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General Category => Ingredients => Topic started by: denny on March 15, 2013, 09:00:42 PM

Title: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?
Post by: denny on March 15, 2013, 09:00:42 PM
And how did you use it? Got to thinking about this after reading about a spirulina beer....kinda makes my mushrooms beers look normal.
Title: Re: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?
Post by: morticaixavier on March 15, 2013, 09:05:18 PM
I've used persian mulberries. not very strange but somewhat unusual I think.

I've used wild black sage leaves and flowers, rosemary, propolis and royal jelly in a mead
Title: Re: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?
Post by: denny on March 15, 2013, 09:16:12 PM
Never heard of Persian mulberries.  What did they taste like and what did you do with them?
Title: Re: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?
Post by: cornershot on March 15, 2013, 09:39:01 PM
And how did you use it? Got to thinking about this after reading about a spirulina beer....kinda makes my mushrooms beers look normal.
What kind of mushrooms in what kind of beer? I was recently thinking about this. Maybe a portobella pilsner?

I've brewed a brown ale with reduced maple sap and sassafras roots a few years ago. Friends still ask for it.
Title: Re: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?
Post by: dmtaylor on March 15, 2013, 09:44:06 PM
I used wild grapes in a mead once.  They were tiny little blue-black grapes.  Mostly seeds inside with very little flesh.  They provided a certain smoky flavor and a little astringency.  Turned out pretty good.

I have also made a traditional gruit ale.  Not strange ingredients, historically speaking, but consider the fact that most people have never tasted a gruit ale in their lives, ever.  Tasted sort of like A1 steak sauce and pickle juice.  I loved it.  Need to brew that one again.

Also made an ancient Sumerian recipe with homemade bappir bread, Bamburg smoked malt, dates, honey, and wild yeast.  Tasted like sour fruity bacon.  Very different.

I've also used Earl Grey tea.  Never again.  I hated it.  Tasted like Earl Grey, yes, but... not meant for beer.
Title: Re: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?
Post by: denny on March 15, 2013, 09:55:48 PM
And how did you use it? Got to thinking about this after reading about a spirulina beer....kinda makes my mushrooms beers look normal.
What kind of mushrooms in what kind of beer? I was recently thinking about this. Maybe a portobella pilsner?

I've brewed a brown ale with reduced maple sap and sassafras roots a few years ago. Friends still ask for it.

Chanterelles in a wee heavy.

http://wiki.homebrewersassociation.org/WeeShroomy
Title: Re: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?
Post by: weithman5 on March 15, 2013, 10:07:06 PM
two years ago i tried to make a rhubarb and strawberry rye.  i screwed it up a bit as i think my rhubarb was a bit dirty. i am going to try again this summer.  the idea came from a rhubarb and strawberry jelly sandwhich i had on rye bread.  i used my own strawberries and friend that grows rhubarb.  the farm stand down the street though sells big jars of rhubarb and strawberry that is canned for pies.  i know it will have some sugar in there too but otherwise....
Title: Re: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?
Post by: morticaixavier on March 15, 2013, 10:54:01 PM
Never heard of Persian mulberries.  What did they taste like and what did you do with them?

I racked about  gallon of a very tart wit beer I brewed with saison yeast and dried lemon slices. The mulberries had been frozen but apparently were still crawling with wild yeast and bacteria. ended up really good actually. it was an amazing red cranberry color with a really complex funk to it after about a month. I think I will do it again actually. the mulberries came from Berkeley so they had great bugs on them. I only had about 1-1.5 lbs last time. maybe I can score 5 or so pounds for the next one.
Title: Re: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?
Post by: micah h on March 15, 2013, 10:54:31 PM
Ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg in a spiced beer.
Title: Re: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?
Post by: corey_tess on March 16, 2013, 12:02:48 AM
Kousa Dogwood fruit. It's something I am planning on using this year as long as my trees get fruit on them his year. I'm new to homebrewing beer, and I did not get enough fruit last year to try them in one of my meads.

http://www.slashfood.com/2008/08/29/wild-edibles-kousa-dogwood-fruit/
Title: Re: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?
Post by: euge on March 16, 2013, 01:05:57 AM
So bugs from Berkley automatically are awesome? Hmmm
Title: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?
Post by: bluesman on March 16, 2013, 01:49:06 AM
I suppose it would be the Saison that redbeerman and I brewed with Tupelo honey, Muscat grape juice and coriander. Not too crazy, but interestingly sessionable nonetheless.

