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Topic: French Press Help Needed (13 msgs / 508 lines)
1) From: Florida Randy
I'm an Xmas 2006 recipient of my first roaster (Z&D's) and am already
hooked. As part of my search for info on the elements of the "perfect"
cup I decided to mothball the family electric percolater in favor of a
12 cup Bodum press.  Reading all the "tips" I used my burr grinder to
achieve a "medium" grind (press goes to the bottom without significant
effort) and have optimum water temp (195-200).
However, even with brewing times as short as 90 seconds the coffee seems
too strong compared to the percolater and the water to coffee ratio
isn't significantly different.  I had expected even more flavor from the
press, even tho the percolater was pretty good.  My thoughts were to
make the grind more course to slow the brew, reduce the coffee to water
ratio (currently 1 level scoop (7.5g), or try for even a shorter brew
(30-60 seconds).
All thoughts are welcome.
Thanks
Randy

2) From: Sheila Quinn
Hmmm... that's interesting! When I brew with my French Press, I set the 
timer for 3 minutes - I've found that's how I like it best. When I go 
for a shorter time, like 90 seconds, the flavor just isn't as good. It 
tastes weak and muted. That's why I like the French Press so much; the 
flavor is rich and you can taste all of the nuances of the bean. 
However, if you're going from percolator to French Press, then you are 
accustomed to different flavor which probably was too weak before. I 
know my family thinks my coffee is too strong, but they're not used to 
it - their coffee is so weak you can barely taste anything at all! Maybe 
you need more time to adjust to it. Just a suggestion.
You can always try a bit courser grind and see what happens. (What 
grinder do you use? Perhaps you are getting lots of fine powder that is 
staying in the cup and making it too strong for you. Obviously, such 
small particles won't filter out with the press.) A shorter brew, I 
would say, is out of the question as you are already brewing for too 
short a time, IMO. It may be "strong," but I doubt you are really 
getting the full flavor from the bean and tasting everything you should.
Another suggestion is to try reducing the amount of coffee by just a 
little bit and see if you like that better. A French Press does a great 
job of getting all of the flavor out of the grounds, so maybe you won't 
need as much to get it to your taste. After all, it's all about how YOU 
like it, not what anyone else thinks. Gradually, you may be able to add 
more, but maybe you need less right now!
Good luck!
Sheila

3) From: Tom Ulmer
I can't imagine how the press is producing a stronger brew than the
percolator using similar proportions. 
The 12-cup Bodum is 48 ounces or twelve 4 ounce cups.
Approximately four minutes with medium to course ground is a good brew time.
I do not measure. I grind what I think is enough coffee and dump it into the
press and it appears to be anywhere from a sixth to an eighth of the total
volume of the beaker.

4) From: Leo Zick
I would recommend using a press pot instead of a french press. ;)

5) From: Larry Johnson
OK, I'll bite......what's difference between a press pot and a French press?
Larry J (Lilboybrew)
On 1/18/07, Leo Zick  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
"Having a positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it annoys
enough people to make it worth the effort."

6) From: Leo Zick
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
its all in the name :p  
From: Larry Johnson [mailto:lilboybrew] 
Sent: Thursday, January 18, 2007 1:55 PM
To: homeroast
Subject: Re: +French Press Help Needed
OK, I'll bite......what's difference between a press pot and a French press?
 
Larry J (Lilboybrew)
On 1/18/07, Leo Zick  wrote: 
I would recommend using a press pot instead of a french press. ;)

7) From: Larry Johnson
Are they also sometimes referred to as "freedom presses"?
Larry J (Lilboybrew)
On 1/18/07, Leo Zick  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
"Having a positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it annoys
enough people to make it worth the effort."

8) From: Leo Zick
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
LOL
that works too :)  
From: Larry Johnson [mailto:lilboybrew] 
Sent: Thursday, January 18, 2007 2:09 PM
To: homeroast
Subject: Re: +French Press Help Needed
Are they also sometimes referred to as "freedom presses"?
 
Larry J (Lilboybrew)
On 1/18/07, Leo Zick  wrote: 
its all in the name :p  
From: Larry Johnson [mailto:lilboybrew] 
Sent: Thursday, January 18, 2007 1:55 PM 
To: homeroast
Subject: Re: +French Press Help Needed
OK, I'll bite......what's difference between a press pot and a French press?
 
