QUESTION: – Is nitro cold brew in a keg? I want to try it, but I don’t want to buy that much. – Jimmy L.
ANSWER: – Nitro cold brew coffee needs to be stored in a keg in order to serve it on draft whenever you want to drink it. Nitro cold brew coffee is made by pressurizing the coffee by infusing it with nitrogen. Nitrogen + Cold Brew Coffee = Nitro Cold Brew. The foamy head of a nitro cold brew coffee imparts a deep, rich flavor similar to Guinness. It’s smooth and sweet, with a nuanced creaminess from the foamy head. You’ll find you get more caffeine bang for your buck compared to regular coffee, too. Nitro cold brew contains 30 percent more caffeine than your standard cup of coffee.
In order to keep it pressurized and pouring with a nice foamy head, or crema, the nitrogenized cold brew must be stored in kegs so that it can be enjoyed fresh from the draft, or in cans. Finding nitro cold brew coffee in cans is becoming more common, as people seem to always enjoy the convenience of taking their beverage of choice on the go. So try out some local convenience stores and you can probably find it there in the form of a can.
If you want to enjoy your own nitrogen infused cold brew at home, you will need to invest in some equipment. Depending on how deep you want to go, you could end up shelling out a lot of money.
If you are wanting to brew your own nitro cold brew at home and save quite a bit of money in the process, you will want to invest in some nitrogen pressurized kegs for the storage, as well as the nitrogenation process of your homebrewed coffee. For a professional setup, the whole nitrogenation and draft system will run you about $1,600 USD. About half of the total cost of the setup is for the kegerator alone, which is priced at around $800 USD.
If you’re just looking for a small, at home setup, you can purchase a mini-keg nitro cold brew kit for around $150 USD. For even more savings, you can even use a whipped cream dispenser to nitrogenate your coffee, but be prepared to go through lots of nitrogen mini-tanks in the process. Still, the whipped cream dispenser can add nitrogen to your cold brew coffee easily, and can be purchased for only around $30 USD.
In comparison to fairly simple home coffee setups like the French press or drip coffee machine, nitro cold brew takes a fairly long list of components that you’ll need to procure and find space for in your home. A standard nitro cold brew setup includes cold brew kegs, kegerators, keg coffee filters, nitro coffee dispensers, nitrogen infusion keg lids, nitrogen regulators, and nitrogen tanks. Not only will you be finding space for each one of those items in your kitchen counters or cupboards, they’ll also need to be cleaned regularly. There are a few brands out there who are offering the convenience of nitro cold brew kits that let you purchase everything you need in one fell swoop.
Of course, there are lots of benefits to having a nitro coffee system. Depending on what you’re looking for, you may find that these features offset the financial investment required.
- Your coffee will stay fresh for around three to four weeks.
- Once the system is set up, nitro cold brew is quick and convenient to prepare.
- If you have guests regularly, you can’t beat the impression it makes to pull a cup of coffee from a nitro cold brew system.
- Of course, the most attractive element of a nitro cold brew system is having the rich, complex flavor of nitro cold brew coffee on tap.
Making cold brew at home is a fairly simple process. You just need a container that can be stored in the fridge, preferably made of glass or plastic, with some kind of a seal on it to keep the brew from becoming too oxygenated. The best way to make cold brew in order to preserve the best possible flavor, however, is to use a container that can be deoxygenated. If you use glass wine jugs to brew your cold brew, you can purchase a vacuum hand pump to pull the oxygen out of your container. Steeping your cold brew in a container that can be drained of oxygen will work wonders for the strength and flavor of your brew.
If you don’t want to use wine jugs and a vacuum hand pump to deoxygenate your cold brew, you can also find cold brewing containers online that are specially made for cold brewing. One of the best containers for making cold brew is made by Hario’s, and can be purchased here. Takeya also makes a nice, larger, 2-quart cold brew container, which you can get here .
Be advised before drinking your first cup of nitro cold brew that you should not doctor your drink with cream or sugar. The depth of flavor imparted by nitro cold brew’s crema head is meant to be enjoyed as-is. You should also not add ice to your cup (which would ruin that foamy head). The coffee stays chilly enough inside the keg for you to enjoy it without added ice.
Nitro cold brew is definitely something of an investment when it comes to space and finances. Additionally, more and more shops are offering nitro cold brew, making it possible for you to try out this beverage without making those investments. Because of nitro cold brew’s complex, creamy flavor, those who love this drink have found plenty of benefits that make the investments that go along with owning a nitro cold brew setup worthwhile.