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Old 10-23-2010, 09:45 PM   #11
evanos
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WOW! I'm so stoked this got some attention!

Okay, so mesquite trees grow all over the South and the pods are readily harvestable on the tree and on the ground if they're not too old. I have a paper from someone who did a Home Econ master's thesis on the use of mesquite which gives a nutritional break down of the pods and flour, etc. Here's the URL for the paper:
http://etd.lib.ttu.edu/theses/availa...5003638896.pdf

In order to get whole beans, one would have to go and pick them. Beans aren't sold in stores because they grow everywhere and are not a particularly popular item. They aren't generally used in "Mexican" cuisine, but they were a primary staple in the diets of native peoples in the southern states, Mexico, Central Am, and South Am. And by natives of Mexico, I mean natives, not Mestizo or Spanish. (Hopi, Tohono O'odham, Yavapai, etc.)

On the term "mollasses", it's not true mollasses. Mesquite mollasses is the term used to describe a syrup produced by roasting, breaking, and simmering the pods to release the sugars. I've only made it once with a bad batch of pods, and it smelled like animal feed. However, I know for a fact that the pods of different species, and even different individual trees, can vary greatly in flavor. In general, the tastiest ones I've found are the Western Honey Mesquite (Prosopis glandula). Chilean and Argentinian species (P. alba, chilensis) tend to vary more in their tannin content and can be quite woody or chalky. Here at the University of Arizona, there are a huge variety to try from, and the Honey Mesquites are generally sweeter and lower in tannin.

I mentioned this to one of my professors and he said he knew someone who brewed a true all mesquite beer that wasn't too bad. He's trying to track down the recipe for me, and I'll keep you posted.

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Old 10-24-2010, 01:15 AM   #12
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Lcasanova-
I know a lot of places that sell mesquite flour, but I've never heard of anywhere that sells whole pods. Maybe next season some of us desert brewers could harvest a bunch extra for those who don't have access to it. The mesquite pods are ~30 sugar by weight, and it's a highly fermentable sugar. Roasting adds color, flavor, and reduces the fermentability slightly.

evanos-
You make a good point about the diffferent varieties, as I don't like the chalky flavor of the increasingly common chilean mesquite at all. I've found the velvet and honey mesquite varieities to have the best flavor personally.

To make sure your pods have good flavor, you can taste a pod from each tree you harvest from, and avoid any trees that have an off flavor. It's also a good idea to avoid trees near busy streets or planted next to telephone or power poles.

Is your UofA professor the same one that got acute aflatoxin poisoning from eating the mesquite pudding a few years back? He's the reason I suggest using the bentonite clay. I know humans have exceptionally high tolerance to it, but it is a cummulative toxin, so I try to avoid it when possible.

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Old 11-23-2010, 10:41 PM   #13
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Hi all,

I'm new here. Though I've made wine a couple of times, I've never attempted beer. I admit, I'm a bit intimidated by the whole process.

But I thought I might be able to help out with info regarding mesquite pods, so I went ahead and registered.

This past summer, I harvested about 10 gallons worth of pods -- mostly velvet and honeys. I kept them in covered buckets to thoroughly dry.



In the Fall, I had them milled. Desert Harvesters has a hammermill that they tow around the state, for the purpose of milling mesquite and carob pods. As other have noted, the seeds within the pods are very hard. Thus, the special mill is required.

I ended up with 10lbs of flour, that I will use for baking. I also have about 5lbs of the resulting chaff.



I was told that I could use the chaff to make a molassass, and that some make beer with it. But I couldn't find any details regarding exactly how, which is what brought me here.

As far as buying them, a while back, I stumbled across a site that sold wild foods, and they had them. Now, for the life of me, I can't find it.

More pics of my picking and processing adventures are in my Flickr acct:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/grrlsco...57625152855258

The Desert Harvesters site is a great resource on using mesquite:
http://www.desertharvesters.org/harvesting-processing/

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Old 11-24-2010, 04:53 AM   #14
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The desert harvesters are a great bunch of people, and I love their annual mesquite pancake cook-off here in Tucson. What you have there isn't nearly enough to make an entire 5 gal batch of beer, but I wouldn't reccomend a 100% mesquite beer anyway.

There are a lot of methods for making mesquite molasses, and through some trial and error I've got a process I think works pretty well. First I'd reccomend a light roast to bring out the flavors, although this step is entirely optional. Roasting will tame the tannins and woodiness, and bring out the sweetness and cinnammon and clove flavors. As previously mentioned, I like about 15-20 min at 350F.

Next step is to steep the husks at about 150-165F. How long you need to steep will depend largely on how roasted the pods are. Unroasted will take 90-120 minutes, while the lightly roasted pods will only take ~75 min or so.

After the pods have steeped, the pods can be strained out, and the liquid reduced until it reaches a satisfactory SG. The resulting syrup can be added to your favorite beer recipe. I think it's a great addition to most beer styles, but works especially well with a robust porter or similar.

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Old 11-24-2010, 09:34 PM   #15
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Juan, I've been looking for some brewers in Tucson. Are you a member of any brewing groups here?

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Old 11-25-2010, 04:35 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evanos View Post
Juan, I've been looking for some brewers in Tucson. Are you a member of any brewing groups here?
I'm a Tucson Homebrew Club member. Meetings are the first Tues of the month at Boondocks, near First Ave and Fort Lowell. Come down and check it out if you haven't already, the next meeting is Dec 7th. A bunch of homebrewers will also be at the Belgian beer dinner at BJ's on Dec 2nd.
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Old 03-04-2011, 10:48 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lcasanova View Post
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
I just ran across this thread and I did a little searching and found a site that sells mesquite pods. I am interested in hearing what anyone has done with this ingredient.

http://www.az-cactus.com/Mesquite-Beans-For-Sale.htm
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Old 03-08-2011, 04:37 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by No_Party View Post
I just ran across this thread and I did a little searching and found a site that sells mesquite pods. I am interested in hearing what anyone has done with this ingredient.

http://www.az-cactus.com/Mesquite-Beans-For-Sale.htm
I've brewed 2 batches with mesquite so far. One was a mesquite IPA and the other was essentially a very heavily hopped robust porter. They both turned out great, and I plan on harvesting way more this year than I did last year. One of them had some excessive tannins from using a lot of mesquite, but a cold crash and an extra 2 weeks of aging cured that.
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Old 03-08-2011, 07:53 PM   #19
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Wow! My G-G-G-grandpa was an Apache Chief,& I don't remember the old timers telling this story. From the taste description given on flicker,this sounds darn good!
I'll have to get some,just how to get it milled up here in Ohio.? I'm thinking maybe mixing the right amount into an amber ale for Halloween & turkey day. I wonder what the right amount of that syrup would be for a 6 gallon brew?
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Old 03-09-2011, 02:47 PM   #20
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Just thought I'd give you an update.

I tried my hand at making the mesquite syrup. I took 4oz of mesquite chaff, put it in a stock pot, covered it with water, and let it simmer for several hours.

Then I strained it with a colander, and let it simmer some more. Then I used a mesh strainer, and simmered it some more.

4oz of chaff made about 1 cup of molasses syrup. But boy is it good! Thick. Nice and sweet, slightly cinnamony.



I even used some to make popsicles:



I still have plenty of chaff left to play with. Next time, I think I'll do as Juan suggested, and toast it first.

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