V60 Channeling

Coffee preparation techniques besides espresso like pourover.
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iploya
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#1: Post by iploya »

I've made a lot of pour overs, and this is the first time I've seen such obvious channeling. This is almost like reverse channeling, to coin a phrase. Looks like the dry spot was in the middle and the flow/channeling was the ring around the middle.

I did the usual prep steps -- the bloom, including a stir, add water, stir again, swirl...maybe I wasn't being as attentive. Only thing I did different here was grind coarser a bit coarser than usual, and I'm not sure that would be too blame.


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Brewzologist
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#2: Post by Brewzologist »

Did you try digging into the coffee bed afterward to look for any additional signs? There appears to be a fair amount of fines; would be interesting to see if you can repeat this at this coarser grind setting versus your usual grind setting, and whether your usual grind setting has fewer fines? Also, agree on your hypothesis that the channeling may be more at the sides than the center since that's where the majority of the fines are.

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tennisman03110

#3: Post by tennisman03110 »

I don't know why you exactly you have channeling, but the bed appear rather muddy. Just from looking,I would think you should grind coarser.

Was this a coffee you've used before? I find a wide variation between grind settings are needed for different beans. Until I dial that in, the brew process can be all out whack.

DamianWarS
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#4: Post by DamianWarS »

iploya wrote:I've made a lot of pour overs, and this is the first time I've seen such obvious channeling. This is almost like reverse channeling, to coin a phrase. Looks like the dry spot was in the middle and the flow/channeling was the ring around the middle.

I did the usual prep steps -- the bloom, including a stir, add water, stir again, swirl...maybe I wasn't being as attentive. Only thing I did different here was grind coarser a bit coarser than usual, and I'm not sure that would be too blame.

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V60s are known for dry spots in the middle from their cone design. If you do a bloom without agitation probably if you dig in it there will be dry coffee. With paper filters and ridged brewers (like the V60) there is a lot of bypass happening which is water flowing between the filter and brewer walls (that's what the ridges are designed for). Im thinking that maybe this was happening (in excess) creating this donut sort of flow out through the sides but I really don't know. You can try and make what's called a bird's nest in the dry coffee bed (before bloom) with the end of a spoon by digging a hole and pushing the grinds to the sides making a sort of cone-like indentation. This will help the bloom penetrate the coffee grounds better so you can be sure there isn't actually any dry coffee. It's does look really muddy, possibly from grinding too fine and perhaps this is part of the problem. You may find grinding coarser creates a more eve flow through the coffee bed and cleans it up a bit.

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iploya (original poster)
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#5: Post by iploya (original poster) »

Thanks everyone. I think/hope it may be a fluke but I will have to try it again.

I actually ground much coarser than usual, around "40" on the Niche Zero (conical), whereas I am usually around 28-30 on this grinder for this prep method. My theory (guess) was the coarser grind made it flow more easily to exploit the path of least resistance. Which would tie in with Damian's description of the flow pattern for these cones. The bird's nest is a good suggestion to try if it happens again.

Incidentally, this was Ethiopia Suke Quoto (Kuma). It does awesome as espresso but I have been using it for everything.

djwong

#6: Post by djwong »

I also use a Niche, and grind between 40 - 50, for medium to dark roasts beans for my V60. I create the "bird's nest" (a small week in the middle), before pouring for the bloom. I also follow James Hoffman's advice, and swirl the V60 aggressively to wet all the grinds. If the grinds are not all wet, I continue to swirl until they are.