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General Category => Ingredients => Topic started by: jamminbrew on February 09, 2011, 11:59:43 pm

Title: Almond beer...
Post by: jamminbrew on February 09, 2011, 11:59:43 pm
I have a friend who requested that I make an almond beer.  He really loves a german style wheat.  I have a good recipe for that, but how would I add almond flavor?  Do I use real almonds, or an extract?  How much?  In the mash, boil, or like a dry hop, in a secondary?  Any help would be appreciated.  Thanks!
Title: Re: Almond beer...
Post by: cheba420 on February 10, 2011, 12:33:03 am
Maybe some amaretto? or Extract. I'd put it in secondary so you dont lose as much of the aroma. How much....no idea. I know that extracts are pretty strong so you'll probably want to just add it in little by little to taste. Hope that helps.
Title: Re: Almond beer...
Post by: tschmidlin on February 10, 2011, 05:44:01 am
I like the amaretto idea.  But since you will probably want to dose in secondary, I'd do a trial with some store bought hefeweizen and try amaretto and extract in a glass first.  That will give you an idea of which is better, how much you'll need, and if it makes a good pairing.

<edit>fixed typos - all of them hopefully
Title: Re: Almond beer...
Post by: EHall on February 10, 2011, 03:45:31 pm
You could toast the almonds and add them to the mash. It wont be a strong flavor but it will make it interesting. You could also buy the almond coffee flavoring and add it at bottling/kegging time.
Title: Re: Almond beer...
Post by: akr71 on February 10, 2011, 03:57:06 pm
I like the amaretto idea too.  I would be concerned about the fat & oil content if using real almonds, unless head retention is no big deal.
Title: Re: Almond beer...
Post by: dmtaylor on February 11, 2011, 03:06:16 pm
I would try almond extract -- and go super easy on it.  An eighth of a teaspoon might be all you need for 5 whole gallons.  Maybe 1/4 teaspoon.  Add a little at a time on bottling/kegging day until it tastes subtle and not IN-YOUR-FACE -- it could be very very overpowering to the point of disgust if you are not careful.

I've tasted a certain almondy nuttiness in German lagers such as Oktoberfest, so personally I think that would be an even better matchup for style than a hefeweizen that already has a lot going on with the clove and banana flavors.  But it might be worth a shot, who knows.
Title: Re: Almond beer...
Post by: gimmeales on February 11, 2011, 10:32:34 pm
Anyone else think that Amaretto doesn't actually taste like Almonds?  I never thought the two did.  Might want to confirm what flavor he's really after.

I know that home-toasting the nuts goes a long way to removing the fats that people are concerned about.  I know of a couple Pro Brewers who've gone this route with great success (i.e. no head-retention issues).  One is a local brewery who's making very solid beers, the other was Ron Jefferies from Jolly Pumpkin.
Title: Re: Almond beer...
Post by: euge on February 11, 2011, 10:40:22 pm
Anyone else think that Amaretto doesn't actually taste like Almonds?  I never thought the two did.  Might want to confirm what flavor he's really after.

I know that home-toasting the nuts goes a long way to removing the fats that people are concerned about.  I know of a couple Pro Brewers who've gone this route with great success (i.e. no head-retention issues).  One is a local brewery who's making very solid beers, the other was Ron Jefferies from Jolly Pumpkin.

I always thought it was cherry and almond.

And some people throw toasted pecans in the mash. Don't think it's enough to affect head formation or retention.
Title: Re: Almond beer...
Post by: jamminbrew on February 12, 2011, 05:58:55 pm
Thanks, every one!  Good info and ideas.  I talked to my buddy, and we thought maybe a simple blonde ale?  @dmtaylor, I think you're right about the hefe.  @gimmeales  I always thought amaretto tasted like maraschino cherries more than almond.  Since we're just experimenting with this, head retention is not a big issue yet, but if it works, then I'll probably have to figure that one out.
Title: Re: Almond beer...
Post by: dmtaylor on February 13, 2011, 02:51:16 pm
Ha!  I made homemade maraschino cherries last year, and the secret ingredient was none other than... almond extract!  The cherries tasted great without the extract, but with it, boy oh boy, THAT'S the secret flavor in all the commercially made maraschinos.

The fact of the matter is, both almonds and cherry pits contain cyanide compounds that provide the "cherry" flavor.  Almonds develop the flavor more as they age and turn stale.  And yes, I said cyanide.  In sufficient quantities, either old aged almonds or cherry pits can be poisonous, but only dogs and other small animals might make the mistake of eating way too many -- humans seem too large and intelligent to be affected very much.