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CraigA
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Posted Fri Aug 17, 2012, 8:10am
Subject: Re: Aerobie Aeropress
 

Great to see you back Alan! {;-)

 
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AlanAdler
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Espresso: AeroPress
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Posted Fri Aug 17, 2012, 8:36am
Subject: Re: Aerobie Aeropress
 

Greetings Netphilosopher,

It's a pleasure to read a post which doesn't shy away from math.

I agree with your math.  Good work.

Regarding extraction percent in general, I'd like to make some comments:

I measure extraction to evaluate various brewing schemes.  I find it a valuable measure of brewing methods.

But I've found that it's not helpful to evaluate the tastiness of the brew.  Shortly after the introduction of the AeroPress I measured extraction by the laborious process of drying and weighing the spent grounds.  (Later I found the much easier process that we use now).  At that time I was measuring 15% extraction and believed that this low extraction was the reason why AeroPress brew was less bitter and less acidic.  I viewed 15% with pride.

But as time went on, I learned how to better use my own invention.  Specifically, I learned the art of pressing gently.  Pressing gently permitted me to use finer grinds and to achieve up to 25% extraction, yet the brew tasted just as smooth and sweet.

So, my current thinking is that high extraction is not detrimental to flavor if the brewing temperature and time are not excessive.

Best regards,

Alan
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Netphilosopher
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Posted Fri Aug 17, 2012, 12:47pm
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Netphilosopher
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Posted Fri Aug 17, 2012, 12:59pm
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paulbel
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Posted Fri Aug 17, 2012, 1:32pm
Subject: Re: Aerobie Aeropress
 

Alan,

I can't weigh in with the math stuff, but i am curious about your "pressing gently" comment.  How does this affect the brew, except to the extent that while pressing gently the grounds stay in the water a little longer?  I don't imagine that there's any significant effect from any variation of pressure.
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AlanAdler
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Posted Fri Aug 17, 2012, 3:14pm
Subject: Re: Aerobie Aeropress
 

paulbel Said:

Alan,

I can't weigh in with the math stuff, but i am curious about your "pressing gently" comment.  How does this affect the brew, except to the extent that while pressing gently the grounds stay in the water a little longer?  I don't imagine that there's any significant effect from any variation of pressure.

Posted August 17, 2012 link

Hi Paul,

You're right, pressure doesn't affect the brew directly.  But pressing gently allows finer grind.  Before I learned the art of pressing gently, I was pressing fine grinds hard enough to choke the flow, so I was avoiding finer grinds.

One I learned to use finer grinds they yielded increased extraction, but without increased bitterness or acidity because I continued to use 175F water.

Although the press time is extended somewhat with finer grinds, the brew is still sweet.  

Alan
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AlanAdler
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AlanAdler
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Posted Fri Aug 17, 2012, 3:20pm
Subject: Re: Aerobie Aeropress
 

Netphilosopher Said:

One other note, Alan - I find that my general limit for immersion brews (CCD, AP, Press Pot and the like) is around 21.5% - much more than that and I get significant bitterness, some coffees can be pushed a half percent higher with the standard calculation for immersion (generally those that are lighter roast and/or fresher).

22% plus and even my wife (who's always my blind taster :D ) picks up the "roasty-ness" or "bitter" bite - even with lower temps and extremely fine grind and long contact times.

Sorry - quick edit:  the other thing I've noticed is that there is a tolerance for extraction based on the consumed strength - with the AeroPress, it seems that consuming at much higher than normal strength (say well above 2.2%) can enable 22% extraction or slightly higher to be taste acceptable, but then become bitter if diluted to 1.3% strength.  It's as if the stronger concentration has some masking properties.  

This phenomenon seems to be only with the higher extractions - something extracted to 18.2% with the AP (or other immersion brew methods) isn't bitter, independent of strength.

Posted August 17, 2012 link

How long are your "long contact times"?

You also wrote, "but then become bitter if diluted to 1.3% strength".  I've not experienced that.  In fact I posted years ago that adding water is almost like adding sugar which elicited concurring responses.  But I'm also sure that different individuals have different taste responses.

Tell me about your coffee and the degree of roast.

Best,

Alan
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onestep
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Posted Fri Aug 17, 2012, 3:45pm
Subject: Re: Aerobie Aeropress
 

AlanAdler Said:

How long are your "long contact times"?

You also wrote, "but then become bitter if diluted to 1.3% strength".  I've not experienced that.  In fact I posted years ago that adding water is almost like adding sugar.

Tell me about your coffee and the degree of roast.

Best,

Alan

Posted August 17, 2012 link

Both please consider the one other major ingredient, the water.  What are you both using?  Mineral and chemical contents could greatly effect taste.
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AlanAdler
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AlanAdler
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Location: Palo Alto, Calif
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Espresso: AeroPress
Grinder: Baratza - Virtuoso
Roaster: Fresh Roast SR-500
Posted Fri Aug 17, 2012, 6:40pm
Subject: Re: Aerobie Aeropress
 

"Both please consider the one other major ingredient, the water.  What are you both using?  Mineral and chemical contents could greatly effect taste."

I use tap water.  It tastes good.  Once at an SCAA convention I tried brewing with some specially treated water which was being marketed to cafe owners.  But I could not detect a difference between that and the local (Charlotte, NC) tap water.

Alan
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Netphilosopher
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Posted Fri Aug 17, 2012, 6:47pm
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