AYO Twists - Coffee Stout

For the second instalment of Add Your Own Twist, we’ve gone with a classic combination of coffee and stout, using MYO Irish Stout kit and some good quality ground coffee/whole beans. There’s loads of ways you can add coffee flavour to your beer; we’ve experimented with 3 ways described below.

Irish Stout with a Coffee Twist

With all 3 methods, make the Irish Stout kit as usual except where described.

Cold Steeping – this takes a few days, so start on day 7, the same day you add the hops to the beer. Take approx. 500g ground coffee, put into a fine mesh bag and place this into a container. Pour cold water on top of the coffee, just enough to cover the bag and cover with cling film. Leave this to steep for 3 days – or until fermentation has finished, then gently mix the cold brewed coffee into the beer before bottling. The theory behind this method, is that cold water doesn’t extract too much bitterness from the coffee, which might happen with hotter water.

Whole Beans – it depends on your personal preference but for this method we recommend 150g of slightly crushed coffee beans, poured directly in your fermentation bucket on day 3 of fermentation, allowing 7 days for the coffee to infuse into the beer. When fermentation has finished on day 10 and it’s time to bottle, be careful not to siphon any of the crushed coffee beans into your bottles.

Espresso – simply make up 4 to 5 mugs of espresso, allow to cool to room temperature (cover whilst it cools) and gently mix into the beer before bottling. As mentioned in the cool steeping method, you will probably get more bitter notes using this method so if that’s what you’re after, this is the one for you.

With the cold steeping and espresso methods, allow the beer to settle for 24 hours as you’ll have disturbed the sediment when mixing. Even better, if you have a second fermentation bucket, siphon the unsettled beer onto the coffee, mix and immediately bottle.

Maybe you have 3 spare vessels you can split your batch into, and you can try all three methods. Personally, I like the cold steeping method. It extracts the coffee flavour without too much bitterness, which can mask the flavours in your beer.

Let us know if you’ve tried any of the above and how it went in the comments sections.