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Old 12-06-2011, 05:03 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by LakewoodBrew View Post
Pair the acorns with spruce tips for bittering and you can brew like a true mountain man.

I want a taste!
I made a porter with some fresh, spring spruce tips that I had picked that night tossed in at flameout. It was awesome.
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Old 03-20-2012, 03:31 PM   #22
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There are a couple of threads here that discuss making an acorn beer, but no results of someone actually doing it. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

This idea popped into my head a couple of days ago and has been rattling around ever since. That's what lead me to search HBT. I know acorns are bitter, which is why I thought you could use them as a hop substitute as well as part of the grist. It would certainly be an interesting take on a "nut brown ale". Really, though, I'm just fond of experimental brewing with whatever grows in my yard that's edible. There were no acorns this past year, but a bumper crop the year before. I'm guessing there will be at least enough to harvest this year.

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Old 11-05-2012, 07:49 PM   #23
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I tought of acorn beer as I was hunting this past weekend and noticed all of the wasted acorn on the ground. I thought a beer would be awsome. If I can find someone who has had success. I will run back up and pick up enough this weekend.

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Old 08-12-2013, 07:21 PM   #24
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So, this thread is coming up to more than 3 years old. The acorns are starting to ripen on the Oaks, here in Hamburg, Germany and for the first time I thought to explore the idea of an Acorn Beer. Thanks for the thread, it's been good to read through others thoughts on the subject, unfortunate to find few that have given feedback based on real-world experience.

I know acorns from their use for making a coffee substitute. To process them, they need to be: peeled of the hard outer skin and the inner dark membrane leaving the creamish nut; leached in water (although some swear by milk, and from previous posts above, it is recommended to freeze them as well); roughly crushed; roasted - either lightly or dark depending on the strength of "coffeeness" desired; cooled; crushed; and, brewed.

So, this gives us several directions to explore: Obviously, a coffee stout using roasted acorns as the coffee substitute; another option is to lightly toast the acorns and then to cold press them to remove the oils, soak them in a food grade solvent to remove surface oil after pressing, wash the solvent away with hot water, ad then to dry the resultant meal which could then be used as part of a cereal mash. Again given that it might add murkiness, dark beers or ales may be preferable.

If the oil can be successfully removed and/or minimised, then it might be possible to mash (step mash) the resultant meal with some pale malt, or with the addition of amylase enzymes, sous vide, to convert the available starches, wash the meal and centrifuge/vacuum filter/filter under pressure through a membrane/crash chill and freeze filter, the liquid in order to clear it. This will definitely have an impact on the flavour profile of the final liquid, but then is should be easily addable to the end of the boil or post-boil directly into the fermenter.

Personally, I think a dark ale would be the best target style, combined with some filtration post-fermentation and judicious use of gelatine and carrageenan to help clear the resultant ale.

The acorns here are still some time away from being ripe and ready for use so, I still have time to research and think this through. If you have any input, thoughts or experience worth sharing, please do so.

Cheers.

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Old 10-19-2013, 12:01 PM   #25
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Spent the day up the mountains in Hayama today and saw tons of acorns which I decided to scoop up and take home. Acorns are starch right, so a beer ingredient was my thought. OK now I have read the threads and lots of hypothetical processing that I am not sure I want to go through with. I haven't even tasted one acorn yet, is it worth the trouble to do anything with them?

I am thinking of using it as a small part of the grain bill, no more than 5% or so. I'm also thinking of throwing them out and forgetting the whole idea.
It could go either way, but if I brew with them I will write something here.

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Old 10-19-2013, 01:40 PM   #26
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Last fall I gathered up a few pounds of white oak acorns from my backyard. The problem with acorns you harvest from the ground is that most of them will have little white grubs. Finding a "grub free" acorn is a pain, and you won't really know this until you crack them all open. I discarded the really mealy ones, but since I was processing the meat anyway, I didn't mind if there were little grub trails inside. The grubs pop out pretty easily if they haven't already escaped.

I put all the acorn meat into boiling water for about 10 minutes. It was like boiling dirt. It stunk up the kitchen, so I would suggest doing this outside. Drain the batch, and then do it all over again. What you are doing is extracting all the bitter tannins. And leftover grub gunk. You are supposed to do this until the water runs clear. I did it about 5 times until the water was "clear enough." I then baked them on a cookie sheet at 250 for 30 minutes, let them cool, then sealed them up in the freezer. A few pounds of acorns yielded about 8oz of processed nut meat.

At the end of August, I brewed up my Backyard Brown Ale, using these acorns which I crushed into meal, rosemary from our herb garden, and wet hopped with my harvest of Cascades. Basic recipe:

2-row 74%
Honey malt 7%
Crystal 60L 7%
Acorn meal 7%
Chocolate malt 5%

I also added some flaked oats, mashed it all at 153 for 60 minutes. Thinking that the acorns might provide some bitterness, I went with late addition hops to get about 30 IBUs:

Chinook 15 minutes
Northern Brewer 10 minutes
Rosemary (20g for 3 gallons) 10 minutes
Cascade flameout

Fermented with Thames Valley (Wyeast 1275) for 28 days at 70.
OG = 1.055 FG = 1.009

Tested the first bottle last night and it is very good. The rosemary is a prominent flavor that plays well with the malt bill and the very aromatic Cascades. It has an oak-aged quality on the finish, leaves your mouth a little dry like a red wine, but the overall beer is very crisp, clean and clear.

This was just an experimental batch that I intend to share at my club meeting next month. I'll post up the reviews here.

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Old 10-20-2013, 01:55 AM   #27
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Thanks Castlehollow, esp the info on the grubs. The obasans around here mentioned little white mushi (insects) are common in the donguri (acorns). I don't know the tree species I am dealing with so I think this year I will skip the experiment. Glad your beer turned out good and I will revisit this thread in the future if I give it a shot!
Cheers,
B

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Old 10-14-2014, 01:39 AM   #28
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Default Scheming up an acorn beer..

I shelled and halved some white oak acorns today in hopes of adding them to a future brew. I'm going to soak them in cold water for several days changing the water 2-3 times a day to leach out the tannins, using the taste test to monitor the progress.

Then I plan on roasting them and removing as much of the oils as possible. I did this with some pecans in a porter recently and apparently was able to remove enough of the oils since the final beer maintained moderate head retention. Hopefully it will also work with the acorns. Perhaps adding some wheat or cara-pils to the grain bill will help?

I'm thinking of using these in a simple brown ale recipe. The question in my mind is whether to mash with some base malt, steep like a specialty grain, use as a secondary fermentation addition, or do a combination of those options(fyi, currently a BIAB partial-mash brewer). With the pecan porter, I steeped a pound of pecans with some specialty grains and the beer had a faint nutty flavor and aroma but it left me wanting more. Maybe a mash/secondary addition combo will be the ticket to getting a pronounced nuttiness.

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