Certainly not nearly as interesting as the Choc Lobster from Dogfish Head. :)
Title: Re: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?
Post by: morticaixavier on March 16, 2013, 02:36:23 AM
So bugs from Berkley automatically are awesome? Hmmm

Oh yes! every sourdough I have tasted made with berkeley starters have been amazing. It's weird because when I lived in Oakland, the next town over I made some sourdough starter and it was good the first batch but then turned to nail polish remover fairly quickly. I live in the north bay now and the same thing happens here.
Title: Re: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?
Post by: lornemagill on March 16, 2013, 02:53:12 AM
cardamom in a coffee malt stout.  it was great.  not that unusual but the oddest ive used.
Title: Re: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?
Post by: euge on March 16, 2013, 02:55:56 AM
I might get ya to send me a sample mort. Very interesting!
Title: Re: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?
Post by: bboy9000 on March 16, 2013, 04:14:52 AM
I once used bacon in a maple bacon porter by steeping bacon in a few ounces of vodka.  I could taste the bacon in the vodka but once I spiked the bottles with it I just had salty maple porter. 
Title: Re: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?
Post by: skyler on March 16, 2013, 08:38:51 AM
I have tasted made with berkeley starters have been amazing.

I left Berkeley, but kept my Berkelian starter. It is a real workhorse. Great.
Title: Re: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?
Post by: firedog23 on March 16, 2013, 09:45:20 AM
I used rye bread last week. 1.25 pounds in the mash and another 1.25 pounds as a sort of decoction with 8 cups of wort, reduced down to two cups.
Title: Re: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?
Post by: Siamese Moose on March 16, 2013, 12:59:22 PM
I have used mustard seed in a Belgian Blond. The seeds don't taste like prepared mustard until you do a vinegar extract. The flavor was more nutty. This was part of an Iron Brewer competition.

I have also used dandelion greens (from my yard) as a bittering agent in a no-hop beer.

Finally, I use paw paw fruit (native to the Ohio valley) from the trees in my yard in a saison every year.
Title: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?
Post by: majorvices on March 16, 2013, 01:01:57 PM
Marshmallows and graham crackers in the mash and chocolate in the boil: s'mores beer. :)
Title: Re: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?
Post by: denny on March 16, 2013, 04:17:41 PM
Marshmallows and graham crackers in the mash and chocolate in the boil: s'mores beer. :)

Did the marshmallows and graham cracker flavor come through in the finished beer?
Title: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?
Post by: majorvices on March 16, 2013, 08:11:40 PM
Marshmallows and graham crackers in the mash and chocolate in the boil: s'mores beer. :)

Did the marshmallows and graham cracker flavor come through in the finished beer?

This is how I know yer getting old, you don't remember this from years ago over at at B3 forum. You berated me for it At the time. ;)

Nah, I ended up dumping it due to a weird salt flavor probably from crackers.
Title: Re: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?
Post by: brewsumore on March 16, 2013, 09:50:21 PM
I've adapted a majorvices saison recipe more or less with a kaffir lime leaves and galangal (Indian ginger) saison that was great.  I also make a chokecherry Belgian wit with wild-picked chokecherries that is really good.

As for non-typical but not unheard of ingredients, one saison I did with star anise and ginger in very small amounts was probably my least favorite of my saisons but still was tasty.
Title: Re: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?
Post by: kmccaf on March 16, 2013, 10:22:46 PM
I've adapted a majorvices saison recipe more or less with a kaffir lime leaves and galangal (Indian ginger) saison that was great.  I also make a chokecherry Belgian wit with wild-picked chokecherries that is really good.

As for non-typical but not unheard of ingredients, one saison I did with star anise and ginger in very small amounts was probably my least favorite of my saisons but still was tasty.

The chokecherry wit sounds really good! Do you have to pit the chokecherries?
Title: Re: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?
Post by: brewsumore on March 16, 2013, 11:01:20 PM
From a previous NB Forum thread: 

I've made the Brew-Haus chokecherry stout a couple times and it's very good. I adopted their method for using chokecherries and developed a Chokecherry Belgian Wit recipe that is also very good according to a number of people...

