As a cold brew enthusiast, I want to share how others can make this drink. That led me to write this guide.
I’ll explain how to make regular cold brew, what you’ll need to make nitro cold brew, how to make it, how to store it, and how to serve it.
Here is an overview:
Let’s get brewing.
- Don’t serve nitro cold brew with ice.
- N2 canisters cost more, but produce higher-quality coffee.
- Use a keg, whipped cream dispenser, or canister-style dispenser.
- Refrigerate when done.
How to Make Nitro Cold Brew at Home
The following sections will explain how to make regular cold brew, then how to make nitro cold brew using different types of nitro cold brew makers.
Let’s dive in.
First, Make Cold Brew
Before infusing your drink with nitrogen, you’ll need to make cold brew concentrate. Here’s everything you need to know about making cold brew.
Time to make: 12–24 hours
Cold brew concentrate recipe:
- 4 cups cold, filtered water
- 1 cup extra coarse grind coffee
- ¼ cup coffee per 1 cup of concentrate
- Cold brew device
- Filter: If required for device
- Sweetener (optional)
- Creamer (optional)
Steps to make cold brew coffee concentrate:
- Grind the coffee beans to a coarse grind.
- Add coffee beans to your brewing container.
- Pour water over top.
- Cold brew ratio: 1:4 coffee-to-water
- Let coffee sit on the counter for 12–24 hours.
- Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Brewing cold brew separately requires a separate cold brew device in most instances. However, some brands, like GrowlerWerks, offer a 2-in-1 system that allows you to make the cold brew inside a keg.
If you bought said device, how would you use it? Let’s see.
How to Make Nitro Cold Brew With a Keg
Here’s how you’ll make nitro cold brew coffee with a keg:
- Add 40–48 oz to your keg.
- Keg size may vary: Fill 60–70% to leave enough room for gas.
- Screw on your lid & add a N2 or N2O charger.
- You’ll need x2 N2 chargers or x1 N2O.
- N2 produces a less foamy, creamier coffee but costs more.
- You’ll need x2 N2 chargers or x1 N2O.
- Shake the keg around for 20–30 seconds.
- Store keg in your fridge for an hour.
The tutorial above is for kegs you could buy on Amazon, which are made for cold brew. If you’re using a tap system or a keg that has a psi (pound per square inch) meter, ensure the meter reaches 40 psi. And to shake bigger kegs, you’ll want to grab it and rock it back and forth.
Need a smaller (or more affordable) device? Here’s an option.
How to Make Nitro Cold Brew With a Whipped Cream Dispenser
Follow these steps to make nitro cold brew coffee with a whipped cream dispenser:
- Add 500 ml cold brew to the whipped cream dispenser.
- Tighten gasket.
- Add N2 or N2O cartridges.
- Shake for 20–30 seconds.
- Let sit for 30 seconds.
- Serve your coffee.
The steps for making cold brew in a keg are almost identical. You’ll want to read to ensure you’re doing it right.
Upon brewing and serving your drink, you’ll need to store the rest of your concentrate. Learn how to prevent mold.
How to Store Nitro Cold Brew
Store your nitro cold brew keg, canister, or whipped cream dispenser in your refrigerator at between 30 and 40 °F. Ensure you agitate (apply pressure) to your nitro cold brew before storing.
Doing so will help preserve your drink and prevent it from going flat. Before storing, ensure you tighten all gaskets and components to avoid air escaping.
How long will your stored nitro cold brew last, though?
How Long Does Nitro Cold Brew Last Refrigerated?
Nitro cold brew coffee will last for up to 3 months when refrigerated and stored in a keg that’s under pressure with nitrogen gas .
In some instances, your beverage may last up to 8 months. If you want to test how long it’ll last, pour a cup every couple of months and keep an eye out for the following signs:
- Mold growth
- Moldy/rancid smell
- Cloudy appearance
- Lacks aroma
You don’t want your drink to taste acidic. And it should have a rich flavor profile.
When it comes time to serve, learn what you should add.
How to Serve Nitro Cold Brew
Don’t serve nitro cold brew with ice. Because adding ice cubes to the nitrogen-infused drink will eliminate the velvety texture of your nitro cold brew and dilute its taste.
Syrups and creamers are fine, though. Here are recommendations for what I have on adding either.
Best Sweeteners for Nitro Cold Brew
Cold brew is already sweet. Meaning you should practice caution when adding sweeteners to eliminate the risk of ruining your drink.
With that said, here are some of my recommendations:
- Simple syrup: A mixture of equal parts sugar & water heated until the sugar dissolves.
- Vanilla syrup: It adds a sweet & creamy flavor to nitro cold brew without being too overpowering.
- Honey: It’s a good option for people who are looking for a healthier alternative to sugar.
- Agave nectar: A natural sweetener that has a slightly sweet & earthy flavor.
- It’s a good option for people who are looking for a vegan or gluten-free sweetener.
- Stevia: It has a slightly sweet & minty flavor & an excellent choice for folks looking for a sugar-free sweetener.
Don’t think your drink is rich or creamy enough? Try adding creamers.
Best Creamers for Nitro Cold Brew
Adding milk or other creamers could interfere with your drink’s texture or foam. And it’s not necessary to add because nitro cold brew itself doesn’t have a bitter taste.
However, if you still find your drink too bitter, consider adding one of these milks or creamers:
- Half-and-half: It’s a light & creamy creamer that adds a rich flavor to nitro cold brew without being too heavy.
- Oat milk: It’s a creamy & slightly sweet creamer that’s a good option for people who are lactose intolerant or who prefer to avoid dairy products.
- Almond milk: It’s a light & nutty flavored creamer that’s a good option for people who are looking for a low-calorie or low-fat creamer.
- Coconut milk: It’s a rich & creamy creamer with a slightly sweet & coconutty flavor.
Try your nitro cold brew without any sweeteners or creamers first. If it has too bitter of a taste, consider switching from N2O canisters to N2—if you haven’t already. And if that doesn’t work, then consider one of these creamers.
Before signing off, let’s figure out what cold brew is.
What Is Nitro Cold Brew?
|Caffeine Content||205 mg|
|Recipe||1 gram of coffee for every 8 g of waterWaterCreamer/milk (optional)Sweetener (optional)|
|Cup Served in||Glass that’s narrower at the bottom|
- Velvety Mouthfeel: It’s smooth, creamy, & velvety, with a delightful foam on top.
- Creamy Head: Nitro cold brew typically boasts a thick, cascading head, much like a well-poured draft beer.
- Enhanced Flavor: Nitrogen complements the coffee’s natural sweetness & reduces perceived acidity & bitterness.
- This results in a smoother & more balanced taste profile.
Nitro cold brew is cold brew coffee infused with 40 psi of nitrogen gas. This gives the coffee a smooth and creamy texture and a cascading, foamy head, similar to draft beer
What sets nitro cold brew apart is the infusion of nitrogen gas (N2) or nitrous oxide (N2O). After preparing a batch of cold brew concentrate, transfer it into a keg or container. From there, you’d introduce nitrogen or nitrous oxide to your coffee.
As the nitro coffee is dispensed, it flows through a restrictor plate, causing the nitrogen to mix with the coffee. This interaction creates a cascade of tiny nitrogen bubbles, giving the coffee its distinctive creamy and frothy texture .
There’s nothing else to cover regarding making cold brew. You are now a master brewer.
You’ll need a regular cold brew maker and a canister, whipped cream maker, or keg to produce nitro cold brew. After brewing, store it in a refrigerator to ensure it retains its flavor and won’t go flat.
Learn more about making different coffee and espresso drinks by checking out a list of cold coffee drink recipes.