Problem with Vario, V60, Kruve and stiring

(Alfonso) #1


I am using a Mahlkonig Vario and Kruve to brew coffee with V60. I have the coffee dose freeze in vacuum bags (15 gr.), I grind the coffee and sift with the Kruve (the sieves are 400 and 800, the recomendation for V60).

My first problem is: I don’t obtain more than 10 gr, also I can grind finer but the quantities in each section look the same, the only difference is the coffee in the middle (“the correct”) is each time finner. The last position I proved with the Vario is 2 - I; it looks like espresso coffee, the time of is 3:30 minutes, the temperature 96º C and is overextracted (bitter and very dry), the ratio is 10 gr - 220 ml. And the grains are all over the filter, in my opinion becuase the size is very small and the flow of water displace some of them around the filter.

If I use the recommendation for V60 of Baratza Vario is 5 - M but if I sift the result with the Kruve the correct coffee is around 6-8 gr.

Who has the reason? What is the better choice: Kreuve or Baratza?

Also, I am trying to follow the recommendations and stir the bed of coffee during the preinfusion stage, I stir the bed of coffee during the process. However, always I make it, the coffee finishes around all the filter.

Is it correct? Should I stir only the water? Some have I diagram/video of stirring for dummies?

Thanks in advance.

PD: I search before for similar topics but I didn’t find one similar. I suppose they are newbie questions.

(Mark Burness) #2

Set your grinder so that 10-15% passes through the 400 Kruve with a 10g test grind, shaken for 2min.

Then grind your 15g dose, do not sift or discard any portion & brew with 240-250g brew water.

If you do want to sift out a portion of your grind, try using the larger sieves to sift out ~15-20% at the larger end only, once you have established a tasty & consistent recipe without sifting.

Stir the bloom & pour in spirals covering the whole bed, a gentle swirl of the brewer when all the water has been added should wash all the grinds from the filter wall.

(Alfonso) #3

Thanks, I’ll follow your advice.

Only a question, when I stir the bloom. Should I make the stir without touching the coffee bed or shaking the coffee bed?

Best regards.

(Mark Burness) #4

When stirring the bloom, yes, dig down into the bed & make sure all the grounds are wet…I do more of a ‘dig & wiggle’, but the idea is to ensure every ground sees some water at this point.

For Kalita Wave I give it a shake, but the bed will be shallower than for V60.

(j l) #5

Swirl is a key step in pourover to wash grinds down from the side and more importantly, have an even bed and eliminate channeling.

At the end of each pulse pour, I will do a small swirl since my theory is that channeling can’t be prevented if allowed to draw down for too long at one time.

Paddle or spoon to stir the bloom is really important, and don’t be shy about it.

Stir bloom, and small swirl has made a huge difference in brewing and doing this, has allowed me to grind finer for better flavor profile.

(John) #6

Interesting since for me, too much swirling causes too much agitation, causing too many fines settling, causing late choking.

(j l) #7

Grinder and beans definitely affect the amount of fines, for instance with the Sette 270, there is a larger percentage of fines developed so “late choking” when doing pourovers.

I use Baratza Preciso and Lido 3 so fines tend to not be an issue. Particularly with the Lido 3.

Though “swirling” is a bit inaccurate, it just means a round motion just enough to settle bed usually 2 seconds or less with minimal movement. This usually helps settle the grinds that are high and dry.

(John) #8

Agreed. We experienced way too much inconsistency with pour overs using the Sette so switched to the Vario. The grind is much nicer now with fewer fines. Still, though, we have to be very careful with agitation during draw down for some reason. Finding better filters helped but we still experience choking with, say, multiple pulse pours or mid-brew stirring. Could just be technique…

(j l) #9

I dunno… I have an aggressive pour for pulse, until the last pour then very low and slow. Possibly aggressive earlier pours redistributes the fines collecting in the bottom part of the filter so last pour is not choking? Just guessing here.

I use V60 and Kalita with only original filters, with various timings the Kalita(coarser grind) usually around 20 seconds longer than V60 and almost the same technique.

(John) #10

You might be right about aggressive pours keeping the fines in suspension. I prefer gentle pours to minimize variable inconsistencies as well as over extraction from excessive agitation. But in doing so, it does seem that the more pulses I introduce, the more fines I settle and choke up.

(j l) #11

I differ a bit from standard practice on this point. I am all about aggressive extraction for most of the brew, but at the end pour low and slow.

Theory is that the last 10-15% of the brew is where over extraction can occur, not the first 85-90%. So that last pour can be fine tuned with just changing the amount of water poured for achieving that optimal point before bitterness settles in. To your point, really need to minimize agitation/turbulence at that point. Slurry needs to be high enough for that final pour to not disturb the bed of the grinds.

But to do this, need to be uniform on the prior pours, though not “robotic” level :slight_smile:

I just don’t feel that having a uniform pour flow rate from beginning to end makes, much sense. Or more to the point, too much work to figure out how to time it perfectly across all pours and grind size. I would just rather tune at the end by water volume. :slight_smile:

Though, I did try to make American Airlines coffee taste better (attendant gave me several of their brew pods) and I can state with absolute surety… there is NO way on this planet to make that coffee taste in anyway, other than pure stank. Unbelievably horrible. No brew method possible. :smiley:

(Mark Burness) #12

If your recipe & grind is dialled in, then over-extraction shouldn’t be an issue if pouring consistently. If you are dialling in a new/different grinder, using that dialled in recipe, then your over-extraction was going to happen the moment you ground the coffee, long before you added the last 10-15% of water.

Sure, you can tune by tweaking water volume, once you have determined whether you have over/under-extracted. But why not just dial in the grinder and save yourself making brews at a wide range of strengths?

(j l) #13

Ah, maybe my use case is different. Throughout the week I brew usually 8 different coffee types and add at least 4 more every month. Even with freezing, brewing changes over two weeks. My recipe is fixed, until the last pour so easier for me to change in this model plus my adjustment up or down from target 16.3:1 water to coffee ratio allows me a pleasing strength either way I adjust.

Well recipe fixed, means a separate recipe for light, medium, and the occassional dark n/a (aeropress).

(Kale Bailey) #14

Question for op, are you using the Vario with the ceramic or steel burrs? Having switched to steel I’ve noticed much more even extraction in terms of flavour for my V60 brews. I don’t use a sifter though so can’t make any inference on particle distribution.

(Alfonso) #15

It is the ceramic version.

(Kale Bailey) #16

I’d suggest trying a set of steel burrs. They’re a relatively cheap way of really improving your grind quality for filter settings. I find more predictable brew times and am now grinding in the 7 setting range. You’d probably find you’re sifting out less coffee with the kruve as well.