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How to Make Nitro Cold Brew at Home

making nitro cold brew at home
Making Nitro Cold Brew at Home

Nitro Cold Brew Coffee is also known as Nitro Coffee. This type of coffee is coffee that is infused with nitrogen gas. Sounds exciting, right! Wait until you taste it. In this article, we will consider all that you need to know about this type of coffee. Not only do we consider how to make a nitro cold brew, but we will see the difference from your regular coffee brew, the history of the drink, and alternative ways of making it.

What is a Nitro Cold Brew?

Let us start with what this drink really is. If you have bought coffee from a coffee shop or grocery shop, then you have likely seen signs that promote nitro coffee. This type of coffee used to be an obscure type of coffee, but it has now grown to be one of the more popular types of this beverage.

Nitro coffee is a type of cold brew coffee that is infused with nitrogen gas through a pressurized valve.

Making nitro coffee is not exactly easy, but thankfully, this post will show you just how to make it.

What do you need to make this special kind of coffee? Well, you will need certain apparatus ranging from hoses to keg connectors, faucets, and tubes. If you are thinking of selling nitro coffee in commercial quantities, you will need to make a substantial investment. You will also need the aforementioned apparatus if you want to make it at home.

Adding nitrogen to your cold brew coffee has several effects. For one, it enhances the texture and feel of the cup of coffee. Also, this nitrogen adds some sweetness to your cup. And when you add nitrogen to cold brew coffee, it will improve the aroma and overall flavor.

Nitro cold brew coffee has a higher caffeine content than your regular coffee.

How is a Nitro Cold Brew Different from Regular Cold Brew?

From our definition, it is rather clear that nitro cold brew and regular cold brew have certain similarities. However, there are certain things that make them different from each other.

Main Differences

The main difference is in the flavor and how they are made.

Flavor Differences

One of the biggest differences between the two types of coffee is how they taste. It is arguably the biggest difference between them. Regular cold brew and nitro cold brew coffee are subtle and sweet in flavor; however, the nitrogen cold brew offers drinkers a smoother, full-bodied, and rich flavor. In fact, one thing that makes this type of coffee unique is the foamy top that is very similar to what you get from draught beer.

Differences in Brewing

Cold brew coffee is steeped in cool water at room temperature and left for up to a day. The coffee grounds are then strained out, and the coffee extract is served chilled.

Nitro cold brew is really cold brew coffee that is infused with nitrogen. So, for this type of coffee, it is first made using the same brewing method for the cold brew. Then the nitrogen is added.

Who Invented Nitro Cold Brew?

The nitro cold brew made its first known appearance in 2013. It was invented by Nate Armbrust, a food scientist from Portland, Oregon. It was made in a quest to make cold brew coffee taste different and better. In the creation of this drink, he added small nitrogen bubbles to his cold brew coffee by squeezing the drink through a unique tap that featured a restrictor plate.

Many that tried out the new brew loved it, and that made Nate make even more of the beverage.

The idea of adding nitrogen to drinks is not new, as it has been done by beer brewers for quite some time.

How to Make a Nitro Cold Brew at Home

We have considered what makes this type of coffee different from the other types available. After considering the differences and all that, we bet you are excited to try your hand at making it. Nitro coffee is not only made by big coffee houses and restaurants – you can make yours too! In this section, we provide you with clear instructions on how to make nitro cold brew right from your house.

One major problem that people have with this brew is that it is relatively hard to prepare. That is why it is commonly sold in coffee shops but not frequently served in homes. One big reason for that is that you need special equipment to kick off. For coffee shops, the investment into equipment is relatively large, and baristas need to be trained on how to use the equipment.

Cold brews, even without nitro, are already expensive to make because of the long time it takes to make them. Thankfully, nitro cold brew is now available in can form, just like other drinks like beer. However, if you want more, then you can make yours at home.

Necessary Ingredients

Here are the important ingredients that you need to make nitro cold brew at home.

