Diehard iced coffee fans know that it’s very different from iced coffee, which can be made simply by pouring coffee over ice or chilling leftover coffee. Cold brewed coffee, on the other hand, is the beloved liquid resulting from the slow maceration process of coffee grounds in cold water or at room temperature for a certain number of hours, resulting in a silky smooth coffee, less acidic and highly caffeinated.
And while making cold beer may seem complicated, with the right process it can be extremely simple. Ben Helfen, an educational support specialist at Counter Culture Coffee, says it has a flavor of its own.
“There is a level of comfort with the flavor of cold brew, which often tastes very similar, even with different coffees, so most people have a good idea of what to expect, which isn’t so true with espresso or hot coffee, “he says.
And then there is the gear factor. “Hot espresso and concentrate poured on ice are more intimidating to the average consumer because they require brewing devices that they may not have on hand,” says Helfen. “On the other hand, cold infusion can easily be done in a glass jar or in a French press.”
And when it comes to choosing a specific coffee for cold brewing, Trade Coffee coffee director Maciej Kasperowicz says some roasts work best as cold brews.
“Because ultralight roasts can be less soluble, it’s hard to get all the good stuff out of those beans without hot water, so I wouldn’t choose them,” he says. “So if you’re looking at, for example, an East African coffee that features juicy citrus acidity and floral aromas, these qualities have a hard time showing up in cold beer. It won’t taste bad, sure, but if you’re shopping specifically for cold brew, it might be best to buy a coffee that has a lot of chocolaty sweetness and great body – qualities that cold brew brings out well.
There are a variety of cold brewers on the market, but Helfen says that practicality aside, these don’t necessarily create a better drink than simpler methods. Some devices, like a Toddy or a Filtron, can produce larger batches, but it says, “I use what’s easy and cheap to make cold beer at home, which for me is usually just a glass jar.”
Read on for Helfen’s simplest home cold beer primer.
- Start with a 32-ounce wide-mouth mason jar. Thoroughly clean and sanitize the glass jar, including the lid.
32-ounce Regular Mouth Mason Jars with Lids and Bands, 2-Pack ($ 9.89; amazon.com)
32oz Regular Mouth Glass Jar with Lids and Bands, Pack of 2
Mason jars also give this process a more homely feel, if you like that vibe. And now that you have Mason jars, you can also make Mason jar ice cream.
- Using a kitchen scale, measure 100 grams of coffee. Grind the coffee to a medium grind (between table salt and coarse sea salt).
Orchard Encore Burr Conical Grinder ($ 169.95; amazon.com)
Orchard Encore Conical Burr coffee grinder
“A decent grinder makes any beer better,” says Kasperowicz. “The Baratza Encore is a favorite; it grinds quite evenly, plus Baratza is known for its customer service and parts program, so it will be easier to repair if something happens, instead of having to buy a new grinder.
And to see more coffee grinder options, take a look at the best coffee grinders.
- Heat a kettle to 160-170 degrees Fahrenheit or so and, using a glass measuring cup, add 100 grams of this water. “Soaking the coffee grounds a little bit with hot water is sometimes referred to as” hot flower, “says Helfen, which brings out the flavors of the coffee.
- Using the measuring cup, add the rest of the water (700 grams) at room temperature, making sure the funds are completely saturated (no dry pockets). Helfen insists on using filtered water for the best tasting coffee.
Oxo Good Grips 4.23-Cup Pour Over Kettle ($ 53.96; walmart.com)
Oxo Good Grips 4.23-Cup Pour Over Kettle
Serious bartenders recommend a gooseneck kettle for homemade beers – this is also efficient for a drip method or a French press for hot coffee.
- Cover the Mason jar tightly with plastic wrap to make sure there is no air in the brewing environment. “I’m obsessed with putting off oxidation for as long as possible,” says Helfen, to control the taste of the final beer.
Glad Cling Wrap Food grade plastic wrap, 4-pack ($ 11.92, originally $ 14.99; amazon.com)
Glad Cling Wrap Food grade plastic wrap, pack of 4
“Due to the longer brewing and holding times of cold beer, having super clean brewing equipment and keeping as much air as possible will greatly improve the flavor of the drink,” says Helfen, who always wraps his Mason jar with the plastic before replacing the cover. “Oxidation and bacterial growth are the enemies of cold beer!”
