Barista Magazine

JUN-JUL 2018

Serving People Serving Coffee Since 2005

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ready-to-drink bottled cold brew, and baristas have to become experts in monitoring gas pressure levels, changing kegs and tanks, and performing cleaning and maintenance on draft equipment." With health and safety concerns out of the way, setting up a proper cold brew station is actually very simple. It's pretty easy to get going with cold-brew on draft, Brendan says: "You'll need keg(s), a draft system, and nitrogen." As for where to house it, you can certainly buy a designated kegerator that's ready to go, but you might consider revamping a regular or mini fridge by just drilling a few holes in the top. "If you'd like to repurpose an existing fridge, you really just need a hole saw and enough gas/ liquid line to run to wherever you want your dispenser to be," says Steve. "It's best to keep those lines short and covered with pipe insulation so everything stays cold, but there are cooling systems for long-reach installations, as well." And fi nally, a kegging system doesn't just need to be for kegged cold brew—you can experiment with a number of different drinks and concoctions to serve your guests. "We've had some of our clients pre-mix their cold brew with fl avoring, or even pre-mix cocktails into kegs. In a bar/restaurant setting, this can signifi cantly reduce the amount of time that it takes to pour and deliver a cocktail," Brendan says. Kegging cold brew is a fun way to serve coffee to your guests, and it's much simpler than you think. Whether you want to serve coffee quickly or just add a little pizzazz to your current coffee setup, a kegged cold-brew system will allow you to serve an amazing product that will stay fresh and great-tasting for weeks. A step-by-step guide to kegging cold brew and putting it on draft By now, most of us have tried cold-brewing coffee. Whether brewed in a small amount in your home kitchen, or in a 5-gallon vessel to brew and serve in a coffee shop, cold brew is something with which most anyone working in coffee has experimented. A large number of us, however, haven't taken the next step: kegging cof- fee and putting it on draft. If you haven't yet taken that leap, here are the basics of what you'll need. • Gas: Nitrogen is preferred for use with coffee as it gives the coffee a rich, velvety mouthfeel. Stay away from CO 2 and "beer gas" (a CO 2 / nitrogen blend) used for nitro beers—it might help to give a good cas- cade effect, but it will also give the coffee a bitter bite. The gas will be stored in a pressurized cylinder, or a nitrogen generator can be used to create nitrogen from the ambient air. • Nitrogen regulator + gas line: A regulator will connect directly to your gas cylinder (or generator) and allow you to control the pressure that is being fed into the rest of your draft system. More on pressure later. • Kegs: This is where your cold brew will live. Cornelius kegs can range in size from 1.5–5 gallons. Commercial (Sanke) kegs can be even larger. • Faucets (taps) + beverage line: The faucet is where the coffee is poured. There are different types of faucets (see below) and every faucet can be customized with its own tap handle. That's a very rough overview of a draft system. Now, let's walk through how all of the parts interact to serve cold brew and/or nitro coffee. We'll start at the gas tank and run through the system. A: Nitrogen tank is fi lled and attached to a regulator. B: Regulator outlet pressure is set based on the type of coffee being served. • Nitro coffee: Approximately 35–45 PSI • Cold brew (fl at): Approximately 4–8 PSI C: Keg is fi lled with coffee and connected to the gas line coming from the regulator. • Nitro coffee: Connect gas line to a Quick Cascade Keg Lid to help infuse nitrogen into the coffee (AKA nitrogenate). • Cold brew (fl at): Connect gas line to the gas inlet post on the corny keg. D: Liquid (beverage) line is connected to the liquid out post on the corny keg. E: Liquid line spans the distance between the keg and the tap, whether that tap be on a countertop tower, wall mounted, or hand operated. F: Faucet (tap) is where the coffee will be poured. Two types of faucets can be used. • Nitro coffee: Stout faucet has a restrictor plate or jet disk that restricts the fl ow of liquid and forces it through fi ve small holes. This "agitates" the gas in the liquid and gives the coffee a cascade effect when poured. This is one reason nitro coffee is poured at a higher pressure. • Cold brew (fl at): Standard faucet allows the coffee to fl ow freely from the keg to cup with no restriction. This is why fl at cold brew is served at a much lower pressure than nitro coffee. When the gas is turned on, the system is pressurized. When the tap handle is pulled, the gas is used to "push" the coffee from the keg to the tap. And that's about it! —Brendan and Cary Hanson, Keg Outlet 86 barista magazine

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