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drippedout
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Joined: 10 Dec 2007
Posts: 5
Location: denver
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Mon Dec 10, 2007, 1:44pm
Subject: chemex brewing
 

I got a chemex brewer over the weekend and have used it twice so far.  The coffee has been excellent both times.  But this morning, it took ~30 minutes to brew a full pot (9-10 cups).  Any tips on how to speed things up?  I'm using a Krups burr grinder set to its coarsest setting.  The coffee was great.  But the wait was a little long.  Any thoughts?  Thanks!
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jliedeka
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jliedeka
Joined: 1 May 2002
Posts: 1,558
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Expertise: I live coffee

Grinder: Rocky Stainless
Drip: Technivorm, Chemex,...
Roaster: Behmor, heat gun
Posted Mon Dec 10, 2007, 2:44pm
Subject: Re: chemex brewing
 

This is just a guess but maybe your grinder is producing too many fines which is slowing the water flow.  It sounds counter-intuitive but it may help to adjust your grinder to a finer setting.  You may produce less dust with a more medium grind.

    Jim

 
Cafe todo el dia, tequila toda la noche
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SJM
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Joined: 17 Nov 2004
Posts: 1,707
Location: CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: SAMA, Gaggia Classic
Grinder: K-10PB, Rancilio MD-50
Vac Pot: no like
Drip: no like
Roaster: HotTop
Posted Tue Dec 11, 2007, 10:49am
Subject: Re: chemex brewing
 

I was reading over at the Sweet Maria site and happened on their Chemex pages.  You might want to read them to see if there is some help you can glean from there

http://www.sweetmarias.com/brewing.inst.chemex.html

Meanwhile I'm gonna head into the kitchen and use MY Chemex to get my morning required hit. ( As you can see, mine is tiny, so time isn't an issue here.)

Susan

SJM: Chemex and French Press.JPG
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drippedout
Senior Member


Joined: 10 Dec 2007
Posts: 5
Location: denver
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue Dec 11, 2007, 11:26am
Subject: Re: chemex brewing
 

Thanks for the ideas.  I adjusted the setting on my grinder to 3/4 of the max coarse setting this morning.  It didn't seem to help much.  Brewing 5-6 cups took 20 minutes.  I've often thought that the grind settings on my grinder don't actually make a difference in how fine/coarse it is.  I may try having my coffee shop grind the beans to see if that makes a difference.
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svyerkgeniiy
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Joined: 14 Dec 2006
Posts: 380
Location: New York City, NY
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: (-ish) Bialetti moka pot
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Vac Pot: Yama (large 8-cup)
Drip: Technivorm KBT; Clever...
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Tue Dec 11, 2007, 11:44am
Subject: Re: chemex brewing
 

drippedout Said:

...  I've often thought that the grind settings on my grinder don't actually make a difference in how fine/coarse it is.  I may try having my coffee shop grind the beans to see if that makes a difference.

Posted December 11, 2007 link

The problem may not be the setting on your grinder, as much as it is the quality of your grinder.

Higher-quality grinders produce a more consistent grind; the cheaper ones produce a grind that has more powder and more coarse particles than the chosen setting.  In other words, a better grinder should produce a steep bell curve of particle size, while the cheaper ones produce a flatter curve, or maybe not even a bell curve at all.  More powder will clog up the paper filter with a mud-like slurry.  (That would be another clue:  if the post-brew grounds in the filter have parts that look like a mud slick, powder is probably the problem.)

The true test will come with a shop grind as you are planning.  If that indeed shows a big difference in brew times, then you would need to purchase a higher-quality grinder.

 
Donald Varona
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drippedout
Senior Member


Joined: 10 Dec 2007
Posts: 5
Location: denver
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue Dec 11, 2007, 2:28pm
Subject: Re: chemex brewing
 

The problem may not be the setting on your grinder, as much as it is the quality of your grinder.

I'm afraid that may be the problem.  The Krups grinder was supposed to be my cheap entry to burr grinders.  But I may need to upgrade.  Thankfully, Bed Bath & Beyond has a pretty forgiving return policy.  I'll try the coffee shop coarse grind and see how that does.
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techylah
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Joined: 6 Dec 2007
Posts: 11
Location: Boston
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue Dec 11, 2007, 2:51pm
Subject: Re: chemex brewing
 

That's why I switched to an Aeropress. 20 seconds on a plunger and you've pushed your brew through a microfine filter!

Until I did, though, I found it helpful to pull the paper away from the glass slightly and I made sure to add water all the way to the top to provide more water pressure at the bottom.

 
Mitch
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eastbaysanfranman
Senior Member
eastbaysanfranman
Joined: 29 Oct 2007
Posts: 186
Location: east bay area san francisco
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Nueva Simmoneli Oscar
Grinder: Rancilio Rocky doserless
Vac Pot: Hario
Drip: Technivorm/Chemex/Espro...
Roaster: Behmor
Posted Sat Dec 15, 2007, 11:16am
Subject: Re: chemex brewing
 

I've had a chemex for a couple of months and was having the same problems. Not to say that you don't have a problem with your grind because you may but the reason it was taking sooo long to brew with my chemex was improper brew methods. I was pouring in the water, waiting for it to drip all the way through and then pouring again. Not only was this taking too long but the coffee grounds were heating up, then cooling down, only to heat up again. After research I found that you are supposed to keep water on the grounds to provide a consistent temperature. I was then able to get my brewing down to  around 4 minutes. (that is what I heard we should be shooting for, 4 minutes can anyone verify?)
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jliedeka
Moderator
jliedeka
Joined: 1 May 2002
Posts: 1,558
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Expertise: I live coffee

Grinder: Rocky Stainless
Drip: Technivorm, Chemex,...
Roaster: Behmor, heat gun
Posted Sun Dec 16, 2007, 10:03am
Subject: Re: chemex brewing
 

I've never heard an official time.  My brews usually take around 8 minutes and the coffee doesn't taste overextracted.

    Jim

 
Cafe todo el dia, tequila toda la noche
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drippedout
Senior Member


Joined: 10 Dec 2007
Posts: 5
Location: denver
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sun Dec 16, 2007, 10:26am
Subject: Re: chemex brewing
 

How many cups of coffee are others brewing with the chemex?  I haven't found the right solution yet.  The coffee tastes great.  But making 8 cups (4-5 mugs) of coffee for two still takes 20-25 minutes of attention and pouring.  I've read and followed the instructions on SweetMarias and other sites.  Having the beans ground at the coffee shop helped a little and probably cut the time down to 20 minutes.  But that's still a lot of time to stand at the stove and pour the kettle.  This morning I tried using a paper filter for my drip machine.  That seemed to be working until the filter ripped a hole in the bottom.  Chemex coffee may become limited to a weekend project for me.  But I'm not ready to give up yet because it tastes so good.
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