"Also for my recipe, I've frozen, thawed, then macerated the chokecherries (I do them bit by bit in a food processor, no more than about 15 seconds since you DON'T want to crack the pits since they contain prussic acid, i.e. poison), and stirred that well while pasteurizing them in the wort after the boil, and then strained them out prior to fermenting, rather than tossing them pits and all into the primary fermenter. This makes it easier to rack after primary fermentation. But I had plenty of cc's to work with...

I've tried both removing the stems and not removing the tiny stems and I didn't think the batch with stems came in very noticeably more bitter, although they will for wine or mead."

You can also freeze, thaw and then squish by hand the berries, but I found that the food processor is much quicker and if done right won't crack a single pit, and isn't hard at all to do without cracking pits.  I think I got the food processor idea from a blog about making pemmican or mead.  PM me if you'd like the recipe.  Since they are a strong flavored berry, they are fine for adding pre-ferment.  I checked my past batch notes and found that 1.2 pounds of ripe chokecherries per gallon of finished beer is plenty of fruit.  The brewer at the time (2006) at Blue Moon Brewing in Bend, OR helped me dial in my recipe.  You need to let this beer mature awhile, for the fruit to integrate - it's amazing the transformation it goes through after it's been in the bottle for a couple months.  I haven't tried kegging it yet.

The old Brew-Haus (they are/were in Durango, CO) recipe for Rocky Mountain Choke Cherry Stout, no longer available via a Google search (I just tried), they macerated by hand the fruit, pasteurized following the boil at ~160F for 20 minutes, and then dumped pits and all into fermenters for the entire primary.

edited to reduce amount of fruit per batch after checking past batch notes.

Title: Re: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?
Post by: erockrph on March 17, 2013, 02:51:17 AM
I admire everyone's adventuresome spirit here. I have a hard time drinking even 12 ounces of most beers with exotic ingredients. I'd hate to be stuck with a case of something I don't really want to drink.

I would love to use my yellow raspberries or pink currants in a brew, but I eat them all before I can even get in the house :))
Title: Re: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?
Post by: euge on March 17, 2013, 02:10:04 PM
I've been thinking about using durian fruit in a beer. Best experiment with a lesser batch in case it turns out badly.
Title: Re: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?
Post by: rjharper on March 17, 2013, 04:00:02 PM

I'm back in Dubai and just scored some fun ingredients at the spice souk. One that jumps out at me is sumac. It's tart, a little citrusy, earthy and bright purple! It's used on salads here but can be used in place of lemon. I also picked up some dried hibiscus. I need to figure out a good base beer, but I'm leaning towards a sumac / hibiscus wheat might be a good start...
Title: Re: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?
Post by: denny on March 17, 2013, 04:23:37 PM
This is how I know yer getting old, you don't remember this from years ago over at at B3 forum. You berated me for it At the time. ;)

Nah, I ended up dumping it due to a weird salt flavor probably from crackers.

Dude, there are a LOT of signs I'm getting old!
Title: Re: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?
Post by: Siamese Moose on March 17, 2013, 08:06:03 PM
One that jumps out at me is sumac

My wife is doing some test batches for a local one-man brewery (Blank Slate, Cincinnati, OH, http://www.blankslatebeer.com/index.shtml (http://www.blankslatebeer.com/index.shtml)), and sumac is one of the things they're about to test. They're going to start by making some teas and blending them into a Belgian Blond to see what they get.
Title: Re: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?
Post by: rjharper on March 17, 2013, 08:11:26 PM
One that jumps out at me is sumac

My wife is doing some test batches for a local one-man brewery (Blank Slate, Cincinnati, OH, http://www.blankslatebeer.com/index.shtml (http://www.blankslatebeer.com/index.shtml)), and sumac is one of the things they're about to test. They're going to start by making some teas and blending them into a Belgian Blond to see what they get.

I'd love to know how that turns out. My probrewer buddy was thinking a sumac / saffron / hibiscus farmhouse.
Title: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?
Post by: majorvices on March 17, 2013, 09:18:53 PM
i tried saffron and did not care for the results. have been toying around w.hibiscus.
Title: Re: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?
Post by: brewsumore on March 17, 2013, 09:47:05 PM
I used saffron in the BYO Midas Touch clone and I think it is a nice beer - one of the favored taps when folks come over to visit, although it's taking awhile to kill the keg.
Title: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?
Post by: majorvices on March 17, 2013, 10:28:04 PM
I used saffron in the BYO Midas Touch clone and I think it is a nice beer - one of the favored taps when folks come over to visit, although it's taking awhile to kill the keg.

