First cup always the best?

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First cup always the best?

Postby HomeBrewGuy » Wed Mar 15, 2006 1:58 pm

Why is it that the first cup brewed always tastes the best? I have a drip coffee maker (I know, the horror) and as the coffee is brewing I always pour a cup off to start the day. I don't let the coffee sit on a burner either. As soon as the coffee is finished brewing I turn off the hot plate. But the next cups never seem to have that 'fresh' flavor of the first cup.

Anyone know the reason for this?
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Postby Roger456 » Wed Mar 15, 2006 3:39 pm

So you pour a cup before all of the water has gone through the grounds? Think of it like runnings from a mash: your first runnings will take most of the sugars out with the first batch of water (coffee oils, flavors, etc.), while the second runnings are not as concentrated. And, if you are using too much water, you start to leach tannins from the grains (nasty acid flavors from the spent grounds).

I'd bet you'll find your coffee is much better if you let it finish brewing the full pot of coffee before having a cup. You may also want to add more coffee, or less water, to the brew.
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Postby cooldaddybeck » Wed Mar 15, 2006 4:20 pm

or just brew a cup or two at a time...with a little extra grounds.

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Postby gfoster » Wed Mar 15, 2006 4:58 pm

It's kind of like drinking a "Hot Scotchie" during a mash.

Pull off a pint of the first runnings, add a shot of scotch, and drink it while the rest of the sparge runs. Guaranteed to prevent stuck mashes, gout and hair loss... and also makes the final beer taste better!

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Postby HomeBrewGuy » Wed Mar 15, 2006 7:59 pm

Roger456 wrote:So you pour a cup before all of the water has gone through the grounds? Think of it like runnings from a mash: your first runnings will take most of the sugars out with the first batch of water (coffee oils, flavors, etc.), while the second runnings are not as concentrated. And, if you are using too much water, you start to leach tannins from the grains (nasty acid flavors from the spent grounds).

I'd bet you'll find your coffee is much better if you let it finish brewing the full pot of coffee before having a cup. You may also want to add more coffee, or less water, to the brew.


Excellent analogy! I think I actually understand now!
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Postby plowe2103 » Thu Apr 27, 2006 5:03 pm

Economics 101 ...The Law of Diminishing Returns
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