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Rocketsocks
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Joined: 1 Jun 2012
Posts: 2
Location: OR
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Fri Jun 1, 2012, 4:11am
Subject: Pour-Over Problems
 

Hi guys,

I've been a French Press user for some time now and I've recently switched over to the pour over method to make my daily cup(s). However, I'm having some trouble nailing down the perfect cup. Some help would be very welcome. I read the "how to" but it left me with a few questions.

  1. In the "how to" it says to fill up the filter with hot water and stir the slurry. Problem is, my porcelain melitta is NOT 16 oz. especially filled with grounds, so filling it with water to the top means I've got to fill it up a few times to get a full 16 oz cup of coffee. This means that the filter bed gets flat and kind of clogged instead of nicely lining the sides of the cone filters (which I've read in other places is optimal).

  2. Near boiling water seems to over extract my grounds and I'm left with astringently bitter coffee... maybe my grind is not right?

  3. I'm currently finding that a grind that would be used for an automatic drip is about the right size. Finer than French Press, but coarser than my Moka Pot likes, is this correct?

Any tips really would be appreciated. I don't see why such a simple method shouldn't produce coffee at least as good as my French Press, but it just isn't happening yet... :(
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cerridwyn
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cerridwyn
Joined: 6 Jun 2010
Posts: 511
Location: Inland Empire California
Expertise: I live coffee
Posted Fri Jun 1, 2012, 5:19am
Subject: Re: Pour-Over Problems
 

I learned to do it from a how to on George Howell's site. The link is here.

Click Here (www.terroircoffee.com)

Now, it is for a Hario, not a Melitta. But principle should be the same. I don't know how close this is to the instructions here.

I bought my Son in Law, who used to use a Melitta, a kettle. I bought the Hario, but there are more out there now as pour over became more popular. At first he thought it was funny. Then he started experimenting and found it did give him better control and he uses it religiously now.

George again, but this is interesting to watch / listen to

Click Here (how2heroes.com)

 
The world needs more outstanding coffee.

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TheSunInsideYou
Senior Member
TheSunInsideYou
Joined: 16 Feb 2012
Posts: 206
Location: NJ and NYC
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Breville BES900XL
Grinder: Laranzato HC-600, OE LIDO,...
Vac Pot: Yama 3
Drip: Hario V60, Chemex
Posted Fri Jun 1, 2012, 6:01am
Subject: Re: Pour-Over Problems
 

Rocketsocks Said:

In the "how to" it says to fill up the filter with hot water and stir the slurry. Problem is, my porcelain melitta is NOT 16 oz. especially filled with grounds, so filling it with water to the top means I've got to fill it up a few times to get a full 16 oz cup of coffee. This means that the filter bed gets flat and kind of clogged instead of nicely lining the sides of the cone filters (which I've read in other places is optimal).

Near boiling water seems to over extract my grounds and I'm left with astringently bitter coffee... maybe my grind is not right?

I'm currently finding that a grind that would be used for an automatic drip is about the right size. Finer than French Press, but coarser than my Moka Pot likes, is this correct?

Any tips really would be appreciated. I don't see why such a simple method shouldn't produce coffee at least as good as my French Press, but it just isn't happening yet... :(

Posted June 1, 2012 link

Hey Jason,

I wouldn't suggest just filling up your Melitta and stirring the slurry. Stirring it gently isn't a bad notion, but you can over-agitate the grounds, and the more important thing is the speed of the pour and extraction. The water should be just off the boil (200F-210F), and the grind should be in between french press coarse and super fine, yes (it should feel about like sand). The pour is really important. Pour just enough to barely wet the grounds first, and let it bloom for about 45 seconds (For coffee within a week of the roast date, do 60). After that, you want to pour it slow and steady in the center of the grounds so that you pour the rest of the water in about 2-2.5 minutes. You'll want to avoid the edges, as the water will just flow in between the filter and the dripper and give you underextracted tastes (small circles in the center works well). Pouring too quickly will make the water rise about the grounds and do the same thing.

What ratio of water to coffee are you using? I do about 28g of coffee for 415g of water. That's what Intelligentsia recommended, and I really liked it, so I stuck with it. You may find that this isn't the right ratio for your palette, but it may be a good starting place.

It's something that takes some tweaking and practicing, but a beautiful cup when you do it right. Good luck!

-Dave-
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,853
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
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Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Fri Jun 1, 2012, 6:37am
Subject: Re: Pour-Over Problems
 

I do manual pourover a little different than Dave.
I pretty much do the same but I keep the slurry of coffee grounds at a consistent level, if that means pouring to the side of the cone to keep the grounds in the center, so be it. The important thing is that once you are brewing after the bloom, you want to keep as much of the ground coffee wet and in a slurry form. At the end of the brew, if your grinds line the cone and have a cone shape, you had a water level too high, you want the bed of spent coffee to be flat in the cone to extract evenly from the whole bed of coffee. If the coffee lines the side of the cone, you are over extracting the coffee at the bottom of the cone and under extracting the coffee on the sides of the cone. HEY, play with it and do what tastes best for you!

