Coffee Stout Question..,

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Atlmustang

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Hey all! Quick question...I am gonna have me a little brewing apprentice here in about a month and my wife is ready for a beer. Dersevedly so I might add. She requested a coffee stout so I found a delious recipe full of maris otter, crystal 40, carafa II, oates and barley. The wort that combo put out was oil black and smelled amazing. The yeast is enjoying it as well judging by the airlock :)

My recipe says to add 32oz of cold coffee during secondary. Its a 5 gallon batch. So do I just brew the coffee, fridge it overnight and pour it in? I was going to go to my local coffee shop and get their best dark roast. Should I be looking for a particular roast coffee?

Thanks in advance.
 

Chrispy92

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Just curious while this thread is up here, as I have seen lots of brews that say add coffee to a secondary... Could you actually boil coffee beans in the wort?? Wonder how different the flavor would be...
 

Yooper

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Just curious while this thread is up here, as I have seen lots of brews that say add coffee to a secondary... Could you actually boil coffee beans in the wort?? Wonder how different the flavor would be...
Have you ever accidentally boiled coffee? It's awful awful awful.

As to adding the cold brewed coffee, I would add cold brewed coffee. By that I mean to use a cold press or steep the water in the coffee grounds in the fridge for a few days, then press (filter) and use. I don't know your recipe, but that's what all of the brewers I know do- cold brewed coffee and not cold coffee (brewed with a coffee pot and then chilled).

I would use 2 ounces (by weight) of coarse ground great quality coffee for 1 quart of good water (RO) and use cold brewed or cold steeped coffee only.
 

Chrispy92

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Well then, now that I think about it I haven't had boiled coffee... Haha! Fair enough, cold brew it is if I ever add it ��
 

Chanoc

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I used fresh roasted to first crack, freshly ground, dumped the ground coffee into secondary, let sit a few days, rack and bottle as usual...
I got great taste, great smell and no bitterness..
At least to my palate...
HTH...
 

Chanoc

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This is the color I got...

ETA: Sorry for the sideways pic...
I forgot to turn off the Anti-Grav...

IMG-20160422-WA0068.jpg
 

BlueHouseBrewhaus

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For my last coffee stout, I added 1/2 cup good quality coffee to 2 1/2 cups boiled and cooled water and let it steep in the fridge for 24 hours. Once I filtered out the grounds, this yielded 2 cups of cold brew coffee that I added to secondary. The flavor was just right for my taste. That, however, is the key. It depends on your preference. It may take some trial and error. One way to shorten the learning curve is to make up a good size batch of cold brew and gradually add it to the bottling bucket (or keg) while tasting along the way. That way you can adjust the strength to your preference.
 
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Atlmustang

Atlmustang

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Thanks guys! Yes my recipe does say cold pressed coffee. Ill read up on that. I like a bold roast and I would love to incorporate my local coffee shops coffee. Ill ask them too.
 

markstache

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I'm (at this very moment) drinking a coffee milk stout. I took one cup dark roast, ground coarsely, and added it to the fermenter after fermentation was done. Very smooth, but I am getting just a hint of green pepper recently. Hard to say if this is due to the technique, so I'll probably try it again, but it is something to keep an eye on.
 

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I made a golden coffee ale and I added 16 oz of whole coffee beans to the secondary. It had a strong coffee aroma as soon as you poured it and the taste was spot on in my opinion.
 

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I added 1/2 pound espresso beans to my primary after fermentation was done. Let it sit 24 hours and bottled. Very rich coffee flavor, a slight astringency but no green pepper.
 

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I've done "this" many times. I add 8 oz of cold brewed coffee to a 2 gallon batch in the bottling bucket.

For a FIRST timer I'd add a little at a time until you get the taste you want. Remember once it's in there you can't remove it.
 

BlueHouseBrewhaus

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One good thing with coffee is that the flavor fades over time. So if you overdo it a bit, just give it a few months and you'll be fine.
 
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Atlmustang

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Lets take this thing up a notch. Say I wanted to supplement with some cocoa nibs for a little chocolate note. That recommended? Would i just add some to a hop bag or something and steep them the wort? If so, how much for a 5 gallon batch? Coffee and chocolate are one of my favorite combos.
 

imasickboy

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Soak nibs in vodka, add the vodka to the beer at packaging.

