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Netphilosopher
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Joined: 14 Jan 2011
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Location: USA
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Posted Thu May 17, 2012, 1:39pm
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SteveRhinehart
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SteveRhinehart
Joined: 27 Dec 2009
Posts: 855
Location: Syracuse, NY
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: 1970s La Pavoni Europiccola
Grinder: Baratza Vario, Hario Skerton
Vac Pot: Yama Tabletop 3-cup
Drip: Chemex, CCD, Kalita Wave,...
Roaster: Flavorwave/Stir Crazy
Posted Thu May 17, 2012, 5:04pm
Subject: Re: Calling All VST Refractometer Owners - A Brewing Challenge:
 

You sure you aren't David Walsh?
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andys
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andys
Joined: 10 May 2003
Posts: 856
Location: NY
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Speedster, Londinium 1
Grinder: EK-43,Robur, HG One, M3
Vac Pot: Yama
Drip: various
Roaster: PIDed Popper
Posted Thu May 17, 2012, 7:21pm
Subject: Re: Calling All VST Refractometer Owners - A Brewing Challenge:
 

Netphilosopher Said:

The challenge is do a press pot brew that achieves 5.2% strength or higher using 18% brew ratio.

Posted May 17, 2012 link

Typical third wave coffees are lightly roasted and harder to extract. It the roast was a little off, it will be even harder to extract (this happens often, unfortunately).

Have you tried a dark roast? Starbucks might have just what you need. I think it is fairly easy to get extraction numbers much higher with a dark roast compared to your typical bleeding edge light roast.

 
-AndyS
picture page:  http://flickr.com/photos/andy_s/sets/
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Netphilosopher
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Posted Fri May 18, 2012, 4:38am
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Netphilosopher
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Posted Fri May 18, 2012, 4:48am
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Netphilosopher
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Posted Fri May 18, 2012, 7:32am
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jpender
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jpender
Joined: 11 Jul 2011
Posts: 701
Location: California
Expertise: I like coffee

Grinder: OE LIDO
Vac Pot: S/S Moka Pot
Drip: Aeropress
Posted Fri May 18, 2012, 9:14am
Subject: Re: Calling All VST Refractometer Owners - A Brewing Challenge:
 

I don't have a VST refractometer (or a press pot for that matter) so I'm technically disqualified. I also suspect that Netphilosopher has tried this at least half a dozen times in his Coffee Research Utility Kitchen, so it's probably near to impossible if not impossible.

But I made a half-hearted attempt anyways. I bought some pre-ground coffee while traveling last month that I don't like at all. It's sitting in the freezer for just this sort of thing.

I added 36.0g (it's a drip grind) to 175g of hot water.
Simmered and stirred in a saucepan for 8 min.
Poured into inverted Aeropress.
Used enough additional hot water to rinse coffee from pan and utensil into AP and top up to 236g total slurry weight (18% brew ratio).
Pressed.

148g beverage, 87g wet grounds (1g went missing).

Dried the grounds in the oven for a little over 2 hours until weight stablized. Cooled: 29.8g
That's a yield of 17.2% and a beverage strength of 4.2% (including some undissolved solids).

Not even close.

By Netphilosopher's theory the effective extraction was only 24%, less than what I'd have guessed I'd get by boiling grounds for 8 minutes.


Now the really weird thing is that although the coffee was way too bitter, it was also delicious. I drank it.
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Netphilosopher
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Posted Fri May 18, 2012, 9:17am
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Netphilosopher
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Expertise: Just starting

Posted Sun Jun 3, 2012, 11:01am
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GlennV
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Joined: 27 Oct 2011
Posts: 29
Location: UK
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sun Jun 3, 2012, 2:51pm
Subject: Re: Calling All VST Refractometer Owners - A Brewing Challenge:
 

I did had a go, with a criminally over roasted sidamo, espresso grind, 8 mins in a bain-marie to keep the temperature up, and it only got to 4.6%. Underextracted by all the usual formulae using a 2g/g water lost or retained ratio - I didn't dare taste it! I do find the argument for using all the brew water for extraction yield calculations, for immersion methods,  pretty compelling. What I don't understand, though, is how this squares with the fact that those with far more tasting experience than me are recommending 19-20% yields for both drip and immersion methods, with the usual formulae. For example, the Nick Cho video on youtube showing his clever dripper technique would come out at about 22% yield using all the brew water for the calculation ("Gold + Paper + Clever", which is certainly a full immersion technique as he pulls the grinds out of the brew in a Gold filter before the drawdown).
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