My 12 volt coffee solution - tested and works - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-13-2018, 12:24 PM   #1
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My 12 volt coffee solution - tested and works

I have read endless threads about making coffee using a regular coffee maker and a 12V inverter hooked up to a battery. If you enjoy 1000 opinions and doing a ton of math (or reading about others doing math for you), please feel free to peruse those forums and threads.

All I am presenting here is my solution to making good coffee in the morning without firing up my propane stove, or having a huge battery bank and a huge voltage inverter and enough solar panels to light up a house.

I am using 3 things. (4 if you count my solar panels but I could start my TV later in the day and charge that way)

1) A 700 watt Keurig B130 coffee maker. ($99 Canadian) -
2) 750 watt power inverter from Harbor Freight ($39.99 American)
3) 1 24M-600 12 volt Marine Battery - already on my trailer so no additional cost.


I had my battery fully charged (12.6 volts) and had been using lights occasionally during a 1 week period.
I hooked up my harbor freight inverter to my battery with supplied wires and clips and turned it on.
Ran an extension cord into the trailer and plugged in my 700 Watt Keurig.
I made 4 cups of coffee back to back to back to back. Each cup takes about 2 1/2 - 3 minutes.
Watched my voltage on the meter. While heating water, which was approx. 2 minutes of the almost 3 it took to finish, the voltage never dropped below 11.5 Volts. As soon as the heating cycle stopped the voltage returned to 12.5 Volts.
I believe I could have easily made another 4 cups of coffee without doing anything to recharge my battery or having the inverter shut off. I'm sure someone will do the math about how much power 8 total minutes of a 700 Watt heating element uses, I just don't care.
I drank 2 cups of the coffee and my wife had the other 2 and both agreed the coffee was every bit as good as when we make our coffee in our Keurig in the house, although it wasn't quite as hot, but still a good temperature.


Notes to all of you just itching to start typing away.

1) We own a bodum and melitta one cup filter and a stove top peculator. They all work to differing degrees of consistently good coffee. None of them are any faster in making 2 cups of coffee for the 2 of us in the morning.

2) It is nice that we don't have to use the gas stove in the morning for making coffee as it would often mean starting to make breakfast later. One of us can easily be cooking away while the other makes coffee 3 minutes at a time. It also means that we are not heating up the trailer in the middle of summer just to make coffee.

3) I don't use 12 Volt power for anything other than LED lighting and 12 volt charging ports and 5 volt USB ports. I can go for days without draining my batteries below 11 volts.

4) I have 2 40 Watt solar panels from Canadian tire that I have been using all along to keep my trailer battery 'topped up'. It only took about 1 1/2 hours on a semi-sunny morning to get my batteries back up to full charge after making 4 coffees. It could have taken less I just checked it after that amount of time and all was good.

5) The B130 Keurig is the only coffee maker that I know of that Keurig makes that only requires 700 Watts of power. In fact, most coffee makers, from any manufacturer, seem to require 1200 - 1500 Watts. Then you require a much larger inverter with HUGE cables to power it. I had purchases a 2000 Watt one and took it back because of the hassle of mounting it and hooking up 4 large cables to it.

6) I will now find a water resistant case to 'throw' my inverter into beside my battery. The inverter will live in the trailer until my camping spot is reached. I will have vent holes in the bottom of the case and a permanent wire running into the trailer for converted power. The unit wasn't even warm after making 4 coffees so I think as long as the box isn't sealed and water can't get at it, it should be fine. It was only $40.

I hope this answers some questions about using 12 volts to make coffee. It can work without breaking the bank and you can get a consistently good coffee without firing up the gas stove. Thanks Buggeee for giving me the idea to try the Keurig (No I didn't read the entire 8 pages of that link on Boondocking with an electric heater, I think I would have blown my brains out first )

I am trying to keep this simple and informative.

Stef
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Old 05-13-2018, 01:07 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stefman View Post
I have read endless threads about making coffee using a regular coffee maker and a 12V inverter hooked up to a battery. If you enjoy 1000 opinions and doing a ton of math (or reading about others doing math for you), please feel free to peruse those forums and threads.

All I am presenting here is my solution to making good coffee in the morning without firing up my propane stove, or having a huge battery bank and a huge voltage converter and enough solar panels to light up a house.

