I am excited today to talk a little bit about our cold brew process and how you at home can do it as easily as we do it in our shops.
So, what is cold brew? How is it made? And what do you need to make it at home? Cold brew is basically no different than hot brewed coffee except, as the name implies, you brew it cold. By doing that you’re going to maybe make the flavor a little bit smoother, a little bit more chocolatey, and a little bit more caramel forward as opposed to bringing out the brighter flavors or acidity you might get in a hot brew.
The process for doing this is pretty simple: you’re going to take some coffee, grind it on the coarsest setting you have, and then steep it for anywhere from 12 to 24 hours. What you’ll need to do this is some coffee, some water, and a filter.
When producing cold brew for the shops, we generally don’t like using a dark-roasted coffee. When you use a dark roasted coffee, it brings out too much bitter-sweet and charcoaley flavors with too much intensity. When the brew method is already giving you smooth chocolatey flavors, a medium roast really suits the process better.
As you measure out your coffee and your water, you will want to use a ratio of one gallon of water for every pound of coffee. When producing cold brew on a mass scale, we often will make batches containing up to 35 pounds of coffee (and 35 gallons of water). However, in the video below we are only using 3.5 pounds of coffee, and, for brewing at home, as single pound should suffice.
With regard to the filter, when making cold brew for the shops, we use a muslin filter rather than a paper or mesh or very fine mesh filter made of stainless steel. We do this because we find that the muslin filter will give you a full flavored cup with a chocolatey taste while getting all the sediment and preventing the murkiness and grittiness the sediment can produce.
Once you have your coffee and water measured out, and after you have chosen your filter, we can begin making our cold brew.
So, to start, we will pour our coffee into our grinder and grind right on into our container using the coarsest setting we have. Next we’re going to transfer our coarsely ground coffee to our filter. After the coffee has been transferred, we’re going to add a little bit of water first then we’re going to give it a stir just so we can kind of get the coffee saturated evenly, making sure there are no dry pockets before adding the rest of our water.
One thing that’s really important with cold brew is to giving it some good stirs during the first 10-15 minutes as the coffee starts absorbing the water. If you don’t do any stirring, the coffee’s going to float to the top and your extraction could get a little weak. So, during the first 10-15 minutes, give it a stir. Let it sit for a couple minutes. Come back. Give it one more stir. And eventually you will see the color on top change from a dark color to that of a hazelnut-looking foam.
At this point we will then let our coffee steep for 12-24 hours. When producing cold brew for the shops, we don’t necessarily brew it cold, but at room temperature. Therefore our extraction usually takes about 16 hours. But, if your wish to try putting it in the fridge, you may have to go closer to 24 hours to get the flavors you’re looking for.
As you become more experienced making your own cold brew, there are lots of ways you can alter this method, especially with regard to the coffee and the filter you use, as well as the temperature you steep it at, and the extraction time you aim for. But these instructions and the video tutorial below should definitely get you started.
I hope you at home have fun giving this a try and I hope your cold brew turns out great. Thank you.