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Brewing with coffee

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asterix404

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I want to do a coffee imp stout, I have a great imp stout base but I wasn't sure just how much coffee would be useful. I want to use very fine ground medium roast to my secondary fermenter. I read a few sites about putting coffee into the boil and though, gee I hate boiled coffee. I also spoke with a few pro-brewers at a beer fest who said to put it into the secondary but we never discussed how much. I was thinking like, 2 pounds dry for a 5gal. I want the coffee to be very pronounced, because I've had stuff which honestly didn't taste anything like coffee. What have people brewed with before? Thanks for the help!
 

brewmasterpa

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what i know about coffee in the stout is that you should use 2 pots of cold, strong coffee. how accurate that is, i cant tell you for sure, but thats what ive read, and ive seen in recipes, so its probably accurate. oh, and yes it goes in the secondary.
 

boodyrischous

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Here's a method we used- Make a pitcher of extra-strong cold-press coffee to be ready about the time you are bottling/ kegging. Strain out the grounds, and boil the amount you anticipate using (to sanitize). It no longer has the grounds, and so doesn't make it harsh. Then you can pull a sample of the beer and mix in the cold press coffee until you reach the desired flavor. Then add to the rest of the batch using that proportion. it produces delicious results.
 

tekhna

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Here's a method we used- Make a pitcher of extra-strong cold-press coffee to be ready about the time you are bottling/ kegging. Strain out the grounds, and boil the amount you anticipate using (to sanitize). It no longer has the grounds, and so doesn't make it harsh. Then you can pull a sample of the beer and mix in the cold press coffee until you reach the desired flavor. Then add to the rest of the batch using that proportion. it produces delicious results.
I agree, except for the pasteurizing part. Here's what I wrote in a thread yesterday:
I
don't know if I would pasteurize the coffee, that defeats the whole purpose of cold-brewed coffee.

"You don't brew ice coffee by cooling down coffee that has been brewed normally. During the cooling process there would be excessive loss of volatiles during the cooling process, unless you can cool the brewed coffee without exposing it to any air." (That Perfect Cup)

It seems as though taking cold-brewed coffee, heating it, and then cooling it again, will touch off this process all over again, which defeats one of the primary reasons why cold-brewing is such a good way of putting coffee into beer.
If you've ever made cold coffee with espresso shots, you'll get a pretty acrid flavor, and many people think that comes from the cooling of the coffee. Similarly, reheated coffee is pretty nasty.

I know sanitation is paramount for beer brewing, but I think it can be done safely without pasteurizing. When I cold-brew, I do it in a growler, so I am working with glass. It's easy to sanitize, you could even sanitize with some star-san or something, and it doesn't react with the coffee like plastic sometimes can. I know of course there is a risk of introducing something yucky from the beans themselves, but I think the risk is somewhat negligible.
 

Whisler85

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you can use coffee in the mash, at boil knockout, make an extract for the fermenter, or rack beer onto coffee in the secondary

id recommend doing it in the secondary- you'll preserve the most aroma that way
 

diatonic

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+1 for cold brewing. I prefer using a course grind for cold brewing in my french press, and adding to secondary. If you use 2 pounds in a 5 gallon batch I suspect you'll overshoot your mark for coffee flavor. That is a *lot* of coffee.
 

dfb18

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I brewed a coffee stout a while back and used 12oz of coffee beans which I ground right before adding to the boil for the last 15 min (added it in a grain bag to contain the grounds). It seemed like a good idea at the time but resulted in a VERY strong coffee taste. So I don't necessarily know the best method of adding coffee but this is at least one idea that won't work out well (unless you do want an overpowering coffee taste).
I think it is a good idea to add the coffee to the secondary and I'll try that on my second run.
BTW, I'm new to the forum and I'm really anxious to begin sharing and gaining knowledge on brewing. I'm somewhat of a novice and am grateful to find a forum dedicated to the art and science of brewing!:mug:
 

smellysell

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One thing to remember though is that if you overdue the coffee flavor it will fade with time.
 

Casey27

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Is pasteurization/sterilization really necessary by the time you get to the secondary? I mean, this is a fairly high-alcohol beer isn't it? The alcohol should be enough to kill any bugs by that point, right?

People dry hop all the time without sterilizing the hops...couldn't you add coffee as grounds or brewed coffee without worrying any more than you would when dry hopping?
 

emacgee

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I make a coffee stout that I likes. Best flavor comes from cold extraction. 8 oz coarse grounds in 24 oz water for 24 hours in a fridge over night. Sometimes I will do a little bit of grounds at KO. I'd keep it to 1-3 oz here. I find that grounds with that much heat get bitter.
 

conpewter

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Is there a reason to not just rack onto coffee grounds in secondary instead of cold-brewing or making espresso and pouring that in?
 

