Breaking rules on water/coffee ratio

Coffee preparation techniques besides espresso like pourover.
Rjreusch

#1: Post by Rjreusch »

I hear a lot about the optimum water to coffee ratio for most brewing techniques to be near 17 to 1. I have been experimenting over a couple years using a hybrid immersion/pour over method with some bypass. I use a Gina pour over set up which has a shut off valve. The basic method, which varies some based on coffee type is as follows:
113 grams of water with 32 grams of coffee with valve closed for 1 minutes. Open valve and drain fully.
163 grams of water for a pour over continuation.
Add 89 grams of water bypassing coffee.
This is about a 11.4 to 1 ratio. Sometimes I go as low as 10.6 to 1
Obviously this is very inefficient and costly but I get no sour/salty taste or anything typically associated with under extracted coffee. I have tried many variations of total immersion, hybrid and total pour over. This method gives me the best flavor profile. For the record I use a "medium grind" with the Lido 3 manual grinder.
Am I crazy or can 10.5 to 11.5 ratios give good results and the golden ratio or near that ratio for optimum extraction is only valid for rather traditional techniques? Just looking for others experiences with water/coffee ratio to get an idea if I'm fooling myself somehow. Thanks.

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fishll

#2: Post by fishll »

Each brewing method is going to require a different ratio. Typically an immersion brew will favor a ratio similar to what you have found. The higher ratio in my experience makes more sense with a clean filter brew. Personally I prefer between 15:1 and 16.6:1 using the Kalita 155 and the Origami dripper.

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yakster
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#3: Post by yakster »

More like norms than rules, and they vary by country/culture. I've heard 10:1 is common in Japan, and ideal ratios for Europe, North America, and Scandinavia vary. They're based on preference testing, often from the 50's.
-Chris

LMWDP # 272

jpender

#4: Post by jpender »

I think the 17:1 ratio comes from old studies that found people liked coffee at about 1.25% TDS. If you extract at 20% that's pretty much the strength you'll get. But, as noted, preference varies by culture, coffee brewing method, and individually too. I like my coffee at about 2% TDS so I've generally used a 10:1 ratio for immersion.

It's interesting that you found that including all the water didn't taste as good. Presumably the additional extraction due to draining more water isn't desirable with the specific details of your method. But I don't think that's true as a rule.

TangyWasabi

#5: Post by TangyWasabi »

I've been using a 12:1 - 16:1 depending on my brew method for years and I prefer the taste. It's really all up to your personal taste preferences.

MikeTheBlueCow

#6: Post by MikeTheBlueCow »

Ratio is more about preference, than anything. Some brew methods have limitations, as well. The moka pot, for example, is close to fixed. In the V60, I've found that you lose so much temp so quickly with a short ratio that you don't get full extractions, and need to use a minimum ratio, around 1:10-1:12. With something like the AeroPress though, I've gone even as low as 1:3.

I find shorter ratios really allow the sweetness to dominate. With some coffees though, it doesn't come through as a fully balanced cup.

DamianWarS

#7: Post by DamianWarS »

Rjreusch wrote:I hear a lot about the optimum water to coffee ratio for most brewing techniques to be near 17 to 1. I have been experimenting over a couple years using a hybrid immersion/pour over method with some bypass. I use a Gina pour over set up which has a shut off valve. The basic method, which varies some based on coffee type is as follows:
113 grams of water with 32 grams of coffee with valve closed for 1 minutes. Open valve and drain fully.
163 grams of water for a pour over continuation.
Add 89 grams of water bypassing coffee.
This is about a 11.4 to 1 ratio. Sometimes I go as low as 10.6 to 1
Obviously this is very inefficient and costly but I get no sour/salty taste or anything typically associated with under extracted coffee. I have tried many variations of total immersion, hybrid and total pour over. This method gives me the best flavor profile. For the record I use a "medium grind" with the Lido 3 manual grinder.
Am I crazy or can 10.5 to 11.5 ratios give good results and the golden ratio or near that ratio for optimum extraction is only valid for rather traditional techniques? Just looking for others experiences with water/coffee ratio to get an idea if I'm fooling myself somehow. Thanks.
if you've ever read the little insert in your hario branded pour over it will say "We recommend 12 grams of coffee for one cup of coffee:120ml". That math is pretty easy, 10:1 which is pretty intense. But a lower ratio should just give you stronger coffee provided the extraction time stays the same (and is good).

if the water doesn't have enough contact time with the coffee it's going to be under extracted (and if it's too long its over extracted) but in your case since you have a shut off value you can determine how long the water is in contact with the coffee so regardless what ratio you use the extract time is fairly consistent and lower ratios will just give you stronger coffee and higher ratios weaker coffee assuming the extraction time is good. This is a benefit with these types of brewers like the gina or clever, when you're done extraction you open the value, it empties and extractions stops.

There is a bit of a myth that if you have more coffee then the brew time needs to increase. You want all coffee to come in contact with water for the same amount of time. If you determine this is 2 mins then 15 grams, 30 grams or 100 grams of coffee all need to have an extraction time of 2 min. The problem with drip however is the more coffee you have the slower the water passes through which increases the extraction time so to scale up you typically need to grind coarser which messes with it all and you need to dial it in again but because you have a shut off value you can keep a contrast extraction time without the need to play with the grind.