There’s no shortage of ingenuity when it comes to coffee brewing methods, so when I first found out about sous vide cold brew, I thought “oh my, this is brilliant!”
First off, cold brew coffee is just amazing. It’s cool, refreshing, and not at all acidic. It’s got the intensity of coffee but minus the acidity. The only disadvantage is that you have to give it 12 to 24 hours to brew. But who has 24 hours in today’s fast-paced world, right?
We want cold brew!
When do we want it? NOW!
How sous vide works
Sous vide is a method of food preparation/preservation that uses vacuum sealing and submerging in a medium-temperature water bath for an extended period of time.
If a food normally takes 1 hour to cook, it will probably take 6-7 hours in sous vide.
However, some brilliant people went ahead and decided to reverse the method! If something takes 12 hours to brew, it should be done in sous vide in just two hours!
Why sous vide cold brew is so cool
Brewing coffee at home is quite easy thanks to the various methods available, but there are only a few temperatures you can reasonably achieve:
- 40ish degrees F in the fridge
- 70ish degrees F on the kitchen counter
- 200 degrees F by letting boiling water sit for some time
As far as most traditional coffee brewing methods go, you’re limited to these temperature ranges. At 40 to 70 degrees F, you’re stuck waiting for hours for your cold brew. At 200 degrees F, you can brew within 4-5 minutes, but some of the acidity will come through.
Since sous vide lets you control the temperature to many varying degrees in between, it opens up a lot more possibilities for brewing.
The science is not absolutely established, but there is plenty of anecdotal evidence to demonstrate that brewing at 150 F is an ideal temperature for a quick cold brew.
It seems to be just enough to extract enough flavor quickly, but not too high as to bring out too much acidity and bitterness.
It’s also a neat way to save time! If you feel like having some cold brew coffee and don’t want to wait for hours and hours, a quick 2 hour sous vide will yield you some really nice coffee.
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What kind of ratio to use
When it comes to sous vide cold brew coffee, one question that you’ll probably have is what ratio of ground coffee to water is the right one to use.
The answer could not be simpler: just use the regular cold brew ratio you’ve always used.
Whether that’s 1:4, 1:8, or anything that tastes good for you, stick with it.
Using sous vide just cuts the brewing time to two hours from twelve. The taste is nearly identical to what you would experience from a refrigerated or room temperature brew.
What kind of grounds to use
Again, stick to the same coffee grounds you use for regular cold brew. A coarse grind will help ensure that there is no over-extraction even though the temperature is a little bit higher than normal.
A recipe for sous vide cold brew coffee
What you’ll need:
A sous vide set up
A way to filter the coffee
Measure out your ground coffee using your preferred ratio. Fill up your mason jars proportionately with coffee and water, and screw the lids on. Don’t over-tighten, but the lid should be watertight.
Submerge the mason jars in a water bath and set the temperature on your sous vide to 150 F.
Let it brew for two hours.
Remove the mason jars from the water bath and filter out the coffee into a jug or container.
Refrigerate until cool, and enjoy by diluting with your preferred amount of water/milk/ice.
Can you sous vide any coffee?
Technically, it is possible to sous vide hot coffee too. You’ll just end up with a cold brew concentrate that you could dilute, heat up, and drink.
Cold brew is certainly enjoyed best when, well, cold, but if you’ve got a hankering for hot coffee and all you have lying around is some cold brew concentrate, there’s no reason you can’t make some hot coffee out of it.
The flavors will already be quite mellow from the lower brewing temperature, so you will end up with quite an enjoyable cup.
Last update on 2020-04-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API