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Date: 01 Mar 2007 02:34:03
From: Randall Nortman
Subject: Sediment from an Aeropress?
I recently got an Aeropress and I've noticed that I'm getting some
fines in the cup, and this is using the stock paper filters.
Everything I've read says you should get absolutely no particulates in
the cup from a Aeropress, so I'm wondering what's going on. Is this
normal? Is there something wrong with my filters? Am I doing
something wrong?

I have been pressing pretty hard to get through the extraction of a
double in under 30 seconds. I'm grinding on a decent burr grinder
(KitchenAid Pro Line). I started with a near-espresso grind (7.5 on
the KA - 8 is the finest) and have since backed off to 6.5, which is
definitely finer than drip but coarser than espresso. I'm not
pressing so hard that the paper tears, so it should not be possible to
get sediment through the filter no matter what the grind is, right?

TIA for any insights,

--
Randall




 
Date: 03 Mar 2007 10:23:46
From: rasqual
Subject: Re: Xtreme stirring (was Re: Sediment from an Aeropress?)
On 3, 10:12 am, Randall Nortman <usenet8...@wonderclown.com >
wrote:
> On 2007-03-02, a...@aerobie.com <a...@aerobie.com> wrote:

> > Pressing gently is always best. It permits a finer grind, and thus a
> > richer brew.

> I'm not sure I follow the logic -- I find that the finer the grind,
> the harder I have to press in order to extract in under 30 seconds.
> And the finer the grind, the more important it seems to be to do it
> quickly to avoid over-extraction. With a coarser grind I can press
> more gently.

Alan's refering to the way an aggressive press can compress the puck
so throughput is impeded. By pressing gently, puck compression is
minimized and throughput is conserved. Of course, with less pressure
there's less throughput, but what throughput you have is impeded
less. :-/

It's certainly possible to have a grind for which this difference is
moot and the Aero will stall now matter how light or hard one presses,
though.

Sounds like you've struck on the median for your grind variable that
gives you wide latitude for control of the others to obtain a proper
extraction, though. That's key. Once you have the grind dialed in,
your other variables give you a range of control that make the Aero
such a versatile brewing device.

- S



 
Date: 02 Mar 2007 18:32:11
From: rasqual
Subject: Re: Sediment from an Aeropress?
On 2, 2:38 pm, "nicfortin" <otor...@gmail.com > wrote:
> Anyonw have tried natural unbleached cotton fabric?
> For me it's perfect, do not take away too much oil and no fines
> either :)
>
> But I still don't undertsandwhy I would wnat to go thru the hassle of
> starting to press while still in inverted mode..http://scott.quardt.googlepages.com/invertedaeropressingforbetterc...
> I do realize the advantage of inverting (no water drip right away in
> the cup, diluting...) but startinf the "stroke" still inverted...
>
> anyway... my 2c

Yeah, I'd wager that cotton would work pretty well.

I've been a bit irritated at how many web forums and the like have
picked up and promoted the meme about inversion being a way of
resolving wash-through, and the irony that my own effort to calibrate
an understanding of worthy inversion rationales is now implicated,
well, it's intolerable. ;-)

Seriously, I can't believe how many folks see inversion as the
solution to a grind problem (too much wash-through), which probably
bothers them because they're using too little water in the first place
(pace Alan).

Inversion will get you more oil in the cup. Much more oil.
Unbelievably more oil. So much more oil that you'll decide you don't
really want to brew that way.

That web page, alas, needs edits. Frankly, I almost have enough
material to write a book about the bloomin' Aeropress!

Good to see Alan here to lay out some orthodox counsel. I can't count
how many Aeropresseurs Alan has rescued from frustration by being on
hand with ready advice.

- S



 
Date: 02 Mar 2007 13:28:36
From:
Subject: Re: Xtreme stirring (was Re: Sediment from an Aeropress?)
Hi All,

I invented the beast. Here are a few comments.

First of all, if any part is defective we will happily replace it.
Just email your address and details to me: alan@aerobie.com

But from what I've read, I'm not sure that ther is a defect.

Kitchen Aid Proline grinders make a lot of fines at any setting.

Pressing hard will definitely pass some fines into the cup. They pass
through the interface between the chamber bottom edge and the paper.

