Cold Brewers...What’s your method or machine?

Live-a-Little

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I recently have gotten into cold brew coffee. It’s fantastic, easy, makes large batches, but most of all it’s sooooo good. Cold brewing produces a rich full bodied coffee with a lot less acidity then normally brewed coffee. Plus it can be made as a concentrate so that large batches can be made at once and stored for up to two weeks in the fridge.

My method is simplistic, but works. Fill a few tea steeping bags with coffee, double bag them to keep the grinds in, put them in a pitcher, add water, cover the top, and then let it sit for 12-16 hours on the counter. After that take the bags out remembering to squeeze as much liquid from them back into the pitcher as possible and refrigerate. Boom!!! Great tasting coffee concentrate that can either be drank as is or diluted to you preference.
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However, now I am looking for a more serious method or device to cold brew awesome coffee. So what’s yours?
 

rlee

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20 years ago my parents gave me a Toddy cold brewer. It worked well but I was too lazy to clean up and to make a batch every 2 weeks. I ended up throwing out some concentrate because I didn't drink much coffee. It did taste great.
 

colt_fan

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I grind beans for a French press and put them in a pitcher with filtered water overnight. Then I use a drip filter over another pitcher to pour the coffee with the grinds into.
 
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French press method. Course grind, I forget the ratio of grinds to water but you should have the consistency of "soggy" grinds with some extra water to aid in the filtering. Leave overnight, press down and voila.. Store in another container in the fridge and your good to go. I had a Toddy cold brewer and thought it was a pain. The filter makes the process extremely slow and I kept having to unclog it. The concept is so simple (all your doing is soaking coffee grinds with cold water) that you don't need a device..
 

Live-a-Little

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I like the idea off this and the price point is very reasonable. How hard is it to clean? I am thinking mostly about the wool felt pad. Or is that something that gets replaced when it’s too difficult to clean?
I grind beans for a French press and put them in a pitcher with filtered water overnight. Then I use a drip filter over another pitcher to pour the coffee with the grinds into.
Simple, easy cleanup, and very similar to my own method just with a better press. This is a very strong contender.
I use this: Bruer Slow Drip Cold Brew Coffee

Slow drip so the grounds don't over extract. Makes smaller batches but its excellent.
People seem to rave about the slow drip process. Does it produce a better coffee then the soak method?
I've been wondering what the difference is in taste between reg v. cold brew?
What ratio water to coffee to get a one regular cup of coffee.
I usually make a concentrate of 1 cup grinds to 4 cups water, but I would assume that if you followed normal coffee ratios it would give you a normal cup of coffee or at least very close. Cold brew is just a different method of extraction. I do believe that it is slightly less efficient, but the fact it is so less acidic makes it worth it to me.
French press method. Course grind, I forget the ratio of grinds to water but you should have the consistency of "soggy" grinds with some extra water to aid in the filtering. Leave overnight, press down and voila.. Store in another container in the fridge and your good to go. I had a Toddy cold brewer and thought it was a pain. The filter makes the process extremely slow and I kept having to unclog it. The concept is so simple (all your doing is soaking coffee grinds with cold water) that you don't need a device..
Ah second for the French press method. This is gaining momentum.
 

Live-a-Little

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If you get to lazy to brew your own this stuff is really good. It's around 4.50 for 40oz so it's still cheaper than getting one large ar dunks. It also has 95mg of caffeine per 8oz so it packs a nice kick too.
That is reasonably priced compared to dunks or Starbucks. Probably great for on the go coffee drinking.
 

Behind Enemy Lines

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The Filtron is super easy to clean, I buy large paper filters to hold the grounds and dump them out after so there's none left behind, the bowls go in the dishwasher and the felt pad just gets rinsed and dried. Works great in that I can buy a pound of locally roasted and ground (Cape Cod Coffee Roasters is pretty awesome) beans and make 2-3 weeks of coffee in one process. Never had any issues in the few years I've been using it.

