How to Brew with Coffee in Your BEERMKR

How to Brew with Coffee in Your BEERMKR

Coffee beer, when done right, can be amazingly rich and complex adding a dimension to the beer that you can’t find with any other ingredient. The added caffeine can make it a wonderful addition for a weekend afternoon. The treatment and preparation of coffee however is at odds with beer: the best coffee is best brewed quickly and consumed immediately before the flavors fade. The best beer however takes a long time to brew and often gets better with age. So how do you put coffee into beer and have it taste like a fresh cup instead of a burnt pot sitting for 2 days in a gas station? Read on to find out.

Stylistically, coffee is most commonly found in stouts. The dark grains compliment the coffee flavor profile, and not a lot of coffee is needed to make its presence known. It can also make a great addition to other beer styles like Ambers that have a malty sweetness to them. Be wary of adding coffee to hop-forward styles like IPAs as the two flavors can clash. The fun with BEERMKR however is you can experiment and see what works best for your pallet!

The first step is deciding how strong of a coffee presence you want in your beer. Remember that your BEERMKR will produce 12 beers, so whatever you add here will be distributed over those 12 beers. 1oz of coffee grounds will produce the equivalent of 24 ounces of drip coffee, or two normal American sized cups. That’s a pretty good start, meaning each beer will have about 1/6 of a cup of coffee’s presence. You can increase this amount or decrease it according to taste, but I think 1oz of grinds is a good starting place.

Method 1: Cold Brew. After your beer finishes the Primary fermentation stage and before the Rest phase starts, you should start your cold brew. Grind 1oz of coffee coarsely and add it to a French Press along with 12oz of room temperature water. Gently stir it up and let it sit on your counter, covered, for 16 hours. After 16 hours is up, plunge the French Press filter. Add this to your BEERMKR’s BrewTub and close the lid. Give the bag a squeeze to push some liquid up into the BrewTub chamber so enough beer mixes with the coffee. In a few hours, the beer will return to the bag. Allow the beer to finish in the machine and remove it like normal.

Method 2: Brew your coffee in the BEERMKR. Coarsely grind 1oz of coffee and place it in a filtered tea bag. Add this to the BEERMKR’s BrewTub once the beer has reached the final crash phase. Ensure there is enough liquid in the BrewTub for the pouch to steep. If there is not enough liquid, add the squeeze bar back in to the second location like you would a dry hop. Let it sit 12-18 hours, then remove the squeeze bar and wait for the liquid in the BrewTub to fall back into the bag. Once it does, remove the bag of finished beer and transfer to your BEERTAP for carbonation.

Infection isn’t a big concern with adding coffee to your beer. The pH of coffee is really low, around 3, and that is low enough to kill a lot of germs. As always, be sure to start with clean containers and wash your hands before working with anything that you put into your BEERMKR.