Coffee Wine Question - Need Opinions Please!

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BigDaveK

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Well, the tomatoes are out of the freezer for this weekend's tomato wine. And since "one is the loneliest number" I have to make a second - COFFEE!
My question is about sugar. I've seen white sugar used and dark brown. I have no problems making a gallon batch of each if they're both good. If the dark brown sugar version is hand's down better I'll make 2 of that. I plan on using cold brew with an addition of vanilla at the back end. I was also thinking about back sweetening with a dark brown syrup. Overkill? Don't know. I don't have dark brown sugar so I'll be making my own - one cup sugar and one tablespoon molasses for light brown, 2 tablespoons for dark brown. (I'll be using unsulfured organic molasses.) Really curious about what y'all think. Thanks everybody!!
 
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Post your recipe! Everything you said sounds good, especially the vanilla. Have you considered backsweetening with honey?

Personally, I'd skip the white sugar version as the brown sugar version will have a richer flavor. Of course, I like my coffee black and strong enough that the spoon stands up straight until it dissolved. Gotta have that extra iron, ya know!

You've given me the urge to make a gallon of coffee mead. I'm not into small batches, but the idea of making a 7% ABV coffee mead for quicker consumption is piquing my interest.
 

David Violante

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Just a few days ago we had dinner with a couple from the DR who use brown sugar in their coffee and we were like, huh… I stopped putting sugar in my coffee quite some time ago and occasionally use honey if it’s particularly strong or bitter, but tried the brown sugar route and like it. As Bryan said it’s more complex and richer. I’m sure the same would be true with your wine… definitely post your recipe, my interest is piqued as well…
 

Rice_Guy

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* the sulphite in molasses won’t be enough to change things.
* some of this goes into what do you like? The difference between white and brown sugar is molasses. I don’t like the molasses flavor set enough that I would mix it into my morning coffee. ,, Do you like molasses flavor? (Doesn’t molasses have background bitter flavor notes which coffee already has) ,, In this culture a caramel flavor is used in a number of coffees so I would be tempted to back sweeten with a transparent caramel syrup. (caramel is a dairy product DO NOT use protein filled products as ice cream topping)
* in the US vanilla is added to a number of coffee products. I would tweak the finished wine someplace near five ml per gallon of a pure vanilla extract (not one filled with propylene glycol or synthetic vanillin)
 

BigDaveK

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Post your recipe! Everything you said sounds good, especially the vanilla. Have you considered backsweetening with honey?

Personally, I'd skip the white sugar version as the brown sugar version will have a richer flavor. Of course, I like my coffee black and strong enough that the spoon stands up straight until it dissolved. Gotta have that extra iron, ya know!

You've given me the urge to make a gallon of coffee mead. I'm not into small batches, but the idea of making a 7% ABV coffee mead for quicker consumption is piquing my interest.

I give credit to most of the recipe to @Rembee in a thread from a couple years ago with tweaks from various sources. I'll post once I consolidate and clean it up. Interestingly, a google search for coffee wine has people using brewed coffee or (GASP!) instant. I make and enjoy cold brew, far less bitter, smoother, and oddly a hint of sweetness. Seemed to be a no brainer to use.

Black coffee? I may insult some folks (sorry) but personally I think if it's not black it's not coffee. It's analogous to wine tasting - it makes you try different beans and brew methods for that perfect "aaahhh" cup o' joe.

I decided to skip the white sugar version but I still want to experiment. I'll do one light brown and one dark brown mostly because I'm curious about the effect (if any) of the amount of molasses.

My plans were delayed a day. I spent yesterday making about 20 pounds of kielbasa. Used all the free space in my fridge overnight to meld flavors, going into the smoker today. I'll make the cold brew this evening.
 

David Violante

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Yes I’m amazed at how much sugar really masked the taste of the coffee. I imagine cream does the same, but I just can’t take the plunge yet. I’ve tried lessening amounts, going to regular milk, 2%… just not a fan of the bitterness. I’m liking the cold brew idea though… and of course, thank you Bryan for tempting me with the roaster…LOL more toys!
 

FlamingoEmporium

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It’s a sin to put sugar in your coffee, 😉
I have to admit I Started out that way, but eventually cut out the sugar entirely and the cream too. It was Probably my early working days when you didnt Have convenience Stores with full coffee bars and they would put out powdered milk etc.
it didn’t do anything for the coffee either. After 25 years of 12 cups of black coffee a day and ulcers, I quit coffee, but now I’m back with a splash of milk with ONE exception. If its cold, like leftover (doesn’t happen often) I drink it black. Cold brew makes a difference. The variety of coffee can make a big difference in flavor as well. Just as grape variety can, I’m sure coffee variety will do the same. I think variety and grind might have as much affect on taste as the color of sugar and or molasses
 
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My father was a cop, and he had a huge thermos that held a pot of coffee, which lasted his entire shift. My mom made a pot and filled the thermos, adding milk and lots of sugar. This this was in the 50's through 70's, and other than Dunk' Donuts, there were very few coffee shops -- besides, he'd not pay their price when an entire pot could be made for less than a cup. At home he'd put 4 heaping tsp sugar into a large mug, and he preferred half-n-half. Obviously he didn't drink black coffee. ;)

I didn't start drinking coffee until I was 19. I just had no interest. Then one time, while traveling with my parents, I ordered a cup of coffee, which surprised both of them. Big mistake on my part, as I was hooked! At first I drank it like my parents, cream-n-sugar, but slowly ramped down.

