Frequently Asked Questions
At Brewista, we are committed to providing the best brewing experience possible with our products. We've highlighted some frequently asked questions relating to our most popular products below. If you have any additional questions, please don't hesitate to contact us!
Smart Scale™ & Smart Scale II™
What is the warranty period for the Smart Scale™?
Brewista products that have an ON/OFF switch carry a one year warranty from the date of original purchase. This warranty extends only to the original consumer, purchaser, or gift recipient. Keep the original sales receipt, as proof of purchase is required to make a warranty claim. The product must be purchased at an authorized retailer for the warranty to be valid.
I dropped my scale and it isn’t working properly. I can hear something rattling inside and I’m certain I can fix the scale if I can get it open without damaging it further. How do I open the scale?
There are no user-repairable parts of the Smart Scale™ or Smart Scale II™ and users should not attempt to open the scale for the purpose of repairing or modifying it in any way.
Is it possible to erase or change any of the modes?
The available modes on the Smart Scale™ cannot be changed by the end user. Before bringing the Smart Scale™ to market, we gathered feedback from 100 baristas around the world. That feedback resulted in the addition of two more modes before we released the scale to market. If there is an additional mode you’d like to have, please contact us and let us know. Perhaps we can add it to future versions of the Smart Scale™. A majority of the products we develop and bring to market are a direct result of our interaction with people in the brewed beverage industry. We gladly welcome feedback!
The scales intermittently change modes back to "AUTO1" after a period of sleep despite most of the time returning to the mode previously used. Why is that?
There are two probable causes for this issue, both caused by moisture entering the battery compartment which leads to rust or corrosion on the battery contacts.
The simplest reason is that battery cover may be installed backwards. The battery cover is asymmetrical to ensure that it is installed in the proper orientation. However, it is possible to forcibly install the battery cover facing the wrong direction which prevents it from sealing properly. Please check to see that the battery cover is installed properly.
The second possible cause is a known issue that we have corrected. When high levels of heat/steam hit the underside of the scale it may cause some distortion of the original battery cover which compromises the integrity of the seal. Once moisture enters, it can cause the aforementioned corrosion and rust.
To prevent this from occurring, a sturdier and more rigid scale cover was developed. These were made available to distributors and customers at no charge as soon as this issue was discovered. The redesigned battery covers have ribs on the inside to increase strength. If your battery cover does not have these ribs, please contact us at email@example.com to have a replacement cover and seals sent to you.
If you discover that moisture has caused rust on the battery terminals, clean them off with a cotton swab and rubbing alcohol. The best way to ensure that all of the liquid has drained out is to place it vertically tilted on a drying rack, with the end with buttons pointing upward. Allow the scale to dry in this position overnight.
After the battery compartment has been cleaned and the scale has completely dried out, replace the batteries with new ones. Ensure that the silicone seal is still in place and install the battery cover in the proper orientation.
NOTE: Using the Auto-off setting will extend battery life. If the batteries drain prematurely, replace the included batteries with premium alkaline batteries. Rechargeable batteries will not provide long service in the scale
My scale tares in the middle of a shot. Why does it do that?
The Smart Scale has 6 different user modes; four are programmed for espresso, one is for pour over coffee preparation, and the last is entirely manual - requiring the tare and time buttons to be pressed for those functions to happen. In the first 5 modes, the scale is programmed to tare or time automatically based on the steps associated with those modes. Please be sure to use the correct mode for your style of coffee preparation. For a complete explanation of the different modes, please see the Smart Scale™ Quick Start Guide on the Smart Scale™ product page of our website.
When I remove the shot from the scale, the weight changes. Why does this happen?
The Smart Scale™ is extremely sensitive and accurate to within 0.1 grams. If anything on the scale platform is removed by sliding it rather than picking it straight up, the scale will register the weight of the pressure exerted by the sliding action. Please be certain to lift the shot up to remove it from the platform.
I washed my Smart Scale™ under the faucet like I saw on a video once, but now it isn’t working properly.
The original tutorial video that you saw has since been edited to remove the segment about washing the scale under a faucet. The Smart Scale™ is remarkably water resistant, but washing it under a faucet is no longer recommended.