LOL! I didn't care much for Midas Touch so there you go!
Title: Re: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?
Post by: brewsumore on March 17, 2013, 10:55:39 PM
I used saffron in the BYO Midas Touch clone and I think it is a nice beer - one of the favored taps when folks come over to visit, although it's taking awhile to kill the keg.

LOL! I didn't care much for Midas Touch so there you go!

I bought it once - $14.00 for a 4-pack of 12 oz. bottles.  I wonder if the subliminal sales pitch is that if it was the drink of choice of a king for which everything he touched turned to gold, it must be more precious than gold. 
Title: Re: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?
Post by: jeffy on March 17, 2013, 11:21:05 PM
When I was a kid living in central Kentucky, maybe 1965 or so, I pulled up a huge sassafras root by the side of the road.  A couple years ago, almost 50 years later, I put some of this, which is pretty much petrified at his point, into a club project beer.  It is cool that the aroma still comes through.
Title: Re: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?
Post by: brewsumore on March 17, 2013, 11:28:24 PM
When I was a kid living in central Kentucky, maybe 1965 or so, I pulled up a huge sassafras root by the side of the road.  A couple years ago, almost 50 years later, I put some of this, which is pretty much petrified at his point, into a club project beer.  It is cool that the aroma still comes through.

You might not want to drink that.  Google "toxicity of sassafras"

http://www.drugs.com/npp/sassafras.html
Title: Re: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?
Post by: jeffy on March 18, 2013, 01:08:07 AM
When I was a kid living in central Kentucky, maybe 1965 or so, I pulled up a huge sassafras root by the side of the road.  A couple years ago, almost 50 years later, I put some of this, which is pretty much petrified at his point, into a club project beer.  It is cool that the aroma still comes through.

You might not want to drink that.  Google "toxicity of sassafras"

http://www.drugs.com/npp/sassafras.html

Of course it's too late now, but I knew of the counter-indications.  There was no vomiting, stupor, lowering of body temperature, exhaustion, tachycardia, spasm, hallucinations, paralysis and collapse.
Title: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?
Post by: majorvices on March 18, 2013, 11:34:04 AM
When I was a kid living in central Kentucky, maybe 1965 or so, I pulled up a huge sassafras root by the side of the road.  A couple years ago, almost 50 years later, I put some of this, which is pretty much petrified at his point, into a club project beer.  It is cool that the aroma still comes through.

You might not want to drink that.  Google "toxicity of sassafras"

http://www.drugs.com/npp/sassafras.html

Of course it's too late now, but I knew of the counter-indications.  There was no vomiting, stupor, lowering of body temperature, exhaustion, tachycardia, spasm, hallucinations, paralysis and collapse.

Awe shucks! ;)
Title: Re: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?
Post by: CASK1 on March 18, 2013, 12:05:31 PM
Dollarweed in a blonde ale (named One Dollar Whore). If you live in the southeast, you know what I mean. Added at flameout, which was a mistake. The beer tasted like cooked asparagus. I would like to try it again "dry" in the secondary as I can't help thinking the spicy aroma when I try to pull the stuff out of the landscaping would work well in a beer if done right. And in case anybody is wondering, it IS edible.
Title: Re: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?
Post by: reverseapachemaster on March 18, 2013, 02:39:38 PM
I added a pill of an amino acid to some sugar I was caramelizing to test a hypothesis. It made sugar water taste like beef. That's probably the weirdest thing I've ever done.

Mesquite pods are probably the next strangest ingredient I've used.
Title: Re: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?
Post by: hopfenundmalz on March 18, 2013, 03:01:31 PM
It is always fun to watch Peeps melt into the boil. Just a fun way to add sugar.
Title: Re: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?
Post by: morticaixavier on March 18, 2013, 03:17:22 PM
One that jumps out at me is sumac

My wife is doing some test batches for a local one-man brewery (Blank Slate, Cincinnati, OH, http://www.blankslatebeer.com/index.shtml (http://www.blankslatebeer.com/index.shtml)), and sumac is one of the things they're about to test. They're going to start by making some teas and blending them into a Belgian Blond to see what they get.

sumac is also sometimes called lemonade berry, or at least some varieties are. If you get a big bunch of the fresh berries that havn't been rained on and soak them in cold water then strain the water off and drink. tastes like lemonade... sorta. maybe dryberrying?
Title: Re: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?
Post by: factory on March 18, 2013, 04:24:45 PM
I used epazote and mahlapi in a beer recipe that I took from "Extreme Brewing".  Turkey Drool was the name of the beer IIRC.  The epazote came through very heavily, but the mahlapi (crushed cherry pits) didn't have a very big impact from what I could tell. 

