Cold Brew Coffee

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Introduction: Cold Brew Coffee

Food Science Challenge

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Food Science Challenge

I've been a Barista in high end coffee for about 4 years now. One of the things you learn early on is that it is distasteful to ever ice espresso. Many go forward never questioning why this is such a bad idea, but I have an inquisitive mind and looked into it further.

It turns out that coffee is high in chlorogenic acid, which, as the coffee cools, forms quinic acid, which has a noteable and overwhelming astringent flavor. So the task is to brew coffee in a way that does not involve heat, and also reduces the apparent acidity. In the 60's the Toddy method became popular and it produces a finished product that is notably less bitter and actually puts forward a deep caramel and chocolaty flavor. Cold brew coffee is perfect for a warm day.

I decided to make my own cold brew coffee brewer.

Step 1: Materials

Supplies:
-6oz of a well roasted coffee
-one piece of felt (.29 cents at michaels)
-two large coffee filters
-a two-liter bottle
-thread
-scissors

Step 2: Begin

Cut the bottom off of the two-liter bottle.

Step 3: Stand

Use a broad glass to act as a stand for the brewer

Step 4: Filter

Fold a piece of felt

Step 5: Filter Insertion

Roll up the felt and stuff it into the opening of the brewer.

Step 6: Weigh

Weigh out 6 ounces of a good, quality coffee. Bad coffee will only get you bad cold brew.

Step 7: Grind

Grind to the coarsest possible setting.

Step 8: Make Coffee "tea Bags"

Split the coffee into 2-6 coffee filters - it will depend on the size filter you have. If you've got large ones, you can do it in two - for small filters you may need six.

Step 9: Tie

Tie them off with thread.

Step 10: Set in Your Brewer

Set them in your brewer, fill with a little over 6 cups of good, clean water. Give the water a second to soak into the coffee - you may be able to pour more in after.

Step 11: Brew!

Brew for 12-24 hours, this batch brewed for 14 hours.

Step 12: Take Off the Cap!

Take off the cap and a slow drip should start.

Step 13: ALMOST THERE!

So so close

Step 14: Enjoy!

End product. A super clean, crisp, cold brewed coffee. You can use this as a concentrate and dilute with a few ounces of water or drink it straight up. Tastes delicious and huuuuuuuuge caffeine content.

p.s.

The double filtration is extremely important. A lot of places that do cold brew use the reusable fabric filters, but they tend to leave solids in the coffee and it gives it a certain grittiness that I can't stand. Double filtered cold brew coffee is one of my favorite coffee preparation methods.

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250 Comments

I use a similar technique with one expection: Vodka instead of water. Then when done I do a simple syrup with hints of Vanilla and Almond and combine them. The wife and I like to have a late cup of coffee on Fridays, and this makes a perfect adult kicker/topper to a long week. :)

I have just tried making cold brew coffee. I soaked 1 part by weight ground coffee beans with 4 parts by weight of water. When I filtered them the coffee grinds appeared to have soaked in lots of water, and at the bottom I only collected about 1/3 of the volume of the amount of water I originally used, despite leaving the filter set up for several hours. Is that what everyone else finds too, or am I doing something wrong? Many thanks!

I make mine with 1 ounce ground to 2.5 ounce H2O, this ratio needs to be 4 H2O to 1 cold brew for like a coffee drink, I have never tried making a less stronger cold brew as I like mine very strong and since I control the brewing, roasting and grinding process it works great for me and my wife uses the 4 to 1 for her Americano's

Also, try and filter twice. I found that if I went right for the paper filter then it took forever since the grounds were clogging it up. So now I strain once from the jar with the coffee and grounds through a wire mesh strainer. Then I rinse out the jar that was brewing the coffee. Then I put a paper filter in my wire mesh strainer and pour the coffee back into the original jar. You do lose a bit but that is fine since it is concentrated. Just add additional water. What I did was I had a 1 quart mason jar that i filled with 3 cups of water and 3/4 cup of coffee. Then after straining it, it was just sitting at about 3/4 full so I topped it up with filtered water and put it in the fridge. When I drink it I pour it over ice to dilute it even a bit more.

I have also read that the sooner after you grind the coffee the less water it absorbs so try again but grind the coffee just before you use it.

My guess as to the origin of that idea would be that the sooner after roasting and grinding, the more CO2 will still be present in the structure of the coffee, so this may result in less water being absorbed in the short term...and therefore lower extraction of the soluble compounds that you want in your finished beverage! So probably trying for lower absorbtion is counter-productive. In any event, brewing for the length of time we are talking here would likely give ample time for the water to soak in regardless of how fresh your ground coffee is... next batch I roast I'll give it a try right after roasting and again a few days later, see if I can detect a difference in volume or flavour, and try and remember to post back here...

Only getting a third back seems low. I get more than this! However I don't let it drip but instead filter it twice - once in a French Press (a plunger, cafetiere, Bodum, whatever), then again in an Aeropress.

Only getting a third back seems low. I get more than this! However I don't let it drip but instead filter it twice - once in a French Press (a plunger, cafetiere, Bodum, whatever), then again in an Aeropress.

Only getting a third back seems low. I get more than this! However I don't let it drip but instead filter it twice - once in a French Press (a plunger, cafetiere, Bodum, whatever), then again in an Aeropress.

this is not a replacement for esspresso. It's to make American coffee for hot coffee and for iced coffee. It is smoother than hot brewed coffee. And you taste notes of chocolate and caramel more. But you taste coffee less. Keep your espresso maker for the purpose of a good strong pure coffee flavored shot.