kind of scare me :shock: :wink:

PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 1:52 pm
by Coffee Maniac
.... why?

PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 2:26 pm
by lastcoyote
well the avatar for one...