Looking into cold brew coffee

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

Rob2010SS

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jun 16, 2017
Messages
2,895
Reaction score
1,072
Location
Spring Grove
Looking at getting into making bigger batches of cold brew coffee. My wife and I prefer cold brew and we saw this...

Cold Brew Bucket Kit

We already have the SSBrew Bucket so we're thinking of buying this add on to make cold brew.

Couple of questions...
1. I would think the ratio of ground coffee to water is important. What is this number?
2. Can you use any ground coffee or is there special coffees you have to use?
3. Without buying a nitrogen setup, how would one have this on tap without carbonating the coffee? Would you just keep the keg pressure extremely low?

Might be more questions later on but that's a good start.

Thanks for the help.
 

dhoyt

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2008
Messages
69
Reaction score
7
Location
Raleigh
Looking at getting into making bigger batches of cold brew coffee. My wife and I prefer cold brew and we saw this...

Cold Brew Bucket Kit

We already have the SSBrew Bucket so we're thinking of buying this add on to make cold brew.

Couple of questions...
1. I would think the ratio of ground coffee to water is important. What is this number?
2. Can you use any ground coffee or is there special coffees you have to use?
3. Without buying a nitrogen setup, how would one have this on tap without carbonating the coffee? Would you just keep the keg pressure extremely low?

Might be more questions later on but that's a good start.

Thanks for the help.
I'm doing this now actually and I realized that I may carb my coffee even at 5 psi? Not sure trying to find an answer as well. Af far as coffee and water you can use any coffee you like. If you grind whole beans keep it course other you can use pre ground. For amounts we do around 4 cups coffee to a gallon. It's a little under a pound. This batch I just did 5 pounds for 5 gallons to make it easy. Put it in my brew kettle with a brew bag. Going to stir it a bit a couple times a day for a couple days then keg it.
 
Joined
Nov 16, 2020
Messages
14
Reaction score
9
1. I like a 6.5 grams:1 gram (water to coffee) ratio. But this is really up to your own preference! Cold brew is much more forgiving preparation method to hot methods so between a 6:1 to 8:1 ratio will give you good results.
2. Any coffee can be used, I would recommend a roast that you enjoy drinking to begin with! Aim for a grind size close to kosher salt. And like many things a quality roast will produce better results than 'any' coffee but it is up to you.
3. What is driving you to have this on tap? Cold brew will lose its flavour in 7-10 days so why not just keep a batch in the fridge? Unless you are consuming an impressive amount of cold brew or considering a commercial operation you likely don't need any special equipment to make cold brew. A pot and a paper filter, cheese cloth, or even French Press is all you need to make cold brew.
 

Ruint

Going NoWhere fast
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jan 15, 2017
Messages
786
Reaction score
566
Location
West Central NY
Hi @Rob2010SS. I have been cold brewing for quite a while. Started with a 1 quart size pitcher, and quickly moved to a gallon sized mason jar. I am now doing my cold brewing batches with the 6.5 gallon sized bucket made by Brewista, I believe the name to be. Does fantastic. Double filters the brew. I use store bought spring water in gallon jugs, as it doubles as the container to store the cold brewed coffee in, after you finish. Easiest ratio, as stated earlier is, 1 pound per gallon. I let mine steep for 2 days minimum, sometimes up to 3 days. This is a strong brew, but easily diluted up to 1/2 again with water if you want it a little less. Goes very nice just over ice!! You can use any coffee you want. I use coffee I roast myself and it will definitely share the flavor profiles fantastically! I strongly recommend you to NOT carbonate your coffee. It will not end well!!! Carbonation will end up putting a less than desired flavor into the coffee! You will burn through some CO2 if you are just wanting to charge your keg and use the pressure then to serve, only to pull the purge valve after to release the CO2. It'd be better to just leave it in a jug and pour when needed IMHO. If you are going to put pressure on your coffee, do it with nitrogen. Hope this helps you on your travels.
 
