In a hurry? Our top choice is the Royal Brew Home Keg Coffee Maker!
Nitro cold brew is a great variation of traditional cold brew.
It’s creamy, smooth, and hearty.
But with a ton of home nitro kegs on the market, it can be tough to make a decision.
So, what is the best nitro cold brew coffee maker?
In this article, I’ll break down my top choices and give you some things to think about while making your decision.
Let’s get to it!
Top 5 Nitro Cold Brew Makers
- Royal Brew Home Keg Coffee Maker (Best Overall)
- GrowlerWerks uKeg Coffee Maker (Best for the die-hard nitro fan)
- NitroPress Nitro Coffee Maker (Best portable nitro brewer)
- HB Brewing Coffee Maker (Best for easy use)
- VBENLEM Nitro Cold Brew Coffee Maker (Best for budgets)
Royal Brew Home Keg Coffee Maker
The Royal Brew Home Keg is one of the easiest to use options for home nitro drinks. Yeah, that means it can do more than just regular coffee.
From tea to beer, this keg works great. That makes it perfect for someone who wants some versatility in their nitro keg.
This keg is compatible with multiple types of nitrogen cartridges, adding to the capability.
I like that this keg has a big 64 oz capacity. That means you won’t have to make batch after batch if you’re serving a large group.
Another thing I really like about this nitro cold brew maker is its design. The stainless steel keg makes storing and freshness hassle-free. The cartridge holder is obvious and easy to use. You don’t need to hook up a nitrogen tank to use this keg.
The only downside to the design is the height. While the Royal Brew keg has a small horizontal footprint, it stands over 13 inches tall with the spout attached.
You can save height by attaching the spout horizontally, but Royal Brew says this isn’t optimal.
GrowlerWerks uKeg Coffee Maker
The GrowlerWerks uKeg is pretty close to being my dream nitro keg.
The main highlight for me is being able to brew cold brew directly in the keg. That saves time and money if you don’t have the tools to make cold brew already.
What’s more is that the uKeg nitro cold brew maker comes with filters specifically for making nitro cold brew.
Add to those features the 12 cup capacity and the double-walled insulation and you’ve got a really solid cold brew keg. The kit itself also comes with some starter nitrogen gas cartridges to get you going right away.
GrowlerWerks claims that this keg has a double filtration system. What that means is that they have one filter to hold coffee grounds and another mesh filter in the hose.
In truth, the mesh filter doesn’t work well. Many people have had to remove the mesh filter to get consistent results.
That being said, I would still recommend this to someone looking to step up their nitro cold brew game.
This is a dedicated cold brew keg, so it doesn’t do other drinks. However, if you’re looking to dial in your nitro brew coffee, this is a perfect option.
I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this to a beginner nitro coffee lover. It’s not as easy to use as, for example, a whipped cream dispenser, and it can be a little tricky to get right.
NitroPress Nitro Coffee Maker
Okay, if I were a beginner again, or in need of a super-portable nitro cold brew maker, I would hands-down buy the NitroPress.
Yes, the NitroPress is on the smaller side of nitro kegs. It only has a 500 ml capacity. But what it lacks in capacity it makes up for in ease of use.
In my opinion, there isn’t an easier-to-use option available. All you do is attach the nitrogen cartridge, give it a little shake, wait a minute or so, and pour.
It really is that simple.
Another benefit is versatility. Because of the simple design, the NitroPress is compatible with all kinds of nitrogen cartridges. That means you can make a cold brew, sodas, and even whipped cream.
I’ll be honest, I’m considering adding this to my lineup anyway because of the portability.
It’s small enough to fit in just about any bag. You can take this brewer just about anywhere and have a delicious nitro cold brew to share.
The downside is that each cartridge only gives you two small cups of nitro. If you plan on using your nitro brewer for big parties, this probably isn’t the best option.
That said, if you want a nitro cold brew every now and then, it doesn’t get much better than this.
HB Brewing Nitro Coffee Maker
The HB Brewing Nitro is a good middle ground between size and capability. It makes 4-6 glasses of nitro cold brew per batch while not taking up much space in your kitchen.
The simplicity is a big selling point for me. There isn’t much work to be done beyond attaching the nitrogen cartridge, giving a little shake, and waiting for a minute or two.
It’s a somewhat stripped-down version of other nitro brewers on the market. But that makes it a good option for someone looking to buy their first real nitro keg.
I also like the size. It’s actually small enough to fit in your refrigerator. That gives you plenty of time before your nitro starts to flatten.
The downside of a stripped-down keg like this is consistency. The HB Brewing Nitro has been known to drip from the faucet.
If you’re serious about nitro cold brew, this brewer probably isn’t for you. But if you’re looking for your first keg that will get the job done, this is a good starting point.