I can see underneath the scale platform. How can it be water resistant if that is the case?
While it is possible to see underneath the platform, and for water to enter the scale, every part of the scale is sealed with a nano coating that causes water to spike on the surface.
Why does the screen display the term, "CAL"?
If the scale displays "CAL" it needs to be re-calibrated. The following instructions can be found in the owner’s manual:
- While the scale is off, press ON/OFF button to turn on the scale.
- The LCD will read "0.0g".
- Press and hold the MODE button until the display shows "CAL", then release the button.
- Press MODE button again.
- "500g" will flash on the display.
- Place a 500g calibration weight onto the center of the platform.
- The LCD will read “PASS” then return to the normal weighing mode.
- Calibration is complete.
When I turn on my Smart Scale™ it shows the "CAL" message for a second, and then it displays only zeroes on the screen. What is happening?
Most likely the MODE key is stuck and the scale thinks it is always pushed down. This will cause it to enter calibration mode. To solve the problem, shake the MODE key to make sure it is not depressed.
How often does the Brewista Smart Scale™ require calibration? Does it come pre-calibrated and ready to use?
The Smart Scale comes pre-calibrated and ready to use. For home use customers, calibration should be performed once a year or even less frequently. Since coffee shops will likely be weighing over 50% capacity many times a day, the scales should be calibrated quarterly, or even monthly.
Calibration frequency will depend on a number of variables so everyone's experience will vary. Some of the primary factors for determining the calibration interval are:
- How often the scale is used each day
- How often the scale is used over 50% capacity
- How critical the measurements are (how much error is permissible)
- How well the scale is maintained and stored
Why does the screen display the term, “Lo”?
If the scale displays “Lo” it is caused by low batteries. Replace the batteries with new alkaline ones.
Why does the screen display the term, “UNST”?
If the scale displays “UNST” the scale is telling you that the platform is unstable. This can occur when it is not on a level surface or too much weight has been applied. If this occurs, remove anything from the platform, turn the scale off, then on again.
Why does the screen display the term, “Err”?
Too much weight has been applied to the scale platform. If this occurs, remove anything from the platform, turn the scale off, then on again. Do not attempt to weigh anything over 2000 grams as this may damage the scale.
What is the charging time for the Smart Scale II™?
When the battery is fully depleted, it takes around 12 hours to charge to full capacity. The scale comes with overcharge protection and will stop charging automatically when full. However, it is not recommend to leave your scale plugged into the charger when fully charged for excessive periods of time (i.e. more than a day or two).
Note: It is best to start charging when there is only one bar left on the battery indicator, instead of waiting for zero bars.
When I try to turn on my kettle the ON/OFF button blinks, but it does not heat the water. Why is that?
The likely culprit is a blown thermal fuse. This is generally caused by running the kettle without water in it. Every Brewista kettle has a minimum water fill line clearly marked on it. Do not run any Brewista kettle without enough water to reach the minimum fill line or damage may occur.
Is there any plastic in the kettle?
On the Brewista water kettles there is a silicon ring in the bottom where the temperature probe goes through the base. No plastic touches the water anywhere in the kettle.
I'm only brewing a cup of coffee for myself. Is it safe to heat the kettle with 350ml of water instead of 500ml? With that amount the heater is still covered with water.
If you fill your kettle less than 500ml than the water temperature control will not be as accurate. We depend on a certain volume of water to allow for moving the temperature up and down one degree. Without enough thermal mass to absorb the heat generated with each heating cycle, it is easier to over shoot the set temperature by 1 or 2 degrees. If this is not an issue, please feel free to fill below the 500ml line but not less than the 350ml you are currently using or you will start to damage the thermal fuses that are in the base that protect the kettle from over-temperature cycles.
How long does it take a Brewista water kettle to reach boiling at capacity?
Boiling time is greatly influenced by elevation, but typically a switched kettle will go to boil in under 5 minutes with 1.2L of water. At higher elevations water boils at lower temperatures. Use the graph below to determine your kettle’s boiling temperature. Please refer to the "High Altitude Users" graph in the owner’s manual of any Brewista kettle.