I like the idea off this and the price point is very reasonable. How hard is it to clean? I am thinking mostly about the wool felt pad. Or is that something that gets replaced when it’s too difficult to clean?
 

fshalor

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Honestly, I gave up cold brewing and pretty much anything else after discovering the aeropress.

I used to 24 hr pre brew in French press then distrute to Mason jar for the overnight daily. Worked for a while but was a pain and I wasted a lot of coffee .

I had been mostly kuerig k cup fill your own fresh grind for the last 5 years with cold brew taking up the slack when I got mad at the K machine .

My coffee bill is lower now .The aeropress just makes yummy coffee and I find myself drinking 1-2 cups instead of 5-6.
 

mtnbiker26

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I've been wondering what the difference is in taste between reg v. cold brew?
What ratio water to coffee to get a one regular cup of coffee.
The general opinion, which I agree with is that there is less bitterness. Two major factors affect the flavor of coffee: Water temperature and time in contact with the water. It's not as simple as the flavor being weaker or stronger but more a matter of what particular flavors are extracted. If I hot-brew coffee and then refrigerate it, there is a slight bitterness that I don't care for. I cold-brew with the same ratio as hot-brew. 3 tablespoons of coffee to 10 ounces of water. I chuck it all in a mason jar and refrigerate overnight. In the morning I strain it through a pour-over style cone filter. It's less bitter so I use about a third less milk and sugar compared to hot coffee. The only downside I've found is that I tend to drink cold-brew faster versus savoring a hot coffee and enjoying the aroma and experience.
 

scyllint

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Been using Filtron for many years also, so has my Dad. Works great, very simple to use and cleans up easily. Filter is easy to clean. You soak it in water and squeeze it out to rinse out the coffee and then put it in its little container. You do need to replace the pad filters eventually, but they last a long time. We boil them for a few minutes after they get very stained and it seems to clean them up a little and make them work longer. To get more bang for the buck, we also get two batches of concentrate out of one batch of coffee grounds. We soak the grounds and drain the first batch and then add a quart of water and get another batch of concentrate. The second batch is weaker but you just add more of it to your cup.
 
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Honestly, I gave up cold brewing and pretty much anything else after discovering the aeropress.

I used to 24 hr pre brew in French press then distrute to Mason jar for the overnight daily. Worked for a while but was a pain and I wasted a lot of coffee .

I had been mostly kuerig k cup fill your own fresh grind for the last 5 years with cold brew taking up the slack when I got mad at the K machine .

My coffee bill is lower now .The aeropress just makes yummy coffee and I find myself drinking 1-2 cups instead of 5-6.
Aeropress makes fantastic coffee. I haven't had in well over a year (Technivorm and French Press for me)...certainly need to pick another up.
 

SKumar

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I've used the Aeropress for years but I have a few problems with it. It requires hot water beforehand (I just microwave a cup of water), then additional time for brewing, and it only makes 1 cup at a time. It's basically french press coffee for one.
I think these newer cold brew methods are better, especially since you can squeeze the remaining goods out of the steeping bags after brewing.
 

new guy

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If you get to lazy to brew your own this stuff is really good. It's around 4.50 for 40oz so it's still cheaper than getting one large ar dunks. It also has 95mg of caffeine per 8oz so it packs a nice kick too.
Same here. I think I have 4 of them in the fridge right now.
 

Mass-diver

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I mix a cup of medium ground coffee (Starbucks blonde - more caffeine than the dark stuff) into a 2L pitcher of water.

I let it sit for 12-24 hrs. I then pour it through a “nut milk bag” I bought on amazon. I dilute it out a little bit. Very strong, no bitter taste.
 

