New brew. Bleached, tabless filters, 32 clicks, 96C water, 15.6/250g, 30g bloom, four pours after bloom. Drawdown 2:58.
Not the best cup. Had some astrigency in the back of the mouth and tongue and not much else. Will once again venture into the really coarse area and see what comes of it. Need something to do on a Sunday. I tried a brew at 39 clicks some pages back that was surprisingly not bad tasting, so who knows what I will find.
I think it's interesting to see how the variables affects the cup. This method Alan is using focuses on contact time and adjusting grind to account for all the other factors. By changing the number of pours and pouring technique, I can hit 2:30 with grind settings around 27-30. This means getting all the water in pretty fast. 50g bloom, 100g at 30s and 100g at 60s. This almost fills up the dripper completely.
If I increase the number of pours, I have to coarsen the grind to hit the 2:30 timings. Today, with four pours, I had drawdown at 2:58 with 32 clicks. With these tabless filters I might get down to 2:30 before 40 clicks.
This begs to ask the question: What matters most? Contact time or grind size. Alan's method says contact time since the idea is to adjust grind size until you can hit 2:30 without filling the dripper with too much water at once. This means you'll have to use around 4-5 pours. So the pours are somewhat fixed, contact time is what you aim for and grind size is what you adjust. This pretty much states that absolute grind size is unimportant and relative grind size what matters. Meaning that if I use 37 clicks on my grinder to get to 2:30 and someone else use 30 clicks to get to 2:30, both with the same pouring technique, those are the correct grind sizes relative to the brews, but they are different from eachother.
It may be that you can get good brews with both variations as long as you hit around 2:30, possibly with some differences in taste. The focus on contact time is slightly new to me, especially down to 2:30. I've been brewing with the assumption that you want to find the ideal grind size for your grinder and then adjust taste by pours or temperature. If some brews take 3:10 and some 4:00, that's because of differences in beans and variations in your pouring technique since we're not machines.
What's most fascinating about this is how people settle for very different ways to brew their coffee. Some have made thousands of cups with one method and some thousands with another one. One person brewing in 2:30 and one in 3:30, with the same dripper. Maybe both just hit different areas in the extraction range where it taste good. I'm becoming more convinced that the spectrum of taste from a cup of coffee doesn't look like a normal distribution where the top is where it always taste the best, but rather a line going up and down, maybe having multiple areas where it taste good, but with some differences to what that high spot taste like. It also explains to some degree why extraction yield isn't a solution that everyone in theory could aim for. Some prefer the taste at 22%, some at 21%. And that is of course another very important factor which is impossible to describe in numbers, videos or anything: taste. I'm not talking about notes, sweetness etc., but what taste good, or taste best. If I made an identical brew to someone else, even if I visited them and they brewed it for me, the area where they like their coffee best might not be where I would settle in.
I've pretty much given up trying to identify "overextracted" and "underextracted". Brews at both sides of what I would find the best tasting could taste the same to me, so it doesn't hold much value. Especially if a cup can be good on different extraction yields. If it's good at 21% and 22%, what would I call 21.5%? Especially when I get close to a good cup, the lines between over and under disappear. I could make two brews that were decidedly over- and underextracted. One brewed in 1:30 and one in 5 minutes and probably be able to tell which is which, but if 2:30 was the sweet spot, I don't think I could say in a blind test which brew was 2:00 and which was 3:00.
I might try taking this even further for the sake of curiosity. If I can get good brews at 28 clicks and 38 clicks as long as they finish in 2:30, what happens if I go to 23 clicks with a single pour after bloom. Or 43 clicks with more pours, maybe even a showerhead of some sort to hit larger parts of the bed, keeping the grounds saturated, but not immersed.