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Percolator Pre-ground vs My Grind
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Discussions > Coffee > Q and A > Percolator...  
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PaulHethmon
Senior Member


Joined: 6 Apr 2014
Posts: 5
Location: Knoxville Tennessee
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso Preciso
Posted Sun Apr 6, 2014, 7:57am
Subject: Percolator Pre-ground vs My Grind
 

So we recently purchased an electric percolator (Presto) along with a Baratza Virtuoso grinder. Since that time we've been fighting a losing battle on brewing good coffee. My tastes (and somewhat my wife's) are for medium roast coffee. In particular regular Dunkin Donuts. When we had a working Cuisinart Brind/Grew drip maker, buying the whole beans and making a pot of coffee worked well, and was consistent.The Cuisinart died and hence the equipment move.

Anyway, if we grind the beans ourselves, it always produces weak coffee, the flavor is just missing. We've used a grind setting from 10 up to 36 and really see no appreciable difference. However, if we instead buy the pre-ground DD coffee (meant for drip), then we get the flavor from it we want. We are measuring volume and not weight of the coffee, but the same measurement for both coffees.

Being a percolator, there is not much available to vary with the brew. This morning, we actually tried some Illy pre-ground (medium roast) and it was pretty much like the coffee from us grinding the DD coffee beans.

If it weren't for the fact that the DD pre-ground works, I would tend to think the percolator is just not cycling long enough.

So after that somewhat rambling post, any thoughts on something to try to improve the output?

thanks,

Paul
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,681
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
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Tue Apr 8, 2014, 6:06am
Subject: Re: Percolator Pre-ground vs My Grind
 

You do not say what coffee you are using, you simply may not like the taste of the coffee you bought.

Some people say they have good luck with a perkolator, IDK, I have not used one for decades and I was not impressed with it then. There are too many things it does "wrong" for me to ever get it to come out "correct" It gets the water too hot, it passes the coffee over the grounds time and time again. Both of those things are not good for coffee.

Every coffee tastes different, to add to the situation, it changes as it stales. For espresso, two weeks is the normal limit for getting the most from a coffee, two weeks FROM THE DAY IT WAS ROASTED, not since it was bought or when the bag was opened!

For other methods, you may get as much as a month from the day of roast for peak flavor. What coffee did you buy and are grinding that you do not like?

The grind does affect the brew but you also need to adjust the volume of coffee you are using. To make it stronger, you add more grounds, not grind finer. Grinding finer will cause the coffee to over extract and be nasty more quickly. The grind needs to be adjusted for the brewing method you are using so that it does not over extract before the end of the brew cycle.

 
In real life, my name is
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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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PaulHethmon
Senior Member


Joined: 6 Apr 2014
Posts: 5
Location: Knoxville Tennessee
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso Preciso
Posted Tue Apr 8, 2014, 6:20am
Subject: Re: Percolator Pre-ground vs My Grind
 

Sorry, thought I was clear about the coffee. I'm talking strictly Dunkin Donuts regular roast, bought from the DD shop (as opposed to the grocery store variety). If I grind the whole beans, I get weak coffee. In my testing, I varied my Baratza from a setting of 10 to 36. I also varied the amount of coffee I used. All of that change did very little, if anything, to the taste. However, using the DD pre-ground, I can get a good cup of coffee out of the percolator.

So, I would think the pre-ground would lose a lot of the oils and would produce worse coffee. I'm seeing the opposite.

I also tested an Illy medium roast, pre-ground and actually got similar results to the DD I ground, weak flavor.

To me and my wife, it appears that we do not have enough control with an electric percolator. It's cycle is set unlike a stove top variety. The fact that pre-ground vs fresh ground makes a difference is just puzzling.

At the end of the day, I don't suppose it will end up mattering too much. I ordered a Behmor Brazen yesterday. Hopefully it will arrive for the weekend.

cheers,

Paul
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msboo
Senior Member


Joined: 10 Nov 2012
Posts: 249
Location: Kentucky
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso, Capresso...
Drip: Technivorm, Bonavita
Posted Tue Apr 8, 2014, 7:55am
Subject: Re: Percolator Pre-ground vs My Grind
 

When it arrives, post how you like your Brazen AND results with it.
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SproBro
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Joined: 11 Feb 2014
Posts: 51
Location: Topeka, KS
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: CC1 v1.5
Grinder: Compak K10PB, Vario
Posted Tue Apr 8, 2014, 3:24pm
Subject: Re: Percolator Pre-ground vs My Grind
 

I'm rather surprised that there was any difference between the whole bean you ground and the pre-ground; the whole bean may be packed with a one way valve allowing staling more readily is my only idea. Usually you have some kind of seal on pre-ground stuff.

