Author Topic: Coffee = Infection?  (Read 833 times)

Offline fmader

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1165
    • View Profile
Coffee = Infection?
« on: December 19, 2013, 06:10:29 PM »
I brewed a breakfast stout many months ago. Over tine, it developed an infection. I racked onto 2.5 oz of coffee grain in the secondary. Could this coffee addition caused the infection? If so, could I soak the coffee in a couple ounces of vodka to prevent it from happening again?
Frank

Offline duboman

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1272
    • View Profile
Re: Coffee = Infection?
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2013, 06:14:28 PM »
I would say yes, it's possible. Those I know that use coffee cold steep the beans for a few days, strain and use the liquid to infuse into the beer with great success
Peace....Love......Beer......

The Commune Brewing Company-Perfecting the craft of beer since 2010

Offline fmader

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1165
    • View Profile
Re: Coffee = Infection?
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2013, 06:22:17 PM »
I would say yes, it's possible. Those I know that use coffee cold steep the beans for a few days, strain and use the liquid to infuse into the beer with great success

I thought about doing this, but wouldn't the bacteria spill over into the water that the coffee is being steeped in?
Frank

Offline HoosierBrew

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 6202
  • Indianapolis,IN
    • View Profile
Re: Coffee = Infection?
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2013, 06:23:11 PM »
I've used coffee beans in a muslin bag added to secondary several times and not had infection. That doesn't mean it's not possible though.
Jon H.

Offline fmader

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1165
    • View Profile
Re: Coffee = Infection?
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2013, 06:35:41 PM »
I've used coffee beans in a muslin bag added to secondary several times and not had infection. That doesn't mean it's not possible though.

Jon, I used ground coffee... Do you get the same flavor effect with whole beans?
Frank

Offline HoosierBrew

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 6202
  • Indianapolis,IN
    • View Profile
Re: Coffee = Infection?
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2013, 06:41:10 PM »
I've used coffee beans in a muslin bag added to secondary several times and not had infection. That doesn't mean it's not possible though.

Jon, I used ground coffee... Do you get the same flavor effect with whole beans?
I roughly crack them (barely), into the muslin bag and into a secondary. It's sort of like using oak chips or spirals - I add it then check back every few days until it's at the flavor level I want, then keg it.  I usually like it to complement the stout and not overwhelm. Works for me ,though !
Jon H.

Offline yso191

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1064
  • Yakima, WA
    • View Profile
Re: Coffee = Infection?
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2013, 07:08:14 PM »
Something I'm wanting to do is try Starbucks VIA instant coffee.  Since then there is nothing to remove, and it *should* be sanitary.  No cold extraction or grinding either - quick and easy.
Steve
All Hands Brewing

Offline erockrph

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 4082
  • Chepachet, RI
    • View Profile
    • The Hop WHisperer
Re: Coffee = Infection?
« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2013, 07:23:22 PM »
Something I'm wanting to do is try Starbucks VIA instant coffee.  Since then there is nothing to remove, and it *should* be sanitary.  No cold extraction or grinding either - quick and easy.

While that would probably be quite expensive for a full batch, you could probably dose individual beers at serving time this way. I'm going to have to try this out sometime soon.

I love this forum. Rarely does a day go by where I don't pick up some useful ideas around here.
Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer

Offline fmader

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1165
    • View Profile
Re: Coffee = Infection?
« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2013, 08:28:39 PM »
Something I'm wanting to do is try Starbucks VIA instant coffee.  Since then there is nothing to remove, and it *should* be sanitary.  No cold extraction or grinding either - quick and easy.

Friends don't let friends drink Starbucks... Dunkin!  :P
Frank

Offline Steve in TX

  • I spend way too much time on the AHA forum
  • ********
  • Posts: 2950
    • View Profile
Re: Coffee = Infection?
« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2013, 08:41:52 PM »
Infection is certainly possible. I sanitize all the equipment I use for cold steeping and filtering, but think about all the hands and machines the coffee touches before the beer. Is it a bad infection or a good infection?

Offline fmader

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1165
    • View Profile
Re: Coffee = Infection?
« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2013, 08:51:35 PM »
Infection is certainly possible. I sanitize all the equipment I use for cold steeping and filtering, but think about all the hands and machines the coffee touches before the beer. Is it a bad infection or a good infection?

It was going south with taste and aroma and carbonation started to increase. I drank it pretty fast once it started to go. I'm asking this now because I think I'm  going to rebrew it early to mid January.
Frank

Offline Steve in TX

  • I spend way too much time on the AHA forum
  • ********
  • Posts: 2950
    • View Profile
Re: Coffee = Infection?
« Reply #11 on: December 19, 2013, 09:25:52 PM »
If you are hesitant, look into the commercial cold brew coffees that are available. Whole food sells one that is in the same dispenser fivestar uses (amount plenty of other industries). In order to sell a fresh product they should have good sanitation practices. Low risk in my opinion.

Or just do it the same way. 3 cold pressed coffee beers, no infections. Beers lasted less than two months though.

Offline tschmidlin

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 8195
  • Redmond, WA
    • View Profile
Re: Coffee = Infection?
« Reply #12 on: December 19, 2013, 11:13:08 PM »
I'm not saying it wasn't contaminated, but I'm not sure the coffee grounds were the source.  Those things are roasted which should kill most anything on them.  It's possible they picked up something during processing, but I know a lot of people who put grounds in the keg and don't have problems with contamination.

Something I'm wanting to do is try Starbucks VIA instant coffee.  Since then there is nothing to remove, and it *should* be sanitary.  No cold extraction or grinding either - quick and easy.
I did this about 15 years ago, it worked out great.  I also used chocolate in it to make a mocha porter that was outstanding.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline fmader

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1165
    • View Profile
Re: Coffee = Infection?
« Reply #13 on: December 20, 2013, 08:00:54 AM »
I'm not saying it wasn't contaminated, but I'm not sure the coffee grounds were the source.  Those things are roasted which should kill most anything on them.  It's possible they picked up something during processing, but I know a lot of people who put grounds in the keg and don't have problems with contamination.

Yes, this is understood. I'm starting to think it was from elsewhere. Coffee was a variable that I've never had before so figured I'd start here I think that I got the answer that I wanted here. Thanks!
Frank

Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • Retired with too much time on my hands
  • *****
  • Posts: 13672
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • View Profile
    • Dennybrew
Re: Coffee = Infection?
« Reply #14 on: December 20, 2013, 09:22:44 AM »
I'm not saying it wasn't contaminated, but I'm not sure the coffee grounds were the source.  Those things are roasted which should kill most anything on them.  It's possible they picked up something during processing, but I know a lot of people who put grounds in the keg and don't have problems with contamination.

Yes, this is understood. I'm starting to think it was from elsewhere. Coffee was a variable that I've never had before so figured I'd start here I think that I got the answer that I wanted here. Thanks!

I agree.  Not only has coffee never been a problem for me, things like uncleaned wild mushrooms have been fine, too.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe