Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Brewing Volume Question

Question
We just replaced a 20-plus year old Bunn drip coffee maker.  We replaced it with a VPR-VPS coffee maker, pour-over style with 2 warmers.  The dispenser (carafes) are 12-cup capacity.  If we make a smaller batch (i.e. 6 cups) will this cause a problem with the next full batch?  Our old maker would sometimes either overflow or short the next full batch.
Thanks
PCK in Washington

Answer
 
The syphon system will work fine with a 32 ounce (half-batch) brew. I would not suggest less than that.  You biggest issue will be the short contact time with the reduced volume.  If you are grinding your coffee, you may try a slightly finer grind when brewing the half-bath or  a little more than half of the full weight.

Happy Brewing,
Dr. Brew

The Right Recipe

Question
Dr. Brew,

I head up a coffee ministry at my church and in my personal quest for a better cup of coffee, about 1.5 years ago, we invested in an ICB Twin Tall brewer along with an MHG grinder system. The quality from where we came from is by far better but I feel as if it could be even better, I am ready to take it to the next level. Given we selling coffee to raise money for missions, I want to extract the most flavor out of the least amount of beans that I can so as to raise more money. We brew the same 7 coffees and while I don’t want to maximize profits, I want a good full bodied cup of coffee as well.

Given my goal, what are my options for writing or getting recipes written for my grinder and machine and is it worth it? I have thought that if I could create a good baseline that would work for all 7 bean varieties, I may not need a specific recipe but rather just the setting to adjust my grinder and machine. Anything you can do to help would be great.

Best Regards,
Jim P.

Answer
 
My suggestion is a ratio of coffee to water (3.50 ounces coffee / 64 ounces water).

This is simply doubled for the large (gallon? brew)( 7.0 / 128). The large will likely not require any pulse brew or by-pass. The small brew may require a light pulse setting (start with the basic easy-pulse setting)
Start with a setting of 10 hash marks on the grinder burr from touch off. Each coffee may require a slightly different gate time setting due to bean size and density.

Happy Brewing,
Dr. Brew

Pods made at home for MCP

Question
Hello,

I received the above named coffee maker today. When I put in the pod drawer with no pod, it works great. When I add a homemade pod, water leaks from the sides. After talking with Bunn customer service, they said I cannot use my homemade pods, only pre-made bought commercial ones. I tried different grinds, very coarse to fine, and that did not help. I also tried 2 kinds of pods, to no avail.

So, my question is - can I not use my own pods with this machine? If not, I need to send it back pronto. Or, does Bunn make another pod drawer compatible with this machine that I could do so?

Thanks
Tamaris Jeane


Answer
 
Tamaris,

Sounds to me as if the flange of the pod paper is extended out under the seal, that contacts the pod drawer. By placing the home made pod, in the drawer, flat side down.  The paper flange will fold up around the pod and allow the seal to contact the drawer surface.  This should help the issue.

Happy Brewing,
Dr. Brew

Friday, June 14, 2013

Yet another ratio question

Question
A home customer writes:

"I had an interesting conversation about how much coffee should be measured for each (6 oz) cup. I maintain that 2 TB is the correct coffee measure according to many coffee merchants, and I use this guideline unless the package states otherwise."

The fine folks in the Bunn Laboratory have concluded that with our coffees, 1TB of grounds (or less!) to the cup can still yield a Gold Cup Standard brew. At the 2TB ratio, is there double strength? Or is the coffee simply under extracted? And will other brands of grocery store coffee possibly require more grounds due to some difference in the beans or roasting process?

- Michael

Answer
 
Michael,
Volume (2 TBS) is not sufficient to determine brew ratio.  Coffees vary in density due to type, roast and age of the bean when green (before roasting) just to name a few variables. The ground coffee should be weighed for accuracy.  A ratio of 10 grams coffee per 6.0 ounces of water is a good starting point.

As for Golden Cup, there is more to it than brew ratio.  Water quality, time of water contact with the ground coffee, temperature as well as how long you hold brewed coffee prior to service.  You can find more information in the BUNN Coffee Basics  on line at BUNN.com

Happy Brewing,
Dr. Brew

ICB Setup

Question
Hey there-
Just setting up a new ICB Twin Tall for a new cafe and trying to trouble shoot a few things. I can't seem to get far on the Programming function. Not letting past the Brew Lockout in Level 1, can't figure out how to get into Level 2...

Also, I am wondering what ratio coffee to water you are recommending for 1/2 size and full batches? I will be grinding fresh on demand from a Ditting K804.

Thanks, Chris A.

Answer
 
Chris,
Thanks for using our equipment. From the text above it seems the program lock-out switch may be in the locked position.  The switch is located on the main control board near the top edge of the board.  To access the main control board you would need to disconnect the brewer from the power supply and then remove the top cover/ panel of the unit.  Move the switch location to the opposite setting and replace the top cover.  Reconnect the brewer and you will be able to gain access to programming, follow the instructions in your set-up manual ( also available on-line @ bunn.com).

My suggestion is a ratio of coffee to water (3.50 ounces coffee / 64 ounces water).
This is simply doubled for the large (gallon? brew)( 7.0 / 128).  the large will likely not require any pulse brew or by-pass.  The small brew may require a light pulse setting (start with the basic easy-pulse setting)

Happy Brewing,
Dr. Brew