What is the best way to add Coffee to beer?

Wed Jan 07, 2009 12:49 pm

I want to brew a Coffee Russian Imperial Stout, but I don't know the best way is to add the coffee and how much I'd need to add. I'm hoping someone has done this already and can help me with this. I've had a couple professionally micro brewed examples of this style that were very yummy.

Thx, Klaus.
Klaus
 
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Re: What is the best way to add Coffee to beer?

Wed Jan 07, 2009 2:19 pm

If 12 people respond to this, you will get about 15 different answers. I had an incredible coffee stout last year that had coffee beans in the mash, ground coffee in the boil and then "dry beaned" in the bright tank.

I normally add coffee to the keg to taste. I grind the beans very fine (esspresso grind) and steep them in cold water in the fridge for a couple days. This will extract the flavor and color without extracting the oils which can affect head retention.

The one I will brew tomorrow will use beans in the mash in addition to the cold steeped addition to the keg.

Now on to the next 12 ways to do it. :wink:

Wayne
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Bugeater
 
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Re: What is the best way to add Coffee to beer?

Wed Jan 07, 2009 3:05 pm

I agree with bug on the steeping of the fine ground coffee in cold water.. I add at bottling (no kegging yet)

:jnj
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ddgbrewing
 
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Re: What is the best way to add Coffee to beer?

Wed Jan 07, 2009 3:51 pm

Everything I have heard about this is you should cold steep. I was talking to Chris Kennedy the other day and he mentioned using whole beans/unground and getting great extraction.
BadRock
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Re: What is the best way to add Coffee to beer?

Wed Jan 07, 2009 5:23 pm

I've done the following twice: the first time my Java porter advanced to second round in last years nationals.

Grind up x amount of pots of coffee beans worth as you would for brewing coffee (i.e. medium grind).
put the ground coffee in a muslin bag
add the muslin bag after flame out for 5-10 minutes as the beer cools.

The Java porter had 3 oz of coffee (i.e. ~2 pots of coffee) and was quite nice
The most recent effort - a Hazelnut latte stout - had 6 oz of coffee and it was pretty strong.

I've never tried the cold steep approach, but will be doing that the next time!

good luck and report back!
Don Blake
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Re: What is the best way to add Coffee to beer?

Thu Jan 08, 2009 6:55 am

IMO, the best coffee flavor will come from the best brewed coffee. My personal preference when drinking coffee is to go for a well-brewed espresso. I've found that adding espresso at kegging will give you the cleanest coffee flavor and also afford you total control over the dosing rate. I've tried several cold-brewed coffees this last year and they were all remarkably bland and muted. The reasons why some laud cold brewing are the same reasons why I don't like it. You miss out on many of the assertively flavorful compounds that are only extractable at higher temps. I'm unsure of the extraction chemistry with espresso, but the high-pressure super-heated steam definitely makes for a very uniquely bold cup, even when watered down to drip-brewed strength, aka "Americano."

There are also several reasons not to add coffee in the boil kettle:

1) Any temps much beyond 180-190 will extract nasty flavor compounds from the grounds - akin to sparging too hot.
2) In dark beers, such as stouts and porters, the pH of the wort is already going to be pretty damn acidic. The yeast don't particularly like the pH to drop even further.

You need a good espresso machine anyway and now you have an excuse. Beer doesn't have to be the only brewed beverage in your house :jnj
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Re: What is the best way to add Coffee to beer?

Thu Jan 08, 2009 7:25 am

ddgbrewing wrote:I agree with bug on the steeping of the fine ground coffee in cold water.. I add at bottling (no kegging yet)

:jnj

+1
"Mash, I made you my bitch!" -Tasty
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Dirk McLargeHuge
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Re: What is the best way to add Coffee to beer?

Thu Jan 08, 2009 8:52 am

I am currently enjoying my Espresso Oatmeal Stout that I brewed in October. (Jamil's Oatmeal Stout as base)

I took enough coffee beans (Espresso Roast) needed for two pots of coffee. Ground them up and put into a jar with 16 oz of vodka. Cold steeped in my fridge for 24 hrs. I then pressed and filtered through a coffee filter yielding about 10 oz of extract. Added directly to keg and racked the beer on top. The response has been great. No harsh tannins or astringency. Great coffee aroma and flavor. Next time I do this I may back of the extract by about 25% though.
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