Caffeine in Coffee Beer?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by sportscrazed2, Aug 14, 2017.

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  1. sportscrazed2

    sportscrazed2 Zealot (528) Mar 29, 2010 American Samoa

    If I want to drink a coffee bender during game of thrones will it keep me up? Or will alcohol counteract it?
  2. Shanex

    Shanex Poo-Bah (1,662) Dec 10, 2015 France
    Moderator Society Trader

    Drink KBS, at 12,4%ABV, I assure you that the alcohol will counteract the coffee.

    Seriously though, drinking a ''big'' beer before sleep may not be a wise idea. It doesn't improve your sleep, instead worsen it and may cause insomnia and unwanted wake up in the middle of the night.

    I'd recommend against coffee and alcohol late at night. Choose other options.
    Ham_and_Egger, eppCOS, Junior and 3 others like this.
  3. bbtkd

    bbtkd Poo-Bah (11,137) Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota
    Society Trader

    A BA beer before bed might be bad karma if you are prone to reflux. Then again, almost everything is...
    #3 bbtkd, Aug 14, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2017
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  4. Wiffler27

    Wiffler27 Meyvn (1,313) Aug 16, 2009 New Jersey

    you'll be fine, it's a very small amount (i'm not a Dr nor have i done research)

    i agree, big stouts give me heart burn when i go to bed
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  5. Maestro0708

    Maestro0708 Aspirant (275) Feb 27, 2015 Kentucky

    I have had my fair share of coffee beers late at night and never had trouble sleeping after. I think the alcohol probably counteracts it. If anything, they make me tired as any other form of alcohol. But not so tired that I can't stay up long enough to find out what's going to happen with Jamie....
    HoppingMadMonk likes this.
  6. HammsMeASAP

    HammsMeASAP Initiate (132) Jun 14, 2012 Minnesota

    There was a tweet from Founders (I think) a few years ago saying there is very little if any caffeine in one of their coffee beers.

    Found it. @HurricaneDitka linked this many years ago.

    George1005, bl00, 7irondave and 6 others like this.
  7. AZBeerDude72

    AZBeerDude72 Poo-Bah (2,124) Jun 10, 2016 Arizona
    Society Trader

    The caffeine is very minimal, I would not even worry about it to be honest.
  8. SCW

    SCW Poo-Bah (1,692) Jul 25, 2004 New York

    unless you have a beer like Speedway Stout - which kept me up all night long!
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  9. Hoppedelic

    Hoppedelic Devotee (459) Dec 6, 2010 California
    Society Trader

    Even a strong coffee beer would likely only have the equivalent of a teaspoon of coffee in it.
  10. kool-aid

    kool-aid Initiate (0) Apr 3, 2017 Vermont

    Even a tiny amount of caffiene past 4 pm will dramatically disrupt my sleep. I have been kept awake by more than once by drinking coffee beer even at 7 or 8 pm. From a chemical standpoint, caffeine can take up to 24 hours to be fully processed by the body, while alcohol takes only a few hours so it isn't true whatsoever that they will 'counteract' each other. Some people just aren't as affected by trace amounts of caffiene while others like myself are very sensitive.

    Edit: and one of those experiences definitely involved KBS, so whatever, Founders. Now I only drink the stuff on weekend mornings.
  11. Oktoberfiesta

    Oktoberfiesta Aspirant (283) Nov 16, 2013 New Mexico

    So I did this about a year ago.

    I bought a keg of FBS. i served off about half for a "xocoveza" infusion. I added in some whole coffee beans, and some Mexican hot chocolate spices to basically be a tea bag for the keg of beer (it was a cheese cloth thrown into the keg).

    I had never felt so alive. The booze was wanting me to sleep. but the Coffee bean element had me wired out of my mind. I have never felt this sensation with beers like FBS or Xocoveza solo.

    Bottom line, I guess unless you home brew, I dont think a coffee beer will keep you up. I have many friends and family who wont even touch a coffee based beer past 12pm. I want to call it mind games more than anything. But they are set in their ways.

