To maintain the long life of your commercial coffee brewer you should regularly descale it to clean out lime deposits that build up in your brewer. If you have hard water its even more important as scale deposits can build up quickly. Common symptoms of a brewer that has excessive scale build up in the tank is spitting and steaming. Regular descaling of your brewer will keep it operating properly and making great coffee.
These instructions are for typical pourover, such as the Bunn VP17-3 and Curtis Café 2 brewers, or automatic with pourover backup commercial coffee brewers, such as the Bunn CWTF-3 or Newco NK-PPAF brewers.
Leave the machine plugged in and if automatic leave it connected to the water line. If you have hard water you should consider deliming about every 3 months. A lime scale inhibiting water filter system can reduce the need to delime your brewer.
Slide the empty brew funnel into the machine and place an empty glasscarafe or airpot under the brew funnel. Open the lid of the brewer and pour one quart of vinegar into the reservoir and close the lid.
The vinegar will force the water that is already in the brewer out into the carafe. Let the vinegar sit for about 2 hours to dissolve the mineral deposits in the tank.
Bunn VP17-3 Inline 3 Warmer Pourover Decanter Coffee Brewer
After two hours, unplug the brewer and remove the brew funnel. Reach underneath the top part of the machine and twist the spray head off in a clockwise direction. Insert your flexible deliming spring into the sprayhead tube as far as it will go and work it back and forth a few times to dislodge any built up lime deposits in the spray head tube. Check the holes of the sprayhead and remove any mineral deposits and white flakes with a toothpick.
Pour a full carafe / airpot of cold water into the top of the machine and close the lid (or start a brew cycle for automatic brewers). The water will then start to flush the vinegar out from within the hot water tank. Put the carafe airpot underneath to catch the water and vinegar solution. Do this at least ten times until the vinegar smell is gone.
An alternative method to flush the vinegar and water solution out of the brewer is to turn the brewer upside down over a sink (disconnect the water line for automatic brewers first) so the water and vinegar solution comes out of the spray head tube. Leave it upside down in the sink until no more water comes out. Turn it right side up and pour cold water into the top of the machine until water just starts coming out the spray head tube. Repeat turning it upside down and refilling it at least 3 times until the vinegar smell is gone.
Reinstall the spray head by twisting it into place in a counter clockwise direction. Be sure the tank is full of water then replace the brew funnel and plug the machine back in. Allow about a half hour for the water in the tank to heat back up to brewing temperature.
An alternative to vinegar is Urnex Dezcal,a commercial descaling product designed for coffee brewers that works well for heavy lime buildups. Dezcal is a non-toxic, biodegradable and safe descaler specifically formulated to effectively descale hot water tanks and components of coffee and espresso machinery.