We love our coffee. An absolutely fantastic way to make an incredible cup whether at home or on the trail is the Aeropress. But this is Beer Friday, so I’m not going to dwell on how tasty an Aeropress brew is. What I am going to tell you is how to use this great little device to also add flavors to your beer. A few weekends ago it occurred to me that the Aeropress would be a perfect infuser for individual beers due to its paper filters, small size, and ease of cleaning. Being the hop-head I am, I have concentrated on hop infusions, but the possibilities are pretty much only limited by your imagination. For hop infusions, I like to start with a good pale ale. I prepare the Aeropress exactly as I would for making a cup of coffee by wetting the filter and twisting on the filter cap. Place the Aeropress on your favorite glass, add the hops and slowly pour the beer in as the hops will increase foaming. I have found that I prefer to let the first pour run through into the glass, then I let a second pour sit on the hops for a bit by placing the plunger just into the top of the chamber to stop the second pour from flowing. After a few minutes, I plunge this pour rather rapidly which results in a nice head in the glass. A twelve ounce beer will be just about two pours through the Aeropress accounting for the foaming. I have mostly used high alpha acid hops which do more to change the flavor than the aroma. The oils from the hops also can alter the beer’s body. The Citra hops I used in my last infusion added a late hop bite that was not present in the standard beer. The oils made for a thicker body and also added a creaminess to the head. When drank side-by-side with the original, it was clear the hop infusion had drastically altered the beer and made the pale ale much more like an IPA. But don’t limit yourself to hops. The simplicity of infusing single beers in the Aeropress makes it a great vessel for experimentation. Perhaps my best infusion so far has been adding coffee and dark chocolate to a stout. I first gound the beans rather coarse and grated the chocolate with a cheese grater. A little of both the coffee and chocolate go a long way so I recommend starting with small amounts of each. I haven’t yet experimented with fruits or spices, but I do plan on it soon. If you can’t find a pepper porter you really dig, wondered how a stout would taste with your favorite local roast, or simply wanted to add some hop aroma or bite to a crisp pale ale; the Aeropress is your tool for creating your own beer masterpieces without all the brew day clean-up or waiting weeks for fermentation and carbonation. Be sure to share your favorite infusions in the comments below. Cheers, Alex

2 Comments

  1. A mini firkin. Ingenious!

  2. Love my Aeropress. Never thought of this though. Going to give it a try!

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