More on Beer-Making

Note, the title of this post could also be read as, “Moron Beer Making”…

This weekend, I’ve already moved my wheat beer into secondary fermentation, but I’m also going to start primary fermentation for a second batch, which is — da-da-da-Daaaaaaaaaaa! — Coffee Stout!

That is, a nice dark rich Stout with a hint of coffee flavoring. Just, you know, a hint. This is not the bizarre concoction I had one night out with a bunch of people organized by Roboseyo, at some little restaurant, where they made “coffee beer” by putting coffee into a glass of beer. That was alright, I suppose, but this is beer with the flavor of coffee infused into it from the beginning.

I got the idea reading the section in Charlie Papazian’s The Complete Joy of Home Brewing Vol. 3, and it refused to let go. When you make coffee stout, go about it the same way you would just making stout, but…

  1. Steep some ground coffee (start with 250 grams, say) in the hot wort after it’s been boiled but before you cool it and rack it to the fermenter for primary fermentation.


  2. Steep the ground coffee (again, start with ~250 grams) in the beer during secondary fermentation, so the coffee goodness can soak right into the beer for an extended time.

I’m not sure which method is better, but I’ve resolved to go with the first one and see — if there’s a hint of coffee flavor in the beer when I check it before racking it to secondary, then I’ll leave well enough alone and hope it deepens during secondary. If, on the other hand, I can’t find anything coffee-like in the taste when I am racking to secondary, then I’ll add some more ground coffee and let it steep for a week in the secondary.

For my next trick, I’ll be making a pumpkin ale —  that comes sometime next week, once I am ready to move the coffee stout into secondary.

But before I boil anything, I have some other stuff I need to do! (I did my workout at the gym — one hour on the recumbent bike, 25km, 570 cal — but there’s always more to do, always more last-minute work stuff and also some tidying and other household chores.)

Oh, if you want to read a cool article about the brewing of a beer with ancient (on geological timescales) yeast, here’s a piece in Wired about exactly that!

4 thoughts on “More on Beer-Making

  1. What you’re making sounds a lot like Founder’s Breakfast Stout. I’ve never had it, but my boyfriend claims it tastes like an alcoholic iced coffee.

    Beer brewing is fun. My friends and I did it in college a few times. We made a great batch of “citrus spice” beer by adding dried oranges and packets of tea to it.

  2. Kelsey,

    Ah, I’m not sure it’ll be that coffee-ish. I’m kind of thinking it’s likely to be milder. I did steep the beans in the hot wort for 30 minutes, though. I’m considering following Papazian’s advice about steeping more beans in the secondary fermentation, but that depends on (a) how much beer ends up in the secondary (if the carboy’s almost full, I am not going to risk the grounds clogging the airlock and causing a kaboomsplosion), and (b) whether it’s necessary. I am curious to see whether the coffee flavor will be strong after a few days of primary fermentation, let alone a week in secondary and a few weeks of bottle conditioning.

    It is fun, though I suspect I’ll be having more fun when I turn to brewing with all-grains. Which I intend to do in the spring, after I get back from holidays.

    1. Oh, it was alright, but trust me… the beer with the coffee brewed right into it is much more exciting! :)

      (Or, rather, I should say that, based on tasting what I have of the stuff partway through the process, it’s looking like it will be very exciting. We’ll have to see how it turns out, of course!)

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