Pressing gently is always best. It permits a finer grind, and thus a
richer brew.

The hissing sound at the end happens when the liquid is expelled from
the puck and you are pushing air through the puck. It's completely
normal. Some foam is created at this stage.

I hope this helps. We want satisfied AeroPressers. Let me know if I
can be of service.

Sincerely yours,

Alan



  
Date: 03 Mar 2007 16:12:03
From: Randall Nortman
Subject: Re: Xtreme stirring (was Re: Sediment from an Aeropress?)
On 2007-03-02, alan@aerobie.com <alan@aerobie.com > wrote:
[...]
> First of all, if any part is defective we will happily replace it.
> Just email your address and details to me: alan@aerobie.com
>
> But from what I've read, I'm not sure that ther is a defect.
[...]

I agree. I think the problem was with my technique, not the
equipment (which is velous -- bravo).


> Pressing gently is always best. It permits a finer grind, and thus a
> richer brew.
[...]

I'm not sure I follow the logic -- I find that the finer the grind,
the harder I have to press in order to extract in under 30 seconds.
And the finer the grind, the more important it seems to be to do it
quickly to avoid over-extraction. With a coarser grind I can press
more gently.

--
Randall


 
Date: 02 Mar 2007 12:38:54
From: nicfortin
Subject: Re: Sediment from an Aeropress?
Anyonw have tried natural unbleached cotton fabric?
For me it's perfect, do not take away too much oil and no fines
either :)

But I still don't undertsandwhy I would wnat to go thru the hassle of
starting to press while still in inverted mode..
http://scott.quardt.googlepages.com/invertedaeropressingforbettercoffee
I do realize the advantage of inverting (no water drip right away in
the cup, diluting...) but startinf the "stroke" still inverted...

anyway... my 2c

nic



 
Date: 02 Mar 2007 20:10:08
From: Natarajan Krishnaswami
Subject: Re: Sediment from an Aeropress?
On 2007-03-01, Randall Nortman <usenet8189@wonderclown.com > wrote:
> So this morning I managed to brew a sediment-free cup (at least there
> was no visible sediment by the time I had drunk down to the last 1/2"
> so that I could see through the coffee to the bottom of the mug).

Cool, glad to hear you have a workaround. Out of curiosity, how did
you like the way this tasted, compared to the finer grind?


N.


  
Date: 03 Mar 2007 16:06:03
From: Randall Nortman
Subject: Re: Sediment from an Aeropress?
On 2007-03-02, Natarajan Krishnaswami <nxk3@cwru.edu > wrote:
> On 2007-03-01, Randall Nortman <usenet8189@wonderclown.com> wrote:
>> So this morning I managed to brew a sediment-free cup (at least there
>> was no visible sediment by the time I had drunk down to the last 1/2"
>> so that I could see through the coffee to the bottom of the mug).
>
> Cool, glad to hear you have a workaround. Out of curiosity, how did
> you like the way this tasted, compared to the finer grind?

Better! The finer grind was leading to over-extraction, not only
because of the grind itself leading to faster extraction but because
the finer grind slowed down pressing. The coarser grind allows a much
more relaxed pace without overextraction, and I'm only getting a
teaspoon or two of wash-through. The entire brewing process is about
50-60 seconds for a double, from the time the water first hits the
grounds to the time the plunger hits the puck, I don't have to press
hard, and the coffee is neither over- nor under-extracted. I am going
to start experimenting with pressing a quadruple, which I suspect will
require another click or two coarser again to get the level of
extraction right. A single probably needs a slightly finer grind, but
I don't think I'll have much occasion to brew singles.

--
Randall


 
Date: 02 Mar 2007 17:03:15
From: Natarajan Krishnaswami
Subject: Xtreme stirring (was Re: Sediment from an Aeropress?)
On 2007-03-01, Randall Nortman <usenet8189@wonderclown.com > wrote:
> This is a bit of a diversion from the subject of the thread, but what
> is the purpose of such extreme stirring? (Or is this a new sport:
> Xtreme Stirring?) Are you trying to increase the level of extraction?

