Skip to content

Understanding the Role of Time in a Brew Recipe - Chasing Perfect Coffee Extractions

Do you time your extractions? Do you know what role time plays in your brew recipe and dialing in the perfect extraction?

If you're not quite sure where time fits into the equation when trying to brew the perfect extraction then hopefully this video tutorial has the answers for you. In this video Luke explains how time is one of the three main components of a brew recipe with the other two being DOSE and YIELD.

In this video Luke is using the La Marzocco GB5 x which has in built scales and shot timer however if you don't have access to this kind of equipment then there are other alternatives. These would include Acaia Lunar Scales that Luke talks about in the video. These can not only time your shots but they can weigh the extracted yield at the same time. Otherwise just timing on a simple stopwatch will do the trick.

We hope you enjoy the video and learn a thing or two about timing your extractions. Please leave us a comment with your own ideas or questions about the process.


Unedited Video Transcript

how do we time our coffee extractions
and how do we fit into our brew recipe
hang about and i'll tell you all you
need to know g'day everyone i'm luke and
welcome back to the artisti youtube
channel where we guide you through all
things coffee
so you don't miss out on any of our
latest videos hey make sure you like
subscribe and hit that bell icon and
you'll be notified when we put up our
latest video
and if you've got a question about this
please leave a comment below we do love
answering them
so today we're talking about time and
how we measure that when we extract
and the relationship with a brew recipe
so we've talked about brew recipes a
lot over our channel and there's other
videos you can go and have a look at
so we're really going to focus down on
the time factor because we do get a lot
of questions from you and we want to get
some clarity around that for you
so the three parts to a recipe for
are our dose which is how much coffee
we're putting into our handle
dry ground our yield which is what we
get out of the actual
liquid into the cup and then the
relationship of how
much time is used to extract that coffee
so we're just focusing on that time at
the moment so
what do we do here at artisti as soon as
press a button on a machine that
activates water
into the coffee so for us we see that as
the crucial point that we need to
and from there we go all the way through
for us
about 30 to 32 seconds when we're dosing
22 and a half grams
of coffee and that will give us our two
to one ratio
giving us our 45 grams of liquid in the
so depending on the machine you've got
you may have a timer inbuilt with the
machine which is really handy
and as soon as you press a button that
will activate you can also use your
and make sure when you hit a button just
push that start timer there and you can
start to measure as well
and when you hit your end weight you
could be hitting stop with your hand
or if you've got say a kr digital style
scale that will actually start when you
get liquid into the cup so that's a
little bit different
because it's waiting to receive the
weight of liquid before it actually
starts the timer
so from that point back to when we press
a button
is what we see as a crucial part of
the coffee brewing process now
there's a lot of debate about this but
it is what we would like to call
and that is the amount of time that
basically water is touching the coffee
before it actually starts to enter into
your cup
so that amount of time for us is when we
water touching the coffee and we want to
measure that and understand what's
actually happening in that time
frame now because we have a standard
recipe we've got the standard dose
and we're looking for the standard yield
we know that the only change that we're
going to have
inside this coffee handle is dependent
on the grind
and also the expansion of the actual
so i'm going to break that up into two
things grind we're going to come back to
a second
but i really want to focus into
expansion of coffee
so as soon as you add water to coffee
it's like a sponge it's going to soak it
up and
actually expand a little bit and the
recipes we always talk about
allow you room for that coffee to expand
so if you're looking at an alternative
brew method
we they talk about bloom and we're
allowing for that bloom that is
happening inside the coffee basket
we're allowing there enough gap for the
coffee to rise when a bit of water gets
in there
and then that can actually start to slow
down the extraction
so the fresher your coffee is the more
it's going to expand
the older the coffee is it won't expand
as much
so that can really have an effect on
your overall
time of extraction so how do we work
this out
well i'm going to show you a couple
little things and we'll run through it
okay so let's get our coffee puck ready
okay so we're 22.5 grams that's actually
just a smidge over
great we'll take that
again consistency in everything that you
you're just disproducing your tamping
pressure we're not talking about that in
this video it's after we've got that all
now you can see that there is a rim on
this basket
and we've allowed a lot of room for
there to have some expansion
so we're going to lock this in
we're going to hit what we're going to
go for a 2 1 which is a double espresso
now this is a unit that has scales in it
so it's going to weigh it for us which
is great
and if we look at the timer we've hit
just on before eight seconds before that
actually went into the cup so
we can see it's extracting nicely it's
quite dark at the start
we can see that there's a nice in my
mouth style you might call it
now i'm going to point out one little
part here for you we're at a one-to-one
ratio now
as we keep going you'll start to see it
there you go that little wobble
i like everyone to look for that wobble
because that's when the coffee bed is
actually starting to expand
and release any pressure that's actually
been happening
and that can speed up your extraction a
lot so
if you have to manually look of when you
want to stop an extraction
and stop your time i would look for that
and then just wait maybe two seconds and
that's going to give you an amazing
