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Old 03-05-2006, 09:26 AM   #1
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Default Coffee and vanilla beans?

So, here's the deal. My brother, who is a barista/roaster at a local coffeeshop, is throwing a party after the national barista competition. He has asked me to brew a beer with some of their coffee, and I've decided on a porter as the likliest beer for this purpose. But I have some questions that I hope some experienced brewers here can answer for me. The first one is, how much should I use? Papazian's book reccomends starting with a half a pound, but I think more than that would be better. I'm brewing this for a bunch of insane coffee freaks, and I want it to be a prominent aspect of the beer. I was thinking of using maybe a pound, but I also don't want to overdo it. Also, what about "dry hopping" with coffee beans? And lastly, what sort of grind should I use, a fine grind, or should I just crack the beans?


My second issue is vanilla beans. I'm considering using some to accent the porter. Anyone here used them before? ( I'm sure some of you have!) How many? What's the procedure?

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Old 03-05-2006, 10:49 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beyondthepale
So, here's the deal. My brother, who is a barista/roaster at a local coffeeshop, is throwing a party after the national barista competition. He has asked me to brew a beer with some of their coffee, and I've decided on a porter as the likliest beer for this purpose. But I have some questions that I hope some experienced brewers here can answer for me. The first one is, how much should I use? Papazian's book reccomends starting with a half a pound, but I think more than that would be better. I'm brewing this for a bunch of insane coffee freaks, and I want it to be a prominent aspect of the beer. I was thinking of using maybe a pound, but I also don't want to overdo it. Also, what about "dry hopping" with coffee beans? And lastly, what sort of grind should I use, a fine grind, or should I just crack the beans?


My second issue is vanilla beans. I'm considering using some to accent the porter. Anyone here used them before? ( I'm sure some of you have!) How many? What's the procedure?
You'll probably get a few answers on teh vanilla beans, some people have used them before. I can never get it quite right.

As for coffee, hopefully Sam75 chimes in on this cause he put crushed beans right into his fermenter.
Personally I think a half pound would be too much, even for coffee freaks.
Keep in mind you'll get a roasted coffee-ish flavor in the porter from the dark grains anyway. Coffee will accentuate it but it would be easy to over-do and ruin the beer.
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Old 03-05-2006, 07:57 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dude
You'll probably get a few answers on teh vanilla beans, some people have used them before. I can never get it quite right.

As for coffee, hopefully Sam75 chimes in on this cause he put crushed beans right into his fermenter.
Personally I think a half pound would be too much, even for coffee freaks.
Keep in mind you'll get a roasted coffee-ish flavor in the porter from the dark grains anyway. Coffee will accentuate it but it would be easy to over-do and ruin the beer.


Well, I was thinking of toning down the grains a bit. Perhaps more chocolate malt and less black patent...
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Old 03-05-2006, 07:58 PM   #4
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Or, perhaps another style of beer would be better to showcase the coffee?

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Old 03-05-2006, 08:15 PM   #5
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The BYO recipe for Lagunitas Cappuccino Stout calls for 3 oz. of coffee, brewed and added to the secondary. This stout has a pleasantly strong espresso taste, so I'm not sure I'd use any more coffee than that for a porter...half a pound sure seems like a lot.

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Old 03-05-2006, 08:27 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Pistolero
The BYO recipe for Lagunitas Cappuccino Stout calls for 3 oz. of coffee, brewed and added to the secondary. This stout has a pleasantly strong espresso taste, so I'm not sure I'd use any more coffee than that for a porter...half a pound sure seems like a lot.

Hmm... Well, now I don't know what. And I'm brewing tomorrow... Perhaps I will just try a half a pound, steeped after the boil, and add a small amount to the secondary. It isn't going to be a dark roast, so it shouldn't overpower the beer. Or so I would imagine...

Would a vanilla bean or two help "round out" the flavor profile a bit, perhaps softening the sharp edges?
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Old 03-05-2006, 10:33 PM   #7
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can you get your hands on 'coffee malt'. i've used this before in a porter and it gives a real nice coffee flavor. i would add brewed espresso (but with lighter roast), 4-6 oz. probably, added to the secondary. a vanilla bean would be nice, as would aging it on oak chips if you can get them.

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Old 03-05-2006, 10:45 PM   #8
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OTOH, the Rocky River Chocolate Jitters recipe called for 20oz(!) of brewed coffee added to the secondary, which seems like an awful lot. I brewed this recipe and used espresso instead, and can't remember at the moment, but wound up using 4-6oz of espresso I think, closer in line with what El P is suggesting.

I add coffee at bottling time to taste. This has the disadvantage of not resulting in any bulk aging and distribution of the coffee flavors, but I also have a good idea of how much coffee flavor there's going to be. It's easy to add flavor, but removing it is a pain!

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Old 03-07-2006, 04:08 AM   #9
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Well, here's how I've decided to do it:

8.5 # pale LME
2 # Crystal malt, 80^L
12 oz. chocolate malt
8 oz. wheat malt
2 oz. Northern Brewer, 7% AA (one for bittering, one for flavor)
6 tsp. Bakers' cocoa
WLP001 California Ale


8 oz. Barefoot Coffee Roasters' "Sweetness" espresso blend, ground and added after boil, steeped 10-15 minutes


I considered, but decided against a shot of molasses in the boil, I still may add a vanilla bean to the secondary.


Thanks for all the advice, we'll see how it works out...

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Old 03-07-2006, 08:44 AM   #10
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Well, it's in the fermenter, the yeast is pitched, nothing left to do but wait. I think it'll be ok, I ended up only using half the coffee, I might need to "dry hop" it, but I'll let it ferment out a week or two and see where it ends up... Nothing to do now but relax with a nice glass of wine...

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