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Old 02-02-2008, 02:02 AM   #1
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Default Assist with my experimental brew?

I am wanting to experiment with agave nectar, and Sorachi Ace. I've never used either, and they sound very interesting.

I've put together the following:

Code:
Amount        Item                                      Type         % or IBU      
1 lbs         Agave Nectar (1.5 SRM)                    Adjunct      12.50 %       
1 lbs         Extra Light Dry Extract (3.0 SRM)         Dry Extract  12.50 %       
6 lbs         Pale Liquid Extract (8.0 SRM)             Extract      75.00 %       
0.75 oz       Chinook [13.00 %]  (60 min)               Hops         28.5 IBU      
1.00 oz       Sorachi Ace [14.00 %]  (Dry Hop 10 days)  Hops          -            
1 Pkgs        Nottingham Yeast (Lallemand #-)           Yeast-Ale
The intent is to create a simple beer (using what's on hand..) so that I can get a handle on the characters in the agave and the Sorachi. As of now, there are no flavor hops - bad idea? I want to reserve all the Sorachi for dry hopping in secondary to maximize the supposed lemony notes. The only other hops I have is some Centennial and Chinook.

I'm thinking I'll add the nectar late in the boil to retain its flavors as much as possible.

Thoughts?

thanks
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Old 02-02-2008, 03:15 AM   #2
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Hate to bump, but I'm going to brew tomorrow - any input?

It may just be an experiment, but it'd be nice to actually be able to drink it. I don't necessarily have a great track record with recipe formulation...

Thx

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Old 02-02-2008, 03:40 AM   #3
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No ideas, man... never used agave. I'm not a big fan of Sorachi Ace hops (taste kind of like a lemon's pith to me), but some people love them. I'd toss them in with a minute or two left in the boil rather than dryhop; that'll get you some flavor and retain some aromatics, dryhopping will only give you aroma.

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Old 02-02-2008, 04:28 AM   #4
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There was a discussion about agave nectar a LONG time ago. I got excited about it a few months ago when I found an 8 oz bottle while wandering the stupid salon SWMBO was visiting. When I searched HBT, the few hits I got suggested that agave nectar would likely be extremely fermentable and very neutral in flavor. Because it tends to be expensive, the consensus was to skip it and use invert sugar or honey instead. Unfortunately, I can't seem to find that discussion right now.

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Old 02-02-2008, 04:54 AM   #5
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Maybe do an "agave mead". No honey, just agave and yeast and nutrient. That should really give you an idea as to whether the idea is worth pursuing.

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Old 02-02-2008, 08:00 AM   #6
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I've had an agave mead before, and it had a true agave flavor to it, like you get in a good tequila. It was subtle, though, and I doubt it would stand up to more than a light treatment of hops.

As far as I know, I have no experience with Sorachi Ace, so I can't help there.

This really is an experimental brew. I would hate to put two new variables in it, though (i.e., the Ace and agave), just because you may not be able to tell what does what. I sure hope you keep us in the loop on what happens, though.


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Old 02-02-2008, 01:49 PM   #7
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I'd recommend half the Sorachi Ace at 5 minutes & half for dry hopping. I've been disappointed whenever I've tried just dry hopping. Always ended up boiling some hops and adding the water to boost the aroma.

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Old 02-02-2008, 02:37 PM   #8
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I haven't used Agave nectar, but I have made four or five meads with different honeys, I have used invert sugar in plae ale and I have used honey in a roggen bier. Oh, and maple syrup in a pumkin ale too.

If you are going to use the agave nectar, I suggest adding it at flameout and letting it steep. Whatever flavor agave does have is not going to stand up to boiling very well, unlessit is dramatically different from all of the above.

The suggestion to not introduce two variable in the same brew is valid, IMO. Can you make several one gallon batches mixing up the nectar and hops? When I make something that sucks I don't mind nearly so much when I am only pouring out one gallon.

HTH, just M2c,
P

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Old 02-02-2008, 04:00 PM   #9
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I appreciate the comments. Based on some of what you all have said, I think I'll:

  • Proceed with the boil as usual with bittering hops and malt extract.
  • Add .5 oz Sorachi at -5 mins
  • Add agave at flameout
  • Dry hop with .5 oz Sorachi in secondary.

If the agave is overpowered, then I guess I wasted $6 and my experience will just add knowledge to the board.

Wish me luck, I'm off to brew "Intercontinental Ale" seeing as it has Japanese hops, (Mexican?) agave, and English style yeast.

Will report back when it's born.
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Old 02-02-2008, 05:55 PM   #10
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I've made a wheat with 11.75 oz of agave and the juice of two limes. It was two weeks in primary and four in secondary and could of gone longer. Limgave as I called it turned out to be very tasty and will be made again.

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