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Can you stir during a pour-over brewing process, or are you really just meant to let it sit?

I ask this because not all pour-over filters are created equal, and some work better than others.

Factors do include:

a. filter shape (flat-bottom, conical, combination of the two), b. filter media (steel, paper, cloth), and; c. grind size of the grounded beans.

Usually, when it comes to drip speed, you can just adjust with grind size, try to match it to filter type, follow a decent technique in water pouring to agitate the grounds, and you'll be fine.

But is the purity of this method best left to water and gravity? Or has anyone ever stirred the coffee slush at any point during the brew process to favorable results?

I'm open to any answer really. I would very much like to hear answers from a practical standpoint (i.e. Will stirring make the coffee brew faster? Taste differently?), as well from a theoretical standpoint that Illustrates the pour-over for what it is meant to be, as a zen-like, artisanal experience.

I do enjoy the process very much, so I'm really just curious if stirring has ever been a part of it.

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    Stirring in pourover has primarily been exhibited in recipes that feature a finer grind. Matt Perger's V60 method uses a fairly fine grind and he incorporates a stir during a fully immersed bloom to aid degassing. The Japanese V60 method uses significantly coarser grounds and stirring would not be beneficial here. Ultimately it's a direct form of agitation that you should use where appropriate. – Shiri Sep 8 '17 at 11:26
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The short answer is yes you can stir pour overs and it can be useful but generally not recommended.

The primary use for stirring pour overs that I have seen is a very light stir to jostle grounds that have stuck to the brewing methods walls. The slight stir at the maximum volume of water in the filter makes sure that as fluid drains grounds stay in the slurry of water and are evenly extracted.

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I have never stirred pour over as it kind of goes against the grain of common brewing knowledge, and I have never had the need.

I think the biggest problem with the idea of stirring the slurry would simply be that gravity doesn't take a break when you stir. What I mean by this is that when you agitate the grounds, you are providing the water a more effective method of traveling through the grounds because you are temporarily breaking up the coffee mass.

Backing off and just looking at brewing methods in general, the only brewing methods that employ stirring to my knowledge, also do not use a drip type of method for brewing. For instance, you can stir french press after the bloom but there is no risk of the water slipping through the brewing apparatus since it is fully contained for 4-5 minutes.

In total, I think that stirring pour over would most likely produce inconsistent results and would run the risk of brewing weak / acidic, although it would most likely speed up brew time.

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I stir with my V60. First the bloom, as little water as possible, just to wet the grounds, and as little little drip as possible. In the second pour I fill it some, and then stir to remove the channel(s). You can se where it bubbles.

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As noted in the replies above, the receive wisdom is pretty much don't stir just - wet - bloom - pour more etc.

however, in terms of the science of coffee or its chemistry, you'll find that stirring is very much a Good Thing - by making sure you have in that wetting phase 3 times the water to bean ratio lets say, by a vigerous stir, what are you doing? you're helping to get the gas out and let the water in to start the process for extraction.

Stir for 10-15 secs (vigerous disagreements happen around this interval)

If you let the beans sit without a stir - the off gassing and thus the iportant bit: the absoprption to dissolution - is going to be - can't help but be - uneven. Which means some bean bits will be more extracted than others.

A sign you are on the path? The fewer bubbles post stir you see in the slurry the better the effect of the stir.

Let sit for another 30 secs - so this phase about 45 secs, then pour out -

This method is favoured by scott rao (demo here ), with a variant by matt perger (demo here ).

It doesn't matter by the way about grind size and stirring (though why not use finer grind, higher temp and a stir) - the chemistry is pretty much the same: the goal is to get as even an absorption/wetting as possible, and simply pouring water on top of a mound of beans makes that simply impossible to hit all the grounds.

Also it doesn't matter about the water running through the grounds because they're disturbed - that this will cause week coffee. On the contrary. If you don't want to try this yourself, see vids linked above.

Here the 3 or 4 to 1 weight ratio, of water to beans for the stir ensures great effect: add water and go for 10-15 secs - the grounds all settle down again. Indeed, Rao will stir again or "excavate" as he calls it - after the pour is complete. and then swirl as well to get a nice flat even finish on the bed (example shown below from one of my pours).

But as we say in our lab : test it yourself - it's funner that way - and if you haven't - how do you know?3

You can also check your work post pour to see how much water has been absobed from your pour. Double the amount of beans or better, pretty good.

m.c. image of nice flat bed - using the stir the slurry approach [nice flat bed - using the stir the slurry approach]

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