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Discussions > Coffee > Machines > New to pour over  
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trilea
Senior Member


Joined: 7 Oct 2013
Posts: 14
Location: canada
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Wed Dec 11, 2013, 4:51pm
Subject: New to pour over
 

Hello,

I have recently settled on using pourover as a flexible method to explore the world of coffee. In terms of gear I am using an inherited plastic Melitta dripper with bamboo filters, a hario mini mill, and a gooseneck kettle (trials with a regular kettle led to a too large a mess). Over the 6 weeks or so I have been trying different coffees from a variety of roasters.  Recently, I have become more frustrated as the cups of coffee that I am now making seem more bitter (need more sugar to drink than before). I have been using approx. the same pour technique between cups of coffee and the same grind setting (6 clicks from closed) I was wondering if anyone had an explanation as to why my coffee seems to becoming more bitter. The beans that I have tried so far are as follows:

Cherry Hill Coffee - Lush
Social Coffee - French Roast
Whole Food - Guatemala
Local roaster - their drip blend

With all cups the water is 250g @ 200F, with a 15g dose, ground at 6 clicks from 0.

Thus far I have found that the french roast from social has been the least bitter but for some odd reason even they are getting more bitter it seems week to week.

P.S. I have been buying as fresh as possible and trying my best to drink all the coffee before they reach 10 days post roast (its hard since i drink 2 cups a day)

Thanks
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squaremile
Senior Member


Joined: 6 Jan 2011
Posts: 94
Location: Portlandia
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Wed Dec 11, 2013, 10:26pm
Subject: Re: New to pour over
 

Each of those coffees would have it's own grind setting that would produce the best cup with your method.  You can't just use one grind setting for every coffee, so if it's too bitter, grind a notch or two coarser. Based on your formula you are shooting for a 1.30 TDS and about 19.45 Ext which is right on, so dial the grind in and you are good to go. Also stop using sugar :)
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tglodjo
Senior Member
tglodjo
Joined: 16 Oct 2012
Posts: 209
Location: Jackson, TN
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi II
Grinder: Baratza Vario, Virtuoso
Drip: Wave, V60, Chemex, Clever
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Thu Dec 12, 2013, 6:05am
Subject: Re: New to pour over
 

You mentioned pretty much everything but the total  brew time. A 15g dose for 250g brew should probably be between 2:30-2:00. Of course, it's all subjective based on taste. I've had great 2:00 brews and 5:00 brews, but definitely a component to track and adjust grind size based on time.

squaremile Said:

Each of those coffees would have it's own grind setting that would produce the best cup with your method.  You can't just use one grind setting for every coffee, so if it's too bitter, grind a notch or two coarser.

Posted December 11, 2013 link

+1
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MWJB
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Jun 2013
Posts: 205
Location: UK
Expertise: I like coffee

Grinder: Rocky, Lido, Porlex, Hario...
Drip: Not enough room to list...
Posted Thu Dec 12, 2013, 6:38am
Subject: Re: New to pour over
 

trilea Said:

Hello,

I have recently settled on using pourover as a flexible method to explore the world of coffee. In terms of gear I am using an inherited plastic Melitta dripper with bamboo filters, a hario mini mill, and a gooseneck kettle (trials with a regular kettle led to a too large a mess). Over the 6 weeks or so I have been trying different coffees from a variety of roasters.  Recently, I have become more frustrated as the cups of coffee that I am now making seem more bitter (need more sugar to drink than before). I have been using approx. the same pour technique between cups of coffee and the same grind setting (6 clicks from closed) I was wondering if anyone had an explanation as to why my coffee seems to becoming more bitter.

Thanks

Posted December 11, 2013 link

Hi Trilea,

Can you describe your method, how you are pouring (filling in one go, or pouring in stages)?

Have you tried bleached white filter papers? (Just to eliminate the bamboo ones from enquiries).

If you are switching from coffee to coffee, as the others have said, your grind might need adjusting to suit. An alternative is to keep the grind the same and play with pour style, or weight of brew water used...e.g. start by pouring 210g, when drained give the cup a really good stir & taste...then pulse another 20g through the cone, taste again...then another 20g...see where  you think that coffee tastes best. Record & note for next time. It's easier to do this if brewing on a stand & into a carafe so the coffee can be well stirred & swirled between tastings (it can sit in layers otherwise, first sips can often be a little bitter & oily, even on a good cup).
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trilea
Senior Member


Joined: 7 Oct 2013
Posts: 14
Location: canada
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Thu Dec 12, 2013, 9:18am
Subject: Re: New to pour over
 

I have been pouring in pulses trying to keep the water in the dripper no higher than 8-10mm above the top of the coffee grounds. Usually I bloom with 25-45g of water until it stops expanding and bubbling (~15-40s) then in pulses to try and maintain the water level as previously mentioned. Pouring in spirals going out then back in unless i need to stop to prevent it going over. Thanks for the pointers though. I thought that grind between beans only needed to be adjusted for espresso and that there was only 1 drip grind. I will try adjusting the grind size as this seems to be the easiest change to make. Later I will try changes to the pour technique.

