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Easy Cold-Brewed Coffee

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If you haven't heard of cold-brewed coffee, it is exactly what it sounds like...coffee that you brew using cold water instead of hot.  Why, you may well ask, would anyone want to do that?  You can Google it and find out far more than I could tell you about it.  For me it was because I needed to reduce the acid content of my coffee (I love my coffee but do not like the heartburn afterward), and this seemed to be a means to that end.  Less acid, and a great tasting cup of coffee!

I did a lot of research as to how to do that.  Of course there are things you can buy to facilitate doing this, and I have tried a couple of them.  They work great, but like anything else over time they need maintenance.  I got to the point where I needed to buy replacement parts for one of my units, and I decided there had to be an easy way to do this using stuff I basically already had around the house or could easily get locally...after all you are just soaking coffee in water, right?

The main thing is I wanted it to be easy, fast, and be able to do large batches since my wife and I drink plenty of coffee.  Also, since cold brewing is a little less efficient, you can make it more cost effective by brewing the same grounds twice (the first batch gives you an espresso strength syrup, and the second batch is regular strength coffee), so I wanted to be able to do that as well.  To follow my process you will need:

A 2-quart Mason jar
A small strainer
A restaurant style pitcher...needs to have a lip around the pour spout
Something to put the final product in...I use a juice carafe
Paper towels
Scissors
And of course coffee!

A note about coffee choice...we have found that the end product is so much smoother and more delicious that we can buy a less expensive coffee and get the same results as when we were brewing premium coffee the traditional way.  Another thing to consider to help keep your cold-brewing costs down.
 
 
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cattyb8 months ago
Love my cold brew!
Instead of cutting the strainer up, I found a large-ish one that fits exactly in the top of my storage pitcher and perfectly holds a standard coffee filter. I "brew" in a 2quart Rubbermaid fridge bottle then strain the contents through the lined strainer directly into my storage vessel.
The only drawback is sometimes having to wait for the level in the strainer to go down, but it's well worth not rushing the process for 1.5+ quarts of low-acid caffeine heaven!!
rgbarnes1 year ago
Your jar appears to be a one quart, not a two quart. One quart also agrees with your comment of making 32 ounces. quart jars are readily available as are the lids and rings. Half gallon jars are more difficult to find since they are not recommended for canning anything but apple and grape juice except in commercial canneries.
littlebadwren (author)  rgbarnes1 year ago
Nope...definitely a 2-quart jar...and yes they are certainly not easy to find. There are plenty of places to order them, but I got mine at Michael's craft supply store...they sell them for craft/storage purposes. I am not canning anything, so they work great for my purposes. Also, the lids and rings are the same size as a wide-mouth quart jar (perhaps that is why you thought it was a quart jar), so replacing those parts is not a problem.

The comment below you are referring to has nothing to do with the process I outlined in the Instructable, I was explaining an alternate way which was how I actually experimented with the process to see if it was even worth pursuing. I used coffee bags and water in a 1-quart measuring cup.
depotdevoid2 years ago
Quick question: do you brew it on the counter or in the fridge?
littlebadwren (author)  depotdevoid2 years ago
I have done both...right now with this process I am doing it on the counter since I have an airtight container. Doesn't make any difference so far as I can tell...

Also, a quick way to give it a try without investing too much time or trouble is to use the single cup coffee bags...the ones that look like tea bags...that's actually how I got started since that is what we had on hand when I decided I wanted to try it. I can't remember the proportion I used, but I think it was like 8 or 10 bags in 32 oz of water. Come to think of it, I wonder if you could brew a regular cup of coffee with just one bag if you let it sit overnight...
Oh man, I'm drinking my first cup of coffee in months . . . I missed this almost as much as I miss smoking. Fingers crossed, I'm hoping my heartburn doesn't start acting up later on.

Thanks for this, it just felt so un-American, drinking tea all the time!
littlebadwren (author)  depotdevoid2 years ago
Well, did it haunt you later?!?

My husband went on a two-day business trip and couldn't wait to get back to his cold-brew...he said every cup of coffee gave him terrible heartburn...

It did come back, unfortunately. Today however, I watered it down a bit more and only had one cup, and I'm just fine! I think I just have to learn to drink it in moderation, which is hard 'cause it's really delicious coffee.
depotdevoid2 years ago
Nice! I stopped drinking coffee about six months ago, my heartburn was just killing me. I've been drinking tea ever since, but it's just not the same . . . I'll definitely give this a try, thanks for sharing!
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