Author Topic: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?  (Read 6089 times)

Offline corkybstewart

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Re: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?
« Reply #45 on: March 18, 2013, 02:34:03 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.
I'd really just rather be brewing in sunny Carlsbad New Mexico

Offline micah h

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Re: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?
« Reply #46 on: March 21, 2013, 02:03:29 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.

Offline factory

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Re: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?
« Reply #47 on: March 21, 2013, 07:51:26 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.

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.

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Re: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?
« Reply #48 on: March 31, 2013, 12:50:05 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... 

Offline donsmitty

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Re: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?
« Reply #49 on: March 31, 2013, 01:15:54 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...

Offline denny

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Re: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?
« Reply #50 on: March 31, 2013, 01:24:00 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.
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hschofi

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Re: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?
« Reply #51 on: April 01, 2013, 05:59:58 AM »
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..

Offline donsmitty

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Re: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?
« Reply #52 on: April 01, 2013, 09:37:04 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?

Offline jeffy

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Re: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?
« Reply #53 on: April 01, 2013, 10:03:55 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.
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Offline denny

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Re: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?
« Reply #54 on: April 01, 2013, 11:04:23 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?
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Offline euge

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Re: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?
« Reply #55 on: April 01, 2013, 05:34:41 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?

Just add it. This is the synergy of brewing.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline mpietropaoli

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Re: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?
« Reply #56 on: April 01, 2013, 05:52:05 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.

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!
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Offline denny

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Re: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?
« Reply #57 on: April 02, 2013, 08:39:00 AM »
Just add it. This is the synergy of brewing.

Well, that's what I do, but many people lack my faith....;)
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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?
« Reply #58 on: April 02, 2013, 09:16:34 AM »
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.
Heck yeah I blog about homebrewing: Brain Sparging on Brewing but I'm also a lawyer: The Kielich Law Firm

Offline chezteth

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Re: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?
« Reply #59 on: April 02, 2013, 09:45:42 AM »
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.
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