In this episode of Drips & Draughts, Cary and I tackle some of the most common questions that we receive regarding cold brewing, draft coffee and nitro coffee. In addition to this, we enjoy a couple local beers from Southern / Central California breweries. Finally, we have a good laugh about the film Kicking & Screaming. A Will Ferrel movie where his characters is introduced to coffee, more specifically, the Half Caff.
This episode is full of good stuff, you’ll have to listen to learn. Cheers!
Highlights & Takeaways
How to brew more than the common 5 gallon toddy batch.
Kegerators, power sources and serving draft coffee mobily.
Best type of roast to use for cold brew… Dark, medium, light?
Best method(s) pasteurize/preserve the cold brew for bottling?
“I’m not interested in cold brewing”
Will the customer interest [in draft/nitro coffee] and demand justify my investment?
If serving draft coffee in a beer taproom at night, how do you feel about decaf / half decaf cold brew?
Multiple questions about steeping time?
- Optimal time?
- Minimum time?
- Maximum time?
Cleaned vs sanitized brewing equipment – does it matter?
How to get the cascading head like on a Guinness?
Do you think that “cold breweries” will ever be a thing?
Episode 13 Transcript
Brendan: Hey there, welcome to episode 13 of the Drips and Draughts podcast. If you are looking for show notes for this episode you can to DripsAndDraughts.com/13. In today’s episode, we are going to be discussing a few common questions that we’ve received over the course of the last year or so while working in Cold brew and Draft Coffee. Prior to starting this podcast we sent out a questionnaire because we were getting so many questions about Cold brew and Draft coffee in general.
We sent out a questionnaire just asking “What are your questions, what are your most common questions? What are your biggest concerns?” We had a bunch of responses. We had over 200 responses. We went through that list quite a bit today and pulled out some of the common questions or some of the ones that we thought would be most helpful to discuss a little bit. Cary and I are going to tackle these one by one and go through the list of– I think pulled out about a dozen questions and we go through each one just have a small discussion on it.
Hopefully, it helps you out and hopefully it causes you to ask more questions. Let’s face it, in the grand scheme of things, Cold brewing is still pretty new and Draft in Nitro coffee is even newer. The more questions, the more testing, the more experimenting that we can all do the better. It just makes Cold brew and Nitro coffee better for everybody. In the spirit of making things better, I’m going to ask you guys if you would next time you are on iTunes find our podcast and leave us a review.
It’s not hard, it doesn’t take long, it doesn’t hurt and it will help this podcast out. In the spirit of making things better, help boost our podcast up the charts a little bit. Leave us a review. I look at our reviews on iTunes and I see I think we’ve got seven or eight on there and then I look at our download numbers for the podcasts and I think that’s less than one percent of the people– that less than a tenth of a percent of the people who listen. So we are just asking for just a little bit of your time.It takes probably less than, let’s say two minutes, two minutes max. Its quick, it’s easy and it will help this show out and more than anything it’s going to help the cold brew and draft coffee industry. Well, we try to share knowledge on this show.
Speaking of sharing knowledge and podcasts reviews, I actually just got an email or Cary and I got an email today. We get these couple times a week thanking us for both the podcasts and the e-book that we’ve written and speaking of e-books, here is another tangent I’m on two separate tangents right now, going in different directions by the way.
Our second e-book it’s been written, Cary is working on designing it. We are going to be releasing the second e-book The Definitive Guide to Draft Coffee. That’s going to be released here pretty soon and we’ll be releasing that to our private forum members. That’s the forums that’s at forum.coldbrewavenue.com. Reversing off those tangents, I was saying we get thanked all the time for releasing the e-book, for releasing the podcasts but we are always thanked via email.
Instead of thanking us via email, hope on over to iTunes and thank us with a review. We got a great thank you in the email today, I’ll actually read it to you, I just pulled it up. It says “Hey guys I’ve just downloaded your e-book and absolutely love it. What an awesome sharing of knowledge, you guys rock. I live in London and nitro cold brew is few and far between. It’s so hard to find here. I really want to get set up with the cold brew system…” he goes on and on to talk about his shop in London.
I know we are getting out there a lot, we are getting a lot of positive feedback, but if it’s not too much to ask, please pop on over to iTunes and leave us a review there. We definitely appreciate it.
This concludes the begging for reviews section of our podcast. Let’s get into the content.
