Beer Recipe of the Week: Chai Tea Brown Ale
Gordon Strong constructed this recipe after recognizing the potential the spices in his iced chai tea had in homebrewing. This recipe is featured in Gordon's book Brewing Better Beer: Master Lessons for Advanced Homebrewers on page 212. For more recipes and guidance on how to master homebrewing, pick up a copy of Gordon's book from the online store!
All-Grain recipe for 6 U.S. gallons (22.7 L)
4 lbs (1.8 kg) | Maris Otter malt
4 lbs (1.8 kg) | Vienna malt
1 lb (454 g) | Honey malt
1 lb (454 g) | CaraVienne malt
1 lb (454 g) | U.K. Crystal 80° L malt
0.25 lb (113 g) | U.K. Chocolate malt
0.75 lb (340 g) | Quaker Oats, toasted 20 minutes at 250° F (121° C), cooled
0.5 lb (227 g) | Lactose (15 minutes)
1.25 oz (35 g) | Saaz whole hops, 4% alpha acid (60 minutes)
White Labs WLP002
Original Gravity: 1.048
Final Gravity: 1.016
Mash at 150°F (66°C) for one hour. Mash-out at 170°F (77°C).
Boil for 90 minutes, following boil schedule noted in ingredients.
Ferment at 67°F (19°C).
Post fermentation, blend in tea to taste.
Keg and force carbonate.
Chai Spiced Tea Ingredients
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
2 cinnamon sticks
2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and sliced
5 whole cloves
2 star anise
24 green cardamom pods, split
1 black cardamom pod, split
2 tsp. black peppercorns
1/2 whole nutmeg, roughly chopped
1/4 tsp. fennel seeds
Bring about 1 quart filtered water to a boil, then pour over spices and cover in a separate container. Let steep for 15 minutes, then strain to remove spices. Cover tea and keep chilled until used. I blended in about 2 cups (473 milliliters) of this liquid in the 5-gallon (19-liter) batch. But you want to do it slowly, mix it well, and taste it. Different people have different tastes, so you're looking for a nice balance without being overpowering with the spices. Don't use tea—it has too much tannin.