Bostonbuzz Senior Member Joined: 30 Apr 2010 Posts: 21 Location: Boston Expertise: I love coffee
Posted Wed Jun 12, 2013, 7:54pm Subject: Re: Bloom Part of Overall Extraction Time? (Chemex)
Measure your time consistently - don't worry about others. I start the timer with the first drop of water, let the bloom, and do the main pour at exactly 30s. My total time for 32g/16oz is 3:15. With the chemex you control your time with the grind. Don't shoot for a time- and ignore what is said in videos where they don't tell you anything about adjustment*. Most videos say "4:00". This impossible without an espresso-like grind at 32g, and will totally over-extract my coffee at a 32g dose. At 40-50g, and a coarse grind that is a different story, however. If it tastes over-extracted, coarsen the grind, if under- tighten look at you time to make sure you haven't screwed anything up royally.
Timing is important to see if your pour technique clogged the filter or not. For instance, I dialed in my chemex at #25 on my virtuoso, and it was under extracted. Then I went to 20, similar story, then I went to #14 and had a phenomenal brew. I found that every notch on the virtuoso was about 4s of timing change. But, when I went to #16 to see what things would taste like there, the brew time was LONGER than at #14! I must have screwed up the pour, because things were seriously stalling and tasted over-extracted. (I'm not steeped in the theory of JUST keeping the water above the coffee- it doesn't strike me as making any sense, but I'm in no position to argue about it.)
Changing the dose in the chemex is only really for changing the output (aka, the partner wants a cup), this will require a change in the grind to coarser, but also will require a longer brew time to taste OK. You have to figure out all these variables on your own. Just remember, time-grind are like space-time - totally linked on the chemex. There is a correct time that associates with a correct grind that ONLY works with a certain dose. However, it is easy to acheive. To review:
How much coffee roughly do I want to drink? -Set the volume of water to this at a ratio of 2g coffee to 1oz water (a rough average of all online instructions)
Grind those beans
Preinfuse, Brew, time the whole thing
Taste -Under or over extracted? (If you don't know, then go WAY on the opposite spectrum - then you'll know) -If under- tighten the grind -If under- coarsen the grind
Repeat 1-4 until you have phenomenal coffee (you'll know when there is no bitterness and total balance).
*side note about videos and not trusting them... they always say "30s of your kettle sitting will bring it to 200f the perfect temperature" whereas in reality it will bring it to about 211F.
EDIT: seriously, purposefully over and under extract the coffee to know what to look for. I know it's a pain, but it will save you a lot of messing around in the future, and then you can dial in by taste (the only way to do it).
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