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Able Brewing's DISK Fine - Pre-production reviews and discussion

Postby jbviau on Sat Apr 07, 2012 10:51 pm

I managed to get my hands on one of these outside of Prima's generous giveaway, so I thought it would be appropriate to start a review thread as a supplement to the feedback about Able's DISK Fine that Prima will be collecting on their own site.

Here's a very quick first impression:

- They're not kidding when they say this is thin. I won't say it's insubstantial, but you can easily flex it between two fingers.

- The holes are tiny, as advertised. When I held the DISK Fine up to a light source, it seemed like a handful of holes were plugged, so I gave both sides a light scrubbing using a soft toothbrush. "Problem" solved. I felt I needed to do the same after I brewed a cup.

- The plunge struck me as a touch more effortful than usual. Nothing to worry about, I don't think.

- Here's a shot of the small amount of fine sediment I found at the bottom of my mug following round #1. I'd say it's about what I get using my Eva Solo + LIDO, but the coffee itself tasted more clarified. I would have been happy to drink this last sip.

Image

- This was using my standard recipe--17 g. coffee ground fairly coarse (1.625 turns CCW from zero on the LIDO), 210 g. water, steep for 1:30 inverted, finish plunging by 2:00. Next I'll probably brew uninverted and see what the drip-through is like.

- As for cup quality, it's there. Complicating things re: this judgment is the fact that I don't love the particular coffee I chose, Kuma's Burundi Gacokwe, in the Aeropress; it's better in the Eva Solo or as a pourover in the Beehouse. Still, I'm impressed. The DISK Fine got me closer to where I like to be with this Burundi than a standard paper Aeropress filter was able to.

More to follow soon...
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Postby jbviau on Sun Apr 08, 2012 1:12 pm

A few pics illustrating (a) how thin and bendy the DISK Fine is and (b) how many holes per opening in the cap are exposed (I count 19). Sadly, I don't own another version of the DISK to compare this one to concerning (a) and (b). Help, anyone?

Had good results with round #2 keeping everything the same but switching coffees to Ceremony's Ethiopia Kochere.

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Postby EricBNC on Sun Apr 08, 2012 2:47 pm

My hand made version looks similar - it will flex easily too.

Josh's Disc Fine on the left, my disc cut from a juicer screen on the right:

Image

jbviau wrote:A few pics illustrating (a) how thin and bendy the DISK Fine is and (b) how many holes per opening in the cap are exposed (I count 19). Sadly, I don't own another version of the DISK to compare this one to concerning (a) and (b). Help, anyone?

The original discs are much stiffer so less flexible than the one you show in your photo. I think in the most direct in front hole on my photo (third row from the bottom, fourth hole going left to right) I count 19 perforations too.
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Postby yakster on Sun Apr 08, 2012 3:59 pm

Here's a picture of my standard (008) DISK. Looks like a max of 7 holes showing in some of the openings. I'm looking forward to comparing this with the Fine DISK.

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Postby jbviau on Sun Apr 08, 2012 8:52 pm

Eric, the resemblance between the DISK Fine and your homemade version is uncanny! Nice work.

Chris, thanks, that's a very helpful comparison pic.

After I reverted today but before I plunged, I took a peek underneath the Aeropress to see how drippy the DISK Fine was. I didn't see much getting through at all, honestly, and this was with the coarser grind I described above. I'll double-check tomorrow using a glass mug and take a video, if possible.
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Postby primacoffee on Mon Apr 09, 2012 9:24 am

jbviau wrote:I managed to get my hands on one of these outside of Prima's generous giveaway, so I thought it would be appropriate to start a review thread as a supplement to the feedback about Able's DISK Fine that Prima will be collecting on their own site.


We were really excited that Able asked us to help give these new DISK's away and collect the reviews. They're a great company that is focused on creating better brewing products and it was generous of them to offer these as a test!

Thanks for sharing these pictures and your thoughts. It will be interesting to see what others have to say.
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Postby jbviau on Mon Apr 09, 2012 9:39 am

Absolutely! And thanks for organizing that giveaway, by the way.

I notice that on your site you compare the cup the DISK Fine gives you to a cloth-filtered cup. That has me curious to try one of the new cloth Aeropress filters you're offering; might have to pick one up.
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Postby jbviau on Mon Apr 09, 2012 11:44 pm

Tried a non-inverted Aeropress brew using the coarser grind. Added my water, stirred for 10 sec., inserted the plunger (pulling back up slightly) as quickly as I could, aaaaand...still ended up with a fat finger's worth of underextracted coffee in the mug before the drip-through stabilized. Too weak for me in the end post-plunge, though not entirely untasty. This is all documented on video, as promised, but watching drips for 1:30 isn't very exciting, in my opinion. YMMV with a finer grind. For the time being I'll be going back to inverted brewing when testing the DISK Fine.
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Postby Eastsideloco on Tue Apr 10, 2012 12:44 am

Tried a non-inverted Aeropress brew using the coarser grind. Added my water, stirred for 10 sec., inserted the plunger (pulling back up slightly) as quickly as I could, aaaaand...still ended up with a fat finger's worth of underextracted coffee in the mug before the drip-through stabilized.


Bloom the grounds first. Apply just enough water to wet the grounds and swell the grounds, but without any water passing through the grounds. Wait 15 or 20 seconds (about half the time you would for pourover) and then do the routine above. That should reduce the "leakage" you're describing.

If you're getting too much water passing through the disk before you press and too weak of a cup afterwards, then it sounds like you need to grind finer regardless. I'll often grind a bit finer for the Aeropress than I do for pourover. That being the case, I'm curious to see how the DISK Fine works with my current aeropress grind setting, since it probably is finer than average.
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Postby EricBNC on Tue Apr 10, 2012 9:48 am

jbviau wrote:Tried a non-inverted Aeropress brew using the coarser grind. Added my water, stirred for 10 sec., inserted the plunger (pulling back up slightly) as quickly as I could, aaaaand...still ended up with a fat finger's worth of underextracted coffee in the mug before the drip-through stabilized. Too weak for me in the end post-plunge, though not entirely untasty. This is all documented on video, as promised, but watching drips for 1:30 isn't very exciting, in my opinion. YMMV with a finer grind. For the time being I'll be going back to inverted brewing when testing the DISK Fine.

I do not stir using the disc this way - the flowing water provides plenty of agitation. Also, I insert the plunger at an angle as much as the design allows so it isn't forcing much water in the cup before I pull up to create the stabilizing vacuum.
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