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Is there caffeine in beers brewed with coffee?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Lare453, Nov 6, 2012.

  1. Abra

    Abra Aficionado (145) Massachusetts Jan 27, 2014

    It's really interesting that there doesn't seem to be a solid definitive answer. I'm extremely sensitive to caffeine, but I love the flavor and wish i could enjoy all the wonderful coffee porters/stouts. From experience I feel there is quite a bit of caffeine in these beers. Two Left Hand Milk Stouts one evening and I did not sleep for even a minute. I enjoyed drinking them though! And that's not even a "coffee" beer, it's just one of the flavors.

    Not to make things complicated, but who else thinks there should be a caffeine content on the label of these types of beers? Some seem to have way more than others. It makes sense, especially for those of us sensitive to caffeine, to be able to make an informed decision when selecting a beer.
    Just my two cents!
    Jay_Ulreich likes this.
  2. Sponan

    Sponan Savant (385) Tennessee Jan 20, 2008

    I believe what you are experiencing is known as the "placebo effect". As you stated, Left Hand Milk Stout does not contain coffee.
    vkv822, Jay_Ulreich and Pecan like this.
  3. Jirin

    Jirin Savant (440) Massachusetts Apr 28, 2013

    That law seems to be an overreaction. I thought the danger with four loco was the amount of caffeine, not the presence of it.
  4. The high amount combined with the high amount of alcohol. I think it was interfering with people knowing just how drunk they really were. And there may have been some adverse reactions with people's hearts, if I recall correctly.
  5. SFNC

    SFNC Savant (425) North Carolina Apr 7, 2013

    I'm not a scientist, though I do own a lab coat and I can truely say that there is no caffeine in coffee flavored beers, unless you want there to be.
    beer_pilgrim likes this.
  6. Stugotzo

    Stugotzo Advocate (515) Florida Jun 13, 2012

    ISO: BCBCS Decaf

  7. Ssshhhhhh! The FDA might be listening.
    horsehockey likes this.
  8. Homebrew42

    Homebrew42 Savant (445) New York Dec 20, 2006

    There was an article about this in the BA magazine years ago and the answer is it depends on the beer, some contain an insignificant amount and some contain as much as a cup of coffee per serving.
    Abra likes this.
  9. HeavensGoblet

    HeavensGoblet Aficionado (175) Massachusetts Apr 21, 2015 Beer Trader

    I am a chemist, though *disclaimer* i have not done any quality control studies on coffee beers. That said, if a beer is conditioned on large amounts of coffee beans it is quite possible it may still contain a fair amount of caffeine.

    Anecdotally, I never drink coffee or expose myself to caffeine in my day to day life, so when i consume any caffeine at all it has a very strong effect on me. With that said, I have definitely gotten a caffeine buzz off of Tree House's coffee stout, Double Shot, no question.
    Hop-Droppen-Roll likes this.
  10. It is a placebo effect.

    For a very coffee forward beer I put around 3 ounces of beans cold steeped for 5 gallons...that's around 5 cups of coffee or less, in 5 gallons. So less than 1 cup per gallon of beer comes to around less than 1/8 cup of coffee per pint...so basically the is around 1 sip of coffee's worth of caffeine in a very coffee forward beer.

    If you are not a regular consumer of caffeine, you may notice it, but not at levels many claim by saying they get a "buzz" from drinking a pint of a coffee beer. If you drink caffeine at least once or twice a week, this sip wouldn't register as a caffeine buzz me than likely...if you drink coffee regularly, the caffeine in a coffee beer wouldn't even show up as a blip on your radar.

    Brewers have explained this over and over again, but the psychosomatic placebo effect is a strong one in this case.
    THSdrummer likes this.
  11. Givemebeer

    Givemebeer Advocate (545) Vermont Apr 6, 2013

    I believe that if the coffee is added during the mash then the caffeine is "destroyed" as CaveDave put it. But some breweries essentially dry hop their coffee beers with coffee. And this would leave the caffeine in (I'm pretty sure).
  12. Black_Rider

    Black_Rider Advocate (605) California Mar 26, 2013 Beer Trader

    i domed a Hawaiian Speedway one night and sat in bed with my heart pounding for a few hours

    it was worth it though
    lemmy187 and gardenstatepkwy like this.
  13. The FDA permits caffeine, which is quite bitter, in beverages and elsewhere as a "flavoring agent".
  14. Urk1127

    Urk1127 Champion (815) New Jersey Jul 2, 2014 Beer Trader

    I actually had an experience similar i drank 4 pounders of Gansetts Autocrat coffee porter and thought there was caffeine in it because i have a sensitivity to and i started to shake and vibrate lol.
  15. creepinjeeper

    creepinjeeper Champion (950) Missouri Nov 8, 2012 Subscriber Beer Trader

    Blue Moon's Cappuccino Oatmeal Stout is brewed with decaf. Seriously ... decaf. As a fan of the style, I have to try it, but I'm not a fan of decaf coffee.
  16. jesskidden

    jesskidden Champion (810) New Jersey Aug 10, 2005 Subscriber

    But not in alcoholic beverages:

    cavedave likes this.