Beerzoid

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I make a coffee stout that I likes. Best flavor comes from cold extraction. 8 oz coarse grounds in 24 oz water for 24 hours in a fridge over night. Sometimes I will do a little bit of grounds at KO. I'd keep it to 1-3 oz here. I find that grounds with that much heat get bitter.
Did this a couple days ago when bottling. Tasted it when I was finished bottling and it was about the perfect amount of coffee flavor, not too strong.
 

JLem

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Is there a reason to not just rack onto coffee grounds in secondary instead of cold-brewing or making espresso and pouring that in?
I agree. This would essentially be just like cold-brewing (more like room-temperature brewing) but with skipping a step. Let the coffee brew in the beer. Right?
 

sonetlumiere85

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"You don't brew ice coffee by cooling down coffee that has been brewed normally. During the cooling process there would be excessive loss of volatiles during the cooling process, unless you can cool the brewed coffee without exposing it to any air." (That Perfect Cup)
Might wanna double check that source - I work at a coffee shop, and that's how we brew our iced coffee. Double batch of regular coffee brewed over ice = iced coffee. That's how everyone in the coffee business does it.

The acrid taste can come from the type of espresso you're using. Espresso can come from any roast of coffee, it's the way that it is brewed that makes it espresso. Different roasts are going to have different acidity and flavor compounds.
 

tekhna

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Might wanna double check that source - I work at a coffee shop, and that's how we brew our iced coffee. Double batch of regular coffee brewed over ice = iced coffee. That's how everyone in the coffee business does it.

The acrid taste can come from the type of espresso you're using. Espresso can come from any roast of coffee, it's the way that it is brewed that makes it espresso. Different roasts are going to have different acidity and flavor compounds.
I don't want to get into a pissing match about cold coffee on HBT, as I know you are right, the way you described is how most people in the coffee business do it, except for the truly high quality places that do cold brew.
However, you can taste a difference. It's easier, and cheaper to do it the way you describe, but the difference is noticeable. Cold brewing produces a higher-quality coffee.

"Answer: Espresso is a fairly volatile thing, and when it hits ice, it seems to go through a chemical change that we can't fully explain (and I haven't seen a good explanation within our industry quite yet). It does appear to have something to do with ascorbic acid, but when we make our iced americanos (espresso + water + ice), we pour the shots into room-temperature water before adding the ice. Believe it or not, it does make a difference. Pouring espresso over ice creates unpleasantly acrid flavors."

(From an otherwise unrelated, and HILARIOUS article)
 

sonetlumiere85

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I don't want to get into a pissing match about cold coffee on HBT, as I know you are right, the way you described is how most people in the coffee business do it, except for the truly high quality places that do cold brew.
However, you can taste a difference. It's easier, and cheaper to do it the way you describe, but the difference is noticeable. Cold brewing produces a higher-quality coffee.

"Answer: Espresso is a fairly volatile thing, and when it hits ice, it seems to go through a chemical change that we can't fully explain (and I haven't seen a good explanation within our industry quite yet). It does appear to have something to do with ascorbic acid, but when we make our iced americanos (espresso + water + ice), we pour the shots into room-temperature water before adding the ice. Believe it or not, it does make a difference. Pouring espresso over ice creates unpleasantly acrid flavors."

(From an otherwise unrelated, and HILARIOUS article)
:off:
You have to understand that the coffee shop I work at is competing with:
A sandwich shop that also serves something resembling coffee
A starbucks in the grocery store
A starbucks at the student center
McDonald's

Cold brewed coffee isn't exactly in high demand, but we do make damn fine traditional Italian cappucinos.
 

Edcculus

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I think the best advice I've seen is from the referenced podcast where Spike from Terrapin talks about his "Wake 'N Bake Coffee Stout".

The key is to use fresh roasted coffee. I'd source a local roaster instead of getting stuff thats been sitting on a shelf for who know how long. Spike worked with a local roaster (Jittery Joes) to perfect a blend.

He found the best way was to put the grounds into a secondary and put the beer on top of it. I mean, why cold (or hot) brew coffee and add more water to your beer? Putting it in beer will accomplish the same task as cold brewing. I digress. He puts it on the coffee for about 48 hrs. He says he uses 1 lb/bbl. That would probably equate to less than 1/8 lb in a 5 gallon batch. Depending on how strong you want it.
 
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