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Random thoughts on extraction

May 24, 2012


Thankfully I got in my order from PT's yesterday and I got the Burundi that is featured on the front of the website right now, along with their Flying Monkey Espresso. I have yet to take a taste of the Flying Monkey blend, but have already had the opportunity to brew up the Burundi twice, once as a Hario v60 pour over and the other time in my auto brewer.



The Burundi, is excellent when I had it in the Hario v60 yesterday, only two days post roast! I was only really brewing up a taste of the coffee in large part for my curosity and because I only had Peet's in the morning. So I brewed up a 12 oz size in the Hario V60 02 dripper. I normally like to do 16 to 20 oz pour in the V60 02, I think it just makes it a little easier to get a good pour, but 12 oz is quite easy too.



So anyway, I dose 12 grams of coffee, which I ground a little finer than I normally due so I could get the pour on the v60 around that 3 minute mark of pouring. And it was probably along the lines of a medium to fine drip in terms of grind size. It turned out really well, nice body to the coffee with a good taste of dried fruit like rasin, very sweet, good times indeed.



However, this morning when brewing up my pot of auto-drip I decided to leave the grind the same as the previous day medium fine. The problem that I got tho this morning upon tasting my cup was an over extracted brew, just a slight bitter tannin taste, not enough to ruin the pot, but there it was none-the-less. This was caused because my auto-drip brewer (Bonavita) uses a melitta cone with one small hole, basically the water is contact with grounds a lot longer than the Hario v60 so the finer grind allowed for some undesirables to be extracted.



What this got me thinking is that there are kind of two types of schools of thinking in brewing coffee those that say to go as fine as you can go in grinding and the other thought over going coarse and increasing your dose of coffee. The more I thought about it, the more I thought it really just needs to go by taste and neither school of thought is really right or wrong.



The basic guidlines for taste that I have picked up from various websites like home-barista and coffeegeek.com are that when your water temps are good, and you get a sour coffee it's because you only got the acidic compounds out of the coffee not the sugars. Therefore, you should either downdose a little or grinder a litte finder to get those sugars out.



Now if you get bitter coffee it's because it's overextracted. So you either want to increase your dose or grind a little coarser or some combination thereof.



Really there is no right or wrong way to go about it, but as long as you have your water temp right then grinding is the next big thing that you need to adjust to make sure your coffee turns out well!






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