One of the problems with conical shaped brewers like V60 is that it's hard to get to the bottom where in some cases there can still be dry grounds after the bloom or not fully "bloomed". This is why the current push is for some type of agitation during the bloom (Rao suggests "excavation", Hoffman suggests an aggressive spin) to allow the grounds to get fully wet before the dilution phase.Scott Rao wrote:A good plan is to use a 3:1 ratio, by weight, of water to grounds during prewetting. Coffee grounds can absorb up to twice their weight in water, but inevitably some brewing liquid escapes the coffee bed during prewetting. Therefore, a 2:1 ratio will not completely saturate the coffee bed with liquid. I've found 3:1 to be a reasonable ratio to achieve full saturation.
This is a problem unique with pour overs (or generally percolation) but with immersions this isn't a problem. In immersion brews there is no need fo a bloom and you just dump the entire amount of water in at once like a french press. This is because the water never escapes and you have more control over the time of extraction so there is no need to bloom the coffee because you're not chasing a draw down.
So if the bloom phase can be problematic or ineffective and immersion methods are more effective (for equal saturation) why not just combine the two? The clever brewer is sort of a hybrid as it's like a pour over with a stopper at the bottom so you can control the draw down. The clever may work in this case but I'm not advocating buying something new, why not bloom in a separate vessel (like a small milk jug), let it fully bloom in a immersion style and pour the bloomed coffee in the brewer and start the dilution phase. the ratio would have to be higher than 3:1 otherwise you would have to spoon it out not pour it out but it would accomplish a more indiscriminate bloom phase where all coffee is treated equally.
I haven't tried it out, but I'm trying to think of more effective ways of blooming without compromising things like loss of temp or inequal saturation, it also may be more consistent since it's less about your ability to agitate sufficiently and consistently each time and it's just adding an amount of water for x period of time then pouring that mix into a brewer.
What are your thoughts? do you think it would work and if so would it work better? a compromise would be it uses more brewing liquid to accomplish the bloom and it's not a true percolation (more of a hybrid like clever) as it starts with an immersion bloom and then turns into percolation for dilution/draw down.