OP
Rob2010SS

Rob2010SS

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jun 16, 2017
Messages
2,895
Reaction score
1,072
Location
Spring Grove
1. I like a 6.5 grams:1 gram (water to coffee) ratio. But this is really up to your own preference! Cold brew is much more forgiving preparation method to hot methods so between a 6:1 to 8:1 ratio will give you good results.
2. Any coffee can be used, I would recommend a roast that you enjoy drinking to begin with! Aim for a grind size close to kosher salt. And like many things a quality roast will produce better results than 'any' coffee but it is up to you.
3. What is driving you to have this on tap? Cold brew will lose its flavour in 7-10 days so why not just keep a batch in the fridge? Unless you are consuming an impressive amount of cold brew or considering a commercial operation you likely don't need any special equipment to make cold brew. A pot and a paper filter, cheese cloth, or even French Press is all you need to make cold brew.
Thanks for the info!

So my wife and I really like our cold brew coffee. We are building a keezer for beer and figure what's the harm in incorporating a nitro tap for the coffee which can then also be used for nitro stouts? The other reason why we're going to put it on tap is because it keeps it out of the fridge and saves space.

Additionally, we bought the SS Brew Tech cold brew kit so it'll make a lot of coffee. I think it said 3.5 gallons. Don't want to store that in the fridge.
 
OP
Rob2010SS

Rob2010SS

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jun 16, 2017
Messages
2,895
Reaction score
1,072
Location
Spring Grove
Hi @Rob2010SS. I have been cold brewing for quite a while. Started with a 1 quart size pitcher, and quickly moved to a gallon sized mason jar. I am now doing my cold brewing batches with the 6.5 gallon sized bucket made by Brewista, I believe the name to be. Does fantastic. Double filters the brew. I use store bought spring water in gallon jugs, as it doubles as the container to store the cold brewed coffee in, after you finish. Easiest ratio, as stated earlier is, 1 pound per gallon. I let mine steep for 2 days minimum, sometimes up to 3 days. This is a strong brew, but easily diluted up to 1/2 again with water if you want it a little less. Goes very nice just over ice!! You can use any coffee you want. I use coffee I roast myself and it will definitely share the flavor profiles fantastically! I strongly recommend you to NOT carbonate your coffee. It will not end well!!! Carbonation will end up putting a less than desired flavor into the coffee! You will burn through some CO2 if you are just wanting to charge your keg and use the pressure then to serve, only to pull the purge valve after to release the CO2. It'd be better to just leave it in a jug and pour when needed IMHO. If you are going to put pressure on your coffee, do it with nitrogen. Hope this helps you on your travels.
Thanks for the info! Yeah I've been reading a bit more and yes, we won't be using CO2 on the coffee. We are going to purchase a nitrogen tank/regulator and use that to serve it.
 

dhoyt

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2008
Messages
69
Reaction score
7
Location
Raleigh
Hi @Rob2010SS. I have been cold brewing for quite a while. Started with a 1 quart size pitcher, and quickly moved to a gallon sized mason jar. I am now doing my cold brewing batches with the 6.5 gallon sized bucket made by Brewista, I believe the name to be. Does fantastic. Double filters the brew. I use store bought spring water in gallon jugs, as it doubles as the container to store the cold brewed coffee in, after you finish. Easiest ratio, as stated earlier is, 1 pound per gallon. I let mine steep for 2 days minimum, sometimes up to 3 days. This is a strong brew, but easily diluted up to 1/2 again with water if you want it a little less. Goes very nice just over ice!! You can use any coffee you want. I use coffee I roast myself and it will definitely share the flavor profiles fantastically! I strongly recommend you to NOT carbonate your coffee. It will not end well!!! Carbonation will end up putting a less than desired flavor into the coffee! You will burn through some CO2 if you are just wanting to charge your keg and use the pressure then to serve, only to pull the purge valve after to release the CO2. It'd be better to just leave it in a jug and pour when needed IMHO. If you are going to put pressure on your coffee, do it with nitrogen. Hope this helps you on your travels.

