Brewing Guide the Chemex

Continuing the series of brew guides, this time its the chemex, and potentially the most dangerous and controversial of them all. This is the one I’m most scared of, as I am not sure if this is right, there is lots of confusion and disagreement on the chemex.

The guide made me really change the way I do chemex (just like the aeropress video made me start again). I did a whole heap of testing, and this for me worked the best. Please don’t burn me, by all means comment and add if you feel the need, but this is my method, not the correct method, that is what I kept getting asked “how do YOU do it”

Like last time there is a fancy graphic and a fancy pdf, and we are getting some postcards done too (give me a few weeks).

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  1. My method is all but identical to yours.

    The main difference is that I don’t stir the grinds at all. I did to start off with but found that when stirring it broke down the grinds that were lining the filter leading to water being able to go out of the now uncovered part of the filter which gave a slightly under extracted taste.

    Also when adding water I don’t let the level go above what it was when I added the first big chunk of water.

  2. Thank you for the great tutorial and reminder that I need to get myself a Chemex. I’ve had Chemex coffee in coffee shops, but I’m sure that’s not the same as brewing it myself with a Chemex.

  3. Bought my first Chemex this week along with some Guatamala El Bosque Amatitlan that Steve recommended for my first brew.

    I followed the guide to the letter and 3 mins 19 secs later had the best brewed coffee I have ever tasted in the UK, so clean and well balanced.

    I’ve been lucky enough to have a coffee brewed on a Clover and in my opinion my little Chemex is turning out coffee which comes a very, very close second to that experience, and for less than £30…. awesome stuff.

  4. A quick note of clarification – the coffee/water ratio seems about right at 60g to 1000mL, but it’s misleading to say that means “use 30g of coffee for a 6 cup Chemex”. Those have a useful brewing capacity of 30oz, which is roughly 1000mL. If you’re brewing a full pot in the 6 cup (up to the handle, “full” according to Chemex), you’ll need all 60g (though 50-55g is a more common recommendation). Your instructions do say to use 500mL of water, for which 30g would be perfectly adequate.

  5. OK this is my brewing style, I have been asked many times for what I do, that why I put this together. You may disagree and thats fine but this is right for me.

    I only ever use 500ml of water in a 6 cup chemex . Thats why I use 30g of coffee with 500 ml of water. Your right Josh that YOU can use up to a ltr, but I don’t think that it brews well at those sizes, and is not my style.

    The 60g per ltr is a moving scale for you to work out what YOU want to brew, but if you want to brew more or less thats fine. This is a guide to show you somewhere to start.

  6. Steve, perhaps you read something into my post that wasn’t there – I didn’t mean to stir you up, just to point out something that could easily be misread.

    I never said that you were brewing coffee incorrectly – it sounds like a good recipe for a great cup, and I’m glad to see people pushing scales and timers. I simply made a factual statement – a 6 cup chemex holds 30oz of water. It’s the manufacturers stated capacity. If you’re using it to brew less, fabulous – most of us are doing exactly the same thing.

  7. No I know Josh, no stirring up at all.

    Trying to push the point that its a method that I’ve been asked to put together to show folks what I do (lots of emaisl asking me over a long period made me do this).

    I know it will hold more, but I’ve yet to brew well on those larger sizes in a six cup, and trust me I spent a long time trying to, brewing over a 1000 chemex’s before deciding on this method.

  8. Hi Guys,

    One step I added to this which for me makes the coffee taste a little bit more yummy (Assuming you coffee tastes better hot). 🙂 At step 2, pour some water from your kettle into a cup so that it keeps the cup warm. (Stole this hint from your french press brewing guide :-))


    Also are you going to stock the Rancilio Silvia v3. The reason I ask is that if I am spending a large amount of money (which this is for me). I would rather purchase it from a company I trust. Word in the forums indicated that you used to sell this piece of kit. 🙂

  9. Afraid we wont be stocking the Silvia again, not one for the blog but feel free to email me for clarification.

  10. Dangerous? I would think an imploding vac pot would be more dangerous.

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