    If you do want a coffee infusion, add some fresh beans to some freshly kegged beer and wait for the fireworks
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  12. rronin

    rronin Initiate (179) Jul 4, 2005 Washington

    I guess you might call me a coffee addict. When I met my wife, who was of Danish descent and a Lutheran, she used to call coffee and pastries her "sacraments". For years I drank half a pot of strong coffee, plus I had a double espresso flat white every morning, At my doctor's behest I cut back to four cups of strong coffee in the morning, still drinking the flat white. After lunch I brew six cups of decaf for the rest of the day. Strangely, coffee does not keep me awake. I can lie down and go to sleep right after drinking that flat white. So caffeine in stout (or any other beer) is not a problem for me.
  13. AZBeerDude72

    AZBeerDude72 Poo-Bah (2,124) Jun 10, 2016 Arizona
    Society Trader

    I am the same way. I can drink coffee all day and it does not keep me up at all. I think it comes down to tolerance, for those of us who consume it daily a coffee beer has zero impact, for others who don't drink coffee maybe they get a mild kick. Honestly, the amounts in beer are so low I cannot see how it would impact someone, I was looking and its so minor I just don't get it.
  14. bbtkd

    bbtkd Poo-Bah (11,137) Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota
    Society Trader

    You may be addicted, and desensitized to it. What happens if you go a day without caffeine - do you get a raging headache?
  15. kool-aid

    kool-aid Initiate (0) Apr 3, 2017 Vermont

    I drink a cup of black coffee each morning and don't feel a buzz from coffee beer but it most definitely keeps me from sleeping. My SO also is kept awake from coffee beer though not all night like I am. It may seem unlikely but it most definitely happens. And I don't get headaches from withdrawal but my SO gets them quite badly.

    It's not about the -amount- of caffiene in the beer itself, it's about the consumption of fresh caffiene being added to the processing half-life chemical remaining from prior consumption. Any new caffiene will re-up whatever exists in your system, which as stated, takes up to 24 hours to fully digest. Adding even the slight amount from beer (or tea or whatever) will start the whole breaking down process anew. I learned about it in college when I studied the effects of drugs on the human system.
    #16 kool-aid, Oct 12, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017
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  16. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (2,984) Mar 12, 2009 New York
    Society Trader

    Yes, being able to sleep after drinking caffeine is one of the signs of addiction to caffeine. I say this as a caffeine addict who grew up in a family that was in the coffee import business, and routinely enjoyed coffee throughout the day, as do I.

    Don't think I ever have experienced a caffeine rush from coffee beer though. Probably more testing is needed.
    golf4collet, bbtkd and AZBeerDude72 like this.
  17. Psilo

    Psilo Disciple (343) Jul 11, 2017 California

    Seemingly depends on the individual. I'm caffeine sensitive and won't drink a coffee beer after morning, unless I want to be up late. Most recently was a 9 month old Xocoveza. I figued it had aged enough for the caffeine to have diminished. Didn't even think about it until I was struggling to sleep, feeling the caffeine in my system and wondering when I'd ingested it that day.
    VABA likes this.
  18. CheapHysterics

    CheapHysterics Aspirant (243) Apr 1, 2009 Pennsylvania

    It drives my wife crazy that I can wake up and get through the day with or without a morning cup of coffee, and I can also have a hot mug of coffee late in the evening and sleep like a baby. So I never worry about caffeine in coffee beers.
  19. thereal

    thereal Initiate (98) Apr 20, 2010 Illinois

    The exception to all of this good knowledge and advice is Avery's Tweak. I swear that shit kept me up all night once.

    I love coffee beer and have never experienced a noticeable effect. Tweak felt like I had chugged four espresso shots and two whiskey shots.

    It was really good stuff. Just be warned.
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  20. RandyRanderson

    RandyRanderson Initiate (64) Jun 24, 2014 Pennsylvania

    I've never experienced any effect from coffee beers but I rarely go a day with a cup or two of coffee. I think you'd have to be extremely caffeine sensitive to get anything.

