Upright has completed building our cold brew iced coffee tap system. Using some mix and matched equipment from various beer suppliers we now have a tap that dispenses chilled 18 hour cold brew iced coffee. It wasn’t easy as this system seems to be a first for a coffee bar. After a bit of trial and error and a few coffee floods, we now have the tap working flawlessly.
This system chills the coffee before leaving the tap so it won’t dilute when it hits the cup of ice. This maintains the coffee’s bold smooth flavors and creates consistency in every pour.
You’ll notice that we spared no expense and went with the Perlick taps. Stop in and check it out. We are currently serving our Mocha Java blend.
How to build an ice coffee tap system
Many people have been curious as to how we built our iced coffee tap system at Upright Coffee. Daniel had the idea for coffee on tap before kegging coffee was common. Because we have a small coffee shop and don’t use any beer equipment we did not want to use any compressed gas to pressurize out tap system. The simple solution was an NSF rates electric water pump with a pressure sensitive on off switch. Its cheap and ours has been running like a champ for 4 years without having to pay for gas.
The concept is simple. A pex tube with one end in an ice coffee holder is attached to an electric pump. Then the output from the pump is attached directly to a beer tap head. When the beer tap is opened it releases the pressure on the output side of the motor and the pressure switch activates the motor. Cold brew is then pumped from the brew bucket to that tap handle and into the cup. When the handle is turned off the pressure in the line turns off the pump. Simple! No kegs to fill and no gas to buy. The system that Daniel installed in his first shop has been running like a champ for over 4 years. Like all drinking systems the lines will need to be properly flushed and cleaned on a regular basis. We do it monthly but this will depend on your usage.
If your shop has an ice bin you can run the cold brew through a jockey box or cold plate to chill it before it goes through the tap. Many stores do not do this but you will want to make sure your cold brew is more concentrated if you going to have a warmer liquid pour over ice.
This system does not require any expensive kegs and allows you to dispense the coffee directly from the brewing container so there is less to clean and very little waste.
DIY Cold Brew Coffee Tap Parts list;
- Cold brewing system
- Shurflow 8005-733-255 (The 8025-213-236 model pump is available with a wall plug but I prefer wiring an on/off switch. Looking for a pump to use in a mobile application like a coffee cart? Try the SHURflo 8005-292-139)
- Electric connections for pump (Home Depot will have the electrical switch and power cords you need.)
- Pex fittings
- Quick release mail end (one for each dispensing bucket)
- Quick release female connector
- Shut off valve
- Push connectors for pump (two, one for in and one for out)
- Push to connect junction for dispensing bucket (one for each bucket)
- Pex tube
- Brewing 5 gallon food grade buckets (we from 1 to 4 for brewing depending on the season)
- Dispensing Buckets, 10 gallon NSF (we use two but one will work if space is tight)
- Tap tower and handles Single or Double
- Drip tray (optional but very nice to have)
- Cold Plate (optional)
Feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment bellow if you have any question or comments. We will continue to work on these instructions to fill in any missing pieces of information.
Cold Brew Iced Coffee Recipe
The recipe we use for our iced coffee is very simple.
- Coarse grind 1 to 4 pounds of coffee. We use a mocha java blend.
- Place the ground coffee in your brew bag.
- Put the brew bag into the 5 gallon brew bucket.
- Add one gallon per pound of cold filtered water. If you used one pound of coffee add 1 gallon of water. If yo used 4 pounds of coffee use 4 gallons.
- Stir the grinds to make sure they are all well soaked with water.
- Cover and wait 18 hours with the cold brew at room temperature.
- Remove the cold brew bag and ring it out so all the coffee concentrate drips into the brew bucket.
- Cut the cold brew concentrate in half with filtered water to serve.
Nitro Iced Coffee
The latest and greatest trend in the iced coffee world is to have kegged nitro iced coffee on tap. The system we currently use at Upright Coffee does not use the proper nitro hook up to serve ice coffee with a nitro mix. One could easily hook up a nitro cold brew system to run alongside the tap system described above.
Nitro iced coffee adds a super creamy texture to iced coffee. A cup of nitro iced coffee feels like it has milk in it and will often taste a bit sweeter than regular iced coffee.