Removing fines to reduce dryness?

Coffee preparation techniques besides espresso like pourover.
heineken

#1: Post by heineken »

TLDR: What number of microns would you recommend for the sift in order to escape dryness with a V60/filter brew?

I have a fairly well regarded consumer level grinder for things above espresso, and my impression is that to get much better results for V60/dripper brew I would have to spend a lot more than I'm comfortable with, so I ordered a Kruve sifter instead. Problem is the 5 blade set was the only one available at the time, and before ordering single blades I thought I should ask this question here:

Say you've found a grind setting that is otherwise optimal, are there fines that wont bring any advantages to a dripper/V60 pour over brew? If so, in general, if other variables such as pouring method or filtering time were to be ignored, what number of microns would you recommend for the sift to discard if less dryness without losing too much of anything beneficial taste wise was your goal?

As for the waste aspect I'm not really concerned as I could use the discarded fines for experimenting with light roasted espresso :)

DamianWarS

#2: Post by DamianWarS replying to heineken »

I believe kruve recommends using the sieves 400um - 800um for pourover. I found it to actually be a bit on the sour side isolating the grind like that and less complex so when I sieve I usually add some or all of the fines back into the mix after the bloom. but no I don't even sieve and I use it for experimention only.

but astringent brews may be a result of other things happening. what sort of grinder do you have and what brewer are you using? what's your ratio and routine of your brew, and what sort of drawdown time are you getting? even kruve has a suggested practice of using the sifter to calibrate the grinder rather than sieve every grind. you calibrate it by taking the grind size you want to capture (say 400-800um) then keep adjusting your grinder so that it has the same amount of fines (below 400um) as it does boulders (above 800um) by weight. "fines" and "boulders" are relative in this case and it depends on the seives you use and the fines are the ones that get sifted to the bottom, where the boulders are the ones that stay on the top. I found that for pour over whatever grind I'm using I typically get the same amount of fines, so in a way the fines determine what your optimal grind setting by grinding at different levels until your boulder production matches your fines production.

Jonk

#3: Post by Jonk »

To answer your question, I've tried removing everything below 250/300/400 microns and didn't notice much of a difference. Odds are you've already got an appropriate sized sieve for what you're looking to do.

On the other hand, I don't think sieving is nearly as helpful as changing grinder or adjusting brew parameters. There's a powdery taste I associate with sieving.

Another suggestion: if your grinder isn't good enough for some beans/roasts/brew methods - try to stick with ones that are easy to get good results with.

heineken (original poster)

#4: Post by heineken (original poster) »

DamianWarS wrote:I believe kruve recommends using the sieves 400um - 800um for pourover. I found it to actually be a bit on the sour side isolating the grind like that and less complex so when I sieve I usually add some or all of the fines back into the mix after the bloom. but no I don't even sieve and I use it for experimention only.

but astringent brews may be a result of other things happening. what sort of grinder do you have and what brewer are you using? what's your ratio and routine of your brew, and what sort of drawdown time are you getting? even kruve has a suggested practice of using the sifter to calibrate the grinder rather than sieve every grind. you calibrate it by taking the grind size you want to capture (say 400-800um) then keep adjusting your grinder so that it has the same amount of fines (below 400um) as it does boulders (above 800um) by weight. "fines" and "boulders" are relative in this case and it depends on the seives you use and the fines are the ones that get sifted to the bottom, where the boulders are the ones that stay on the top. I found that for pour over whatever grind I'm using I typically get the same amount of fines, so in a way the fines determine what your optimal grind setting by grinding at different levels until your boulder production matches your fines production.
Yeah I get that and it sounds great for calibrating. However, I have some experience with specific pregrinded coffee blends that are otherwise good but also taste dry and dusty, whereas others don't for whatever reason. Anyway, I was hoping I could sift out some of that dust whenever I might stumble upon it.

I've heard others say the same thing about 400-800 being too narrow or too fine for V60, and on their web page Kruve suggests 300-1000 for V60, They also have a chart where it says 600-1200 for V60, so yeah, not exactly self explanatory..

I was hoping for some agreed upon general lower range of fines I could safely sift out without losing much if anything taste wise, before looking at all other aspects to try and solve the problem. I'm a newbie and have just bought my first grinder, a Wilfa CGWS-130B. So loaded and dangerous in other words, but I might need more sifter blades to really get going. Or maybe not(?)

heineken (original poster)

#5: Post by heineken (original poster) »

Jonk wrote:if your grinder isn't good enough for some beans/roasts/brew methods - try to stick with ones that are easy to get good results with.
Except for espresso and turkish, the one I got was tested to grind practically as consistent as the one that tested better as an overall grinder but cost nearly 3 times more, so I'll be keeping this for a while.