When I do a coffee beer, I put coarsely ground coffee in my hopback, and run the wort through it on the way to the chiller. I under-bitter in the boil to account for any coffee bitterness.
 

C-Rider

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Lets take this thing up a notch. Say I wanted to supplement with some cocoa nibs for a little chocolate note. That recommended? Would i just add some to a hop bag or something and steep them the wort? If so, how much for a 5 gallon batch? Coffee and chocolate are one of my favorite combos.
Never used nibs, but I do put Cocoa unsweetened powder into the mash.
 

BlueHouseBrewhaus

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My mocha stout is the same amount of cold brew coffee as I mentioned before plus I start soaking 3 oz of crushed nibs and 3 cut up/scraped vanilla beans in vodka on brew day and dump it into the fermenter 5 days before bottling. It comes out spot on. The vanilla beans ensure that you get a dark chocolate flavor rather than a bitter baker's chocolate flavor.
 
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Atlmustang

Atlmustang

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You pour the vodka into the beer? Does that not add an offputting alcohol flavor? Can I not just soak the nibs in starsan to sanitize them? I hate vodka.
 

BlueHouseBrewhaus

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It's not about sanitizing. The vodka (or any alcohol) extracts the flavor. I put my nibs and beans (sounds like some kind of British dish) in as small a jar as they will fit with just a little head space. Then put in just enough vodka to cover them. It's not more than a couple of ounces. The nibs will soak some up so you may need to add a tiny bit more. There isn't enough vodka to be able to detect it in 5 gal of beer. Vodka is used because it has very little flavor of its own.

What you are doing is creating an extract. When you pour the mix into the fermenter, most of the flavor is in the vodka. Check the label on a bottle of vanilla or chocolate extract. It's mostly alcohol. Some people even just pour the vodka in. I do the whole thing because the beer can still extract a little more flavor from the nibs.

I've never had a detectable alcohol flavor in my mocha stout. Or vanilla porter, or chocolate holiday ale or mandarin pale ale or .....
 
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Atlmustang

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Awesome! Ok...I am with it. I didn't understand what it was doing. On board. :) I will do your method. Thanks a ton for the explanation!
 

daygobrewer

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Hey all! Quick question...I am gonna have me a little brewing apprentice here in about a month and my wife is ready for a beer. Dersevedly so I might add. She requested a coffee stout so I found a delious recipe full of maris otter, crystal 40, carafa II, oates and barley. The wort that combo put out was oil black and smelled amazing. The yeast is enjoying it as well judging by the airlock :)

My recipe says to add 32oz of cold coffee during secondary. Its a 5 gallon batch. So do I just brew the coffee, fridge it overnight and pour it in? I was going to go to my local coffee shop and get their best dark roast. Should I be looking for a particular roast coffee?

Thanks in advance.
As someone who works in Specialty Coffee, I would recommend sourcing your coffee from a local roaster and using it within a week of the roast date. Whichever origin or blend you typically prefer is what you should use in your beer.

The best way to add coffee to your beer is either ground or whole bean, post-fermentation. If ground, a 24 hour steep will work. If whole bean, 48 - 72 hours depending on roast level. Adding an extract or brewed coffee will increase the chance of off-flavors, oxidation, and spoilage. You should use your delicious beer to extract your delicious coffee. Don't dilute with a high-proof extract or brewed coffee.

Please let me know if you have any questions.
 

chordwizard

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@daygobrewer
Could I get you to explain a little more please.
If ground, what grind?
If whole what difference to steep time does roast level make?
How much for a 5 gal batch and does it change with ground or whole?

Thanks
 
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Atlmustang

Atlmustang

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As someone who works in Specialty Coffee, I would recommend sourcing your coffee from a local roaster and using it within a week of the roast date. Whichever origin or blend you typically prefer is what you should use in your beer.

The best way to add coffee to your beer is either ground or whole bean, post-fermentation. If ground, a 24 hour steep will work. If whole bean, 48 - 72 hours depending on roast level. Adding an extract or brewed coffee will increase the chance of off-flavors, oxidation, and spoilage. You should use your delicious beer to extract your delicious coffee. Don't dilute with a high-proof extract or brewed coffee.

