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Old 10-24-2011, 10:10 PM   #1
nate456789
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Default Coffee Porter

I am looking to add some coffee to my porter.
I have read a few posts here about the right way to do it.
Since all ways seem right, I am going to gamble. Espresso shots to the keg.
Plus I am not a coffee drinker and can't make a good cup. Taste testing I realized I can't brew coffee worth a crap.
My question is. What is a good star bucks, or any other brand I guess, to use?
What is a general amount to add to a 4 gallons?

I don't have a machine to make it. I was just going to stop in after work and pick it up. I bought a coffee press, but didn't really have much luck with it. So I guess cold brewing is out of the question.

Thanks

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Old 10-24-2011, 10:20 PM   #2
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You can go all-out and talk to your local roaster to figure out the type of coffee that would best suit your porter, or you can just buy whatever coffee you think is decent.

If you can grind beans, you can cold brew.

Put the beans in water, in the refrigerator, for 48 hours before you're ready to put it in the beer. Run the beer through a coffee filter (sanitized) into a container (sanitized). Then add as much as you want.

For reference, I added coffee to a stout earlier this yr. After I had bottled down to 2.5 gal, I added 2 cups. After I had bottles down to 1.125 gallons, I added the remaining 2 cups. This worked out to be 5% and 10% coffee by volume, respectively. The 5% was pretty good initially, but both needed some time to condition. Now, after about 8 months, the 10% is sublime.

YMMV, I say pick a number and go with it! I can't offer any input as far as espresso shots.

Have fun!

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Old 10-24-2011, 10:21 PM   #3
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Starbucks would be good. So would just about any premium brand of coffee -- Seattle's Best, Blue Mountain, even your grocery store brand, as long as you buy the whole beans, and grind them yourself. You can do it at the store.

You say you aren't a coffee drinker, so I won't recommend using a brand you like since you don't have a preference. (Of course, that raises the question of why you want to add an ingredient you don't like to your beer....)

As far as how to add it, there are a couple ways I've had good luck with:

1. Brew a pot of coffee, then add it at the end of the boil. The problem with this is that you need to take into consideration the additional liquid in calculating how to hit your final gravity. However, it isn't a major problem as you aren't adding that much.

2. Simply add your coffee grounds to the hot wort at the end of the boil. By the time you have chilled your wort, the grounds will have flavored the beer sufficiently.

In either case, I recommend doing it at the end of the boil: you wouldn't want to boil your coffee before drinking it, so why boil it in your beer?

How much to add -- this is, of course, a matter of taste. I would start with a 1/2 pound for a 5 gallon batch.

You may also want to consider using decaf... you wouldn't want a late night drinking session to prevent you from sleeping at night!

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Old 10-24-2011, 11:01 PM   #4
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What about this for a way to brew the coffee. Save the amount of coffee you'd want as wort. Drain some off into a mason jar at the end of the boil. Then place it in the fridge/freezer until you're ready to add the coffee. Heat it back up to about 180F and let the coffee steep in a press pot. Then press the coffee out and add to the fermentor before fermentation has completely ceased. Of course this would require you own a coffee press.

I just picked up coffee today with desire to do a coffee stout. I'm doing a blend of Malawi AA, Mexican Chipicas, and Tanzanian Peaberry. The Malawi is a darker roast with the latter two being more of a medium roast.

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Old 10-25-2011, 02:46 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hercher
You say you aren't a coffee drinker, so I won't recommend using a brand you like since you don't have a preference. (Of course, that raises the question of why you want to add an ingredient you don't like to your beer....)
I like the smell and the taste of coffee. But I don't drink it. Except in beer. When it's done right I think they compliment each other well.
I am hoping to achieve that.
Putting it in while brewing is not an option for this beer because it is already kegged. I am hoping to add it after the fact. The beer is slightly dry and a little bitter. I am hoping a good coffee flavor might swing it the other direction and balance it out.

Thanks for the suggestions.
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Old 10-25-2011, 03:57 AM   #6
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The other approach -- one that I've had the best success with -- is to forget the coffee altogether and used the Franco-Belges Kiln coffee malt. In small (5% or so) amounts, it adds a fantastic espresso taste to a porter. I've read that some folks think it tastes like marshmellow. I've not had that experience at all. It imparts a rich, strong espresso taste.

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Old 10-25-2011, 10:03 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nate456789 View Post
I like the smell and the taste of coffee. But I don't drink it. Except in beer. When it's done right I think they compliment each other well.
I am hoping to achieve that.
Putting it in while brewing is not an option for this beer because it is already kegged. I am hoping to add it after the fact. The beer is slightly dry and a little bitter. I am hoping a good coffee flavor might swing it the other direction and balance it out.

Thanks for the suggestions.
Try just adding a pot of coffee to it. I think I read above you don't have a maker, so get one of those boxes of coffee at Dunkin Donuts and use that. I'd suggest chilling the coffee down before adding.

This will, however, thin out your coffee somewhat, and if your keg is full, it may not accommodate more liquid. So you could try "dry hopping" with some coarsely ground beans.
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Old 10-25-2011, 11:56 AM   #8
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All good ideas, and I don't think there's any one right or wrong answer. all I can offer is how I did my coffee porter.

I used a brewers best kit for the ingredients, started with their smoked porter kit. then added an extra 3 lbs of their Liquid porter malt extract. I brewed 2 pots of coffee using the house coffee maker, I used Starbucks house blend for a mild, smooth rich flavor of coffee. the darker roasts can be stronger, and more bitter tasting. some say it tastes burnt, but I like dark blends, so I don't think so! house blend is hard to screw up though. either grind the beans yourself, or buy the coffee on brew day and have the store grind it for you (they do it for free)

so, I brewed 2 12-cup pots, and added it to my grains as they steeped. then added the malt and started the boil. I also added a cup of pure cocoa powder.

once the boil was over, I topped off the carboy to give me 5 gallons.

it tastes great. smokey, coffee, chocolatey, it's smooth, balanced... My dad once said to me "you drink all those weird beers, why don't you just get something simple and normal?" --he doesn't like an overpowering beer, or really hoppy brews, anyway....he really liked this brew.

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Old 10-25-2011, 01:41 PM   #9
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I've read over and over to select a coffee known to be low-acid and don't hot-brew it or you'll extract the acids. The recommendation that I have found has the most backup is to cold-brew and add at bottling/kegging time. Since you're already kegged, cold brew a batch and dump it in.

I plan on doing this with a Festa-Brew double oatmeal stout that I'll be starting in 3 weeks.

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Old 10-25-2011, 03:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MazdaMatt View Post
I've read over and over to select a coffee known to be low-acid and don't hot-brew it or you'll extract the acids. The recommendation that I have found has the most backup is to cold-brew and add at bottling/kegging time. Since you're already kegged, cold brew a batch and dump it in.

I plan on doing this with a Festa-Brew double oatmeal stout that I'll be starting in 3 weeks.
^^^This.
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