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Old 01-28-2008, 05:32 PM   #1
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Default Coffee Porter

I'm going to combine my two favorite beverages, coffee and beer. I will be making a 5 gallon batch. Has anyone else done a coffee brew? How much coffee did you use? I saw 1/2 lbs. mentioned somewhere (or I may have dreamed it and convinced myself this is right). Should I add the coffee during the boil, at the end of the boil? Any tips would be appreciated. Thanks!

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Old 01-28-2008, 07:07 PM   #2
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http://byo.com/feature/1020.html Several methods considered.
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Old 01-28-2008, 07:07 PM   #3
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This is how I do it...

http://homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=27891

If you are making a porter you probably want to replace that roasted barley with black patent and/or chocolate. The problem is, the coffee is roasted so you'll end up with a roasted character no matter what you put in there. It'll end up being a "stout"...

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Old 01-28-2008, 09:37 PM   #4
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I actually made the Java Stout from Midwest and it turned out to be my finest beer so far. The instructions were to boil a pot of organic coffee that comes with the kit and put it in the secondary. But since I don't usually use a secondary on ales I dumped it in with the wort and yeast. I let it sit for a month and man is it good !!! The coffee character is not overbearing , but it complements the roastiness of the stout nicely. Almost has a creamy taste to it. Since I'm down to my last four bottles I will have to plan another batch, but this time I'll create my own recipe.

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Old 01-28-2008, 10:05 PM   #5
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Thanks guys. After I brew this stuff I'll let you know how it went.

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Old 02-02-2008, 11:49 PM   #6
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I used the Goat Scrotum Ale recipe with 1/2 lbs of coffee. I crushed the coffee and steeped it with the grains then strained them before the boil.

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Old 02-03-2008, 02:38 AM   #7
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+1 on one of the methods in the BYO article - the one used by Lakefront Brewery in Milwaukee. They cold steep the coffee (I hear 24 hours is a good amount). The benefit is that you extract the flavor without all of the oils that affect head retention that is discussed in the article. I made a coffee porter once and did the cold steep as recommended by a homebrewer/Starbucks employee. Worked fine. Otherwise I would do like sirsloop and add late to minimize oil extraction.

Any Milwaukee folks know what kind of coffee Lakefront is using? The article says local coffee shop, so I am thinking something from Alterra.

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Old 02-04-2008, 04:32 AM   #8
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Bearcat you are correct, the stout is brewed for the "fuel cafe" which uses Alterra.

I'm also going to recommend cold steeping coffee (about 1/2 lb. for 5 gallons, let sit in 2 quarts of water for 24 hours) you don't extract any oils this way and depending on what kind of coffee you use you get a much smoother, more chocolaty flavor from it.

whatever you do, don't boil the coffee, you'll totally ruin the flavor and you'll end up with a really harsh taste to it.

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Old 02-04-2008, 09:01 AM   #9
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In making coffee with a French press, I've come to appreciate some finer points about coffee:
1. I prefer a lower strike temperature and a longer extraction (over a hotter strike temperature and a shorter extraction). It's less bitter, much smoother, and brings out the flavors of the coffee much better.
2. DEFINITELY keep water away from coffee when said water is >180°F.
3. Crush coffee beans with a burr mill grinder. Don't use a whirley-blade grinder or the coffee will be too bitter and the flavor won't be smooth. If you must, you'll be better off buying preground beans than using the wrong kind of grinder. Use crushed beans immediately.
4. If you want to see what character the coffee will contribute to your beer, make coffee the same way you will in your beer, and stick it in the refrigerator. If you don't like how it tastes cold, it won't taste good in your beer.
5. Search out the good stuff. There are few things I hate more than bad coffee beans. The best place to buy coffee in my opinion is directly from a local coffee roaster. The second best place to buy coffee is from a local coffee shop that has high bean turnover. Secondly, look for beans that have the character you want in your beer. You'll probably want smooth flavors and low acidity.
6. Never boil coffee, try to reheat it, or keep it warm. You drive off all the delicious aromatics and end up with a flavorless, bitter beverage. Which is disgusting.

So to answer your question, I would add the coffee a few days before bottling to taste. That way, you'll have the maximum amount of coffee aromatics present and you'll give the yeast a chance to ferment out the tiny sugar content you just added. I would add coffee prepared properly in a french press as opposed to beans because it allows you to control the amount of coffee flavor (impossible to over extract), ensures a good coffee flavor (as opposed to a bad coffee flavor), won't cloud your beer with bits of coffee grounds, and is probably the easiest way of doing it.

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Old 02-04-2008, 02:59 PM   #10
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I make an excellent coffe porter, and find the best thing is to add coffee at different times during the process.

I put a tiny 1/4 to 1/2 a lb amount of coffee in my mash.
Then put some extra find coffe grounds in the primary, most of these settle out when I rack to secondary.
On brew day I put a good amount of coffe probably 3/4 of a pound into a mason jar with a cup or two of flavorless vodka and allow the vodka to absorb the coffee essence. I shake it every couple of days. I add that vodka coffe to the secondary leaving the grounds behind when I rack to secondary and leave it for a couple weeks.
On bottling day I make a half pot of strong coffee and use the hot coffee to disolve my priming sugar and add to my bottling bucket. If I am kegging I just dump a few shots of espresso into the keg.

It carries an amazing coffee flavor and aroma, and quite a kick both caffeine wise and alcohol wise.

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