I saw the Bodum device at a World ket and thought it looked cool,
so bought it. So I started using it to stir coffee in my French
press, etc. It doesn't make a big difference compared to a tiny whisk
or a judiciously used spoon. It does get the grounds uniformly wet
pretty much instantly, and I find the swirling and the sound pleasing.

I don't like the Aeropress paddle, as I always make a mess when I try
to use it.


N.


 
Date: 01 Mar 2007 07:51:41
From: Natarajan Krishnaswami
Subject: Re: Sediment from an Aeropress?
On 2007-03-01, rasqual <scott.quardt@gmail.com > wrote:
> But to the question -- I suspect your tube, rather than the cap
> (believe it or not).

Oh, that makes sense; I didn't meant to exclude either element of that
junction (cap or tube) from causing this behavior.

One thing that may be helpful (if not, it's certainly pretty) is to
press into a glass vessel. I usually use a Bodum Pavina, so I
constantly worry that it might explode in a scalding spray of aerobrew
and borosilicate death if I press too hard.

When this problem has happened to me (sediment with paper filter, not
coffee fragmentation bomb), it was pronounced enough that I could
actually feel the pressing get easier, and see/hear a jet of coffee
and sediment (and sometimes even grounds) squirting out one side of
the capped end and running down the side of the glass.

> It would seal perfectly even if I whacked the tube's end to death
> with a meat tenderizer. ;-)

Speaking from experience, I take it? Hope you cleaned the meat
tenderizer first!

> Contact Aerobie. Heck, mention the problem in the Aeropress thread at
> CG; Alan Adler is a regular there and I'm sure he'll help personally.
> It's awfully fun to have an inventor support his product
> personally. :-)

Yeah, seeing that was definitely one of the things that piqued my
interest about this great lil' contraption.

And thanks (I assume Scott == rasqual?) for the polyester felt reviews
on CG; upside down brewing is kinda fun. And with that mod, the
coffee is consistently very close to exactly what I hope for. Except
when I have been too lazy about cleaning the filter properly between
uses. Then the coffee is very close to exactly what I deserve,
instead.


N.


  
Date: 01 Mar 2007 14:55:51
From: Randall Nortman
Subject: Re: Sediment from an Aeropress?

Responding to both Natarajan and rasqual....

On 2007-03-01, Natarajan Krishnaswami <nxk3@cwru.edu > wrote:
> On 2007-03-01, rasqual <scott.quardt@gmail.com> wrote:
>> But to the question -- I suspect your tube, rather than the cap
>> (believe it or not).

I inspected the end of the tube carefully, and there do seem to be
some spots where it is not perfectly even, but I have to look very
carefully to see it.


> When this problem has happened to me (sediment with paper filter, not
> coffee fragmentation bomb), it was pronounced enough that I could
> actually feel the pressing get easier, and see/hear a jet of coffee
> and sediment (and sometimes even grounds) squirting out one side of
> the capped end and running down the side of the glass.

This has never happened to me -- no spurting jets of sediment.
Pressing gets easier only after I hear air hissing through the
grounds; in fact, until that happens, pressing seems to get
progressively harder as the puck becomes more compacted.

So this morning I managed to brew a sediment-free cup (at least there
was no visible sediment by the time I had drunk down to the last 1/2"
so that I could see through the coffee to the bottom of the mug). I
retreated to "6" on my KA PL grinder, which seems to be the sweet
spot, as I was able to press a double in about 30 seconds with only
moderate effort. I also carefully inspected the filter and the
junction of plastic/paper/plastic and didn't see any problems, though
the filter clearly had thin spots when I held it up to light. I made
sure to screw the filter cap on very tightly.

I suspect that what's happening is that there are some minor
imperfections in my tube, and maybe I haven't been screwing the cap on
tightly enough. When the grind is fine and I have to press very hard,
I think the pressure is enough to force some of the grounds through
the small gaps. When I backed off on the grind and therefore the
pressure, everything seems OK. An added benefit of the coarser grind
is that I don't feel like I have to rush through the process in order
to avoid over-extraction.


