Take the 2-minute tour ×
Homebrewing Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for dedicated home brewers and serious enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

This may be more of a wiki than a specific question, but has anyone ever tried brewing with vegetables? If so, what is your experience? I'm considering mostly root vegetables. carrots, beets, turnips, parsnips

Specifically, what is the best way to infuse the flavor, aroma and color of the veg? How much sugar can I expect to extract? Will that sugar be fermentable?

share|improve this question
add comment

2 Answers

I have brewed with potatoes, and a friend of mine has brewed with carrots.

He merely put carrot juice into secondary fermentation. It wasn't a bad beer, by any stretch of the imagination and WAS a little orange. So juicing is an option.

If you think about it, making beer from a root vegetable shouldn't be that much different than making vodka from a root vegetable. In either case, you want to create a fermentable liquid. In your case, you're going to act upon with ale yeast instead of distiller's yeast, and you're not going to ferment it.

With potatoes, when you're making vodka, you generally use a pressure cooker to completely pulverize a potato in a small amount of water and then use that 'potato juice' as a basis for the fermentable liquid.

I did a little bit of research on potatoes before using them in my beer. While I plan on totally pulverizing them next time (to see how it comes out), I can tell you that the starches in potatoes gelatinize at about the same temperature as the starches in barley. I did a pre-mash with my potatoes at 150F for an hour before adding them to my normal mash. The upside to this is that you don't get a bunch of goopy potato in your mash. The downside is that you probably don't get as much starch/sugar out of them as you would in the pulverization method.

I am not convinced that baking a potato and adding it to your mash gets you anything more than a little bit of flavor (I'm sure you lose a lot during boil/fermentation).

If you really want a beer to taste like a vegetable, I would pasteurize it (or bake it, whatever) and add it to secondary fermentation, rather than the mash.

Here are my initial thoughts/research results when I first made my potato beer:

http://www.topfermented.com/2009/10/28/homebrew-new-thoughts-on-potatoes-in-your-beer/

I'll be doing it again in a few weeks now that I had a little more knowledge and I'll be attempting to actually measure how much gravity I'm getting from the potatoes. I'll be sure to post the results.

share|improve this answer
add comment

You'll need to mash the vegetable after it gets cooked to convert the starches to sugars. There aren't a lot of free sugars compared to the starches in these types of vegetables.

I have a sweet potato beer recipe that I made that calls for baking 4-5 sweet potato in foil for 4 hours at 375. The potatos get really soft and actually caramelize a little bit. I scoop out the flesh and discard the skin. Then I make a soupy mix with some crush two row and mash water at 154F (final). That gets mashed in its own pot (~1.5 gallons) then it gets added to the main mash prior to mashout. I have thought beets would be interesting as a coloring agent for sure. But too get flavor from them you'd need to use to many and I think it would stain all the plastic in your brewhouse. But it would be a cool colored beer.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.