True Story: Exploding Percolator

Posted by  $  AJAshinoff 1 week, 5 days ago to Humor
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I'm sharing this experience because its so bizarre. Enjoy a good laugh because it all absolutely true.

I've been drinking coffee for the large majority of my life. I prefer percolator brewed coffee using freshly ground beans (yeah, I write in coffee houses so I'm a bit particular.

I have a metal Cabela's 9 cup percolating coffee pot which consists of 5 parts; the pot, a viewing clear plastic knob on the hinged lid, the metal stem, the metal perforated filter basket and a metal perforated lid for that basket. Aside from the knob NOTHING is screwed on and EVERYTHING is loose.

A few days ago I added 9 tablespoons of coffee grinds and made coffee, no issue. After my second cup of the day I figured I'd add a bit of water to eek out what I could from the beans. The end result was that I added too much water and the coffee was rather thin. Solution: add a 2 tablespoons of coffee to the basket and let it perk for a while to fortify the coffee to my liking. On an electric stove I set the burner to 2 (out of 10) and went about researching for my writing. Forgetting the coffee as I typically do I was surprised to hear a modest explosion and extreme hissing from the kitchen. Normally when I forget the coffee it overflows, I bet bitched at by my wife and have to clean the stove. This time about 1/3 the grinds were all over the range top, on the wall, and on the counter top.

I'm at a total loss how something so loosely connected (the pot itself) can result in an explosion like this. I've done the exact same thing before a number of times and have never had anything similar to this happen. It is for this reason I'm looking to science for an explanation.


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  • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 1 week, 4 days ago
    Ahhhh...one time too many would be my scientific guess...laughing with you.

    Same thing happened to me on a camping outing. The next time we went camping I brought a Mr. Coffee and a converter to hook to the trucks battery.
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    • Posted by  $  Susanne 1 week, 3 days ago
      We tried that during Field Day (big annual ham radio event), had a small drip machine, a big deep cycle battery, and my one inverter big enough to run the coffee maker... ran the machine through its paces on shore power, and was impressed how fast it was...

      SO here we are, out in the middle of nowhere... Flip the switch... We got exactly 2 1/2 cups worth of the 10 cup carafe filled when I hear this "Beep Beep Brooooowwww....." and look over - the battery was down to about 10 1/2 volts and shrinking fast. Darn.

      Not to be deterred (after all, we're talking about Coffee!), I pull the car over, hook up the inverter, thinking "this will fix that", it gets about another cup or so worth in the carafe, and now the car starts laboring... I'm thinking by now "The coffee Gods hate me"... I shut off the inverter - and the car picks right up. BAH!

      We ended up heating a pot of water and pouring it through the filter. Turned out pretty good... but I still need to hook up a meter to see what in Godzilla's name they have for a heating element, and how they keep it from melting the plastic base.

      The important thing was, we were able to adapt, and survive. It was either that, or fail at coffee...
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      • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 1 week, 2 days ago
        You narrowly avoided a Disaster!...Fail at Coffee!...perish the thought.
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        • Posted by  $  Susanne 1 week, 1 day ago
          I don't know if you followed the TV series Twin Peaks all those years ago (I understand it's back after 25 years... I didn't but my stepson bought me the VD's as a Christmas present)... there was one scene in one of the early shows where Agent Cooper tells the deputy "Every day strive to give yourself a gift - whether it's a quick catnap, something of value, or (as the waitress is pouring the cups) a hot, fresh cup of steaming, black coffee..." he takes a sip, the look is one of pure ecstasy... and I knew whoever wrote that was a kindred spirit.

          Funny how things stick in your mind like that.

          I also use the catch phrase every so often (usually gets a chuckle)... "I've always preferred my coffee like my men - strong, black, pungent aroma, and bitter as hell... "
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  • Posted by Herb7734 1 week, 3 days ago
    I will be of no help but I do have a funny percolator story. BW and I just got back from our honeymoon and were putting stuff away in our apartment. The BW was pooped and decided to go to bed and leave stuff for tomorrow. I decided to stay up and get what I was working on finished and to that end, I saw an elaborate electric percolator. It was a wedding gift, or more likely a re-gift since the company who made it was defunct. Little did I know that the BW had soaked it in soap and was planning to rinse it out. I put in enough coffee for 4 cups added water plugged it in and turned it on. I went back to work waiting to hear the glub-glub sound of the percolation. After a while instead of glub-glub, I hear glub-- whhhahh. I looked at the curved spout of the thing a saw that it was blowing big brown bubbles. I woke up the wife, dragged her out of bed. This she had to see. She looked at it as if were an every day happening and went back to bed. As for, me I said, "What the hell" and turned off the percolator and went to bed. I still chuckle when think about those big brown bubbles.
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  • Posted by  $  CBJ 1 week, 5 days ago
    Your pitiful science is no match for the coffee gods whom you have offended.
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    • Posted by  $  1 week, 5 days ago
      lol, would seem so. There are so many holes in that filter basket that I can't see how it clogged up to explode. Plus the lid is just a hinge so it should have overflowed before the eruption...what a mess!
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