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Topic: French press addicts, try this (17 msgs / 420 lines)
1) From: sci
Some of you may have already tried this, but I never heard of it, so I tried
it.
It works nicely and isn't a trouble.
As your water comes to a boil for your French press, grind your beans to the
coarseness you like.
Then, take a fine grain sifter and pour your grounds in it. Now gently sift
out the fines and powders from your grind. Put the sifted coarse grounds in
the press and brew as usual.
I get a noticeably smoother sweeter cup this way. The fines and powders over
extract and give more bitterness.
I know this adds a step in the process, but it only takes seconds as the
water starts boiling anyway.
Let me know what you think.
 Ivan
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2) From: Barry Luterman
Better yet get a good grinder
On Wed, Mar 19, 2008 at 1:56 PM, sci  wrote:
<Snip>
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3) From: Oolan Zimmer
sci wrote:
<Snip>
I do this too, and I've found that it makes a huge difference.  You
don't even need to remove all of the fines, just most of them really
improves the cup.   Of course, the more thorough you are, the better the
results.  Even if you have a decent grinder and you think it has an even
grind, the amount of fines is still surprising.  Even a good grinder
only makes the largest grinds even, not the smallest. 
I also grind finer than is typically suggested for FP, more like between
drip and espresso.  I keep grinding finer as I experiment more.  The
reason is, there is no longer any effort in pressing the plunger on the
FP (my main reason for a coarse grind before), I can make the grounds
more even in size, and I can reduce brewing time and so guarantee a more
even brewing temperature.  I'm down to below 2 minutes of brew time.  I
pour the coffee through a "gold" metal filter after it's done brewing,
which catches any stray grounds that escaped the plunger and will
overextract in the thermal carafe I pour the coffee into. 
In addition to a sweeter/smoother cup, the muddy mouthfeel that many
complain about is either greatly reduced or gone.  You can now drink the
whole cup, though the thermal carafe I pour into does have some mud at
its bottom.
I keep wondering what to do with the fines I've sifted out.  It's pretty
even in size, a lot like talcum powder, and there's just enough of it to
make me think about keeping it.  I bet it would make good Turkish
coffee.  It'll go stale before I collect enough to use it, though, so I
currently throw it away.
I keep meaning to buy a lab sifter or three so I know what size range of
grounds I have.  Maybe 600 micron, 350 micron, and 100 micron. 
-- 
Oolan Zimmer
ozimmer
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4) From: Terry McVay (rr)
I like French Press, wife doesn't care for the 'mud', so I fit a paper
basket filter over the piston and it strains just fine. For our taste
anyway... 
Aloha,
Terry

5) From: Brian Kamnetz
On Wed, Mar 19, 2008 at 10:55 PM, Oolan Zimmer  wrote:
<Snip>
Oolan,
I googled around a bit looking for a lab sifter and didn't have much
luck finding them. Where would you shop for them? Also, is there such
a thing as a lab sifter with interchangable screens?
Brian
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6) From: Ken Schillinger
Here's a link to one, and it looks pricey.
Ken.http://www.rainhart.com/soil_4.htm

7) From: Oolan Zimmer
Brian Kamnetz wrote:
<Snip>
Google for a "test sieve".   Also "lab sieve".  There are two processes
for sorting powders, wet sorting and dry sorting.  This is for dry sorting.
They have a precision screen on a standard-sized frame.  The screen and
frame are either made of brass or stainless; the frame and screen are
frequently different materials.  There are a number of frame sizes, but
8" is most common as I recall.  The frames are designed to be stacked,
with a cover on the top and a catch basin on the bottom. 
In a lab, you make a stack of the sieves, starting with a catch basin
and ending with the substance to be sorted and a cover.  Then you put
the whole thing on a sieve shaker, which does exactly what it sounds
like.  A few minutes later, the dry substance is sorted.
Screens are sized by screen number.  A higher screen number has smaller
openings.  There's a standard conversion between hole size (in microns
or micrometers) and screen number.
The individual frames can be found for as little as $40 for surplus to
about 3x that for top-of-the-line new with a certificate.  Never get a
used sieve, you don't know what it was used for and you'll never get all
of whatever it was out of the screen.  For all you know, it was used for
sorting sodium cyanide...
You don't need a shaker, a lid, or a catch basin to sort a little bit of
coffee, unless you're literally doing this all day.  Shakers are
expensive, but you might luck out on a used one and only pay a thousand
or two. 
Also be aware, most of the lab equipment providers require a minimum
purchase.
