Next Level Pulsar Brewer - Page 4

Coffee preparation techniques besides espresso like pourover.
helicon47
Posts: 37
Joined: 3 months ago

#31: Post by helicon47 »

I've been using the Pulsar for about two weeks now and seem to be getting a significant amount of astringency in my brews. I've been following the Gagne brewing instructions here: https://coffeeadastra.com/2023/09/13/th ... r-dripper/, and despite selecting the appropriate grind size on my Kenia (13-14/20), it seems to be a persistent theme. Total brew time ranges from 3:45 to 4:15, so well within the suggested range.

Not sure what I should be changing. Perhaps the level of the brew water should be more than 1 cm high, despite his suggestion to keep it at ~1 cm throughout, as there might be too much agitation of the coffee bed with the lower water level? Possibly reduce the brew water temperature slightly from 99°C to 97 or so?

I've tried brewing a few different coffees, mostly light roast Kenyans and Guatemalans from Calendar and 3fe here in Ireland, and they all seem to produce excess astringency - but not bitterness - when following these instructions. I haven't yet tested my brews with a refractometer but that's likely my next step. Any other suggestions?

Jonk
Posts: 2099
Joined: 4 years ago

#32: Post by Jonk »

I had a similar issue with the Pulsar. Tried a bunch of recipes without much success. This was with the Guatemala-inspired SSP MPv1. Unfortunately I don't have a solution nor a Pulsar anymore.. just thought I'd let you know you're not alone.

Most of the cups had something tasty or interesting as well. Some turned out dead, somehow as if they were both under and overextracted at the same time. I think a refractometer would help dial in because the taste is so different that it's difficult to guess what parameters to change.

At no point did I achieve better overall results than a V60.

helicon47
Posts: 37
Joined: 3 months ago

#33: Post by helicon47 »

Yeah, I'm a bit stumped about how I ended up here. Certainly I've been pretty pleased with the brews I've been getting using other methods, such as my Kalita and Sage Precision Brewer (larger batches). The no-bypass design of the Pulsar is appealing, and I appreciate the flexibility of controlling immersion vs percolation, but something about it is definitely not working for me.

It's also interesting to see how much Gagne's recipe varies from those listed on the Pulsar website here: https://nextlevelbrewer.com/pulsar-recipes/

The basic recipe (bottom right) is probably most similar, but it calls for starting with a dry filter, using a larger grind size, a shorter bloom time, a higher water depth during brew, as well as a longer brew time altogether.

The only marginally successful brew I've made with the Pulsar so far has been using the batch recipe with dilution.

Jonk
Posts: 2099
Joined: 4 years ago

#34: Post by Jonk »

helicon47 wrote:The no-bypass design of the Pulsar is appealing, and I appreciate the flexibility of controlling immersion vs percolation
Exactly, it's a tinkerer's dream. The valve could be a bit more precise, but it's good enough. IME small changes to the recipes had a big impact, but there was a certain unique Pulsar signature.

I could avoid it by using Tricolate filters instead (a perfect fit). They're a bit slower and change the cup profile a lot. Good, but often a bit boring?

helicon47
Posts: 37
Joined: 3 months ago

#35: Post by helicon47 »

Interesting. In a way it reminds me of nothing so much as brewing in a siphon, where changing any variable even slightly - agitation especially - produces big changes in the cup. That's why my first thought with the Pulsar was that something about the shallow water depth was producing excess agitation of the coffee bed. Still, at least most of my siphon brews were drinkable to excellent, while the brews I've been getting from the Pulsar have been pretty iffy. Maybe post-brew dilution is also a better way to approach this...

viteaux
Posts: 36
Joined: 8 months ago

#36: Post by viteaux »

For what its worth, I was initially in the same boat. Using Gangne's recipe, was getting some really astringent brews. Ground coarser until I maxed out my Ode Gen1 with no luck. Then for shits and giggles stared grinding finer and now at setting 3 getting great brews. Modified Gangne's recipe a bit, wet the filter, 45 sec bloom with light wwdt. Pours to about an inch or so over bed, roughly 100g pours, 208F water, let drain to about a cm above bed and pour again. 18:300, Nat Ethiopians and washed Kenyans take roughly 5 min to finish. I thought the pour to just 1 cm was causing too much agitation in my brews, so opted for longer pours and it has worked out well for me.

helicon47
Posts: 37
Joined: 3 months ago

#37: Post by helicon47 »

Thanks, guys. I really appreciate the input.

This makes total sense from a theoretical perspective, since according to Gagne in a no-bypass brewer the bed of coffee itself is supposed to serve as a filter to prevent the astringent compounds from being washed into the brew. So, the finer the grind, the more resistance the bed provides against this happening. i definitely think having a higher water level (>1 cm but preferably 2-3 cm at least) will reduce the astringency, as well. Usually I've been aiming for 20:340 brews but I'll try your approach tomorrow and test for TDS as well.

lukehk
Supporter ♡
Posts: 114
Joined: 6 years ago

#38: Post by lukehk »

I'm very very happy with my brews on it and have given most other brewers away, no astringency and mostly following the Gagne method. 20-340, light WDT (too much increases drawdown). I don't do much different to you to explain why it works so well. 98deg for light roasts (done a lot of coffee collective coffee on it) but also down to 93 for some naturals. Usually 1 minute initial steep, overall 3-4min although I had some nice ones at 2min 30. The only issue I've had is with some naturals taking a long time even on course settings. I pour in roughly 30ml pulses so that the water level goes just below and above the 100ml mark. I think that's a couple of cm above the bed

Ejquin
Posts: 155
Joined: 6 years ago

#39: Post by Ejquin »

I've liked the brews coming form this recipe here: https://pocketsciencecoffee.com/2023/10 ... -from-v60/

It gives a cleaner more vibrant brew vs. the heavier sometimes muddier versions I was getting with the pulsar previous.

Sawyergray2
Posts: 5
Joined: 3 months ago

#40: Post by Sawyergray2 »

Are you using the v1.1 burrs?