 
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Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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jliedeka
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jliedeka
Joined: 1 May 2002
Posts: 1,560
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Expertise: I live coffee

Grinder: Rocky Stainless
Drip: Technivorm, Chemex,...
Roaster: Behmor, heat gun
Posted Fri Jun 1, 2012, 2:48pm
Subject: Re: Pour-Over Problems
 

I've been doing all manual drip for several years using a cheap #4 filter cone brewed straight into my 20oz travel mug.

A moderately coarse grind works best for me.  I've been tweaking over the years and find that +40 relative to the zero point on my Rocky is about right.  That's not quite FP coarse.  My pour completes in just under 4 minutes.  The slowest part is the end where I'm waiting for the last of the water to pass through the compacted grounds in the bottom.

I don't stir but agitate the grounds with my pour.  I start with a small amount to bloom, then add more water to get a bigger bloom but stop well short of the top of the filter.  I let that subside a little then pour in circles alternating between the middle and the edges.  Rinse and repeat.  My goal is to keep almost all of the grounds wet and extracting as much as possible.

     Jim

 
Cafe todo el dia, tequila toda la noche
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TheSunInsideYou
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TheSunInsideYou
Joined: 16 Feb 2012
Posts: 206
Location: NJ and NYC
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Breville BES900XL
Grinder: Laranzato HC-600, OE LIDO,...
Vac Pot: Yama 3
Drip: Hario V60, Chemex
Posted Fri Jun 1, 2012, 3:37pm
Subject: Re: Pour-Over Problems
 

calblacksmith Said:

I do manual pourover a little different than Dave...HEY, play with it and do what tastes best for you!

Posted June 1, 2012 link

There is certainly no "one size fits all approach." Try out mine (mostly stolen from Intelli and Stumptown), try out Cal's, heck, make up your own! The important thing is that you like what it produces.

Happy sipping!
-Dave-
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Rocketsocks
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Jun 2012
Posts: 2
Location: OR
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sat Jun 2, 2012, 8:12am
Subject: Re: Pour-Over Problems
 

Hmm. Thanks for all the great replies. Seems like I've been doing things wrong. I've been not doing the small amount of water at the beginning for the "bloom" and I've been pouring too much in at once which apparently makes the water just run down the sides and not through the grounds. Also, it sounds like my grounds are too fine.

I'm not sure what my grounds to water ratio is. I use about 2-3 over filled table spoons of grounds for 16 oz of water. Not sure what that equates to in weight, but I'm curious to find out. Time to make my experimentation more scientific.

Well, back to the drawing board.

Thanks again!
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Sam21
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Joined: 20 Sep 2011
Posts: 409
Location: Northwest, CT
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso, LIDO,...
Vac Pot: Siphon, Aeropress, CCD
Drip: Kalita Wave, Beehouse,...
Roaster: Hottop KN-8828B-2K
Posted Tue Jun 5, 2012, 4:27pm
Subject: Re: Pour-Over Problems
 

Click Here (www.amazon.com)

I would recommend a kitchen scale to help weigh coffee and water. I purchased one when I first began making pour over coffee and my wife and I use it for cooking as well. The Jennings CJ4000 is a great scale and one that I would recommend if you go that route.
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jliedeka
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jliedeka
Joined: 1 May 2002
Posts: 1,560
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Expertise: I live coffee

Grinder: Rocky Stainless
Drip: Technivorm, Chemex,...
Roaster: Behmor, heat gun
Posted Wed Jun 6, 2012, 1:04pm
Subject: Re: Pour-Over Problems
 

I also agree with the advice to weigh your coffee.  A good starting point is 1.5 grams per ounce of water.  I use 30 grams to brew into my 20 oz mug.

    Jim

 
Cafe todo el dia, tequila toda la noche
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Sam21
Senior Member


Joined: 20 Sep 2011
Posts: 409
Location: Northwest, CT
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso, LIDO,...
Vac Pot: Siphon, Aeropress, CCD
Drip: Kalita Wave, Beehouse,...
Roaster: Hottop KN-8828B-2K
Posted Wed Jun 6, 2012, 6:57pm
Subject: Re: Pour-Over Problems
 

jliedeka Said:

I also agree with the advice to weigh your coffee.  A good starting point is 1.5 grams per ounce of water.  I use 30 grams to brew into my 20 oz mug.

    Jim

Posted June 6, 2012 link

Weighing coffee and water is a great way to go. Again, it's possible to brew without weight, but weight makes everything a bit easier. I use 60g/1L as a base ratio and adjust accordingly. To find the proper dose for a brew, start with the amount of water. If you want a 500ml brew, just multiply by 0.060 to get your coffee dose in g.

Happy brewing!
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