Blooming in separate area

Coffee preparation techniques besides espresso like pourover.
DamianWarS

#1: Post by DamianWarS »

blooming is recommended 3:1 and rather than explain it myself here is Rao's views on it from his blog
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.
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.

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.

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yakster
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#2: Post by yakster »

You might have more temp loss blooming in another vessel and pouring it into your pour-over, not to mention worrying about getting any grounds out of the first vessel that don't all pour out. It seems a bit fiddly, but give it a try. I have a December dripper where I can close the holes for the bloom and then open them for the pour but I still usually just use a Kalita when I do pour-over.

For immersion, I like to have some water in the vessel before I add the grounds and then add more so that the grounds are more evenly wetted as I have seen dry grounds at the bottom before.
-Chris

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MikeTheBlueCow

#3: Post by MikeTheBlueCow »

Maybe blooming in an inverted AeroPress and plunging it out into the pour over could help with getting all grounds involved and using less water.

Probably going to lose a lot of heat unless you preheat both the blooming unit and the pour over pretty well. But I don't know that it will be a significant difference.

I would probably actually still stir the bloom right after adding water, wait for the gas to stop, transfer to the pour over, do a small pour and swirl, then continue with the brew. What makes immersion more efficient at blooming without stirring is the immense amount of water that is used, which provides both more saturation power but also more agitation. So I think that only using a normal 2:1 or 3:1 for the bloom might still need a quick stir to ensure no quick and even saturation with no dry spots. Then after transfer, the bed won't be even, so it'll need a little grooming with a small pour and swirl to get it flat and ready to accept the main brew pours. With this proposed process, I wonder if that makes it 1) less efficient because you're still stirring and swirling with an added step of transferring, and 2) worth it, with the extra fuss. It might be okay without a stir, but once to transfer I'm thinking it'll need some quick grooming with the swirl no matter what. Just my thoughts, haven't actually tried this yet.

DamianWarS (original poster)

#4: Post by DamianWarS (original poster) »

yakster wrote:You might have more temp loss blooming in another vessel and pouring it into your pour-over, not to mention worrying about getting any grounds out of the first vessel that don't all pour out. It seems a bit fiddly, but give it a try. I have a December dripper where I can close the holes for the bloom and then open them for the pour but I still usually just use a Kalita when I do pour-over.

For immersion, I like to have some water in the vessel before I add the grounds and then add more so that the grounds are more evenly wetted as I have seen dry grounds at the bottom before.
That's the first I've heard of the December dripper. Some sort of kalita that you can open close the holes? Of course you could probably do the same with a clever and even hario makes some sort of immersion dripper all of which could be used in a hybrid way with immersion for the bloom and drip for the dilution/draw down phases.

My understanding of flat bottom brewers like the kalita is that it can more evenly extract as the bed depth isn't as deep where v60 goes into a cone shape and the bottom point may get the least amount of contact during the a bloom. Too much agitation may migrate fines to the bottom and clog the pours, too little and not everything gets wet. Perhaps dumping a mini prebloom slurry into a v60 is also too much agitation and will have a negative effect. But blooms loose heat quickly (as the hot water leaves) where an immersion bloom would keep the heat longer and once you transfer it to the dripper you immediately start the dilution phase.

Probably a more efficient solution is one of these drippers with a shut off value of some sort like the clever, December dripper and hario immersion dripper... but that all requires you to buy something if you don't have it. I was thinking of a method without buying anything new.

Mbb

#5: Post by Mbb »

What is purpose of bloom?

Pre-wetting pre-generates CO2, with the idea that by doing this it wont channel when pour.

Dont know about you....I get massive amount of bubbles from fresh coffee.....after blooming. Stir or no stir , excavate or no excavate.

Rao says bubbles when stirring are an indication of unwetted grounds......maybe hogwash....bubbles adhere to the grounds, stirring releases them.

I think.....its all way overcomplicated by people with a vested interest in having you listen to them, on pins and needles

DamianWarS (original poster)

#6: Post by DamianWarS (original poster) » replying to Mbb »

The fresher the coffee the more C02. If you want to test your theory out let some of your fresh coffee become stale and see how many bubbles you get. If it's less then it means the bubbles are unique to something in the freshness of the coffee not simply because there are air pockets that stick to the coffee (you don't want those either).

My immersion bloom idea is so that all the grinds are evenly and fully saturated so that there are no more bubbles (regardless what you call the bubbles) and every grind is wet (which is the purpose of a bloom) I still haven't tried it but I'm thinking 3:1 is still a good ratio to create a bit of a slurry you can mix the coffee with. I see no issue with a spoon assisted pour into a brewer after the bloom.

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yakster
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#7: Post by yakster »

I think any benefit from this is going to be wasted with the extra effort, equipment, cleaning, and temperature loss, but I wait for your reports of this experiment.
-Chris

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DamianWarS (original poster)

#8: Post by DamianWarS (original poster) » replying to yakster »

temp control is more efficient than a bloom with a constant drawdown and loss of hot water. since in immersion there is no drawdown the slurry temp only has an initial drop which would be no different than a bloom in a dripper, but after that drop the slurry keeps the temp where in a dripper the temp will continue to drop as there is less and less hot water available. it spikes again during the dilution phase.

it worked fine, the drawdown was quicker but not under extracted. The coffee im using has been typically more acidic with a normal pour over with total time of about 2:30, this one came in at about 1:40 but it wasn't acidic. Truthfully it tasted a lot like a french press. I think something with a cut off value like clever or other similar immersion drippers would probably be more practical and easier to test. Because the drawdown was quicker this tells me the fines didn't all migrate to the bottom which is typical with too much agitation and it tends to have an effect of clogging up the pores of the filter and slowing it down. I timed the whole thing from the start of the bloom outside the brewer until drawdown was finished. I can try and grind finer, but to be honest the coffee I have is getting old and not the best example. I'll have to order something fresh to get better answers. (i could order a clever dripper with that too)

culturesub

#9: Post by culturesub » replying to DamianWarS »

The amount of turbulence you're introducing by pouring from one device to the other, combined with temperature loss, would make it make sense to me that you are finding the coffee less "acidic". Turbulence will drive down clarity.

DamianWarS (original poster)

#10: Post by DamianWarS (original poster) » replying to culturesub »

The coffee had a mouthfeel like a press too like there was a greater amount of colloids floating around, definitely connected with turbulence too but I'm surprise the filter was able pass so much through.