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Old 01-01-2013, 07:48 PM   #1
MarkIafrate
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Default Splitting Stout Batch: Coffee and Cocoa Nibs

Hey everyone!

I enjoyed the last imperial stout recipe I came up with and I want to refine it. The first time I did it I added cocoa nibs and a vanilla bean soaked in vodka to the secondary. I like it, but I want to see what it's like without additions and with other additions.

I am doing two batches of the same recipe. The first is a normal 5 gallon batch without any secondary additions. The second 5 gallons batch will be split in half. One will have cocoa nibs soaked in vodka. I did 10 ounces for 5 gallons before which provided more vanilla than chocolate. I want to do about 8 or 10 in the 2.5 gallon batch this time.

The other half will have coffee, but I have never done it. I read a lot about adding coffee and there is a ton of conflicting advice.

I've heard you can grind them or add them whole. However I also heard the oils from the whole beans can be bad for head retention but the ground coffee can leave grounds in the beer. I've read the beans as a whole don't add as much flavor as the ground beans do. I also heard cold brewing coffee can be a good idea but I've never done that before. Lastly, I've heard soaking them in water, bourbon, whiskey, etc. helps extract flavors better.

My questions for everyone:

  1. If I want a nice coffee flavor but nothing overwhelming, should I do whole beans or ground coffee?
  2. Should it be a bold flavor or something more subtle?
  3. How many ounces per gallon?

Any other advice is welcome!

Thanks!
Mark
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Old 01-01-2013, 08:00 PM   #2
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The pro brewers here in BC seem to prefer the cold-brewing process. They soak ground coffee in cold water for 24 hours or so, so I've heard. I believe the Nelson Brewing Company selected an espresso roast for their coffee stout. It was flavorful but not overwhelming.

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Old 01-01-2013, 08:08 PM   #3
MarkIafrate
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Interesting. There is some great coffee made around here so I could get some ground and steep in the cold water no problem. If I do that, how much should I steep? Do I add in just the liquid or also the grounds? And should I be adding that at bottling/kegging or should it be added to secondary?

Thanks!

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Old 01-02-2013, 04:18 PM   #4
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It's a matter of personal taste for sure. Strain off the liquid from the grounds and try adding measured small amounts to a measured sample of the finished beer until you achieve something you like.

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Old 01-03-2013, 08:30 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkIafrate View Post
Interesting. There is some great coffee made around here so I could get some ground and steep in the cold water no problem. If I do that, how much should I steep? Do I add in just the liquid or also the grounds? And should I be adding that at bottling/kegging or should it be added to secondary?

Thanks!
Add it to the bottling bucket. The cold brew is what I've done for the past 4 brews each w/a different type of coffee. If you add at bottling time you can tell what the finished product will taste like. Check my recipe for amt added, but still do it in small amts so you done add to much.
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Old 01-04-2013, 05:17 PM   #6
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I'm actually doing the same thing! I've got a sweet stout extract recipe i made, and will split it in half after primary fermentation. half of it is staying as is, while the second half i'm adding cold-press coffee to. I read somewhere that a good ratio was about 7 cups of cold-press, but since i'm only using half the 5-gallon recipe, i'll be closer to 3-3.5 cups of coffee. cold-press is a bit more concentrated flavor, so its actually more flavor than if you just brewed 4 cups of coffee for drinking.

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Old 01-06-2013, 12:50 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C-Rider

Add it to the bottling bucket. The cold brew is what I've done for the past 4 brews each w/a different type of coffee. If you add at bottling time you can tell what the finished product will taste like. Check my recipe for amt added, but still do it in small amts so you done add to much.
Very cool I'm definitely going to do that then. Just before kegging/bottling ill do some taste testing and then a little math to scale up.
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