What Type of Alcohol for Coffee Syphon is Required?

What Type of Alcohol for Coffee Syphon is Required?

If you get your hands on a siphon maker and are wondering what type of alcohol for coffee syphon works the best, then this article is for you. We will discuss syphon coffee makers and guide you on what type of burner you need if your syphon maker does not come with one. 

Coffee lovers can't compromise over the taste of coffee. Besides different coffee brewing techniques, syphon coffee makers are known for the finesse of flavor. It combines science and drama - watching the coffee brewing through the glass before you is a satisfying experience.

The vibrant coffee's aroma and the taste can't be matched with other coffee brewing methods. Nowadays, siphon coffee is not limited to some fancy coffee houses. Siphon makers are widely available.

You might be thinking these are expensive, but they are not. You can easily find an inexpensive model for under $50. Yes, there are some expensive self-contained siphon brewers, but the basic brewing technique remains the same and has no effect on the taste. 

Before we get into the details of syphon burners and what alcohol for syphon you need, let's take a look at what syphon coffee is and how it works.

What is Syphon coffee?

alcohol for syphon coffee

Syphon, or siphon as called in the USA, is a coffee brewing method that is not new.

The method goes back to 1830 when coffee lovers felt that boiling coffee could ruin the flavor of the coffee. It makes it bitter and affects the delicate taste of coffee. 

Loeff invented the original design of the siphon coffee maker, but the design was not popular. It was only a decade later, in 1840, that Mme. Vassieux of Lyons, France, successfully commercialized the tabletop siphon maker resembling the models we see today. 

    Siphon uses the principles of expansion and contraction of gas. In coffee brewing, the process uses water vapor. The process used to vacuum and water vapor to brew coffee.

    The brewing technique involves mixing hot water with coffee that filters down to the flask through a filter. 

    The syphon coffee maker consists of four parts. There are two chambers, and the top chamber is where coffee brewing takes place. The bottom chamber contains water. Both chambers are joined by an open-ended siphon tube with a filter. A rubber gasket creates a partial vacuum in the bottom chamber. 

    Syphon makers need a heating source as well. Beneath both chambers is a burner to heat water. We will get into the burners later in the article. 

    What is special about Syphon Coffee?

    The Siphon brewing technique makes the best coffee you can't make with other techniques like a drip. The process gives a solid aroma to coffee, and it is satisfying. You can see coffee brewing before you and feel the aroma coming out of fresh coffee. 

    How Does the Modern Syphon Coffee Maker Works?

    syphon coffee maker

    You fill the bottom chamber with heated water to make a coffee brewer. In the upper chamber, you have the coffee ground to your preference. There is a burner under the bottom chamber that heats water, and once water is heated, the water reaches the connected tube to the upper chamber where coffee is brewed. The coffee is pulled down to the lower chamber when you turn off the burner. With the pressure drop vacuum is created. The coffee passes through the filter to the lower section, ready to be served. 

    Making Syphon Coffee At Home

    Let's explain the coffee brewing method step:

    • Add water to the bottom chamber of the siphon maker. You can add heated water as it saves time.
    • Turn on the heated burner below the water chamber. If you are using an alcohol burner, make sure the wick is 5-10mm away from the bottom of the glass. That is why it may take a long to heat water, and using heated water saves time. 
    • Add a filter to the bottom of the upper glass chamber. Ensure the spring catch is attached and the filter is properly fixed in the bottom. 
    • Attach top and bottom chambers with a gasket seal, ensuring a good seal.
    • As the water is heated, it will eventually move to the top chamber. Stir the coffee and water mixture.
    • Add coffee to the upper chamber. 7 grams of coffee per 100 ml of water is an ideal brewing ratio in this technique.
    • Stir the coffee and water mixture. 
    • Brewing times depend on a siphon size, but with an average siphon maker with three cups of coffee, 90 seconds is enough.
    • Remove the heat source once the time is over. 
    • Remove the upper chamber and serve the coffee.

    Lack of heat stops the steam from being produced and creates a vacuum in the lower chamber. This vacuum pulls down the coffee from the upper chamber through the filter 

    What types of Burners Are used for Syphon Coffee?

    Coffee makers come with different types of burners. It depends on your coffee maker, but these types of burners are available for syphon coffee makers.

    Halogen Lamp heaters 

    Halogen heaters are also used to heat siphon pots. These are high-powered heaters that heat siphon fast and efficiently. They don't have an open flame and are also safe to use. However, halogen heaters are a bit expensive. 


    butane burners for siphon coffee maker

    Butane burners are easier to refill. There is no spill, and it has an ignitor as well. But it's a bit pricier option.


     Electric burners are the most expensive ones.

    Alcohol Burner

    The most important ones use alcohol as the burning agent. The alcohol burner gives consistent heat throughout the brewing process.

    They are also the most common burner used in coffee makers as they are also the least expensive. These are refillable lamps, and you need to pour alcohol from time to time. 

    What Type of Alcohol is Used in the Syphon burner?

    Denatured alcohol is considered to be the best alcohol for a siphon burner. Also known as white gas, denatured alcohol contains additives that make it smell bad and has menthol or other substances that render it unfit for consumption. But it burns nicely and is not very expensive. It also burns clean without any soot or odor. 

    Both Ethanol and denatured alcohol do not produce any smell or soot while heating the water.

    Isopropyl alcohol is also used for burners, but you should avoid using it for coffee makers. It produces soot and has a strong odor as well.

    Despite the availability and affordability of alcohol burners, they take a long time to heat water. You can counter this by adding already heated water to the lower chamber. 

    A few safety tips for an alcohol burner is not to overfill it. Filling it to the brim may cause soot, and you can also spill a lot. A half-filled lamp reservoir is less likely to produce soot. 

    Final Words

    Siphon coffee makers not only give a strong cup of coffee, but it's an excellent experience to brew coffee. The method seems a bit complicated, but once you master the technique, it becomes simple. The coffee tastes great. Alcohol burners can add a little complication, but if you use safe fuel and follow safety guidelines, alcohol burners are cheap and easy to afford. Spending a little more on butane or halogen burners can solve this problem.

     Related Articles

    How to Grind Coffee Beans without a Grinder

    Exciting Coffee Brewing Methods

    Which Brewing Method takes the longest