Feb. 5th, 2012

wombat1138: (Default)
Finally got around to making another batch of cold-brewed coffee concentrate. It's been a while since last time, but I vaguely remembered that I found the usual recommended proportions a tad weak wrt tasting a bit watery after diluting it ~1:1 with milk for actual consumption.

I don't actually drink coffee that much, but when I do, I tend to add a lot of dairy product. Or just stir a spoonful of instant coffee into milk. The flavor profile of the previous coffee concentrate was fine; it's just that the liquid carrier tasted like, well, rather watery milk. I also haven't been consuming quite as much caffeine recently, so figured I'd better go for decaf this time.

So yesterday, I saw a nice big can of rotgut store-brand decaf coffee on sale, and bought it. (It's an odd size-- 1lb 10oz? which probably represents a size/price category that used to be 2lbs and may be on its way to 1.5lbs.) Last night, I put the entire can into a large bowl with about 3-4 qts cold filtered water and let it sit covered in the fridge overnight.

Just strained off the coffee slurry this morning, in 2-3 filtration passes-- a two-tiered rough first sweep through a small colander with a wire sieve underneath, followed by pouring the resulting liquid through a fine-meshed jelly bag to catch smaller coffee grains. (I thought about using paper coffee filters instead, but didn't.) I now have about 5 cups of containerized glacial fuming cold coffee concentrate and have two different jelly bags eking out a last few ounces of drippage into recovery containment on the countertop.

So far, I have experimentally tried *one* serving of coffee, involving maybe an ounce or less of coffee concentrate into a glass of milk. Very strangely, it isn't that assertive while in the mouth, but once you swallow it, there's a huge delicious impact of COFFEE!!! on the tongue like the kick of a mule. It's possibly even stronger than Vietnamese iced coffee. I quail to think of what would happen if this weren't decaf-- I'd be bouncing off the walls for months.

The entire can of coffee grounds measured about 8 cups dry, and indicated that a large normal-strength batch should be brewed with 1/2 cup coffee in 10 cups of water. So this means that the ~5 cups of concentrate represent the equivalent of about 2.5 gallons of coffee, and the proper dilution factor should theoretically be... ~1/2T per cup?

Oy. Guess my trial serving really was ~3x more concentrated than a normal Vietnamese iced coffee.

It's a good thing this stuff keeps, because it's going to take forever to work my way through th batch unless I can recruit the wombat-consort into drinking some too.

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