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How to know what to adjust brew temp to based on bean, roast, profile
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Burner0000
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Posted Wed Jan 22, 2014, 9:45am
Subject: How to know what to adjust brew temp to based on bean, roast, profile
 

Can anyone answer this for me or point me in the direction of a good article that explains what you should adjust your espresso or drip brew temperature to based on beans and roast temps?  I'm not looking for exact numbers here just the basics.  I will be buying upgrades for all of my equipment soon.  PID for the Silvia or at least a temp probe to make surfing more precise, ADR for the Sonofresco and a water boiler with temp adjust. Bonavita maybe?..

Example:  If I am brewing Sumatra SO espresso, Vienna (Medium Dark) should I increase temp higher or lower for better extraction.

Sorry if this is confusing.
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Coffeenoobie
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Posted Wed Jan 22, 2014, 1:57pm
Subject: Re: How to know what to adjust brew temp to based on bean, roast, profile
 

Well, personally I think you should taste it high and low and decide for yourself.

 
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CoffeeLoversMag
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Posted Thu Jan 23, 2014, 5:02am
Subject: Re: How to know what to adjust brew temp to based on bean, roast, profile
 

You can have a good coffee if you follow the best temperature for brewing coffee between 195 F and 205 F. No matter what kind of beans or roast temperature, the brewing temperature should be between that ranges of temperature. Your brewing taste depends on the kind of beans you are using and how it is roasted.

 
Did you know...? Dark roast coffees actually have less caffeine than lighter roasts due to the fact that the process of roasting burns off caffeine.
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Burner0000
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Joined: 28 Jul 2011
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Roaster: Behmor 1600 / Sonofresco
Posted Thu Jan 23, 2014, 6:09am
Subject: Re: How to know what to adjust brew temp to based on bean, roast, profile
 

Thanks guys.  That's the plan.  I will just taste for myself.  I'm pretty sure the temp range of the Silvia is 195'$ - 212'F anyways.  I guess what I'm trying to figure out is there a huge difference in taste if roast profile, grind and taste are dialed in?
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calblacksmith
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Posted Thu Jan 23, 2014, 7:32am
Subject: Re: How to know what to adjust brew temp to based on bean, roast, profile
 

The better roasters, often provide tasting/roasting comments on their coffee, in these, the advised brew temp is given.

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

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NobbyR
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Posted Thu Jan 23, 2014, 7:41am
Subject: Re: How to know what to adjust brew temp to based on bean, roast, profile
 

As a rule of thumb one might say that the darker the roast, the higher the brewing temperature can be. In the end, it'll be a question of trial and error to find the optimal setting for a specific bean or blend.

 
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Burner0000
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Posted Thu Jan 23, 2014, 7:44am
Subject: Re: How to know what to adjust brew temp to based on bean, roast, profile
 

NobbyR Said:

As a rule of thumb one might say that the darker the roast, the higher the brewing temperature can be. In the end, it'll be a question of trial and error to find the optimal setting for a specific bean or blend.

Posted January 23, 2014 link

Yeah I figured this off the bat.  What got me thinking was I roasted some light Ethiopian a while back and started pulling a shot a few seconds before the heater kicked back on.  Turned out to be a good tasting under extracted shot.
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boar_d_laze
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Posted Thu Jan 23, 2014, 8:33am
Subject: Re: How to know what to adjust brew temp to based on bean, roast, profile
 

Too hot makes it bitter.  Too cold makes it sour.  When I temp, I have to remind myself every time: "Beverly Hills Southern California; bitter hot sour cold," or I forget.  You're probably smarter.  

Helen (coffeenoob) is right.  You have to "dial-in" temp for every coffee using your palate.  Everyone else is wrong.

Very light roasts, lighter than City, will tend to be "acidy," which can be interpreted as sour (and usually is actually sour, if you ask me), but that's the roast not the temp.  You can't adjust for inherent sourness by brewing the coffee hotter than the temp at which sours and bitters balance.  

The same is true for coffee roasted beyond Full City plus, i.e., they're inherently bitter (like burnt caramel), but brewing colder won't help -- any more than throwing vinegar into overcooked butterscotch would help that.    

Most coffees will do best somewhere in the 198 - 202F range.  But "most" is not all and neither is it "the vast majority."  You're going to have to taste.  199 - 200F is a good guess, though.  

It's likely that even after Mickey Mousing around with the offset adjustment for your PID, it won't read quite the same as an SCAA standard Scace Device -- so, unless you rent a Scace and calibrate your PID accordingly -- take all temps with a grain of salt.  You're going to have to taste.

Most people find that if they hit the sweet spot for most coffees within  +/- 1.5F (i.e., a range of 3F) that's plenty good enough.  The same "most people" (whomever the heck they are), find that a range of 5F is too much.  Temp surfed (whether reverse or regular), a Silvia without PID operates within an approximately 10F range; and hitting the sweet spot -- even with the best technique in the world -- is as much luck or skill.  

It's going to take you awhile before you develop your palate to the point where you can make reliable and accurate adjustments.  At first, you'll probably be unsure about what you're tasting and what adjustments you should make.  Even when you get it right, there'll be some doubt and you'll wonder if you should keep tweaking. Be patient.  Your confidence will improve with your sophistication.  

