Homemade coffee liqueur using sous vide

Coffee preparation techniques besides espresso like pourover.
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TomC
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#1: Post by TomC »

I'm in the midst of playing around with a method of making a high quality homemade coffee liqueur using my Anova sous vide cooker. I've made plenty of failed attempts in the past following my (cheap) family recipe of mixing instant coffee with vodka, but this is on a different level and if one were already to have an immersion sous vide device similar to the Anova, you'd be well suited to give this a try.

In the past, efforts to make a simple coffee liqueur have yielded something that really needs to be drowned in sugar and anything else handy to disguise the horrible flavor. But even though the recipe I'm following suggests resting the extraction for 15 days to let the flavors fully meld, I'm already 1/4 thru the batch.

I'm going to try and do an A/B comparison between making the standard recipe (to follow) using the sous vide cooker, versus trying a faster approach using a vacuum chamber. This recipe is pulled straight from how Gailliano Ristretto coffee liqueur is made commercially. They haven't disclosed exactly the proportions of ground coffee to alcohol specifically, but using a bit of reasoning, I've arrived at the same ABV and flavor characteristics as the commercial rendition.

If you have a sous vide cooker, set your water bath to 55°C. Fill a 16oz (1 pint) mason jar on a tared scale with 250g of vodka. I'd use a mid-tier vodka, nothing more expensive, nothing cheaper. In this case I used Stolichnaya.

Add 50g of finely ground coffee. I chose what I had on hand that wasn't a light roast. Most of the coffee liqueurs on the market seem to use a coffee that is also deeply roasted into 2nd crack to extract the complex dry distillates that come for coffee that darkly roasted. In this case I used what I had on hand which happened to be Caffe Lusso Lionshare espresso.

A simple water bath at the temps noted above for 10-12 hours, combined with another 12 hours of rest prior to straining the extract yields about 8-10 oz of coffee liqueur that you need to mix in an equal amount of simple syrup, then it needs to rest for about 15 days in the fridge for the flavors to 'marry' and develop. I haven't managed to let the extract rest that long, because curiosity got the best of me and I started applying it to White Russians right away. The results are indeed splendid.

A note about the filtering process, it's been quite simple using either a Chemex filter or a standard basket filter over a clean 16oz mason jar, it'll drain out in a period of about an hour, leaving very clear extract.


I'm going to play with the recipe some more, next time using my chamber vacuum and a ziplock bag to accomplish close to the same thing, in a shorter period of time, but those results remain to be proven.

Here's a shot of my first batch that I made, on the counter. It's a nice hands off approach. The recipe took about as much time to prepare as a typical pour over, since it doesn't need to be monitored at any phase of the brewing process. The batch I made will rest in the fridge for the next 14 days and will be judged again.


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CathyWeeks

#2: Post by CathyWeeks »

I made a decent homemade Kahlua-like liqueur using coldbrew. It was a rum-based drink, rather than vodka. I have the recipe/process documented on my blog - is it permissible to just post a link?

Also, Tito's vodka is an excellent, reasonably-priced vodka.

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TomC (original poster)
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#3: Post by TomC (original poster) » replying to CathyWeeks »


Sure, post away.

I had some Tito's, but it was ordained to become bloody Maries.
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CathyWeeks

#4: Post by CathyWeeks »

Here's my Kahlua recipe/experience:

http://www.cathyscuppa.com/search/label/Kahl%C3%BAa

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JohnB.
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#5: Post by JohnB. »

I've made my own coffee (espresso) liqueur a couple times but I've always used espresso shots as opposed to ground coffee. More work up front but no straining later & I prefer the taste. My favorite commercial version is the Dolce Nero Espresso Liqueur but sadly it has become impossible to find here in the northeast.
LMWDP 267

earlgrey_44

#6: Post by earlgrey_44 »

TomC wrote:I'm in the midst of playing around with a method of making a high quality homemade coffee liqueur using my Anova sous vide cooker. I've made plenty of failed attempts in the past following my (cheap) family recipe of mixing instant coffee with vodka, but this is on a different level and if one were already to have an immersion sous vide device similar to the Anova, you'd be well suited to give this a try.

The batch I made will rest in the fridge for the next 14 days and will be judged again.
Thanks much for posting this - I'm gonna give it a shot...
Trust your taste. Don't trust your perception.

dynamiteid

#7: Post by dynamiteid »

Thanks for sharing. I happen to have an Anova and a bottle of Stoli lying around, and am going to try this out tonight. You might have resolved my "What can I give for presents in addition to home roasted coffee?" dilemma.

Dave

CathyWeeks

#8: Post by CathyWeeks »

dynamiteid wrote: "What can I give for presents in addition to home roasted coffee?" dilemma.
We've given fully mixed drinks as gifts before. We used the smallest-size wine bottles (250ml, I think), which holds about 2 mixed drinks, perfect for a couple. You include everything except for ice or perishable materials. In the case of White Russians, or Toasted Almonds, you'd include all the booze, but not the cream. I write what's needed directly on the bottle with a sharpie or paint pen - "Pour into two rocks glasses, over ice. Add 1 ounce of heavy cream/halfnhalf to each glass and swirl to mix"

Added: One year for father's day, we gave my father-in-law a "six pack" (all different) of mixed drinks, and we put the bottles into a cardboard beer six-pack holder.

kwantfm

#9: Post by kwantfm »

earlgrey_44 wrote:Thanks much for posting this - I'm gonna give it a shot...
I love the double pun here, both coffee and ethanol related...
LMWDP #602

earlgrey_44

#10: Post by earlgrey_44 »

The results of my first shot (heh heh) at this recipe are in. Used Klatch Belle (a go-to always around coffee for me) and Sobieski vodka, a fine vodka at a price vodka should sell for.

Screened, then filtered through paper, there is still a slight sludge to the extract. A very clean, bright coffee flavor, with distinct sugar sweetness and hot alcohol notes. I'm hoping the flavors blend and mellow after if sits for a while. we'll see...
Trust your taste. Don't trust your perception.