Live-a-Little

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Been using Filtron for many years also, so has my Dad. Works great, very simple to use and cleans up easily. Filter is easy to clean. You soak it in water and squeeze it out to rinse out the coffee and then put it in its little container. You do need to replace the pad filters eventually, but they last a long time. We boil them for a few minutes after they get very stained and it seems to clean them up a little and make them work longer. To get more bang for the buck, we also get two batches of concentrate out of one batch of coffee grounds. We soak the grounds and drain the first batch and then add a quart of water and get another batch of concentrate. The second batch is weaker but you just add more of it to your cup.
That makes 2 votes for Filtron. And glad to hear clean up is fairly simple. Good to know that the second steeping still produces quality coffee.

Now that is a large batch. Not sure my fridge is big enough.

I've used the Aeropress for years but I have a few problems with it. It requires hot water beforehand (I just microwave a cup of water), then additional time for brewing, and it only makes 1 cup at a time. It's basically french press coffee for one.
I think these newer cold brew methods are better, especially since you can squeeze the remaining goods out of the steeping bags after brewing.
Aeropress peaked my interest, but like you the additional step of waiting for hot water is something I want to skip. Plus heat equals bitterness.
 
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I've used the Aeropress for years but I have a few problems with it. It requires hot water beforehand (I just microwave a cup of water), then additional time for brewing, and it only makes 1 cup at a time. It's basically french press coffee for one.
I think these newer cold brew methods are better, especially since you can squeeze the remaining goods out of the steeping bags after brewing.
Get an electric tea kettle, much easier. I agree the one cup at a time is a minor drawback..but it isn’t a French press for one, much different drink, extraction, and flavor profile than a French press. It’s more of an espresso brew.
 

JJ4

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People seem to rave about the slow drip process. Does it produce a better coffee then the soak method?
Hard to say. I also like the store bought "Stok" cold brew. I've had the soak-method as well. In general I like the cold brew better than hot brew, but I still sometimes do a brew-over-ice with my Ninja Coffee Maker. In comparing the same exact coffee, the cold brew is certainly smoother. The claimed benefit of slow drip is that the grounds don't sit in the same water - so the water is moving past them consistently and then when it's done dripping the grounds don't continue to sit in the water leaching out more stuff. Bruer people have some videos and a blog, but I don't really know if it's better or not: Brewing Experiments
 
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Great idea on the tea bags. Low cost and easier cleanup. I'm sure the filtering is really good too.

We have the kitchenaid one. I had the toddy but find the kitchenaid does a better job filtering out the grounds, easier to use, easier to clean up.
 

Live-a-Little

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In a swoop of blind luck I have come into possession of a nice French press. My folks are moving and while packing came across a second French press that they generously gifted to me. Being that there are two people here advocating the French press cold brew method I definitely have to give it a try. However, since there was also two people recommending the Filtron I am thinking of also getting that and doing some back to back comparisons.

Thanks to all that have shared their thoughts. In a few weeks I will report back which method of cold brew I prefer, Filtron or French press.
 

rlee

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20 years ago my parents gave me a Toddy cold brewer. It worked well but I was too lazy to clean up and to make a batch every 2 weeks. I ended up throwing out some concentrate because I didn't drink much coffee. It did taste great.
I brewed a half batch with my Toddy. I ground the beans coarsely, but it was just as much a pain to clean as I remembered.
An additional irritation was the static electricity from the grinding causing the grounds to cling to the side (both the Toddy and the Filtron brew in a plastic tub).
The result was still very good, although I had to microwave it for a half minute because 3 oz of cold concentrate plus some cold creamer mixed into 7 oz of boiling water produces lukewarm coffee.
 

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What beans are folks using to make their cold brew? I was using something I got thru Amazon (in a 5 lb bag), but they no longer carry it, so I am on the hunt for something to replace it.
 

ToddDubya

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My sister bought me a Toddy for my birthday a few years ago, mostly for the name. It's a simple system that makes delicious, smooth coffee. It uses a lot of grounds so I don't make it often, but I always enjoy it when I do.

I use whatever coffee I have on hand, which is usually a Starbucks grind from BJs.
 
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