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Old 12-14-2006, 06:41 PM   #1
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Default Experiences adding coffee to stout?

Hi guys, I currently have a stout in my primary, gonna rack it to secondary on Sunday night and I am a little worried that it is kinda bland. It is only my second brew boiling all the ingredients (all canned prehopped kits before) but the wort seemed a bit tasteless.

I will taste it again before I transfer to get a sg reading but was thinking that I could maybe add some coffee to get a little more flavour, I was planning on trying a coffee stout soon anyway!

Alot depends on what it tastes like at the weekend but what can I add? Do you just add the ground coffee straight to the secondary or do I make a pot of coffee and pour that in? The only other thread I could find on this mentioned adding coffee directly to the keg (I dont keg just bottle) so would it be better to add the coffee to the bottling bucket with the priming sugar?

I also heard that coffee can interfere with carbonation and head retention due to oils contained in it, anyone got any experience with this?

Thanks for any help!

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Old 12-14-2006, 10:39 PM   #2
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I added a big pot of brewed (then cooled) coffee (the good stuff---local artisan coffee, none of that folgers junk) directly into my primary prior to racking from the kettle. It turned out DELICIOUS...especially with the 8oz of bakers chocolate that I added to the boil. It's like a big dessert.

Go ahead and add it to your secondary vessel. Don't worry about carbonation...it'll be just fine.

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Old 12-14-2006, 11:31 PM   #3
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I've used half cup of crushed Starbucks beans. Put them in a bag and rolled a can of LME just to break them. Put them in a muslin bag, then into secondary. Came out great.

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Old 12-15-2006, 03:45 AM   #4
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I've also heard about guys making a "coffee tea", and adding it to the secondary...anyone here done this?

I've got a stout in the primary too, and will also be racking this weekend.
Might be interesting to compare notes TREMBLE.

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Old 12-15-2006, 04:45 AM   #5
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Ive added a full pot (strong and fresh) of cooled coffee (organic and fair trade not star bucks) to the bottling bucket with success. It had an excellent coffee aroma and just enough coffee flavor. I was really worried about the coffee oils, but it seems to be almost over carbonated. and 8.5%! The next batch I added the same into the secondary instead. I just bottled it, but I think either way would achieve similar results. My friend wanted to clone my recipe, but added ground coffee into the secondary. Needless to say, he had a horrible time filtering the grounds back out. (I bet he got a lot of grounds into the bottles. I like the idea of "dry beaning" with the roughly milled beans in a hop bag. Do you think that more oils would be imparted that way?

Wow my first post! Ive been studying the forums hard recently in preparation for my first AG brew tomorrow. Word

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Old 12-15-2006, 04:57 AM   #6
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I use brewed espresso (imported from italy). It's less liquid to add and dilute the beer, and packs a lot of roasty coffe flavor. I brew it up on the stove and dump it in at bottling time, just adding a little at a time to get the taste I want.

I used 16oz last time. I'll try 22oz the next, bercause I want the coffee to be very pronounced.

-walker

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Old 12-15-2006, 03:16 PM   #7
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You should try cold-brewing coffee, which will give you all the coffee flavor but without any of the staleness that comes from coffee that cooled down. Cold brewing is much like making iced tea: takes a few days, but is totally worth it in the end.

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Old 12-15-2006, 04:32 PM   #8
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Coffee stout is one of my favorites and I make it often. I have found the best way is to use half of one of those expresso ground coffee bricks. The REAL strong stuff. Starbucks isnt strong enough, nor is any other regular coffee blend.

Boil your wort just like you would for a regular stout, and add the grounds right into the wort at the end of boil. Chill the wort and pour the whole mess right into the primary. All of the coffee settles out by the time it hits secondary. I would use regular cheap dry yeast for this - don't plan on saving your slurry for future batched. Right down the toilet after you rack to secondary.

There are a couple problems with adding coffee at the beginning of boil, or premaking it and adding it as liquid. Ever have the last cop in a pot of coffee that has been sitting hot for an hour? Its VERY bitter tasting, right? The same thing that happens to wort and hops during boil happens to coffee bean. The longer its heated, the more bitter it becomes. By adding coffee at the end of boil, you sterilize it and then reduce the amount of time that its hot so you dont get that nasty bitter coffee taste. Adding the liquid isnt as good I have found because its never strong enough. It ends up smelling like coffee but still tastes like normal beer. Also, if the liquid coffee is added at the beginning of boil it will become bitter.

I have no real issues with head retention. Its not quite as poppy as my wits or my pale ale, but still very nice. Certainly a far cry from no head. I use 3/4 cup corn sugar like I do with all my stouts. It pours nice and thick with a dark creamy head! I love it! This is after 5 mintues of sitting there...



One last tid bit...If you are using hops (I use saaz aroma and chinook bittering).. you may want to consider using like 1lbs of laagander DME in the mix. The coffee does make the beer overall more bitter and it can be somewhat counteracted with the sweeter DME. Takes some of the bite off the beer.

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Last edited by sirsloop; 12-15-2006 at 04:43 PM.
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Old 12-15-2006, 04:50 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the advice, looks like I will not be able to rack it over till either Sunday night or Monday (away with work this weekend) so got a little more time to think about it, at the minute I think I am gonna go with adding around 20 oz of brewed espresso to the secondary, if I do another coffee stout after this(one that I intend to be a coffee!) I will try adding the coffee at the end of the boil.

Any other thoughts are always welcome!

PS. What exactly do you mean by cold coffee brewing? Just firing the beans in a jug of water and leaving them there a few days?

Thanks again!

PPS. That stout looks real nice!

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Old 12-15-2006, 04:55 PM   #10
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ya... cold-brew is like taking the grounds and dumping them in the chilled wort. I haven't ever tried this over fear of contamination. The only thing that goes in unboiled is dry hops if im dryhopping. Who knows where that coffee has been and what germs it carries

cold-brew would work tho... the stout should be in primary for two weeks so thats plenty of brew time.

and don't fear if the stout tastes like someone dumped instant coffee in the brew when you bottle it. Give it a month and the taste really comes around nicely.

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~~~~~~~~~~~___//_ ____________________________~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~_/ [][]| | /```\/```\/```\/```\/```\ |~~~~~~~~~~
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~~~___/[_]| 00 /| | \,,,/\,,,/\,,,/\,,,/\,,,/ |~~~~~~~~~~
~~|___|___|___/_| |___________________________|~~~~~~~~~~
~~|=(*)[________]==(*)(*)=| \________/=(*)(*)=|~~~~~~~~~~
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