Author Topic: Brewing With Coffee  (Read 11091 times)

Offline bobo1898

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Brewing With Coffee
« on: August 25, 2015, 10:04:53 PM »
Looking to make a milk stout with espresso. By the looks of everything, it seems that cold brewing the coffee is the way to go as to not extract the bitterness of the coffee. If I'm understanding this right, cold brewing basically is water exposure to the coarse grounds over an extended period of time---12 to 24 hours (it seems you don't want to go beyond this period of time). The coffee is then filtered out from the water and you drink. So my options are:

1. Cold brew the coffee with my tap water and add it to secondary with the beer. I'd pasteurize this coffee. This would also age with the beer for the period of time in secondary.

OR

2. Twenty-four hours before bottling, place coarse grounds of coffee in secondary (or third stage) and then rack beer on top of coffee grounds.

Has anyone tried either of these methods? Option 1 would allow the cold coffee to age with the beer in secondary, but adds additional water (might effect the body or head retention?). Option 2 is basically cold brewing my coffee with the beer. But I imagine it would be difficult to filter out the grounds around bottling time.

Or does anyone have method different than this that works for them?
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Offline Oddball

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Re: Brewing With Coffee
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2015, 05:04:24 AM »
i would add the coffee to your primary 24 hours before you transfer to secondary and then this will give the grounds time to settle in secondary.

I haven't tried this, it is only what I would think would solve the filtering problem without watering down...

Offline Maine Homebrewer

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Re: Brewing With Coffee
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2015, 04:14:33 PM »
You could try bagging the grounds before putting them in the secondary. That way you don't have to worry about filtering.
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Offline bobo1898

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Re: Brewing With Coffee
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2015, 09:47:07 AM »
Thanks for the response guys.

@Oddball, that's something I didn't even think of and sounds feasible. Solves the ability to age without watering down. Only think I worry about is splashing, unless I bag them.

@Maine Homebrewer, yeah I would place them in a bag of some sort. Was concerned that a muslin bag wasn't enough to hold bag the grounds. Am I wrong?

Regardless, it sounds like we all agree that beer exposure to grounds is a better route than additional water exposure to grounds.
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Offline twhitaker

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Re: Brewing With Coffee
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2015, 12:26:48 PM »
  I have added coffee to a split batch of baltic porter, half batch plain and half batch flavoured.  I used a  piece of cheesecloth tied into a sac with coffee grounds in it and left it in the secondary for 5 days. The cheesecloth was many layers thick. It was fine. I  also added candi sugar and and cocoa. The cocoa was dissolved in some boiled water with candi sugar. Once you siphon out your finished beer, the cheesecloth sacs  can then be pulled out when cleaning. Since it didn't get squeezed out into the beer no bitterness resulted. I also dry hopped that one using a cheesecloth sac, and  had also whiskey barrel wood chips in there for a barrel aged flavour. I used one tablespoon coffee in 11.5  liters beer.  The flavoured version was awesome. I had to let it  ferment out longer, and age it a bit due to the added sugar which also boosted the alcohol a bit.
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Offline Maine Homebrewer

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Re: Brewing With Coffee
« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2015, 03:03:41 PM »
Quote
Was concerned that a muslin bag wasn't enough to hold bag the grounds.

Didn't think of that. You're probably right. I've seen sleeves made of the same material as coffee filters used for making pots of tea, though I'm not sure how you'd fasten it. Stapler maybe? Not sure if the metal would harm the beer.
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Offline bobo1898

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Re: Brewing With Coffee
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2015, 09:00:12 PM »
  I have added coffee to a split batch of baltic porter, half batch plain and half batch flavoured.  I used a  piece of cheesecloth tied into a sac with coffee grounds in it and left it in the secondary for 5 days. The cheesecloth was many layers thick.

Were they coarse grounds or fine? Also, did much coffee come through? 1 Tablespoon for 3 gallons seems very minimal. Just want to gage how it interacts with the beer. Although it sounds like you had a variety of different flavors that may have covered that coffee?
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Offline twhitaker

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Re: Brewing With Coffee
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2015, 08:42:58 AM »
  I used regular grind for drip coffee makers. I could taste the coffee  through the other flavours. I wouldn't want any more than what I used but you may prefer a stronger flavour. It is an intense flavour and a small amount comes through in the finished beer. You could repeat the flavour infusion if you taste test and want stronger coffee notes. There are different types of cheesecloth;  just make sure you cant see through the layers - about 1/8" thick before adding coffee. No grounds came through, or out of mine. If they do when you make the ball, redo it with more layers so no coffee grounds come out. Fine grind like espresso may require thicker cloth. I would then make two or more balls because if you make them too big you wont fit them through the carboy neck. Make sure to syphon off the beer before trying to remove the flavour balls or grounds and bitterness may result in your beer. You can  gently squeeze out the balls afterward into a cup, let the liquid settle and pour off the strongly flavoured liquid back in to your beer.   I did this with my "Tom's Baltic Porter" which is on the cloud.
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Offline BILLY BREW

