I was wondering, would it be possible to just purchase cold brew coffee, and pressurize it in a siphon with N2O gas? As far as I know, one is supposed to use N2 gas for nitro cold brew, but I wonder how it would taste with N2O instead. Has anyone attempted this before?

  • Not that it's off topic here but this sounds like it would probably get a better response on the Coffee site. – Catija Mar 16 '17 at 1:51
  • Have fun! Also, if you plan to post this there, you should delete it here. In general, we try to avoid cross posting. – Catija Mar 16 '17 at 3:22
  • I suspect the seals will suffer from the N2O. Too cold is not good. – BaffledCook Mar 16 '17 at 7:56

I assume that it is possible. However, what will be the benefit? This is my opinion, but... We must try to drink coffee, not generate fancy chemical experiments.

Now, the objective part:

Pressurizing seems quite easy in room temperature. Depressurizing is quite problematic in a siphon. So, it will be a mess when you try to collect your brewed coffee. Or, requires fancy equipment or conditions.

In a siphon, you collect the brewed coffee very rapidly. However, in cold-brew methods, the aim is brewing in a very very long time to extract the floral notes. This, again, seems problematic in your proposal.

The main aim of siphon: you make infusion on top for desired amount of seconds, then, rapidly filter the infused coffee to the bottom layer. If you want to make infused cold brew, the easiest method is still again, going for a french press.

  • Thank you for your response. I enjoy drinking coffee a lot, and I'm also a scienist, so I'm totally fine with chemical experiments. My plan is to brew the coffee first for 15 hours, etc., and then to use a siphon to push gas through it. – sodiumnitrate Apr 11 '17 at 17:46
  • Why don't you just use a French-press in a cryostat? – MTSan Apr 11 '17 at 20:19
  • I'm sorry if I'm asking a stupid question, but how would a French press help? Would it push air through the coffee? – sodiumnitrate Apr 12 '17 at 20:50
  • Ah, sorry! Probably, I misunderstood all the way. I thought you are extracting the coffee to water. Where do you want to extract the coffee? To a liquefied gas? If this is the case, then, when no pressure exists, the solvent does not exists and you cannot drink it. (The extracts will probably remain such as instant coffee particles, I assume.) In that case, sure you need a closed container such as siphon. Still, I'm confused how you can drink it after extraction. – MTSan Apr 14 '17 at 12:52
  • I'm extracting the coffee by doing a regular cold brew. 15 hours in cold water. Then, my idea was to push through N2O gas through it. Normally it should be N2 gas, I think, but I only have N2O capsules. – sodiumnitrate Apr 18 '17 at 0:40

One option would be to pressurize the coffee in a keg with the gas that you choose. In this case you would have the cold brew already made (or purchased).

This option requires about the same amount of equipment that a beer brewing setup requires.

  • Ball-lock keg
  • Gas cylinder
  • Nitrogen tap (has higher pressure rating than standard tap)
  • Tubing/fitings/etc

You pour the coffee into the keg and then pressurize with the gas of your choice. Nitrogen provides the smooth, creamy mouthfeel. I suspect N20 would be even sweeter. If you mixed in some cream you could use N20 as it is fat soluble and have a super decedent beverage.


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