I won't be making that one again, it was not a very sessionable beer.  My friends all seemed to enjoy it, but the epazote was not to my liking.
Title: Re: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?
Post by: snowtiger87 on March 18, 2013, 09:17:43 PM
Besides Fantome yeast?  :o

Sweet Woodruff. I had no idea how much to add but it came dried in a 1 lb bag so I added it all at flame-out to a brown ale. I also remember the label said "Not to be consumed by humans". The beer was awful. More than that the bottles started breaking at the neck when I tried to open them. That got me worried so I threw out mist of the batch.
Title: Re: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?
Post by: corkybstewart on March 18, 2013, 09:34:03 PM
When I was a kid living in central Kentucky, maybe 1965 or so, I pulled up a huge sassafras root by the side of the road.  A couple years ago, almost 50 years later, I put some of this, which is pretty much petrified at his point, into a club project beer.  It is cool that the aroma still comes through.

You might not want to drink that.  Google "toxicity of sassafras"

http://www.drugs.com/npp/sassafras.html

Of course it's too late now, but I knew of the counter-indications.  There was no vomiting, stupor, lowering of body temperature, exhaustion, tachycardia, spasm, hallucinations, paralysis and collapse.
I only experienced the stupor, hallucinations and partial paralysis after making a cup of tea on a camping trip :o.  A friend who makes root beer gave me a bottle of extract to try in a pale ale but I can't make myself do it.
Title: Re: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?
Post by: micah h on March 21, 2013, 09:03:29 AM
I used epazote and mahlapi in a beer recipe that I took from "Extreme Brewing".  Turkey Drool was the name of the beer IIRC.  The epazote came through very heavily, but the mahlapi (crushed cherry pits) didn't have a very big impact from what I could tell. 

I won't be making that one again, it was not a very sessionable beer.  My friends all seemed to enjoy it, but the epazote was not to my liking.
Friends always enjoy homebrew. I have a hard time getting an honest answer out of my friends.

One time I used a mystery strain of wild yeast in a batch, and half of my friends loved it, and the other half are "blank" light fans, that enjoy a crisp flavorless beer. No offense.

Now I brew to my taste and still get told it's great. But I like it with them.
Title: Re: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?
Post by: factory on March 21, 2013, 02:51:26 PM
I used epazote and mahlapi in a beer recipe that I took from "Extreme Brewing".  Turkey Drool was the name of the beer IIRC.  The epazote came through very heavily, but the mahlapi (crushed cherry pits) didn't have a very big impact from what I could tell. 

I won't be making that one again, it was not a very sessionable beer.  My friends all seemed to enjoy it, but the epazote was not to my liking.
Friends always enjoy homebrew. I have a hard time getting an honest answer out of my friends.

One time I used a mystery strain of wild yeast in a batch, and half of my friends loved it, and the other half are "blank" light fans, that enjoy a crisp flavorless beer. No offense.

Now I brew to my taste and still get told it's great. But I like it with them.

I am my own worst critic when it comes to my homebrews.  My friends just like trying new beer styles they've never heard of -and oh yeah- they're free, so I don't get much useful criticism other than monitoring how quickly they blow through a keg.  I figure the faster they drink, the more they like.
Title: Re: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?
Post by: hschofi on March 31, 2013, 07:50:05 PM
Im pretty new to the home-brewing world but I decided to start messing with beer already and have a Honey Ale using raw chai tea. I guessed at the amount, tossed 1/4 cut of tes into a 5gal batch at 2min left in boil. its still 2 weeks from bottling but doesn't smell to bad! LOL... 
Title: Re: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?
Post by: donsmitty on March 31, 2013, 08:15:54 PM
So are you all adding these ingredients to the boil or the fermenter?  If the fermentor, how are you sanitizing your additions?  I'd like to try adding something but don't want to infect my brew...
Title: Re: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?
Post by: denny on March 31, 2013, 08:24:00 PM
So are you all adding these ingredients to the boil or the fermenter?  If the fermentor, how are you sanitizing your additions?  I'd like to try adding something but don't want to infect my brew...