Oolan Zimmer
ozimmer
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8) From: Bill Laine
Yeah, I tried this this morning with a kitchen strainer, like a big tea
strainer. _All_ of my grounds went through down the disposal. Don't know if
I need a lab sifter but I will be prowling the stores looking for a finer
sifter this weekend. It sounds like a good idea.
Bill
New Orleans
On Thu, Mar 20, 2008 at 9:42 AM, Brian Kamnetz  wrote:
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9) From: Brian Kamnetz
Thanks for the info.
Brian
On Thu, Mar 20, 2008 at 3:44 PM, Oolan Zimmer  wrote:
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10) From: Rich
This is exactly what you a looking for, "The Coffee Grind Sizer".http://www.qclabequipment.com/COFFEEGRINDSIEVER.htmlOnly $125.00. As you might guess, this ground has been plowed and 
fertilized before...
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11) From: raymanowen
Try "ro-tap."
It's a well-known (to those who know it well) sieve shaker. You can stick
whatever sieve(s) you want in it.
No sieve shaker or any lab equipment will improve your grind quality. Only
the grinder and burrs can do that.
The cup I used for my last double shot looks like a few drops of
coffee-colored Parker ink dried in the bottom of it. The Steinways- an 18 oz
brew in a TechniVorm- are the same way. "Body" can be swirled up in either
the shot or the Steinway mug and it tastes good. There's very little of it.
Cheers, Mabuhay -RayO, aka Opa!
-- 
"When the theme hits the bass, I dance the Jig!" - -Virgil Fox at the Mighty
Wichita (ex- NYC Paramount) WurliTzer- 1976
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12) From: Brett Mason
I use my Zass and have the same sweet experieance....
Ginny and Mike and Penny can vouch for this - we taste tested in
Downtown Phoenix....
Brett
On Wed, Mar 19, 2008 at 7:56 PM, sci  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Cheers,
Bretthttp://homeroast.freeservers.comHomeroast mailing list
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13) From: Brett Mason
Maybe as an interim to a new Chemistry sized strainer, you should buy
a ZASS and save some money?
$77 at www.sweetmarias.com
Brett
P.S.  Sometimes I find the list totally nuts
P.P.S. I bet there are some professional grade strainers available for
$500 each...  This would improve the science experiment...
P.P.P.S. I only came for good coffee....
On Thu, Mar 20, 2008 at 5:58 PM, Rich  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Cheers,
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14) From: Seth Grandeau
I would love to see a comparison of common grinders run through that sieve
strainer.  How consistent are each of the major grinders?
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15) From: Paul Helbert
Yes indeed. That would be a good and relatively inexpensive way to evaluate
them.
-- 
Paul Helbert
In my opinion, it's my opinion which counts.
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16) From: sci
My little fine-screened sifter, which is all I was originally suggesting for
French Press lovers to try, only cost about $2.99 at Walmart. I never
thought somebody would suggest the complicated industrial sifter systems. I
suppose if you wanted the absolute perfect grind where every particle of
coffee is the same size, one of those rigs could do it for you. And I'm sure
you'd get rewarded with a better cup. But its not affordable or practical
like what I recommended.
Every grinder will make some powders and fines. A simple sifter will get
those out of a 15g dose for a FP in about 30 seconds for $2.99. I can't
image a simpler method for increasing cup quality a notch or two.
It sure has made the Eth. Konga roasted at C sing like a zither as it
ripples across my fore palate.
Got FP? Got homeroast?
Give this a try; it works.
Ivan
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17) From: sci
 Terry,
I use a brown paper filter too, but mostly to extract the diterpene oils
that hike LDL cholesterol. Any unfiltered coffee (i.e., espresso, or
Turkish) will do this too. The paper filter catches the offending oil. As
for mud in the bottom, that doesn't bother me. Rather, I think it adds
character and body. I have a vacuum pot which produces a very clean cup,
almost too clean for my liking.
Oolan
I'll try some finer grinds to see if I can get my brew time down. Currently
I brew for exactly 3 minutes.  Have you tried using an insulated press? It
keeps the water temp pretty close to the temp you poured (I pour at 205F.
I've found the insulation makes for a swift and hearty extraction. I did
something very simple: get one of those foam "beer can huggers" that
companies give away for promos. Then get a small Bodum press (12 oz size).
Take the glass out of the Bodum holder and insert in the beer can hugger.
Presto!
Where can you get the lab sifters you mentioned?
I noticed that somebody said a better grinder was the solution to our woes.
As Allon indicated, you could have a NASA coffee grinder and you would still
need a better grinder. Any grinder generates powders since the nature of a
roasted been is brittle. Our sifter method circumvents the weakness of all
grinders.
Ivan
Message: 44
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