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uRabbit
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Jan 2013
Posts: 53
Location: Seattle, WA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Silvia V3 + PID
Grinder: Baratza Vario, Hario Mini
Drip: Chemex, AeroPress, Wave,...
Posted Thu Mar 7, 2013, 7:17am
Subject: What's going on here? Can't refine Chemex?
 

Chemex 6-cup
Bodum Bistro Burr Grinder
Bonavita gooseneck
Square natural filters
Filtered water
Coffee roasted within 15 days at MAX
Dose - 21g : 350mL
Yield - ~266mL

I am having trouble getting this Chemex dialed-in, still, after almost 40 brews. I keep a coffee log, so I know what to change or keep. Trouble is, I'm just not sure that's doing it...

This morning, it is underextracted. Other mornings, it'll be bitter. Yesterday, it was almost perfect; first brew from new roast, roasted on the 4th.

Some people said our bloom wasn't being given enough time, so I have stepped it up from 45s to almost a minute. The same people also said our grind was too fine so I stepped that up from an 8/12 to a 9.5/12. So, obviously, the brews are quicker, but I'm not sure that it has really changed the brews at all. Yesterday, we ground at this new setting as well, and it was a great cup.

My pour times are generally the same. Yesterday I did a 56s pour, but this morning it was 1m 5s (yet this morning it was underextracted). Not really sure what is going on here. :(

edit: Opinions were based off of the video posted here.

 
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Netphilosopher
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Joined: 14 Jan 2011
Posts: 1,602
Location: USA
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Thu Mar 7, 2013, 11:13am
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micvog
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Oct 2012
Posts: 19
Location: Wisconsin
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: None
Grinder: OE LIDO 1, Bodum Bistro...
Vac Pot: None
Drip: AeroPress, Beehouse, Chemex
Roaster: None
Posted Thu Mar 7, 2013, 12:15pm
Subject: Re: What's going on here? Can't refine Chemex?
 

I use nearly the same set-up - a Chemex 8-cup with oxygenated filters, a Bodum Bistro Burr grinder and the Bona-vita variable temperature electric kettle.

I would suggest the following:

Grind finer.  I have had better luck using the pour-over icon on the Bodum when doing a single mug; it sounds like you may be two settings coarser?  If I am doing enough for two mugs, I will set it at the pour-over icon plus 1.

Less blooming.  I understand that once your coffee starts deflating you can start pouring.  Is your coffee blooming for 45s-60s?  I am usually <30s.

Pour slowly with pauses.  I have seen videos on H-B and at Intelligentsia that seem to imply you can just "dump and drain" with the thicker Chemex filter.  That hasn't been my experience.  I need to be slow and deliberate and take brief pauses every 100g of water or so, and not letting the water get much higher than the initial level of the grounds.

Drink more.  We typically consume our coffee 3-10 days after it was roasted.  After that I can taste a difference - not necessarily bitter but the flavors are off.  15 days may be aggressive.
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uRabbit
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Jan 2013
Posts: 53
Location: Seattle, WA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Silvia V3 + PID
Grinder: Baratza Vario, Hario Mini
Drip: Chemex, AeroPress, Wave,...
Posted Thu Mar 7, 2013, 2:16pm
Subject: Re: What's going on here? Can't refine Chemex?
 

Netphilosopher - I'm not sure what you said. Lots of technical jargin! I think you were saying to pour at the same rate it extracts?

Micvog - I will try that, though it seems quite fine! Today when I brewed 45g:710mL twice (for guys at work), it turned out really well! Grind was at 9.5/12 (to the right side). And it seemed to get pretty clogged up after the second pour for some reason. Took about five minutes!

So I guess I'm still missing something here. "/

 
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Lee_M
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Lee_M
Joined: 2 Dec 2012
Posts: 51
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: I live coffee

Grinder: Baratza Encore
Drip: V60
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Posted Thu Mar 7, 2013, 3:02pm
Subject: Re: What's going on here? Can't refine Chemex?
 

Are you controlling water temperature?
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Netphilosopher
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Location: USA
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Thu Mar 7, 2013, 4:30pm
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uRabbit
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Jan 2013
Posts: 53
Location: Seattle, WA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Silvia V3 + PID
Grinder: Baratza Vario, Hario Mini
Drip: Chemex, AeroPress, Wave,...
Posted Thu Mar 7, 2013, 4:59pm
Subject: Re: What's going on here? Can't refine Chemex?
 

Brewing at 200F, always.

Okay, so what should the times be for contact? I have been doing 45-sec blooms and 1-minute pours, resulting in 3-3:45 total brews (contact time). I guess this would be immersion?

So, I should be blooming, and then pouring for the remaining 3-3:45?

 
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Netphilosopher
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Joined: 14 Jan 2011
Posts: 1,602
Location: USA
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Thu Mar 7, 2013, 5:19pm
Subject: ...
 

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uRabbit
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Jan 2013
Posts: 53
Location: Seattle, WA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Silvia V3 + PID
Grinder: Baratza Vario, Hario Mini
Drip: Chemex, AeroPress, Wave,...
Posted Thu Mar 7, 2013, 5:48pm
Subject: Re: What's going on here? Can't refine Chemex?
 

Interesting! We are headed out the door right now to go grocery shopping, but will be reading and watching those when we return.

More questions, however:
- So, all your pours are pretty much equal to your bloom pour? But if you're pouring just as the receding level reaches the top of the grounds, doesn't that mean that you're adding water higher than the grounds? So confusing. >.< edit: The video answers this. :)
- What is your typical total brew time? 4:30-ish?

Thanks so much for all your help! I really try to be a min/maxer (<-- gaming term; hope you understand!), and getting the occasional sour cup is just not acceptable to me. :D

 
Purista Coffee Co. - Blog, Reviews, Culture, More.
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Netphilosopher
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jan 2011
Posts: 1,602
Location: USA
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Fri Mar 8, 2013, 7:54am
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