Adjusting Brewing Recipes to Comp for Coffee Age

Hi all,

Any thoughts or tips on how to adjust brewing recipes to compensate for aged coffee? I’m an at home barista these days and find my coffees fall flat and die at the ~10-15 day-from-roast mark (with half a bag left to drink through). I’ve played around with tightening the grind to up extraction and minimizing blooms (on the hunch that the coffee has less C needed to be released), but haven’t nailed it yet. What do you guys do to adjust your brewing recipes?Thanks!

When you minimize blooms are you still allowing the prewet phase to finish?

What kind of flavors do you experience ~10-15 days?

The coffees I have on hand usually extract amazingly well from 14-21 days. You may have a quality issue or simply prefer young coffees.

Hmm well for an 18g v60 (total 300g), I typically use a 45g bloom (30sec), but have dropped down to 36g (trying a 2:1 ration). Didn’t notice a significant impact here, and finding the coffees taste flat (little brightness and astringent, hence the efforts to up extraction). Perhaps it turns into a question of contact time on the whole…

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I find that this happens with coffees that are under developed. Do you think there is a possibility this coffee is roasted too light?

Roasted coffee absorbs twice its weight in water. Prewet needs to use at least that much but you won’t see much difference if you use more than 36g water for an 18g dose.

You’re right that there’s less CO to be released at this point, but that should make it easier to extract the flavor you want. In fact you should get less astringent flavor.

My rule of thumb is to 1) Prewet with dose(x2)
2) wait for all prewet water to get absorbed or percolate
3) add remaining water in small amounts to keep slurry level low and minimize turbulence

If the resulting beverage is too bitter I grind a little coarser and repeat.

If the beverage is too thin/acidic I extend the brew time.

I really hope this is helpful!

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Perhaps look into a different storage method to reduce the effects of ageing?
I’m about to invest in a vacuum sealer and starting to freeze beans after seeing what people like Michael Cameron are up to:

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So… I just throw gel-silica pack into the coffee bag and voila, the dessicant actually works. I do not have any ice crystals plus I can open and close the bag with, dare I say, impunity. Just squeeze the air out. Absolutely, no degradation in flavor up to 3 months (as long as I have tested).

This is for pourover, not espresso.

I also vacuum seal as well when I have large batches to store.

I think the primary enemy is moisture, rather than oxygen when freezing. So the drama of vacuum resealing coffee, is eliminated due to the silica gel food packets.

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Very helpful everyone, thanks for the feedback & helpful tips. Perhaps a combination of things and much to try out, but learning above all that recipes and methods should stay fluid. Have been thinking, especially of late, not to get locked into one recipe for all coffees and ages. Thanks!

I tend to grind finer, bloom longer, though not always the case. bloom goes up 45-50 seconds… I think with older coffee it takes a bit longer to penetrate the grinds for more effective extraction. This is not proven and can be completely wrong but seems to work for me.

Still it varies a great deal on bean, lower elevations(less dense) do not require as much of the above adjustments.