How to Make the Best Pour Over (V60) - Steps:
- Avoid high-and-dry grounds by swirling the brewer.
- Bloom with a 3-to-1 water to coffee ratio.
- Stir or swirl the bloom.
- Bloom for 45 sec to 1 min.
- Swirl the brewer after each pour of water.
- Don't pour/swirl too many times or too aggressive as this will cause the brew to choke.
- After the final pour lift and 'tap' down the brewer to remove any channels.
Welcome back to other tips and tricks with me, Adam.
This week we are going to be giving you some tips on brewing pour over and percolation style brewing. So not like, immersion style, such as a French press. We are talking v60 and other types of pour over cones. V60 is a type of cone from a manufacturer. However, there are plenty of other cones you can use as well.
This is also the same way batch brew is made, however, these tips do not apply to batch brew, because we are going to be talking about manually moving the device.
These are some short and shiny tips to help improve the evenness of your extraction for your pour over brews, this also applies to the Tricolate. We will have these up on the website soon, it's the only brewer I have been using for the past month or so, I absolutely love it. We will do a video specifically on the Tricolate soon. These tips apply to the trioclate as well, because it brews in the same style.
Now onto the tips. So, what we want to avoid when making a poor cover is having high and dry grounds. These are ground where after the end of the brew, they are up on the side of the cone or having channels form within the bed itself and kind of getting some uneven extraction from that way. Either of these things is going to cause unevenness of extraction. As a result you are going to have to change your grind size and probably end up over extracting the overall brew and losing sweetness and complexity.
Most people bloom their pour overs, which I highly recommend doing. Blooming is just adding a little bit of water at the start of the pourover and letting the carbon dioxide leave the grounds which will drastically improve how even the rest of the brew is, in terms of extraction. Not necessarily physically, but more so making sure all the grounds have access to water. So for the bloom a lot of people have a 1:2 ratio. Let's say you are using 15 grams of coffee, they will then use 30 grams of water. Personally, I find that this is not quite enough water to saturate all the grounds well and easily. So, I do a 1:3 ratio, beginning with 15 grams of coffee, then at the start of my brew pour in 45 grams of water. Right after pouring in, some people stir… stirring works, but I find it's hard to be consistent with stirring . Some people do nothing, definitely don't do that! Stirring is good, but what I find easier to be consistent with is instead swirling the brewer. You pick up the cone, and very gently give it a swirling action. You will see if it is working, because you will see the water in the coffee, the slurry, you will see the slurry move around. The idea there is to make sure all the bits of dry coffee have become wet and that the water has interacted with them.
If you don’t do that or don’t stir, if you just pour the bloom in and just leave it, you are actually going to find a lot of the coffee bed doesn’t even come in contact with the water. You will know if you successfully wet all the coffee in the bloom phase if you stop seeing bubbles from the bed of coffee, from the slurry, almost immediately.
You will notice if you don’t do either of those things, after 30 seconds you will still see bubbles coming up. Everytime you see a bubble in your bloom, that is a bit of coffee that only just now got wet. If you are seeing these bubbles after 30 seconds, that means most of the rest of the coffee has had more extraction than the bit that just bubbled, so you can see where an unevenness could creap in there.
The bloom, a lot of people only do a 30 second bloom. I recommend doing at least a 45 second bloom. I will even do a minute sometimes. I don’t think there is any harm to letting the entire bed drain of that water. The more time you give it, the more Co2 you release, the more even the extraction will be. This swirling action, really, is just one tip. This is going to make a big improvement in the consistency of your pour overs and the enjoyment of your coffee drinking from those pour overs. Evenness of extraction, the reason I harp on about it, is because it makes all the difference… trust me.
Then, what a lot of people do with their pour overs is just pour the water in, one go, two goes. They will pour it up the top of the cone, whatever they do personally, add some more water. When they have added their last bit of water in the pour over, just leave.
You are almost guaranteed to get high and dry grounds doing it this way and quite an uneven extraction. I see this all the time. I learnt these tips from Scott Rao, for any of you watching this saying “well duh, of course we do this man”, you probably watched Scott too. I figured these tips were everywhere now, but apparently not, so I thought it was time for tips and tricks. That swirling motion, you are going to get really good at it, because you are going to do it again...
So, you have poured your bloom, done your swirl, you have waited 45 seconds to a minute. Then you are going to add the rest of your water. I’d recommend doing that in no more than two goes, depending on the size of the brew and cone. It doesn’t matter as much in terms of how high above the bed of coffee it is, when you are doing the swirl. This is sometimes called the ‘Rao’ spin. However, I think Scott wasn’t the first person to do this. So I'm going to call it the ‘Swirl’.
So you will pour your water in, whether you pour it in two goes or just all the water for the rest of your brew, you have poured it in. Then, you are going to want to do that swirl, again. It's not too aggressive. If you swirl too aggressively, then you might get too much fine migration, which might choke the brew. Again, that will potentially lead to channeling and other issues. It’s a relatively gentle swirl, you want to get the water to come up and catch any grounds which are already high and dry and it will pull them back into that slurry. Give it a little bit of swirl, and then I would do that after each pour. Again, I would probably only pour two times. If you are pouring like four times, then you will need to do it four times, which will probably be too much agitation. So pour no more than twice.
A lot of the time, I will just add the rest of my water in one go, so I'm just going to do one more swirl after than the initial one at the bloom. Then, what I'm going to do is slightly pick up the cone and drop it on top of the cup or vessel I'm brewing into. It’s basically just a little knock, you just want to give it a little tap down, not very hard, just gentle. What that is going to do is fill in any channels that may have formed with the ground coffee falling into place.
If it's a very large brew and you pour in all your water at once, and it's been brewing for quite a long time, say you are doing at least a 4 minute brew, then you may want to do a second little swirl, even though you are not adding more water. If it's going to take a long time to brew down, you might want to do a swirl right after you have added the water, then when it gets down to almost at the top of the bed, you might want to give it another gentle swirl. You don’t want to overdo this, because you don't want too much fines migration, lots of agitation will cause that.
Again, you could stir as opposed to swirling. I used to stir, but I find that swirling is a lot more consistent. And it's an easier way to get more evenness of extraction with less fines migration than stirring.
If people want to know why I keep mentioning fines migration and why that might be an issue, then hit me up on social media and I will respond to that.
So, to conclude, that is our pourover tips and tricks and how to apply it in different ways. Let me know if you try it out, if you are not already doing this and what you results are.