I no longer use a vacuum pot--I prefer the quality and simplicity of pourover--but I understand its appeal. To get the most out of the unit with minimal fuss, here's how I would proceed.
A nice upgrade is a two-part filter, which is sold here on ROASTe. It comes with metal mesh but I would substitute a home-made paper filter. Easier to clean and the resulting coffee is clean. Make sure to rinse the filter with hot water before use.
Grind: something like an auto-drip grind, e.g. between a cone pourover grind and a french press grind. Or, just use the best grind (most even and dust-free) grind that your grinder can manage. Often the two happen to be one and the same thing.
Temperature. At first I used a thermometer but eventually I estimated by bubble size. You've got the bottom globe over a heat source and the upper chamber is in but not sealed. The chain will create a nucleation point or whatever and you'll get bubbles. When the bubbles became cranberry-sized, I'd seal and wait for the water to rise.
I would want the upper chamber to not be too crazy. Sometimes the bubbled up-top is too aggressive. You can fix this by stirring the water a bit to lower the temp.
Once it's fairly gentle, add your coffee dose. I would typically updose (>60 g/L) for syphon and brew for around 1:30, patting down the coffee whenever necessary. Usually three times. Once in the beginning and twice to break down the crust.
Kill heat, watch the syphon, decant.
It's really hot! Let it cool before enjoying.
Comments will be approved before showing up.