Bialetti Brikka fix, repair and clean
Bialetti Brikka Fix and Clean
My way to a better coffee…
Brikka is the brand name of a Coffee maker / Coffee pot / Stove pot / Macchinetta / Caffettiera line of products made by Bialetti from Italy.
Brikka produces great coffee beverage which is called Moka with relatively rich crema, better than any other coffee pot due to its higher brewing pressure.
The patented innovation behind the Brikka is a small weight added to the brewed coffee exit which increases a bit the brewing pressure from ~1.5 bar of common coffee pot to ~2 Bar. (For reference, Espresso brewing pressure is 9 Bar)
If you use the Brikka, Brikka2, Brikka-Elite, Brikka-2020 coffee pot and use it correctly (*), you can trust it will serve you for long time without any needed maintenance out of washing it after each use.
This post describes and relates to Brikka models with the weight pressure system.
(*) Correct use of Brikka means:
1. Using correct amount of water as recommended by the manufacturer. (Use the measuring container or fill up to the mark on the inside of water container)
2. Using water without or with very low degree of scale.
3. Using the right ground degree of coffee which is MEDIUM and not fine.
4. Filling the funnel basket completely with coffee WITHOUT pressing / tamping it.
5. Assembling the 2 parts (coffee and water containers) tightly.
6. Applying small but intense heat source that will not exceed the coffee pot base.
7. Brikka is made from Aluminium and therefore will not work with Induction stove unless you use an Induction diffuser/adapter.
DISCLAIMER – Important!
Over the years Bialetti introduced several models of the Brikka coffee maker. (Brikka, Brikka2, Brikka-Elite, Brikka-2020)
Basically all models are the same with changes made to the cover/lid , its handle hinge and its funnel gasket.
Late models are supplied without a funnel gasket and with additional H2O water level marking inside the top container.
Each model comes in a 2-cups version and in a 4-cups version.
In mid 2020 Bialetti introduced its new Moka pot Brikka models which uses a new pressure valve system that claims to enhance creaminess.
You can read my Brikka 2020 review here.
Solid lid model with center handle
Transparent lid model with center handle
Open lid model with side handle
After extensive usage or due to use of wrong ground coffee and/or scale water, your Brikka might get clogged, release pressure through the valve or between parts, use only part of the water etc. It will stop acting normally and will not produce your favorite Moka.
The reasons might be one or few of the following:
1. Clogged filter.
2. Worn filter gasket that does not allow pressure to build.
3. Clogged funnel.
4. Worn funnel gasket.
5. Clogged coffee center pipe that does not allow coffee to flow to upper container.
6. Clogged / stuck weight that blocks the coffee from flowing to upper container
If one of the above happens, it’s time you’ll send your Brikka to Bialetti’s service center or clean/repair it yourself.
A. To clean the filter plate and check/replace the gasket:
Unscrew the water container and look at the bottom of the coffee pot top container. You’ll see the filter and the gasket.
Take the gasket and filter plate out and clean it thoroughly.
In order to take the gasket out, use a blunt knife edge or a small screwdriver and insert it between the gasket
and the filter plate (see image). Raise the gasket a bit and then pull it out. The filter plate will follow.
If the filter plate is stuck, use the screwdriver to lift it a little on one side and then it will be released.
To clean the filter plate, use an old toothbrush with liquid dish washing soap and make sure filter’s mesh is open.
If scale is clogging it, soak it for half an hour in warm vinegar and if this doesn’t help, soak it in Citric Acid solution (1 teaspoon of Citric Acid powder in one cup of room temperature water).
The use of dish washing soap / Vinegar / Citric acid is recommended only if you have a non functioning Brikka.
Regular cleaning of Brikka should be done with clean water only.
Check the gasket. If it is worn, too thin, dry or rotten, replace it.
Genuine replacement gasket can be obtained from Bialetti.
You can also use replacement gasket from a 3rd party.
For the Brikka 2 cups, original gasket size is:
Outer diameter OD = 66.7mm (2″ 5/8), Inner diameter ID = 50mm (2″)
Any standard 3 cup coffee pot gasket (with outer diameter OD of ~ 65mm, 2-1/2”) is OK
For the Brikka 4 cups, any standard 6 cup coffee pot gasket (with outer diameter OD of ~ 70mm, 2-3/4”) is OK
Clean the lower part of the coffee container, especially the area where it meets the filter’s flange and the thread.
If needed, clean the coffee pipe from this side as well (see D).
When done, rinse in water and dry all parts. Assemble the filter plate and gasket to its place. Pay attention that the flanged part of the filter plate is facing toward the coffee container.
B. To clean the water container:
Check that the pressure valve is moving freely by pressing it from the inside.
If it’s stuck, use some force to release it and/or clean the container with warm vinegar
If this does not help, replace the valve! Don’t play with this unit as it is your safety that we are dealing with here.
Check and clean/remove scale from the container thread. It should be clean and free from any residue / scale.
If the internal bottom surface is stained and ugly looking, this is normal. It is oxidation of the Aluminum. You can clean it with Vinegar and if this doesn’t help, use Citric Acid solution (1 teaspoon of Citric Acid powder in one cup of room temperature water).
To avoid / reduce it, make sure the container is perfectly dry before you store it.
C. To clean / check the funnel:
Clean the funnel mesh with toothbrush as described above. Check that water flow freely if you fill it.
Check the funnel gasket, (Late models do not have gasket, so skip this section if you have a late model).
If gasket is worn, too thin, dry or rotten, replace it or replace the whole funnel with its gasket.
If you have a late model without a gasket, check the funnel flange surface consistency, if you find it is bent, you may add a funnel gasket or replace the funnel with a new one.
D. To clean the center column / coffee pipe and weight:
Remove the gasket and filter from the coffee container bottom part. (as described in section A)
Remove the weight upper part (11 in the drawing).
The weight is made of 2 parts, upper weight (11 in the drawing) and lower flange (10 in the drawing).
Upper weight is attached to lower flange by a screw thread.
Hold tight the lower flange (10) with one hand and rotate the upper weight (11) CCW (counterclockwise) to release / unscrew it. You might need to use some force to do this.
Now after the upper weight (11) was removed, the pipe upper end is seen and you can clean it from both sides.
If needed, use hard wood tooth stick to clean/open the upper pipe hole. If scale is blocking the pipe, use warm vinegar to remove it.
Check the weight’s inside gasket and thread and clean it. If gasket is worn, replace it.
When done, assemble the weight (11) to the weight flange (10).
Don’t use excessive force as you’ll want to be able to open it again in few months.
Assemble the filter plate and the gasket to the coffee container bottom part.
Now, when everything is clean and assembled, test your work.
Prepare your Moka and see if all is working as expected, coffee is flowing freely, crema is built and no pressure leaks from the pressure valve or between water and coffee containers.
That’s all, we are done. Enjoy your coffee
Due to many questions about the correct water level for the Brikka, I added 2 images that show the recommended water level.
If your Brikka does not have that H2O protrusion in the upper container (with or without the H2O text), use the following:
for Brikka 2: use 80cc (2.70 fl. Oz.) of water.
for Brikka 4: use 140cc (4.73 fl. Oz.) of water.
Never reach the safety valve!
Always keep the water level below the safety valve.
Don’t forget to transfer the water to the lower container!
Using the upper container is just for measuring the needed amount of water.
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