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Old 10-08-2009, 08:49 PM   #1
cmdrico7812
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Default Ah Nuts! (using nuts in brewing)

So I've been trying to think of how to get the most flavor from using nuts in a beer. Here are the various methods I've come up with. Let me know your thoughts on them (or other methods) and which you think would yield the nuttiest flavor (we're dealing with roasted nuts here, so assume that's been done prior to any of these methods):

1. Crushed the nuts and mash them right along with the grain.
2. Crush the nuts and add them to the wort at the beginning of the boil and strain them out before adding to fermenter.
3. Crush the nuts and add them at flame-out and then strain them out of the wort before transferring to fermenter.
4. Ferment the beer in primary and rack on top of crushed nuts in secondary.

Anyone have thoughts on this? Currently, my favored method is to add them at flame-out. Any nut beer experts out there? Thanks.

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Old 10-08-2009, 09:45 PM   #2
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Nuts are mainly fat and protein, two things I try to minimize in my beer. IMO you would be better off using a flavor extract.

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Old 10-08-2009, 09:51 PM   #3
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How does the flameout method work for you. Are you noticing any distinct contributions from the nuts?

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Old 10-08-2009, 10:08 PM   #4
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I have never used nuts in brewing. But if I were there are a few things I'd try. Try powdering the nuts and adding with 1 min left in the boil. Should settle out in primary.

Alternatively you could grind them up like coffee and steep them into a tea of sorts. Add that tea directly before kegging. Start with a little and add more until you get the flavor you want.

I haven't ever done this, but for some reason it's the two I'd try first. Let me know if you ever decide to do either.

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Old 10-08-2009, 10:11 PM   #5
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I make a liquor by roasting walnuts then letting them steep in vodka for about a month. It has an awesome nutty flavor when done. If you do that, strain it, then add it in secondary or before bottling/kegging, you'll probably transfer more flavor to your beer than any of the methods you mentioned.

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Old 10-08-2009, 11:52 PM   #6
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KingBrianI thanks for the tip. For a five gallon batch of your walnut beer, how many nuts do you use and how much vodka? What's the rest of your recipe for this walnut beer? Thanks.

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Planning: Nutcastle Brown, Founder's Breakfast Stout
Primary: Apfelwein w/Cherry
Secondary: Flanders Red, ESB2, ESB3, Hobgoblin PM
Bottle: Black Beauty Honey Rye, Holiday Chestnut Ale, Grumpy Gnome IPA, Sumatran Espresso Stout, Apfelwein, All Jacked Up, Patriot's Amber, ESB1, Belgian Dubbel.

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Old 10-09-2009, 12:02 AM   #7
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I've never used it in a beer, just drank the liquor by itself. But my typical batch is about a cup to a cup and a half of walnut. I put them in a mason jar and add just enough vodka, and sometimes a little brandy, to cover the toasted walnuts. After a month, the vodka is a beautiful dark brown and tastes amazing when mixed with a little simple syrup made from brown sugar. If adding to a beer, I'd skip the simple syrup. Using 1.5 cup of toasted walnuts and enough vodka (and brandy if you like) to cover them would probably be perfect for a 5-5.5 gallon batch of beer.

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Old 10-09-2009, 12:25 AM   #8
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First, depending on what kind of nuts, they will float, not settle out. Be careful.

Second, whatever you do... do as KingBrian said and roast them first - helps release oils (where flavor is)

I wouldn't worry about using fresh nuts in a brew, just counter balance it with torrified wheat or some other head builder. I think I'd be more afraid of a fake flavor in my beer than a lack-luster head.

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Old 10-09-2009, 12:43 AM   #9
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I'm making chestnut beer. I want to make a Christmas beer with a touch of spices and chestnuts. I made a chestnut beer last year by making a light pilsner base ale and then adding 3#s of roasted and smashed chestnuts to the boil. The beer was really good but lacked the nuttiness I was looking for.

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Planning: Nutcastle Brown, Founder's Breakfast Stout
Primary: Apfelwein w/Cherry
Secondary: Flanders Red, ESB2, ESB3, Hobgoblin PM
Bottle: Black Beauty Honey Rye, Holiday Chestnut Ale, Grumpy Gnome IPA, Sumatran Espresso Stout, Apfelwein, All Jacked Up, Patriot's Amber, ESB1, Belgian Dubbel.

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Old 10-09-2009, 02:29 AM   #10
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Nuts belong on the bar... as a snack while you enjoy your brew....... not in the brew itself. Just my $0.02. Haven't had a nut brown (just what comes to mind), or any other nutty brew that's tasted in any way satisfying to me..... but more power to ya.

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