So, What's that Chemex Formula?

I got a bunch of notes shot my way after yesterday's post.  Here's how I make a Chemex:


We use around a 15:1 ratio as a starting point for brewing.  Thats 15 parts water to 1 part coffee. With every unfamiliar coffee we play with that ratio a little and play with the grind size as well as water temperature (as high as 204 and as low as 197).  Everything else remains fixed.  

So, you need a Chemex carafe, Chemex filters, a gram scale, a temperature-control water kettle, Big Shoulders Coffee

Insert a Chemex filter and give it a rinse while simultaneously making the filter adhere to the glass and also pre-warming the carafe.  A lot of people talk about removing paper taste which I think is utter bs.  It's so you don't need to ask a friend to hold the filter in place while you dose your coffee.  Dump that rinse water out.  Put the carafe on your scale and tare the scale to zero.  measure out 33 grams of just ground Big Shoulders Coffee.  Give it a shake to get an even "bed" of grounds.  Gently moisten the grounds, saturating the bed with just 75 grams (more precisely ml) of water.   Wait 45 seconds.  This is a key point in brewing.  During this 45 seconds the grounds are exhaling CO2 so you'll see bubbles and "activity" if your coffee is fresh.  CO2 pushes water away, preventing the water and coffee gettin' it on.  We want them to get it on.  Also during this time the coffee is swelling and preparing itself to absorb more water.  If you were to just begin brewing the water and the coffee wouldn't spend any time getting to know each other-It's like your potted plants on your porch after your Summer vacation.  The soil has pulled away from the sides and if you water them, water, seeking the easiest route will just rush out the hole in the bottom.  When you moisten the soil then go back to the plant in a few moments the soil will have expanded and is now able to absorb the water-Ok so now after 45 seconds, pour gently into the center of the ground bed up to 200 grams (ml) and 1:30.  Wait until all the water has gone through before introducing the next dosage of water to bring our weight up to 300 grams (ml) and 2:15.  Let it drain completely.  Now bring it up to 400 grams (ml) an right around 3:00.  Once drained bring it to the final number of 500 grams (ml).  Total time should take right around 4:00-4:15 but don't get too hung up on the times.  The weights are important as is patiently allowing the prior dose to drain through the ground bed completely.  When you are done brewing you should be left with an evenly flat bed of spent grounds-no "high and dry" grounds up around the sides.   

I know this sounds like a lot.  Trust me it's worth it.  And just because you may not understand it or don't care to understand it, don't be dismissive.  Just don't complain about the crummy coffee you drink.  Or worse, blame our great coffee for being crummy.  It's taken me thousands of times practicing but I think I've fallen into something at least for the moment that is truly delicious!  The magic is that coffee is alive and you shouldn't get frustrated if it sometimes you are underwhelmed.  Go back and see where you may have screwed it up.  Most commonly its is under-dosing (being stingy with the coffee).  Don't be stingy.

Make it an awesome day.