You never managed to get less of a dry/dusty note with sifting at those marks?
Jonk wrote:To answer your question, I've tried removing everything below 250/300/400 microns and didn't notice much of a difference. Odds are you've already got an appropriate sized sieve for what you're looking to do.
Yeah you're probably right. That chart I mentioned seemed to suggest I could sift out everything below 600, which also happen to be the maximum grain size for espresso according to the same chart. That is if I understood it correctly. Other suggestions from Kruve would indicate that my understanding of the chart may indeed be incorrect but I don't know in what way.


heineken (original poster)

#6: Post by heineken (original poster) »

I guess there's supposed to be some overlapping that doesn't show in the image. Still the middle value of 400-800 is 600 and for 600-1200 it's 900 :( :?:

Jonk

#7: Post by Jonk »

While the Wilfa CGWS-130B is well regarded as a cheap entry level grinder, if you're after improvements in the cup you really ought to spend a little more to get there. Something like the Xeoleo 520N, Fellow Ode or a hand grinder from 1zpresso, Timemore or Comandante is not a lot more expensive (and if you go that route it'll still be nice to have an electric grinder for occasions when you care more about convenience than flavor).

Sifting can easily remove bitterness and astringency, for a cleaner taste. My experience is that it can add a sort of dusty/powdery feel though - I wish I understood why. Those sifted brews can often become somewhat boring and weak. My suggestion is to experiment with removing just the tiny particles using the smallest mesh you've got on hand.. And perhaps the largest screen to get rid of the worst boulders.

heineken (original poster)

#8: Post by heineken (original poster) »

Jonk wrote:While the Wilfa CGWS-130B is well regarded as a cheap entry level grinder, if you're after improvements in the cup you really ought to spend a little more to get there. Something like the Xeoleo 520N, Fellow Ode or a hand grinder from 1zpresso, Timemore or Comandante is not a lot more expensive (and if you go that route it'll still be nice to have an electric grinder for occasions when you care more about convenience than flavor).
Noted. Actually I've considered getting a quality hand grinder for espresso and possibly more evenly grinded V60 when a cup or two is all that is needed.
Jonk wrote:Sifting can easily remove bitterness and astringency, for a cleaner taste. My experience is that it can add a sort of dusty/powdery feel though - I wish I understood why. Those sifted brews can often become somewhat boring and weak. My suggestion is to experiment with removing just the tiny particles using the smallest mesh you've got on hand.. And perhaps the largest screen to get rid of the worst boulders.
I see. I guess it's a balance thing with no clear cut answer. I'll do just that and see where it leads me. Thanks for describing your experience with this. However subjective and inconclusive, for newbies like myself an explanation like this is very helpful for recognizing and settling with the mindset that experimentation is as good an approach to this as anything else. For all I knew there might have been consensus on 325 microns being the widely agreed upon sifting point for a great brew. I know now that this probably isn't the case and so I'll figure out my own way through it.

Cheers

User avatar
happycat

#9: Post by happycat »

I don't remember where the "dust settled" on sieving-- it's been discussed a lot in the past.

I do remember Matt Perger suggesting that it might be better to:

(a) grind a bit coarser
(b) sieve out the boulders so the coarser grind is more uniform

My own experiences with sieving many years ago were as follows:

(1) it is very time consuming to do regularly
(2) it distorted the flavour of the coffee
(3) results improved using higher quality / better roasted coffee that had fewer defects likely to be emphasized by a lower-end grinder
(4) I was better off upgrading the burr in my grinder / using a better grinder

Coffee is a system of inputs, procesing and outputs. So if you are getting astringency....

INPUTS
- issue with quality beans / roast
- issue with quality / filtration of water

PROCESSING
- issue with brewing temperature
- issue with brewing ratio
- issue with brewing time
- issue with grinding consistency

OUTPUTS
- issue with what you eat or drink before/during enjoying coffee
LMWDP #603

heineken (original poster)

#10: Post by heineken (original poster) »

happycat wrote:it distorted the flavour of the coffee
How so? Did your experience align with Jonks description? Would you add anything to it?