Dialing in brew ratio for drip coffee?

Coffee preparation techniques besides espresso like pourover.

#1: Post by rutilate » Nov 03, 2019, 7:27 pm

I'm wrestling to figure out how to dial in drip coffee. Is there a desirable brew ratio?

I have a 12 cup Mr. Coffee drip coffee machine (if it can even be called that). The instructions say to use ~45-50 g of grounds (9 tablespoons).

If I understand it correctly, that is a brew ratio of 50:1: 12 cups water (ignore the roughly 1 cup retained in the brew basket) = 2365.9 grams water / 45g grounds = 52:1

I read of people advocating a 16:1 brew ratio, which would mean I should be putting in ~148g grounds into the 12 cup brew basket. Does that make sense? That's 3x the ratio recommended by the manufacturer.


#2: Post by nrh » Nov 03, 2019, 10:09 pm

Mr. Coffee and many other similar machines say a cup, but their cup is 5 ounces. That comes to approximately 1774 grams of water in a 12 cup carafe.

15:1 is a good starting point, then go up or down to your preference.

It may say scoops also, with a scoop of coffee often referring to 2 tablespoons.

To make a full pot, I'd roughly start with 120 grams of ground coffee.
Nick H.


#3: Post by rutilate » Nov 04, 2019, 10:32 am

That's super helpful, thank you.
Trying that ratio as we speak.

I'm curious as to why manufacturers would recommend only 45-50 g (9 tablespoons) when the proper coffee ground volume should be 120g to approach the widely accepted brewing ratios?

Does anyone know why that is, or how it got started?


#4: Post by Eiern » Nov 04, 2019, 11:31 am

I'd use a measuring jar or something else to measure water with so you know what markings are referring to. 60g per liter with light roast beans ans soft water is my preference for drip. Some go lower some go higher. So 55-65 per liter.


#5: Post by rutilate » replying to Eiern » Nov 04, 2019, 12:00 pm

Fascinating--as you and nrh mentioned, the labeled 12 cup pot only contains 7 cups water. Thus, the manufacturer recommended 45g coffee is a 36:1 ratio.

At 60g/liter, your ratio works out to be ~16:1, which is right in there with all the recommendations. Thanks for that!

Which still begs the question as to why the manufacturer would recommend a brew ratio that is waaaay under the industry standard?

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#6: Post by yakster » Nov 04, 2019, 4:51 pm

The low brew ratio recommendation for non-specialty coffee brewers comes from catering to customers who buy pre-ground coffee which has been advertised to save you money by not needing to add as much coffee to brew a batch. Sometimes thin mass-market coffee is better than when you brew at full-strength. This is also the kind of coffee you can mindlessly drink all day.

I went through something like this when I used to drink coffee from the airpots at work years ago. I did the calculations and found out that you really need to add 1.5 pre-dosed sealed ground coffee packets to brew at a 1:16 coffee/water ratio, and that even with using Starbucks, it did taste better when I dosed the baskets at a 1:16 or 1:15 ratio.

If you buy a SCAA certified coffee brewer, the dosing recommendations are likely to be more inline with what we've been talking about here.

Once you get past the correct dose for Mr. Coffee, you have to worry about the basket size, your fresh coffee may bloom and make a mess in a Mr. Coffee, specialty coffee brewers usually use a larger basket to allow for the bloom of fresh coffee but mass market coffee is not fresh so it's not a concern. You'll also have to worry about if your Mr. Coffee brews at the correct temperature for good coffee.

Some manufacturers have an optional filter basket to account for the bloom of fresh coffee. I believe for Bunn, they call this a Gourmet basket.

LMWDP # 272


#7: Post by Mbb » Nov 08, 2019, 9:32 pm

The only correct amount to use, is what tastes right to the user.

Don't put too much emphasis on what the directions say regardless.

You're the one that has to drink it.