Please let me know if you have any questions.
See below from Chordwizard for some of my questions, but when you say steep, do you mean like put the grounds in a sanitized hop bag or something of the like and just throw it in them in the bucket during secondary? I like your thought about letting the beer do the work because just this morning I was thinking about adding the brewed coffee and the chance of infection. I feel much more comfortable about putting ground coffee right in there, many less surfaces touched.
 
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Atlmustang

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So interesting, my OG was 1.061 and after 9 days (past primary fermentation) my FG is only 1.030. It was supposed to be 1.017. Yikes! Its only 4% ABV. Which isnt bad as I think Guiness and other traditional stouts are around this. Just a little curious why I didnt get the attenuation.

The taste is out if this world better than I expected. It tastes very good this early on.
 

daygobrewer

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@daygobrewer
Could I get you to explain a little more please.
If ground, what grind?
If whole what difference to steep time does roast level make?
How much for a 5 gal batch and does it change with ground or whole?

Thanks
If ground, you'll want a very course grind. Courser than you would use for a french press. This would work:


Source.

Please note, the only breweries I know of using ground coffee are actually crushing it through their mills. So again, courser than your usual brewed coffee application.

Most that I know of use whole coffee beans.

The darker/more developed the roast, the more porous and soluble the coffee while be, requiring less contact time. The opposite is true of lighter/less developed roasts.

As a starting place, 2 lbs of coffee per barrel is most often used.
So: 1 bbl = 31 gal; 2 lbs / 31 gal = .0645 lb/gal * 5 gal = .3225 lb = 5.16 oz

To start, time should be your variable between ground and whole bean. Same amount of coffee, but more or less contact time depending.
 

daygobrewer

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See below from Chordwizard for some of my questions, but when you say steep, do you mean like put the grounds in a sanitized hop bag or something of the like and just throw it in them in the bucket during secondary? I like your thought about letting the beer do the work because just this morning I was thinking about adding the brewed coffee and the chance of infection. I feel much more comfortable about putting ground coffee right in there, many less surfaces touched.
If using ground coffee, yes, you would definitely want to put them in some time of filtering media, whether a hop bag or stainless steel hop filter.

If using whole bean, you can add them straight to the primary/secondary. They'll float around and unless you're using a very small varietal, like an heirloom from Ethiopia, you won't risk clogging any of your equipment (dip tube/spigot). That has been my experience at least.

A brewed cup of coffee is 98-99% water and 1-2% coffee solubles. In general beer is 90-95% water plus alcohol and grain/hop/yeast solubles and insolubles. Beer is a very effective solvent for extracting coffee, and has the added benefit of only containing the microorganisms you want in there. The process of roasting coffee is pasteurizing in nature, therefore whole bean into post-fermentation beer is ideal in terms of sanitation.

It's not just sanitation that's a concern. Brewed coffee absolutely has dissolved oxygen in it, which you would then be adding to your beer, encouraging oxidation.

Please notice I recommended using coffee that is less then a week from its roast date. The roasting process creates CO2 that's trapped within the coffee bean, slowly leaking over time and more quickly after it's ground.

That means fresh roasted, whole bean coffee added post fermentation will have CO2 carrying volatile aromatics out of the coffee and into your beer. The beer itself will act a solvent on the coffee, extracting solubles. It's almost magic! ;)
 
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Atlmustang

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Thanks daygobrewer! I did exactly this. I got my local coffee shop to course ground their dark roast that I had a cup of beforehand to make sure I liked the coffee and I sanitized my hop bag added 4 oz. of coffee and closed the lid up to sit for another 6 days. Then, I'll taste and if it's good I'll go ahead and keg it for final conditioning.

I think it's going to be delicious. The beer without the coffee was awesome yesterday. So good that I almost said "nah, skip the coffee, this is good". :)
 

daygobrewer

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Thanks daygobrewer! I did exactly this. I got my local coffee shop to course ground their dark roast that I had a cup of beforehand to make sure I liked the coffee and I sanitized my hop bag added 4 oz. of coffee and closed the lid up to sit for another 6 days. Then, I'll taste and if it's good I'll go ahead and keg it for final conditioning.