Ill post after with the results.

Edit: Initially I was using a pack of second cup melitta #2 brown filters, Now I'm using the Melitta brand Bamboo filters
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MWJB
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Jun 2013
Posts: 205
Location: UK
Expertise: I like coffee

Grinder: Rocky, Lido, Porlex, Hario...
Drip: Not enough room to list...
Posted Thu Dec 12, 2013, 9:31am
Subject: Re: New to pour over
 

6 clicks out on the Hario Slim seems a fine grind with which to pulse pour, you'll probably need to go coarser with that technique, but as you do, your grind will become less consistent.

Let us know how you get on.
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Buckley
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Jan 2011
Posts: 423
Location: Internet
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Fri Dec 13, 2013, 11:36am
Subject: Re: New to pour over
 

Try a slower, continuous, moving pour with a coarser grind so the brew water does not back up.  I have one of these in my mug right now as I am typing.  Delicious.  Are you using a Melitta plastic or ceramic cone?  If plastic, I would ream out the bottom opening to prevent brew backup.  Otherwise, you might consider splurging for a Hario v60 cone since the bottom has a dime-size opening.

B
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trilea
Senior Member


Joined: 7 Oct 2013
Posts: 14
Location: canada
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Fri Dec 13, 2013, 7:56pm
Subject: Re: New to pour over
 

Ok time for some follow up, I've tried a coarser grind (10,11,12 clicks) and it does help with the bitterness, however it doesn't seem to have eliminated the bitterness. In addition thought with a coarser grind the coffee doesn't taste as strong as it did with a finer grind. I am finding that it tastes watered down im comparison to the previous grind setting (6-7 clicks). One question I have is given that the Melitta dripper has one small hole vs a larger hole with the v60 would that allow me to use a finer grind and extract more coffee flavor without over extracting? In addition I am washing the coffee grounds off the side of the melitta dripper. After reading some material about why that is bad for a v60 I also wonder if this is transferable to the melitta given that with the melitta the ridges are much less pronounced and do not go all the way up?

I will try altering the pour tomorrow and will provide additional follow up.
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Buckley
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Jan 2011
Posts: 423
Location: Internet
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sat Dec 14, 2013, 4:58am
Subject: Re: New to pour over
 

Dear trilea,
We have all had the experience that you are having 'dialing-in' a grind, regardless of infusion method.
Sounds like you should go back to a slightly finer grind for the sake of flavor, and, yes, the Hario or a reamed-out Melitta will allow the brew to transit faster (still depending upon the grind size) resulting in a less bitter taste.
My suggestion is to pour slower in conjunction with a finer grind so that you do not back-up and puddle.
Finally the last variable that you can control is the temperature of the water but don't make large changes.  I use the stream from a goose neck kettle right off of the boil, but when I want to use a cooler infusion for less bitterness, I just raise the kettle up slightly so that the water stream is twice as long as usual and this will make a noticeable difference.  Naturally, this will make no difference if the infusion is backing up and puddling.  That is why the Hario is so well designed - it does not get in the way of operator 'tweaking' like this.  I splurged for the cloth filter for the Hario cone which I much prefer over the paper filters.

Buckley
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trilea
Senior Member


Joined: 7 Oct 2013
Posts: 14
Location: canada
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Sun Dec 15, 2013, 2:28pm
Subject: Re: New to pour over
 

Hey for some additional follow up I think I have gotten to a point where I am happy with the cup. I have altered my pour so its not as pulsed and now sits higher in the dripper but is more constant. i also tried just pouring in all the water after the bloom and learned not to do that. In the melita anyway you end up with all the grounds stuck to the side at the top where there are no ribs and no coffee at the bottom. It seems to make the coffee taste watery and weak. This seems to make sense since its only extracting from them for a very small amount of time. I havn't gone out to get a v60/chemex yet but thats the next dripper on the list to try. Thanks to everyone who  gave me pointers as they have been extremely helpful. Ill try my best to pay it forward. Following this I will look into altering the temperature to see how it affects taste.
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