depends on the ingredient and what you want to get from it.  Some work better in the boil, some better in the fermenter.  I've added things like vanilla beans and wild mushrooms to the fermenter without sanitizing them at all and had no problem.
Title: Re: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?
Post by: hschofi on April 01, 2013, 12:59:58 PM
I have added fresh raspberry's before with no issues and the chai I added at the end of the boil, last 2 minutes or so..
Title: Re: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?
Post by: donsmitty on April 01, 2013, 04:37:04 PM
So if I wanted to add some orange peel or other citrus then I should be OK by just washing it well before adding to the fermenter?
Title: Re: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?
Post by: jeffy on April 01, 2013, 05:03:55 PM
So if I wanted to add some orange peel or other citrus then I should be OK by just washing it well before adding to the fermenter?

When I add peppers to kegged beer or to the secondary, I stick them in the toaster oven at low (less than 200F) for 10 minutes just to be safe.  You could do that with orange peel, but I doubt you can do it with raspberries.
Title: Re: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?
Post by: denny on April 01, 2013, 06:04:23 PM
So if I wanted to add some orange peel or other citrus then I should be OK by just washing it well before adding to the fermenter?

When I add peppers to kegged beer or to the secondary, I stick them in the toaster oven at low (less than 200F) for 10 minutes just to be safe.  You could do that with orange peel, but I doubt you can do it with raspberries.

Spray them with StarSan?
Title: Re: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?
Post by: euge on April 02, 2013, 12:34:41 AM
So if I wanted to add some orange peel or other citrus then I should be OK by just washing it well before adding to the fermenter?

When I add peppers to kegged beer or to the secondary, I stick them in the toaster oven at low (less than 200F) for 10 minutes just to be safe.  You could do that with orange peel, but I doubt you can do it with raspberries.

Spray them with StarSan?

Just add it. This is the synergy of brewing.
Title: Re: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?
Post by: mpietropaoli on April 02, 2013, 12:52:05 AM
When I was a kid living in central Kentucky, maybe 1965 or so, I pulled up a huge sassafras root by the side of the road.  A couple years ago, almost 50 years later, I put some of this, which is pretty much petrified at his point, into a club project beer.  It is cool that the aroma still comes through.

You might not want to drink that.  Google "toxicity of sassafras"

http://www.drugs.com/npp/sassafras.html

Of course it's too late now, but I knew of the counter-indications.  There was no vomiting, stupor, lowering of body temperature, exhaustion, tachycardia, spasm, hallucinations, paralysis and collapse.

Awe shucks! ;)

Its really a bummer that stuff is so bad for you.  My brother has a sassafras tree (I think) growing on his property and we pulled some bark off.  It smelled so.  frigging.  good.  I wanted to use it in a beer.  So we ground it up with the dremel, and I put some in a simple syrup and added to soda.  It was really really really good. 

So, while in my head trying to think of what styles it would work well in (saison, belgian pale ale), I googled it, and found a lot of the toxicity stuff.  Maybe it was just front of mind, but I did feel pretty dizzy and weird, even if from just a half tsp or so. 

I would love to get the extract with the harmful oil removed, but it would have been cool to use it in a beer, just for the 'terroire' effect!
Title: Re: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?
Post by: denny on April 02, 2013, 03:39:00 PM
Just add it. This is the synergy of brewing.

Well, that's what I do, but many people lack my faith....;)
Title: Re: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?
Post by: reverseapachemaster on April 02, 2013, 04:16:34 PM
When I add fruit to beers I pasteurize them on the stove in a small amount of water. There's definitely a lot on life on the outside of fruit that gets added to your beer. I know lots of brewers (even commercial brewers) add fruit without any treatment but for me it's a small insurance policy to stabilize the beers.
Title: Re: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?
Post by: chezteth on April 02, 2013, 04:45:42 PM
I made an imperial Stout with homemade green curry paste and coconut milk. I ended up adding some of the curry paste in the keg because I didn't think the flavor was strong enough. I should have left it as it was. It still tastes good but the curry paste flavor is a bit strong. I can only handle one pint on any particular day.
Cheers,
Brandon

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