Cold Brew Concentrate - Advice Needed...

efaden

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Dec 29, 2011
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Hey All,

Second time posting, but I am getting into cold brew coffee and could use some help. I have read a ton of forum posts, blog posts, etc and am still a little confused as the advice seems to range from course to fine grind, 4 to 1 ratio up to 10 to 1 ratio, etc.

I am planning to mix the ground beans and water in an Erlenmeyer flask and then use cheese cloth to filter it after its done into a pitcher to put into the fridge.

My questions are

1) What is the best type/roast of coffee to brew cold brew with? (Dark? Medium? Light? French? Espresso?)

2) What is the best grind size to brew cold brew with? (Coarse? Medium? Fine?) (I'm using a Baratza Virtuoso)

3) What is the best ratio to brew cold brew concentrate with? (1:2, 1:4, 1:6, 1:8, etc. I'm going to use metric and weights so I can reproduce batches)

4) Any other advice?

I'm looking for a good starting point and then am planning to do little test batches. But thus far I have been unable to get a good baseline to start at.

Thanks!

-Eric
 
I use the Toddy thingamajig. Their directions call for 1lb. of coffee, add 4 cups of water, let sit for 5min and add 5 more cups of water, no stirring, steep 12 hours.

I use a medium grind.

Since I doctor it up with powdered Ghirardelli chocolate, caramel espresso syrup, and half and half, for me it doesn't matter much what coffee I start with.

Works great.
 
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I use the Toddy thingamajig. Their directions call for 1lb. of coffee, add 4 cups of water, let sit for 5min and add 5 more cups of water, no stirring, steep 12 hours.

I use a medium grind.

Since I doctor it up with powdered Ghirardelli chocolate, caramel espresso syrup, and half and half, for me it doesn't matter much what coffee I start with.

Works great.

Ok... so total of 1lb to 9 cups of water.... ... so about 1:5 ratio of beans to water by weight.

Thanks.
 
I make mine in a 32 ounce Bodum French press letting it steep about 24 hours using a cup of coarse grounds. The press does a nice job of filtering out the grounds. My ratio is 1/4 cup coffee to 8 ounces water. I was going to give away the French Press since I became addicted to the aeropress, but it is perfect for cold extract no matter what ratio you use.
 
I use the Toddy thingamajig. Their directions call for 1lb. of coffee, add 4 cups of water, let sit for 5min and add 5 more cups of water, no stirring, steep 12 hours.

I use a medium grind.

Since I doctor it up with powdered Ghirardelli chocolate, caramel espresso syrup, and half and half, for me it doesn't matter much what coffee I start with.

Works great.

Oooh, Peter, I need your recipe for your doctored coffee, please. As an adjunct to my search for a coffee I can taste, this sounds like it would make a great dessert coffee and I know I can taste chocolate. Thanks in advance.... :)
 
This is what I use;

Toddy Cold Brew Coffee Maker with 2 Extra Filters | eBay


I don't measure anything, but suspect it is 1/2C of the concentrate, 1T powdered choco, 1T syrup, 2T half-and-half. Before the ice goes in, I use a little battery-powered frother/stirrer thing that adds some volume and texture.

Like I said earlier, because the coffee is jizzed up with the extras, it doesn't matter if the coffee is blah (I mainly use leftover samples that got panned) or stale.
 
This is what I use;

Toddy Cold Brew Coffee Maker with 2 Extra Filters | eBay


I don't measure anything, but suspect it is 1/2C of the concentrate, 1T powdered choco, 1T syrup, 2T half-and-half. Before the ice goes in, I use a little battery-powered frother/stirrer thing that adds some volume and texture.

Like I said earlier, because the coffee is jizzed up with the extras, it doesn't matter if the coffee is blah (I mainly use leftover samples that got panned) or stale.

Thanks very much, kind sir. Just something new for me to experiment with and learn about.... :)
 
Hi efaden

my baseline was to start with double the amount of coffee than what I use for the hot brewed coffee.
I don't measure anything either so I just fill up my Hario Cold Brewer half way with coffee grounds and fill it up with water.

I just brewed a new batch but i will measure it the next time. Mine tastes pretty strong (if you prefer strong) and I don't add anything but ice and some milk (and a teaspoon of agave syrup - read why the syrup below in "another advice")

For grind size I would start with a medium grind. I guess for the Virtuoso it's around the 25 setting.

Advice:
The longer you plan to keep water and coffee together the coarser you should choose the grind to be.
My cold brew for example does not last longer than a day (after the 24h cold brewing) so I stick to my medium grind similar to the coarseness i use in my drip coffee maker.

If you make a lot and want to keep the cheese cloth in the water all the time, grind a little coarser (more to the 30).
This also has the advantage that fine grinds cannot escape through the cheese cloth into your coffee.

Another Advice:
Since you normally don't have the sweetness in cold brew as you have in hot coffee you should add a little bit of sweetener, like sugar, sweet condensed milk, anything you prefer (not a lot, just a teaspoon or two).
That gives you the balance of the coffee flavor back.
 
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