I’m sure all of you guys who listen to this regularly is completely sick of hearing us ask for reviews every week, but it does help the show because if you are not finding us directly through our websites or through us, you are certainly not going to find the show just browsing through iTunes.
iTunes uses ratings and reviews to rank shows and there’s just so many different podcasts now. Your rating, your review helps our show. Alright, that’s enough of that, let’s get into today’s episode tackling some of the common questions about cold brew and draft coffee.
Brendan: Welcome back to the Drips and Draughts podcast. As always I’m Brendan Hansen and today joined by my brother Cary again. We’re going to be talking about common questions that we’ve had and a lot of questions that we’ve received via e-mail. Before we do that we’re going to talk beer a little bit. Our first podcast together we had a Rogue Ale, we shared a Rogue ale and today we’re having a –what’s this one? Figueroa Mountain Brewing Company, Lizards Mouth Imperial I.P.A.
Cary: Lizards Mouth?
Brendan: Lizards Mouth.
Cary: I thought it was Lizard’s Breath.
Brendan: It could have been. I feel like I’ve got Lizards Breath now.
Cary: I was going to say I got lizard breath.
Brendan: It’s Good beer though. It’s 9.2% alcohol double I.P.A.
Cary: That really dries you out.
Brendan: Sure does, you need, we’re gonna need another one. What’s next on the docket?
Cary: Next Island Brewing Company out of Carpentaria California. This one looks good.
Brendan: Because this is our second podcast, we’re having two beers. I don’t know if we can keep this pace up.
Cary: Especially since there are– what are these 22 ounce bottles.
Brendan: I don’t think the wives will be too happy when we show up. Sorry honey, I can’t come home yet.
Brendan: I got to mention your bottle opener that’s pretty top notch. I got to finish my Lizard Mouth and you can get into your Island Brewing IPA.
Cary: Sounds good.
How Can I Brew More than the 5 Gallon Capacity of My Toddy?
Brendan: Today we’re talking about some common questions that we get about cold brewing and draft coffee. We’ve got quite a few, we’ve got over 200 in the bank. 200 questions that we’ve received. We’ve pulled about ten, maybe a dozen out that we’re going to discuss today. First one. How do I brew more than in my toddy? How do I brew more than five gallons at a time? And obviously pretty simple….
Cary: This is what we set out to accomplish basically by launching Cold Brew Avenue is making a system that allows you to make much more than five gallons at a time.
Brendan: At Cold Brew Avenue we currently have systems for brewing 15 and 30 gallons. One of the nice things, one of the biggest compliments I think we get about the systems is that they’re entirely reusable. We answer the question a lot like do I have to replace the filter and the answer to that is, no you don’t have to replace the filter it’s stainless steel. You got to clean it, you’ve got to take care of it and it’ll last you indefinitely.
We’ve got a 15 gallon system a 30 gallon system and we’ve actually got a 50 gallon system that works. If you want to be more than in your toddy, you want to brew more than five gallons. Check out our systems check them out at coldbrewavenue.com.
Do Kegerators Need a Power Source?
Brendan: Next question and believe it or not we get this question quite a bit. It’s do kegerators need a power source? If so how do I serve mobily without a power source? Obviously kegerators do need a power source they’re basically just refrigerators to serve mobile.
Cary: You have to have some generator if you’re going to plug it in or honestly the kegerators is probably not your best solution to go mobile with unless you have a generator right?
Brendan: I think some people put converters in their car to where they can convert the D.C. to AC power, but most people who are serving mobile are using some sort of ice box. What do we do when we serve at beer events, we… tub of ice.
Cary: Yeah, tub of ice. We have a jockey box so if you are keeping your keg out in the warm air it runs through what’s called a jockey box. It’s basically a big cooler with either a coil or a chill plate in it that all of the beverage comes up through runs through this cold coil and by the time it comes out the faucet it’s nice and cold for you. That’s what we use for beer events for the most part and I know people are getting into that with coffee recently as well.
Brendan: I’ve always said that for flat cold brew that’s an awesome solution. I haven’t tried it for Nitro. However, we do have one customer who says he uses it successfully. I think the only thing that you need to be careful of if you are going to serve through a jockey box with nitro coffee at a high pressure, you’ve got to check all your connections because jockey boxes are going to have more connections going from the keg into the coil, out of the coil into a line into the shank. You’ve got to make sure your connections are very, very secure because you’re serving at high pressure.