What is the voltage and current rating for Brewista kettles?
Brewista products are sold worldwide. Different countries have different power supplies and the appropriate kettles and power cords are sold in each country in which Brewista has distribution.
- For countries with voltage ranging from 110-127V
- Rated voltage: 120 V ~60 Hz
- Rated current: 10A
- Rated power input: 1200W
- Capacity: Max. 40.5 Oz (1.2L)
- For countries with voltage ranging from 220-240V
- Rated voltage: 220-240 V ~50/60 Hz
- Rated power input: 1500W
- Capacity: Max. 40.5 Oz (1.2L)
I have a 120V kettle, but the power source where I live is 220V. I am using an inverter, but the kettle does not function properly. What is wrong with the kettle?
Brewista variable temperature kettles have extremely accurate temperature controls. This requires a very clean power source to maintain accuracy. The kettles will work with 50 Hz or 60 Hz but must have cleaner power than is possible to get from a transformer. You should only use the correct voltage kettle for your local power source.
I own a Smart Pour™ Variable Temperature Kettle. At first it will function properly and heat water to the set temperature. Then over the course of a couple days it will heat water to a lower temperature. So if it's set to 206°, it will only heat up to 203° and sometimes to 201°. When I unplug it and reset everything, it will heat to the set temperature again, but only for a couple of days. Why does that happen?
There is software on the kettle that will reduce the set temperature if the kettle is excessively boiling at a lower temperature range, primarily caused when operating the kettle at a higher elevation. The software will lower the set temperature downward if excessive boiling is sensed. The software will be reset if the kettle is unplugged but it will constantly monitor this and adjust automatically, so this will occur again. It is a built in safety feature to protect both the kettle and the user.
When I am using the keep warm feature on the kettle, it shuts off whenever I remove it from the base. Why does it do that and how can I keep it from turning off?
It is a requirement for any kettle that bears the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) seal (as all Brewista kettles do) to automatically shut off the keep warm feature when the kettle is removed from the base. This is a required safety measure to prevent users from heating an empty kettle. It is not possible to disable this safety function.
To restart the keep warm function, simply press the Keep Warm button once the kettle has been returned to the base.
I set my variable temperature kettle to 212°, but it only heats to 205°. What is happening?
Brewista variable temperature kettles are designed to stop the temperature increase once water boils. While it is possible to set the desired temperature to one that is higher than the boiling point for your elevation, the kettle will not exceed boiling. This is a safety feature. The reason that the available temperature range goes up to 212° is to accommodate users at lower elevations where a higher temperature is required to reach a boil.
Brewista electric switch kettles will not heat water beyond boiling for these same safety considerations.
If your application requires you to heat water beyond the boiling point, Brewista stovetop kettles will work for that purpose. They are compatible with gas and electric ranges or induction cooktops.
Roughly how many seconds does it take to pour 1.2 liters out of the Smart Pour™ Kettles vs. the Stout Spout™ Kettles?
The Stout Spout cupping kettles pour about twice as fast as the Smart Pour™ Gooseneck kettles. We've tested and timed the pour rates of these kettles and found that 1.2L poured from a Stout Spout Kettle took 15 seconds. The Smart Pour™ Kettle poured 1.2L in 28 seconds.
Cold Pro™ System Questions
What is the difference between this product and other commercial Cold Brew products?
The Brewista Cold Pro™ System allows for bigger batches, suspends grinds within the water rather than sitting on the bottom of the bucket, and has a structure that allows you to lift and rest the grinds in the permanent filter above the solution to drain. Because of the large capacity and our tested brewing ratio, there is only a 9% product loss within the soaked grinds versus up to a 30% loss with other brew methods. This brewing and filter system we use is superior to any other cold brewer on the market and makes for a much easier clean up as well!
How much Coffee can I make in one batch?
The Cold Pro™ can hold a maximum of about 7 gallons. If you intend to make a RTD (ready to drink) brew, this is your maximum output but if you intend to make a concentrate, a 7-gallon batch could be diluted with 1:1 water, yielding 14 gallons from a single batch depending on how strong you want your brew.
