Author Topic: Thanksgiving beer  (Read 1211 times)

Offline gabetoth

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Thanksgiving beer
« on: August 11, 2010, 12:41:01 PM »
I'm planning on doing a beer for Thanksgiving, a nice malty base, either a dubbel or a Scotch ale, with some fresh rosemary and maybe a little sage or thyme. I'm solid on recipes for both styles  (just brewed a partigyle batch of Big Scotty/Little Scotty), but haven't used these herbs in a beer before (infused some delicious herbed vodka, though). My biggest concern is with quantity; I want a subtle touch of the herbs, not a heavy-handed rosemary beer. Anybody have experience brewing with them? I'd like to get it made pretty soon so it has a couple of months to condition.

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Thanksgiving beer
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2010, 12:48:17 PM »
My advice is to go light, you can always add more later but can't take it away.

Also, check out Randy Mosher's Radical Brewing - I don't have my copy with me, but maybe someone else does.

Finally, consider soaking the herbs in some vodka and then dosing after primary to get the level of flavor you want.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline majorvices

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Re: Thanksgiving beer
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2010, 01:13:05 PM »
Personally, I have never been a big fan of herbed beer but if you were going to do this I would recommend doing it in a lower gravity "Table Beer" with a saison type yeast. I will say that for my Turkey Day dinner I have found that I enjoy a good Alt - un-spiced. Seems to go best with a turkey dinner.
Keith Y.
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Offline babalu87

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Re: Thanksgiving beer
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2010, 02:25:08 PM »
I'll have a Weizenbock ready.
Hoping it goes good with Turkey............. I know it will go good with relatives  ;D

Alt is an excellent beer with many foods
Jeff

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Offline hopaddicted

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Re: Thanksgiving beer
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2010, 06:49:09 PM »
I was planning a similar brew, a Stuffing Ale, featuring Sage. I plan to keep it light at the end of the boil and tweak in secondary to taste. I am going with a large percentage of biscuit malt to try for a bready flavor. Good luck and happy brewing... Let us know how it goes.
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Offline gordonstrong

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Re: Thanksgiving beer
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2010, 09:27:41 AM »
N'ice Chouffe uses thyme (and Curacao orange). I think I'd prefer that taste in beer more than rosemary or sage, but it depends on the style I guess. Rosemary has a woody taste, and could be like PNW hops. Sage is more vegetal-tasting, so I'd be careful that it doesn't come across as just a fault.  I tend to go light on clove for that reason as well.

Various fall seasonal beers usually taste good at Thanksgiving too. I made a pumpkin beer one year that was better at Thanksgiving than it was at Halloween.  Not sure that I'd make it again; it was a pain to use the pumpkin, but it was almost like a liquid pumpkin pie.  I remember tasting the Dogfish Head Punkin Ale and thinking it would be great as a beer float with vanilla ice cream (again, more pie like).

If your beer has flavors that echo seasonings on your food, it will probably work as long as they aren't overstated. Think background note, not primary flavor.

+1 on making sure you have something good (preferably strong) for you to drink if the inlaws are coming. Sometimes I skip the beer and head straight for the Scotch.  Weizenbock does sound like a great match for Thanksgiving, though.
Gordon Strong • Beavercreek, Ohio • AHA Member since 1997 • Twitter: GordonStrong

Offline tygo

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Re: Thanksgiving beer
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2010, 10:11:24 AM »
Sometimes I skip the beer and head straight for the Scotch. 

Amen to that.
Clint
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Offline dhacker

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Re: Thanksgiving beer
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2010, 10:16:38 AM »
Perhaps something with pumpkin . . ask Babalu for his advice . . :D
Just brew it...

Offline witsok

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Re: Thanksgiving beer
« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2010, 09:53:50 AM »
I made a saison with squash (Mexican pumpkin) and craisins a few years back.  I also make a sweet potato pie ale that has been quite popular.  I actually really enjoy brewing with sweet potatoes.

I thinking that I'll make a sweet potato saison this year (without the pie spices).

Offline guitarbrew

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Re: Thanksgiving beer
« Reply #9 on: October 07, 2010, 09:36:24 AM »
I made a saison with squash (Mexican pumpkin) and craisins a few years back.  I also make a sweet potato pie ale that has been quite popular.  I actually really enjoy brewing with sweet potatoes.

I thinking that I'll make a sweet potato saison this year (without the pie spices).

I am planning to do something with sweet potatoes this year.  I have gone back and forth with different ideas.  One is like your saison idea, a light pilsner based beer.  I have also thought about an 8lb two-row with 2 lb munich recipe.  And, on the extreme end, a FG 1.020ish ginger sweet potato porter. 

Do you do anything special to avoid a stuck sparge?

Offline Slowbrew

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Re: Thanksgiving beer
« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2010, 01:19:34 PM »
Sometimes I skip the beer and head straight for the Scotch. 

Amen to that.

This where my brothers and I usually end up. +1
Where the heck are we going?  And what's with this hand basket?

Offline tumarkin

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Re: Thanksgiving beer
« Reply #11 on: October 07, 2010, 01:40:37 PM »
Sometimes I skip the beer and head straight for the Scotch. 

Amen to that.

This where my brothers and I usually end up. +1

Beer with dinner, scotch after..... thanksgiving is all about excess :-)
Mark Tumarkin
Hogtown Brewers
Gainesville, FL

Offline witsok

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Re: Thanksgiving beer
« Reply #12 on: October 07, 2010, 05:34:31 PM »
Do you do anything special to avoid a stuck sparge?

With pumpkin and squash I've had pretty stuck mashes.  With sweet potatoes this hasn't been the case.  What I do is bake the sweet potatoes first.  Once they cool a bit, I remove the skins and slice the cooked tubers and add them to the infusion water.  I also add the sugary syrup that the sweet patatoes give up (I have them on a baking sheet to collect the juices).  Since I dough in cold and infuse with boiling water, I do reduce my infusion addition by the expected water content of the potatoes.  I assume 80% water.  So 5 lbs of sweet potatoes would contain about 1/2 gallon of water.  Again, I've had no sparge issue with sweet potatoes.  By boiling the sweet potatoes after they've been baked it helps break them up and free up the remiaing starches for conversion.