Cary: The other option too, which we’ve been recommending a lot to people lately is we have ice-blankets– the wrap around a keg, and you freeze these wrap them around the keg and then a neoprene jacket will go around that. That will keep your keg cold, and you can just set it out, put a tap right on the keg. You’re good to go.
Brendan: Right. So that’s a good option if, like, say, you’re going to serve it a farmer’s market or something. You’re kegs already chilled, pull it out of the fridge, put in the blanket, put the jacket on it, and it’ll stay cold for six hours — probably more.
Cary: Yes. I think they’re supposed to stay cold for almost a day, but if you’re out in the warm sun that’ll vary, but it’ll last you through the day, through your farmer’s market for sure.
Brendan: Right on. kegerators, yes, they do need a power source typically if you’re going to use a kegerator, you’re going to use it, we suggest that you use it, put it somewhere and keep it there, don’t move it around a lot, it’s not worth the hassle, because you can make a mobile draft system that is much more portable than a kegerator.
Cary: And, cheapest method. We do this at parties occasionally. We’ll just throw a keg of beer or coffee into a bucket of ice. Corny kegs have a dip tube, that goes all the way to the bottom. As long as the bottom half of your keg is cold, it’s drawing from there, so you’re going to be serving cold liquid. You don’t have to worry so much about the top.
It’s not the most appealing, but it works if you’re on a budget and you’re just trying to get by.
Brendan: Get’s the job done.
What Type of Roast for Cold Brew? Light, Medium, Dark?
Brendan: Alright. Next question was what type of roast should I use for my cold brew, the dark roast, a medium roast, or a light roast? I don’t think there’s a right answer for this, obviously, we probably have our own preferences. I really don’t think there’s right answer. I guess it comes down to almost like brewing beer, you’re not going to brew the same beer every time. If you like something you’ll stick with that, but you can obviously have a lot of variety in that.
Cary: Right. I think that’s what’s so great about this, cold brewing coffee. Everybody is just kind of experimenting and trying everything different now. It’s really starting the craft movement of coffee, I feel like in that sense. We just had someone contact us the other day, asking this. I’m trying to remember what. Let me–
Brendan: Go pull the e-mail?
Cary: I’m going to pull this up.
Brendan: [laughs] So continuing on the type of roast, I prefer a dark or a medium roast if I’m talking about my personal preference. That’s what I like when I’m serving a cold brew coffee, especially on nitro. I love the dark roast. The reason been is that it reminds me a lot of a stout. You get a lot of those rich roasty kind of characteristics that you get out of a stout or a porter. It just reminds me a lot of a dark beer, especially in the mouth feel too.
My preference is a dark or a medium to dark roast, obviously light roast have their purpose as well. It’s really just a matter of preference more than anything else. Alright, we’re kind a back here. While Cary is digging up this -mail, I poured my Island IPA from Island brewing company which is in Carpinteria, California. It’s about 15 minutes south of Santa Barbara.
If you ever in southern California or central California definitely worth to trip. This brewery, has a giant grass field outside of it which makes way to the beach. It’s in an absolutely beautiful area. You can see the Channel Islands from the tasting room. This is actually a really good beer.
Cary: It’s delicious.
Brendan: IPA, 60 IBUs, 6.6% alcohol by volume. Check them out, Island brewing company. I’m pretty sure they distribute. I got to say thanks to our little sister Kelly for getting us these beers for a Father’s Day. We’re enjoying them right now. If you ever need any sort of handmade wood art work-
Cary: Reclaimed wood art work, awesome stuff.
Brendan: If you seen our wedding bar, she helped with that. She put all the reclaimed wood on that sucker. She does awesome work. She does custom painted signs. Check here out at goodobsessions.com.
Anyways, getting back to the type of roast you to use, dark, medium, or light. Cary got a interesting email the other day, and let him-
Cary: Yes, I just dug this up. This is something we haven’t even tried yet. I feel it’s kind a stupid not having tried it, because we brew all the time. Typically, like you said, we enjoy medium roast and dark roast coffee. This customer emailed us saying that he had just spoke with the commercial coffee roaster. The coffee roaster had mentioned that probably use light roasted beans because they–
Brendan: They retain more oils?
Cary: They retain more oils because they’re exposed to a lot less heat than a medium or dark roast. He was just wondering if keeping a lighter roast in the cold brew would make for a more full palate profile. Honestly, I don’t know what to tell him because we haven’t tried it. It seems like it would make sense.
