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What is the relationship between the grind setting and coffee flavor?
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AustinJerry
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Joined: 16 Apr 2013
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Posted Sun Mar 30, 2014, 8:31pm
Subject: Re: What is the relationship between the grind setting and coffee flavor?
 

calblacksmith Said:

That is why I linked to a reference that has it in it.
http://www.bunn.com/catalog/index.html
In specific
Click Here (www.bunn.com)

Posted March 30, 2014 link

Thank you for including the link.  I find the Coffee Brewing Control Chart fascinating.  I figure most of you have seen it before, but this is my first time.  I am a bit puzzled by the Brew Strength Meter.  An internet search revealed discussions on the Brix, but that seems a bit too expensive for me.  Can a simple TDS meter be used to measure brew strength?  Since most filtered waters have a non-zero TDS score, how would one know what portion of the TDS reading is the brew?
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MWJB
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Posted Mon Mar 31, 2014, 2:49am
Subject: Re: What is the relationship between the grind setting and coffee flavor?
 

AustinJerry Said:

Thank you for including the link.  I find the Coffee Brewing Control Chart fascinating.  I figure most of you have seen it before, but this is my first time.  I am a bit puzzled by the Brew Strength Meter.  An internet search revealed discussions on the Brix, but that seems a bit too expensive for me.  Can a simple TDS meter be used to measure brew strength?  Since most filtered waters have a non-zero TDS score, how would one know what portion of the TDS reading is the brew?

Posted March 30, 2014 link

Obviously there are different TDS meters, but my experience is that results brew to brew are not consistent, over a number of identical brews you may see an average value? This value may still be somewhat incorrect, but as long as you are doing things exactly the same brew to brew you may get some benefit. They also take a fair bit of time to settle on a reading, mine needed to read at around room temp (despite the manufacturer's instructions saying otherwise). They struggle with any solids so paper filter the brews/test sample if using French press/metal filters.

Usually TDS meters bump up the reading by x10 with coffee, as opposed to water. A reading of 1.3% coffee TDS is 13000ppm (meter may show "1300"), my tap water is around 300ppm, there has been conflicting advice as to whether you should subtract the water TDS, pick a method & stick to it.

They aren't accurate enough to give you a reading to the % yield, but you can obviously compare brews to one another.

Another method is to stick to the same ratio, exactly, and alter grind until going too fine causes smokey/bitter flavours, or too coarse causes weak coffee & overly acidic or unripe flavours. 56g/l gives you the longest time in the SCAA box, but it is common for enthusiasts to brew a little stronger than this, the idea being to stay between 18% & 22% extraction yield (or a shade less than 22%) at whatever %TDS you prefer.
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boar_d_laze
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Posted Mon Mar 31, 2014, 6:37am
Subject: Re: What is the relationship between the grind setting and coffee flavor?
 

jpender Said:

Why would it matter whether the coffee was repeatedly exposed to fresh water versus immersed in a solution of ever increasing concentration of dissolved solids?

Posted March 30, 2014 link

It doesn't matter much to the coffee, but matters a helluva lot to the solution.  You don't drink the grounds, but do drink the solution. Or maybe that's just me.

Rich
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jpender
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jpender
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Posted Mon Mar 31, 2014, 8:02am
Subject: Re: What is the relationship between the grind setting and coffee flavor?
 

boar_d_laze Said:

The actual contact time for a particular volume of water (say each 50ml out of a 750ml pour) in a pour over is considerably less than that for the same volume of water in an immersion brewer.  It makes sense then, that most drip brewers function best with medium grinds and most presses with coarse grinds.

Posted March 27, 2014 link

Why?

Let's say you pour 750ml of water over 45g of coffee, ground so that the pour takes 4 minutes. That would mean on average each 50ml volume is in contact for 16 seconds. Now take another 45g of coffee, ground the same way, and immerse it in 750ml of water for 4 minutes.

What's different about the solutions and why.
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andys
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andys
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Posted Tue Apr 1, 2014, 4:48pm
Subject: Re: What is the relationship between the grind setting and coffee flavor?
 

Hmm...wondering, is this is a trick question???

I haven't tried your experiment, and without actually doing it, I don't see how one could know how the two extractions would end up.

All I could say is that if one measured the %TDS values of the two beverages and they somehow came out to be the same, the immersion beverage would taste more extracted because there would be much more extracted solute trapped in the grounds of the immersion brew compared to the pourover brew.

Also, I wonder why you specify ground coffee by weight, and water by volume.

 
-AndyS
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boar_d_laze
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Posted Tue Apr 1, 2014, 6:31pm
Subject: Re: What is the relationship between the grind setting and coffee flavor?
 

jpender Said:

Let's say you pour 750ml of water over 45g of coffee, ground so that the pour takes 4 minutes. That would mean on average each 50ml volume is in contact for 16 seconds. Now take another 45g of coffee, ground the same way, and immerse it in 750ml of water for 4 minutes.

Posted March 31, 2014 link

Rather than testing me, you take a turn:
  1. Write an hypothesis which explains the known data, predicts new data, and post it here; then
  2. Brew a few pots of immersion, and a few of pour-over at similar grind levels under similar conditions (including brew water temperature), and post your results.  

Rich
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boar_d_laze
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Posted Tue Apr 1, 2014, 6:37pm
Subject: Re: What is the relationship between the grind setting and coffee flavor?
 

andys Said:

All I could say is that if one measured the %TDS values of the two beverages and they somehow came out to be the same,...

Posted April 1, 2014 link

Do you think they'd be close?  Why?  Why not?

