As things begin to warm up with the summer weather it is time to consider how to cold brew. I was just muddling through an article on the subject that pretty much overwhelmed me with the science of percent of dissolved solubles etc. Here is what I think, if cold brewing is what you want to do, have fun, every taste is different. What works for me may not be your ideal profile.
Here is a starting point: easier is usually more approachable for the average person.
There are many products on the market designed specifically for cold-brewed coffee anywhere from $30.00 to $300.00 understanding the basics of how the process works will save both time and money. Keep in mind, it is generally true that is it costs more it works better. The Toddy System is the best for the buck costing about $40.00, but get this you may already have a French Press and you can make this work just fine for your cold brews.
How I do it:
In my 38 ounce French Press I put 6 0z. of cold filtered water in the bottom then add coarsely ground coffee (as if I were brewing for the French Press standard brew) use 6.75 ounces by weight. Then add 16 oz of cold water poring it slowly over the grounds to moisten all of the coffee then wait 5 minutes for the coffee to bloom and soak up the water. Then add an additional 8 ounces of water pouring it slowly and steadily into the pot. Cover loosely with a plastic bag and let it steep for 12 to 14 hours.
After 12 to 14 hours it is time to separate the brewed concentrate from the grounds, just plunging the French Press is not going to get the job done I plunge it first then filter it through a metal mesh filter to get every drop of the wonderful cold brewed coffee.
As I said, this is a starting point. This is the way that I do it and is what works for me. Each individual will have slightly different preferences in a finished product, so experiment. Over the course of the summer modify the brewing one factor at a time. Such as, the coarseness of the ground coffee or the brewing time. You could even modify the water to grounds ratio. If you experiment keep some notes, what you did differently and how you like the end result and for this a simple 10 point scale will work. Of course, when you find the right flavor you will know. Keep that recipe and do it that way every time.
A final note, the recipe given results in a concentrated coffee brew and adding 1 part of cold water to 1 part of cold brew concentrate is recommended. If you are preparing an Iced coffee beverage you can modify the dilution to your personal taste.