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Just ordered my first Aluball - any tips or suggestions?

Jay001

Newbie
Hi everyone!
Being based in UK and Spain i have been reluctant to pay the postage costs for an Aluball, but I have been drinking Kava at least 3 or 4 times a week now and thought I would treat myself. It will be here in about 20 days (postage in rural spain is terrible!)
Im very excited to try it out, usually I do traditional prep with a strainer bag and kneed for 10-15 minutes. Will the strength be similar in the aluball to trad prep?
Any suggestions or recommendations would be appreciated!

Many Thanks
James
 

Blue Roads

Kava Enthusiast
It's not as strong as traditional prep, especially if you knead yours for 10-15 minutes. I tend to be impatient and knead for 5 minutes, watching the clock for the final minute hoping I'll be done soon. I shake my aluball for 2 minutes in about 200ml of water. It will be about 250ml with a full ball in the water. I then do a second wash and then save and freeze the makas left in the ball, and when I get a good amount of leftovers I do a traditional prep with them.

When I wash my balls, I put dish soap on the outside and work it in with the palm of my hand. This seems to push any of the sediment back through where it came from, and I'm able to get a lot of life out of my balls without the screens clogging up. If you hold it up to the light when you first get it you'll see how well the screens can be seen through, and then just keep looking through them to make sure they're staying clear.
 

fait

Position 5 Hard Support
Aluball prep is great when you don't have time. And even if you do have time, it's great for when you're lazy. But most importantly, Aluball prep is best when you aren't drinking a large quantity of kava. All the time it takes to do traditional prep is seldom worthwhile when you aren't drinking a lot of kava or aren't entertaining others. A handful of friends who don't object to the taste of kava have not developed their own kava habits, only when I invite them over for it, so I'm not entertaining much to say the least.

One of the things you gotta worry about when you shake an Aluball is make sure you have a sufficient amount of liquid. It may be tempting to make a stronger but smaller quantity of grog with one Aluball but you can hasten the wear and tear on the ball if you have it touch the top of your shaker too much. The water helps it avoid hard collisions on your container.

Another thing is you don't wanna fill up your ball too densely. When you're shaking, the water needs enough force to penetrate the filter and the medium grind. You'll need more force if you pack it more densely. I made that mistake once, got unusually light grog, and then when I went to empty the balls, I saw that the inner part of the "spent" makas was still bone dry, so water wasn't penetrating well enough even with shaking.

One last tip: Get a second Aluball. If you want decently strong grog done fast, get a second ball to shake with. Just make sure your container will hold both comfortably. You wanna make sure you don't have the balls hit each other or the container too hard when shaking.
 

Blue Roads

Kava Enthusiast
To expand on fait's post, the alubottle has a rounded bottom and lid so the ball doesn't slam into each end as badly as the lower-cost bottle that says "Aluball" on it. I highly recommend spending the extra money. They're great quality, I have about 6 of them now but only use one all the time, and 11 balls that I cycle through, plus about 4 or 5 balls that are clogged up from use. I think I'm going to take a vacation to Tampa and visit Matt's kava bar.
 

CKellz

Newbie
Honestly, as someone new to kava I had a lot of mixed results from KWK micronized so I went out and got the aluball pro, One suggestion would be to avoid getting the black one, as it's very hard to see the measurements on the container, typically I have to put it up to a light to see where it's at, and the other would be to get a 2nd aluball, not sure if there's still an included 2nd ball for free when you order it, I use about 1.5-2 tbps per ball and use about 8-10 oz of liquid. I recently just tried kava supreme for the first time and wow, I've never experienced anything like it compared to the GHK and KWK products I've tried. Recently ordered some more of it along with some BATI. Not sure why you'd recommend only using one ball, most people have all recommended two balls, does the collision between them damage them? I've been using 2 for the past 2.5-3 months and they are still going strong. Most people recommended the use of two so I am kinda curious to why you'd only use one at a time, I feel like I get a better brew if I use two instead of just packing one ball.
 

Yogini

Well... there ya have it.
Honestly, as someone new to kava I had a lot of mixed results from KWK micronized so I went out and got the aluball pro, One suggestion would be to avoid getting the black one, as it's very hard to see the measurements on the container, typically I have to put it up to a light to see where it's at, and the other would be to get a 2nd aluball, not sure if there's still an included 2nd ball for free when you order it, I use about 1.5-2 tbps per ball and use about 8-10 oz of liquid. I recently just tried kava supreme for the first time and wow, I've never experienced anything like it compared to the GHK and KWK products I've tried. Recently ordered some more of it along with some BATI. Not sure why you'd recommend only using one ball, most people have all recommended two balls, does the collision between them damage them? I've been using 2 for the past 2.5-3 months and they are still going strong. Most people recommended the use of two so I am kinda curious to why you'd only use one at a time, I feel like I get a better brew if I use two instead of just packing one ball.
I need a 2nd ball but I just put 2 TBS in the first shake, take it out, save the makas and put another 2 TBS in the emptied ball using the grog and shake. Good arm workout! ;) I just tried Kava Supreme last night. I definitely felt it but am still breaking through a bit of RT although I may just have to make it stronger tonight. I tend to err on the side of caution.
 

Krunʞy

Avg. Dose 6 Tbsp
Admin
Honestly, as someone new to kava I had a lot of mixed results from KWK micronized so I went out and got the aluball pro, One suggestion would be to avoid getting the black one, as it's very hard to see the measurements on the container, typically I have to put it up to a light to see where it's at, and the other would be to get a 2nd aluball, not sure if there's still an included 2nd ball for free when you order it, I use about 1.5-2 tbps per ball and use about 8-10 oz of liquid. I recently just tried kava supreme for the first time and wow, I've never experienced anything like it compared to the GHK and KWK products I've tried. Recently ordered some more of it along with some BATI. Not sure why you'd recommend only using one ball, most people have all recommended two balls, does the collision between them damage them? I've been using 2 for the past 2.5-3 months and they are still going strong. Most people recommended the use of two so I am kinda curious to why you'd only use one at a time, I feel like I get a better brew if I use two instead of just packing one ball.
Two balls are as safe as using 3, specially in the Alubottle. The key is to have enough liquid. It is also useful to hold the bottle horizontally and shake vigorously that way as you also minimize damage to the balls. Ultimately they are bound to rip, when I used to use them, a ball would last me 6-8 months. Squanch waka is another wonderfully grinded kava, perfect for those balls.
 
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