Hario Switch users: fine grind and short steep or coarser grind and long steep?

Coffee preparation techniques besides espresso like pourover.
nameisjoey
Posts: 495
Joined: 4 years ago

#1: Post by nameisjoey »

I've been using my switch a ton lately and have been doing a little experimenting to see what gives me a better tasting cup.

Initially when I first bought it awhile back I always used it very similarly to James Hoffmann's daily driver video - grind size on the fine end of medium, 2 minute steep, break crust & let settle, open switch for a minute to a minute and a half drawdown for a total brew time of 3:30-4:00. The cups were always pretty *good* and consistent but nothing outrageous.

Lately I've been grinding on the coarse end of medium, a much longer steep at around 5 minutes, break crust and let settle, open switch for about a 45 second draw down with a total of about 6:15-6:30 brew time. I find my cups to be much more flavorful with more complexity and a bit more flavor separation. The tasting notes seem to be much more defined and easily selectable.

While the longer brew time isn't quite as convenient, it definitely is my preferred cup. On days I'm in a rush the shorter brew is a good tool to have in the arsenal for sure.

To add - I always keep all other variables the same. 1:16 brew ratio, pre heated brewer, and boiling water. Grinding on my very well & self aligned lido 3.

I'm curious about you folks out there, which do you prefer? What do you typically do? What's your recipe of choice? Has your experience mirrored mine or have you found the opposite to be true?

Milligan
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#2: Post by Milligan »

I tend to enjoy longer steeps rather than fine and fast. I haven't found a recipe I like more for the V60 than the Tetsu with a coarser grind and 5 small pours. It has always tasted noticeable better to me than Hoffman's V60 recipe. I would say this goes along the same lines as a longer steep on the Hario Switch as well. Much more flavor, balance, and less harshness. Perhaps if I gave the fine and fast approach more time then I'd dial it in better, but the longer steeps are so tasty I haven't been bothered to revisit other methods.

PIXIllate
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#3: Post by PIXIllate »

I've been using my Switch with the Hoffman recipe for a few months now. As you say, very consistent and the coffees taste fine but they never blow me away. I chalked it up to the fact that filter coffee always seems boring to me as someone who until recently only drank straight espresso shots. I'll try your longer steep idea and see what happens.

I have both a Monolith Flat SSW and aligned Vario with the steel brew burrs. I bought both a v2 and v3 sized Switch. Normally I'm using 20/330g with the bagged/tabbed Hario papers but I also have some of the Siberst papers as well.

iyayy
Posts: 254
Joined: 2 years ago

#4: Post by iyayy »

Mr Tetsu's preference for coarser grinds is to get sweeter brew. multi pours helps to extract more and evenly.
imagine picking a muddy rock beside a river.. you can wash the mud faster if the river flows faster.

there is also more hot water contact since water keeps being replaced with new pours. slow flow exposes more of the same amount of water to the same beans longer, hence its extraction capability diminishes, along with saturation and temperature. immersion pushes the saturation capability, but just like diluting anything, plain water absorbs more than saturated water..

coarser grinds also has benefits of easier water to fill the whole coffee bed since it channels less than finer grinds. hence no swirling needed.
the v60 kasuya version has no ribs to slow drawdown further allowing coarser grinds. the switch gives more control.

a lot of these ideas are applicable to espresso anyways. recently i try to ground while going as coarse as possible and adjust dose/yield while keeping similar flow and dialled shot time. its hard to do since i'm on ssp mp, but it tends to produces a much sweeter cup.

i'm always on coarse grinds for brew.. 10.5clicks on 1zk or 86 on df64 with 10~12g is typical, and enjoy both shots n brews. i drink small but brew more often nowadays.

rmongiovi
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Joined: 17 years ago

#5: Post by rmongiovi »

iyayy wrote:there is also more hot water contact since water keeps being replaced with new pours. slow flow exposes more of the same amount of water to the same beans longer, hence its extraction capability diminishes, along with saturation and temperature. immersion pushes the saturation capability, but just like diluting anything, plain water absorbs more than saturated water..
It's true that that as the water becomes saturated the rate of diffusion slows until you reach equilibrium where as much is diffusing back into the coffee grounds as out of them. But when making coffee you have a fixed amount of water to use. Diffusion takes time so if all your water has passed through the coffee before it has had time to reach that equilibrium state then there will be less in the cup. A fast pour doesn't somehow allow a fixed amount of water to dissolve more than it could if given the time to reach saturation.

nameisjoey (original poster)
Posts: 495
Joined: 4 years ago

#6: Post by nameisjoey (original poster) »

PIXIllate wrote: Ichalked it up to the fact that filter coffee always seems boring to me as someone who until recently only drank straight espresso shots.

