Having Coldbrew on tap is the easiest way to keep your team or your customers caffeinated. Setting up a system to have it on tap can sound daunting, but we have plenty of resources to help make it easy. Here are several of the most frequently asked questions concerning our coffee keg program.
1. What's Cambridge Coldbrew? How is it different from other 'cold' brewed coffee?
Cambridge Coldbrew is not brewed in the traditional iced coffee or tepid “Toddy” styles. It is brewed cold from start to finish. We pass the brewed coffee through a series of filters until all that remains is a clean and stable product. The result is less sediment and a better shelf life of flavors. We follow up that arduous process by kegging it under nitrogen, protecting the coffee from the detrimental effects of oxidation. Our Cambridge Coldbrew is a smooth, full-flavored, ready to drink cup of cold coffee. Brewing cold, as opposed to brewing at room temperature (or heating then cooling) and using real filtration instead of cheesecloth (or skimming) set our Coldbrew apart from the crowd.
Most other 'cold brew' is actually a form of Toddy brewed at a tepid room temperature. This is often done on a counter top and then filtered through cheesecloth or some other medium that lets more sediment in. The resulting brew turns quickly and changes flavors rapidly. The same is true of coffee brewed hot and then chilled, it often oxidizes in pitchers or in storage. These problems inspired us to come up with one big solution, Cambridge Coldbrew. It simply tastes better and lasts longer.
2. What about iced tea?
We also offer cold brewed iced tea! We keg an amazing Fulu Red Tea sourced directly from the fine folks at Shin Fong Estate in Taitung, Taiwan.
3. Why put it in kegs & on tap?
The cool factor wasn't the reason, but it does look and feel nice! The main reason we store and serve this way: it's the best way to keep Coldbrew consistent and preserve that fresh flavor without any additives.
4. How long does a keg stay fresh?
We've held kegs for as long as a month and they still taste great. While we haven't had a keg go bad, we would recommend using it within 6 weeks, which should be plenty of time in reasonable serving scenarios. It must stay in refrigeration, as coffee can spoil in warmer temperatures, despite zero oxygen exposure.
5. How much does a keg cost?
Keg pricing is $95 per keg plus a $100 deposit. All our orders are delivered via BostonBeaN, whose prices vary based on the level of service they provide for your office. They will work with you to develop a package deal that meets your budget, and most importantly your expectations. For a price quote email email@example.com.
6. What do I need to serve Cambridge Coldbrew?
In addition to the actual coffee keg, you'll need a kegerator that has the correct corny fittings for kegs, a source of food-grade nitrogen gas, and a regulator & gas hose. Your first order will include a keg deposit for a keg that matches your fittings and order sizes. We can help set you up with this through our draft system partner, BostonBeaN.
7. I do not have a kegerator. How do I get Coldbrew on tap?
If you are starting from scratch, we can help. We've partnered with BostonBeaN to set up new customers with kegerators. They can provide a package that includes a commercial-grade, energy efficient kegerator, nitrogen tank, regulator, hoses and connections. They'll take care of installation, restocking gas as needed, and follow up on cleaning as requested.
Alternatively, if you are thinking of cutting costs by taking the DIY approach, you can outfit your workspace or restaurant with a kegerator for somewhere between $500-800. This would take a little research beforehand, and you'd have to shop for your own fridge, gas tank, regulator, hoses, and clamps. We would also not be liable for any issues that may arise with your setup, except if the keg itself is damaged.
8. What kind of kegs are you using?
We use cornelius 5 gallon kegs. When full, these kegs weigh just under 50 pounds, so they can be moved easily by one person.
9. What kind of gas do you use?
We use low pressure nitrogen with our system. We're using nitrogen to protect the coffee from oxidation and provide the pressure to push it out of the keg, but not at a high enough pressure to create a Guinness-like nitrogen effect.
You don't want to use the same gas you use for beer (carbon dioxide). Carbonated coffee just isn't very good, and it gives the coffee a tinny, metallic acidity. Beer gas can be used with a widget to create a 'nitro Coldbrew' that has a foamy 'head' like a Guinness but we are not supporting this feature (there are many beer supply companies where this can be acquired and installed with ease).
10. What about cleaning the draft lines?
We recommend you clean your lines every other week. Cleaning lines used for coffee is much easier than beer lines. BostonBeaN's services consist of periodic scheduled line cleaning. Lenox Martell also offers draft line cleaning services in a pinch.
11. I already have a kegerator for beer. Can I just hook up a coffee keg?
Sure, as long as you have nitrogen! We can source Sanke D kegs (commercial standard). To correctly install, we need these identified. Remember, a keg deposit will be included on your first order, and there may be a lead time to source Sanke kegs. Check out the diagram below for a detailed comparison between the Sanke and Ball Lock connectors. We recommend converting your lines before ordering.
There are two connections with ball lock kegs: one for gas to pressurize the keg, and another for the coffee being dispensed. If you already have a kegerator with Sanke couplers, you're good to go.
If you already have a kegerator, remember that you want to use nitrogen gas, not the CO2 you use for beer! No, brewer's gas is also not suitable for coffee, so do not confuse that with pure nitrogen.