Author Topic: Agave Fermentation  (Read 939 times)

Offline joshthebrewer

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Agave Fermentation
« on: September 24, 2015, 09:03:52 PM »
Hi everyone,

Has anyone used Agave Nectar in a beer before? I have a recipe I have used before for a nice Thanksgiving ale with just a touch of pumpkin spice, but like many I'm a little tired of pumpkin everything. I want to take the same recipe and tweek it to be similar to the Pecan Pie recipe I use every Thanksgiving; which uses Agave nectar, and Orange zest.
So I will add some sweet Orange peel in last 5 min of boil and some Pecan extract at bottling. My question is the Agave Nectar's affect of FG since it's a simple sugar that will mostly ferment. Right now I have 9 lbs of 2row as a base but I'm not sure if I should adjust that down to accommodate the ABV bump that the agave will give.

Any thoughts or experience will be greatly appreciated.

Offline erockrph

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Re: Agave Fermentation
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2015, 12:02:44 AM »
I'd treat the agave like honey. Expect it to ferment completely. Either substitute it for some base malt in your recipe if you don't want to increase the ABV and don't mind a drier beer, or plan on it bumping the ABV if you don't want to cut some base malt out and want a fuller body.

I'd also add it toward the end of fermentation if you want to retain any flavor in the finished beer. Even then, I wouldn't expect much out of it since agave nectar isn't the most powerful flavor to begin with.
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Agave Fermentation
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2015, 12:12:35 AM »
I'd treat the agave like honey. Expect it to ferment completely. Either substitute it for some base malt in your recipe if you don't want to increase the ABV and don't mind a drier beer, or plan on it bumping the ABV if you don't want to cut some base malt out and want a fuller body.

I'd also add it toward the end of fermentation if you want to retain any flavor in the finished beer. Even then, I wouldn't expect much out of it since agave nectar isn't the most powerful flavor to begin with.


+1
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Offline ranchovillabrew

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Re: Agave Fermentation
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2015, 02:53:46 AM »
I add it directly to the fermenter and treat like honey
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Offline goschman

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Re: Agave Fermentation
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2015, 03:48:30 AM »
Maybe a bit of molasses for more flavor?
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Offline Three

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Re: Agave Fermentation
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2015, 05:07:16 AM »
I'd treat the agave like honey. Expect it to ferment completely. Either substitute it for some base malt in your recipe if you don't want to increase the ABV and don't mind a drier beer, or plan on it bumping the ABV if you don't want to cut some base malt out and want a fuller body.

I'd also add it toward the end of fermentation if you want to retain any flavor in the finished beer. Even then, I wouldn't expect much out of it since agave nectar isn't the most powerful flavor to begin with.

+1

Not sure if you would taste that subtle agave flavor over the orange zest.....



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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Agave Fermentation
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2015, 03:55:30 PM »
Like honey the flavor will mostly fade out as the sugar ferments away. If you can source a really dark, unprocessed agave nectar then that will give you the best shot at retaining the flavor without having to use so much that the beer ends up too thin to enjoy.

I think the combination of agave and orange will make people think tequila rather than pecan pie.
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Offline toby

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Re: Agave Fermentation
« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2015, 04:20:56 PM »
I think the combination of agave and orange will make people think tequila rather than pecan pie.
^this^

Pecan Pie, you're going to want to use something like molasses, dark brown sugar, or dark corn syrup to get some of the same flavors that are in pecan pie.  I would assume your pie recipe uses agave nectar instead of light corn syrup and then adds some brown sugar or something like that for color and flavor?

Offline pete b

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Re: Agave Fermentation
« Reply #8 on: September 25, 2015, 05:06:20 PM »
Pecan pie is crazy sweet. Ironically, because 100% get turned to alcohol, all these potential sugar/syrups will actually make the beer drier instead of sweeter. I think the focus should be mainly on the specialty malts to0 get the sweetness. I think blackstrap molasses then would give you the most bang for the buck in terms of getting an appropriate associated flavor because its so strong you could only add a little to get the right flavor. I guess I would go fairly heavy on crystal/carmel malt and a little blackstrap in secondary and pecan extract.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Agave Fermentation
« Reply #9 on: September 25, 2015, 05:33:45 PM »
Pecan pie is crazy sweet. Ironically, because 100% get turned to alcohol, all these potential sugar/syrups will actually make the beer drier instead of sweeter. I think the focus should be mainly on the specialty malts to0 get the sweetness. I think blackstrap molasses then would give you the most bang for the buck in terms of getting an appropriate associated flavor because its so strong you could only add a little to get the right flavor. I guess I would go fairly heavy on crystal/carmel malt and a little blackstrap in secondary and pecan extract.
Agreed. Blackstrap or maybe D-180
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Offline joshthebrewer

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Re: Agave Fermentation
« Reply #10 on: September 25, 2015, 08:45:32 PM »
I think the combination of agave and orange will make people think tequila rather than pecan pie.
^this^

Pecan Pie, you're going to want to use something like molasses, dark brown sugar, or dark corn syrup to get some of the same flavors that are in pecan pie.  I would assume your pie recipe uses agave nectar instead of light corn syrup and then adds some brown sugar or something like that for color and flavor?

Thats exactly how the recipe for the pie is. I hadn't thought about molasses though and I think I will lean toward that for flavor other than agave.

Thanks

Offline joshthebrewer

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Re: Agave Fermentation
« Reply #11 on: September 25, 2015, 08:50:10 PM »
Pecan pie is crazy sweet. Ironically, because 100% get turned to alcohol, all these potential sugar/syrups will actually make the beer drier instead of sweeter. I think the focus should be mainly on the specialty malts to0 get the sweetness. I think blackstrap molasses then would give you the most bang for the buck in terms of getting an appropriate associated flavor because its so strong you could only add a little to get the right flavor. I guess I would go fairly heavy on crystal/carmel malt and a little blackstrap in secondary and pecan extract.


Thaks I think I'll do that maybe go from 8 oz caramel/crystal to 1.5 lbs and add some blackstrap to the secondary. Do you think I should add as much as a pound? or more like a cup or 2?

Offline joshthebrewer

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Re: Agave Fermentation
« Reply #12 on: September 25, 2015, 08:51:48 PM »

Agreed. Blackstrap or maybe D-180
[/quote]


Wich would you think has the better flavor? Since I want it more for the flavor than anything else.

Offline pete b

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Re: Agave Fermentation
« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2015, 12:00:44 PM »
Pecan pie is crazy sweet. Ironically, because 100% get turned to alcohol, all these potential sugar/syrups will actually make the beer drier instead of sweeter. I think the focus should be mainly on the specialty malts to0 get the sweetness. I think blackstrap molasses then would give you the most bang for the buck in terms of getting an appropriate associated flavor because its so strong you could only add a little to get the right flavor. I guess I would go fairly heavy on crystal/carmel malt and a little blackstrap in secondary and pecan extract.


Thaks I think I'll do that maybe go from 8 oz caramel/crystal to 1.5 lbs and add some blackstrap to the secondary. Do you think I should add as much as a pound? or more like a cup or 2?
A pound would be too much for sure. Assuming molasses has a similar volume /weight ratio as honey which mean a pound would be a gallon which would be overwhelming flavor and contradict the object of not drying out the beer. I would guess about two cups. I would research recipes that use molasses es or hope someone with direct experience comments.
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Agave Fermentation
« Reply #14 on: September 26, 2015, 01:21:11 PM »
Honey only weighs a pound per gallon? You mean pound per pint, right?