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Old 01-20-2010, 05:40 AM   #1
firebird77
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Default Espresso Stout

Hi all,

For my third ever batch of beer I am looking to make an Espresso Stout. My LHBS carries Brewer's Best kits, so for simplicity's sake I was considering purchasing the BB Irish Stout kit, and steeping fresh ground espresso. So far I have a few questions:

What is the best way to impart the espresso taste? I have heard of people putting whole beans in the secondary (which I am without, for now), cold-brewing espresso and adding it to the wort (when?), or steeping ground espresso during the boil. I am going for a fairly strong coffee note, however I obviously still want it to taste more like a beer than a cup of espresso.


Should I cut back the amount of bittering hops, or add them later to compensate for the added bitterness of the espresso? I am planning on doing a full boil (assuming I can get the keggle together in time) and know I have to already cut back the hops 20% all around.


I have read that priming with DME produces finer carbonation than using corn sugar, which would be desirable in this style. Can anyone back that up?

For reference, here is the list of ingredients in the kit:

http://www.brewersbestkits.com/pdf/1023_Irish_Stout.pdf

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Old 01-20-2010, 01:50 PM   #2
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I brewed an Irish Stout kit from Midwest and bottled all but one gallon. To that one extra gallon, I added a cup (8 oz) of French press-brewed coffee (a medium roasted Costa Rican I think) after primary fermentation. Didn't turn out as well as I expected, just had a strange bitter/sour flavor. I think maybe the hop and coffee flavors just don't mesh very well.

I'm looking forward to hearing other peoples' ideas, as I want to try this again.

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Old 01-20-2010, 02:14 PM   #3
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There are plenty of successful coffee brews out there, I'm just looking for the best way of going about it. If this kit isn't close enough to what I should start with, I am open to piecing the ingredients together (only if necessary, as this would probably cost a little more too).

I chose espresso because I prefer the flavor over regular coffee. Even if I want something a little milder, I will usually drink Cafe Americano over a standard cup o joe.

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Old 01-20-2010, 02:46 PM   #4
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Midwest supplies has a kit called Peace Coffee Java Stout and its only like 30 bucks. I was thinking about ordering it myself. Its received some rave reviews!

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Old 01-20-2010, 08:49 PM   #5
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BTW, I forgot to mention that brew day is scheduled for Friday!

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Old 01-20-2010, 09:35 PM   #6
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I usually add a pound of ground espresso at flameout. (Cafe Bustelo -- the yellow vacuum sealed brick) But then, I love my coffee flavor. It seems I only taste the hops when I burp.

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Old 01-21-2010, 04:21 AM   #7
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archie, can you elaborate? Is this only steeped until the yeast is pitched or left in loose during fermentation, where it will get stuck in with the yeast cake before racking to the bottling bucket?

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Old 01-21-2010, 10:38 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firebird77 View Post
archie, can you elaborate? Is this only steeped until the yeast is pitched or left in loose during fermentation, where it will get stuck in with the yeast cake before racking to the bottling bucket?
I leave it in loose for the whole fermentation. The grounds all settle out to the bottom by the end of everything.

CAUTION: This is a STRONG coffee flavor. Some say too strong. Others love it. It does come out nice and bitter. Coffee is a definite flavor, not an undertone like in a lot of stouts. The head on the stout ends up brown. The stout itself is black.

Here's my original recipe I've used numerous times:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f68/doub...e-stout-27891/

And here's the latest one I tried that basically came out the same since there's just so much coffee in it. It's Papazian's Toad Spit Stout recipe with some Starbucks added. The amount of coffee flavor was about the same as the original, even though it only used half the coffee:
Quote:
Ingredients

* 1 can hopped Dark Liquid Malt Extract (3.3lb)
* 3 lbs Extra Dark Dry Malt Extract
* 1 lb Dark Dry Malt Extract
* 0.75 lb Crystal Malt (40L?)
* 0.5 lb Black Patent Malt
* 0.5 lb Roasted Barley
* 0.5 lb ground coffee (I’m using Starbucks French Roast for this)
* 1 oz Nothern Brewer’s Hops (Boiling)
* 1 oz Fuggles Hops (Finishing)
* 1L starter of Wyeast Irish Ale Yeast 1084

Process

1. Steep cracked grains in 2 gallons 170F water for 30 minutes
2. Remove grain bag, bring water to boil
3. Add malt extracts and Northern Brewer’s hops – boil for 45 min
4. Add Fuggles Hops for last 15 minutes of boil
5. Steep (coarse-ground) coffee beans for 10 min at flameout
6. Cool wort and proceed as normal
I'd say what how much coffee you use depends on what you want. If you want a stout with a coffee hint to it, maybe use only a couple ounces of grounds. If you want coffee with a stout hint to it, go ahead and use half to a whole pound.

Other people will tell you to actually make the espresso, chill it, and dump it either into primary or secondary. If you Google "espresso stout" the first hit shows that method instead of mine.

FWIW I would recommend AGAINST boiling the grounds at any time -- that can extract way too much bitter nastiness from the coffee and boil off the actual coffee flavor.
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Old 01-21-2010, 05:38 PM   #9
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Thanks, exactly what I needed to know. On hand I have about a half a pound of Starbucks Espresso beans. I think I will get them ground fairly coarse (a regular espresso grind would NOT be good IMO).

As a 4 gallon batch beer calculus puts it at OG 1.064, FG 1.017, ABV 6.3%

This seems pretty good to me, but if I was to bump up the ABV, what fermentables would I add?

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Old 01-22-2010, 12:02 AM   #10
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It's an extract kit, so more dark dme would add fermentable sugars. It will also alter color, bitterness, and alcohol content.

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