Today I decided to release publicly one of the V60 videos from my Patreon. I plan to make a better quality video eventually for my blog, but in the meantime I thought this would be interesting to a wider audience. Please view this recent post I made about what is going on with Patreon if you are worried that I’m making some of my content access-restricted, and this previous blog post explains the method I use here in more details.
You can find a higher-resolution version of this video here, but be warned that it is 1.2 GB large !
In this video I’m brewing Gardelli’s Ethiopian natural Chiriku with a 1:17 ratio and 22 grams dose. I used grind setting 6.8, slightly finer than my usual 7.0@700RPM, because last time I brewed this coffee, it felt a bit watery. Turns out I preferred it at 6.8, and I rarely get astringency at that grind setting. I’ll tell you more about that in a different post, but I now suspect that the average mass of coffee particles is an important factor that determines channeling, because it has a lot to do with the structural integrity of the coffee bed. I therefore suspect that there is a lower limit in grind size that will get you some astringency very easily for a fixed brew technique; it corresponds to the point where channels are being dug by water. Most of the time I still use a 7.0 grind setting, just to be sure.
You will notice in this video that I spin a bit harder than I used to. This is partly because I was being too gentle especially in the first video, but it is also because I realized I have so little fines with the EG-1 grinder + SSP ultra low-fines burrs that fines migration is not as much of an issue compared to other grinders. I suggest to start very gentle, and then try more brews (with the same coffee) where you gradually spin a bit harder. If your brew time goes up significantly, then you might want to go a little easier to avoid fines migrating to the bottom of the brewer. You’ll have to find your own pace, as I suspect it depends (slightly) on the grinder you’re using; in general, a higher quality grinder should allow you to spin a bit harder.
I had pre-rinsed my Hario tabless filter before starting the video, first with a lot of tap water and then with a bit of warm brew water. The kettle was also preheated at 189F before I started the video. The first thing I do is weight and grind my beans – I weighed 22.3 grams and ground 1-2 beans to make sure nothing was stuck on the grinder burrs from yesterday’s brew. I then cleaned up my blind shaker and placed it back on for the main grind.
You’ll notice that during the bloom pour, I don’t concentrate too much on my pour technique: I move horizontally a bit too fast and I also move vertically which I ideally shouldn’t. Instead, I make sure I have high flow and to stop at the right amount. My goal here is to wet everything quickly rather than immediately getting a perfectly level bed. I’m also giving it a much more thorough spin after that pour because I found that helps with getting everything wet at once.
You can see that I spent a short amount of time removing the high & dry grounds with my pours, but otherwise I described a very slow flower pattern that hits the center more often than the sides. I’m trying to get the whole bed agitated by doing that, with more focus on the center because there’s more layers of coffee there. I move very slowly because I want the water to fall very straight (this helps getting a flat coffee bed), and I don’t move vertically. I try to get a very steady flow too, but that’s the part I’m still the worst at without the ability to measure it on-the-go.
When I spin after the first pour to 200 grams, you can see that two bubbles appeared. That is generally not a good sign, as it means some brew water just touched dry coffee. The fact that it happens while I was spinning tells me that I probably just destroyed a channel and forced the water to flow through dry coffee. That doesn’t mean the brew will necessarily be bad, but it means I could have done a better job during the bloom phase. It happens to me 5 times in the last 14 brews, so about a third of the time. This is one reason why I’d really like to have a plastic V60 brewer with a steep & release mechanism (I know about the Clever but I don’t like its shape); it would allow me to stop water from flowing during the bloom, and probably give me enough time & control that I would be comfortable with mixing the bloom with a small spoon.
If you wonder why I tap the cork lid before putting it on the V60, it’s not from an obsessive compulsive disorder, but rather to make sure that there’s no coffee grounds on it (or at least I like to tell myself that).
Notice how clear the water is at the end of the drawdown. This is because the EG-1 with SSP burrs produces a crazy small amount of fines at the optimal V60 grind size. It reminds me of when I experimented with the Melodrip, but now I get even after having agitated the coffee bed. If you pay attention at the end you’ll see that I stop the scale’s timer exactly when the reflection of light from water above the coffee bed ceases because water just went below the height of the coffee bed. I like to use this cue because it’s very repeatable, and it might help you compare your own brew times with mine more precisely.
At the end of the brew, I let the V60 drip a bit more into the beverage, then I place the V60 on top of a small glass and gently move it up and down to get a few more drips and measure the approximate TDS of the slurry at the end of the brew.
After that, I clean up the refractometer and measure the beverage TDS, but I make sure to taste it before looking at the TDS measurement, otherwise I found that it can affect my taste perception. Also notice how I mix the brew with a spoon before sampling it; this is better at mixing up all coffee layers than just spinning the brew.
I know the ending is a bit abrupt, sorry about that – my iPhone ran out of storage ! You just missed the brew TDS measurement. I’m starting to be more satisfied with this angle of view, so I’ll start thinking about how I can make a more complete brew video that I can eventually publish on my blog. I’ll make sure I don’t wear slippers for that one.
Here are the relevant measurements for this brew:
- Coffee: Gardelli Chiriku Ethiopian Natural
- Grind size: 6.8 at 700 RPM
- Ratio: 1:17
- Dose: 22 grams
- Water: 374 grams
- Bloom water weight: 77 grams
- Time at the end of first pour (200 grams): 1:08
- Time where second pour is initiated: 1:45
- Time at the end of second pour (374 grams): 2:20
- Total brew time: 4:03
- Beverage weight: 319.9 grams
- TDS of last drops: 0.94 %
- TDS of beverage: 1.43%
- Approximate EY (percolation equation): 20.8 %
- More accurate EY (general equation): 22.4%
I hope you enjoyed it, and don’t hesitate to leave a comment if you have questions.
I’d like to thank Scott Rao for his tremendous help in improving my pour over technique. The method above is also strongly inspired from his method !