Brewing with Coffee

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Gabriel Chevalier

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I read up a bit on the many forms of brewing with coffee e.g. stouts, porters, cream ales, even IPAs. But I'd like to ask what techniques, ingredients, etc. you all would think is best if I'm trying to capture the most natural coffee flavors. I can think of brewing something using very lightly malted grains in order to not hinder the coffee taste with other roast flavors. What do you all think? Little to no hop additions? Going for the closest thing to carbonated, cold-brew alcoholic coffee [beer].
 

HighSierra

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I did a coffee pale ale over the summer. I wanted to retain the pale ale color but have the coffee flavor. I racked 5 gallons over 1 pound of whole coffee beans in secondary for 7 days. It turned out to be too much coffee IMO but my wife liked it. If you go with this technique I would recommend tasting it ever day or so after day 3. Another option is adding cold brew coffee to taste after fermentation.

You can have late hop additions. I think the fruitier hops go well with the right coffee bean. I would avoid any of the flavored coffee beans as they usually use artificial flavors and can give an off flavor. Hope this helps.

Cheers!
I read up a bit on the many forms of brewing with coffee e.g. stouts, porters, cream ales, even IPAs. But I'd like to ask what techniques, ingredients, etc. you all would think is best if I'm trying to capture the most natural coffee flavors. I can think of brewing something using very lightly malted grains in order to not hinder the coffee taste with other roast flavors. What do you all think? Little to no hop additions? Going for the closest thing to carbonated, cold-brew alcoholic coffee [beer].
 
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Pintabone

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Been looking through Zymurgy online as I'm going to brew an Oatmeal Stout with coffee. Seems like the thing to do might be to cold brew some coffee by letting some coarsely ground beans steep in cold water for about a day and then adding that to the keg prior to filling. This supposedly provides good coffee flavor without the harshness that could come from including in the boil.
 

stieg000

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I've done some cold brew experiments to decide what coffee I liked before adding whole beans to the fermenter. Some beans are very acidic tasting. Try it out, see what you think. I just ground the beans dumped them in a saran wrapped glass of water for 12 hours and then filtered with a coffee filter.
 

deadwolfbones

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I strongly suggest making cold brew with the beans/roast that you think will fit your style/recipe, then either add to the fermenter or the bottling bucket, depending on how fresh you want the coffee flavor to be. Use good beans with a light or medium roast and you'll get great flavor.

If you're not sure where to start, my advice would be to experiment with the cold brew to get a flavor you like before adding anything to your beer. To start, try a medium coarse grind, a 9:1 water to ground coffee ratio, and 20 hours in the fridge. Ideally you'd filter with a natural (unbleached) paper filter in a V60 type pourover cone, but cheesecloth works fine too. If it's too sour or too bitter for your liking, adjust the grind (finer to make it more bitter/strong, coarser to make it more sour/bright/light).

Source: I'm a homebrewer and a coffee shop owner.
 
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Gabriel Chevalier

Gabriel Chevalier

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I strongly suggest making cold brew with the beans/roast that you think will fit your style/recipe, then either add to the fermenter or the bottling bucket, depending on how fresh you want the coffee flavor to be. Use good beans with a light or medium roast and you'll get great flavor.

If you're not sure where to start, my advice would be to experiment with the cold brew to get a flavor you like before adding anything to your beer. To start, try a medium coarse grind, a 9:1 water to ground coffee ratio, and 20 hours in the fridge. Ideally you'd filter with a natural (unbleached) paper filter in a V60 type pourover cone, but cheesecloth works fine too. If it's too sour or too bitter for your liking, adjust the grind (finer to make it more bitter/strong, coarser to make it more sour/bright/light).

Source: I'm a homebrewer and a coffee shop owner.
Thanks! I will be trying this over the summer. I will be back in my hometown with a buddy of mine who roasts specialty coffee and we hope to perfect his specialty brew with mine.
 

Calder

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2 ozs of fresh roast beans in 5 gallons for a week will work fine. No need to grind them, coffee readily gives up it's flavor. You only need to grind them if you want to extract the favor in minutes. Using whole beans makes it easier to keep of of the bottles.

No sanitizing necessary .... They have been roasted, and have no nutrients to support bacterial growth. And you are adding it to a beer with alcohol.

I like to add coffee to Porters and Stouts. I think it needs a robust beer to complement it.
 
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Gabriel Chevalier

Gabriel Chevalier

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So out of what has been said, it seems I will be between whole beans in a secondary or creating a cold-brew infusion. Cold brew sounds like it may be the best way to get realistic coffee flavor, but I worry that it will become diluted when mixed with all that other liquid.
 
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