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General Category => Other Fermentables => Topic started by: Michael Thompson on November 27, 2010, 10:41:35 am

Title: Butterbeer anyone?
Post by: Michael Thompson on November 27, 2010, 10:41:35 am
My wife and daughter went to the new Universal Studios Harry Potter theme park recently, and raved about the butterbeer. I've looked around the internet for recipes, and mostly, they seem to be versions of butterscotch cream soda. They're all mixtures of other ingredients, such as butter, brown sugar, cream soda, sometimes actual cream, spices, etc. Some are adult versions using butterscotch schnapps, most are sweet kids drinks.

From the descriptions in the books, butterbeer can be intoxicating, so I imagine it really should be brewed, not mixed. However, they do give it to children, so the alcohol content must not be too high, or else there's also a kids version in the wizarding world.

So, now that I've established myself as a complete geek, does anybody have any ideas for actually brewing butterbeer? I would think something along the lines of a cream soda or root beer, with some sort of butterscotch flavor would be the thing. Or am I the only one who has seriously considered this?
Title: Re: Butterbeer anyone?
Post by: capozzoli on November 27, 2010, 12:22:48 pm
hMMM, Interesting, I have never heard of this. But I love egg cream sodas, sounds like it may be similar. Im having loads of success making soda with tibicos.Made a ginger ale that is very nice, started one last night using brown sugar, maple syrup and vanilla bean.

I wonder how butter would work out, tibicos is related to kefir so the dairy would be fine but Im not sure it would carbonate with fat in there.

How are you thinking to make this, if you give it a try?

I never read a Harry Potter book nor have a seen the films, but I can see how a guy with pot in his name would like such a drink.
Title: Re: Butterbeer anyone?
Post by: alikocho on November 27, 2010, 01:58:29 pm
You mean like this stuff?
(http://26.media.tumblr.com/i2dw5nf19ok318r6M1csgI8Ko1_500.jpg)

There's more here http://www.thisiswhyyourefat.com/?p=253193920 (http://www.thisiswhyyourefat.com/?p=253193920)
Title: Re: Butterbeer anyone?
Post by: dmtaylor on November 27, 2010, 02:07:40 pm
I suppose you could make regular beer but play around with different English ale yeasts and perhaps even German lager yeasts and purposely TRY to get a beer with a ton of diacetyl in it.  Ferment too cold, secondary early like after the first 3 or 4 days of fermentation, etc.  This should get you a relatively buttery beer if all the conditions are right, and if you used a yeast strain that is prone to it.
Title: Re: Butterbeer anyone?
Post by: gordonstrong on November 28, 2010, 08:40:03 pm
I've used this one before, but hey, there are new people around.

Why make butter beer? Why not just buy Redhook ESB?
Title: Re: Butterbeer anyone?
Post by: johnf on November 28, 2010, 08:58:40 pm
I suppose you could make regular beer but play around with different English ale yeasts and perhaps even German lager yeasts and purposely TRY to get a beer with a ton of diacetyl in it.  Ferment too cold, secondary early like after the first 3 or 4 days of fermentation, etc.  This should get you a relatively buttery beer if all the conditions are right, and if you used a yeast strain that is prone to it.

If you want a ton of diacetyl, they sell it in the baking aisle.
Title: Re: Butterbeer anyone?
Post by: mrdrysdale64 on November 29, 2010, 02:43:23 pm
Our club sponsored homebrew competition this year had a soda contest. The contest was for kids and judged by kids. My son did a butter beer and it won 1st place! He used Old Fashioned cream soda extract along with butterscotch syrup with a bit of butter extract. He made several batches in two liter bottles and force carbonated them until he got the flavor he wanted. It really was pretty tasty.

http://culturemap.com/newsdetail/08-02-10-beer-rebels-unite-in-clear-lake-its-homebrew-for-one-and-all-jenga-for-some/

Had to brag on my boy a bit!

I'm not sure I would want an alcoholic version but I'm sure there is a butterscotch liquer out there!
Title: Re: Butterbeer anyone?
Post by: Michael Thompson on December 25, 2010, 02:49:57 pm
hMMM, Interesting, I have never heard of this. But I love egg cream sodas, sounds like it may be similar. Im having loads of success making soda with tibicos.Made a ginger ale that is very nice, started one last night using brown sugar, maple syrup and vanilla bean.

