Nitro Cold Brew Coffee at Home

The Great Coffee Project - 16 April 2023

Master the Art of Nitro Cold Brew Coffee at Home with this Cold Brew Keg

Nitro coffee has taken the world by storm, offering a unique and delightful twist on the traditional cold brew. With its velvety texture and cascading effect, nitro cold brew has become a sought-after beverage for coffee drinkers and enthusiasts. Making nitro coffee at home can be a challenge, but with the right equipment, you can enjoy a perfect cup anytime. Enter the cold brew keg, your solution for homemade nitro cold brew coffee. In this blog post, we'll guide you through the process of making nitro coffee with this amazing keg and share tips for a delightful coffee experience.

What is Nitro Coffee?

Nitro coffee is a cold brew coffee infused with nitrogen gas, which gives it a creamy, smooth texture and a rich, foamy head.

The nitrogen infusion also enhances the natural flavors of the coffee, making the drink it less acidic and more refreshing than traditional cold brew.

Compared to regular cold brew coffee, nitro coffee has a distinct mouthfeel and appearance, characterized by the cascading effect created by the nitrogen bubbles.

Some benefits of nitro coffee include its lower acidity, smoother taste, and absence of added sugar or dairy, making it a healthier alternative for coffee lovers.

Does Nitro Coffee Have More Caffeine? 

One of the main benefits to nitro coffee is that it has nearly 30% more caffeine than regular drip coffee. Some scientists also speculate that the nitrogen gas helps your body process the caffeine quicker, so you can get your caffeine boost faster.

The Cold Brew Keg: A Game-Changer for Nitro Cold Brew Coffee Enthusiasts

The cold brew keg is a high-quality, user-friendly system designed for making and serving nitro cold brew coffee at home.

It features a stainless steel keg, a nitro faucet, and a nitrogen cartridge holder. 

The keg works by infusing cold brew coffee with nitrogen gas, creating the signature creamy texture and the cascading effect of nitro-infused cold brew.

Some benefits of using the cold brew keg at home include cost savings, convenience, and the ability to customize your nitro cold brew coffee to your taste preferences.

This is the Cold Brew Keg that we use. Check out the cold brew keg on Amazon here. 

Great Nitro Coffee Starts with High Quality Cold Brew Coffee 

Cold brew coffee, alternatively referred to as cold water extraction or cold pressing, entails steeping coffee grounds in water at low temperatures for a prolonged duration.

Coarse-ground coffee beans are steeped in water for approximately 12 to 24 hours. Typically, the water is maintained at room temperature, although utilizing chilled water is also an option.

Once the steeping process is complete, the coffee grounds are removed, yielding a smooth, concentrated coffee that can be served over ice or combined with water or milk to adjust the strength and taste to one's preference.

 We'll go a step further and add nitrogen for nitro brew coffee!

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1Preparing the Cold Brew Coffee
Choose high-quality, freshly roasted coffee beans for the best flavor. Coarsely grind the beans to ensure proper extraction during the brewing process.

Measure the right amount of coffee grounds, typically a 1:1 or 1:2 coffee-to-water ratio. 

We offer a specific Cold Brew Variety, which is an organic, single-origin bean from Mexico that we chose specifically for it’s low acidity and smooth flavor. 

We offer it in whole bean or coarse ground.  You can find it here. 

Step-by-step Instructions for Making Cold Brew Coffee

  • Add filtered water to the coffee grounds in a large jar or pitcher. We love these jars with a spigot.
  • We use these filters to hold the grounds.  We find them easier than filtering the cold brew later. 
  • Allow the coffee to steep for 12-24 hours, depending on your desired strength.  We usually steep it at room temperature but you can place it in the refrigerator if you want to serve it chilled.  
  • Because the ground coffee beans in cold-brewed coffee never come into contact with heated water, the process of leaching flavor from the beans produces a chemical profile different from conventional brewing methods. This is part of the allure of nitro coffee!

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 Setting Up the Cold Brew Nitro Keg

1. Fill the keg with cold brew coffee:
For a 64oz keg, add 40 oz of cold brew coffee or coffee concentrate mixed with water.

