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Hello all, new here with some Q's about dialing in French Press
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MWJB
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Joined: 1 Jun 2013
Posts: 179
Location: UK
Expertise: I like coffee

Grinder: Rocky, Lido, Porlex, Hario...
Drip: Not enough room to list...
Posted Tue Feb 11, 2014, 2:38am
Subject: Re: Hello all, new here with some Q's about dialing in French Press
 

Goldensncoffee Said:

MWJB- I just got done doing some test grinds with the skerton. I was about 1 1/2 turns out this am, where the grind size was inconsistent. I have it around 3/4 turn out now and the particles seem much more uniform in size. A lot smaller though. Tomorrow morning I will try this finer grind with the same steep time. I have a few questions. Is the only reason people grind coarse with a press, because of solids in the cup? What happens extraction wise when you have a finer grind? Also what happens to taste with a longer steep in general?.

Posted February 10, 2014 link

Yes, I guess the main reason for brewing coarse in a French press is to stop particles from being blown through the mesh into your beverage during the plunge & to keep silt down in the cup. After initial wetting, I don't disturb the coffee bed, hopefully all the grinds have sunk and stay in the bottom of the press. I get comparatively little silt in my French press brews, just a light dusting at the bottom of the cup (typically a fine drip grind). If you're worried about overextraction, it's very unlikely - coffee steeped in a French press is unlikely to get much past 22% immersion yield, maybe 23% tops? I often find it preferable at maximum extraction, 22% +/- 0.5% (but tasting as you go, allows you to pick preference points, some folks like their coffee brighter, as do I from time to time & certain coffees). The worst thing that can happen with a longer steep is that your coffee goes cold...and if your coffee is well extracted, being cold is not always a bad thing.

Don't go by/stick to steep time, different coffees, different grinders may shift ideal steep time from on situation to another, go by taste.
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Goldensncoffee
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Goldensncoffee
Joined: 9 Feb 2014
Posts: 77
Location: Pennsylvania
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Breville Smart, Skerton
Posted Tue Feb 11, 2014, 7:26pm
Subject: Re: Hello all, new here with some Q's about dialing in French Press
 

MWJB-

Just wanted to thank you for your advice on fine grinding. My coffee this morning was awesome. I couldn't believe I only had a small amount of silt in the bottom of the cup too. I'm so happy with my french press. Its like a whole new world of coffee. I can't wait to try some different coffees out of it now that I have more knowledge on how to use it. Anything you would recommend I should try?
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MWJB
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Jun 2013
Posts: 179
Location: UK
Expertise: I like coffee

Grinder: Rocky, Lido, Porlex, Hario...
Drip: Not enough room to list...
Posted Tue Feb 11, 2014, 9:05pm
Subject: Re: Hello all, new here with some Q's about dialing in French Press
 

Good news! :-)

Just keep trying out different steep times, fine tuning ratios (I like 18:1, but that's more a personal thing), try adding the water first (30s off boil), then the coffee & keep folding it in gently (careful not to overflow the pot & not so much "stirring", more dunking) with the back of a spoon until all is sunk & you just have some tan foam at the top of the pot, submerge with the plunger, cover & steep.

Try secondary filtering a proportion of the brew through an Aeropress, or a Melitta style cone with a white Filtropa paper for better clarity (especially the last, siltiest, part of the brew - the first part shouldn't really need it & the whole brew will clog the paper & take an age to drip through, an Espro press may render this part redundant) can be interesting to compare & get a bit more clarity, but more stuff to clean up after. ;-)

If you're asking which coffees to try, the French press is a great leveller, simple but consistent & very effective, just about any coffee (recently roasted) should give good results.
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