Not So Espresso

BYOB by | Mar 2012 | Issue #62

Illustration by Ellen Crenshaw

Some facts: 57 percent of Americans drink coffee*; 67 percent of Americans drink alcohol.**

Now, a shocking revelation: I don’t like warm coffee. I spend most of my life running hot. I don’t need the extra heat! Instead, I get my Arabica-powered jumpstart via iced coffee. Being an iced coffee fan makes the leap to coffee beer pretty seamless.

You can add coffee grounds to the mash, you can add it to the boil and you can even “dry-bean,” but my preferred coffee beer methodology is overnight cold extraction. In a container (a large French press is best), combine 1 cup of ground coffee and 3 cups of cold filtered water. Stir to combine, wait a few minutes, and stir some more. Let sit for 12-18 hours and filter (via press, paper filter basket, etc.). What you have before you is pure, unadulterated, smooth, floral go-juice. The concentrated zip comes without any acrid bite. Think coffee Carafa. Blend into your favorite beer at bottling or kegging.

As for the beer, coffee and dark-roasted Stouts or Porters are a perfect marriage of flavors, but … screw expectations. Yes, the extract makes a great addition to a sweet Stout (see last year’s Fat Cat Sweet Stout in issue #54) or an AleSmith Speedway Stout clone, but let’s have some fun! How about Jolted Toasted Oat Amber?

Word of Warning: The FDA has recognized that serious caffeine combined with big ethanol is stupid. Don’t be stupid!

* National Coffee Association, “National Coffee Drinking Trend Study,” 2007
** Gallup poll, 2010.

For 5.5 gallons at 1.059, 11 SRM, 22 IBU, 6.1% ABV

Malt / Grain / Sugar
9.0 lb. Domestic 2-Row
1.5 lb. Caravienne Malt
1.0 lb. Flaked Oats, toasted at 350°F until nutty. Allow to set for 3-7 days before using.
0.5 lb. Crystal 120L

Saccharification Rest – 154°F for 60 minutes

0.5 oz Magnum Pellets | 11.4%AA | 60 minutes

Wyeast 1272 American Ale II

1 batch of cold extract coffee (1 cup of grounds, 3 cups of water, soak for at least 12 hours and filter) to secondary

Extract Brewers
Replace the 7 pounds of the 2-row with 6 pounds of Pale LME. Steep 2 pounds of 2-row with the other grains for 45 minutes at 154°F. Oats must be mashed this way.