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Immersion brewing temps and ratios?
Syncopadence
Hey everyone, newbie to roasting, but I've been using a french press for a while now. However, I'd like to up my brewing game. I've always kept my ratio at 16:1, and I've fluctuated on temp between 195F and 205F. What I'd like to know is if there are any guidelines regarding what temps and ratios work best for certain origins and roasts. Thanks in advance for any help!
allenb
Welcome to HRO Sync! Good to have you on board.

While it's good that the SCAA and other coffee resources have given us best practice brewing ratios, there are way too many variables at play to try and establish a ratio that's best for us. I've seen huge changes needed in my ratio just from going from one municipal water source to another due to differences in hardness. You should be trying various ratios often and figure out which ones hit the flavor you're after. Also, for french press, you'll want to try different grind settings as well. I once brewed a nice Ethiopian roast in a press at a very coarse grind (much coarser than possible in most home grinders) and doubled my typical coffee weight and the cup was off the chart great.

On water temperature, I've tried anywhere from 190 F to 205 F and while there were differences in the cup, none were inferior to the other, just different. Try different temps and see what works best. I've not found there to be large differences in the cup due to water temp unless the roast was way off. In those cases, I needed to use lower brewing temps to keep it from extracting too much.

Keep us posted on your results and have fun!
1/2 lb and 1 lb drum, Siemens Sirocco fluidbed, presspot, chemex, cajun biggin brewer from the backwoods of Louisiana
Syncopadence

Quote

allenb wrote:

Welcome to HRO Sync! Good to have you on board.

While it's good that the SCAA and other coffee resources have given us best practice brewing ratios, there are way too many variables at play to try and establish a ratio that's best for us. I've seen huge changes needed in my ratio just from going from one municipal water source to another due to differences in hardness. You should be trying various ratios often and figure out which ones hit the flavor you're after. Also, for french press, you'll want to try different grind settings as well. I once brewed a nice Ethiopian roast in a press at a very coarse grind (much coarser than possible in most home grinders) and doubled my typical coffee weight and the cup was off the chart great.

On water temperature, I've tried anywhere from 190 F to 205 F and while there were differences in the cup, none were inferior to the other, just different. Try different temps and see what works best. I've not found there to be large differences in the cup due to water temp unless the roast was way off. In those cases, I needed to use lower brewing temps to keep it from extracting too much.

Keep us posted on your results and have fun!


Thanks for all the info! I use reverse osmosis water for my coffee. Is this a good/bad/neutral idea? Is there a general range for ratios? And what would you say would be the finest grind I should use in a French press? This is the grinder I have: https://www.bedba...1014902422
Edited by JackH on 11/25/2018 7:35 AM
allenb

Quote

Thanks for all the info! I use reverse osmosis water for my coffee. Is this a good/bad/neutral idea? Is there a general range for ratios? And what would you say would be the finest grind I should use in a French press?



In one of the many papers by SCAA, on water quality, they recommended a water hardness range of 1-5 grains per gallon (gpg) for optimum extraction. Ideal being around 4 gpg. Some RO systems have the ability to filter too much resulting in less than ideal gpg.

Pick up one of these by Hach and see how your water leaving the filter tests out. It's more expensive than the strips but strip testers can be hard to read giving inaccurate results.

https://www.amazo...ullets-btf

Article with some helpful info on RO water:

https://blog.fres...ing-water/
1/2 lb and 1 lb drum, Siemens Sirocco fluidbed, presspot, chemex, cajun biggin brewer from the backwoods of Louisiana
Syncopadence

Quote

allenb wrote:

Quote

Thanks for all the info! I use reverse osmosis water for my coffee. Is this a good/bad/neutral idea? Is there a general range for ratios? And what would you say would be the finest grind I should use in a French press?



In one of the many papers by SCAA, on water quality, they recommended a water hardness range of 1-5 grains per gallon (gpg) for optimum extraction. Ideal being around 4 gpg. Some RO systems have the ability to filter too much resulting in less than ideal gpg.

Pick up one of these by Hach and see how your water leaving the filter tests out. It's more expensive than the strips but strip testers can be hard to read giving inaccurate results.

https://www.amazo...ullets-btf

Article with some helpful info on RO water:

https://blog.fres...ing-water/


Some more great info! I've been brewing beer for about 5 years, and I take my water chemistry seriously, so I've had a lab analyze my RO water. My hardness is about 3ppm, which is way under 1gpg. I use a water calculator for my beer that I might try using for this. Might try adding some calcium chloride to get it up to 4gpg. I'll roast up a fresh batch to brew with this info this week and let you know how it goes! Thanks again!
allenb
It's great to hear you've already got a good handle on water quality from beer brewing. Many just assume that a so so tasting roast is solely due to the green or their roasting equipment or other and many times the water they're using isn't capable of more than a marginal cup regardless of how excellent the roast turns out. When I lived in Boulder Colorado, the difference between water from a municipal source that starts as mountain glacier melt and another source just a few miles away made the difference between stellar, over the top cupping and just acceptable from the same roasted varietal.
1/2 lb and 1 lb drum, Siemens Sirocco fluidbed, presspot, chemex, cajun biggin brewer from the backwoods of Louisiana
JitterzZ

Quote

Syncopadence wrote:

Quote

allenb wrote:

Welcome to HRO Sync! Good to have you on board.

While it's good that the SCAA and other coffee resources have given us best practice brewing ratios, there are way too many variables at play to try and establish a ratio that's best for us. I've seen huge changes needed in my ratio just from going from one municipal water source to another due to differences in hardness. You should be trying various ratios often and figure out which ones hit the flavor you're after. Also, for french press, you'll want to try different grind settings as well. I once brewed a nice Ethiopian roast in a press at a very coarse grind (much coarser than possible in most home grinders) and doubled my typical coffee weight and the cup was off the chart great.

On water temperature, I've tried anywhere from 190 F to 205 F and while there were differences in the cup, none were inferior to the other, just different. Try different temps and see what works best. I've not found there to be large differences in the cup due to water temp unless the roast was way off. In those cases, I needed to use lower brewing temps to keep it from extracting too much.

Keep us posted on your results and have fun!


Thanks for all the info! I use reverse osmosis water for my coffee. Is this a good/bad/neutral idea? Is there a general range for ratios? And what would you say would be the finest grind I should use in a French press? This is the grinder I have: https://www.bedba...1014902422

For a Year now I've been using distilled water from my home distiller and adding Third Wave Water Classic Flavor Profile to it. Definitely improved the drinkability of my novice roasts. You can also make your own: https://www.home-...ml#p507586
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