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Re: Brewing With Coffee
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2015, 07:18:59 AM »
If you decide to go with a secondary liquid, I would suggest after cold brewing, run it through a French press and then pasturize the liquid at 185 for 10 minutes.
This will give you the most "coffee" flavor without worrying about the grounds exposure to hops and yeast.
I used to do quite a bit with coffee, but found the flavor I was looking for was better delivered with roasted barley. But that is just me.
Good luck and let us know which way you went and how it turned out!
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Offline bobo1898

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Re: Brewing With Coffee
« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2015, 01:18:52 PM »
If you decide to go with a secondary liquid, I would suggest after cold brewing, run it through a French press and then pasturize the liquid at 185 for 10 minutes.

I thought about this too. I see most people add cold toddy or grounds just before bottling. If I do the toddy, I probably would just let it sit in secondary the whole time.

I used to do quite a bit with coffee, but found the flavor I was looking for was better delivered with roasted barley. But that is just me.
Good luck and let us know which way you went and how it turned out!

I'm gonna brew this, this weekend! So you'll probably hear back as things come along. It's an imperial stout, so it may take a while.
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Offline BILLY BREW

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Re: Brewing With Coffee
« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2015, 04:08:31 AM »
fingers crossed! Good luck.
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Offline bobo1898

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Re: Brewing With Coffee
« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2015, 02:28:48 PM »
Good luck and let us know which way you went and how it turned out!

Finally bottled this today! I ended up cold brewing the espresso beans.

My batch volume is around 5.5. I calculated 3.5% of that in ml to determine how much coffee I would need. The magic number ended up being around 695 ml, but I decided to go with 700 ml because I like coffee.

I cold brewed last night---12 oz coffee in 2 L of water. I figured that there would be some absorption and whatever was left over, I'd be able to drink. I tossed it in the fridge, covered with saran wrap and let it sit until this morning (12-14 hours). I strained it out with a mesh strainer into a large mason jar. It smelled awesome and it tasted great. I put aside 700 ml of this coffee. Good thing I over brewed because there wasn't much coffee left to drink when I put aside the 700 ml.

I took the coffee, my priming solution and fresh yeast and tossed into my bottling bucket. Beer was then racked on top. Gave it another stir, just in case, and then bottled.

I opted not to pasteurize the coffee because the stout is around 8.5% ABV and the coffee I used was unopened. I fresh ground the beans and I sanitized all my vessels before hand. I even filtered the water.

And with the coffee added to the beer, it equally smelled very good. I'll give it a taste in 2-3 weeks and post a picture. Excited to try this beer!
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Offline jtoots

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Re: Brewing With Coffee
« Reply #12 on: November 23, 2015, 02:35:56 PM »
bump... my next batch will be a coffee stout.  this thread is getting me pumped!

Offline bobo1898

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Re: Brewing With Coffee
« Reply #13 on: November 24, 2015, 11:08:20 AM »
bump... my next batch will be a coffee stout.  this thread is getting me pumped!

Another method that didn't occur to me was using whole beans.

A brewer suggested tossing the whole beans in secondary with the beer for one week at 50 degrees. Before I went with my method, I decided to experiment with water to get an idea of flavor. I did coarse ground coffee in water for 12-14 hours and then I did whole beans in water for a week. The latter had water acting as the beer.

I will say that the whole beans in water smelled really great but there wasn't much taste. Whereas the coarse ground had both taste and aroma. Granted, the whole beans were only in water. I imagine that with beer, you would get the nice subtle flavor of coffee with great aroma. I wish that I split the batch to really see the difference but I really love coffee so I went for flavor. I've had the beer that the brewery makes with the whole bean method and it does have good coffee flavor. I don't know how much of that is attributed to the beans or the grain.

Just wanted to toss that option out there.
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Offline Cheetos

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Re: Brewing With Coffee
« Reply #14 on: November 24, 2015, 06:40:58 PM »
The coldbrew method works pretty well.  I never liked diluting the beer with the liquid coffee.  My favorite method that I just used in a coffee porter is to dry bean in the keg.  I use 7 ounces of freshly roasted by me Guatemalan coffee beans that are just lightly broken up.  I break the beans up a little with a meat tenderizer and suspend them in a muslin bag in the keg for up to a week for the most incredible coffee aroma and taste.  This also works in secondary, just not quite as well as in the keg.