V60 and extraction variables

Coffee preparation techniques besides espresso like pourover.

#1: Post by mixespresso »

I am relatively new to V60. I started using only Hoffman's recipe assuming that that was all I needed.. but as I expand and try other recipes I discover that there are many more variables in the recipes that affect the brew.

Apart from the expected:
- water temperature
- grinder settings

... the following variables appear to significantly affect the amount extraction:
- the height of your pour: how aggressive you pour and disturb the coffee bed
- the number of pours: 5 extracts more than 3 for example
- full pours instead of topping up with water "unfinished pours". i.e: letting all the water out before pouring more water onto the filter

Would you agree? I am missing something else?



#2: Post by Dav »

I've found water recipe/hardness to have a very large impact on the final cup

In addition to yours and the above, you also have (in no particular order):
bloom time
roast level
days off roast
burr alignment
v60 material (IE glass, plastic, ceramic)
filter material
filter position (resting on fins, stuck to the sides)

I'm sure I'm forgetting a few more...it's a rabbit hole.

mixespresso (original poster)

#3: Post by mixespresso (original poster) »

Thanks, Dav! Yes, I agree, all those variables will also have a deep influence on the final flavour

I guess what I meant was that, assuming you have chosen your desired coffee and V60 equipment.. what would the main variables be to influence the amount of extraction.



#4: Post by bobR »

Yes, there are many variables. IMO it is best (for most cases) to develop a consistent method that fixes the large majority of variables. So your basic go to pour-over method should stay constant and you should make this very repeatable so that all the variables contained in the method do not change. Then have grind size and maybe water temp as variables that you change depending on the coffee you are using. Coffee extraction rate and drain characteristics can vary a lot so grind size and maybe water temp can then be used to optimize your pour-over for a particular coffee.

Your go to pour-over method could be pulse pouring or single pour or a 100 different things. Find a method that you like and learn it well. Down the road you may want to have a couple methods but it's easiest to keep things as simple as possible particularly at the beginning. I personally have a bloom plus three pulse pour method that I use 95% of the time and vary only grind size to dial in a coffee.

mixespresso (original poster)

#5: Post by mixespresso (original poster) »

Hi BobR, that is very sound advice. Thanks

The reason why I changed recipes is that I was finding difficult to be consistent and have repetitive brews using a extraction method that involved disturbing the coffee bed by pouring high and aggressive. I could not quantify that variable easily and had issues to be consistent

When I then learned from other recipes that you can also dialling in the amount of extraction by increasing the amount of pours or doing full individual pours (until no water left), it was a game changer for me (well, that is what I think at least :D )

I am finding more extraction consistency now by doing a bloom + 2 "full" slow pours. So, then, for the same coffee and temperature, I only have to dial in the grinder.
I am now having great brews from complex anaerobic coffees

Long story short, I got very curious about finding the easiest way to dialling the amount of extraction



#6: Post by mikelipino »

It might be helpful to rank importance for these variables. While many things can be changed, I've found some to be more impactful in cup. I'll also focus on input variables, because output variables (e.g. contact and drawdown time) are more dependent on a combination of input variables.

Here's what I'm seeing, but feel free to edit or rearrange. Generally though if I concentrate on the higher tier variables, I can mitigate affects of the lower tiers

S Tier
1. Beans - entire approach needs to be tailored for the flavor profile you are trying to highlight or minimize
2. Grind size - greatly affects contact time, balance (acidity v bitterness), body, and TDS / extraction yield

A Tier
1. Grind Uniformity - drawdown time, clarity, and body
2. Recipe - Hoffmann is a good starting point; contact time, slurry temperature, balance, clarity, and amount of bypass (which further affects TDS / EY and body)
3. Ratio - I usually stick to 60g / 1L for bypass pourover, 50 g / 1L for no bypass pourover; TDS / EY, body, clarity

B Tier
1. Brewer - can limit which recipes are used; material affects slurry temperature, contact time, bypass affects EY and body
2. Agitation - both through pour rate, height, and aggressiveness of stirring / swirling; EY and drawdown time
3. Water Hardness and Buffer - TDS / EY, acidity
4. Bloom - Agitate aggressively to evenly wet grounds; EY

C Tier
1. Water Temperature - I'll usually stick to 100C unless I need to lower to find the right balance, and rather adjust by grind size; slurry temperature, balance, TDS / EY
2. Filter Material - drawdown time