I think it's going to be delicious. The beer without the coffee was awesome yesterday. So good that I almost said "nah, skip the coffee, this is good". :)
Excellent!

Just keep in mind, ground coffee doesn't take long to over-extract, even at lower temperatures. Only 30% of coffee is soluble and only about 2/3 of that tastes good. 24 hours should be more than enough time, 48 hours max. You run the risk of extracting tannic, astringent, and bitter qualities out of the coffee.
 
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Atlmustang

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Thanks! Ill go ahead and snatch it out tonight then.

Ok....got it out if there! Wow does that take it to a different level! Man it tastes just like I envisioned. Chocolatey, subtle not overbearing coffee in the taste but you can definitely get the coffee aroma.

Thanks a ton daygobrewer. Im not an expert on the coffee additions but your method worked like a charm. Easy straight forward. No different than dry hopping with a hop bag except pulling that bag out a little quicker.

I got a pic that ill post of it tomorrow. Cant wait to keg Saturday for final conditioning. Itll age just fine in that keg.
 
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Atlmustang

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She will drink fellas, she will drink. Couldn't help myself but pour a glass after carbing up at 20 psi for 2 days. Great head retention, the coffee beans did not kill the head retention with fats and oils. See the lace on the glass. I poured the glass below hard because I wanted to get a good look at the color of the head and the mouthfeel (this sounds dirty) and I really wanted a nice beerstache (achieved). It's obviously going to get better as it's only been 17 days since brew day, but it's a great beer as it stands right now. Really happy with it. My wife said it's one of the best stouts she has tried so I'll take it!



 

joety

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I saw another recipe on here where the grounds are added near the end of the boil. He claimed no issues with head retention. Has anyone tried this and had a bad experience or are we just avoiding the easiest solution because of general conceptions which may not bear themselves out in the real home brewing environment...much like HSA.
 

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I just brewed up the Northern Brewer coffee stout kit where the course crushed beans were added at flameout. From samples taken so far it is not overly bitter or astringent from the coffee. I will be bottling this weekend so not sure on how the final product will be but the uncarbonated, young samples were promising
 
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Atlmustang

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Good luck Orionol! I still have a little over half my keg left and it's just getting better. Will definitely brew again. Again, I added 4 oz. ground coffee beans (coarse grind), to a sanitized hop bag and threw it the bucket after primary fermentation for 2 days. pulled it out waited 2 more days and kegged it. Hasn't lost coffee taste in the least one month later.
 

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I'm brewing my first stout this weekend. After primary I'm splitting the batch and doing half on coffee and half on coffee/bourbon. I am planning on using whole beans. Someone suggested to me when I add the coffee beans to do it cold, like put my carboy in my cold crash fridge. Any benefits to this? Any disadvantages? Thanks.

Atlmustang: that stout looks fantastic. Well done.
 

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When I dry-bean my stouts, I do it at room temp. The reason is because the beer will pick up more flavor quicker with warmer temps, and I want to minimize the contact time between the beans and beer (to thwart fat/oils from leaching out as much as possible).

Just like with dry-hopping, the warmer temps (room temp vs serving temp) helps pull out the aroma quicker.

For me, it's 3oz of whole espresso beans in the beer for 24-30 hours at room temp, then pull them out. Super coffee flavor.
 

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I didn't read the whole thread. Didn't notice it was 4 pages till I responded. Good to know about not brewing with the wart. I didn't even think of that and I'm a coffee snob. lol. Yeah you don't want to boil coffee. Cold brew soaking the beans sounds like a good idea. 😎
 

TravelingLight

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When I dry-bean my stouts, I do it at room temp. The reason is because the beer will pick up more flavor quicker with warmer temps, and I want to minimize the contact time between the beans and beer (to thwart fat/oils from leaching out as much as possible).

Just like with dry-hopping, the warmer temps (room temp vs serving temp) helps pull out the aroma quicker.

For me, it's 3oz of whole espresso beans in the beer for 24-30 hours at room temp, then pull them out. Super coffee flavor.
Excellent, thanks for the heads up. So I assume you put your beans in a bag or something to remove them easier?
 
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