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Coffee for the masses
Gregman
Brewing coffee for one or two can be quite a pleasure even if it takes some time. You can use any elaborate process because it's just for a small number of people. French presses and drip no problem. Espresso I laugh at making (not really). But these giant percolators are a nightmare.

Seems like every time I try a different coffee machine there is this huge learning curve. I've tried on two or three occasions to brew with these giant machines. Every time the coffee comes out like water or too light. And of course everyone looks at you like aren't you the coffee expert? Is this how it's suppose to taste? Obviously not and it's very embarrassing.

So can anyone give advice as to how to get the ratio correct?
Yes I know it's not the ideal way to brew some Joe but it's all we got.
Especially if there is 20-30 people having a cup.

Thanks, Greg
Well now........ that's not suppose to happen!
ciel-007
Geg, can you provide specific details about the actual brewing equipment you have in mind please?
Ciel... seeking Heaven in my cup with ................................................................................................................. EXPOBAR Brewtus II - MAZZER Mini E - MAHLK´┐ŻNIG Vario - GeneCafe - RAF-1 Extreme (Modified B-2 HOTTOP) - BellaTaiwan XJ-101
coffeeroastersclub

Quote

Gregman wrote:

Brewing coffee for one or two can be quite a pleasure even if it takes some time. You can use any elaborate process because it's just for a small number of people. French presses and drip no problem. Espresso I laugh at making (not really). But these giant percolators are a nightmare.

Seems like every time I try a different coffee machine there is this huge learning curve. I've tried on two or three occasions to brew with these giant machines. Every time the coffee comes out like water or too light. And of course everyone looks at you like aren't you the coffee expert? Is this how it's suppose to taste? Obviously not and it's very embarrassing.

So can anyone give advice as to how to get the ratio correct?
Yes I know it's not the ideal way to brew some Joe but it's all we got.
Especially if there is 20-30 people having a cup.

Thanks, Greg


Crowds of 30 are built for percs, unless you really want to spend time serving coffee from vac pots to everyone. Problem with the percs is overextraction and "cooking" the coffee. If you need to go perc I suggest using a bit more coffee, ground a bit finer, and shutting down the perc sooner manually and not letting it do its own shutoff when IT thinks its done. I've done this with a family size perc and actually made a decent cup of coffee. party

Sometimes people get a bit carried away, in my opinion, when it comes to serving coffee at events. Thing to keep in mind is that people are there for the event, not the coffee. And events are generally management intensive; the more efficient you can make it the less headaches in the end. Shock

Just my 2 cents.

Len
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." ~Abraham Lincoln
allenb
OK, here's some more big perc tips if you don't mind it looking a little back woods.

Power it up with a variac so after the first 4-5 min of percking you dial the power back to just keep it from cooling down too fast.

Wrap two or three bath towels around the metal body to add some insulation to further reduce cooldown. Secure with duct tape.

Or, keep several insulated large caraffes on hand and transfer to them right after brewing. Much easier than lugging a variac around and more attractive than the duct tape.

Allen
1/2 lb and 1 lb drum, Siemens Sirocco fluidbed, presspot, chemex, cajun biggin brewer from the backwoods of Louisiana
allenb

Quote

Gregman wrote:
So can anyone give advice as to how to get the ratio correct?
Yes I know it's not the ideal way to brew some Joe but it's all we got.
Especially if there is 20-30 people having a cup.

Thanks, Greg


A 30 cup perc should be around 1.5 gallons give or take a few ounces.

I used to set up 1.5 gallon shuttle brewers with a coffee dose of between 8 and at the most 10 oz of coffee. I wouldn't go much finer than you'd use with a 1.5 liter glass pot or carafe drip brewer or you might end up with grounds carrying over the basket.

Allen
1/2 lb and 1 lb drum, Siemens Sirocco fluidbed, presspot, chemex, cajun biggin brewer from the backwoods of Louisiana
coffeeroastersclub

Quote

allenb wrote:

OK, here's some more big perc tips if you don't mind it looking a little back woods.

Power it up with a variac so after the first 4-5 min of percking you dial the power back to just keep it from cooling down too fast.

Wrap two or three bath towels around the metal body to add some insulation to further reduce cooldown. Secure with duct tape.

Or, keep several insulated large caraffes on hand and transfer to them right after brewing. Much easier than lugging a variac around and more attractive than the duct tape.

Allen


Allen, are you going along the lines of stopping the perc before it wants to stop so as not to "cook it" or overextract?

Len
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." ~Abraham Lincoln
allenb

Quote

coffeeroastersclub wrote:

Quote

allenb wrote:

OK, here's some more big perc tips if you don't mind it looking a little back woods.

Power it up with a variac so after the first 4-5 min of percking you dial the power back to just keep it from cooling down too fast.Wrap two or three bath towels around the metal body to add some insulation to further reduce cooldown. Secure with duct tape.

Or, keep several insulated large caraffes on hand and transfer to them right after brewing. Much easier than lugging a variac around and more attractive than the duct tape.

Allen


Allen, are you going along the lines of stopping the perc before it wants to stop so as not to "cook it" or overextract?

Len


Yes, definitely agree with you on that. The switchover bimetal stats that move them to the "warming" mode most likely vary quite a bit on when it decides to do so. That's why I suggested dropping the voltage way down after 4-5 minutes of the perc phase to hopefully just keep the brew from cooling down too much

I think the only way to keep it simple and not have a complicated setup is to transfer to insulated carafes after a reasonable percolating time. I think most folks doing the brewing and serving would not appreciate having to dial in a variac.

Allen
1/2 lb and 1 lb drum, Siemens Sirocco fluidbed, presspot, chemex, cajun biggin brewer from the backwoods of Louisiana
Gregman
Good tips gang thanks.
Yes it's a percolator, no I don't have a variac.

I guess my ultimate question was not what would better than a perc as we all agree they stink. Or how can we rewire it with a PID or variac to make great coffee. Although I thank you for taking it that far, we are a bunch of real coffee nuts, huh.

I was really trying to find out what the correct ratio of water to coffee should be?
Like if I fill it to 30 cups on a perc how much coffee in lbs should be used?

Greg-
Well now........ that's not suppose to happen!
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