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Help me troubleshoot my CCD coffee
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Katxena
Senior Member


Joined: 9 Nov 2012
Posts: 8
Location: USA
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Sat Nov 10, 2012, 7:12am
Subject: Help me troubleshoot my CCD coffee
 

I am new to coffee.  I don't have a lot of experience drinking it or making it.  I started drinking it regularly about a month ago, when someone gave me a Keurig machine.  There were things I didn't like about the machine (those cups are so expensive!) so I looked for another method to make it.  I decided on a Clever Coffee Dripper.  I like that you can control so many variables with it, but I can't figure out what each variable does.  I know it will take time to learn, but can you give me a bit of advice?

All the coffee I've made with the CCD so far is stronger (by which I mean bitter) than I want it, but if I use less coffee, it still tastes bitter but with less flavor.  What do I need to tweak to make coffee that's less bitter, but still flavorful?  

Here's what I'm doing.  I'm brewing Muddy Dog Pepper Cask coffee from the most recent roasting (which I think was Nov 1).  So far, this coffee tastes better to me in the Keurig (using an Ekobrew) than in the CCD. I am grinding it using a Hario hand mill (that I've modified with the Orphan Esspresso kit), to what I think is a "medium drip" grind (at least, it looks about the size of the stuff in the can of Maxwell House coffee my husband uses with the Ekobrew in the Keurig).  The grind is very consistently sized.  I put a Melitta filter in the CCD, then rinse it with boiling water and drain that water out.  I put the just-ground coffee in the rinsed filter, then heat my water in an electric kettle to about 200 degrees.  Next I start my timer for 4 minutes and pour a couple ounces of water over the coffee and watch it "bloom" -- as soon as the initial dome falls, I put in about half the remaining water, stir, then put in the rest of the water and cover.  When my timer gets down to 2 minutes, I take the lid off and stir one more time, then put the lid back on.  At 1 minute remaining, I start draining the CCD over a travel mug.  That takes almost exactly 1 minute.

So which variable should I tweak to make the coffee less bitter?  Do I need a coarser grind?  Or a different temperature water?  Or less time? I know the Keurig doesn't get as hot as the water in my kettle, so I'm going to try cooler water.  What else should I do differently?  As I mentioned, less coffee doesn't seem to be the answer -- then I just get weak bitter coffee.  I'm completely willing to experiment, but I'm feeling very overwhelmed.
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robertl
Senior Member
robertl
Joined: 9 Jan 2011
Posts: 242
Location: League city, TX
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Evolution
Grinder: Baratza Preciso, Hario slim...
Vac Pot: Yama stovetop
Drip: CCD, Aeropress, Hario V60,...
Roaster: Hottop B
Posted Sat Nov 10, 2012, 10:25am
Subject: Re: Help me troubleshoot my CCD coffee
 

I would first try a coarser grind if that doesn't work try stirring less or a shorter brew time. Are you using a scale to measure your coffee? If not I would suggest using one. Check out the link below from Prima Coffee on immersion brewing it might help.

Click Here (prima-coffee.com)
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Katxena
Senior Member


Joined: 9 Nov 2012
Posts: 8
Location: USA
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Sat Nov 10, 2012, 5:58pm
Subject: Re: Help me troubleshoot my CCD coffee
 

Thanks -- I'll try a coarser grind.  I don't use a scale.  I've been resisting doing that, but I may have to give in.
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AnotherRob
Senior Member


Joined: 12 Oct 2012
Posts: 14
Location: Seattle
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Breville Smart Grinder
Drip: CCD, Behmor BraZen
Posted Sat Nov 10, 2012, 7:35pm
Subject: Re: Help me troubleshoot my CCD coffee
 

I recently read a post that suggested pouring out the filter rinse water rather than draining it.

Searching for it, I found this post http://coffeegeek.com/forums/coffee/machines/505968 that links to this post http://coffeed.com/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=3006#p30999

Rob.
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Katxena
Senior Member


Joined: 9 Nov 2012
Posts: 8
Location: USA
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Sun Nov 11, 2012, 8:02pm
Subject: Re: Help me troubleshoot my CCD coffee
 

I tried pouring off the rinse water -- I don't think it helped much.  Tomorrow I'll try a coarser grind.
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Katxena
Senior Member


Joined: 9 Nov 2012
Posts: 8
Location: USA
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Mon Nov 12, 2012, 5:25am
Subject: Re: Help me troubleshoot my CCD coffee
 

Oh my.  A coarser grind (much coarser) and less time (I'm not sure how much less, because I screwed up the timing -- I didn't hit start on my timer right away when I started pouring.  Grrr....) really did the trick.  My coffee this morning is *much* better.  Thank you!
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Netphilosopher
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jan 2011
Posts: 1,602
Location: USA
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Mon Nov 12, 2012, 5:58am
Subject: .
 

.
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Perked
Senior Member
Perked
Joined: 24 Sep 2012
Posts: 30
Location: Ohio
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Mon Nov 12, 2012, 10:43am
Subject: Re: Help me troubleshoot my CCD coffee
 

For a coffee novice, you do certainly seem to be more advanced than I am, and I've been drinking coffee for over a decade. Of course, the majority of that time is going with what the mass population has been sold: buying ground, using a cheap coffee maker and you have coffee.


I have a keurig too - and yes the cups are very expensive. I have one of those single cup filters for using your own ground coffee. Not sure if this is what you have too, but I hated it. I felt like I was wasting the coffee as the keurig pushed the water through too quickly (it seems to me it did).

Someone here told me that kcups, if you do the math, cost about $20 / lb.

A few questions... what do you mean by "blooming" the coffee? From the context, I think it's when the ground coffee first swells up from the water absorption?
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Netphilosopher
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jan 2011
Posts: 1,602
Location: USA
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Mon Nov 12, 2012, 10:53am
Subject: .
 

.
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CraigJS
Senior Member


Joined: 8 May 2011
Posts: 66
Location: Minnesota, USA
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Baratza M plus
Drip: filter cone, FP, Moka
Posted Mon Nov 12, 2012, 3:41pm
Subject: Re: Help me troubleshoot my CCD coffee
 

Timmer
set
4m.
Pour
start
to
cup
at
3m.
Pour
is
OVER
at
4m.
Too
short
steep
time
perhaps.

Sorry,space,key,dead..(temp)
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