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-   -   Mesquite Molasses Beer (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f37/mesquite-molasses-beer-142992/)

Jaellis 10-22-2009 07:08 PM

Mesquite Molasses Beer
So I am working on recipes for beers based on plants found in the Mojave desert, and US Southwest. I am going to be incorporating Mesquite Molasses as one of the main ingredients (simple recipe below). This is a sweet/bitter syrup. Has Anyone tried this?? I was going to make a small test batch here but want some input. Any ideas to take the bitter flavor out of the Mesquite Molasses (i.e. Isolate the sugars maybe) still good and edible with the flavor. If I can do this I can try this instead of malt.

The sugar in the Mesquite pods is fructose.

!!And answers to your questions no I do not want any mesquite wood in this recipe this is not for a mesquite smoke flavoring. I am not putting Mesquite chips in with my secondary!!

Mesquite Molasses:
1 lb mesquite pods washed, (I break mine up a bit)
1 gallon of water

Put everything in a big pot boil for 2 hours, strain the pods out, save the liquid, crush the pods in bowl or food processor then put everything back together, boil for another 30 minutes(add water if necessary). Strain the mush out of the liquid, and discard the mush. Reduce the liquid down until it is a thin syrup texture. Then pour it into a container and save it for the beer.

bendavanza 11-12-2009 03:44 PM

I've also been wondering about using mesquite pods in beer.

evanos 07-19-2010 02:09 AM

Any developments on the mesquite molasses beer? I'm interested in doing something similar.

JuanMoore 10-23-2010 06:12 PM

Probably too late, but I just saw this thread and thought I'd respond for anyone else considering using mesquite. I've been using it quite a bit lately with good results. The two main things you can do to prevent the bitterness from coming through are just lightly crushing the pods, and steeping at lower temps rather than boiling.

I like to rinse the pods off after harvesting, and a quick roast in the oven not only dries them off, but also kills the bruchid beetles, reduces the bitterness slightly, makes extracting the sugars easier, and brings out rich flavors as the sugars caramelize. It also makes the pods more brittle so that they're easier to crush. A light roast results in something similar to a crystal/caramel malt. You can also roast for up to an hour to get something similar to chocolate malt or roasted barley. I like ~20min at 350F personally, it gives nice vanilla, caramel, and cinnamon flavors without getting into the roasted malt flavors.

I don't reccomend grinding the pods in a coffe grinder, food processor, or blender. The beans in the pods have a lot of proteins and a few flavors I'd rather not have in my beer. The sugars we're after are in the flesh of the pod, not the bean, and grinding to a powder is just going to extract bitter tannins. The beans are too hard to run through a grain mill, so I just smash the pods with a potato masher until the pieces are all under ~1" long.

Boiling will extract bitter tannins from the fibrous part of the pods just like it does with barley husks. Since the sugars are already present and no conversion is happening, temperatures and times are much less critical than when mashing grains, but I'd still keep the temps under 170F to prevent tannin extraction. The time it takes to extract the sugar will depend on how long you roasted the pods. Unroasted pods will take ~2 hours, while lightly roasted take ~1 hour, and a dark roast will only take ~30 min.

Making an extract is a good way to get repeatable and predictable results with mesquite, but if you're a lazy all grain brewer like myself you can also just add a couple pounds of pods to the mash. I also reccomend using bentonite clay as a fining agent in either the extract or the finished beer just in case there are any aflatoxins.

Revvy 10-23-2010 06:17 PM

Wow. Never heard of this, but it sounds cool. Thanks for posting Juan. I wonder if this would be a good option for GF brewers as well, for another source of nonbarley fermentables.

JuanMoore 10-23-2010 06:21 PM


Originally Posted by Revvy (Post 2357278)
Wow. Never heard of this, but it sounds cool. Thanks for posting Juan. I wonder if this would be a good option for GF brewers as well, for another source of nonbarley fermentables.

The flavors are pretty strong, so I wouldn't use it for more than ~25% of the grain bill, but it certainly could be used in a GF beer. I recently roasted and crushed some mesquite, and it smells just like a box of honey bunches of oats cereal.

thataintchicken 10-23-2010 06:44 PM

wow. great information.
I remember reading something about Pinole in the past, but I never thought about brewing with mesquite pods.

Thanks for a great thread.

Lcasanova 10-23-2010 06:45 PM

Nice! Good looking out Revvy, I just noticed this thread.

Are these pods something that is readily available at a specialty supermarket, Hispanic perhaps? I'd be interested in trying something like this. I know that regular molasses is 90% fermentable while blackstrap is only 50%, I am assuming the term molasses being used by the OP has nothing to do with that type of molasses that we all know? Do you know how fermentable the resulting sugars are? Does the roasting bring out some nice color in the resulting extracted sugars?

Sorry for the load of questions, but thanks in advance :D

Revvy 10-23-2010 06:49 PM

I just did a quick google search and the only mequite pods I could find online were dried and ground to a powder.

TheWeeb 10-23-2010 07:01 PM

During my time in New Mexico this year, the property I was leasing had several mesquite trees and the pods grew in the middle of the summer. The foxes (there were four on the property) would feed on the lower hanging ones; I wondered what nutritional value they held (the pods, not the foxes).

Had I seen this before I moved back to Denver, I would have harvested some!

it is amazing what you learn here.. this is one to bookmark and try at some point!

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