Pfunk Senior Member Joined: 20 Jan 2002 Posts: 34 Location: So Cal Expertise: I love coffee
Posted Sat Dec 28, 2013, 11:53pm Subject: Clever brewing with lighter roasts
I've had issues brewing with my clever brewer since I've got it. I recently started doing a recipe that has yielded good results but only with darker roasts. I did some brews with charbucks beans and some fresh roasted Indonesian beans that were on the darker side, FC to FC+. I do a 1:15 coffee to water ratio, 200 degree brew water and I start the drawdown at about 3:20 giving me a total brew time of about 4 minutes. The grind I'm using is more coarse than drip but a little finer than press pot brewing, between the drip and elec perc dots on my bunn grinder.
With darker roasts the results are very good. Rich, sweet, clean tasting results. I've done some brews with a couple of different fresh roasted Ethiopian varieties that are lighter roasted and the brews were not very good however. The coffee was weaker in comparison. I'm not much of a taster yet but I believe the brews are sour tasting indicating an underextraction.
In the book Blue Bottle Coffee released they recommend for lighter roasts to go with hotter brew water, finer grind and using more coffee. I'm curious if anyone else has had the same findings in their brewing or has different techniques for light vs dark roast beans.
MWJB Senior Member Joined: 1 Jun 2013 Posts: 188 Location: UK Expertise: I like coffee
Grinder: Rocky, Lido, Porlex, Hario... Drip: Not enough room to list...
Posted Sun Dec 29, 2013, 5:39am Subject: Re: Clever brewing with lighter roasts
For lighter roasts, steep longer & grind finer. Forget 4 minutes contact time. Intermittently taste the steeping coffee off the top of the brewer, draw down when it tastes good. How long this takes will depend on your gind distribution size & grind quality...I'm using the older version Clever today (a little different to the new versions) but at 1 turn out on the Lido it took 20 minutes steep to brew a stunning cup of HasBean's Christmas filter blend. Could be +/- 10 minutes steep depending on your situation.
The newer Clever has a larger well under the filter paper than the old Clever or the Bonavita immersion cone, it acts more like a pourover at first if you add the coffee before the water. I like to eliminate the pourover situation by filling with 2/3 of the brew water as soon as it has stopped rolling from the boil, add coffee (30g), dunk to wet, add remaining brew water to fill, immediately sink any grinds at the surface with the back of a spoon, one light quick stir at the surface, cover & leave. Taste from about 10 mins in & draw down at your preference.
I don't figure the draw down time into the brew...it may have an effect... but you already have coffee above the bed at draw down, not water, so it shouldn't be picking up significant TDS on the way through. If it tastes good in the brewer, it will still taste good in the cup after draw down. Draw down may be 45secs, may be 3:30...depends on grind quality, either (and points in between) works.
A permanent 4 cup filter (in addition to the paper filter), like the Swissgold largely negates the impact of draw down as the brew can drain around the bed, via gap between filter & brewer wall, rather than through the grounds bed. You don't need to yank out the permanent filter as Nick Cho does in his Youtube video, it works just as well left in place.
Posted Sun Dec 29, 2013, 6:46am Subject: Re: Clever brewing with lighter roasts
...I'm using the older version Clever today (a little different to the new versions) but at 1 turn out on the Lido it took 20 minutes steep to brew a stunning cup of HasBean's Christmas filter blend. Could be +/- 10 minutes steep depending on your situation.
Coffee will still be 'hot' around 30 minutes, starts to really drop off past 35-40mins (50-60C). Use the lid, preheat the cups & draw down into a pre heated steel jug, rather than something that will eat up a lot of heat. Heat loss is a concern with the Clevers and with the Bonavita (most pertinent to beverage temp), just the lay of the land.
Double wall French presses and the Sowden Softbrew (porcelain) can do 40mins to an hour, no problem. Of course, you may hit your yield preference before that.
squaremile Senior Member Joined: 6 Jan 2011 Posts: 87 Location: Portlandia Expertise: Just starting
Posted Sun Dec 29, 2013, 2:46pm Subject: Re: Clever brewing with lighter roasts
If youre not interested in messing with the time or other parts of your formula, all you need to be doing is adjusting the grind. Based on what you are saying, go finer and keep adjusting until you like the results. Eventually youll get in the ballpark for your grinder and have some delicious cups.
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