New Source of Booze: Used Coffee Grounds
Scientists cook, ferment, concentrate it
By Kate Seamons, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 5, 2013 11:58 AM CDT
coffee-making-at-revolver-20121003-6.jpg   (©)

(Newser) – Soon you may no longer have to choose between treating your hangover with coffee or the hair of the dog. Science reports that scientists have successfully spun used coffee grounds into booze, in a process that sounds relatively straightforward. They dried the spent grounds (which, in this case, came from a Portuguese roaster) then added water and cooked the mixture at 163°C for 45 minutes. The liquid was pulled out, dosed with sugar and yeast, and given time to ferment.

In order to make it boozier—read, 40% ethanol—the result was concentrated in a process Science likens to that of distilling spirits. But what would such a discovery be without a taste test? The eight "trained" testers who sampled it reported coffee aromas and a bitter taste. They thought age would actually improve it, but ranked it as palatable. (Smithsonian adds that the scientists described it "as having features of a pleasant beverage.") What it's not: Caffeinated. Most is eliminated as the drink is brewed.

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Showing 3 of 12 comments
TheGunts
Aug 7, 2013 11:20 AM CDT
Finally! Something to keep me drunk AND awake.
HMD-SMD-ITY
Aug 5, 2013 6:51 PM CDT
I could see companies such as Kahlúa being interested as they make a coffee liquor product already. They most likely brew a lot of coffee already and could take the tailings and could brew up some hooch to use in their product. It may create a chicken/egg situation because they need coffee and liquor to make their product so which one do they make first? They could make the coffee first and then later the liquor. But what do you do with the coffee as you wait for the fermentation process. I guess you have to brew up liquor the old fashioned way with grain and then add the coffee based liquor later as you get enough to use.
BrushMan
Aug 5, 2013 5:24 PM CDT
Patron: "Bartender, this beer tastes like dirt!" Bartender: "No wonder: it was "fresh ground" just earlier today!"