You followed our V60 recipe, but your brew still keeps coming out flat. What gives? If you’ve followed a brewing recipe such as our V60 recipe, but your brew still doesn’t taste right, there’s a good chance that getting your grind right may be the solution.
When brewing coffee, there are many important variables. Some of the key variables in brewing are:
- Dose in: The amount, in grams, of coffee that you put in your brewer.
- Grind: The particle size of the ground coffee.
- Volume: The ‘out’ or final weight of the brew, in grams.
- Time: The total time it takes from the first drop of water that touches the grounds bed until the last drop leaves it.
- Water: The quality and source of your water matters, and so does the temperature! 75-250ppm TDS is the ideal TDS for brewing water. 195-205*F is ideal temperature for brewing.
Since our V60 recipe takes into account dose in, volume, time, and brew temperature, grind size and water quality are the most important variables to troubleshoot if your brew tastes off. Today, we’ll talk about how getting your grind right might be a step in the right direction.
How does grind size influence brewing?
The particle size of coffee grounds directly correlates with the surface area of the coffee grounds. If the surface area of a coffee is too small, it’s difficult for liquid to pass through it (think of water passing through a handful of sand). This can lead to over-extraction. On the flip-side, if the surface area is too large, it allows for too much liquid to pass through (think of water passing through a handful of gravel–it passes much more quickly through a handful of gravel than liquid through a handful of a sand). This can lead to under-extraction.
Since settings vary by manufacturer and model, it’s important to be able to troubleshoot grind-size problems by taste.
Too ‘strong’ and bitter?
Coffees that are brewed with coffee that is too finely ground taste ‘strong,’ bitter, and concentrated. If it tastes too ‘strong’ and concentrated, your coffee might be over-extracted (you don’t want to extract everything in the coffee). Try making the grind size slight coarser.
Unlike coffees that are brewed too finely, coffees that are brewed with coffee that is too coarsely ground taste ‘weak,’ watery, and possibly sour. If your coffee tastes watery, it might be under-extracted. This means it left behind some of the goodness that lends to a balanced cup, rather than imparting them in the brew. Try making the grind size slightly finer.
As follows are general grind guidelines. Settings on grinders vary by manufacturer and model.
- Turkish: Finest Grind (nearly powder)
- Espresso (For most at home espresso machines): Fine Grind
- Aeropress: Fine Grind
- Refillable K-Cups (For Keurig machines): Fine to Medium Fine Grind
- V60: Medium Fine Grind
- Cone: Medium Grind
- Flat (For flat bottom drip coffee makers): Medium Grind
- Chemex: Medium Coarse Grind
- Clever: Medium Coarse Grind
- Percolator: Coarsest Grind
- French Press: Coarsest Grind
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