If there’s one thing that The Foundery will continue to be accused of, it’s going all-in at every possible decision we make.  One thing we know we’ll need in our lounge is coffee.  I could just go out a buy a Mr. Coffee maker at the nearest thrift store, cross it off our list and get back to buying really awesome tools.  Nope.  Couldn’t do it.  If Jason’s going to be walking around with his unicorn coffee mug, he’d better have some high end java in there to compensate.

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Lucky for The Foundery, my wife is a coffee snob connoisseur.  So for the better part of 6 months, I’ve been scouring the web for the best possible coffee recipes, to help reduce our Starbucks spending.

So  I’m going to pull a Quentin Tarantino and tell you the ending first.  then go back and explain it all.

The final Solution:  Nitrogen infused cold brewed coffee served from a tap…like beer.

It turns out the best coffee’s are the ones that require the least amount of sugar and cream to compensate for the natural bitterness of coffee.   That bitterness is caused from acids and oils that naturally occur within roasted coffee beans.  After coffee beans are roasted and ground, the oils and acids become increasingly soluble in water with higher temperatures.

Bottom Line:  The hotter the water, the more acid, the more bitter the taste.

So by brewing the coffee in room temperature water, (Cold Brewing) you can extract the coffee flavor and caffeine with only 1/3rd the acid.  This makes a coffee concentrate that produces a naturally sweet coffee flavor with out all the crap you have to mask with sugar and cream.   I believe it was a young King Ad Rock from the Beastie Boys who once said “I like my sugar with coffee and cream”.

Below is a picture of the cold brew process.  It’s really not that scientific,  you just let coffee grinds soak in room temperature water for 12-24 hours…pretty simple.

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Once the coffee grinds have soaked for 12-24 hours, you pull the cork in the bottom of the white hopper and let the filtered coffee concentrate pour into the glass pitcher.

Now you could stop at this step right here, and you’ll have really good quality, cold brewed coffee that you can serve with ice or heat up in a microwave.  But to take this coffee to 11 (yes Jason, your welcome), lets infuse the coffee with Nitrogen.

By infusing the coffee with Nitrogen, it adds a slight creamy/velvety texture with a foamy head similar to a Guiness or stout beer.  Disclaimer:  I did not come up with the “creamy/velvety” adjectives, those are how it’s described on the web.  I can see my older bother Dan, making fun of me for using those words at Thanksgiving dinner next week.

Infusing with Nitrogen is really simple, you just have to pressurize the brewed coffee in a nitrogen environment.  I did this by converting a kegorator kit sold for serving beer on tap out of a 5 gallon keg and adapting for Nitrogen.  Most beer kegorator kits are designed for carbon-dioxide which would have produced a far too bubbly coffee.  Both are inert gasses so you can guy bottle adapters to hook up a carbon-dioxide regulator which comes with most kegerator kits to a nitrogen bottle that you can get from a welding supply store.

Below is a picture of my cold brewed coffee in a 5 gallon keg, hooked up to a pressurized nitrogen system.  I keep the regulator at 30 psi.

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This was my first attempt at creating a nitrogen infused keg of coffee…and it turned out awesome!  I keep this out on my back deck where it’s been pretty cold during the evenings.  It’s pretty nice waking up and being able to pour a cup of cold coffee every day.  Pretty soon I’ll have this hooked up inside a mini-fridge for my own little coffee-erator…or java-erator.   I know, both those sound terrible, I’ll work on something more clever.

Here’s what a glass of coffee looks like poured from this system.

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I tried to get a close up so you can see the nitrogen bubbles rising up within the coffee.  This was one of my very few projects that worked out great after the first attempt.  If you’re curious to how nitrogen infused cold brewed coffee tastes, swing by The Foundery when our doors open at City Garage.

— Corey