Gordon Strong constructed this recipe after recognizing the potential the spices in his iced chai tea had in homebrewing. This recipe is featured in Gordon’s book Brewing Better Beer: Master Lessons for Advanced Homebrewers.
Chai Tea Brown Ale | Spice/Herb/Vegetable Beer
- 4 lbs (1.8 kg) | Maris Otter malt
- 4 lbs (1.8 kg) | Vienna malt
- 1 lb (454 g) | Honey malt
- 1 lb (454 g) | CaraVienne malt
- 1 lb (454 g) | U.K. Crystal 80° L malt
- 0.25 lb (113 g) | U.K. Chocolate malt
- 0.75 lb (340 g) | Quaker Oats, toasted 20 minutes at 250° F (121° C), cooled
- 0.5 lb (227 g) | Lactose (15 minutes)
- 1.25 oz (35 g) | Saaz whole hops, 4% alpha acid (60 minutes)
- White Labs WLP002
- Original Gravity: 1.048
- Final Gravity: 1.016
- ABV: 4.2%
- IBU: 18
- SRM: n/a
- Boil Time: 90 minutes
- Efficiency: n/a
- Pre-boil Volume: n/a
- Pre-boil Gravity: n/a
- Mash at 150°F (66°C) for one hour. Mash-out at 170°F (77°C).
- Boil for 90 minutes, following boil schedule noted in ingredients.
- Ferment at 67°F (19°C).
- Post fermentation, blend in tea to taste.
- Keg and force carbonate.
Chai Spiced Tea Ingredients
- 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and sliced
- 5 whole cloves
- 2 star anise
- 24 green cardamom pods, split
- 1 black cardamom pod, split
- 2 tsp. black peppercorns
- 1/2 whole nutmeg, roughly chopped
- 1/4 tsp. fennel seeds
- Bring about 1 quart filtered water to a boil, then pour over spices and cover in a separate container.
- Let steep for 15 minutes, then strain to remove spices. Cover tea and keep chilled until used.
- I blended in about 2 cups (473 milliliters) of this liquid in the 5-gallon (19-liter) batch. But you want to do it slowly, mix it well, and taste it. Different people have different tastes, so you're looking for a nice balance without being overpowering with the spices.
- Don't use tea—it has too much tannin.