    I just added around 8 ounces of pretty strong cold brew concentrate to 2.5 gallons of a home brew porter. It would be roughly .3 ounces per 12 ounces so while the coffee flavor will be prominent (hopefully), there won't be caffeine as it is so diluted.
  21. Ten_SeventySix_Brewhouse

    Ten_SeventySix_Brewhouse Initiate (162) Jul 20, 2016 Indiana

    I don't know what proportions of coffee to beer most commercial breweries are using for their coffee beers, but I think it's entirely possible there is more caffeine in some of these beers than you may think.

    I'm a beer geek first and foremost, but I also consider myself a bit of a coffee geek. I don't have any scientific numbers or measured data, but did some quick back-of-the-envelope type calculations:

    As far as I know, all coffee added to beer is cold steeped in some way; I've never heard of anyone adding hot brewed coffee to beer, since cold brew is smoother and easier to work with for brewing purposes. Modern Times recommends a ratio of 12 oz coarse ground coffee to 7 (8 oz) cups of water for cold brew coffee. I've heard of homebrewers using up to 8 oz of whole coffee beans per 5 gallon batch. Given MT's ratio, that would give us ~37.3 fl oz of cold brew concentrate. Added to 5 gallons (640 oz) of beer, that gives us about a 5.8% concentration of coffee. That comes out to almost 1 fl oz (of strong cold brew coffee concentrate) per pint of beer.

    Keep in mind, that cold brew is generally more caffeinated than coffee brewed by other methods (due to longer extraction times), all other things being equal. In particular, this is very strong cold brew; one 12 oz can of MT cold brew is enough (poured over ice) for me, a daily coffee drinker) to sip on over the course of an entire 8-hour workday, and I feel overcaffeinated, even if that is the only caffeine I consumed that day. For comparison, in my French press, I would be able to make ~15 8 oz cups of coffee with that same 8 oz of beans that would give us a ratio of ~18% coffee in a 5 gallon batch. That's ~2.8 oz of (strong French press) coffee in a pint of coffee beer. Traditional drip coffee is typically even weaker than that, so I wouldn't be surprised if either of these scenarios are approaching the caffeine levels of a traditional 6 oz cup of drip coffee.

    Of course, caffeine content is very dependent on the coffee variety, growing region, conditions that growing season, roast level, and whether it has been decaffeinated or not - all in addition to the variance due to brewing method. I'm not advocating against coffee beers, we're all adults who can make our own decisions, and they are delicious. I'm just saying that there very well may be significant caffeine levels in some coffee beers. The more you know...
  22. Ten_SeventySix_Brewhouse

    Ten_SeventySix_Brewhouse Initiate (162) Jul 20, 2016 Indiana

    This is in line with the only coffee beer I have brewed. It comes out to ~2.5% coffee. I added 2 oz of beans to a 2.5-3 gallon batch of blonde ale. That is roughly equal to your 8 oz of cold brew, if you used the ratio from MT that I provided in my last post. I tasted coffee, but I'm not sure I felt the effects of caffeine. Of course, I never drank more than one in a session, and I avoided it at night on principle. Next time, I'll probably add more coffee.
  23. RandyRanderson

    RandyRanderson Initiate (64) Jun 24, 2014 Pennsylvania

    I'm curious to see if it has any effect, I'll try one on a weekend morning before I have any coffee (for science, of course).
  24. eppCOS

    eppCOS Poo-Bah (1,539) Jun 27, 2015 Colorado

    What keeps me up is the sugar (alcohol) in big coffee beers (anything over 8%), not the caffeine.
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  25. rronin

    rronin Initiate (179) Jul 4, 2005 Washington

    MAYBE a slight headache. I've had hospital stays where I didn't drink coffee for several days. It wasn't much of a problem.
    bbtkd likes this.
  26. nicoolaa

    nicoolaa Initiate (63) Jun 17, 2017 France

    Same here. Drank a pint of Speedway yesterday evening and very hard to sleep after.
    Never felt the same with other coffee beer like kbs, coffee oki...
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