Hey all,

So, I've spent about the last month and a half experimenting (off and on) with the whole cold-brew idea, and have finally settled on a blend and method that I'm happy with.  

I pretty much just put a pound of medium-grind coffee into a 12Q pot, steep in cool water for 24 hours, and then filter through what amounts to a tea basket.  The final product is smooth, chocolaty, and has a wonderful buttery-but-light body.

Now my task is to adapt my method to be efficient in a café setting.  We're wanting to make this our standard for iced coffee, but the current method is too labor-intensive to implement effectively (it's impossible to pour it through the tiny basket without spilling, among other difficulties).

So I'm wondering, does anyone else do cold-brewed coffee in their shops?  If so, do you have a dedicated setup or do you do it in a way similar to what I described above?

Any thoughts/advice would be much appreciated.  Thanks!

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I have used a cold brew method before with some great sweet, chocolaty, smoothness you're talking about. I'd love to tell you more about it if you're interested. I've used it in a cafe/coffee shop setting and the system worked VERY well, as long as the staff made sure to follow proper procedures.
Hey Casha,

Yeah, I'd love to hear more about the setup you used. I'm thinking about building some sort of dedicated brewer, but before I start tinkering and spending money, I wanted to see what others have done.
The method I use for cold brewing in a cafe is pretty simple.
You need 2 five gallon buckets, on five gallon bucket lid, a china cap or a bouillon strainer if you want to spend the extra money, a filter basket from a brew unit and paper filters and coffee of course.
Grind your coffee on french press setting 2.5 lbs and place in five gallon bucket add 7 quarts of water and stir to saturate grounds. Put on the lid and let it brew for atleast 10 hours which is about over night at most shops.(you can brew it longer you just have to make it earlier in the day also i like to put plastic wrap on the bucket before putting on lid) when it is done brewing stir and then pour through the china cap. This catches all the big particles. Then pour through paper filter into pitchers add 1/2 water and half concentrate in a pitcher. or use a commercial cold brew toddy http://www.toddycafe.com/business/coffeehouses.php
I've just been doubling up on the grams of coffee i use in my pour over and sitting it on a cup of ice. Fast, easy, and taste great.

34g coffee, 8 oz ice in cup, 8 oz 200 deg water, hario pour over is what i'm using. Adjust grams per different roasts of coffee.
A little bit of a diversion, but I'll throw it out there...

I know there are food safety concerns with the "sun tea" method of making iced tea. I guess that long slow room temperature steep helps the little bugs on tea leaves multiply very nicely. For this reason, the recommended way of brewing iced tea is to start with boiling water, do a good infusion, cool immediately, store cold, and clean the dispensers and jugs often.

I'm inclined to think that the whole bacterial growth issue would not be as much of a concern on coffee, since I'd bet the bacterial population on your beans was obliterated in the roaster. However its still worth paying attention to regular cleaning and proper sanitizing of your cold brew hardware. Also be extra sure that the water you use is bacteria-free by properly maintaining your water conditioning system.

An odd observation, I know, but thought I'd share it nonetheless.
i use the 5 gallon bucket method, but one of the foodservice ones with a spigot on the bottom and 2 nylon paint strainers. grind it coarse, pour, stir, refrigerate. i do double strength so 120g/litre.
The Toddy is made for this exact reason, you can also choose between 2 sizes. They have the standard size which brews 1 # beans or you can do the commercial size which does 5# beans. I have found this to be the simplest method when you consider all the processes you go through to brew, filter and store the cold brew.
I like to put one pound of coffee in my aquarium and let it be cycled through the biological filter for 2 weeks while leaving the hood light on. After 2 weeks you can put dip your cup right into the aquarium and even use a tetra or two as a garnish.
Question 1)
I am wondering what is a common price for cold brew?
12oz on ice?

Question 2)
Does anybody offer cold brew as a hot low acid alternative? and if so at what price?

We were a selling a 12oz cup of iced cold brew for $3.50 at the farmers market. But really when I cost it out it should be more like $4.50. We are selling it in compostable cups
mmmm tetra. nom nom nom.

ryan mcdougall said:
I like to put one pound of coffee in my aquarium and let it be cycled through the biological filter for 2 weeks while leaving the hood light on. After 2 weeks you can put dip your cup right into the aquarium and even use a tetra or two as a garnish.
We do all of our iced coffee at all three locations via cold brew. We use 5-gallon stainless steel food service urns with spigots, both to brew in and to serve out of. After some experimentation, we arrived on hop straining bags intended for home- and micro-brewers (you can find them a multitude of places online, if you're big enough, buy directly from Crosby & Baker). It works well, is easier and quicker on our closers than other methods (though openers have the added task of cleaning the bags), and produces better iced coffee more consistently.

I know other folks have had success using muslin bags, and other straining bags of various makes and materials.
I just wanted to say thanks for the info in this thread, it has helped me even though im not OP!

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