  • Filtered water at room temperature
  • Medium roast coffee beans
  • Kosher salt (optional)
  • Milk (optional)

The ingredients that you will need majorly depend on your recipe. However, these that we have mentioned are the basic ingredients required to make this type of coffee. With the exception of nitrogen, the ingredients used to make this type of coffee are also what is used to make iced coffee and regular cold brew coffee.

Necessary Equipment

  • Nitrogen tank
  • Nitrogen regulator
  • Keg
  • Gas and liquid disconnects
  • Gas lines
  • Beverage lines
  • Stout faucet
  • Container
  • Mesh strainer
  • Coffee grinder

With all of this equipment ready, you can start making your nitro cold brew coffee. Here are step by steps instructions on how to make it at home.

Make Cold Brew Coffee ( Step 1 )

As we have repeatedly pointed out in this post, you need to first make cold brew coffee before you can make nitro cold brew coffee – after all, nitro cold brew coffee is simply cold brew coffee infused with nitrogen.

So, we begin with making cold brew coffee.

  • First, buy good quality medium roast coffee beans. If you can, get beans that have been roasted locally. On the other hand, you can buy unground coffee beans if you have a grinder. Grinding the beans yourself gives you more control over how the cold brew coffee, and by extension, the nitro cold brew coffee, would taste.
  • Use a large container to brew the coffee. At this stage, try to use glass containers. This is preferable because it will not react with the coffee and will not add any chemicals to the drink.
  • Grind the coffee beans. For a cold brew coffee, it is recommended that you use an ounce of coffee per cup of water you will use. If you are looking to make pretty concentrated coffee, then you should use more coffee per ounce. Many experts have arguments about the grind to use. Some prefer finely ground beans, while others prefer medium grind. Either way, use that which you prefer.
  • Next, pour the grounds into the container and pour room temperature water over the grounds. Use a specific ratio of water to the coffee used.
  • Wait for ten minutes, then stir the grounds. Doing this will give you the maximum flavor from the grounds.
  • Cover the mixture and leave it for about 12 to 24 hours. The length of time you wait will affect the strength of coffee that results from the brew.
  • Occasionally stir the mixture to make sure that all the coffee grounds are saturated.
  • To get a colder brew, you should place the coffee in the refrigerator.
  • After a day, filter the mixture using the wire mesh strainer. The way you filter the coffee depends on whether you are using equipment like a French Press.

Nutritional Value: There are many advantages of drinking nitro cold brew over regular cold brew coffee. Here are some of the best things.

Thicker texture: This type of coffee comes with a creamy texture that is thicker than what you’d normally get from your usual cup of Joe. Nitro coffee is infused with nitrogen bubbles that affect how it feels in your mouth. With this coffee, you enjoy a frothy texture, just like you are drinking your favorite beer. Because of the texture, there usually is no need to add milk or a creamer to nitro coffee.

Sweeter Taste: If you are wary of the amount of sugar that you add to your coffee, then you will likely love nitro coffee because it reduces the need for sugar. It adds a hint of sweetness to the coffee and boasts of better flavor and aroma.

Nutritional Content: Nitro coffee contains less acid than regular coffee. If you have stomach or digestive problems, this might be a better solution for you. However, it has been observed that this coffee has a lower amount of antioxidants.

Nitro coffee also has a higher concentration of caffeine. Caffeine comes with plenty of health benefits, and you enjoy all of that by drinking nitro coffee. If you are sensitive to caffeine, though, you might want to steer clear of nitro coffee.

Brewing Methods ( Step 2 )

For all the methods of making nitro cold brew coffee, you need to first make the cold brew coffee. Afterward, you can proceed with the other methods. We will now consider step-by-step instructions on how to make nitro cold brew with the whipped cream dispenser and the mini keg brewing systems.

Once the cold brew is ready, you will require a pressurized device to infuse the coffee with nitrogen. You could buy a carbonator (which is expensive), or you could do the same thing using a whipped cream dispenser and nitrogen canisters! In the next section, we will show you exactly how to do that.

