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  • An interesting thought about blends in grinders

    Reading through this whole forum at a go I had an interesting throught.

    What happens when you have a blend full of many distictly different beans in relatively small ratios?  Does this lead to an inherently inconsistent flavour?  

    Let me illustrate; Imagine beans somehow have different colours roasted.

    Lets say our blend has 20% of each of the following
    Red beans - Tastes like bananas
    Blue beans - Tastes like blackberries
    Yellow beans - Tastes like potato
    Green beans - Tastes like honey
    Purple beans - Tastes like bubblegum

    Lets say we then run the result through your standard commercial coffee grinder and divide the result into a hundred individual 20gram cups.  Is the result in each cup the same colour/shade? Is the taste of each cup the same?

    Figure at any one time ten or so beans in the burrs getting ground, this then gets layered in this ratio in the doser.  Then another layer gets dropped on top, then the whole thing gets dropped pretty much as laid into your filter basket.

    Is this statistically random enough to always produce the same bannanaberrypotatohoneygum tasting grey mush every single time? Or does each of the cups hold a slightly different shade and flavour?

    Hmmm how would one test this?  What are the implications for blending?

    Thoughts?  

  • #2
    Re: An interesting thought about blends in grinders

    This has been discussed before on other forums; I remember a fairly good statistical analysis of it ... if I can find it, Ill post a link. In a nutshell and from memory, the maths works out that theres a heckuva lot of variation for any blend component thats less than something like 25 or 30%. The implication for blending is that keeping it simple is probably going to keep the flavour more consistent.

    Another level of complexity is that different beans are of different sizes and weights; presumably there is some separation because of it in the bag and in the hopper. For example, if you make a blend of 50% maragogype (screen size = 20+) and 50% mokka (screen size <10), how will the blend turn out when you tip it into the grinder? Will the mokka tend to settle into the bottom of the bag and, so, end up in the top of the grinder when you tip it out?

    Cheers,
    Luca

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    • #3
      Re: An interesting thought about blends in grinders

      Originally posted by 564F595B3A0 link=1252053302/1#1 date=1252054000
      This has been discussed before on other forums; I remember a fairly good statistical analysis of it ... if I can find it, Ill post a link.  In a nutshell and from memory, the maths works out that theres a heckuva lot of variation for any blend component thats less than something like 25 or 30%.  The implication for blending is that keeping it simple is probably going to keep the flavour more consistent.  

      Another level of complexity is that different beans are of different sizes and weights; presumably there is some separation because of it in the bag and in the hopper.  For example, if you make a blend of 50% maragogype (screen size = 20+) and 50% mokka (screen size <10), how will the blend turn out when you tip it into the grinder?  Will the mokka tend to settle into the bottom of the bag and, so, end up in the top of the grinder when you tip it out?

      Cheers,
      Luca
      That said Luca the fewer beans you have of any particular variety the less impact variation in percentages will have in the cup. This would go some way to canceling out the above factors although not entirely.

      There will be no hard and fast rule. Obviously the respective boldness of coffees relative their proportion also makes a difference, For example If you were using 80% Brazil Bourbon and 20% PNG peaberry, variation in the ratios would have a much bigger difference in the cup then if it were the other way around.

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      • #4
        Re: An interesting thought about blends in grinders

        What about when your blend is 80% beans/20% concrete?? ;D

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        • #5
          Re: An interesting thought about blends in grinders

          Originally posted by 663921373C373B3232313139353A540 link=1252053302/3#3 date=1252240210
          What about when your blend is 80% beans/20% concrete??  ;D
          mmmmmmmm crunchy



          KK

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          • #6
            Re: An interesting thought about blends in grinders

            Originally posted by 065941575C575B5252515159555A340 link=1252053302/3#3 date=1252240210
            What about when your blend is 80% beans/20% concrete??  ;D
            Chris could you be more specific? It all depends on the type of concrete your going too use. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concrete#Types_of_concrete

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            • #7
              Re: An interesting thought about blends in grinders

              Originally posted by 04212A2D3A3C31480 link=1252053302/0#0 date=1252053302
              Lets say our blend has 20% of each of the following
              Red beans - Tastes like bananas
              Blue beans - Tastes like blackberries
              Yellow beans - Tastes like potato
              Green beans - Tastes like honey
              Purple beans - Tastes like bubblegum

              ha ha ha. From my fingerpainting days this combination always turned out brown!

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: An interesting thought about blends in grinders

                Originally posted by 77504A5B5252575A5B4E4A563E0 link=1252053302/6#6 date=1253015474
                Originally posted by 04212A2D3A3C31480 link=1252053302/0#0 date=1252053302
                Lets say our blend has 20% of each of the following
                Red beans - Tastes like bananas
                Blue beans - Tastes like blackberries
                Yellow beans - Tastes like potato
                Green beans - Tastes like honey
                Purple beans - Tastes like bubblegum

                ha ha ha. From my fingerpainting days this combination always turned out brown!
                So, are you saying itll taste like s... ;D

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: An interesting thought about blends in grinders

                  If you have, say, a cheeky 10% dash of robusta, this represents 1.4 beans, if your typical shot is 14 beans. The chance that every shot will contain 1.4 beans of robusta are very low (as has been quantified elsewhere). The only ways to be sure you get the proportions right would be:

                  - have multiple grinders. If you have a blend thats 45/45/10, you could have one grinder for the 45/45, and another for the 10.

                  - start with an empty hopper, and drop in the 14 beans you want. One bean = 7%, 2 beans = 14%, so you *cant* have 10% of a particular bean using this method. The difference between 7% robusta and 14% robusta will be pronounced.

                  - grind the whole hopper-load, shake up the grounds, and use the lot within a few minutes

                  - genetically modify coffee beans so that they are the size of sesame seeds. If you need 500 of them instead of 14, youll have a much better chance of getting the blend profile you want.

                  - pull several shots with SO beans, then combine them in the proportion you want

                  - alright, this is getting silly, now..

                  - simply accept the fact if you have a junior partner in your blend (>~30%), no two shots will taste quite alike.

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