- Put the lid on the glass jar and refrigerate for 12-14 hours.
- Retrieve the Mason jar and slowly pour the contents through a flat-bottomed paper coffee filter into another container (Helfen uses another 32-ounce Mason jar). Be patient – this process could take 15-20 minutes. Cold beer is slow beer! If the first filter becomes clogged with grounds, dispose of it and continue filtration with a new filter.
Melitta 8-12 Cups of Super Premium Coffee Filters ($ 2.29; target.com)
Melitta 8-12 cups of Super Premium coffee filters
Any flat bottom paper filter that fits your automatic drip brewery will work for this process.
- Once the infusion has been filtered, pour the desired amount into a glass, with an equal amount of water and ice. Have fun!
You can also use a simple French press to make your own cold brew. “There is no real need for complex machinery in cold brewing,” says Kasperowicz. “It is one of the simplest methods to make at home at a level similar to what you would get in a coffee shop.”
Bodum French Press Coffee Maker Maker, 12 ounces ($ 16.91; amazon.com)
Bodum Coffee Maker French Press Coffee Maker, 12 oz
Kasperowicz loves it when he runs out of bags for cold beer or just for the daily hot beer.
Here is his French press cold infusion method:
- Coarsely grind 3 ounces / 85 grams of coffee.
- Put the motifs in the French press.
- Add 24 ounces / 680 grams of water.
- Cover without pressing the plunger.
- Leave to ferment at room temperature for 12 hours.
- Dip and pour. Have fun!
If you have a smaller French press, only use less coffee and water, while maintaining the same ratio (for example: 1.5 ounces / 43 grams of coffee and 12 ounces / 340 grams of water), he advises.
Counter Culture Coffee, Apollo, 12-ounce whole beans ($ 17; amazon.com)
Counter Culture Coffee, Apollo, 12 oz Whole Bean
“Most people I know who love cold brews don’t particularly appreciate the perceived brilliance or acidity that lighter roasts can have,” says Helfen, pointing to his brand’s Apollo as his favorite for brewing. cold.
“Cold beer drinkers are usually looking for sweet, chocolaty flavors, and a slightly more developed roast can help with those flavors,” he says. “Apollo is available all year round, always contains washed Ethiopian coffee, and is more in the middle between a darker roast and a lighter roast. For me, it’s the best of both worlds: a little chocolaty and sweet, but it also has nice delicate floral and citrus flavors. ”
Exchange bags for cold beer ($ 9.50; drinktrade.com)
Swap bags for cold beer
These are convenient for making cold beer at home – or wherever you’re parked right now – and are made with corn-based and commercially compostable fibers.
They also help filter out some of the finer grinds, which many cold beer aficionados like. “But if you’re okay with a little more limo, a French press absolutely does the trick,” says Kasperowicz. “And if you’re okay with having a little more oomph, just throwing ground and cold water into any container and filtering with a regular mesh strainer is fine.”
Hario V60 Drip Coffee Scale and Timer (Starting at $ 60; amazon.com)
Hario V60 drip coffee scale and timer
A kitchen scale, like this Hario, made specifically for drip coffee preparation, is the key to the exact ratio of the grounds to the water.
Brita Grand 10-Cup BPA-Free Water Jug (Starting at $ 29.99; target.com)
Brita Grand 10 Cup BPA Free Water Pitcher
“Always use filtered water for making coffee! Hot or cold, ”Helfen insists. “Even if it’s just a Brita pitcher or simple charcoal filtration, it will significantly improve the flavor of your coffee.”
Taylor precision products Pocket digital thermometer (starting at $ 21; amazon.com)
Taylor Precision Products Pocket Digital Thermometer
Some people brew cold beer without measuring the water, but professionals insist that warm bloom is the key to the process. “It brings out a little more brightness and more delicate flavors than a coffee,” says Helfen.
Five Star – Star San High Foam Beer Disinfectant ($ 15; amazon.com)
Five Star – Sanitizer for beer with a high foaming acid content Star San
Helfen says highly sanitized brewing equipment is the key to the best tasting results. Wash his Mason jar in soapy water or, if time permits, boil it for 10 minutes or thoroughly clean it in a solution of this beer sanitizer.
Once you’ve mastered cold beer, check out our DIY whipped coffee guide.
Note: The above prices reflect the prices quoted by the retailer at the time of publication.
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