I wonder how butter would work out, tibicos is related to kefir so the dairy would be fine but Im not sure it would carbonate with fat in there.

How are you thinking to make this, if you give it a try?

I really have no idea how I would try this, was looking for some guidance here. It's an intriguing idea though. I like the idea of egg cream soda, that really does sound like it would work.
Title: Re: Butterbeer anyone?
Post by: Michael Thompson on July 18, 2018, 08:29:13 pm
I suppose you could make regular beer but play around with different English ale yeasts and perhaps even German lager yeasts and purposely TRY to get a beer with a ton of diacetyl in it.  Ferment too cold, secondary early like after the first 3 or 4 days of fermentation, etc.  This should get you a relatively buttery beer if all the conditions are right, and if you used a yeast strain that is prone to it.

OK, now I've been to Harry Potter World myself and had butterbeer, so I'm reviving this thread. Please think about all the stuff you avoid to eliminate diacetyl, and give me to opposite advice. I think I need to drive diacetyl through the roof to accomplish this. What malt/yeast/techniques will produce the most diacetyl?

Sounds like 1st, short, cold fermentation. What yeast? I've seen recommendations of Irish ale yeast, English ale yeast, and perhaps German lager yeast. Would I lager it, or brew ale with the lager yeast? Any hints appreciated.
Title: Re: Butterbeer anyone?
Post by: James K on July 19, 2018, 01:00:05 pm

If you want a ton of diacetyl, they sell it in the baking aisle.

Just brew up a D bomb and do your boil with the lid on. We’ve talked about butter beer in our homebrew club. Diacetyl works great for that flavor.
Title: Re: Butterbeer anyone?
Post by: denny on July 19, 2018, 01:39:09 pm

If you want a ton of diacetyl, they sell it in the baking aisle.

Just brew up a D bomb and do your boil with the lid on. We’ve talked about butter beer in our homebrew club. Diacetyl works great for that flavor.

Boiling with the lid on is generally cited for DMS.  Does it produce diacetyl, too?
Title: Re: Butterbeer anyone?
Post by: James K on July 19, 2018, 02:02:58 pm
^^^ you right. But corn and butter flavor together. Sounds about as good as butter beer, plus you get the creamy goodness from leaving the lid on.
Title: Re: Butterbeer anyone?
Post by: denny on July 19, 2018, 02:03:53 pm
^^^ you right. But corn and butter flavor together. Sounds about as good as butter beer, plus you get the creamy goodness from leaving the lid on.

To me DMS is more like cooked cabbage than corn
Title: Re: Butterbeer anyone?
Post by: Michael Thompson on July 19, 2018, 03:59:26 pm

If you want a ton of diacetyl, they sell it in the baking aisle.

Just brew up a D bomb and do your boil with the lid on. We’ve talked about butter beer in our homebrew club. Diacetyl works great for that flavor.

Thanks, but if I knew how to brew a D bomb, I would have tried it. I think that's what I'm asking. :-)
Title: Re: Butterbeer anyone?
Post by: dmtaylor on July 19, 2018, 04:13:16 pm
Ferment too cold, secondary early like after the first 3 or 4 days of fermentation, etc.  This should get you a relatively buttery beer if all the conditions are right, and if you used a yeast strain that is prone to it.

I suppose I could take a look at my old lager brew logs and figure out which yeast caused the most diacetyl for me -- await an update from me in a little while.  My guess is probably 2308 or WLP820 or both -- I haven't used either one of those in many years now, and haven't had any diacetyl problems at all in many years either (which I think is good, but you...)

In addition to my old quote above, you could also lock in diacetyl by racking early and often.  Yeast eats diacetyl.  But after primary fermentation is mostly complete, if you immediately rack the beer, chill it down, wait a couple days, then rack again, thus removing like 99% of all the yeast, there won't be as many yeasties to eat the diacetyl, thus locking it in a bit.

You're crazy, you've been gone a while, but you're obviously serious about your request, so we'll help you out if we can.
Title: Re: Butterbeer anyone?
Post by: tommymorris on July 19, 2018, 07:27:03 pm
You could add artificial butter to the finished beer.

I wouldn’t though. I had the butter beer. I hated it.


