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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > adding whole coffee beans at finishing hopping stage
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Old 01-19-2014, 04:41 PM   #1
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Default adding whole coffee beans at finishing hopping stage

I am brewing a coffee stout for the first time. My idea was to add whole beans during the finishing hopping stage. A lot of the threads I've been reading suggests cold steeping the beans and adding as opposed to my idea. Can I finish hop with the whole beans and get the results I want? Any info would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 01-19-2014, 04:43 PM   #2
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I would go with cold steeping. There is a reason you keep seeing that. People have had more luck getting the flavor they want this way.

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Old 01-19-2014, 05:04 PM   #3
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Adding coffee grounds or beans usually increases the green bell pepper aroma you've probably heard people talk about. I have an oatmeal coffee stout that I've brewed several times and when I added the grounds directly to the fermentor is when I got huge amounts of green bell pepper. I use the same coffee every time, but usually cold steep instead of adding it directly. The green bell pepper aroma does eventually blow off, but it took several months in the keg with weekly co2 purging to get rid of it.

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Old 01-19-2014, 07:48 PM   #4
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Adding coffee grounds or beans usually increases the green bell pepper aroma you've probably heard people talk about. I have an oatmeal coffee stout that I've brewed several times and when I added the grounds directly to the fermentor is when I got huge amounts of green bell pepper. I use the same coffee every time, but usually cold steep instead of adding it directly. The green bell pepper aroma does eventually blow off, but it took several months in the keg with weekly co2 purging to get rid of it.
What sort of coffee did you use? I've only made one coffee beer, but I added freshly roasted, coarse ground beans for about 72 hrs before bottling and had no green pepper flavor or aroma. It's a terrible off flavor and I consider myself to be very sensitive to it. Terrapin 'dry-beans' Wake N Bake per Spike's interview on CYBI.
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Old 01-19-2014, 08:11 PM   #5
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What sort of coffee did you use? I've only made one coffee beer, but I added freshly roasted, coarse ground beans for about 72 hrs before bottling and had no green pepper flavor or aroma. It's a terrible off flavor and I consider myself to be very sensitive to it. Terrapin 'dry-beans' Wake N Bake per Spike's interview on CYBI.
I used 4oz of 8 O'clock regular beans that I ground in a 3 gallon batch. I added mine directly to the primary along with the yeast and let it go for 2 weeks or so.

Maybe going thru fermentation is what pulls that out? How roasted were your beans? I'd love to try to figure out what causes it because I've never heard a real explanation and it really is an awful flavor and aroma.
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Old 01-19-2014, 08:23 PM   #6
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I used 4oz of 8 O'clock regular beans that I ground in a 3 gallon batch. I added mine directly to the primary along with the yeast and let it go for 2 weeks or so.

Maybe going thru fermentation is what pulls that out? How roasted were your beans? I'd love to try to figure out what causes it because I've never heard a real explanation and it really is an awful flavor and aroma.
I'd say a combination of using low quality coffee and leaving the beer on the coffee for too long.

I roasted mine to full city. Didn't use a great coffee, but definitely higher quality than Starbucks, Peet's, or other 'premium' grocery store stuff.

Next time, buy fresh coffee from a local roaster with a good reputation and you'll be amazed at the difference.
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Old 01-19-2014, 08:45 PM   #7
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I'd say a combination of using low quality coffee and leaving the beer on the coffee for too long.

I roasted mine to full city. Didn't use a great coffee, but definitely higher quality than Starbucks, Peet's, or other 'premium' grocery store stuff.

Next time, buy fresh coffee from a local roaster with a good reputation and you'll be amazed at the difference.
I don't think that's it because the same recipe with the same 8 o'clock coffee made it to mini BOS at NHC2013 round 2. I'd agree that it's not the best coffee, but when it's cold steeped there is no green pepper flavors or aromas.

I'd guess that the long contact time and going thru fermentation probably had something to do with it. I should try several different methods to see what causes it. I'm super sensitive to it too.

Edit: that certainly wasn't meant to sound condescending or anything like that... just wanted to be clear.
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Old 01-19-2014, 09:09 PM   #8
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I don't think that's it because the same recipe with the same 8 o'clock coffee made it to mini BOS at NHC2013 round 2. I'd agree that it's not the best coffee, but when it's cold steeped there is no green pepper flavors or aromas.

I'd guess that the long contact time and going thru fermentation probably had something to do with it. I should try several different methods to see what causes it. I'm super sensitive to it too.

Edit: that certainly wasn't meant to sound condescending or anything like that... just wanted to be clear.
I didn't realize when you said 'directly to the fermenter' you meant before fermentation. Maybe that's it, but either way 8 weeks is way longer than you want to dry bean for. 48hrs is what to shoot for, I only went 72hrs because I was busy and couldn't bottle.

If you would have used good coffee, you might have won gold. I'd say 8 O'clock is the coffee equivalent of Natty Ice, but of course the same pool of judges who judge NHC gave Natty Ice a gold medal at GABF this year.
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Old 01-19-2014, 09:22 PM   #9
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If you would have used good coffee, you might have won gold. I'd say 8 O'clock is the coffee equivalent of Natty Ice, but of course the same pool of judges who judge NHC gave Natty Ice a gold medal at GABF this year.
Hahahh that's exactly what I thought when I was typing that too. Hehehe...

Either way, OP, let us know what you decide to do and how it works out for you.
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Old 02-11-2014, 03:01 PM   #10
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I had an imperial stout w/ coffee get dinged hard in judging for green pepper flavor (I actually can't pick it up, but I'm guessing it's from the coffee). It was fully carbed in the keg and bottled; Will this dissipate in the bottles over time?

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