I’ve heard about this mythical amaze-sauce where beer geeks who have way too much beer and way too much time on their hands make variants of Bourbon County Stout using nothing but a french press and literally, crap they find in their fridge. A quick drop at hipster capital of the world, Trader Joe’s will get you everything you need and my eyes are open to the melding of foodie and diabetes dreams that is French Press Stout Awesome!
Colin from Chicago was in Vermont this week and helped me learn the ways of the masters. For this exercise, we did a blend of Proprietor’s (Coconut) and Coffee Bourbon County Stout. This is his method…feel free to adapt to your needs.
- One aged BCS (2008 is what we had on hand)
- One fresh BCS (2012 / 2013 is ideal. We had 2013)
- Coconut Flakes (Fresher the better)
- A pinch of fresh ground coffee (pick your favorite bean)
- A skillet
- One Vanilla Bean
- A French press capable of holding 22 ounces of BCS
A sample of our ingredients:
Coconut toasting on a skillet (don’t use oil or non-stick anything..just coconut on low for 3-5 minutes)
Adding the 2008 BCS
We did 3 minutes on low and swirling. Five is fine, too long and BCS gets caramelized and overly roasted
Carefully pour into the french press
Pour and scrap out all of the coconut into the french press….leave no piece behind!
Sit the french press in the fridge or out in the snow for some time to allow it to cool just below room temp (you can stir or slosh it occasionally) This is also where you can add in a pinch of coffee grounds (coarsely ground)
We did another batch with fresh BCS as well so there was enough for everyone
The final project…see the coconut oils on the top of my glass?
Extra credit, make this at one of your tastings, then add 1-2 ounces of any stout you guys are opening. So let’s say everyone gets a pour from the french press and now it’s empty, add 1-2 ounces of Side Project Origin or Abraxas or Hill Farmstead Everett and wait another 5 minutes and you’ll get a nice infusion of coffee / coconut as well.
Other things you can do in the french press?
Well, you can do just vanilla beans, maybe just the pinch of coffee and put that in the french press along with BCS without needing a skillet. Colin said he put a whole piece of pumpkin pie in the french press with cold BCS and waited a bit and it was “magnificent”. I’ve heard of people making Blackberry puree or cinnamon, powered lactose and hershey’s cocoa. All you need is a good ingredient and a few minutes to wait for the flavors to meld. The beer you put in the french press will go flat with time so that’s why you open a fresh bottle to blend right before serving so you can get that carbonation that was lost in the french press.
I was bummed that I only got a 4-pack of coffee and 1 bottle of Proprietor’s on my trip to chicago but I have 48 bottles of this year’s BCS so I have a lot of bottles to experiment with. going to do a raspberry batch with chocolate in a few weeks. MMMMM.