How to make a nitro cold brew with a whipped cream dispenser

Step 1: The first thing is to make a cold brew. We have outlined the systematic way of making a cold brew. You can create the cold brew concentrate by leaving the coffee in overnight. Or you could make it even quicker by using the whipped cream dispenser. Using this device will reduce your wait time.

Step 2: Use the mixing spoon to scoop coffee into the cream whipper. To get accurate measurements, you could use a coffee scale. Adding up to 9 ounces of coffee is recommended. While that seems like a lot of coffee, it is usually just right since you would still dilute the coffee with water.

Step 3: Measure three and a half cups of water in a jug and pour that into the cream whipper. Using the spoon, stir the mixture until the coffee and water are totally mixed. Then cover the whipper with its cover.

Step 4: After covering the mixture, you will need to charge the cream whipper with a pair of nitrogen chargers. These are small chargers that can fit in the small nitrogen part of the whipper’s cover. To access that, just unscrew the charger holder and slot it in the first cartridge. Then screw the holder back to the whipper until you hear a sound that indicates the gas has been released in the container. You will carry out these processes with the other nitrogen cartridge too.

Step 5: After attaching the nitro chargers to the whipper, shake the whipper gently to ensure that the gas goes through the entire coffee. Shake it for up to half of a minute, then wait for five minutes.

Step 6: The next step is to discharge the gas from the whipper. It is relatively straightforward to do. All you need to do is to hold a glass above the nozzle of the whipper. This will ensure that the coffee isn’t wasted as it sprays out of the nozzle. Next, press the whipper’s trigger gently to remove the gas.

Step 7: After discharging the first batch of gas, you will need to add two more nitro cartridges to the whipper. Simply follow the instructions in step 4. After attaching the new cartridges, shake once again to disperse the gas through the system.

Step 8: Have the mixture stand in the whipper for about an hour. This will make it begin with brewing the cold brew concentrate.

Step 9: After one hour, remove the gas by following Step 6.

Step 10: Position a coffee filter in the water pitcher. Afterward, decant the concentrate into this coffee filter. You should observe that the coffee is thick and dark. The filter is in place to trap any granulates and ensure that all you get is the concentrate.

Step 11: The next thing to do is mix the coffee concentrate with cold water. After pouring the water, stir the new mixture and put it back into the whipper. Then close the whipper’s lid.

Step 12: After placing the mixture in the whipper, introduce the final nitro cartridge into the whipper. After attaching it, shake the whipper for 30 seconds and discharge the gas.

Step 13: Open the whipper and pour the brand new nitro coffee brew into a glass of ice. The creamy foam will rise to the apex as you pour the nitro coffee into the glass.

And voila! You have your homemade nitro cold coffee brew.

How to make a nitro cold brew with mini kegs

The keg system is another way to enjoy nitro cold brew coffee. It is a versatile system that will allow you easily have your own cocktails and coffee from the comfort of your house.

To use the mini-keg, you will likely require a nitro mini conversion kit.

To use this device, follow the steps:

Step 1: Make your cold brew coffee. We have already provided in-depth instructions on how you can make this type of coffee.

Step 2: Since mini-kegs come in different models, we recommend that you choose one that already has nitro capabilities installed. If not, you will have to convert it using a nitro conversion kit.

Step 3: Pour your cold brew coffee into the mini keg.

Step 4: Follow the instructions of the mini keg to infuse the coffee with nitrogen.

And your nitro cold brew is ready to go!

Whipped Cream Dispenser vs Mini-Keg Brewing System

The two systems of making nitro cold brew coffee are pretty dope. So which of the two should you consider using? To know which one, then you should pay attention as we discuss the differences between them

First, as we have seen, the whipped cream method uses nitrogen gas cartridges to add the nitro to your coffee. There are certain advantages to it because it is cheap and simple. However, the downside is that your need to remove the gas once or twice to ensure that the air does not remain in the whipper after you have served the coffee. Also, the small gas cartridges are not going to last for a long time.

