Coffee beans as dry hop

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by The Green Man, Nov 20, 2020.

  1. The Green Man

    The Green Man Well-Known Member

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    Hey brewing brethren. I am designing a chocolate coffee oatmeal stout.
    I think the recipe is pretty good, but I am wondering whether it is advisable (or if there are reasons why I shouldn't) dry hop 250g of coffee beans for 12 hrs prior to packaging.
    I know I asked about adding coffee to a stout about two years ago, but this option didn't turn up. And I have a bag of coffee beans I bought by mistake that would be perfect.
    Should I blanch them in boiling water first to sterilise do you think?
    They were pre-packaged, not the self service type beans.
    Any ideas, opinions or pearls of brewing wisdom?
     
  2. The Green Man

    The Green Man Well-Known Member

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  3. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    I've never tried, I imagine they would be safe to drop in. Most people just make coffee and pour it in though.
     
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  4. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

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    A guy in my homebrew club throws a handful of whole coffee beans into a 5 gallon keg of cream ale (yes, coffee cream ale). The beer is carbonated and kegged. He lets them set for 24 hours or so and then tastes the beer to check the flavor level. He keeps checking it until the flavor is where he wants it and then he transfers it out to another keg. I suppose you could put them in a bag and avoid the second transfer.

    He swears by it, he throws the beans in whole, no need to sanitize. If your want to sanitize them before putting them into beer, you could give them a quick soak in vodka. I would think that would be better than a quick soak in +170F water, but you could do that too I guess.
     
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  5. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Fermented beer is pretty hostile to most microbes - there's a risk of unsanitized coffee beans causing an infection but I'd put it pretty low. Whole - well, the amount absorbed into the beer would be proportional to the surface area of coffee bean exposed to it so throwing the beans in without grinding them is slowing absorption into the beer. Since it's a cream ale (no cream, or even lactic flavors), very mild, I'd imagine slowing absorption would be a good thing. Like most things brewing, there's no easy, definitive answer. In the boil, brewed, cold-brewed, ground and added to the fermentor, all are good ways of adding coffee to the beer.
     
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  6. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    I have done a few different methods for a coffee porter.
    First time I bought 8 espressos from Starbucks.
    A couple of times I added fresh ground beans to the fermenter.
    Most recently I cold steeped fresh ground in water in the fridge for a couple of days then added that to the fermenter. All methods gave me very good results.
     
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  7. 56 Firedome

    56 Firedome Active Member

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    I have a Coffee Chocolate Stout in keg now. I brewed a reliable Oatmeal Milk Stout with 3/4 # Chocolate Malt. I Dry Hopped with 1/4 # Cocoa Nibs for a week & 4 Oz Starbucks ground Dark Roast Expresso for 2 days. A week in the fridge & it's great. Chocolate is up front, the Coffee is in the background.
     
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  8. The Green Man

    The Green Man Well-Known Member

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    Cheers guys appreciate all the input.
    Looks like a lot of ways it could be done.
    I think I will just drop them in whole for 12hrs and have a taste sample to see where it is. Then if need be give it another 12hrs.
    Another one of those 'try it and see' moments.
     
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  9. Mark Farrall

    Mark Farrall Well-Known Member

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    I've done it a few times. I find it's much more effective in giving a coffee aroma than other methods I've tried, but it doesn't give a strong taste. So I generally couple it with some other coffee. Ground beans in the boil or cold brew around the same time as the beans.
     
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  10. Mark Farrall

    Mark Farrall Well-Known Member

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    I've had some great dry pale ales and kettle sours with coffee. It's strange how often it works outside of the traditional dark beers.
     
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  11. The Green Man

    The Green Man Well-Known Member

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    Cheers Mark. I am quite tempted to throw some ground coffee in the boil (5mins). For a 20 litre batch, do you reckon 100g is enough for a background coffee flavour?
    Will chuck the beans into the fermentor in 24hrs before packaging too. Makes sense that this is more for aroma than taste.
     
  12. The Green Man

    The Green Man Well-Known Member

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    Also...just found out that coffee has anti-bacterial qualities. So shouldn't be any danger of infection by dropping it straight into the fermentor. This is the way forward for this brew. 250g coffee beans dropped straight in and about 150g ground coffee in tea bags (meant for loose leaf tea) at the same time, about 12 hrs before packaging. My thinking is that ground coffee will give the flavour. Much like cold brewed coffee would and the beans will give the aroma.
     
  13. Mark Farrall

    Mark Farrall Well-Known Member

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    #13 Mark Farrall, Nov 22, 2020
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2020
    Looked up some recipes. Seems like for the stouts that I'm doing 100g for 10 litres. Just cracked beans in the mash and that ends up very subtle, so 100 g in the boil sounds about right.
     
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