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Old 12-15-2007, 05:15 AM   #1
smizak
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Default The coffee quandary

Hi guys.

Feel free to slap your foreheads and say "not this again" when you read this.

I'm interested in brewing a coffee porter. I'm sorta new to the hobby, but I've done my homework.

The QUESTION I have is how/how much/what form to add coffee to a brew. I've seen a dozen different techniques on the web for doing it, with about half of the replies saying it's the wrong way for each one.

I am beginning to see that the dark/roasted grain content is a major factor in how much coffee to add, as well as bittering hops.

My recipe.

2 lb 2-row
1 lb 50-60 L Crystal
0.75 lb Chocolate

Partial mash in the mid to upper 150's

6 lbs extra light DME

1 oz Willamette @ 40 min

1 oz Willamette @ 20 min

Starter made with Wyeast London Ale

1/2 DME @ beginning of boil, 1/2 towards the end.

8 oz of dark roast coffee added to the bottling bucket.

I'm omitting a strong bittering hop and relying on the coffee.

Any of you guys have any luck when brewing with the java?

Or should I just cool it, realize I'm a n00b and not get crazy with the flavor adjuncts?

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Old 12-15-2007, 05:42 AM   #2
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There really is no right and wrong way to get coffee flavor into your beer. The method I choose to use is cold extraction: you mix the crushed coffee with some cool water in a container and put it in the fridge for 24 hours. On the next day you strain the coffee out with a coffee filter and add the coffee to the secondary or bottling bucket. Remember to boil the water first to sanitize it and to sanitize the container. The reason I go with this method is because the coffee comes out really smooth since you are not boiling it.
If I may suggest one addition to your recipe, .25lb of black malt, I feel this is an important grain in porters. Your recipe looks good but it reminds me more of a brown ale than a porter. Also, don't omit the bittering hop addition, even if you use coffee. The beer might end up too sweet if it is left out, plus you want a beer with coffee flavor not a half coffee half beer mix.

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Old 12-15-2007, 05:49 AM   #3
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Thanks for the suggestion.

I was thinking maybe 3/4 oz of Nugget @ 60 min. I will cold extract some coffee tonight and see how it turns out.

I am a coffee snob as well as a beer snob, and the last thing I want is some overly extracted, bitter, cardboard coffee flavor in my brew. I really want to try the coffee and beer thing though, and I will definitely go conservative my first time around.

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Old 12-15-2007, 02:14 PM   #4
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Should the coffee be brought up to 150* (non-boil) or whatever after extraction is done, just to make sure it's sanitized before adding to the secondary?

Boiling water and then chilling-- then adding coffee grounds to it, straining through a coffee filter, etc. could all possibly contaminate it, no?

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Old 12-15-2007, 02:16 PM   #5
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+1 on cold extraction. 8oz coffee is quite a bit. I'd say 1/4lb finely crushed espresso beans in 4 cups of water. Cold brew 24 hours, strain and add to secondary.

Cold brewing extracts the flavor, but doesn't release the oils that may crush head retention. It also will not create as bitter of a product. Don't get me wrong, it's bitter, but not as much as hot brew.

-J

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Old 12-15-2007, 03:03 PM   #6
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Thanks. I actually meant 8 oz of brewed coffee, prolly 2 oz of actual grounds. I am also a little wary about sanitation when using a cold extraction.

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Old 12-15-2007, 03:35 PM   #7
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after you filter the grounds out you can heat up the cold brew to 180 before adding it to secondary. Or if you want it in the primary, I don't see any reason you couldn't cold brew, filter, and add at the end of the boil. You'll need a little less than double the grounds if you coldbrew to get the same strength as hotbrew.
-J

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Old 12-16-2007, 12:41 AM   #8
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i picked up all the supplies for a coffee porter today

http://www.tastybrew.com/newrcp/detail/241

recipe calls for adding the coffee to the boil (last 10 mins.), but LHBS said adding coffee to the hot wort at any time will make it very bitter....as has been mentioned above, he suggested making 4 cups of strong coffee, letting it cool and adding it to the secondary (like dry hopping)

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Old 12-16-2007, 05:08 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miatawnt2b
+1 on cold extraction. 8oz coffee is quite a bit. I'd say 1/4lb finely crushed espresso beans in 4 cups of water. Cold brew 24 hours, strain and add to secondary.
-J
When I brewed the Mocha Stout in my signature line, I used 1 lb of Italian roast coffee and cold brewed a total of 32 oz that I added in secondary. This was not too much coffee flavor according to any of my friends that tried it.

Also of note is that for cold brewing, you should use a very coarse grind, not a fine espresso grind. I sanitized all surfaces associated with the cold brewing and boiled the water prior to cold brewing, then just added that to secondar. No infection, tasted great!

Austin
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Old 12-16-2007, 01:30 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcaustin
When I brewed the Mocha Stout in my signature line, I used 1 lb of Italian roast coffee and cold brewed a total of 32 oz that I added in secondary. This was not too much coffee flavor according to any of my friends that tried it.

Also of note is that for cold brewing, you should use a very coarse grind, not a fine espresso grind. I sanitized all surfaces associated with the cold brewing and boiled the water prior to cold brewing, then just added that to secondar. No infection, tasted great!

Austin
Any particular reason you want a coarse grind? If you are filtering the grounds anyhow, what's the difference?

-J
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