On the other hand, using the Mini-Keg comes as a better alternative. It is simply better and more reliable – and it will hold more coffee. With this type of equipment, you can make your coffee and store it away for a while until you need it.

Apart from the size, another advantage of this method is that the oxygen is eventually removed. Additionally, it tends to lock in all the nitro flavors.

The major downside is that it is more expensive than the whipped cream method.

How to Make a Hot Nitro Cold Brew

Nitro cold brew coffee is trendy and is more popular than ever. This cold brew coffee is a combination of nitrogen and regular cold brew coffee. It improves the taste and texture of the coffee while ensuring lower acidity. You might have tried this cool beverage and enjoyed it, but did you know that there is also hot nitro cold brew?

To make this, follow the exact steps for making nitro cold brew. After making the coffee and storing it in kegs with all their oxygen removed, you will attach a special tap system that will heat up the coffee as it exits the keg. The process is pretty efficient and quick.

Alternative Brewing Methods

Aside from the two methods that we have considered in this post, there are some alternative brewing methods to making nitro cold brew.

Cold-brewed coffee offers drinkers a different taste than the freshly brewed types that use hot water. With cold brew coffee, you get less acidity. Due to the lower acidity, this type of coffee tastes better and ‘brighter.’

Regular cold brew coffee tastes smooth and sweet, and this transfers to nitro cold brew as well. There are few methods to making brewed coffee from the comfort of your house. There is the Pour-over method, which is more manual than other methods. There are also methods that use equipment like a French Press and an espresso machine.

French Press

This alternative method is similar to the Pour-over method because the coffee grounds used are nearly the same. With this machine, there is a pre-installed filter that presses the grounds to the base of the machine, after which you can pour it. However, unlike the Pour Over method, some grounds of coffee might strain out of the filter into your cup.

Pour Over

The Pour Over method is one of the more popular ways of making brewed coffee. It is a simple method that involves pouring boiling water over ground beans that lie on a filter. The hot water passes through the grounds and is drained into a cup or receptacle positioned underneath.

Normal Coffee Machine

The standard coffee maker works similarly to the Pour Over method. However, it is not manual like the latter method.

Espresso Machine

Espresso is different from coffee, so the grounds are ground into a very fine texture. The pressure is used to push hot water through the grounds, and the result is a strong cup of Joe with a unique flavor. Also, espresso creates a crema that sits on top of a freshly made cup.

Extras

Adding Garnish

Since you now know how to make this type of coffee, we will not be surprised if you are looking to improve on the recipe. You can make different variations of nitro cold brew at home. However, while we encourage experimentation, you should be careful not to add anything that might negatively affect the flavors of the beverage. Therefore, add things that that will enhance the taste after you have added nitro to the cold brew.

Adding Sweets/Flavors

You can increase the sweetness of the brew by adding sweet flavors. For example, you could include leftover milk at the end of your bowl of cereal. You can filter the milk and add that flavored milk to your brew. We loved it, and we think you would as well.

Adding Alcohol

Adding alcohol to anything creates something new and exciting, and the same thing can happen if you add alcohol to your nitro cold brew. You can therefore spice up your drink with some rum, absinthe, or other liquors.

By adding more flavors, you can make your nitro coffee even more unique.

Final Thoughts

So there you have it – how to make a nitro cold brew right from your home! There are plenty of advantages to drinking this type of coffee over others. For one, it comes with a thick and creamy texture that is better than regular coffee. It also tastes sweeter than regular coffee, thus rendering sugar useless. It is less acidic, which might be great for people that have digestive problems when they drink regular coffee. And lastly, it is higher in caffeine. With all of these advantages, it is no wonder that many people love nitro cold brew coffee. We hope that this post will help you to start enjoying a home-brewed nitro cold brew!

  • Evelyn J Stafford
  • Evelyn J Stafford

    Evelyn is a Coffee enthusiast and writer for Wins Coffee Bar. Her work has appeared in Bean Scene, The Home Kitchen and other publications.

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