Which filters should I use?
Always use the permanent filter. This filter keeps the grinds suspended in the water the entire brew time and makes lifting and draining very easy. The paper filter is great to use in addition to the permanent filter for easier clean up. You can simply twist the bag closed and dump in your grinds bin or compost when you are done. Clean up is a piece of cake when both of these are used and your finished result is smooth. The outlet filter is intended for those who are putting their cold brew on nitro. It is a 5 micron filter, taking even more tiny particles out of the brew for the nitro tap to run smoothly; it is not necessary if you are not using a nitro tap.
What levels of filtration do each of the Cold Pro™ filters offer?
Each of the filters reduces the cold brew or concentrate down in succession. For smooth, refined cold brew or concentrate, and for ease of clean up, we highly recommend using the paper filter along with the permanent stainless steel filter (which must always be used with the Cold Pro™). If you are brewing for use in a nitrogen dispensing system, the cold brew or concentrate must be reduced to 5 microns.
- The photo etched stainless steel filter in the permanent filter is approximately 100 micron
- The paper filter is approximately 40 micron
- The outlet filter is 5 micron
How often should I stir the coffee while brewing?
Stirring is not necessary but it does help evenly soak all the grounds before sitting overnight. Once you have lowered the permanent filter into the bucket and poured your remaining water on top of the grounds, let it sit for a couple minutes, then stir the grounds gently. After stirring you can let it sit overnight. You do not need to stir the coffee in the morning.
What are the dimensions of the brewing vessels that can be used with the Cold Pro™ permanent filter?
The Rubbermaid® Brute® 10 gallon bucket is 17" tall with a 16" diameter. The Carlisle® Bain Marie™ 22 qt bucket is 15½" tall with a 12¼" diameter. The Curtis® 10 gallon stainless steel dispenser is 29” tall with a 13” diameter. Product dimensions are available on the respective product pages in the Cold Pro™ System section of our website.
What recipe should I use for Cold Brew?
This is a great question, because there are many ways to make cold brew. We suggest starting with this recipe and tweaking it to make it your own if you so wish. A recipe that we are very happy with is making 6 gallons of ready to drink cold brew using 3 lbs. of grounds and letting this steep overnight for 16 hours. Fill the bucket with 3 gallons of filtered water to the pre-fill line, place paper filter into the permanent filter and add 3 lbs. of coarsely ground beans, set inside bucket with adapter ring in place, add an additional 3 gallons of water to the grounds. Close bucket and wait 16 hours. Drain into a sealed container and refrigerate your cold brew, it should stay fresh for 2 weeks.
For a high yield, we recommend a concentrate recipe that also is delicious. Seven pounds of coarsely ground coffee with 7 gallons of water to steep overnight. This makes a concentrate that can be left strong and diluted with each varying order or cut with equal parts water in bulk once the batch is ready to drain, totaling almost 14 gallons of fresh cold brew.
Because of the diverse profiles of bean varietals and brewer’s preferences, we recommend starting with one of these recipes and tweaking it to make it your own.
What grind setting should I use for my beans?
The best grind for cold brew made with the Cold Pro™ is the coarsest grind, or 1 notch coarser than your French press setting. We have a MAHLKÖNIG® Kenia grinder and use the #20 setting. A coarse grind allows for less surface area and a slower steeping process. Too fine of a grind can result in over-steeped grounds.
The flow of concentrate through the felt outlet filter is incredibly slow. After allowing the grounds to drain, I open the faucet and it can take up to 2 hours to empty from the bucket. Why is it so slow?
Most likely there are grounds blocking the finishing filter or dispensing spigot. This can occur when the initial bloom causes the grounds to crest the edge of the permanent filter. Using a paper filter will greatly reduce that likelihood.
We have also found that if the brew vessel is filled with water to the Pre-fill line, then grounds are added to allow for a pre-infusion bloom, the final bloom is not as drastic when the remaining water is added.
The instructional video says that I should add water up to the Pre-fill line, but I’m using a Carlisle bucket (or Curtis dispenser) and there is no Pre-fill line. How much water should I add to start?
