The inspiration for this beer came from Saint Archer’s Coffee Brown ale. If you haven’t had it yet, I highly suggest it. The beer tastes just like drinking ice coffee. It’s absolutely fantastic. So, why not give a go at our making our delicious version of a brown that tastes just like cold coffee?
In the past, we’ve tried many recipes by inserting our add-ins towards the beginning or middle of the process. Usually this means putting coffee grinds into the boiling wort, or adding coffee grinds to the secondary fermenter. This time around, we’ll be trying a different strategy: adding brewed coffee right before bottling. Doing so may make brew day a little bit easier – because there is one less thing you have to deal with in addition to timing and temperature control, etc. (However, putting brewed coffee in at bottling naturally makes bottling day a little bit more complicated. Fortunately, bottling day is always an easier day than brew day is.)
Both Frank and I are continuing to refine the brewing process – learning to find our best practices. Having learnt that we’ve been ending up with too much leftover beer in the mash kettle, we’ve begun using less water. This means our efficiency increases. As such, the original gravity ended up being much higher than anticipated. By using less water, we’re increasing our efficiency. We can now calculate our recipes with the greater efficiency. The good news is that this beer won’t be short on alcohol – assuming complete fermentation.
The last-minute-racking technique was used to add priming sugar and coffee before bottling. The product at bottling (with coffee mixed in) was pretty phenomenal. I hope that the bottled product turns out just as good.
It sort of just tastes like a brown ale after a few sips. Initially, you get the coffee notes. But, that fades pretty quickly. Going forward, I’d like to double the coffee flavor. This could mean either adding twice as much coffee at bottling, or using the same amount of coffee – but twice as strong.