Brendan: It does make sense, I wonder if– the thing with cold brewing though, is that you’re not extracting a lot of those oils and the acid so I don’t know… I typically brew the same coffee. When we cold brew, we basically, we go to Costco and we buy a ton of coffee because we do test batches so we get– I hate to say this coffee lovers but we get cheap coffee [laughs]. We do because we run through batches and we divvy it out to friends and family and we test our brewing systems.
Cary: If you want to provide us with any coffee that you roast feel free to ship it to us.
Brendan: Send us an e-mail at [email protected] and we’d be happy to use your coffee and definitely give you a shout out.
Cary: I would also worry a little bit about the too much oil in these kegs. We’ve seen when we open up a kegs of our cold brew coffee and there’s still some in there. We have a good oil residue kind of film sitting on the top and I don’t know how much is too much or if that-
Brendan: I think some coffees are going to have more than others that keg that we opened up today that we had oils on was a flavored coffee which probably contributed a little bit definitely did. Because I’ve opened up cold brew kegs before and I never see that. They’re clean. There was probably a lot of flavoring in the coffee bean. Definitely interesting topic. I would love to do– that’s the problem is we never do side by side comparisons. We should definitely start looking in to do a dark and a medium and a light side by side by side.
Cary: All same time, all same ratio.
Brendan: If you’re out there and you want to send us five pounds of each type of bean we would be happy to promote your company. Let us know we’ll do the test and we’ll get that going. Next up, next question — to answer that. What type of roast should I use? Totally your preference. You guys like with anything in life some people like S.U.V.’s, some people like cars your choice for the most part. Pick what you like and run with that.
What is the Best Method to Pasteurize/Preserve Cold Brew for Bottling?
The next question we got was, what is the best method to pasteurize or preserve the cold brew for bottling? As a general rule of thumb, we typically say that cold brews good for about two to three weeks if you have a sanitary process and you put it in the fridge afterwards. If you want to pasteurize it, when you pasteurize either heat’s involved or something that one of our customers started talking to me about the other day was high pressure pasteurization.
I don’t know a whole lot about this right now but it’s definitely something that’s worth looking into. Because it’s different you’re not applying heat to the product so it’s not changing at all.
Cary: It’s not going to change your flavors or anything. You don’t know how heat is going to alter your the taste or mouthfeel of your coffee. The pressure gets so great that it kills off any bacteria, microorganisms whatever.
Brendan: A lot of companies that make cheeses, meats and I think a lot of juice companies put their products through high pressure pasteurization and the way this work is they’ve got these giant machines that you load up. You can’t use glass bottles, which is kind of a deterring factor for a lot of the people who are bottling cold brew coffee. You have to put it in plastic, but what it does is you load up this machine, you put all your bottles in and it basically simulates the pressure of sending your product down to the bottom of the Marianas Trench in the ocean.
It’s something like forty eight thousand or forty eight hundred thousand pounds per square inch of pressure, which nothing can survive that absolute pressure. It’s interesting, I don’t know a lot about it, but, I’m going to try to get this guy on to the show so he can talk about. Talk about the process behind it and I’ve got to imagine that that would make the life and the shelf life just much longer if not indefinite.
Cary: That’d be great. That’s another question we get to like people ask us all the time, “Should I use plastic bottles or glass bottles?” I know pretty much everyone in the craft or beer industry or it seems like now to the coffee industry wants glass. It looks nicer, it’s cleaner, seems healthier, safer, but like you were saying, that’s not going to be an option for glass, but there have been some cool plastic bottles coming out on the market for this stuff.
Brendan: Yes, you got a weight of pros and cons, and then BPA-free, just the plastics. A lot of people just don’t like buying plastic bottles just because you hear that plastic leaches into the liquids. There’s obviously a lot that you got a weigh into your decision on that but yes, definitely a very cool topic to get into.
Our next question or not so much a question, [laughter] we got over 200 responses when we asked people for questions about cold brew like, “Send it. Fill out this questionnaire. Let us know what you think.” This guy decided to fill out the questionnaire and his question was, “I’m not interested in cold brewing,” [laughter].
Cary: Thanks for your time.
Brendan: Yes, thanks for taking the time to fill out the questionnaire. I don’t understand it, but got a kick out of that. Hopefully, you guys will too.
Will the Customer Interest and Demand Justify My Investment
Brendan: This next one’s interesting. Whenever I talk to somebody on the phone, I shouldn’t say whenever, but this is a question I get when I’m talking to people on the phone, they ask, “Will the customer interest in cold brew or draft coffee justify my investment in all the equipment?”
