Recently I bought a few IR thermometers. Their instructions say they are not accurate on liquids, but I found one ("Extech Dual Laser") which could be adjusted to read liquids accurately. It's no faster than dipping a thermocouple, but a tad cleaner.
Curious. I looked at those links you posted above. The value of 0.67 @ 100°F is reproduced on many web sites but I also found web sites that contradicted this and stated that the 100°F emissivity is 0.93 or 0.96. That second link I couldn't quite understand but it appears to be a graph of reflectance not emissivity. With zero transmission that would imply emissivity of 0.95 or above regardless of angle of incidence. The IR thermometers I found specs for read in the 8-14µm range.
That's interesting that some of the manufacturers warn that measuring liquids might be inaccurate. One maker (Scigene) recommends using a cup of cold water to verify the accuracy of the device!
In the case of your 175°F cup of coffee maybe the condensing droplets of steam coming off the surface are affecting the measurement. The steam droplets would be somewhat colder than the coffee. Could that explain why you need to adjust the emissivity downward? I'd love to play with an IR thermometer (or better still an IR camera), but usually I measure my coffee with a cheap probe thermometer. When I want better accuracy I have a $13 thermistor that's good to ±0.1°C.
I was looking for some information about the Aeropress yesterday and came across this photo:
I just found this thread and while I'm sure I've missed a lot, I'd be grateful for some basic info. I just received an Aeropress as a gift and made a couple of cups this morning. I typically use a 32 oz. French press with about 7 scoops of beans in a 2 TBSP scoop and let it steep for six minutes. I always add milk and sugar, too. I get strong, flavorful, smooth coffee.
After following the written directions and adding water to what the Aeropress brewed, the coffee was pretty good, but blander than I like it. Should I just experiment using more coffee, more water, ? I roast my own beans so I know the coffee is fresh.
Thanks for your help and patience.
Oh, and Alan, I think the Aeropress is one of the absolute most elegant, sparse and functional devices I've ever seen.
The Aeropress works best with finer grinds, shorter immersion times (and, arguably cooler water) and tends toward smoother coffee in my experience. If you're finding it bland that may be because you like the kind of flavour you get from letting the grounds sit in the water in the French Press for a rather long time.
I'd suggest starting with getting your grind as fine as possible. Then, increase the stirring and pressing time (and that might entail using hotter water). Try adding less hot water at the end. And finally experiment with the roast. I personally find the AP shines with lighter roasts, but that might not be to your taste.
I like that picture of the somewhat younger and also somewhat more haired Adler tossing his iconic flying disk. That is very much like the Aeropress, although one can't literally toss it (as much as I wish it were otherwise).
I have accidentally clicked on the first page of this thread many times and re-read Zeb Wagner's initial post. It more or less said it all in just a few hundred words.
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