Like another recent poster, I'm trying to use AeroPress to brew on-demand, particularly for decaf "drip" equivalent, since we end up dumping most decaf out if we brew a whole pot. But I'm having trouble figuring out a good ratio.
For a 12 oz. cup, I've been using about 35 grams of coffee, ground one click finer than "fine" on a standard Bunn grinder. Inverted AeroPress, stir, let steep for 30 seconds, press and add water to fill. It tastes great. But for 16 oz and 20 oz, I just can't see to get dialed in. Is anyone else doing this, and if so, what ratios are you using?
I've only been playing around with my Aeropress for the past couple months and still not quite ready to use it for customers in the shop yet, so take my suggestions with a grain of salt. That said, it sounds like you're using a relatively high ratio of coffee, so maybe it would be worthwhile to try using a smaller dose. Correct me if I'm wrong (I very well may be, math is my weak point) but the SCAE standard brewing ratio for a 12 oz cup of coffee would be closer to 17 grams. I've been having some trouble nailing down my coffee dosage at home and bounced back and forth from as low as 14 to as high as 35 and while each end of that highlights different facets of the bean, I've yet to find the most preferable recipe. The Aeropress fills up to about 8 oz doesn't it? Are you adding 2 oz of hot water? For 16 oz I believe the ratio comes to almost 28 grams so I would try doing 28 grams and maybe adding 30 seconds to the steep (or moving the grind slightly finer if you don't want the added time to the process) and see how that comes out.
As to the ratio I've been using: I have jumped around a lot as I said, but recently I've been sticking around 17 grams of coffee using my Hario Skerton (probably just the slightest bit coarser than what I imagine you're using) steeped for 1:00 and plunged within 30 seconds. That gives me a nice 8 oz cup to drink straight or I'll muscle it up a bit by bring it closer to 20 grams and adding an oz or two of hot water to the brew.
I haven't had as much luck with finer grinds (they tend to smell amazing in the steep but come out tasting a little bitter despite my adjustments most times) but I'm going to try out your recipe and see if I can get it down.
Hopefully that helped you out a bit and if not, maybe you can provide some details as to what doesn't feel dialed in to you on the 16 and 20 oz brews. I'm still curious as to whether you're using a larger Aeropress I don't know about or adding water for these 12, 16 and 20 oz brews.
If you happen to remember Phil, what kind of recipe were using to highlight the taste. Strength seems to be mostly inevitable whenever I make an Aeropress but I have a hard time finding a method that consistently highlights the taste of the specific bean. I've been using Eithiopian Harrar recently and used in a small 8 oz presspot, pour over and even in batch brewing machines I've pulled a huge amount of berry notes (markedly blueberry) but rarely get the same intensity resulting from Aeropressed cups.
Phil Roberts said:
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm not sure the aeropress was designed to make a 16 or 20 oz coffee. Ive only used it for smaller cups, so I very well me wrong about this.
I've found that a chemex is a good option for doing larger servings. I use a 10 cup chemex with 28g for a 10oz and 42g for a 20oz servin, with 3&4 minute brew times respectively.
I got rid of our fetco back in 2006 and did aeropress for everything before they were popular, but haven't used it for much more than tasting demos since then...
I would suggest a starting water to coffee ratio of 14:1 by weight. Water weighs 1 gram/ml if you want to convert to volume.
Justin, a 12oz cup contains approximately 355ml. So simply divide 355/14 to get your starting coffee weight. 355/14= 25 grams. Your TDS with your current recipe is probably too high unless you dilute after brewing.
For 16oz (473ml) 473/14= 33.8 grams. Start here first, then modify as needed.
I spoke with a Aeropress rep about a year ago and his brew method was to make a strong base to start (don't remember exactly, but probably about a 7:1 ratio), then dilute with hot water to achieve a proper strength. Never had much success with this approach personally.
I prefer about a 1:20 seconds steep and a slow 30-40 second press time (about a 2 minute brew). Can't wait for the new Able disks to hit the market to do so experimenting with.
Sooo the shop I worked at before my current place- we served Aeropress for our single-origin offerings. I worked with the roaster a bit to get the taste/ratios right, and this is what we ended up on....
~7 oz finished cup of coffee (for each size up- add ~7 gr coffee)
14 grams whole beans ground at Aeropress setting (I think 3rd setting from L on standard bunn grinder)
8 oz water
2 minutes (30 sec infusion, 1 min dwell, 30 sec press)
We had to add additional water to the "concentrate" for the 16 and 20 oz- which I honestly didn't love, and most of the customers that would order the aeropress would get it in the smaller sizes so we rarely encountered the giant cups.
I really enjoy my aeropress using a coarser grind than filter. Play around with the steep times until you find something you like. I usually use 12-15 grams of coffee to 200-250mL water.
Also try playing with temperature in the Aeropress, I've had some nice results with African coffees and lower temperatures (thanks to the advice of Jeff Verellen, the 2011 world aeropress champion).