4:6 Method Agitation

Coffee preparation techniques besides espresso like pourover.
Jeff001

#1: Post by Jeff001 »

I've been experimenting with several different pour over methods lately, mostly Hoffmann's, Gagne's, and the 4:6 Method.

Most involve swirling or mixing the slurry during the bloom phase, however the 4:6 does not. It's my understanding that not only does stirring or swirling the slurry ensure all the grounds are wet at the same time but it also helps to destroy channels providing for more even extraction. My question is how does the 4:6 method not require this without causing it uneven extraction or excessive channeling.

lukehk
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#2: Post by lukehk »

I'll take a stab at this but it's just a guess. The 4:6 uses a coarse grind which I think it's easier to saturate the grounds evenly. Patrick Rolf does not stir or swirl and uses a coarser grind too. George Howell kalita 185 recipe does not and I've had excellent results on that. Again I tend to use a coarser grind. I am fully prepared to be corrected though. I don't think on these methods maximum extraction is the goal.

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baldheadracing
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#3: Post by baldheadracing »

The much coarser grind used in the 4:6 method reduces the risk of channeling (assuming that the grinder is capable).

Jeff001 (original poster)

#4: Post by Jeff001 (original poster) »

Ohhh right! That makes sense. Come to think of it, I may have forgotten to coarsen up the grind a few times when switching between methods which explains the random over extracted batches.

It's such an interesting way to brew. What temperatures do you aim for, assuming using light roasted beans?

DamianWarS
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#5: Post by DamianWarS »

Jeff001 wrote:I've been experimenting with several different pour over methods lately, mostly Hoffmann's, Gagne's, and the 4:6 Method.

Most involve swirling or mixing the slurry during the bloom phase, however the 4:6 does not. It's my understanding that not only does stirring or swirling the slurry ensure all the grounds are wet at the same time but it also helps to destroy channels providing for more even extraction. My question is how does the 4:6 method not require this without causing it uneven extraction or excessive channeling.
not doing any sort of bloom will result in the water going under the coffee bed and the coffee will float on top, like in immersion brewing. extraction is happening just more from diffusion than percolation. when you bloom, the coffee doesn't float and it may get agitated from the pour but generally wants to be at the bottom, and coffee is extracted mainly from percolation and this is where channels and a greater amount of bypass can happen. the skip the bloom method won't be as effective as an immersion brew because water is constantly escaping but it will still work and it produces a different kind of cup, generally with lower TDS but sweeter.

with the 4:6 method it does use a coarser grinder which will direct the water through the coffee bed more effectively but the first pour effectively is acting as the bloom and the second pour like another bloom. I see the method as a double bloom method without manual agitation (in the first 40%) then the remaining pours (60%) where the percolation happens.

There however a style of coffee common in "the east" with no blooms or partial blooms, pulse pouring and center pours. where in "the west" there is this locked in system of bloom, dilution and drawdown phases where Hoffmann, Rao and Perger make these instructions that are repeatable and effective for the masses. it's more of a cultural difference where the west wants to demystify the process and make it transparent so everyone can do it the same way. the east has an approach where the process is as valued as much as the product which results in methods with more steps and can be generally more complex and often easier to mess up. the pouring is more of an art and skill in the east where in the west that aspect is more mechanical. Just some insight showing the approaches are actually tied to deeper cultural aspects than just competitive methods.

mbbrew

#6: Post by mbbrew »

Something else to consider is that the pouring of water, especially in a drained bed like with the 4:6 method is a form of agitation in itself. Unless you have a grinder that produces very few fines, adding extra agitation on top of the 5 pours is likely to cause enough fines migration to clog the filter.