Water ratio for a percolator - Page 3

Coffee preparation techniques besides espresso like pourover.
DamianWarS
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#21: Post by DamianWarS »

Pressino wrote:OK, thanks for that clarification. What you are describing sounds more like the old Silex or "Kona" coffee maker. We had one at home when I was a kid, and I preferred the coffee that came from that rather than from our metal stove-top percolator...though I did like the sound and smell it made while brewing...which was used along with video of coffee splashing in the glass percolator top in an old Maxwell House coffee commercial...

video
perhaps stovetop models have less control over heat but the same thing is happening on the inside. the glass lid or bubble is just for convenience.

most drip coffee makers use the same basic mechanics except the tube runs away from the brew water and drips into a separate carafe. in a percolator, nothing is separated and it just gets recirculated.

Mbb

#22: Post by Mbb »

My wife and mil prefer coffee from a Hamilton Beach electronic percolator. I guess it's okay when you're using several month old stale coffee anyway.

For decades, or even possibly hundreds of years people used percolators on the stove top or fire as the way to make coffee. Before the Mr coffee machine came out... bringing easy automatic drip into everybody's home...that's how my parents did it. And thats how my grandparents did it too.

jpender

#23: Post by jpender »

According to Wikipedia one of the reasons for the downfall of the percolator was the emergence of "better" instant coffee in the 1970s. That says something about the average quality in those days. It smelled good though. Perolators really pumped aroma into the room. And that lively sound it made put you in a good mood.

I think making good coffee with a percolator should be possible. I've read of people doing it. My own attempts fell far short but that may have been at least partly due to the machine, which had a fixed cycle. A stovetop model would be more adjustable as you could vary the heating rate as well as the time. I'm almost tempted to try again... almost.

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yakster
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#24: Post by yakster »

One key to good perc coffee is to make it at high altitude or I suppose under vacuum.

I bought a clear glass percolator just to watch it perc. Didn't really use it for making coffee. Forgive the background music and low production values.
-Chris

LMWDP # 272

jpender

#25: Post by jpender »

yakster wrote:One key to good perc coffee is to make it at high altitude or I suppose under vacuum.
Have you actually tried that theory out?

My own attempts at percolator coffee did not result in overheating / overextraction. I had the opposite problem: underextraction. The brew liquid temperature ramped up fairly quickly to near-boiling (that's how it works) but the coffee cake (and the coffee in the reservoir) never even hit 90°C. I think my pot shut off prematurely. Since that was determined by a fixed thermostat there was nothing I could do short of modifying the pot. I instead donated it to Goodwill.

Since those failed attempts I've read that some percolators work well and others do not. I guess I bought one from the latter category. But a fully manual stove top pot would have given me more latitude.

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yakster
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#26: Post by yakster »

I haven't had the opportunity to try it out at altitude, but I drank plenty of over-extracted perc coffee in the past from vintage perc pots at my in-laws.
-Chris

LMWDP # 272

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mkane
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#27: Post by mkane »

Time to drag out the percolator. You all say 13:1?

jpender

#28: Post by jpender »

The instructions that came with my percolator...




...suggest a heaping tablespoon per 5oz (148ml) "cup" of coffee. Coffee density varies, depending mainly on roast, so a heaping tablespoon could weigh anything between 5g and 10g. If you assume 7g for the dose per 148ml "cup" and figure that about 15g of water will be retained in the grounds then you'd want to use about 163g of water per 7g of coffee. That's a ratio of 23:1, which sounds like a bad idea to me.

If you assume very dense coffee (0.5g/ml) and use the upper limit of their suggested amount (1.5T per "cup") the ratio would then be about 15:1. That sounds better. But most coffees aren't that dense.

Probably you just want to ignore the instructions and choose a ratio that tastes good to you.

BaristaMcBob (original poster)

#29: Post by BaristaMcBob (original poster) »

Ah. That makes sense.