... the immersion beverage would taste more extracted because there would be much more extracted solute trapped in the grounds of the immersion brew compared to the pourover brew.

My guess too.

Also, I wonder why you specify ground coffee by weight, and water by volume.

Converting water volume to weight is easy and accurate, providing the water temperature is known. However, the easiest measurements are fine for what we're talking about. Without weighing the wet grounds as well as the brewed coffee, we're not going to get much in the way of accuracy anyway.  

I'm no chemist, but am hell on wheels when it comes to simple arithmetic like counting significant digits.

Rich
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andys
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andys
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Posted Tue Apr 1, 2014, 7:39pm
Subject: Re: What is the relationship between the grind setting and coffee flavor?
 

boar_d_laze Said:

Converting water volume to weight is easy and accurate, providing the water temperature is known. However, the easiest measurements are fine for what we're talking about. Without weighing the wet grounds as well as the brewed coffee, we're not going to get much in the way of accuracy anyway.  

Posted April 1, 2014 link

No argument from me on those points. I just find mixed weight/volume recipes to be clumsy and unnecessary.

But in truth my prejudice about this is completely irrelevant to the topic at hand, so never mind.

 
-AndyS
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jpender
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jpender
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Posted Tue Apr 1, 2014, 9:59pm
Subject: Re: What is the relationship between the grind setting and coffee flavor?
 

andys Said:

Hmm...wondering, is this is a trick question???

I haven't tried your experiment, and without actually doing it, I don't see how one could know how the two extractions would end up.

All I could say is that if one measured the %TDS values of the two beverages and they somehow came out to be the same, the immersion beverage would taste more extracted because there would be much more extracted solute trapped in the grounds of the immersion brew compared to the pourover brew.

Also, I wonder why you specify ground coffee by weight, and water by volume.

Posted April 1, 2014 link

Not a trick question. I was just trying to get Boar d laze to explain what he meant.

He said (paraphrasing now) that a coarser grind "makes sense" for an immersion brew because the full volume of water is in contact with the grounds the whole time whereas a somewhat finer grind is better for a pour over since each parcel of water contacts the grounds for only a fraction of the time.

I thought his view assumed certain aspects of coffee solubility. In particular, it seems to say that fresh water will extract faster than water that has some coffee solubles already in it. Maybe this is true, maybe not. I don't know and that's why I asked.
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MWJB
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Posted Wed Apr 2, 2014, 8:04am
Subject: Re: What is the relationship between the grind setting and coffee flavor?
 

jpender Said:

Let's say you pour 750ml of water over 45g of coffee, ground so that the pour takes 4 minutes. That would mean on average each 50ml volume is in contact for 16 seconds. Now take another 45g of coffee, ground the same way, and immerse it in 750ml of water for 4 minutes.

What's different about the solutions and why.

Posted March 31, 2014 link

Don't we already have an idea of what the difference would be? Hence Vince Fedele's concept of immersion yield? The immersion will be at a lower %TDS for the same time, grind, water & dose.

In practice, this is a tricky excercise to normalise things like %TDS, dose, grind, presence suspended solids, effect of paper filters etc. Comparing a paper drip to a French press seems too much of a stretch to me to get anything vaguely meaningful.

For the same dose & grind it wll take an awful lot longer for the immersion to hit the same/similar %TDS as the pourover...go too coarse & it simply may never do.

Today's excercise, take from it what you will...
2x Clever Drippers - 1x pourover, 1x immersion, 20g coffee (same coffee, same grind), 351g water, both using V60 02 papers (due to fine grind & I didn't want to clog a Filtropa on the immersion and cause a big deviation in %TDS). Immersion brew also utilised a Swissgold so that hopefully less brew had to drain through the bed (possibly driving up %TDS, new Clever can hit 23-24% Imm Yield easily with just the paper) & the filter paper, hopefully, largely just caught the fines.

Pourover - 1.21%TDS 19.5% Ext Yield. 3:30 brew time.

Immersion - 1.25%TDS (overshot a tad), 23% Immersion Yield (correcting for typical retention this equates to an Ext Yield of 19.8% FWIW, given that Ext. Yield is less pertinent to the taste of immersions). Brew time 30minutes (determined by taste comparisons with the pourover, off the top of the brewer), plus draw down. Samples of the Immersion were rapidly cooled so that A/B comparisons could be made with the pourover.

Pourover a tiny bit juicier, a little tangy cooled. Immersion a tiny bit sweeter, more balanced, no tang in finish when cooled.

Is this down to immersion vs drip, is it down to slightly higher strike temp in the pourover (water added first in immersion as I didn't want any percolation to take place)? They are close enough to be recognisably the "same" coffee, tasted independently you'd be hard pressed to split them, very similar, but they are not quite the same...which is perhaps explainable by the measurements.

Why does the pourover extract faster? Flow through the bed of clean, coffee TDS  hungry, water washing out the grinds at a more uniform rate (ideally anyway...not so much in my example), whereas you get a big boost early in the immersion as grinds & water are combined, then extraction tails off fast, but doesn't quite stop...but hitting max concentration (~23% Imm Yield for brewers that don't drain through the bed) takes a fair bit of time. Whereas the pourover can be extracted to the absolute max (~29%) in just a few minutes.

The idea here was mainly to show that meaningful comparisons (same brewer, paper, coffee, dose, brew water weight, etc.) aren't as simple as people tend to think when generally comparing drip to steep.

I may try again, to nail identical TDS, but it'll have to wait until I'm in a more experimenting mood again.

My biggest 'take away' from this.... is that I make way too much mess & washing up! ;-)
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