>> Contact Aerobie. Heck, mention the problem in the Aeropress thread at
>> CG; Alan Adler is a regular there and I'm sure he'll help personally.
>> It's awfully fun to have an inventor support his product
>> personally. :-)

Even though I seem to have worked around the problem, I may still do
this, just to see if the slight imperfections in my tube are within
expected manufacturing tolerances or if a replacement is in order. I
would like to have the freedom to go back to a fine grind and high
pressure extraction, just to be able to experiment over a wider range.
(After all, that's half the reason I bought an Aeropress -- the other
half being great coffee with minimal fuss and expense.)

Thanks for the responses.

--
Randall


 
Date: 28 Feb 2007 20:40:49
From: rasqual
Subject: Re: Sediment from an Aeropress?
On Feb 28, 8:34 pm, Randall Nortman <usenet8...@wonderclown.com >
wrote:
> I recently got an Aeropress and I've noticed that I'm getting some
> fines in the cup, and this is using the stock paper filters.
> Everything I've read says you should get absolutely no particulates in
> the cup from a Aeropress, so I'm wondering what's going on. Is this
> normal? Is there something wrong with my filters? Am I doing
> something wrong?

Use a grind that's just enough to give you a tablespoon at most of
wash-through during stirring. I'd suggest using more water than called
for as well -- at least, if you're diluting after pressing anyway.

But to the question -- I suspect your tube, rather than the cap
(believe it or not). However, Aerobie will address your concern if you
contact them. They may send you a cap, which has been known to resolve
this issue for some people.

I've never had a bad cap, but one or two of my Aeropresses have tubes
that aren't quite flush at the bayonet end. In my case it doesn't
matter since I, too, use polyester felt. It would seal perfectly even
if I whacked the tube's end to death with a meat tenderizer. ;-)

Contact Aerobie. Heck, mention the problem in the Aeropress thread at
CG; Alan Adler is a regular there and I'm sure he'll help personally.
It's awfully fun to have an inventor support his product
personally. :-)

- Scott



 
Date: 01 Mar 2007 04:34:46
From: Natarajan Krishnaswami
Subject: Re: Sediment from an Aeropress?
On 2007-03-01, Natarajan Krishnaswami <nxk3@cwru.edu > wrote:
> I use mine at 6, and stir well before pressing.

Sorry for the self-followup but this seems very unclear in retrospect.
To clarify, I also use a KA ProLine, and grind at six (though I'm not
sure whether these settings are comparable among their grinders). I
add the hot water in a couple of increments, stirring aggressively
with a Bodum schiuma electric "milk frother".


N.


  
Date: 01 Mar 2007 14:33:29
From: Randall Nortman
Subject: Re: Sediment from an Aeropress?
On 2007-03-01, Natarajan Krishnaswami <nxk3@cwru.edu > wrote:
> On 2007-03-01, Natarajan Krishnaswami <nxk3@cwru.edu> wrote:
>> I use mine at 6, and stir well before pressing.
>
> Sorry for the self-followup but this seems very unclear in retrospect.
> To clarify, I also use a KA ProLine, and grind at six (though I'm not
> sure whether these settings are comparable among their grinders).

I suspect (without any evidence to support it) that if you leave the
unit at the factory calibration (as I have), the numbers are roughly
comparable. More accurate than saying "somewhere between drip and
espresso) anyway. It's probably good to +/- 1 click (i.e., 0.5
"king units").

> I add the hot water in a couple of increments, stirring aggressively
> with a Bodum schiuma electric "milk frother".

This is a bit of a diversion from the subject of the thread, but what
is the purpose of such extreme stirring? (Or is this a new sport:
Xtreme Stirring?) Are you trying to increase the level of extraction?

--
Randall


 
Date: 01 Mar 2007 04:09:22
From: Natarajan Krishnaswami
Subject: Re: Sediment from an Aeropress?
On 2007-03-01, Randall Nortman <usenet8189@wonderclown.com > wrote:
> Is this
> normal? Is there something wrong with my filters? Am I doing
> something wrong?

I use mine at 6, and stir well before pressing. I used to get very
little/no sediment. What may be happening is that the liquid is
squirting out the side. You'll see the gaps on the side were this can
happen if you look at the black cap with a filter in place. I'd check
how firmly you're twisting the black cap for this. Also inspect the
filter (through the tube, and the sides) to make sure there are no
visible creases, which also cause this effect.

(These days, I get a goodly amount of sediment because I've switched
to a polyester felt filter with the upside down method.)


N.