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Old 02-12-2011, 10:32 PM   #1
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Default Water Joe...anyone tried this yet?

Yep, I searched. Yep, searched on Google. I did not find anything on the subject or very little/conflicting info. I am planning on a Founder's Breakfast stout clone and thought I would use Water Joe to make the batch so it would have caffeine. I like this beer very much but wish it had an actual "boost" to it as I like to drink it with my breakfast (on special occasions not daily), as the name implies... I am calling mine "STFU Breakfast Stout" which will be FANTASTIC to have when camping, or special all day drinking events, to start the day out right.



I am mostly concerned about the mash and then the boil, since I do all grain. I am worried about efficiency and the actual loss of the caffeine during the process not to mention would this be insta-death to the yeast when pitching???

Would I be better off trying to use coffee instead of the Water Joe? or make the Water Joe into coffee (Cold brewed) then use that to mash and sparge???

I am willing to try but am wondering if anyone else has tried this and has any input. I just picked up the grains today so I will be brewing it soon.

Thanks in advance...

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Old 02-12-2011, 10:38 PM   #2
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Nothing constructive to add, bit I think this is a great idea.

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Old 02-13-2011, 12:43 AM   #3
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I've never had this drink, but I assume that it tastes like water with caffeine in it? In that case, just brew up a strong ~3 gallon batch, then dilute it with 2 gallons (or however much water joe you wanted to use) to your target gravity.

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Old 02-13-2011, 01:30 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by devilishprune View Post
I've never had this drink, but I assume that it tastes like water with caffeine in it? In that case, just brew up a strong ~3 gallon batch, then dilute it with 2 gallons (or however much water joe you wanted to use) to your target gravity.
It is un-chlorinated water with caffeine, yes. There is also some "mystery agent" that masks the bitterness of the caffeine but they claim "all natural". I was thinking about your suggestion and this was going to be a 3 gallon batch...ending at 8%ish abv... that would require a lot of boiling...this also does not cover the yeast viability concern either.

Unless I hear something negative soon, I am thinking I may just try to make a Water Joe starter and see what happens to the yeast. I will be starting my yeast bank with the smack pack I just bought so I will just take a small sample from the "bank" and see if it grows. This may also let me know about the caffeine effects from boiling if I drink the starter...before I try a whole batch. I suspect flat oxidized starters do not taste really good but I should be able to see if the caffeine is still present....

Any ideas on what happens to suspended caffeine when boiled? I would not suspect it would "flash off"...just looking for advice...

This is my recipe so far...A bastardization of the Founder's clone...

STFU Breakfast Stout

3 gallon batch <---------------


9 lbs 2 row
1 lbs flaked oats
¾ lbs chocolate malt
½ lbs roasted barley malt
½ lbs coffee kiln malt
¼ lbs debittered black malt
¼ lbs crystal 120
¼ lbs lactose - 15 min
1 oz coffee espresso? - 15 min
1 oz coffee kona? - top off/secondary
2 oz Hershey's special dark cacao - 15 min
1 oz unsweetened baking nibs - 15min or secondary?

½ oz Warrior or high bitter @ 60
¼ oz Willamette @ 30 and 0.

Yeast nutrient and Irish moss @ 15

Wyeast Scottish ale - 1728

Mashing around 155F...With Water Joe??? <---The big question...

I will have to wait for more forum input or try a starter soon. I have LOTS going on so I am in no rush...
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Old 02-13-2011, 01:47 AM   #5
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Could the mystery agent possibly be Miracle Berry? That would be perfect to mask the bitterness.

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Old 02-13-2011, 01:52 AM   #6
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Could the mystery agent possibly be Miracle Berry? That would be perfect to mask the bitterness.

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I don't know, I can not seem to locate any disclosure from the company. I think it is like the Colonel's "secret" recipe...
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Old 02-13-2011, 02:18 AM   #7
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It's probably good idea to make a starter to see if the caffeine content of the water affects the yeast, but people do make coffee beers all the time and they seem to turn out fine.

I did a bit of research to try and find the point at which caffeine degrades, and I couldn't find anything. I saw that the melting point was 237C, so I infer from that that it will remain stable during boiling. You would have to get it a helluva lot hotter than that to get it to be a gas, so I wouldn't worry.

Interesting supportive fact: Turkish coffee is made by boiling, and presumably still has the caffeine content there.

Since you're doing a strong beer with a small volume, maybe you can mash with your regular water, and then sparge with the water joe? That way, you won't lose any of that more expensive stuff to grain absorption and you can still maximize the amount of caffeine in it.

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Old 02-13-2011, 04:21 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by devilishprune View Post
It's probably good idea to make a starter to see if the caffeine content of the water affects the yeast, but people do make coffee beers all the time and they seem to turn out fine.

I seem to be able to find coffee beers but just like my recipe, use a tiny quantity of coffee in ratio to the volume; as such, lack the "pick me up" from the caffeine. Do not get me wrong here I am not looking for a "iced bubbly coffee drink" I want a beer that has nice coffee flavors. I really like how Founder's did theirs...

Thanks for the other info that really does help!
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Old 05-31-2011, 08:22 PM   #9
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Default Update

I just transferred the beer onto 1 oz of blended Kona and Espresso coffees ground VERY coarse. The sample was nothing short of stellar in taste but it was lacking the strong coffee flavors from the coffee.

I was able to detect no off flavors from stressed yeast or anything else. Would this work in a pilsner? I have no idea but I am 100% happy with the results for this stout up to this point as far as taste.

I also have no idea if any of the caffeine is still present, I suspect/hope that it is.

I will update 1 more time with some tasting notes and a pic after it is all carbed up and ready for consumption.

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Old 06-27-2011, 08:06 PM   #10
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Default Update

I have now moved the coffee beer (Which I forgot about) into the keg and it is now chilling and on gas. The sample was VERY nice and the coffee presence very noticeable. Since this is such a small batch I will be force carbing it and then bottling it all in small flip-top bottles. Tasting notes and such in about a week.

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