Saturday, August 27, 2011

Adventures in Coffee Making Part III

Todays coffee only differs slightly from yesterdays. When I was living in Chicago, I pretty much stuck with cold brewing coffee because I had such a small window of time in the morning every second saved was...well..appreciated. I would stick with four scoops in my nalgene, topped with cold tap water and in the fridge until it was time to drink it (usually 14 hours minimum). I really enjoyed this brew but never experimented much with it. Occasionally I would fill the nalgene with hot water from the tap and then place it directly in the fridge - and I always thought/suspected that it produced a better tasting cup. So...thats my lead up for todays experiment. What I did for this was place the grinds in the brewing vessel, topped them with 100 g of 94.4 C water, let them sit for five minutes, and then finished filling them with room temperature water. You'll notice my ratio is slightly different (+7.61 g of water) than it has been - this is just because of an accidental over pour and not wanting to toss the whole batch.  For the heck of it I also compared it with my regular old automatic drip again. I did regular and aerated pours for each batch. Here we go:

Batch A:
Brew: n2o in 1 liter canister
Room Temperature: 24.7 C
Grinds: 31.8 g, room temperature
Water: Tap, filtered through a Brita, 100 g @ 94.4 C, 418 g at room temperature
Charges: 2*
Brew Time: 15 hours 18 minutes in fridge
* When I first sealed the canister and started the first charge I noticed some gas leaking. I immediately discharged all gas, opened the container, resealed it, and then charged it with 2 new charges. I dont think this had any effect on the brew.

Batch B:
Brew: Grinds and h2o in 1 liter plastic container
Room Temperature: 24.7 C
Grinds: 31.8 g, room temperature
Water: Tap, filtered through a Brita, 100 g @ 94.4 C, 418 g at room temperature
Brew Time: 15 hours 18 minutes in fridge

Batch C:
Brew: Automatic Drip
Room Temperature: 24.7 C
Grinds: 31.8 g, room temperature
Water: Tap, filtered through a Brita, 518 g at whatever temperature my KRUPS brews at...hot
Brew Time: A few minutes

So the first thing I noticed this morning was that the two cold brews were darker in color than they have been. Batch B & C were both relatively clear, while Batch A was as cloudy as it has been.

Batch C:
As you can see, the color is dark and it is relatively clear. Sorry about the condensation on the lens.

Batch B:
 You may have to click the photo to enlarge it - but, again - you will notice that it is relatively clear compared to batch A below

Batch A:
 Dark in color, very cloudy. The oils that I mentioned seeing on the surface of the n2o brew day 1 were back today on Batch A - as you can see here:

Batch B: 
There was also a very small amount of oils on the surface of Batch B.

While its not entirely apparent in the photos above, because of different lighting, Batch A & B are virtually the same color - the only difference seems to be their clarity. Batch C was a slightly darker shade than the other batches. 

Batch C - I think I prefer the regular pour over the aerated pour..for no particular reason. It still tastes a little funny when compared to the cold brews. Much more acidic, the flavors seem...out of whack.

Overall, the flavors of Batch A & B seem less sweet to me than they have in the past. They're definitely still sweet up front, but it dies off much faster than before. The dominate flavors are dark and roasty. Batch A finishes with a flavor that I can only describe as wheaty or malty.

Like yesterday, Batch B tastes pretty much like a watered down version of Batch A. It also tastes...cleaner (if that makes sense). The flavor does not linger at all - once you swallow it is gone. Batch A really sticks with you for a while after swallowing. Definitely gives you coffee breath.

Thats it for observations. Heres the rundown.
1: Batch B, Regular pour
2: Batch A, Regular pour
3: Batch A, Aerated pour
4: Batch B, Aerated pour
5: Batch C, Regular pour
6: Batch C, Aerated pour

So it seems the aerated pours, which I have preferred leading up to the post, were not favored today. Could this be because of the method used in brewing? Or just because of the flavors I wanted this morning? Who knows. Definitely seems like the hot automatic drip sucks though. 

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