Most people find that bracketing is the most efficient method for dialing in. Always make adjustments large enough so that you can taste them.  Your first adjustment shouldn't be smaller than 6F.  After that, make each successive move smaller.  

The idea is to set up two shots with one definitely too sour, and the other definitely too bitter; then two shots where one is a little too sour and the other a little too bitter; then, split the difference.  Remember that if you're within +/- 1.5F of ideal, you're home.

You don't need to drink an entire shot to know if its been brewed too hot, too cold, or Goldilock's.  Pull the shot, mix it with a spoon (because the top and bottom won't taste alike), and taste a spoonful for bitter/sour.  A spoonful should be enough, but if you need another take another.  That's enough. Clear your palate between shots with water, or -- better yet -- plain soda water.

I've been doing this for a long time, taken classes, have a very responsive but stable machine, taught dozens of people how to dial in, yadda yadda.  It takes me at least three or four shots before I have temp, dose, and grind dialed in.  More if the equipment is unfamiliar.  It's probably going to take you a lot more runs at it for awhile.  

Be patient.  Bracket.  

Use LOTS of coffee, and LOTS of water.  You're not wasting, you're learning.  Learning to taste is the essence of making and enjoying good espresso.  You're not wasting, you're enhancing.

BDL
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Burner0000
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Jul 2011
Posts: 1,010
Location: Cambridge, Ontario Canada
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia, VFA Expres...
Grinder: Macap MX/VFA N1464/Kyocera...
Drip: Manual Drip, French Press
Roaster: Behmor 1600 / Sonofresco
Posted Thu Jan 23, 2014, 8:39am
Subject: Re: How to know what to adjust brew temp to based on bean, roast, profile
 

boar_d_laze Said:

Too hot makes it bitter.  Too cold makes it sour.  When I temp, I have to remind myself every time: "Beverly Hills Southern California; bitter hot sour cold," or I forget.  You're probably smarter.  

Helen (coffeenoob) is right.  You have to "dial-in" temp for every coffee using your palate.  Everyone else is wrong.

Very light roasts, lighter than City, will tend to be "acidy," which can be interpreted as sour (and usually is actually sour, if you ask me), but that's the roast not the temp.  You can't adjust for inherent sourness by brewing the coffee hotter than the temp at which sours and bitters balance.  

The same is true for coffee roasted beyond Full City plus, i.e., they're inherently bitter (like burnt caramel), but brewing colder won't help -- any more than throwing vinegar into overcooked butterscotch would help that.    

Most coffees will do best somewhere in the 198 - 202F range.  But "most" is not all and neither is it "the vast majority."  You're going to have to taste.  199 - 200F is a good guess, though.  

It's likely that even after Mickey Mousing around with the offset adjustment for your PID, it won't read quite the same as an SCAA standard Scace Device -- so, unless you rent a Scace and calibrate your PID accordingly -- take all temps with a grain of salt.  You're going to have to taste.

Most people find that if they hit the sweet spot for most coffees within  +/- 1.5F (i.e., a range of 3F) that's plenty good enough.  The same "most people" (whomever the heck they are), find that a range of 5F is too much.  Temp surfed (whether reverse or regular), a Silvia without PID operates within an approximately 10F range; and hitting the sweet spot -- even with the best technique in the world -- is as much luck or skill.  

It's going to take you awhile before you develop your palate to the point where you can make reliable and accurate adjustments.  At first, you'll probably be unsure about what you're tasting and what adjustments you should make.  Even when you get it right, there'll be some doubt and you'll wonder if you should keep tweaking. Be patient.  Your confidence will improve with your sophistication.  

Most people find that bracketing is the most efficient method for dialing in. Always make adjustments large enough so that you can taste them.  If your first cup is too sour, adjust the PID up by not less than five or six degrees.  Then, make each successive move smaller.  

You don't need to drink an entire shot to know if its been brewed too hot, too cold, or Goldilock's.  Pull the shot, mix it with a spoon (because the top and bottom won't taste alike), and taste a spoonful.  That's enough. Clear your palate between shots with water, or -- better yet -- plain soda water.

I've been doing this for a long time, taken classes, have a very responsive but stable machine, taught dozens of people how to dial in, yadda yadda.  It takes me at least three or four shots before I have temp, dose, and grind dialed in.  More if the equipment is unfamiliar.  It's going to take you more than that for awhile.  

Be patient.  Bracket.  

Use LOTS of coffee, and lots of water.  You're not wasting, you're learning.  

Learning to taste is the essence of making and enjoying good espresso.  You're not wasting, you're enhancing.

BDL

Posted January 23, 2014 link

Cool Thx BDL.  I got the "Lots of coffee" covered.  500g to mess with.
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Frost
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Frost
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Posted Thu Jan 23, 2014, 9:14pm
Subject: Re: How to know what to adjust brew temp to based on bean, roast, profile
 

There is a bit of Catch-22 where you are at with temping your machine. Until you can consistently pull shot after shot at 200F, you can't try a couple degrees warmer or cooler to compare (to what...?). Start with 200F, and rarely will you want or need to go beyond 197F or 203F.   Most 'temp surfing' will seldom hit this target.
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