Brewing with the V60 - Parchmen Academy

The Hario V60 (so named because it's angled at 60 degrees) has been used and loved by many coffee enthusiasts and baristas for it's ease of use and space for creativity. The V60 is seen in almost all specialty coffee shops with many different variations and materials.

Here we decide to share our own recipe the Parchmen way of brewing a pour over.

What you will need:

  1. Digital Scale
  2. Coffee Dripper
  3. V60 filter paper
  4. Coffee grounds (about 400-500 microns, i.e. Ditting 4 or 5, and Malhkonig 7 or 8)
  5. Vessel to collect the coffee (I am using a small goose neck kettle)
  6. Goose neck kettle to contain the brewing water
  7. Empty glass (as holder for the V60 dripper after completion)
  8. Waste water vessel
  9. Wiping cloth

We will be measuring 17 gm of coffee beans. After grinding in the Malhkonig (German-made, World Barista Championship sponsored machine, and has little ground retention), I shake the grounds in a sieve to reduce the "fines" (which are very fine grounds that could lead to fines migration to the bottom of the dripper and choke up the flow rate, leading to over-extraction). You will notice that the resultant mass of the coffee is about 16 gm, meaning that 1 gm of coffee is lost to "fines".

To be very precise, grind more than what you need and then apportion out the desired dosage after sieving.

As a general principle, grind at the last minute because 50% of aroma is lost within 5 min of grinding. To ensure an aromatic coffee, grind at the last minute (i.e. as the step immediately before brewing)

With reference to above recipe:

  1.  A good starting point is always 1:15 (1 part of coffee to 15 ml (or gm) of water). I am using 1:12 in this recipe.
  2. Hand brew coffee can use a range of temperatures: 88℃ to 96. If the beans are lightly roasted, use higher temperature to extract heavier notes (which are big molecules and need more energy from the brewing water to extract) to balance the more sour notes from a light roast. Conversely for a darker roast.
  3. The recipe is colour-coded, to highlight the extraction of the 3 main flavour groups, namely Enzymatic (fruits and flowers), Sugar Browning (nuts and chocolates) and Dry Distillation (smoke and spice). These chemical compounds are extracted in this order as well, in order of their molecular sizes (which then determines their solubility), with enzymatic compounds being the smallest molecules and easiest to extract (but most volatile in aroma) and dry distillation compounds being the heaviest molecules and takes most effort to extract (but very persistent in flavour once extracted and dominates the flavour profile).
  4. V60 works by gravity, same like the bean hopper of the grinder. If there is a huge volume of water in the dripper, the flow rate will be fast, giving the extracting water energy and velocity, which will then extract the compounds most easily extractable at that stage. For example, if you add more water to the dripper and "flood" it at the start of the brewing, you will extract more enzymatic notes.
  5. Coffee extracts 2 times its own weight. So for x gm of coffee, it can absorb 2x gm of water before it becomes saturated. After that, flavours are "dispensed" and extraction occurs. Saturating the coffee grounds at the start of the brew is known as the "Blooming Stage". As a norm, pour water at 2 times the weight of the coffee grounds to saturate it, However, pouring slightly more water, maybe 2.5 times, and maintaining a bloom (the "puffed up" dome) contributes to a fluffy mouthfeel. This is because the "low pressure dome" at the start of the brew allows some lipids (coffee oils, etc) to be extracted.