Posted Sun Apr 22, 2012, 8:27am Subject: First few sips of properly extracted filter brews taste sour.
Whether I brew with the CCD, chemex, or my main brewer, the Aeropress, the first few sips of my brew are sour and not pleasant. My grinder is the Maestro Plus. I use 92C/ 197.6F water, and my brews are generally in the 1.3% TDS, 19% extraction range as verified with the Extract Mojo. Initially, I thought that the coffee needed to be cooled down before drinking, but I've found that even after decanting and allowing it to cool further, the coffee does not taste pleasant until I've taken maybe three sips. I can't figure out what the issue is. Has anyone had this same experience? This happens with every coffee I've brewed, from different roasters. Once I've taken a few sips, I have a wonderful brew, but I'm pretty sick of this situation. Edit: Here is some extra info. With the aero, I use a filter grind, usually between 16-20 on the Maestro Plus. 2 min steep, 30 sec plunge. 14g/230g.
Posted Sun Apr 22, 2012, 12:39pm Subject: Re: First few sips of properly extracted filter brews taste sour.
Just what I brew. We're blessed to have some great shops in Dublin that do wonderful filter coffee and it's beautiful coffee from the first sip. They brew using the same beans and brewer (aeropress) as me. Their brews also have pleasant and distinctive aromatics. My brews are also unpleasant in this respect. I split my brew into two cups a few times, and the same issue occured with both cups. It took about three sips to get pleasant flavour from cup a, about one or 2 from cup b. I usually have to let my drinks cool to <60C/140F anyhow before they're drinkable for me, but cooling even further before taking the first sip does not alleviate my issue. IS my issue the presence of fines, oils, bad water? I can't figure it out, so I guess I'd like to know if everyone's brews are tasty at first sip.
Posted Sun Apr 22, 2012, 12:46pm Subject: Re: First few sips of properly extracted filter brews taste sour.
Could be water chemistry, could also be temp. If you're measuring 92C in the slurry, that's probably fine, but if it's 92C in the kettle, it could be cooling too much by the time it hits the coffee. Maybe try a bit higher temp, see how it tastes.
Posted Sun Apr 22, 2012, 1:08pm Subject: Re: First few sips of properly extracted filter brews taste sour.
I was using 96-97C/ 204F water previously, with a slurry of about 91/92 for a long long time. Same issue. I am still able to nail gold cup extraction levels with 92 C water, I just have to grind a notch or two finer. I was brewing using 94C water today and it was the same exact issue. I am going to buy some volvic water tomorrow, which I've heard is about 120ppm. I'll see if that fixes my issue. I have started wondering if it is an issue with oils, though. I use the inverted aeropress method with the stock paper filters, and there are oils visible on top for the first few sips. These go away as the taste improves. Is this just a coincidence? My aero, as well as my brewing vessels are all cleaned before my first brew of the day. I should point out that I've also had the same issue withe the Hario Skerton.
Posted Sun Apr 22, 2012, 2:36pm Subject: Re: First few sips of properly extracted filter brews taste sour.
Not likely to be coincidence.
Having centrifuged coffee and tasted the oil that ends up on the lipid heavy supernatan, I'd hazard that you're pushing too much oil through and it isn't well-emulsified. The oils that are present in coffee are amazingly strong tasting, heavily bitter, and really stay on your tongue a surprisingly long time.
Everyone seems to think that paper filters magically "absorbs" oil, but as you have seen this is not the case.
A few suggestions:
Stir your cup well just before your first sip. This partially emulsifies the floating oil, and may be enough to dull the bitter. or Use a spoon and scoop the top layer of oil and toss it. (or taste it - I'll bet a cup of office coffee this is the culprit)
Another thing to try: when you flip the Aeropress over (assuming you're brewing inverted), wait 15-30 seconds before pressing. What you're trying to do is allow the grounds to settle against the filter, enhancing cake filtration. Press force will go up, but the grounds will add to filtering. You should also see an improvement in clarity.
You won't reach gold cup standards, but you can also try a lower temperature brew water. This will mute some of the fruits and brightness, but also will extract a lower amount of oils.
I know European cup strength is 1.3% or so, but you can also dilute to 1.15% with hot clean water and see if that changes the taste. Have you checked the strength of your local establishment's coffee?
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Posted Sun Apr 22, 2012, 2:45pm Subject: Re: First few sips of properly extracted filter brews taste sour.
I was hoping you'd chime in, Netphilosopher. I have been turning over the inverted aeropress 15 secs before the press, but will try 30. I've tried stirring the brew before and it didn't help massively, but I'll try removing the top layer as best I can. I think the reason I started suspecting oils was from a recent post where you mentioned drinking pure coffee oil. I really don't want to mute the fruits and brightness, as they are one of the main reasons that I drink coffee. I will try to experiment with some compromise between temps/oils/taste though. Just saw your edit.. I'll try the dilution tomorrow. The coffee shop I mentioned is 3fe, and they updose for aeropress actually. They say that they use 17g/230g coffee extracted to 19% (Edit: Not certain of the extraction actually, but i read that they aim for 19% with chemex, so I assumed the same for aero. Their pourovers are a more traditional 60g/l. I have noticed that there are no oils in their Aero brews though. Really clean. They use the Marco Ubergrinder.
Posted Mon Apr 23, 2012, 3:19pm Subject: Re: First few sips of properly extracted filter brews taste sour.
So, here are my findings after doing four aeropress brews today. Stirring and skimming the oils was not effective. Same issue. I don't think that I could effectively skim the oils anyhow. Diluting the brew did not help. Flipping the inverted aeropress 30-45 secs before plunge did not help. USing the non-inverted method had the same issue, This is really frustrating me, as the brews are absolutely beautiful once I've taken three sips. I had some Hasbean Colombia Oporapa and it was super sweet and rich. I am going to try brewing with <90 C water tomorrow to see if that helps. I still haven't tried bottled water, I hope to try some tomorrow. It isn't just my tongue getting used to the taste, as when I split the brew into two seperate cups, I have the same issue with both. Perhaps I'm removing a layer of foul tasting oils with those first few sips? I haven't heard of anyone else ever having a similar issue. Edit: I've cleaned my burrs several times too. They never hold a massive amount anyhow.
Posted Thu Apr 26, 2012, 7:49pm Subject: Re: First few sips of properly extracted filter brews taste sour.
Well, this is a long shot but could it have to do with the dish soap you use on your cups? Maybe if it's not rinsed well enough or leaves a thin film on the cup, or... Which could explain why you get the same problem if you split your coffee in two different cups.
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