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Discussions > Coffee > Machines > Weak Chemex  
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jaybar
Senior Member


Joined: 13 Sep 2011
Posts: 173
Location: Brooklyn
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Tue Apr 15, 2014, 11:02am
Subject: Weak Chemex
 

Hi

I am sort of perplexed. I am using a 16.1 ratio and grinding at 7O on my Baratza Vario with metal burrs. Coffee finishes in four minutes using a continuous center pour but tastes like tea. Two different beans have produced similar results.

Should I:

Grind finer?
Keep grind the same and use more coffee ?
Change Brew Temp?
Use repeated small pours instead?

Thanks

Jay
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CoffeeNark
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Dec 2013
Posts: 34
Location: Nashville, TN
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue Apr 15, 2014, 11:37am
Subject: Re: Weak Chemex
 

Sorry but I have some questions.   What size Chemex pot are you using?  How much coffee are you making?  What kind of beans (origin and roast level)?  Do you start off with a bloom?  Are you keeping all your grounds submerged during the poor?  Are you noticing much of your water oozing through the sides of the filter?  What is your water temperature?
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jaybar
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Joined: 13 Sep 2011
Posts: 173
Location: Brooklyn
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Tue Apr 15, 2014, 12:23pm
Subject: Re: Weak Chemex
 

Temperature about 200-205F. Two brew sizes. Use 700G 780G of water or 360-400G of water. I use a 6 or 8 cup for larger batches. I have both  6 and 8 cup and a 3 cup for smaller batches. Ideally I would like to use the 6 cup for both small and larger batches, but if not, I could retain the 3 cup

I do not use dark roasts. Light or medium, depending on what my local coffee shops are selling and what I like. I like coffee from Africa, the pacific and less so, South America.

Generally I bloom for 45 seconds, but I have on occasion tried the George Howell method, which does not use a bloom, with interesting results the method seems better suited to his roasts, which I don't buy that often.

I have used either a continuous center pour after the bloom, when I bloom, or repeated small pours. The repeated small pours give a fuller body but can lead to over extraction with too many short pours. Also this method goes over 4 minutes.

With any method I try and stay away from the edges, except when adding the bloom water. However the issue noted below, make that a bit harder. P

I should mention that I have both a vision issue and an eye-hand coordination issue--so simple is better. These problems also make the 3 cup chemex more difficult for me, but not impossible if need be.

Thanks

Jay
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CoffeeNark
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Dec 2013
Posts: 34
Location: Nashville, TN
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue Apr 15, 2014, 12:42pm
Subject: Re: Weak Chemex
 

Indeed odd.  Your technique seems to be in line with what I do.  I use short pours when I'm making a smallish batch of coffee (15 oz) and about 2 continuous short pours when I'm making larger batches.  I do know what you mean with the tea like taste as I had that when I started with the Chemex as I really didn't know much and was using too little coffee.  But I use 16 to 1 now and find my coffee is not weak.

What kind of shape are your grounds in when finished?  In my small batches, my grounds are pretty level which I attribute to several short pours trying to keep the water just above the grounds.  But in my larger batches, my grounds kind of form a cone shape, clinging to the sides of the filter.

Do you form a divot in your grounds before pouring the bloom?  I started doing that and do feel it does a better job of saturating the grounds.

Also, you might try stirring the grounds a bit after your first pour and maybe again after you finish pouring while the water is still seeping through.  I don't do it but have observed some baristas doing it.
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CoffeeNark
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Joined: 30 Dec 2013
Posts: 34
Location: Nashville, TN
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue Apr 15, 2014, 12:46pm
Subject: Re: Weak Chemex
 

And by the way, you and I couldn't be more different in taste preferneces.  :)

I much prefer South American coffee and have just about sworn off African beans.
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jaybar
Senior Member


Joined: 13 Sep 2011
Posts: 173
Location: Brooklyn
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Tue Apr 15, 2014, 1:13pm
Subject: Re: Weak Chemex
 

CoffeeNark

I am beginning to prefer low acid coffee. Suggestions? My grind shape after brewing is as you suggested yours was. A lot has to do with pour speed. Pouring swiftly in larger batches yields a cone. Even in Kate batches, repeated small pours tends to result in a flatter brew.

Thanks

Jay
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