Normally I'm using 20/330g with the bagged/tabbed Hario papers but I also have some of the Siberst papers as well.
I thought that same exact thing as well. I gotta say, things have really improved since I've done the coarser grinds and longer steep.

I only own the 03 sized switch, as I typically do larger brews than the 02 can offer. At minimum of 300g, usually 350g.

How do you find the Sibarist filters perform? Have you tried them in your 03, successfully?

Case17
Posts: 117
Joined: 6 years ago

#7: Post by Case17 »

nameisjoey wrote:I've been using my switch a ton lately and have been doing a little experimenting to see what gives me a better tasting cup.

Initially when I first bought it awhile back I always used it very similarly to James Hoffmann's daily driver video - grind size on the fine end of medium, 2 minute steep, break crust & let settle, open switch for a minute to a minute and a half drawdown for a total brew time of 3:30-4:00. The cups were always pretty *good* and consistent but nothing outrageous.

Lately I've been grinding on the coarse end of medium, a much longer steep at around 5 minutes, break crust and let settle, open switch for about a 45 second draw down with a total of about 6:15-6:30 brew time. I find my cups to be much more flavorful with more complexity and a bit more flavor separation. The tasting notes seem to be much more defined and easily selectable.

While the longer brew time isn't quite as convenient, it definitely is my preferred cup. On days I'm in a rush the shorter brew is a good tool to have in the arsenal for sure.

To add - I always keep all other variables the same. 1:16 brew ratio, pre heated brewer, and boiling water. Grinding on my very well & self aligned lido 3.

I'm curious about you folks out there, which do you prefer? What do you typically do? What's your recipe of choice? Has your experience mirrored mine or have you found the opposite to be true?
I have trending towards longer steeps.

Case17
Posts: 117
Joined: 6 years ago

#8: Post by Case17 »

rmongiovi wrote:It's true that that as the water becomes saturated the rate of diffusion slows until you reach equilibrium where as much is diffusing back into the coffee grounds as out of them. But when making coffee you have a fixed amount of water to use. Diffusion takes time so if all your water has passed through the coffee before it has had time to reach that equilibrium state then there will be less in the cup. A fast pour doesn't somehow allow a fixed amount of water to dissolve more than it could if given the time to reach saturation.
I would guess the diffusion rate is not so much affected by saturation, as it is by temperature.

rmongiovi
Posts: 476
Joined: 17 years ago

#9: Post by rmongiovi replying to Case17 »

The question was also between fine and coarser grind. The size of the coffee grounds has a major impact on diffusion rate. Diffusion is a surface phenomenon. It happens when molecules in the coffee ground leave through the surface of the ground and move off into the water. When you change the size of an object, the surface area changes by the square of the difference (since a surface is a two dimensional thing) but the volume changes by the cube of the difference (since volume is three dimensional). So when you make a coffee ground twice as big the surface are is 4 times bigger but the volume is 8 times bigger. So the ratio of surface to volume for the bigger ground is 1/2 that of the smaller ground. Smaller equals faster diffusion, larger equals slower diffusion.

Molecules of water and coffee are bouncing around because of the motion caused by their temperature. When molecules of coffee happen to jump out into the surrounding water they have a good chance of being "lost" to the coffee ground since they can move anywhere around in the liquid. When there's a lot more "coffee" in the coffee than in the surrounding water diffusion is fast. As more coffee gets dissolved the chances become greater than a coffee molecule can jump into the water and either jump back into the coffee ground or another molecule of coffee that just happens to be floating by could jump in. So diffusion slows down. At some point the rate of coffee jumping out of the coffee ground will equal the rate of coffee jumping back into the coffee ground. That's saturation.