I think just based on what I’ve seen locally and what I’ve heard from a lot of our customers is “absolutely.” I’ve had a call back saying, “I paid for all the equipment in a day. We had a line out the door. People to it.” That was in a busy shopping center in Barbara. If you’re not in like a very, very busy city or town, I think it’s still absolutely worth it. It adds a buzz about the coffee.
Your generating some interested because you’re doing something different. Especially now that Starbucks is doing this, people are going to start talking about this more.
Cary: Right. They’re going to start searching it out, “Where can I find this?” If they find it elsewhere than Starbucks, they’re going to be interested in that. We got clients doing the farmers’ markets. They’ll do batch, five gallon batch go out there and come home with couple hundred bucks cash at the end of the day.
Brendan: We sent a cold brew system now to a guy in New York. It was still in the UPS truck and making it’s way out to New York and he sent me an email after a farmers’ market that he did in the evening. He said, “I took three gallons of coffee and it’s sold out by whatever, seven o’clock and I’ve got another hour here.” Or whatever it might have been. It’s like, “I need to scale up. I need to take more.”
Cary: That’s what we find most of the time.
Brendan: Honestly, I think that, “Will the customer interest justify the investment?” Absolutely. Cold brew, one, just that word right now, that term, there’s a lot of buzz around the term, “cold brew”. Then if you’re going to spend the money on a draft coffee system, there’s also a buzz around nitro coffee. You can give a lot of thanks to Starbucks for they’re going to start doing national advertising campaigns around nitro coffee. If it’s something that you don’t have in your shop, I think it’s something that you’ll… people are going to start asking for it.
Cary: Yes, there’s such an appeal with this. It’s like getting a draft beer. People love seeing that especially that Guinness look, that cascading effect. People go nuts over that. Just having that kegerator out there, wherever you’re at, in your shop or out at a market or wherever and they see that, people are going to line up.
Brendan: Right. I think it’s going to turn coffee shops into coffee bars. People might go sit down and this goes back to the, “What type of roast should I use?” You could put four, five taps up and have a light roast, a medium roast and a dark roast.
Cary: Flavored roast: vanilla roast, hazelnut, whatever.
Brendan: Then you could go flat and you can also go nitro and serve it like a Guinness.
Cary: Didn’t we get a question about cold-brew coffee bar? Do we think that there’s going to be a new trend there?
Brendan: Yes, you want to jump to that one and then we can come back?
Cary: Yes, it seems like it makes sense right now.
Do You Think That “Cold Breweries” Will Ever be a Thing?
Brendan: This last question that we put on this list here. He said, “We ordered six of your Cold Brew Avenue, 30-gallon cold-brew systems and constantly brew new types of coffees and roasts to serve on draft.” This is somebody who’s actually doing that.
They asked, “Do you think that ‘cold breweries’ will every be a thing?”
If I was a roaster, if I was getting beans in, that would be an awesome way to showcase
Cary: Right. All the different types you have. All the different varieties and roast levels.
Cary: That would be awesome.
Brendan: We’ve mentioned one of the local roasteries Beacon Coffee before. They’re out here in Ventura, California. They have a roastery that’s right next door to a brewery so if they were to do like a cold brewery type thing where they had two, three, four different coffees on top, someone might walk into the brewery, have some beers and then walk over to the coffee shop and try a couple two-ounce tasters, three-ounce tasters of different types of coffee.
I can definitely see that being a thing; happening in the future, especially down in San Diego. We were just down in San Diego last weekend and you can take 20 steps without walking to another brewery when we were in downtown.
Cary: Right. You’ve got to think there’s going to be a ton of potential partnerships between coffee roasters and breweries now even because we know breweries are using cold brew coffee in their stouts, in their porters and whatever. So it’s just another potential-
Brendan: Yes, just another link in the market. And these breweries, they would use beans and now, all these companies are cold-brewing. A lot of breweries are using cold brew and they’re adding it into the beer later in the process rather than adding beans maybe either to the mash, to the boil or at the end. It’s like a dry hop. They’re adding cold brew into the fermenter or at the very end of the boil like they’re cold brewing for flavor and-
Cary: -Cleaner, smoother taste in the beer.
Cary: I don’t know if coffee breweries will be a thing. It seems like it could be but I’m just going to throw my million-dollar idea and if any of you guys pick this up, you owe us for that-
Brendan: 10% off.