The initial amount of water for each different brewing vessel is:
- Rubbermaid® Brute® 10 gallon bucket: up to the Pre-fill line (approx. 3 gallons or 11.5 liters)
- Carlisle® Bain Marie™ 22 quart bucket: approx. 2 gallons or 7.5 liters
- Curtis® TC-10H stainless steel dispenser: approx. 3 gallons or 11.5 liters
I can’t get the lid to snap into place on my Cold Pro™ system while I am allowing it to steep. Does it need to be sealed?
The lid does not need to be securely snapped into place while steeping. We recommend that users place the lid on top of the various systems simply to prevent anything from falling into the cold brew while steeping.
How do I clean the Cold Pro™ equipment?
Cleaning the Cold Pro™:
- Dispose of the paper filter and coffee grounds.
- With the adaptor ring and permanent filter still in place, fill and drain the brew vessel with cold water to rinse it.
- Fill the brew vessel with cold water again and add one scoop (or one trial size sachet) of Cafetto® Cold Pro™ Cleaner.
- Allow to sit for one hour.
- Drain the cleaning solution.
- Fill the brew vessel with cold water again and drain to rinse it.
Can I re-use the outlet filter?
Yes, you can reuse the filter, but make sure you wash it thoroughly by running clean water through the filter and letting it dry in a clean location.
Do I need to refrigerate while brewing?
No, sitting at room temperature will work just fine. Refrigerating it will slow the brew process.
How should I store the cold brew? How long will it keep?
Dispense your cold brew from the Cold Pro™ into containers that can be sealed and refrigerated. The brew should stay fresh for 2 weeks as long as it has been refrigerated the entire time.
Do I just use cold water or can I use hot water?
Use cold or room temperature water. Hot water will heat the grounds and change the flavor by bringing out more oils and acids.
Can the cold brew be heated and served hot?
Yes, but we do not recommend this. Cold brew coffee is unique because it never gets heated and hot water is never used. This minimizes the acidity and heating the cold brew will change the molecular structure of the coffee.
The stainless portion of the permanent filter on my Cold Pro™ System is wrinkled. Did it get damaged in shipping?
No, your permanent filter is not damaged. The photo etched stainless steel portion is over molded with polypropylene (plastic). When the piece is removed from the injection molding machine, the polypropylene cools and shrinks slightly while the stainless steel does not. This shrinkage causes the stainless steel to wrinkle, but it will not affect the functionality of the permanent filter.
Are the components of the Cold Pro™ systems certified food safe?
Yes. All proprietary components of the Cold Pro™ have been certified food safe by SGS, the world's leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. For more information about food contact testing performed by SGS, follow this link: http://www.sgs.com/en/agriculture-food/food/food-contact-tests
Test reports are available here:
- Cold Pro™ Adaptor Ring Test Results (pdf opens in new window)
- Cold Pro™ Permanent Filter Mesh Test Results (pdf opens in new window)
- Cold Pro™ Permanent Filter Handle Test Results (pdf opens in new window)
Additionally, the three current Cold Pro™ brewing vessels; the Rubbermaid® Brute® 10 gallon bucket, Carlisle® Bain Marie™ 22 quart container, and the Curtis® TC-10H stainless steel dispenser are all NSF certified.
What is the smallest amount of cold brew I can make with my Cold Pro™ Brewing System?
The smallest amount we've been able to brew with the Cold Pro™ system is 4 gallons (15 L) water with 2 pounds (0.9 kg) of coffee. That is the lowest level we've attained while still keeping the grounds submersed. This is a recipe for ready to drink cold brew, not a concentrate. Using this recipe you can expect to yield between 13 and 13.5 liters of ready-to-drink cold brew coffee.
Pour Over/Steeping Filters & Brewers
Are the Smart Brew™ Hourglass Brewers molded as one piece or are they made up of two or more pieces?
Smart Brew™ Hourglass Brewer bodies are hand blown glass. The top portion where the paper filters rest is formed by hard tooled dies to create the ribs and pour spouts. The patent pending vent tube is added to the body after the top has been formed.