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Old 09-30-2009, 06:40 PM   #1
goatchze
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Default Acorn Beer?

Not the activist group!

So the white oaks are beginning to produce a tremendous amount of acorns this year. Even though we had a serious drought this summer, we've had about 6 months worth of rain in the last 4 weeks...so the trees are ready to go!

My question is, has anyone ever tried brewing with acorns/acorn flour? I'm thinking about giving it a try!

Here are my thoughts:

1. Gather acorns, enough to produce an equivalent amount to that of pumpkin or squash in a "pumpkin ale" recipe.

2. Produce acorn flour by the standard method, making sure to leach out as much tannin as possible using water/cheese cloth

3. Roast said flour

4. Add to MLT

Any opinions or experiences out there? What I'm hoping for is something like the body that pumpkin adds but a nuttier/toastier flavor like you might get from a Vienna malt (though of course the flavors will be different).?

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Old 09-30-2009, 07:00 PM   #2
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Wow!!! <subscribed> Please keep us posted!

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Old 09-30-2009, 07:01 PM   #3
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http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f12/acorn-beer-anyone-86111/
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Old 09-30-2009, 09:00 PM   #4
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I never used acorns before, but I do a lot of cooking. You may want to try roasting the acorns first before grinding them to a flour. If you roast them before hand, you can leech out the oils from the acorn and it could give you a nice flavor. Just a suggestion...

Let us know how it turns out.

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Old 09-30-2009, 09:02 PM   #5
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You're grinding up underage Guatemalan prostitutes? No? Damn. Still interesting thought though. Have you looked into beers using other types of nuts?

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Old 10-01-2009, 07:58 PM   #6
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I haven't looked at beers using other types of nuts, but I think acorns are a bit different. Acorns have more starch in them (hence their use as baking flour). I'm thinking that they'll add 1)starch 2)flavor 3)unfortunately oil/fat.

Roasting before leeching may be my ticket though. I definitely want to roast the acorns at some point before they get used. If roasting them ahead of time will allow me to leech out more oil, then I'll give it a try.

My only concern is that if I roast them beforehand, will I also leech out all the roasty/toasty/nutty flavor?

Here's the range of compositions of acorns:

Percent
Water 8.7 - 44.6
Protein 2.3 - 8.6
Fat 1.1 - 31.3
Carbohydrate* 32.7 - 89.7
Tannin 0.1 - 8.8

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Old 10-01-2009, 08:18 PM   #7
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"My only concern is that if I roast them beforehand, will I also leech out all the roasty/toasty/nutty flavor?"

That is a good question, but I think it would make the flavor much more intense. I do know that when you toast up some Pecans or Almonds, the flavor is remarkably better. Give it a try... just throw a couple in the toaster oven for about 5 - 10 minutes, make sure they don't burn, and see what you think. I never tried Acorns before, but give the pecans or almonds a try just to see what I am talking about.

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Old 10-02-2009, 12:37 PM   #8
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Haha, yeah, actually, my wife and I actually made a toasted almond/apple pasta yesterday. Chop some almonds and throw them in a pan with a little oil, toast, then add diced apples and chopped parsley, salt & pepper. Put over cheese ravioli..Very simple and very good!

I guess what I'm saying is, when you toast/roast the nut, you are making some chemical changes that increase the "good" flavors. But acorns are packed FULL of tannins which must be leeched out (so you throw the water away). If I toast the acorns BEFORE I repeatedly wash the nuts, will I leech out the good flavors that roasting supplies along with the tannins?

I may do a small test batch each way and see what the results are.

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Old 08-05-2010, 03:26 AM   #9
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So did this ever get done? I'm curious. Eating an acorn raw, they're extremely bitter. Could they be used in any way as a bittering agent?

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Old 08-06-2010, 01:40 PM   #10
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Not sure about the original poster, but I made a batch of acorn ale last winter. I used half 2 row and half acorn meal that I made by leaching, toasting and then grinding the acorns.

For the first few months the taste was very bitter tannic, but at around 6 months it mellowed to a nice nutty, savory, toffee flavor. The beer never cleared but stayed an unfortunate muddy brown like some of the unboiled 'medieval ales' I've seen posted.

The biggest disappointment was how oily the acorns were. I tried to rack from under the surface of the beer to keep out the oil but I can't have been to successful as there was no head. If I were to to repeat this I would try pressing the acorns. Then you would have two products an acorn oil and a meal for cooking or brewing.

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