Cary: Yes. That’s right. But I could absolutely see- You see this all the time. Right now, popping up are taprooms. Taprooms are serving 20, 30+ different beers from around the U.S., the world, wherever. But I can totally see a coffee taproom opening up or even if it was a roaster doing that, open up their own little taproom. I guess you’d call it a brewery at that point, but I could see that happening, where people could go in there and have little two, four round tasters of all these different cold brew coffees on draft. Sounds like a cool idea.
Brendan: Why not. That’s something that could happen at a taproom. If you got 20 taps, why not put the last two as coffee?
Brendan: There’s a lot of designated drivers out there. There’s a lot of people who don’t drink beer. So, it’s a good idea for taprooms as well. Going back to the cold breweries, I know, I can’t think of their name, but I know we had a client in Dubai who ordered a bunch of systems and they were going to put them behind glass so the customers could see them. They were going to have their thermometers facing out so they- Basically just a nice look; all the stainless steel behind glass. This is where your coffee is being made.
Cary: Showcasing that cleanliness. That neat, clean look.
Brendan: Exactly. I think there might be something that pops up, especially in a city scene. We’re kind of a suburb out here, but in a cityscape, like in San Diego, I can definitely see something like that happening.
How Do You Feel About Decaf / Half Decaf Cold Brew?
Brendan: Alright. Getting back to some of the questions, we got like three or four more here. This one says, “Knowing that folks will be drinking this in a beer taproom at night, how do you feel about decaf or a half decaf cold brew?” This is actually a really good question. One of our clients back East, he’s Barkeater Coffee. He says he goes to a nightly- not nightly but once a week he does an evening farmers market, and he only serves decaf cold brew at that time. And I think he sells out of it every night.
Brendan: When he said that I was like, “Dude, that’s a great idea.” Because eight out of ten people are probably going to say, “You know what, I can’t have a coffee right now.” But you offer them a decaf and they are like, “Yeah, I’ll try that.” So, in a taproom at night, I think that’s a great idea, especially half decaf. What’s that Will Farrel movie?”
Cary: Half caff?
Brendan: Half caff! [laughter]
Cary: Give me a half caff, some soccer movie or something.
Brendan: I’m going to have to cut that in. Half caff! [laughter]
Cary: End the show with that.
Brendan: Yes, I think I might have to.
Kicking & Screaming Coffee Clip
Phil: Hello. Hi there. Hi. My name is Phil, this is my son Sam and I’m brand new to coffee. So I don’t want too much.
Barista 1: Okay.
Phil: Can you take half of the regular version of coffee and mix it with half of the decaffeinated version or is that – is that just too weird a thing to ask for?
Barista 1: Half caff?
Barista 2: Right half caff.
Phil: Half caff, we’re going to have a half caff.
Sam: We’re going to have half caff.
Patron: [Sarcastic] Yay.
Barista 1: And a half caff?
Phil: That’s me. MOTHER OF PEARL!!! That is hot. Wooooo…. That was hot.
Barista 1: You should have waited for the jacket.
Phil: Yes. I know. I got too eager. Another half caff.
Barista 1: Another half caff.
Cary: No, but that’s interesting too, because going back to what we were talking about earlier light roast is very, very light roasted of course whereas a decaf is over roasted. You’re burning the caffeine out of this thing.
Brendan: Is that how that works?
Cary: I believe so.
Brendan: I don’t know.
Cary: Crap, we’re going to get yelled at.[laughter].
Cary: Some bunch of dummies. You big dummy. But anyway, yes, so it’s, that would be interesting to test again like, you know showing our lack of knowledge on both parts just because we’re you know just creatures of habit just going back to our, you know, what we like, what we know but —
Brendan: Right. So yes, I think that putting a decaf cold brew or nitro on top of the tap room would be a great idea. If your tap room’s only, you know in the evenings or at night, absolutely I think that’s a tremendous idea. Especially after talking to a few clients who do serve you know our farmers markets. Barkeater coffee being one. He says it’s a hit.
Cary: Next question.
Brendan: Okay. So this is multiple questions. We’ve —
Cary: I’m not interested in cold brewing [laughter].
Cary: We did that one.
Brendan: We did that one. Yes, we got to call that guy.
What is the Optimal Steeping Time? Maximum/Minimum?
Brendan: So this one we got a lot. This showed up probably every, I don’t know, every dozen questions, this one would show up again and it’s about steeping time. What’s the optimal time, what’s the minimum time, what’s the maximum time, we have variations of this question, but the question about steeping time showed up very frequently and just like the type of roast, I think this can vary.