- formerly alestateyall.
Title: Re: Butterbeer anyone?
Post by: hopfenundmalz on July 20, 2018, 08:16:14 am
Ferment too cold, secondary early like after the first 3 or 4 days of fermentation, etc.  This should get you a relatively buttery beer if all the conditions are right, and if you used a yeast strain that is prone to it.

I suppose I could take a look at my old lager brew logs and figure out which yeast caused the most diacetyl for me -- await an update from me in a little while.  My guess is probably 2308 or WLP820 or both -- I haven't used either one of those in many years now, and haven't had any diacetyl problems at all in many years either (which I think is good, but you...)

In addition to my old quote above, you could also lock in diacetyl by racking early and often.  Yeast eats diacetyl.  But after primary fermentation is mostly complete, if you immediately rack the beer, chill it down, wait a couple days, then rack again, thus removing like 99% of all the yeast, there won't be as many yeasties to eat the diacetyl, thus locking it in a bit.

You're crazy, you've been gone a while, but you're obviously serious about your request, so we'll help you out if we can.

White Labs has some diacetyl numbers on their website, sadly it is not complete.

Two I found quickly. 830 ~ 231 ppb, 833~ 90 ppb.
Title: Re: Butterbeer anyone?
Post by: dmtaylor on July 20, 2018, 08:47:46 am
Okay, gents, I just conducted a detailed review of every homebrew I've made since 2005 that had significant diacetyl.  This resulted in 6 hits for me since 2005.  The following yeasts all exhibited diacetyl for at least 3-4 weeks after packaging:

WLP820 (twice)
WLP830 (once)
2206 (once)
2565 (twice)

In 5 out of 6 cases, the diacetyl was gone after 3-4 weeks of conditioning.  The 1 exception was when I added sorbate at bottling to prevent excessive carbonation in the bottles.  It actually worked, but the diacetyl lingered for probably ~6 months, and it took that long to fully carbonate as well, but the finished beer after all that time is actually very good and I still have a couple bottles left.  But anyway.....

Seems to me that sorbate might help lock in diacetyl for anyone who might want that, assuming that you started with diacetyl already in the beer and just wanted to hurt the yeast so they can't eat it.  I'd recommend force-carbonation vs. natural carbonation from priming because it took forever for the primed bottles to carbonate.

And the most common fermentation schedule that caused diacetyl for me:

6-9 days at 50-53 F primary
3-6 days at 60-65 F "diacetyl rest" -- ha!!
2-3 weeks at 32-53 F lagering
<3 weeks in the package at ~60 F

That last line is important because like I say, diacetyl almost always disappears within 4 weeks.

Cheers and good luck.

P.S.  For the record, for those who wish to AVOID diacetyl, these days I don't fiddle with temperature changes so much, and I ferment a bit warmer than I used to, and I think those are some of the reasons I don't get much diacetyl anymore.  For example, the maibock I just brewed with S-189 yeast at 64 F for ~6 weeks in primary exhibited no diacetyl at any point throughout fermentation.  I'll be doing that ferm schedule again in future, with other strains as well.
Title: Re: Butterbeer anyone?
Post by: erockrph on July 23, 2018, 12:38:36 pm
Butterbeer sounds like a vanilla gose, minus the lactic acid, to me. Maybe a low-gravity mild brewed with WLP002, cold-crashed after 48 hours and spiked with butterscotch extract and a touch of salt?
Title: Re: Butterbeer anyone?
Post by: Jeff Zesch on November 30, 2018, 04:04:14 am
Did you try this?  How did it turn out?  What about using equal parts DME and Butterscotch sauce?  A half pound of each per gallon would give an OG of about 1.044 and an ABV of 5%.  There are several butterscotch sauce recipes out there.  Just wondering how the cream and butter would hold up to the fermentation process.
Title: Re: Butterbeer anyone?
Post by: EHall on November 30, 2018, 09:11:37 am
there's also butterscotch coffee flavored syrups you could add after fermentation...
Title: Re: Butterbeer anyone?
Post by: Michael Thompson on September 24, 2020, 02:15:33 pm
What would you use in your grain bill? Is there anything that produces a lot of diacetyl?
Title: Re: Butterbeer anyone?
Post by: joe_meadmaker on September 25, 2020, 11:14:21 am
You could give this a try.  One member posted that it worked well.

https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=35212.0 (https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=35212.0)