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Old 03-23-2011, 04:36 PM   #1
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Default Adding coffee grounds to carboy for cold conditioning

I am brewing a coffee brown. The brown ale is finished and I am adding 10oz of coffee grounds to the finished beer for a 24-hour cold-steep. I was considering racking off a liter or so, adding the grounds to that, chilling for 24 hours and straining back to the carboy.

My questions are: Any experience on this? Racking some of the beer to another vessel for coffee extraction seems like an unnecessary step. I think I would prefer adding the coffee to the carboy and chilling for 24 hours and than racking with my autosiphon to a keg. Anythoughts on whether the coffee grounds will cause trouble with the autosiphon?

Thanks.

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Old 03-23-2011, 04:45 PM   #2
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They shouldn't cause trouble. But the problem is because they're to small to cause trouble. So they'll transfer just fine to your finished product. And that's a problem. I like to make some really stong coffee, cool it, and dump it in.

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Old 03-23-2011, 05:06 PM   #3
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Thats what I am wondering. If I knew they would settle (as pellet trub does), I could rack off the settled coffee, otherwise its cold conditioning in my erlenmyer.

Not certain if brewing coffee and then adding is better, but heating coffee begins gassing off aromatics and introducing tannins. Cold steeping reduces tannins and concentrates the flavors. Plus, I am cloning a wonderful Minnesota Beer, Surly Coffee Bender. (Coffee brown ale). They cold steep.

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Old 03-23-2011, 05:14 PM   #4
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You could always cold brew some coffee, strain with a french press or whatever, and add that to the secondary -- avoiding both tannins and particles.
Or how about wrapping some cheesecloth on the autosiphon between the racking cane and the removable tip?

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Old 03-23-2011, 05:23 PM   #5
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IF you're going to grind the beans yourself, just use a coarse grind... I found that works well when I used coffee in my mocha madness mead... I was able to leave the grounds behind when racking off of them. I will say that they seem to absorb a good amount of fluid.

If you wanted to ensure you don't get any grounds in the brew, you could go the french press method. Personally, I'd rather just put the beans into the carboy and let them extract over X days... I would suggest tasting after a day, then another 12 hours later if you're concerned. Of course, it also depends on how much flavor you want and how much coffee you'll be adding. Not to mention the beans you select.

I used the same coffee that I like to drink... Of course, I grind the beans moments before I brew the pot every morning, to get the best possible pot of coffee. Having a quality coffee grinder/mill is important there.

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Old 03-23-2011, 05:28 PM   #6
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Thanks. I love african coffees, but don't know how they would blend with the Northern brown ( think the wine and berry flavors would be lost), I was thinking Costa Rican or Columbian. Thanks for the tip about he course grind. I will have this ground at one of the local indie Coffee shops in Madison, then right in the beer.

My only argument against the beans is I want this conditioned asap because I just cant wait. If I were a bit more patient, it might be the best route.

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Old 03-23-2011, 05:32 PM   #7
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Not sure how the beans will come through on your brew... Start with what seems like a good amount (1/2# to 1#) and adjust as needed.

I have a breakfast stout recipe in the works that I plan to use coffee beans in too. It will be post primary fermentation, so that I can get the most flavor from the coffee into it... I just want to be sure it doesn't overpower the other flavors in the brew. Looking to have some chocolate flavors in the stout, so it could be a delicate balancing act. I'll probably drop in a split vanilla bean, or two, into the brew once all the other flavor elements are done.

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Old 03-23-2011, 10:48 PM   #8
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a friend of mine makes a killer coffee porter. His technique is to cold steep 100g of ground coffee for 48hrs, then pour into french press, strain, and add at kegging/bottling time. The coffee amount is up to you, but cold steeping and straining, then adding at bottling time seems like a great idea to me.

Why secondary with filtered coffee if its going into the final product anyways?

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Old 03-23-2011, 10:56 PM   #9
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I know of someone that uses coffee instead of water for his priming solution...

Personally, I'm looking to have the flavors all set before I go to bottle it. Which means I'll want to add them during the process, not at the very end.

Pick a method and try it out... If you don't like how it comes out, try another method.. Repeat until you find one that works best for you.

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