Probably it could vary based on the type of roast, it could vary based on your taste preference, it could vary based on the temperature that you’re brewing that because I know that some of our customers brew at serving temperature would down it like 34 degree Fahrenheit. We just brew at room temperature. I think this — we just did a batch of 12 gallons just last night. We kegged it this morning, you know it’s about 78 degrees probably, a low of 74. What’s that temp?
Cary: We’re at 76.
Cary: Got the AC on today [laughter].
Brendan: So as far as steeping time goes, I have gone a minimum of 12, I’ve never tried going less. 12 is good, I mean I get great flavor I feel like. I’ve done a max– I’ve done 30 hours on accident and —
Cary: I was going to say I did a 36 on accident. Turned out fine, but, you know optimal, I keep it under 24.
Brendan: Under 24?
Cary: Yes like usually 16 to 20ish I like.
Brendan: When I got up to 30, I was — I wasn’t happy with it because it was a coffee that I brewed before. It was — I’m trying to — it was a Costco coffee, I’m sorry people.
Cary: Send us coffee.
Brendan: Yes. But —
Brendan: Please. But it was entirely different than all the other previous batches I had done. It really — I don’t know at what point, the coffee really started to change, but, you know, having always done it in like in 18 to 20 hour period, when it went beyond 24 and got into, I think I ended up kegging it at about 30 hours, 32 maybe. It was different. It wasn’t – it wasn’t what I was used to, it wasn’t what I liked. So, you know it’s interesting. So steeping time, I would say under 24 hours, but I wouldn’t say that there is an optimal steeping time.
Cary: Right. I think that varies depending on every roast temperature like you said.
Brendan: Yes, but all that and then obviously everybody’s got their own preference. So I mean are you ever going to make everybody happy? Absolutely not. Play with your beans, if you’re a roaster, play with your roast and you know do a bunch of mason jars. Do experiment line up eight mason jars and start pulling them off every two hours after the 12 hour mark and see what you like. I say that like we do it, but we don’t we just do giant batches.
Cary: You’re going to be more critical than anyone else tasting your stuff. It goes back to when we brew our beer we’re super critical of it, but when people come over they gobble it down. What are you doing but you’re going to be more critical than anybody. 99 out of 100 people will probably like it even if you don’t, but yes.
Brendan: Yes steeping time you’ve got to play with it.
Cleaned or Sanitized? Does it Matter?
Brendan: Alright, two more questions, this one. Cleaned versus sanitized brewing equipment does it matter?
Cary: Oh yes.
Brendan: Oh yes, both right.
Cary: Yes, very much.
Brendan: If you didn’t listen to episode 12 of this podcast check that out. We talk about how to clean and sanitize your brewing equipment with Matt Johnson from Trident Coffee. Yes, your brewing equipment. We started as home brewers so we’re used to cleaning our equipment. After we’re done brewing we clean it and we try to make it like new again. We try to get it back to the state that it was in when we received it.
Cary: Yes, we spent a good hour scrubbing and cleaning and drying.
Brendan: The process should be the same for cold brewing, especially if you are using… if you’re using a plastic bucket absolutely because plastic buckets can get scratches in them. Those scratches can harbor bacteria and other stuff that you don’t absolutely want in your coffee. With stainless steel you’ve got a little more wiggle in there, but even with that stainless you’re making a significant investment in the hardware.
You want to make it last so when you’re done brewing coffee’s are oily. They are acidic, so you want to at least set a minimum use a lot of warm soapy water scrub get all those oils out. Get it out of the filter basket because that filter basket is going to be reused, it’s not like a mesh nylon bag that you are going to throw out or a paper filter.
Cary: That’s more important to clean than the kettle itself. There are so many crevices and things that can harbor oils wash that thing well.
Brendan: When you’re cold brewing those oils you’ve seen baking grease when it’s high it’s runny, but when it cools down it starts to get thick. If you put in the fridge, it’s going to be hard. Think about coffee oils the same way when those oils are cold, they are going to bind up a tightly woven filter like the one in the system.
Cary: Yes, you’re not going to get any flow out of that thing if you’re not cleaning it well.
Brendan: Cleaned versus sanitizing does it matter. Clean your system when you’re done, get anything out of it, rinse the ball vales rinse the system rinse the filter basket. If you’ve got a bristle brush like a plastic bristle brush, scrub it, soapy water. We recommend Brew Clean and PBW to clean that stuff out. Once it’s cleaned rinse it before your next batch you’re going to want to sanitize it, right.
