There’s nothing like a nice hot cup of Joe to start your day. Many of us rely on the boost that caffeinated coffee provides to get productive first thing in the morning. Others prefer de-caf., yet still need that first cup to officially kick off the work day. What often happens; however, is that over time, that first cup isn’t as warm as it’s always been. You may also start to notice that the coffee tastes more and more bitter. Both of these are very common, and are symptoms of the accumulation of mineral deposits and other pollutants in your commercial coffee brewer reservoir. Unless you are using filtered or purified water in your BUNN, or other popular commercial brewers, minerals such as iron and lime will encrust the heating element, making the coffee taste bitter and preventing it from heating as intended.
These issues can be avoided by routine maintenance and a process called de-liming. De-liming should be done every three to six months depending on the hardness of the water and the frequency of use. Most cleaning equipment repair departments will de-lime the entire brewer for a small fee while providing a loaner machine while you wait. You can clean it yourself without much trouble with just two components: Distilled White Vinegar and a De-Liming Spring. Start by unplugging the brewer and letting it cool off. With the decanter under the funnel, pour a quart of the vinegar into the top of the machine and let it run through the brewer into the decanter. When it’s done, empty the decanter and plug the brewer back in for two hours. This time allows the acid in the vinegar to break down the minerals that have accumulated. During this time detach the spray head and soak it in vinegar for the duration.
After two hours have passed unplug the brewer once more and re-attach the spray head. Run two quarts of cold water through the machine (making sure the decanter is in place as the first step) and empty the decanter when done. This is also a good time to insert the De-Liming Spring into the narrow water tube and work it in and out five to six times while slowly twisting it to further break up any residual build-up.
You are now ready to run six to eight quarts of cold water through the brewer, making sure to empty the decanter as needed as it fills. Once this step is complete run four to six ounces through the machine and taste the water for any vinegar. Continue to flush the system until the vinegar taste is completely gone.
Whether you take advantage of a service or you do it yourself, this process done regularly, will keep your coffee hot and delicious and will continue to get your office started every morning.