Can theatre buttered and salted popcorn be used for brewing brewing at home?

A friend of mine has access to leftover popcorn from a movie theatre and I was wondering if it could be used for brewing at home?

I do not know enough about home brewing to know if this is even possible, given the particular circumstances.

The popcorn is already buttered and salted, so I do not know if these would interfere with the brewing process.

If it is possible to brew could someone perhaps mention a good recipe for it as well as the best yeast that would work best for this brewing process?

2 Answers 2


Yes, yes it can. Have done so before with Pumpkin Popcorn IPA. It was really good!

Salted will pump up your chloride ion count, so be aware of that, and the buttered aspect makes no real difference after mash and boil, any left over fats will get taken up by the yeast. As long as you are not adding an Ounce of butter you should be fine with the small amount on the popcorn.

Best yeast what ever you have, what ever you like.

I would take any standard home brew recipe and just chuck in the popcorn to the mash, treat it as you would any other torrified grain. I would not add more than 10% grist by weight.


It should work, depending on style. Popcorn is essentially cooked corn starch, so it comes pre-gelatinized and when mixed with sufficient diastatic malt it should saccharify.

As the previous posted already noted, the salt will raise your sodium levels.

Contrary to popular belief, the "buttered" popcorn rarely contains any butter. The butter flavour is a diacetyl based flavouring (diactyl is also produced by yeast) and the fat is usually coconut fat, which should have limited solubility in water.

So go for a full-bodied, full-flavoured style with sufficient body an hop bitterness to deal with the diacetyl; use water that is not too high in sodium to begin with, don't expect great head formation and retention because of the added lipids from the coconut fat, and don't be afraid to experiment!

  • Don’t forget to come back here and tell use how it turned out!
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    Commented Dec 24, 2020 at 14:50

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