Vac Pot - initial tasting too hot?

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Vac Pot - initial tasting too hot?

Postby syscrusher » Thu Dec 04, 2008 7:55 pm

Got myself a new 3-cup vacpot for two reasons:

1. the Bodum Santos is too big for the amount of people who normally drink coffee in my house (1 - me).

2. Having stalling issues with the Santos using both the plastic filter and a seconhand glass one.

So I got a Yama, 3-cup, with a cloth filter (and a butane microburner).

Initial test was with some Home Roasted Yirgacheffe, let temp settle around 91C with water on top. Dumped grinds, stirred, waited about 70s, removed heat and one final stir.

Into the cup, straight away it tasted overextracted and bitter, but it was also very hot. 2 or 3 minutes later, all those graperfruit and tea like flavours were there - really clear.

So - I guess I'm asking is this normal? Do people find in general that vac pot coffee goes into the cup hotter than French Press, and requires a little cooling period?

Second test was with some Faz Cach. Same process, this seemed somewhat overextracted even to the end of the cup. I guess the typical suggestions would be coarser grind / less stirring etc?
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RE: Vac Pot - initial tasting too hot?

Postby lukas » Thu Dec 04, 2008 10:38 pm

I envy your new vacpot problems as I still fight with my santos every now and then ;)
What ratio of coffee to water are you using? Overextraction (tastewise) can come from too fine grounds, from too much grounds, from too much stirring, from too hot water and/or from too long steeping time. Have I missed anything? ;)

As a rule of thumb, 60g/Litre is a good starting point.
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RE: Vac Pot - initial tasting too hot?

Postby syscrusher » Fri Dec 05, 2008 6:52 am

'bout 8.5g / 125ml - so 26ish in the 3cup pot.
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RE: Vac Pot - initial tasting too hot?

Postby lukas » Fri Dec 05, 2008 11:33 am

That yields 68g/litre and I'd consider it the upper boundarie for brewed coffee. As far as I understand it, the vacpot is easy to overextract, so you might want to try soemething like 7.5g per 125ml. If that doesn't help, keep the dose steady for a few tries and play with the grind - ie if 7.5g per cup still overextract, coarse the grind a little and try again. If it still overextracts, try less stirring and/or shorter steeping time. I'd love to play with your vacpot :)
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Postby Bombcup » Tue Dec 09, 2008 7:28 pm

Interesting you talk about it being initially very hot. I find the brew takes at least 10 minutes to cool to a drinkable temperature even when poured into a cup. Even then it is still towards the upper limits of temperature and tastes thin and bitter. It does mellow into a great cup as it cools though.

I guess during brewing the upper chamber is insulated by the bloom, then the coffee is drawn into the lower chamber by virtue of the fact that it has just that second dropped below boiling point. It then sits in a very thermally efficient narrow necked vessel.

So I guess that there is nowhere near as much heat lost during brewing with a vac pot compared to most methods.

Getting to the bottom of managing the temperatures whilst vac-brewing is on my to-do list at the mo. Preventing boiling as the water volume in the lower chamber falls is the main nut to crack I reckon. That should put an end to bitter vac-brews.
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Postby syscrusher » Tue Dec 09, 2008 8:13 pm

I think I've gotten to grips with getting a great brew, but I'd agree, the coffee is very hot coming out of the vac pot. I combat this a little by getting my biggest, heaviest cup to act as heat sink.

I think minimizing the stirring seems to have made a difference in terms of over-extraction and bitterness.
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Postby Jaanus » Wed Dec 10, 2008 8:19 am

I sometimes pour it to another vessel, sort of decanting wine, this cools the coffee pretty fast... and don`t know whether its me being just a dull taster but cant really figure out if the coffee tastes worse doing that as opposed to let it cool slowly..
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