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Discussions > Coffee > Q and A > AeroPress...  
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pvblack
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Joined: 20 Oct 2012
Posts: 2
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Sat Oct 20, 2012, 12:56am
Subject: AeroPress Solubles Concentration
 

After my friend sold me on it, I bought a shiny new AeroPress the other day.  I've searched a lot, and I've seen one or two studies on pushing the envelope of extraction numbers with an AeroPress (including one on here), but there just doesn't seem to be that much good data out there.

My question is this: What is the practical limit to the TDS concentration in coffee brewed with an AeroPress?  I've mostly read about people using relatively low brew ratios (15g of coffee/270g of water), but I've also read about and tried much higher brew ratios (24 g of coffee/120g of water).  At these higher brew ratios, does extraction fall off?

I'd love to be able to press, say, 60g of water through 20g of coffee at 20% extraction.  Accounting for water trapped in the puck, this is likely to yield a final volume of about 40g or so, leading to a final TDS concentration of about 10%.  Something tells me there has to be some limit, some reason this won't work.  What is the limit,  and how do I push this limit?

Thanks for your help.  I'm not just completely new to brewing my own coffee—I'm completely new to drinking coffee at all.  I never liked it when I was younger because I never knew you could get stronger concentrations of coffee.  All I ever knew was my parents' standard black drip coffee, which I never really like.  Then I recently discovered espresso when I was trying to stay awake on a long drive.  I still don't really find coffee palatable unless it is at that concentration or close to it, and I'm trying to find a relatively inexpensive means of producing that thick, black, super-concentrated sludge.  (*salivating*)  If anyone could tell me how to get close to this at home on the cheap, I'd be most grateful.
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jpender
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jpender
Joined: 11 Jul 2011
Posts: 712
Location: California
Expertise: I like coffee

Grinder: OE LIDO
Vac Pot: S/S Moka Pot
Drip: Aeropress
Posted Sat Oct 20, 2012, 6:08pm
Subject: Re: AeroPress Solubles Concentration
 

pvblack Said:

My question is this: What is the practical limit to the TDS concentration in coffee brewed with an AeroPress?  I've mostly read about people using relatively low brew ratios (15g of coffee/270g of water), but I've also read about and tried much higher brew ratios (24 g of coffee/120g of water).  At these higher brew ratios, does extraction fall off?

I'd love to be able to press, say, 60g of water through 20g of coffee at 20% extraction.  Accounting for water trapped in the puck, this is likely to yield a final volume of about 40g or so, leading to a final TDS concentration of about 10%.  Something tells me there has to be some limit, some reason this won't work.  What is the limit,  and how do I push this limit?

Posted October 20, 2012 link

Paging Netphilosopher....


With an infusion brew method the "water trapped in the puck" will actually be coffee at about the same strength as what you press into your mug. So in estimating the strength you have to take that into account. In your example of 20g of coffee at 20% extraction and 60g of water you'd expect a strength of about 6.7% (0.20*20g/60g). So to maximize strength you'd want to maximize the brew ratio. Your yield would suffer horribly and you might have problems attaining 20% extraction with so much coffee and so little water. It begs the question why you would want to maximize strength like this in the first place. It certainly can't be to save money on coffee!
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Netphilosopher
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Joined: 14 Jan 2011
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Posted Sun Oct 21, 2012, 11:43am
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Netphilosopher
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Posted Sun Oct 21, 2012, 11:56am
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jpender
Senior Member
jpender
Joined: 11 Jul 2011
Posts: 712
Location: California
Expertise: I like coffee

Grinder: OE LIDO
Vac Pot: S/S Moka Pot
Drip: Aeropress
Posted Sun Oct 21, 2012, 6:09pm
Subject: Re: AeroPress Solubles Concentration
 

pvblack Said:

My question is this: What is the practical limit to the TDS concentration in coffee brewed with an AeroPress?

Posted October 20, 2012 link

Well, I was expecting Netphilosopher to have a ready answer to this question.

As the coffee/water ratio goes up the brew temperature will fall off which will affect the extraction. So the optimal brew ratio to maximize strength is likely something less than an Aeropress packed tight with finely ground coffee and a minimal amount of boiling water poured into it.

The recipe for the strongest Aeropress coffee -- maybe you could offer a prize and make it into a contest?
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Netphilosopher
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Posted Sun Oct 21, 2012, 6:54pm
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pvblack
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Joined: 20 Oct 2012
Posts: 2
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Tue Oct 23, 2012, 10:03am
Subject: Re: AeroPress Solubles Concentration
 

Yes, I have since studied the gospel according to NetPhilosopher.  The experiment I keep coming back to is this: http://coffeegeek.com/forums/coffee/machines/531585#531585

That's where NetPhilosopher simmered his coffee at near-boiling (probably about 205­°F) for about 2 minutes.  I don't see this as "impractical".  It's only slightly more trouble than brewing inverted for 2 minutes, provided one has a gas stove (not an electric—more fine heat control).  And it's certainly less trouble than using a real espresso machine.  But this method yields what seemed to me to be bitter and overextracted results.  Perhaps I got a little too close to the boil.

Btw, I'm not trying to save coffee lol.  If I wanted to get the most coffee for my buck, I'd just use a French Press.  I like very strong, thick, sludgy, ristretto-esque coffee (though I'm certainly not full enough of myself to ask a barista for a ristretto).  I was wondering how to get the shortest, most concentrated "pull" out of an AeroPress.

If I could reproduce NetPhilosopher's stovetop-simmer method without scalding the brew, I'd say NetPhilosopher would have to take the prize for strongest AeroPress coffee recipe.  His method solves the problem of insufficient thermal mass at higher brew ratios.  But I figured at some point the water has a limit to how much solute it can take on at (slightly above) atmospheric pressure.  If you go too high on the brew ratio, at some point your extraction percentage must drop off, as NetPhilosopher observed in his/her earlier experiment.
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Netphilosopher
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Location: USA
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Tue Oct 30, 2012, 1:40pm
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