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Easy Guide to Chemex Brewing

Simple Brewing Instructions, a Chemex being poured into a mug

Invented in 1941 by American chemist Dr. Peter Schlumbohm.

The Chemex is part of the permanent collection at The Museum of Modern Art in New York.

This brewing method remains popular due to its ease of use and beautiful aesthetic.

Chemex Brew Ratio (Recipe)

YIELDS ABOUT 20 OZ BREWED COFFEE

use 42 grams of water to 700 grams of water OR 6 tablespoons to 24 fluid ounces

By weight: 42 grams coffee to 700 grams water

By volume: 6 Tablespoons coffee to 24 ounces water

Brewing Instructions

What you’ll need:

Recommended Extras

* We recommend using a Gooseneck Kettle so you have better control of pour speed and direction.

1

Measure your filtered water and set it to boil.

When it begins to boil remove it from the heat and let it cool for 30-60 seconds before you pour, the ideal temperature is between 195-205ºF.

2

While your water is heating, unfold a Chemex® filter and place it in the top of the brewer with the three-layered section covering the spout.

3

Rinse the filter by pouring hot water through it, discard the rinse water through the spout while keeping the filter in place.

boiling water is poured from a kettle through a new filter into the Chemex

This will preheat the brewer and eliminate any papery taste in your coffee.

4

Measure 42 grams (or 6 tablespoons) of fresh roasted coffee.

42 grams of coffee beans being weighed on a food scale

5

Grind your coffee coarsely for a particle size resembling sea salt (25-30 on the Baratza Encore).

closeup of coarsely ground coffee in the palm of a hand

If you will be brewing by weight place the Chemex® on your digital scale, add your ground coffee, and zero it out.

6

Start your timer and pour 100 grams (3-4 oz.) of water to evenly saturate all the grounds, then wait about 30-40 seconds.

a Chemex sits on a food scale while hot water is poured from a kettle over the coffee grounds in the filter, a stopwatch in the bottom right corner reads 10 seconds

During this time gases in the coffee are being released and the coffee will bloom. This will prime the coffee for proper extraction of flavor.

7

Around the 40-45 second mark begin slowly pouring the water, starting in the center and moving in a spiral out towards the edges of the flter, then back again.

a low-angle side view of coffee being brewed in a Chemex

Keep the water level about half an inch below the top of the Chemex® and try to maintain an even color on the surface of the coffee slurry by aiming your pour for any dark spots that appear (you may need to stop pouring occasionally to let the level subside).

 

Stop pouring when the scale reads 700 grams (or until you run out of your pre-measured water). You should be done pouring between 3:00 and 3:15.

8

When the stream dwindles to a drip the brew is finished. This should occur somewhere around the 4:00 to 4:30 mark.

a closeup side view of coffee brwing in a Chemex with a stopwatch which reads 4 minutes and 30 seconds

9

Discard the spent coffee and filter, swirl the Chemex® briefly to mix the flavors, then serve and enjoy!

finished coffee being poured from a Chemex brewer into a mug which has a Batdorf & Bronson logo on it  

Basic Troubleshooting:

Problem:

Extraction finishes in under 4 minutes, or the brewed coffee tastes weak and sour.

Solution:

Try a finer grind, or a slower pour.

Problem:

Extraction takes more than 5 minutes, or the brew tastes astringent or bitter.

Solution:

Try a coarser grind, or a faster pour. Make sure the filter hasn’t collapsed into the spout of the Chemex®, restricting the flow.

 

Brewing With A Gram Scale

Using a gram scale may seem a bit technical or nerdy, but it will help you get better results. Using a scale is more precise than measuring by volume, and it is quite easy.

In addition to accurately achieving the optimal brewing ratio you’ll be able to consistently reproduce that excellent brew every time.

We hope this guide has been helpful, please feel free to drop us a comment down below if you have any additional questions.

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