Author Topic: Chaga  (Read 5637 times)

Offline brownco

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Chaga
« on: May 25, 2011, 06:08:37 PM »
Does anyone have any usage guidelines for Chaga (Inonotus obliquus)?  Chaga is a fungus that grows on Yellow and White Birches.  I have come across a number of online mentions, but never any guidance.  The closest I have come is an individual who "throws a couple of handfulls" into his mead. Other than its mild, woody flavor profile, Chaga has some bittering properties, especially the black resinous outside layer.  In a boiled tea, the color is suprisingly black, as black as coffee.  In my brewing references, it is mentioned in Randy Moshers "Radical Brewing" book on page 186.  He makes mention of using Chaga in Sahti recipe. Randy however does not divulge any usage guidelines.  I am considering the use of some Chaga in a slightly smokey, Robust Porter.  My approach is to add the Chaga for the duration of the boil, this is the recommend way to make a tes, boil vs. steep.  I have also considerded boiling a tea and adding it to the fermenter.  What would be more appropriate?  How much Chaga would I add?  Does anyone know the effect on bittering IBU or the effect on color SRM? I have included a photo of some Chaga growing on a birch tree below.  here is also a link to more infomration on Chaga.  The author makes mention of adding Chaga tea to his brew.  http://mushroom-collecting.com/mushroomchaga.html  Thank you.

Ron Guerin

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Chaga
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2011, 10:46:07 PM »
I've never used chaga, but there are a few things you can do.

1.  Email Randy and ask.
2.  Figure out how to make a chaga tea, cool it down, then add some to a beer to figure out some dosing guidelines.

Once you've got that worked out, I think it is fine to either add it to the boil or make a tea and add it to the fermenter.  You could also wait for the beer to ferment out, then pull samples and figure out how much to use to dose the keg.  Then dose the keg.

Bottom line, there's a lot of different ways to do it and none is obviously more right than another.  Absent anyone with actual experience using it, you'll just have to try it and see how you like it, then make adjustments for future batches.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline brownco

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Re: Chaga
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2011, 04:25:49 AM »
Thanks for the reply tschmidlin.  I attempted 1) using the rcn.com email provided at the radical brewing website  http://www.radicalbrewing.com/rbcemail.html . To date I have not received a reply and I have wondered if the email address is still valid.  Do you have another email for Randy?

I like your suggested approach of making a tea and adding it to some beer to begin to understand the effects of the chaga on the beer.  In fact I will keep this method in my "toolbox" to use with other ingredients that would not be significantly changed by fermentation.

Again, thank you.

Cheers.
Ron Guerin

Offline thomasbarnes

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Re: Chaga
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2011, 04:56:06 AM »
It couldn't hurt to email Randy. His contact address here:

http://randymosherdesign.com/rmhome.html

I've contacted him in the past and he's reasonably friendly and prompt about answering beer-related questions.

Offline bluesman

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Re: Chaga
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2011, 07:02:03 AM »
Here's a recipe.

For very potent tea, just put 3 heaping tbs. (1/4 cup) of Chaga powder or small chunks straight into 2-liter pot of water and simmer (I use a coffee pot filled to the 12 cup level) for 12 to 14 hours. Then strain through a fine strainer or cheesecloth. Drink hot or cold! This makes enough tea for three days, drinking 4 cups a day. Chaga also makes very good ice tea

Chaga is very mild in flavor, so you can add lemon & honey to flavor it or a sprig of mint (Fresh mint is a good energy booster) is also good with some honey.

Hers's a couple links of interest.

http://www.mushroomhunter.net/chaga_recipes.htm

http://fiddleheadheaven.com/purchase_chaga_mushroom.php
Ron Price

Offline brownco

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Re: Chaga
« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2011, 08:10:23 AM »
Thanks bluesman and thomasbarnes.  The email for Randy is the one I had previously tused, but I have given it another try.  In the meanwhile I will make some chaga tea.
Ron Guerin

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Chaga
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2011, 09:19:30 AM »
For very potent tea, just put 3 heaping tbs. (1/4 cup) of Chaga powder or small chunks straight into 2-liter pot of water and simmer (I use a coffee pot filled to the 12 cup level) for 12 to 14 hours.
Seriously Ron?  That's not a typo?  A 12 hour simmer?
Tom Schmidlin

Offline bluesman

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Re: Chaga
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2011, 09:22:08 AM »
For very potent tea, just put 3 heaping tbs. (1/4 cup) of Chaga powder or small chunks straight into 2-liter pot of water and simmer (I use a coffee pot filled to the 12 cup level) for 12 to 14 hours.
Seriously Ron?  That's not a typo?  A 12 hour simmer?

That's the recipe. Don't shoot the messenger.  ;)  :)
Ron Price

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Chaga
« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2011, 09:23:10 AM »
For very potent tea, just put 3 heaping tbs. (1/4 cup) of Chaga powder or small chunks straight into 2-liter pot of water and simmer (I use a coffee pot filled to the 12 cup level) for 12 to 14 hours.
Seriously Ron?  That's not a typo?  A 12 hour simmer?

That's the recipe. Don't shoot the messenger.  ;)  :)
Just making sure.  That stuff better be damn good, I don't do that much for beer let alone tea. :)
Tom Schmidlin

Offline bluesman

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Re: Chaga
« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2011, 09:25:35 AM »
For very potent tea, just put 3 heaping tbs. (1/4 cup) of Chaga powder or small chunks straight into 2-liter pot of water and simmer (I use a coffee pot filled to the 12 cup level) for 12 to 14 hours.
Seriously Ron?  That's not a typo?  A 12 hour simmer?

That's the recipe. Don't shoot the messenger.  ;)  :)
Just making sure.  That stuff better be damn good, I don't do that much for beer let alone tea. :)

That is a long brewday.  :D
Ron Price

Offline brownco

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Re: Chaga
« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2011, 09:41:08 AM »
12 hours seems like a long time but I have read that if one is seeking the medicinal properties, and there any many claimed, it requires a lenghty amount of time.  I have also read that simply steeping will not release the medicinal elements, just the "tea" flavor, color and aroma components.  The claim being that a full boil is necessary to release all of the components.  My limited Chaga experience has been with ground Chaga and not with lump, my throughts being greater surface area equals greater componet release.  Chaga creates a suprisingly dark tea even at a 1tsp to 1 cup ratio. Another aspect is that the black outer layer is more bitter than the brown center portion. Tea drinkers will sometime not use the more bitter exterior.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2011, 09:43:48 AM by brownco »
Ron Guerin