What I put in varies with the source and when I'm drinking it. In the morning, the coffee I roast is black-n-bitter, regardless of method I use to make it. On the occasions I buy commercial whole bean, I typically add a bit of sugar, as it tends to be too acidic and bothers my stomach.

In the afternoon? I may add a bit of honey (<1/4 tsp) to regular coffee, and I love cappuccino (no sugar). I drink flavored coffee if that's being served, but it's just a drink, not coffee in my mind.

When traveling or drinking mass market coffee, I add sugar and/or cream. I turned into a serious coffee snob, and drink commercial coffee for survival, not love. :p
 
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Back to the recipe -- @BigDaveK, post it when you're ready.

Yesterday I purchased a gallon of Elderberry concentrate, 2 liters of grape concentrate (white & red), and will start a 7 gallon batch of elderberry today or tomorrow. (I have a 54 liter demijohn that's empty, hence the odd batch size). I also purchased a Chocolate Raspberry Apres kit, which will be started as well. As long as I'm fermenting, I'm figuring out what I want to do with a coffee mead. [My wife hates the smell, so I try to group things.]

Dave - I figure we can bounce ideas off each other and the other responders to develop our respective recipes.

My last mead (2018) used 15# honey to make 6 gallons starting at 1.089. Using that ratio, I'm thinking of 3# of honey to make 1.25 gallons (slightly higher ABV), so I'll have enough to fill a 4 liter jug after sediment. I'm thinking 1 to 2 quarts of cold brew, although I am not looking for caffeine -- just flavor. I'm also thinking of adding a couple of cups of espresso (espresso cups, not coffee cups) to boost flavor. My first thought was to go 7% ABV and sparkle it, but I don't think this one will taste right bone dry -- I'll probably backsweeten a bit with honey.

What ratio are you planning for your cold brew? Again, I'm targeting rich flavor, not caffeine content.

I have 15 split bottles of a coffee port remaining, and am thinking if this works out, starting another gallon at a higher ABV, with chocolate, to make into a dessert wine.
 

BigDaveK

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What ratio are you planning for your cold brew? Again, I'm targeting rich flavor, not caffeine content.

Delay delay..........
What kind of maroon breaks a hydrometer? It's glass so OBVIOUSLY you're going to be a little careful! Right? Only a complete clumsy idiot would break a.........

Ordered TWO hydrometers from Ohio Home Brew (and bottles, what the heck) yesterday. On fedex truck for delivery today. My other hydrometer only goes to 1.02. LOVE the bigger easier to read scale but it's useless for starting a batch.

Yeah, flavor is my priority, also. To make future calculations easier I made about 3 quarts cold brew concentrate which is then diluted 1:2 with water for drinking. I made it in between regular and strong which means somewhere over 400 grams of grounds. (My notes aren't nearby.) I'll probably decide on the dilution ratio just before everything goes together. I'm leaning towards something bold, closer to 1:1, mostly because some folks wished they added more coffee. We'll see. Hydrometer delivery first. (Dammit, I still can't believe I did that!)

I've never sweetened my coffee with honey but I'll try anything at least once!

I DO like cream and sugar in coffee. I love Turkish coffee and make it often, have a nice set of ibriks (the brew vessel). But REAL coffee is black. Everything else to me is a dessert coffee.
 
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Yeah, flavor is my priority, also. To make future calculations easier I made about 3 quarts cold brew concentrate which is then diluted 1:2 with water for drinking. I made it in between regular and strong which means somewhere over 400 grams of grounds. (My notes aren't nearby.)
400 g per 3 quarts/liters?

My brother & I purchased hydrometers in 1984 -- my brother gave me his winemaking stuff years ago as he know he'd not make it again, so I have a spare. Given the rate at which folks seem to break them, I suspect the modern hydrometers are not made as tough. Mine have been banged around a bit, and a few time I was sure I'd shatter one. But so, not so!
 

CortneyD

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Wow, this may turn into a serious long term experiment. Love the idea, Cort! And I always have malt syrup for my bagel making. I put your idea to paper just so I don't forget.
I'll happily follow along on this experiement! I've got dark malt syrup for baking too, its got a flavor profile that I think would pair really nicely with the coffee without masking it- can't wait to hear the results!
 
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