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Improving Hario V60 pourover... help with making it slower

Postby irrelevancy on Mon Aug 08, 2011 1:26 am

Hi all

I've been working on my V60 pourover technique, and am doing what scott rao recommends in his book Everything but Espresso (ie: 4-5 short pours slowly over the entire brewing time).

The problem I have is that the water filters through too quickly....I usually get a steeping time of 2 minutes, when I'm aiming for over 3 minutes. This results in a thin, weak coffee with little flavor or body.

I've tried to compensate by grinding finer (on my vario), but it doesn't make a difference at all. Additionally, my coffee has started to develop an astringent, unpleasant taste. I assume this is from the fine grind. I've been using a 1:15-17 brew ratio, and typically make a 250ml cup in my 2cup v60 cone (which I have heard is fine to use).

Can someone tell me how to slow down the process (especially since I need to coarsen up the grind to match the extraction)?

Thanks
Sing
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Postby Boldjava on Mon Aug 08, 2011 7:33 am

I am wondering about your pour technique. I use the Hario V60 (and the Beehouse) and usually run about 2:45 on pours. I use the Hario kettle and have a very slow, consistent pour. Excellent cups. I don't use Rao's technique. His sounds like 4-5 "dumps" though I haven't read it lately. I use a slow circular pour, just keeping the grounds cresting as I pour, staying away from the outer edge.

I have used several grinds and find a medium drip grind works best. Make sure you are rinsing the filter with boiling water. You didn't mention filters. I use only Melitta whites or Coava Kone based on our pourover throwdown:

http://coffeegeek.com/forums/coffee/mac...196#512196

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Postby endlesscycles on Mon Aug 08, 2011 9:05 am

If you are using a kettle to add water, then you have complete control over brew time.
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Postby chang00 on Mon Aug 08, 2011 10:12 am

You could insert something like this at the junction of the spout and kettle body:

http://www.espressoparts.com/w_378
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Postby irrelevancy on Mon Aug 08, 2011 12:05 pm

endlesscycles wrote:If you are using a kettle to add water, then you have complete control over brew time.


I don't understand how this can be done. The trouble is that to keep the water level constant, I need to keep pouring at a particular replacement rate, but that particular rate causes my 250ml of water to finish by 2 minutes....
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Postby cannonfodder on Mon Aug 08, 2011 12:40 pm

Easy fix. Grind finer. A finer grind will slow the water flow but also requires a shorter steep time. I run a 1.5 min steep on my French press. In fact I think I get a better cup with a finer grind and shorter steep than a coarser grind and longer steep. Could be due to lack of over extraction of the fines when using a fine grind and short steep.
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Postby CrayonShinchan on Mon Aug 08, 2011 2:36 pm

You don't mention how much finer you're going on your Vario, but we'll presume it's not fine enough. As cannonfodder says above, grind finer.

Also, how much coffee are you using? Less coffee will give you faster brew times and more coffee will give you longer brew times. You want to adjust your grind when you change coffee quantity to mitigate under/over extraction. Sometimes brew ratios become moot if you're using too little or too much coffee for the pourover device you're using.
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Postby endlesscycles on Mon Aug 08, 2011 7:29 pm

irrelevancy wrote:I don't understand how this can be done. The trouble is that to keep the water level constant, I need to keep pouring at a particular replacement rate, but that particular rate causes my 250ml of water to finish by 2 minutes....


Don't worry about water level being constant, then. In fact, there is some argument to letting it drain completely before pouring again. Also, grind finer.
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Postby finbad on Tue Aug 09, 2011 5:47 pm

To vary the speed of percolation using a Hario v60 I vary the 'fullness' to which I fill the cone during brewing

For example - to brew a single cup, to increase the brewing time I brew while only filling the cone perhaps 2/3 full - so the ratio of grounds to brew water is higher - I can't see exactly what's going on but after brewing a greater depth of coffee is left in contact with the filter - I imagine during brewing this serves to slow the process of percolation of water from a centre-pour to the edges where it will then pass through the filter.

For 2-3 cups I 'stretch' the grounds right up to the very top of the filter paper, which allows a faster rate of percolation, and a thinner layer of grounds in between the brew water and the filter paper.

Hope this technique can help you with influencing brew time while keeping grind size fairly consistent - I use this technique now because extending brew time by using a really fine grind doesn't result in a good tasting cup for me.
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Postby parkerto on Wed Aug 10, 2011 1:14 pm

All very good advice to better understand the relationship between grind and volume to produce brew time with the pour over technique. I use this technique as well and it produces a great cup. The way I learned how to use this technique well is by using the iPod app that Intelligentsia created. Do you have an iPod/iPhone/iPad? This app is priceless because it is free and because it has a brew timer with full on weight and distribution instructions on each brew method they recommend too include the V60 pour over. Great education and great fun way to learn about the variance of coffee based on how you manipulate specific situations in each brew method. Check it out!
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