I am using 3 things. (4 if you count my solar panels but I could start my TV later in the day and charge that way)

1) A 700 watt Keurig B130 coffee maker. ($99 Canadian) -
2) 750 watt power converter from Harbor Freight ($39.99 American)
3) 1 24M-600 12 volt Marine Battery - already on my trailer so no additional cost.


I had my battery fully charged (12.6 volts) and had been using lights occasionally during a 1 week period.
I hooked up my harbor freight inverter to my battery with supplied wires and clips and turned it on.
Ran an extension cord into the trailer and plugged in my 700 Watt Keurig.
I made 4 cups of coffee back to back to back to back. Each cup takes about 2 1/2 - 3 minutes.
Watched my voltage on the meter. While heating water, which was approx. 2 minutes of the almost 3 it took to finish, the voltage never dropped below 11.5 Volts. As soon as the heating cycle stopped the voltage returned to 12.5 Volts.
I believe I could have easily made another 4 cups of coffee without doing anything to recharge my battery or having the inverter shut off. I'm sure someone will do the math about how much power 8 total minutes of a 700 Watt heating element uses, I just don't care.
I drank 2 cups of the coffee and my wife had the other 2 and both agreed the coffee was every bit as good as when we make our coffee in our Keurig in the house, although it wasn't quite as hot, but still a good temperature.


Notes to all of you just itching to start typing away.

1) We own a bodum and melitta one cup filter and a stove top peculator. They all work to differing degrees of consistently good coffee. None of them are any faster in making 2 cups of coffee for the 2 of us in the morning.

2) It is nice that we don't have to use the gas stove in the morning for making coffee as it would often mean starting to make breakfast later. One of us can easily be cooking away while the other makes coffee 3 minutes at a time. It also means that we are not heating up the trailer in the middle of summer just to make coffee.

3) I don't use 12 Volt power for anything other than LED lighting and 12 volt charging ports and 5 volt USB ports. I can go for days without draining my batteries below 11 volts.

4) I have 2 40 Watt solar panels from Canadian tire that I have been using all along to keep my trailer battery 'topped up'. It only took about 1 1/2 hours on a semi-sunny morning to get my batteries back up to full charge after making 4 coffees. It could have taken less I just checked it after that amount of time and all was good.

5) The B130 Keurig is the only coffee maker that I know of that Keurig makes that only requires 700 Watts of power. In fact, most coffee makers, from any manufacturer, seem to require 1200 - 1500 Watts. Then you require a much larger converter with HUGE cables to power it. I had purchases a 2000 Watt one and took it back because of the hassle of mounting it and hooking up 4 large cables to it.

6) I will now find a water resistant case to 'throw' my converter into beside my battery. The converter will live in the trailer until my camping spot is reached. I will have vent holes in the bottom of the case and a permanent wire running into the trailer for converted power. The unit wasn't even warm after making 4 coffees so I think as long as the box isn't sealed and water can't get at it, it should be fine. It was only $40.

I hope this answers some questions about using 12 volts to make coffee. It can work without breaking the bank and you can get a consistently good coffee without firing up the gas stove. Thanks Buggeee for giving me the idea to try the Keurig (No I didn't read the entire 8 pages of that link on Boondocking with an electric heater, I think I would have blown my brains out first )

I am trying to keep this simple and informative.

Stef
i think the key here is the 700 watt keurig that also works for me with my 1000 watt inverter.
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Old 05-14-2018, 10:39 AM   #3
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May I please have a cup?
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Old 05-14-2018, 12:37 PM   #4
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Enjoyed your post about it!

I have another solution: Paul switched to instant, decaf coffee and we heat the water in the microwave. In 1973, 45 years ago, when we were married (the same year Peanut was built), Paul swore he'd DIE before going without brewed, caffeinated coffee. For years we saw to it that he was well-supplied. But times change.

How low the mighty have fallen!

He's working on getting/setting up an inverter that he can run with the car's engine being a generator to power the batteries in case we want to use our 12V blanket or the microwave without shore power. This is a work in progress. Very slow progress.

There's more than one way to skin a cat...or make coffee...or just about anything else.
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Old 05-14-2018, 04:21 PM   #5
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Nice to know. I have a B130 but am not sure how large my inverter is. I'll check. I probably won't do it but good to know I could if I wanted to! I always do 2 cups back to back to make one 16 oz cup using the same K-cup when using the B130.

