Coffee beans and maybe spices in Porter

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Dork42775

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I am doing my first brew tomorrow and am wanting something a tad different than your usual starter. I am planning on a somewhat hoppy Porter and would like to add some dark coffee beans plus maybe a spice like Nutmeg, Ginger, or maybe Cinnamon.

First, when should I add the coffee beans? I have heard doing it while I steep the grain preparing my wort and I have also heard to do it when I transfer to my secondary fermentor. It seems to me that during the steeping would be simplier for a beginner like myself but would that work as well?

Second, what are your opinions on any of these spices added to this hoppy Porter? I was thinking of the Nutmeg or maybe even adding Molasses but does that sound dumb to you guys? Also when would I add either one of these items?

Thanks in advice
 

5 Is Not Enough

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Man, if you have the equipment and you want to try some specialty ingredients, I say go for it w/ a double batch. Split it in 1/2, do the same recipe twice, first w/out , then with the spices... right after. You'll be glad you have the extra beer and you'll get some REALLY good comparison experience, the type that even the more experienced brewers would love to have tried.
 

sirsloop

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I'm not real sure how the spices AND the coffee will taste. I have a coffee stout on tap at my place right now. Its a standard stout beer kit, and I added a pound of expresso grounds to the wort at flame out. If you add it early and boil it, the coffee has a tenancy to taste like its been left in the pot for a hour (go figure)
 

JimC

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I would pick one of:
- Spices
- Coffee
- Hoppy

I think two or three of them together will end up tasting off as the three compete. Each of the flavors is a spotlight flavor, something you build a beer around. IMHO take it a bit slower and pick one, then do the other two later. It just seems to me like you are trying to cram to much into one beer.

How to Spice:
Let beer finish. Before you bottle, prepare a spice solution with vodka and your spices. Pull off a pint of your beer and add spice solution with in small, measured quantities until you get the taste you are looking for. Do some math to size up the spice addition to your batch size and then dump it in with your priming sugar and bottle like normal. This prevents you from under or over spicing.. which is the most common problem with spiced beers.

How to Coffee:
Brew a cup (or two) of strong coffee, add to secondary. You don't want boil beens or grinds, as that will pull all the astringency out (just like it you never want to boil the water you make coffee with). Plus if you boil the grinds for any length of time you will also drive off all the good florals and coffee aromas.
 

TheJadedDog

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+1 on only picking one of the three ingredients to mess with.
Since this is your first beer I would almost even recommend not messing with any of them, but it's your beer so have at it.
 

Evan!

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  • No coffee grounds. Brew some drip or FP coffee, or espresso, cool it down and add it to the secondary vessel.
  • No spices if you're using coffee too. You don't need the competing flavors. Coffee is enough!
 

mot

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i just did a cofee stout, researched on when to add it alot. I put it in right at bottling and let in condition in the bottles. I just used esspresso. If you keg or bottle I would throw it in then...Mine tatsed great
 

JavaBeans

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mot said:
i just did a cofee stout, researched on when to add it alot. I put it in right at bottling and let in condition in the bottles. I just used esspresso. If you keg or bottle I would throw it in then...Mine tatsed great
I did a coffee porter almost exactly the same way. I used an aeropress which makes a very strong coffee, but at a lower temp than espresso. I was trying to minimize the oils that came out of the coffee. Mine was fantastic too.
 

edb

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My next beer is going to be an espresso stout, I also have Turkish coffee but not sure how that would work out.

For the spices, I recently had one from the LHBS that had cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla in it. Seriously it was one of the best beers I've ever had. He used the vodka infusion method for it and added it to the secondary.
 

JimC

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JavaBeans said:
I did a coffee porter almost exactly the same way. I used an aeropress which makes a very strong coffee, but at a lower temp than espresso. I was trying to minimize the oils that came out of the coffee. Mine was fantastic too.

OT: Aeropress makes fantastic coffee!
 

HP_Lovecraft

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I've made a few coffee porters. Originally, I threw some beans into the late boil, and it made the porter very bitter.
Then I simply brewed a pot, and threw that in at the late boil. Still bitter, but much less.
The method that worked best for me was to cold brew the coffee, then add at the secondary. This way you got all the flavor, and none of the bitterness.

But it also depends on the beer. If you are already using lots of bitter grains in a dark beer, it will probobly mask much of the bitterness from the coffee.

nick
 

edb

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I dont think you'll get much of a caffeine's buzz from the little bit diluted in 5G, guess it depends on how much you use.
 

CBBaron

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If you want to make a good spiced or coffee beer, first make a good beer that you like and then plan on adding the extras when you have perfected the first.
I mean its your beer but experimenting wildly with your first brew is more likely to result in something not very good or undrinkable, than it is likely to end up with something excellent and unique.
I love experimenting and have mostly brewed my own recipes, but I started with some good kits and usually base my recipes on one from a good source with a few tweaks. Still I have had a couple of duds, especially when I diverge too far from my starting point.
I think early on in your brewing experience it is best to concentrate on technique, then small tweaks from good baselines, then once you have the experience to know what works and doesn't you can start really doing experiments. If you havn't made good beer and your first batch ends up bad how do you know if the problem is your experiments or maybe just your basic techniques?
I'm saying all of this from experience as I have done some experiments that turned out poorly and now I am wondering if the problem may have been just in my process?

Craig
 

JavaBeans

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edb said:
I also have Turkish coffee but not sure how that would work out.
What do you mean by Turkish coffee? Do you mean made the traditional way? Coffee ground so fine it feels like talc, and boiled in an Ibrik?
 

Chriso

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Anyone ever try using cold-brewed coffee for this? What's the little cylinder thingy called, a French Press or something?

Sorry, I'm a tea drinker, but I love coffee stouts! :D
 

edb

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JavaBeans said:
What do you mean by Turkish coffee? Do you mean made the traditional way? Coffee ground so fine it feels like talc, and boiled in an Ibrik?
Absolutely, is there any other way to make it? :mug:
 

JavaBeans

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edb said:
Absolutely, is there any other way to make it? :mug:
Not a lot of people know what Turkish coffee really is. I was just covering my bases.

I think 3 boils would extract a lot of coffee oil out of the beans, which might hurt head retention. But I'm not actually sure how much of an effect it would have. Thats the reason a lot of brewers like cold press coffee. (What chriso just suggested with the french press)

On the other hand, it makes a nice strong brew, so you wouldn't need as much. (Thats why I used the aeropress)
 

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