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-   -   Yerba mate recipe (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f12/yerba-mate-recipe-3041/)

Denny's Evil Concoctions 10-21-2005 09:53 AM

Yerba mate recipe
Well, this recipe had to be changed on the fly. I hadn't brewed in a few years due to living in small apts and no room for the bottles! Anyway. I couldn't find my scale so I asked the guy at the ubrew where I bought my malts etc (no dedicated HB stores here). Well I should have known better since the staff all looked really tired, busy night at the ubrew I guess. It seems he measured Double the amount of Crystal Malt and Chocolate malt since his scale was metric and my amounts were in lbs and he got confused with the conversion.
So When I'm boiling everything together I suddenly remember what he said a pound equalled in grams and realized that didn't sound right and sure enough he had doubled it all. Also he mis-measured the liquid malt and I was a 1.65 litres short (almost 5 lbs)! So I compensated with Corn sugar. With the extra body from the Crystal malt I don't think the body will suffer.

Here's my recipe.

Crazy Squirrel's Okanagan Nutcase Ale
for 10 US Gallons (obviously half this for 5)

Amber Malt Extract: 13.5 lbs (Should be 18.5lbs & No Corn sugar)
Crystal Malt (60L): 3 lbs
Chocolate Malt: 1

Corn Sugar: 4.84 lbs (2.2kg bag)
Rogers Demerara Sugar: 3.96 lbs (1.8kg)

Pride of Ringwood Hops: 1oz 60min, 1oz 30min
Saaz: 1oz 10min, 1oz last 3min

Yerba Matte: 2.5 cups (approx .5 lb)

Presoak yerba mate in bottled water for a few minutes then add to boil when heat has been turned off. Yerba Matte, like hops is very unlikely to cause an infection. Boiling it destroys many of the nutrients.
Yerba Matte is loaded with nutrients (160 or so) and yeast seems to love it and has anti-bacterial properties. It is also fairly bitter like hops, though I have yet to determine what is the correct amount to add. I'm about to bottle in a few days and will let you know how it tastes. The wort tastes slightly sweet with a nice bitter after taste.

Yeasts: Coopers Ale Yeast, Lalvin EC1118 added day two after second Aeration. and tranfer to glass carboys (hour 14)

OG: 1.089 - 1.091
FG: 1.015

I bottle condition to free up equipment.

Denny (The Crazy Squirrel) AKA DEC


It's 2011 and I drink Yerba on a rate that equals an Ecuadorian, Argentinian or a Paraguayian.. Yerba Mate should never be used in a liquid that is boiling. Should be 90 Celsius maximum. Besides ancient practices that state that boiled water is "dead" or "burnt" and shouldn't be used in a brew Yerba even when thus cooled, for the non-believer, at boiling temps, Yerba Mate will have an extremely tannic, bitter, foul taste.

So, if whether you drink it as teat or use it in your brew of beer, do NOT use boiling water. If used in a beer, soak your yerba in 80c - 90c water for several minutes and then add the add it to your primary, or whatever vessel you prefer. You can either add just the tea or the leafs/stems as well. I should note that Yerba is full of beer friendly nutrients and may help feed yeast.

Baron von BeeGee 10-21-2005 12:56 PM

That's really interesting...I'm curious to hear how it turns out. I love coffee and tea both, and I find mate pretty foul by itself, but I can see how it could work in a beer.

I got a notion yesterday to try agave sugar in a beer, only to find out it has been done (though not widely). You could potentially replace the demerara sugar in your recipe with agave nectar and have a real Latin inspired concotion!

Denny's Evil Concoctions 10-21-2005 08:21 PM

Where can you get agave sugar? What does it taste like?


Baron von BeeGee 10-23-2005 11:56 PM


Originally Posted by Denny's Brew
Where can you get agave sugar? What does it taste like?


I just started researching it last week on a whim after something I read on this board. It's relatively easy to order online (google 'agave nectar') and it looks like it's probably available in health stores or froofy gourmet grocery stores. I haven't tasted commercial agave nectar, but I've tried actual roasted agave prior to tequila fermentation and it was very much like a cross between sugar cane and molasses (not nearly as strong as molasses). It seems like it's found a niche as a sugar substitute for diabetics.

Denny's Evil Concoctions 10-25-2005 04:26 AM

OK, So I tasted a bottle on day 4 to see what the flavor was like young, compared to later. I bottled 5 gallons in plastic and 5 in glass. The majority of the glass will be aged for a year. The plastic will be for drinking in a week or so.

Even this young it had quite a nice flavor. Needs to clear and age, but I was impressed none the less. Bitter dark amber with a nice balanced seetness and alcholic punch.

Can't overtly recognise the yerba mate, but it did increase the bitterness. It's to way to young to to notice the any delicate flavors. Can't wait to try this in a few weeks (or months!)

On a side note. I was contacted tonight by Rob from Lallemand (Danstar/Lalvin) regarding some questions I had emailed him. It's nice to see that he could take the time to call a homebrewer directly! Quite impressed with Lallemand's customer service. I'll be posting some suggestions of his regarding higher OG beers in another thread.


Denny's Evil Concoctions 10-31-2005 03:51 AM

9th day
Well at 9 days this is tasting mighty nice. Not quite clear yet but getting there. The tannins have settled out so the bitter bite I've been noticing on the "samples" I've had so far is gone. I'm guessing the tannic bite was from the yerba Mate. The yerba gave this beer a nice bitterness that balances out the abundance of crystal malt. Tends to give you an awake feeling the balances out the 10% a/v. ;)

Not sure whether this is a "Strong Ale" or a "Barley Wine" either way it's going to be great once aged. Of course the hard part is letting it age!


Baron von BeeGee 10-31-2005 01:51 PM

Sounds interesting...glad it was a success! I'm most interested in hearing about brewing with unusual ingredients. Now you have to come up with a witty name for it somehow working in an Argentinean reference...

Denny's Evil Concoctions 10-31-2005 08:34 PM


Originally Posted by BeeGee
Sounds interesting...glad it was a success! I'm most interested in hearing about brewing with unusual ingredients. Now you have to come up with a witty name for it somehow working in an Argentinean reference...

Crazy Squirrel's
Cerveza de Pirado de Okanagan

Not sure about the Argentinean reference, but that's the Spanish translation. At least according to freetranslation.com

Baron von BeeGee 10-31-2005 08:44 PM

Yerba mate is primarily an Argentinean beverage...they even have a special cup with a filtered straw they use to drink it. This image, if only it included a tango, could succintly summarize quite a bit of the country:

Denny's Evil Concoctions 11-01-2005 07:20 AM

Yeah, I know. I've been drinking it for about 4 years. Just not sure how to work in the Argentinian anbgle into the name.

If you ever use yerba in a beer, keep in mind it's fairly tannic. I really should have waited longer in the secondary or maybe used a fining that strips out tannins. Or maybe just have waited long enough for the beer to condition....

Maybe I should go comercial and start marketing beers in Argentina or Paraguay? :) :D

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