My advice would be to hammer down what "good" means to you, what "strong" means to you, and what "flavors" you like about the coffee you find to be "good". Using lots of specific terms will help you when purchasing coffee to roast, and addressing problems with achieving a certain flavor profile. Some coffees are very acidic and fruity flavored, lacking some body commercial coffees typically emphasize.
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cerridwyn
Senior Member
cerridwyn
Joined: 6 Jun 2010
Posts: 505
Location: Inland Empire California
Expertise: I live coffee
Posted Fri Apr 11, 2014, 7:56pm
Subject: Re: Percolator Pre-ground vs My Grind
 

I am guessing that this was tested with 1 bag of each?

If you look at the color of the preground vs the one you grind yourself is similar? I would wonder if you got a mislabeled bag and it is really not the same coffee in the two bags.

Anyway, hope you like your new toy :)

 
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PaulHethmon
Senior Member


Joined: 6 Apr 2014
Posts: 5
Location: Knoxville Tennessee
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso Preciso
Posted Sat Apr 12, 2014, 6:20am
Subject: Re: Percolator Pre-ground vs My Grind
 

Well, the Behmor Brazen arrived and had it's first pot of coffee in the last hour. For the first pot, I used the Willoughby's House Blend whole bean that RoastMasters included with the machine and used the gold filter. Chose a grind setting of 22F on the Virtuoso. Temperature was set to 205F on the Brazen for brewing with a pre-soak (bloom) time of 80 seconds (recommended for the coffee).

Overall, good coffee. Nice body and strength of flavor. I believe it's a bit to the sour side. At least that's how I want to describe it. Not bitter or astringent. Will try setting the brew temperature higher for the next pot to see what effect that has.

Anyway, just an initial review as requested. I will post something more thorough after I've had some time with it.

cheers,

Paul
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SproBro
Senior Member


Joined: 11 Feb 2014
Posts: 51
Location: Topeka, KS
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: CC1 v1.5
Grinder: Compak K10PB, Vario
Posted Sat Apr 12, 2014, 10:13pm
Subject: Re: Percolator Pre-ground vs My Grind
 

Gold filter? As in a metal filter? Sour usually means under extraction, but not necessarily too low of temperature. It may be that if your using a mesh filter, your water is running through your coffee too fast and it is not full extracting.
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PaulHethmon
Senior Member


Joined: 6 Apr 2014
Posts: 5
Location: Knoxville Tennessee
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso Preciso
Posted Mon Apr 14, 2014, 5:15am
Subject: Re: Percolator Pre-ground vs My Grind
 

Ok, nirvana has been achieved. Went through quite a few pots of coffee on Sunday trying to dial it in. Made the last change last night for an auto start pot this morning. Pure bliss.

So, to get the coffee taste I love:

  • Baratza grind set to 20F (Virtuoso Preciso)
  • 15 second pre-soak time
  • 207F brewing temperature
  • Dunkin Donuts whole bean from donut shop
  • Behmor Brazen

Very smooth coffee, no sour, no bitter. The medium roast comes through with a strong flavor.

Totally amazed at how the small changes make such a big difference. Being able to adjust the pre-soak and brewing temperature by such seemingly small amounts was the difference between ok and Wow!

I will say the pouring on the Brazen seems poor still, the pot I got is the v2 spout version. It doesn't dribble but kind of an odd pour. I'll have to wait and see about the scale build-up that's been reported.

cheers,

Paul
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PaulHethmon
Senior Member


Joined: 6 Apr 2014
Posts: 5
Location: Knoxville Tennessee
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso Preciso
Posted Mon Jun 2, 2014, 6:51am
Subject: Re: Percolator Pre-ground vs My Grind
 

After 6 weeks of using the Behmor, we are still extremely happy. No problems with the machine and the coffee is wonderful. If I have a complaint, it's I want a bigger model. 8 cups with 2 coffee drinkers goes quick.

cheers,

Paul
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