VBENLEM Nitro Cold Brew Coffee Maker
The VBENLEM Nitro brewer is the best budget buy on this list. The simple and no-frills design makes it a great option for a nitro lover looking to save money.
It is a stripped-down keg made of stainless steel. That makes it easy to clean and maintain.
The 64 oz capacity is still very big for a budget-friendly keg. You won’t have to keep making batch after batch to serve everyone.
A big selling point for me is the extra lid that comes in the kit. This lid makes storing extra coffee, beer, iced tea, or any other cold drink super easy.
Basically, you get a storage keg and nitro brewer in one.
Its size also makes it easy to use on the go. It’s the perfect size to take camping or just on a picnic.
It does have a couple of downsides. One is that you will need to make cold brew separately because you can’t make a regular cold brew coffee in the keg. The other is that the faucet can leak when the keg is fully pressurized.
What to Consider Before Buying a Nitro Brew Coffee Maker
If you’re buying your very first nitro cold brew keg or simply upgrading to a new one, there are a lot of things to consider before pulling the trigger.
Let’s dive into the big things you need to think about before buying a nitro keg.
Nitro kegs come in all sizes. From industrial kegs used in a coffee shop to house kegs, there are plenty of sizes out there.
You need to consider how much space you have to dedicate to a nitro cold brew keg. Live in a small one-bedroom apartment? Maybe go for something smaller.
Looking to add nitro on tap to your house? Definitely look for a bigger keg so you don’t have to change them out frequently.
The big thing to remember when thinking about the size of your nitro keg is how much nitro you drink.
If you only have nitro once in a while, getting a big keg isn’t a great option. Even with the best kegs, eventually, the cold brew will start to go flat. It’s important to match the size of your keg to how often you drink nitro cold brew.
There are really only two materials you might find when looking for a nitro cold brew keg.
The first is aluminum. This is much less common and you will only find it if you buy an old keg.
Aluminum used to be the industry standard. However, acidic drinks like coffee and beer can corrode aluminum. The old aluminum kegs needed epoxy linings to keep away the corrosion.
That’s why almost all kegs these days are made from stainless steel.
Stainless steel doesn’t get corroded by coffee. It’s also much easier to clean and cheaper because it doesn’t require an epoxy lining.
Steel is preferable to non-metal kegs because it can withstand more pressure. That means you can be sure that your keg will hold up to many nitrogen gas cartridges.
You’ll need to think about how many people you need to serve with each batch. Will you use this for brunch parties? Or is your keg for personal use only?
Your answer will change how big your capacity needs to be.
For personal or single-use kegs, find a simple keg that holds just enough for one or two cups at a time. This will save you from making too big of a batch and risking your nitro going flat.
If you plan on drinking a lot of nitro daily or serving many people at once, then go for something bigger.
Keep in mind that most advertised capacities aren’t quite what they seem. A general rule of thumb is to only fill up your keg to 50-75% of the total capacity.
That ensures enough room left over in the keg for the nitrogen to fully work in with the coffee.
Charging a keg looks different depending on how you use your nitrogen.
For example, coffee shops usually have two different kegs hooked into the nitro system. The first is a keg of cold brew. The second is a keg of nitrogen.
The nitrogen keg is hooked into the cold brew keg and allowed to displace the oxygen left over in the cold brew.
That’s how nitro is really made.
With smaller, home-style setups, you will generally use nitrogen cartridges. These are little containers of nitrogen that slide into a charger container and are screwed into the keg itself.
Once the container is screwed into the keg, the nitrogen gas is released into the cold brew.
If you don’t plan on using the two keg system in your home, make sure the keg you want to buy is compatible with nitrogen cartridges.
Also, keep in mind that there are different kinds of cartridges. Some are used to make sodas, some for whipped cream, and some for nitro cold brew and other nitro drinks.
Do you plan on using your keg only for cold brew? Or do you want the option to make nitro beers and teas?
Be honest with yourself on this one, because it can limit your choices. While there are some good options out there for cold brew specific kegs, the vast majority are capable of doing other drinks as well.
The downside to the kegs that can do just about any drink is that they aren’t cold brew specific.
You’ll get better and more consistent nitro cold brew from a keg that is designed for brewing and infusing cold brew in one go.
However, if you want to experiment with other kinds of nitro drinks, getting a keg that can do it all is a great option.
The Final Verdict
Given all the options and variables in making a decision on a nitro cold brew keg, our choice of best nitro coffee machine is the Royal Brew Home Keg Coffee Maker.
It has a durable and simple stainless steel design. The nitrogen system and faucet are incredibly easy to use. And it’s compatible with all kinds of nitrogen cartridges.
With this keg, you can make anything from delicious cold brew to nitro-infused beers and teas.
The best part, in my opinion, is that it gives you a lot of versatility and competence without having to spend a lot of money.
I hope this list helped!
Enjoy your nitro!
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