Edit- not big enough. Mine is 300 watts. But I could get one if I needed to do this.
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Old 05-14-2018, 06:36 PM   #6
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dirty trick for 2 with a 1-cup.... make that 1-cup double strength (2 scoops of fine ground coffee in the melitta #2 filter, pour very slowly), then split that strong coffee between the two cups, and top both up with hot water. voila, two cups of excellent coffee...

I do much the same with a Aeropress...
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Old 05-14-2018, 08:59 PM   #7
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Sorry, but you lost me at Keurig. It is great if it works for you, and you can accept the taste of coffee not freshly ground, then all the power to you.

We heat the water for coffee outside if it is warm out. I bet I can make two cups with the AeroPress in near the same time, and I would gladly compare the cupping of the two.

Kai mentioned instant coffee. Made me throw up a little bit in the back of my throat.

Coffee for me is a VERY important part of the day, and is one of those things I will do whatever I need in order to have an enjoyable cup (or two, or three).
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Old 05-14-2018, 09:06 PM   #8
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I'd say there are "super-tasters" and those who willing to drink leftover gas station coffee warmed in a microwave.

The rest of us fall on a wide spectrum in between. If you enjoy it, it's a good cup of coffee. For you.
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Old 05-14-2018, 09:22 PM   #9
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If you enjoy it, it's a good cup of coffee. For you.
This is the same for most everything discussed here. Good thing we are all different, eh?
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Old 05-14-2018, 09:41 PM   #10
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Then there's Irish coffee in the evening..............
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Old 05-15-2018, 06:53 AM   #11
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Then there's Irish coffee in the evening..............
Dude!
At least one straight up black first, then on to the Irish.

This one elderly Italian fellow I knew used to always drink black coffee until noon, then switch to wine for the rest of the day. Both were made from scratch, and he said they provided all the water he needed.
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Old 05-15-2018, 08:54 AM   #12
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Keurig, Brewed, or Instant "Alien Brew"

So many clever ways to get your brew!




There's always cowboy coffee: put water in a cast-iron skillet over an open fire, throw in a handful of coffee grounds and boil until black. Pour into a tin cup held over the ground in case you spill a little, and sieve out the grounds with your mustache as you drink. Extra good with a slug of whisky in it.

Women without mustaches shouldn't oughta be drinkin' a man's drink no way, no how.

We don't think of instant coffee the way we think of good brewed coffee; it tastes fine for being a hot, dark alien drink that is a little coffee-like. My dad's mom always drank Postum. Never have tried that. There's always tea and cocoa, too.

Come to visit Peanut, but you all know now that we don't serve "real" coffee in Peanut.

Our drinking instant means more delicious grounds for everyone else. It's one small way of giving back to humanity.

BEST,
Kai
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Old 05-15-2018, 07:21 PM   #13
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[B]


There's always cowboy coffee: put water in a cast-iron skillet over an open fire, throw in a handful of coffee grounds and boil until black. Pour into a tin cup held over the ground in case you spill a little, and sieve out the grounds with your mustache as you drink. Extra good with a slug of whisky in it.
You're killing me, Kai. LOL

I have made hundreds of pots of cowboy coffee over the years, the most common way to make coffee for us when we were young and spending time in the backcountry.

You can actually make some very decent coffee with this method, but in my opinion (and verified for others I have done this for) for the best flavour you MUST NOT let the water boil. Like any method of extraction, boiling hot water is a detriment to coffee as it brings out the acidity. What I do is to bring the water to near a boil, and maybe let it cool a bit, then add the grounds. Let it sit for about 3 minutes and pour off the coffee. If you let the grounds sit in it for much longer than that the coffee will be over extracted and start to taste bitter.

Brew your coffee, do not boil it.

This all said, I have drank many a cup of boiled cowboy coffee, got my caffeine fix, and survived. This is just another of those things that there really is not a wrong way to do things, if you achieve what you are setting out to do.
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Old 05-15-2018, 08:15 PM   #14
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... you MUST NOT let the water boil. Like any method of extraction, boiling hot water is a detriment to coffee as it brings out the acidity. What I do is to bring the water to near a boil, and maybe let it cool a bit, then add the grounds. ...

... Brew your coffee, do not boil it. ...

Let it cool a bit?? The "experts" say use water at ~200º F and I presume you are vouchsafing that self-same ideal. Your technique is just flawed. You should only make coffee at about 6,300 or 6,400 feet above sea level where the perfect boiling point of water is ~200º.

Life can be easy if you just obey the rules.
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