Author Topic: Coffee Beans in Secondary  (Read 3081 times)

Offline skyler

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Coffee Beans in Secondary
« on: December 07, 2010, 01:00:35 PM »
Going off a Zymurgy article from a while back, I have considered the possibility of "dry beaning" a porter or stout with coffee beans. I like this idea more than the cold-press method of coffee extraction, because it is simpler (and you have the benefit of being able to take the beer off the beans as soon as you get the right coffee flavor). I have already done a search on the NB forum and read that some people liked the method, but found a gread disparity between the Zymurgy article and different brewers on how much coffee, whether the beans should be crushed, and roughly how long the beer should sit on the beans before I start taking samples.

I also want to know what role, if any, alcohol plays. I would probably be initially trying this on my porter, which is a 1.060-ish Porter, a little richer than Black Butte, and which has a subtle chocolate/mocha taste (I'm brewing up 10 gallons this weekend, so 5 gallons will remain unadulterated). I have thought about pairing the coffee beans with cocoa nibs, but learned that 6 ounces for 6 weeks is barely enough time for much cocoa aroma to develop, so I would have to stagger my cocoa and coffee if I chose to incorporate them both.

Offline denny

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Re: Coffee Beans in Secondary
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2010, 01:03:18 PM »
I use 4-5 oz., coarsely cracked, for dry beaning.  I leave it in from 4-10 days, tasting a couple times a long the way.  You get more aroma than flavor from dry beaning.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline EHall

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Re: Coffee Beans in Secondary
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2010, 01:10:17 PM »
I used 5-6oz of nibs for 2 weeks in secondary and though the results were great. It just comes down to how much you want for your personal taste. Combining the 2 wont hurt at all and if you crack them up some more, you'll get more surface area. But like Denny said, throw em in, and taste every 3-4 days or so until you're satisfied.
Phoenix, AZ

Offline reineman

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Re: Coffee Beans in Secondary
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2010, 01:56:25 PM »
I use the method you said you weren't too interested in, thought I'd comment anyway.

With the cold extraction coffee method I use french roast beans, ground then extracted as per the normal process.  This is what I drink every day, not just a beer thing.  I get about a quart of a pretty strong extract using a Coffee Toddy.  Here's a pic of it http://www.toddycafe.com/shop/product.php?productId=67  (I like it, down't own stock, it's a good tool).  There's probably a million ways to do cold coffee extract, the Toddy is convenient.

I make a brew I call a "Mocha Stout", basically an Oatmeal Stout with 1 pound Lactose, 2 pound bakers chocolate, and one quart of my extract.  It's a pretty robust brew, actually a good party beer since it's so sweet, even the Women will drink it.  It is a 10 gallon batch.

But the point is that the quart of extract gives the brew a very obvious coffee flavor.  The chocolate is right in your face also but there is no mistaking the coffee flavor.  In a regular stout or a Porter that quantity of extract would be too much, unless you wanted a "coffee porter" or something.  Works well in an Imperial Stout also, but not the entire quart.

For your porter, a cup (in 5 gallon carbouy) would be a pretty good estimate.  This assumes a good robust extract like you would get from fresh ground quality french roast beans.  A lesser extract and...you get the idea.

If you preferred a more subtle coffee presence then a half cup in the carbouy would be a good start.  This would be more of a coffee as complexity addition rather than coffee as an identifiable flavor component.

There are (supposed) benefits to the cold extraction system, namely less acid and fat.  True or not?  Who knows, it's good coffee to drink and I have good results in my brews.  Never a head retention issue, etc.

My opinion in the choice between extract and beans is you will achieve a much more precise and replicatable end product with extract than with beans.  You might get the first experiment wrong but once you know the actual amount to add that you like, that will be unlikely to change for future batches.

Also, I add my extract just as I'm turning off the heat for the boil, what would typically be the aroma hop stage.  Get a little sterilization thing going that way.  Doesn't seem to affect the coffee aroma or flavor in the end product.

Offline tumarkin

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Re: Coffee Beans in Secondary
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2010, 03:41:36 PM »
you mention taking the beer off the beans when you get to the level you like. you can do this with the cold extract as well. just make a pot of cold extract coffee & start adding it to your brew in small amounts, stopping at the point that pleases you. you could approximate this by adding small measured amounts to a glass of beer to get the preferred level, and then extrapolate to the amount needed for the full batch. generally, cold extraction is going to get the best coffee flavor.
Mark Tumarkin
Hogtown Brewers
Gainesville, FL

Offline yeastmaster

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Re: Coffee Beans in Secondary
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2010, 05:32:19 PM »
I made a coffee porter once that I "Dry Beaned".  The problem that I had was that I didn't have time to check it every couple of days so it sat for several weeks before I bottled it.  It definitely was identifiable as....COFFEE!  I way over coffeed that porter but it turned out to be really good for breakfast with some cream in it  ::)

After a year of cellaring it became a really nice beer