American Press: First Impressions - Page 2

Coffee preparation techniques besides espresso like pourover.
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Balthazar_B
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Postby Balthazar_B » Feb 20, 2017, 9:16 am

leon wrote:I'm a sucker for a new brew method so I'm trying to replicate this with my Bobble Presse using a piece of filter paper to close off the bottom of the basket to create the "pod".

My first attempt produced a cup that is surprisingly sweet, clean, and syrupy, but lacking some depth (using a washed Yirgacheffe). My total time was around 2:30, including 1 min of preinfusion, so I'm thinking I need to tighten up the grind and press a bit slower.

John can you provide a description of your grind? Closer to FP grind or the V60 side of the brew spectrum?


I'm still working on the grind parameters. For my first two attempts, I simply tightened the grind from where I'd had it for the Espro, to where it might work well for a Chemex. I won't know if that's optimal until I try some variations on either side of that setpoint (although the press stage would indicate I'm close, since there's substantial resistance without stalling).
- John

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Balthazar_B
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Postby Balthazar_B » Feb 25, 2017, 10:22 am

Here are a few shots I took of my work rig and prep/brewing stages. I'll have a couple more thoughts in the post following.

All the bits:
Image

22 grams:
Image

Ground coffee waiting for a bath:
Image

About 30 secs into preinfusion:
Image

Fully extracted:
Image
- John

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Balthazar_B
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Postby Balthazar_B » Feb 25, 2017, 10:40 am

A few more thoughts after a full week's worth of use:
  1. The ground coffee shot up above was at a time my grind was still a little too coarse. I re-zeroed and centered my Lido 3 burrs (as described in several thread/videos on H-B, and over the course of a couple of shots, have found its sweet spot with a nice, even, medium grind.
  2. You can tell pretty easily from the press, as well as taste, if your grind is too coarse or too fine. The gizmo is pretty forgiving, though, and seems to tolerate a good range. But there may be variances about what's optimal for different varieties and different roasts of other coffees. Those experiments will come next. Corvus Everyman is a pretty lightly-roasted blend of Guatemalan and Ethiopian beans, and relatively harder to grind.
  3. I think the trick to this device is to find the right balance of preinfusion and the rate of press such that both phases are completed within a 3 minute cycle I found works well for this particular coffee. Slow and steady against resistance is the ticket.
  4. The insulated Tritan receptacle is really good at retaining heat, and gets merely warm on the surface, so no problem handling.
  5. Something I'll be asking the company: I notice that the top piece of the coffee chamber can be made to unscrew on the axle. Not a big issue,
    but I'm a little concerned about what happens if it's unscrewed all the way. I don't know if the female piece is firmly attached to the top piece or not, and it's behind a screen, so fixing a problem wouldn't be easy. I'll report back what I find out.
  6. I continue to be impressed by the simplicity of use as well as how easy it is to clean up after brewing some coffee. Much less messy than a press pot. And the quality of the brewed coffee is excellent, with great clarity and depth when you get the balance of grind and pull correct.
If anyone has questions, please ask!
- John

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Balthazar_B
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Postby Balthazar_B » Feb 28, 2017, 8:43 pm

I heard back from the folks at American Press in response to my question about the pod top unscrewing, and here's what they said:

The pod top is made to come off so it can be replaced if need be and also to allow for "future proofing" (we may come out with new attachments down the road).

So if it comes off, yes, it screws right back on. Just be careful with the washer that sits between the pod top and rod. That little guy is important to distributing force on the pod top and while it's press-fit on, it can come off and get lost easily enough if the pod top is totally taken off the rod.


I'll measure that washer the next chance I get, in case in a stupid moment I unscrew the thing near a drain pipe. :)

Still enjoying the ingenuity and simplicity of the brewer. And I reckon it takes about half the time to clean it as it does a conventional French Press.
- John

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bfhbgh
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Postby bfhbgh » Mar 02, 2017, 10:39 pm

I'm a new American Press user - I've had it about two weeks. So far I'm struggling to get a good consistent cup. I'm new to brewing better coffee at home, so I'm sure that's part of it. But I've been getting decent results in a Clever Dripper. The same beans, water, grind, etc. give me sour or bitter results in the AP. I'm going to try what you suggest in the above post and see what happens. Maybe I'm just trying to match the parameters I've been using in the Clever. The shorter times I see in other places (2 - 2.5 minutes) give me a sour cup. Longer times get bitter.

