Our new shop just opened and we have a Seraphim by Wilbur Curtis. I haven’t been able to create a recipe that brews even a good cup.
For those who have used the Seraphim, what do you find that works? All of my brews are pretty watery (which I think may have to do with the initial water being too low of a temperature, despite the tank being set at 206F).
For reference, we’re using the EK43 as our grinder and all light/light-medium roasted coffee. My grind is 6.5 on the EK, but that info may not be useful since our grinder is likely calibrated differently.
Any help or tips are greatly appreciated.
Bummer to hear you are having some issues with the Seraphim. I actually work for Curtis and deal mainly with customers using the Seraphim, so I would be glad to help you out with some suggestions for getting the most out of your brewer.
One of the first things I point people too is the temperature setting in the tank, but it seems you already have that area addressed by setting it to 206*. Even with the tank set there, I would highly recommend using the “pre-wet” setting to flush the head with a decent amount of water (15-17sec) to help keep everything hot. I know we try to address that issue by circulating water from the tank to the brew head throughout the brew cycle, but as we all know, any extra steps we can do to increase out temperature stability will always be beneficial.
Im assuming you are probably using a Kalita or v60 for brewing? Try to keep the brewing device as close as you can to the spray head to mitigate heat loss in the water from the spray head to the coffee bed. Another thing to take into consideration is the decrease of bed turbulence when using Seraphim vs. gooseneck kettle. Water is falling more gently on the coffee then when you use a gooseneck kettle, so bed turbulence drops a little bit when using the seraphim, which is why I really like to agitate the bed during the bloom. That being said, its always worth creating some recipes with one head calibrated for “no sprayhead” and see if that helps you bump up extraction percentage as well.
These are just a few quick suggestions I think could really help. If you have any other questions feel free to reach out to me via email: Angomez@wilburcurtis.com
Thank you so much for replying! I have felt so lost trying to dial in the Seraphim, something I am not used to when it comes to brewing.
I actually have been using the black basket that comes with the Seraphim and the grey sprayhead. I hadn’t thought of using the “no sprayhead” setting, I’ll try that when I get to work tomorrow. Would it be helpful to post a picture of the settings I have been using?
Thanks for the help so far.
Ahhh I see, so you are using the brew cones. In that case, I would stick to using the shower heads. Both Purple or Grey are fine to use with the brew cone, and I would still recommend giving the heads a good flush with water before brewing. The biggest change that has helped me with those brew cones was tinkering with my coffee and water ratios. I actually does a bit heavier then I would usually do with a V60 or Kalita. Since the brew cones “drip out” spout works off of a siphon concept, the brew cone will retain a small amount of liquid. So for example, I usually do a standard hand pour over with a 16:1 or 16.5:1 ratio, but with the cone I much prefer a 14.5: or 15:1 ratio. So for a 12oz cup im usually dosing around 23-25g of coffee. Also be sure to give a good amount of pause time after your initial bloom water, and dont worry if the stream of liquid stops coming out of the brew cone, I know some people think something is wrong if that happens, its just a momentary delay in the “drip out” until the liquid level in the basket fills to the appropriate level to start coming out again. If you want to send a pic of the recipe you have that would be great, I can play around with it here with one of our machines.
We also use the Seraphim brewer at my shop and have been running into some similar issues.
Longer flushing before a brew seems to help keep the temp up and we’ve also insulated the water lines to keep heat from escaping before it reaches the spray head. We are using Kalita for single cup brews and Chemex for multiple brews. The Chemex has generally come out at a higher extraction percentage than the Kalita. We haven’t tried agitating during the bloom on Kalita, so I’ll definitely give that a shot. Could you expand on calibrating one head for “no sprayhead”?
Im considering a Seraphim for my new shop, did you ever get these issues resolved?
As Andrew recommended above, I am using the “No Sprayhead” setting with the Hario V60. The force of the water agitating the ground on the no sprayhead setting makes up for the loss of water evenly being placed over the grounds with the purple or gray sprayhead.
Where are you located @castry01? If you’re in the Northwest United States or BC, Canada I would be happy to have you in our shop to check it out.
I also think Revolver up in Vancouver, Canada switched to the Seraphim. So if you’re near I’d recommend checking them out as well.
Kevin! Would you be able to chat on the phone about your experience with the Seraphim in the next few days? We are getting very close to purchasing equipment and are just gathering some final opinions!
Ryan I would love to chat and answer any questions you have. I’d also recommend reaching out to @AndrewG at Wilbur Curtis, he was really helpful when we were pioneering brew methods with the Seraphim.
Feel free to send me a private message with your contact info, I am typically not too busy early to mid afternoons (1-3pm, PST).
Talk to you soon.
Hey man, can’t figure out the private message thing for some reason but feel free to call me at 414-405-0370, can’t wait to chat