Larry J (Lilboybrew)
On 1/18/07, Leo Zick  wrote: 
I would recommend using a press pot instead of a french press. ;)

9) From: MichaelB
Randy,
Hope you start enjoying your Xmas gift more. I would use the same grind you
used for perc, Or even coarser. Does your grinder have a press
setting? According to Bodum you've actually got a 12 tasse press. A tasse is
4 oz. which means it holds holds 48 oz. For that full amount of water I
would start with 7 g per tasse or 84 g. If no scale that's about 12 coffee
scoops worth. Put the grinds in the press and add 48 oz of the 200 F water.
Stir gently or not at all. Wait 3 plus minutes. Then press as slowly as you
can to finish before the 4 minute mark. Pour the whole pot gently into a
preheated thermos or insulated carafe. Drink within a short time. Press
coffee does not sit as well as cleaner methods of brewing. But it is
arguably the richest non pressure method of brewing coffee. Let us know how
it goes. We will have enough suggestions to keep you busy till next Xmas.
On 1/18/07, Florida Randy  wrote:
<Snip>
--
MichaelB

10) From: Ronnie Kramer
Are you letting the brew sit in the press after brewing?  I've heard this can make the coffee stronger and more bitter by the minute.
  On 1/18/07, Florida Randy  wrote:   I'm an Xmas 2006 recipient of my first roaster (Z&D's) and am already
hooked. As part of my search for info on the elements of the "perfect" 
cup I decided to mothball the family electric percolater in favor of a
12 cup Bodum press.  Reading all the "tips" I used my burr grinder to
achieve a "medium" grind (press goes to the bottom without significant 
effort) and have optimum water temp (195-200).
However, even with brewing times as short as 90 seconds the coffee seems
too strong compared to the percolater and the water to coffee ratio
isn't significantly different.  I had expected even more flavor from the 
press, even tho the percolater was pretty good.  My thoughts were to
make the grind more course to slow the brew, reduce the coffee to water
ratio (currently 1 level scoop (7.5g), or try for even a shorter brew
(30-60 seconds).
All thoughts are welcome.
Thanks
Randy--
MichaelB 
Ronnie Kramer
Austin, TX

11) From: raymanowen
I have a Bodum press too.
Nearly the same as yours, I got it at Fourbucks for maybe $30 about
ten years ago.
I grind 40g into the beaker and dump ?~44 oz of 202 F water into it
and cover with a saucer.
After a minute, I give it a stir and stick it in the microwave for 22s
to maintain the heat.
After a minute or two more, I put on the press top and lower the boom.
I have never experienced any resistance whatsoever unless I covered
the filter mesh with one of the paper basket filters or a 5 micron
filter fabric.
The latter gives crystal clear coffee with >no< body, as in Wala na,
None. At least, not that I'm fond of.
At this point, it has been brewing about three minutes at a
temperature that has been dropping from my desired brew temperature.
With an initial grind pitch between 35 and 60 (0= burrs touching for
talcum powder, 100= very coarse), I lower the mesh slowly and
carefully decant a stein of the Nectar of the Beans. The rest goes
slowly into a preheated Thermos.
Cheers -RayO, aka Opa!
Got Grinder?

12) From: Florida Randy
Ray -
Your suggestions were right on the mark.  I was skeptical of 40g, given
7.5g/4 fl would have been 84g in my 12 cup (6 US cup)  (1.5 liter, 48
oz) Chambord pot.
I set the Hearthware Supremo grinder on "max course" setting and brewed
for 3 minutes.
This made a BIG difference.
Thanks again.
On Thu, 18 Jan 2007 14:00:35 -0700, raymanowen said:
<Snip>

13) From: john nanavati
I use both a Percolator and Press Pot and use similar ratios for each.
The Percolator:
i use 2T of coffee per cup and make a minimum of 2 cups. i use a rocky
grinder and set it to 28 (rougher than a drip grind)
The Press Pot:
2T of coffee for a single cup (i have the small one since i'm the only
drinker in the house - this is a comperable cup as i use for the percolator)
and set the grind for 50.
just before my water boils, i'll place just a little water in the pot and
nuke it for 10sec to warm/steam up the glass - it seems to help. i justify
it like warming an espresso cup. i'll throw out the water and dump in the
beans.
now, i brew my press pot for a long time. i'll stir while pouring in the
water, cover with a small plate (i think it holds the heat better than the
lid), and wait for four minutes. Stir again and cover for four minutes. stir
again and add the lid with stopper. let everything settle for about 2-3 min,
plunge, and serve.
It makes a strong cup (as you'd imagine) but doesn't taste bitter, like tea
that's steeped too long.
Works for me. Hope it helps.
Happy day,
John.
John Nanavati
Plainfield, New Jersey


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