For a 128oz keg, add 80-96 oz of cold brew coffee or coffee concentrate mixed with water.

*Important: Fill the keg only up to 50%-75% to allow gas to form.

2. Install the faucet:
Attach the plastic hose to the bottom of the spear with the fork side facing down.

Connect the faucet to the headpiece of the spear.

*Note: Ensure the faucet is tightly installed using a wrench. A loose faucet may result in gas leaks or flat nitro cold brew.

3. Insert nitrogen capsules:
If using Nitrous Oxide cartridges use one for a 64oz kit or two for a 128oz kit.

If using Nitrogen Cartridges (N₂), use two for a 64 oz kit or four for a 128 oz kit.

After inserting the first cartridge, let the keg sit for 20-30 minutes to absorb gas before adding a second cartridge.

Screw the capsules into the nitrogen jacket until you hear a hissing sound.

Shake the keg well and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

To achieve the best foam, shake the keg thoroughly after each cartridge insertion and daily before pouring the first cup of the day.

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Understanding N2O and N2 Cartridges: Cost, Texture, and Pouring Technique

N2O vs N2 cartridges: cost and availability

N2O cartridges contain nitrous oxide, which is used in high-performance vehicles and dental procedures. These cartridges are easy to obtain, as they are commonly used in whipped cream dispensers, and cost around 60 cents per 8-gram cartridge.

N2 cartridges contain nitrogen, which constitutes about 78% of Earth's atmosphere. To use these, you need two 2-gram cartridges, which are more expensive at around one dollar each. This results in a significant difference of 60 cents per keg versus two dollars.

When using N2 nitrogen cartridges, you must wait 20 to 30 minutes after adding the first cartridge for the gas to absorb before adding the second one. This is one reason why local coffee shop houses charge more for their nitro cold brew coffee, along with the type of gas and the "Coffeehouse tax."

N2O vs N2 texture: nitro gas comparison

Nitrogen gas provides a creamy texture and sweet cream, while nitrous oxide results in a glass of foam. Both work well for nitro cold brew coffee, so the choice depends on your preference and budget.

Trying both types of gas is recommended to find which one you prefer. Some may prefer nitrogen but choose nitrous oxide due to the cost factor, eliminating the need to visit a coffeeshop your  nitro cold brew.  Think of the time and money savings!

Serving nitro cold brew coffee

Dispense the nitro coffee into a glass by pulling the nitro faucet tap handle.

When pouring liquid into a glass of nitro coffee, it's generally recommended to pour it straight down into the glass to create more foam. However, this technique is recommended for nitrogen gas, not nitrous oxide, as it produces significantly more foam.

For nitrous oxide-infused nitro cold brew, pour the coffee at an angle, like a beer, to help create a little less foam.

Understanding the differences between the two types of gases and their costs can help you make an informed decision when making nitro cold brew coffee at home.

Tips and Tricks for the Best Nitro Coffee Experience

Experiment with different coffee bean varieties and origins to discover new flavors and nuances. Single-origin beans often showcase unique characteristics that can elevate your nitro cold brew experience.

Adjust the coffee-to-water ratio to achieve the desired strength and flavor profile. If you prefer a stronger, bolder taste, use a higher coffee-to-water ratio, such as 1:2. For a milder brew, opt for a lower ratio like 1:4.

Proper cleaning and maintenance of the cold brew keg are essential for consistently delicious nitro cold brew coffee. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for cleaning and sanitizing the keg and its components.

Get creative with recipes and variations for nitro coffee. Consider adding flavors like vanilla, caramel, or chocolate, or experiment with non-dairy milk alternatives for a creamy, indulgent twist. 

We love to add in some of our flavored coffees like french vanilla, cinnamon hazlenut, or caramel with the cold brew beans.  


Making nitro coffee at home has never been easier, thanks to the cold brew keg. By following our step-by-step guide, you can enjoy the perfect cup of nitro cold brew coffee in the comfort of your own home. As you become more familiar with the process, don't hesitate to experiment with different beans, brewing ratios, and recipes to create your ideal nitro cold brew experience. Share your homemade nitro coffee creations and experiences with us in the comments below, and happy brewing!

Nitro Coffee Quick Start Kit Shopping List

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