Are you using a regular faucet or a stout faucet?
 

Ruint

Going NoWhere fast
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jan 15, 2017
Messages
786
Reaction score
566
Location
West Central NY
Stout, if your asking me. I also would say you can use a "commercial" grind in brewing also, as a fine grind will get compacted in the filter and make draining it a pita, and too coarse a grind you end up using more coffee to achieve something you could have used less for. YMMV, depending on the steep time.
 

Bluesfastduce

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Apr 12, 2012
Messages
74
Reaction score
3
Location
reno
Stout, if your asking me. I also would say you can use a "commercial" grind in brewing also, as a fine grind will get compacted in the filter and make draining it a pita, and too coarse a grind you end up using more coffee to achieve something you could have used less for. YMMV, depending on the steep time.
when you "brew" do you do it at room temp or refrigerate it.
 
Joined
Dec 26, 2013
Messages
3,450
Reaction score
3,543
I would just get a brew bag - or a Wilser bag - before I spent 150 bucks on a special attachment. You are going to get a small amount of coffee trub (sludge) regardless. Just put those last few cups through a paper filter.
How much do you want to make at once? A gallon? Two?
 

Ruint

Going NoWhere fast
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jan 15, 2017
Messages
786
Reaction score
566
Location
West Central NY
You can steep at room temp. You'll have to keep it quick though (limit to 24 hours) the warmer the temperature is. I keep my indoor temp around 70, and the most I'll steep for is 36 hours. Much longer, you'll be running a risk of developing mold growing. That time will decrease with a warmer environment. Refrigeration is a must after room temperature brewing. The best way to cold brew, is of course, in the fridge. I have steeped up to 3 days in the fridge. I have a keezer that I use for that, when I have the room in it. I do 4 to 6 gallon size batches at a single time though.
 
Joined
Dec 26, 2013
Messages
3,450
Reaction score
3,543
Indeed - the room temp and mold risk is why I do prox 2 gallon batches. I can fit that in the fridge after its brewed. My fam drinks other non coffee things after morning hot coffee so 2 gallons lasts several days in the fridge.
 

BalloonGuy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 23, 2015
Messages
115
Reaction score
34
I have been room temp brewing for years. I use 1 pound of coffee per gallon of water. I generally mix a flavor or 2 of store bought coffee depending on my mood. I have always done 24 hours. I just switched my last batch to 12 hours. I am trying to get lower acid which is why I went to cold brew originally. Do you guys that brew in the fridge find lower acid content with lower temp?
Thanks-
 
Joined
Dec 26, 2013
Messages
3,450
Reaction score
3,543
I personally think - from both reading and tasting - that anything room temp or below will be low acid. But I'm not a good judge ... I have an iron stomach and limited taste buds.
 

dhoyt

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2008
Messages
69
Reaction score
7
Location
Raleigh
We've been making cold brew for a few years and have always done it warm and 95% of the time for 24 hours or longer. For a while we had a 1 gallon kit from Amazon, I would leave the grinds in on the counter till it was gone. This would usually only be about 6 days but towards the end it was questionable for sure. Now that I am kegging it I'm using my old kettle with a brew bag to steep. I leave it my garage for a couple days with the lid on and stir with a whisk one or twice a day till they all sink. Then keg and hit it with nitrogen and it's delicious. Last about 3 weeks till its kicked? I do still use sanitization practices like brewing beer, sani that pot and the keg, makes me feel better.
 
OP
Rob2010SS

Rob2010SS

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jun 16, 2017
Messages
2,895
Reaction score
1,072
Location
Spring Grove
We still haven't done this, as we're waiting for our keezer to be finished so we can put this on nitro. We did end up buying the cold brew kit for the SS Brew Bucket. We'll get around to this eventually. All the info so far will come in handy! Thanks.
 
Top