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Does this problem ever happen to you with the Aluball ?

Discussion in 'Kavafied' started by Plantacious, Oct 6, 2018.

  1. Plantacious

    Plantacious Kava Enthusiast

    I should have taken pictures to enhance the description, but I forgot and will add them to the thread, the next time this happens.
    Every once in a while, after the usual shaking, I notice the liquid in the container, instead of the usual various shades of brown, it's almost clear.
    So clearly, I know we have a problem.

    So I open up the ball. Normally the powder is soaking wet, with plenty of liquid inside and free flowing.
    But for the times I get the clear liquid and open the ball, it's hard and damp and clumpy on each end, and in the middle there is actually a little powder that's totally dry and obviously been untouched by water. In addition there's also usually few round little balls of kava, that are also damp and hard.
    Now, I know what your likely initial response to this would be - that you may assume I'm filling the ball with too much powder. And that would seem logical.
    But it's not the case. I am very consistently exact when measuring my powder. It's either 2 exact tablespoons, or I just fill up to a certain line, that equals that amount. Either way, it's the same amount every time.
    So, basically my measurements are very consistent - yet the results are highly random, as sometimes this phenomenon happens for no apparent reason.

    And it's really frustrating, because it means I've wasted that time shaking, and in order to "fix" the problem that particular time, I have to remove the damp powder completely, and uniformly re-arrange it back into the ball.
    And since I'm super germ-conscious, and wash my hands every time I open the ball and mess with the powder, it means I also have to wash my hands again, before "fixing" this.
    So, what is causing this to just randomly happen, when my method is so consistent ?
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2018
  2. Camaytoc

    Camaytoc Kava Enthusiast

    This is clearly because you put too much kava in the ball. Try to keep kava bellow the strips.
    Mrbinx69 likes this.
  3. Plantacious

    Plantacious Kava Enthusiast

    Like I said, I ruled that out, because I am very consistent in my 2 tablespoon measurements...
    unless a microscopic overage can cause such a huge difference in result
  4. Krunkie McKrunkface

    Krunkie McKrunkface Kava Enthusiast

    I call that a geode, which it resembles. It is a sign of good luck. :) Some grinds are more susceptible to this than others but it really is not a problem.

    Typically it happens either because the aluball was not fully dry, or a critical mass of clogged mesh has been achieved. Best way to avoid that is to empty the aluballs as soon as you are done with the makes, wash the balls gently but thoroughly with warm (not hot) water and a soft tooth brush. Pay attention to wash both the mesh and the screw threads. Then air dry. Dish rack is perfect. If I am in a rush I will go clackety clack clack clack with the balls on the kitchen sink to shake off most drops of water that has clung to the balls after washing.

    If you have a geode, simply take a fresh aluballl and attach the new empty top to the geode bottom, and the dry bottom to the geode top and redo with the first water, unless you drank it, which is fine, nice refreshing drink. So just redo with fresh water and the two balls from the fixed geode.

    This is not, nor should be, even remotely a problem, but there are times it has set me back almost up to a whole minute, which seems forever if you just got home from work and want a shell immediately
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2018
    Plantacious and Zaphod like this.
  5. Krunkie McKrunkface

    Krunkie McKrunkface Kava Enthusiast

    Of course, you can just swipe some of it clear with the tip of your pinky so you can see the mesh, then shake vigorously. That will work in a pinch.
    Plantacious and NAMBATU like this.
  6. Zaphod

    Zaphod Kava Enthusiast

    Short answer is yes, I have had the same issue. I found that if I don't dry the inside of the ball very well before putting more kava in that it sticks to the inside of the mesh and prevents water from going in. If this happens it takes a crap ton more shaking to get it to "break free" and have the water go through the ball. Knocking the ball against the walls of the aluball container can help as well. On some occasions I gave up and opened the ball scraped the mesh and got it to go. To prevent this from happening I now make sure to dry the inside of the ball with a papertowel before putting in the next round. S
    Plantacious likes this.
  7. _byron

    _byron Member

    If you fill to much kava and nothing strains take apart the ball and add a tiny bit of water inside the ball should get things shaking again.
    Plantacious and Camaytoc like this.
  8. Plantacious

    Plantacious Kava Enthusiast

    Thanks for the suggestions
    I also further proved that it wasn't the result of too much kava because one time, i actually made it a point to use significantly less kava, and it still happened.
    So I started drying the balls with a paper towel and so far it seems to be helping.
  9. Krunʞy

    Krunʞy Kava Enthusiast Admin

    Get Matt's 75 micron bag and save them balls for road trips...
    SelfBiasResistor and Plantacious like this.
  10. ProjectK

    ProjectK Kava Enthusiast

    When i place my ball in the bottle, I always do it so the crack of the ball is symmetrical with the bottle. This seems to help this from not happening.

    Its always like the root gets stuck against the strainers and clogs it.