ALEiens Homebrew Club

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While this post isn't about beer, it is about brewing... a good cup of coffee, that is. I don't have anywhere else to post this so you'll have deal with it. I promise a beer related post in the near future. ;)
Anyway, we got a new Keurig coffee brewer at the office recently. A pretty cool gadget but I figured we'd be limited to drinking only brands of coffee that are packaged in K-Cups. However, after a quick Google search, I found the Solofill Cup; a refillable K-Cup shaped filter that allows you to use any brand of coffee you like!
After realizing I could use the Peets coffee I get delivered to the house each month (their house blend is delicious), I decided the Keurig was an awesome gadget! I picked up a few of the Solofill cups and ordered two more Keurigs to give as gifts this Christmas. Only after I tried to brew my first cup did I realize somthing wasn't quite right; the Solofill cup leaked water all over the place and made a mess. Bummer!
After trying a couple of troubleshooting tips on their website without success, I decided to contact Solofill's customer service. They got back to me right away and told me that they were aware of the problem. The culprit turned out to be the specific Keurig model I was using. (I didn't bother to consult their compatible brewers page when I placed my order.) Apparently, there is a plate that prevents a grommet from making a water-tight seal with the Solofill Cup.
Rather than return the filter, I was determined to make it work. I found a youtube video that showed someone having similar problem with a different brand of reusable filter. To fix the problem they placed a flat faucet washer on top of the filter. I tried a couple of different sized flat faucet washers with mixed results. The leaks stopped but the washers got stuck and chewed up by a needle located in the top of the brewer (note the pieces missing from the center of the washers I tested).
I spent some time digging through the bins at my local hardware store and finally found a couple of 1/8" thick o-rings that did the trick. Here's my video...
 
Success!!! And the cup of coffee it brews is great; better than drip... closer to a french press.
Here are the o-rings I used...

 

 

 

 

After testing a few times, I decided to use some FDA certified food-safe silicone to hold the o-rings in place on top of the cup...

 

 

 

Now that I've got this thing working, I may have to try my hand at roasting my own beans!

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Comment by Jeff Louella on December 3, 2010 at 8:51am
Cool. I once bought the Senseo Coffee maker. It uses these small discs. Since reading your post, I was like I wonder if anyone made anything like that for my machine (which I stopped using). What do you know. For $40 they offer a Coffee Pod Maker on Amazon.



So now I can too enjoy in any coffee I want!
Comment by Sam Scott on December 3, 2010 at 9:17am
There you go, nice! I loving the idea of hot fresh coffee without making a whole pot.

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Comment by Jeff Louella on December 3, 2010 at 9:29am
The have the same idea for the K-Cups

Comment by Sam Scott on December 3, 2010 at 11:11am
My modification should work on the Keurig branded k-cup filters too. The Solofill cup is a better design though.

Comment by Mike S on December 7, 2010 at 6:25am
Hey, this is cool, I was looking for some alternative to the premade K-cups.
I'm not really sold on the Keurig hardware though, we're on our 3rd unit.
Keurig customer service does keep replacing them for free with pretty much no questions asked, which makes me wonder....
Comment by Paul Canales on January 22, 2011 at 2:14pm

Sam,

 

   Thank you for the info. I bought the Keurig Commercial unit, and the Filter wouldn't work in it. Keurig said they figured no body would want to make a single cup at work.

 

So I gave the filter away. Now that I see there's two other versions that might work I think I'll try those. The Solofill and the EZ-Cup.

 

The difference being that the latter sits inside the original keurig holder, where the Keurig Filter has to have the Keuric insert taken out.

 

In the mean time, I'm a screen printer. Would you be interested in having Home Brew t-shirts made with an Alien and a cup of Coffee?

Comment by Jeff Maietta on January 31, 2012 at 1:35pm

Hi!

I have a silicone, rubber, and urethane manufacturing company and have the same problem!  I am designing a solution to this!  I should be done with the design, testing, and mold making within a few weeks.  I am going to be making the new rubber gasket out of food grade silicone for safety-you would remove the current black gasket and replace it with ours.  If it is not food grade then I would hesitate to use it especially when adding heat and water to degrade the material and filter it into your coffee.  I want to send out some for testing to some people on here for my cost, which is $2.50 plus .50 cents for chipping.  You can be the testers and offer feedback, if interested.

Thanks!

Jeff Maietta

Dynamic Urethanes

jnmaietta@aol.com

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