Brendan: Just like brewing same process as brewing so you’re going to want to use a food safe sanitizer, make sure you soak all your equipment. We use a no rinse sanitizer a sanitizer that we use in home brewing. I don’t know if it’s commercially safe or friendly or recommended, but that’s something that we do. Obviously, there’s 100s of cleaners and sanitizers on the market.
Whatever you use make sure it’s safe to use and follow the directions of the manufacturer. Clean versus sanitize does it matter?
Yes, it matters do both.
You will thank yourself, your customers will thank you and at the end of the day you’ll have a more consistent product.
How to Get Coffee With a Cascading Head Like Guinness?
Brendan: All right, lastly, how to get the cascading head on a Guinness.
Cary: Yes, we get this daily probably.
Brendan: We got two or three emails about this today somebody said I got all this stuff it’s not pouring right. With nitro coffee one thing to keep in mind is that it’s like carbonating a beer. You’ve got to get gas into the liquid.
Cary: You do that two ways by time or heavy force and shaking or what we’re using now as our carbonating lids that have a diffuser stone at the bottom of the keg and it forces this nitrogen out from the bottom of the keg. Goes up through the coffee and infuses it quickly, but a lot of people are just connecting their gas to their keg and it’s not-
Brendan: And they are trying to pour it immediately.
Cary: -immediately, yes. That’s not going to work.
Brendan: Right. Breweries when they carbonate a beer they’ll hook up a giant fermentation tank or a giant brite tank to CO2 at serving pressure, and they’ll let it sit for couple of weeks. There’s this 14 day carbonation period where that beer slowly carbonates, and it eventually hits equilibrium. There’s specific volumes of CO2 that get into that beer and then it’s eventually hits that carbonation level.
With coffee you’re trying to do the same thing. But you’re trying to do it with Nitrogen. Nitrogen is a gas that’s not as easily soluble in liquids. It takes either more time, more pressure, or more agitation. The carbonating stone that the carbonation lid that we’ve started selling and using is worth wonders.
Cary: Yes. Check those out for sure. We’ve done a couple of videos on those too, we carbed up a keg of flat cold brew coffee and served nitro coffee within 20 minutes using one of those. It’s on kegoutlet.com.
Brendan: Yes. We did studio. We can do a quick link, go to dripsanddraughts.com/carbstone. We’ll have that redirect to the product of the videos so you can check that out.
Cary: Perfect. Then the other thing to know with this, some people are trying to carb their or nitrogenate their coffee before cooling it down, they pull it out of whatever system they’re using, their Toddy, their Cold Brew Avenue system, it’s at room temperature. Gases do not infuse until warm liquids very well at all. You want to make sure your coffee, your beer, whatever you’re using, is as cold as possible. You got to refrigerate that thing.
Before refrigerating attach the gas house to the gas post and pull the pressure to leave out when they lid a couple of times — get all the oxygen out of there. You want a sanitary environment for your coffee, get it down to
room serving temp, and then start nitrogenating.
Brendan: Yes. I think that does it. That final question, how to get the cascading head on you like a Guinness, either time or pick up a carb stone and that will definitely help the process. It’ll help speed it long. I think that’ll about today.
Cary: Good talk.
Brendan: Thanks for joining us on another episode of the Drips and Draughts podcast. For links and show notes for this episode you can go to dripsanddraughts.com/13. That’s going to do it for today, but we look forward to see you again next friday.
Are you looking to learn more about cold brew and draught coffee? Join us in the cold brew avenue, private community to connect with and learn from other cold brewing draught coffee professionals. Plus, get access to exclusive contents such as e-books, how to videos, buyers guides and more. You can learn more and apply for membership at forum.coldbrewavenue.com.
Thanks to Keg Outlet for sponsoring this podcast and thank you to everyone who is contributing questions and you for tuning in. Thank you for listening. That does it for this week, we’re looking forward to seeing you again for the next episode of Drips & Draughts.
Coach Ditka: Hey, coffee is the number one drink in the world, everybody drinks it, even little kids in Mexico drink coffee, drink the coffee it will make you feel better.
Phil: I don’t want–
Phil: Mmmmm…. It’s good.
Coach Ditka: Yes, picks you up, calms you down. It’s the life blood that drives the dreams of champions.