I did take the pod apart and cleaned it. I thought that might be part of the problem. I washed it in the dish washer. I just washed the carafe and pod. I didn't wash the shaft and lid.

The washer on the shaft is threaded. It won't just slide off after the pod is removed. But you can just screw it off if necessary. The screen in the lid can be removed. Just push it from the top. I use the dull end of a chopstick. The nut for the shaft is press fitted in the lid. I can't imagine anyway it could come out. I'm very impressed with the build quality. I just wish I could get better coffee out of it.

Bill

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Balthazar_B
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Postby Balthazar_B » Mar 03, 2017, 12:20 am

Bill, try changing only one parameter to see how the flavor changes. I'd suggest water temperature to start. Or keep temperature constant and play with preinfusion time, extraction time, and total time.

What kind of grinder are you using? Although my Lido is great for a hand grinder, it's not really the match of a commercial type, and even still, my results are very pleasant. I'm at about the right grind: I have to apply firm pressure to extract the coffee, and can do it slowly and deliberately as recommended.

I'm measuring out 22g within .1g, and using the requisite amount of water, one minute of preinfusion, and about 2 minutes of extraction. I can't vary my water temp, but fortunately it works well with the beans I'm using. By the way, what type of coffee are you working with, how is it roasted, and how many days since roast?
- John

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wsfarrell
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Postby wsfarrell » Mar 03, 2017, 12:51 am

I got mine three days ago and have used it 3-4 times. Small N I know, but it really seems to bring out the sweetness in Insight's Guatemala decaf, which I've been brewing with Beehouse and Hario for a couple of years.

bfhbgh
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Postby bfhbgh » Mar 03, 2017, 9:48 pm

Balthazar_B wrote:Bill, try changing only one parameter to see how the flavor changes. I'd suggest water temperature to start. Or keep temperature constant and play with preinfusion time, extraction time, and total time.

What kind of grinder are you using? Although my Lido is great for a hand grinder, it's not really the match of a commercial type, and even still, my results are very pleasant. I'm at about the right grind: I have to apply firm pressure to extract the coffee, and can do it slowly and deliberately as recommended.

I'm measuring out 22g within .1g, and using the requisite amount of water, one minute of preinfusion, and about 2 minutes of extraction. I can't vary my water temp, but fortunately it works well with the beans I'm using. By the way, what type of coffee are you working with, how is it roasted, and how many days since roast?


Thanks for the reply.

I have an OXO ON conical burr grinder. I think I'll try a smaller grind. I have to apply some pressure to press, but I wouldn't call it firm. I have a variable temp kettle so I can work with brew temp also. I've been using 200-205 degrees fahrenheit.

I found the recipe for Perger Water and tried it. There was a noticeable difference in taste from our local tap water. I've been using that since before I got the American Press.

I've been trying a variety of beans - mostly from Creama.co. I went to a local shop today that roasts coffee. I tried a Chemex pourover of a coffee they recommended and it tasted good- no overwhelming sour or bitter flavor. I bought a 12oz bag of the same beans. I plan to spend some time this weekend brewing multiple cups with different parameters and logging the results.

Thanks again for the help.

Bill

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Balthazar_B
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Postby Balthazar_B » Apr 21, 2017, 8:46 pm

Found a nice recent video from Prima Coffee about the American Press. Thought anyone who wants to see it in action would be interested. I use a more conventional brewing method with mine, but will try a couple of the variations demonstrated here and report back.

- John

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r7
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Postby r7 » Apr 22, 2017, 9:57 pm

With the Aeropress you are pushing a water column through your coffee puck under plunger pressure.

With the Its American Press you are pushing the coffee puck through the water column.

It might be slightly more compact for travel than an Aeropress but is more than 2.5x the cost. An elegant design, but not enough different than the Aeropress for me to want to switch. I would be interested in the weight of the IAP vs the essential pieces of the Aeropress at about 7 ounces.

 
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