so let's have a little bit look closer
at the actual coffee
now you can see over here this is what
we like to call our sweetness which is
all that really nice dark coffee
we like to call this part here our body
and when we get to the end of the
extraction you can see the pale dots
starting to happen
and also little bubbles that means the
liquid is a lot thinner and it's
actually starting to
to splash when it hits the surface so
this is just slightly over extracted
over here but it's pretty good if you
have a look at our recipe up here
our recipe is 22 and a half grams for a
two to one we're looking at 45 grams
so this is again an inbuilt scaled
machine and it managed to stop it at
45.6 seconds
and this actually stopped us at 45.6
at 32 seconds so this is pretty much
bang on an exact recipe that we want for
our coffee
now imagine if we didn't have the 0.6 of
a gram we probably wouldn't have that
and the bubbles and it would be a
spot-on beautiful recipe
so what happens when our time is
shorter than this so before i make the
next coffee
i want to show you that we do have
pre-infusion put on this machine
so you'll see what this is going to do
when we press a button it will actually
activate some water for two seconds
turn off for two seconds and then start
so we do that because we believe
that if we expand the coffee a bit first
it'll help fill any little
gaps and channels that might be in there
and then when we put our full amount of
water onto the coffee bed we'll get the
extraction that we like
so again people love puree infusion
other people don't i'll keep that for
another video
but i've made the grinder a lot finer
and let's have a look and let's see what
happens with the next extraction
now i've gone finer so we need a bit
more time
to be able to get the coffee we need
whoops a bit too far
so back to 22.5 again the same technique
all the way through
so last time it was just before eight
seconds when the liquid actually started
to pour
so i'm expecting it to be a little bit
longer there we go it's just before nine
now you can actually see it's a much
richer darker kind of extraction that's
really quite delicious actually
now you can see a bit of a wobble
happening but that's not what i'm
talking about
we want to start to identify when we're
this is the wobble here you can see it's
really starting to wobble
and get a bit of a corkscrew actually in
that liquid
now because this machine is aiming for
45 grams
because it runs off the recipe using the
scale it's just kept going to give us
the 45 grams
but if you have a look up here you can
see that it took 39
seconds and we actually got a little bit
less coffee we've got
0.4 of a gram less when we have a look
at the actual coffee itself
can see that there is like these really
big bubbles and a lot more paleness in
so we actually started to over extract
the coffee a lot earlier
and that's because we went finer on the
grind so if we go the other way we go
coarser on the ground i'll show you what
happens there
let's do that right now one second
i just had a look when i went to take
this out and going finer
and lower dose you can see that whole
shot is lifted right up
it really will move a lot so that allows
that water to get
underneath and outside the actual coffee
park that means that
the coffee park's floated up so be aware
if you do go fine i
generally you can't go longer because
that will eventually happen
at some stage so i've gone a lot coarser
on the grind
and i'll show you what happens
okay so when we go coarser essentially
we end up with more
coffee for the same amount of time in a
grinder got our 22 and a half grams
again the same distributing of the
coffee puck
okay so we've got the same time but if
you look at that actual extraction it
came out a lot faster there was no
dripping basically the pre-infusion did
what it needed to do by expanding the
but the finer grind wasn't there to slow
it down and you can see it's pouring
very fast
in the whole flow it's actually quite
thick and fat
we've got our 45.6 grams of
end liquid weight which is great but it
only took us
24 seconds so we're actually six seconds
in brewing our coffee so that's what i
like to point out pre-infusion actually
helps us get a longer time and expand
the coffee
but it still depends on the grind and
the size that you're using which will
give you the end result
so have a look here
we don't have as much we've got a few
little bubbles on there essentially so
we still need to over extract this
but it's going to taste very different
to our
baseline coffee essentially we brewed it
for six seconds less
so let's take a look at the coarse grind
you can see here it has really expanded
and it does look a little bit grainy
there as well
and it's it's definitely a little bit
firmer but it's not
floating like the fine grind okay so
that's um pretty typical of of course a
grind of coffee it's still
expanding but it's not going to float
so how does this all all come back
well we want to measure our pre-infusion
because as you could see whether it was
fine it was spot
on or too coarse it was pretty much
dropping around the eight seconds
from when we pressed a button but from
that point onwards
the time was changing because of the
so that's where we look at and think
okay there's a bloom happening
getting rid of the channeling and we're
working with the perfect aged coffee
again for us it's about 10 days but
if you start to measure the time when
you press a button
to when the liquid comes out and it
starts to
go really short it would typically mean
that is an
older coffee and it's not expanding if
you find that
that time let's say we're measuring
eight seconds if you're using a coffee
and it's starting to hit
10 or 12 seconds it might not not
necessarily be your grind it could
actually be that the coffee is one or
two days old so check that batch date
and see if you can age that coffee a
little bit and do the
test in a couple more days so hopefully
that helps you guys understand
why we actually measure our pre-infusion
and how time fits into the brew recipe
dose and yield i'd love to hear how you
guys are going with all this
leave the comments below thanks very
much for watching have an awesome day

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published..

Select options