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Old 03-17-2011, 01:28 AM   #1
xevioso
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Default Brewing with Insects?!?!

Hi. I have a weird question. I am not entirely new to brewing, after having brewed about 8 batches.

However, I recently returned from Thailand, where one can purchase large water beetles as a delicacy. Supposedly the real essence of these insects goes for many hundreds of dollars an ounce over there; a chemically equivalent artificial extract has been created called Mangdana Essence or Ca Cuong Essence and is available in specialty asian food shops here in the US.

I would like to make a "Bug Beer". My thought would be to purchase this stuff and add a few drops or more to the secondary. I wouldn't be making a tincture, I dont think, or putting any bugs into the mash...just using the essence, like one would add peach extract or something to the secondary.

Does anyone know if anyone has ever brewed a beer with insect extract? Has anyone heard of this being attempted and was it successful? Hopefully it will be tasty, but even if not, it might be interesting to try.

--J

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Old 03-17-2011, 01:30 AM   #2
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Subscribed because I can't wait to see what turns up in here. I'm sure most of us have brewed with weevils in our grain, but that's not intentional.

Sorry I can't help....but welcome.

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Old 03-17-2011, 01:34 AM   #3
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Thats strange just today on the radio i heard of eggs in Japan i think being boiled in 10 year old boy pee taken from students and they cant keep enough of them on the shelves,apparantley its been going on for a hundred years and people love them.WTF? Nothing here from me to help your beer though sorry.

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Old 03-17-2011, 01:35 AM   #4
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I'm guessing the answer is no, no one here has intentionally done this. I would also suspect a few drops in a 5 gallon batch would be a waste. If you wanted to get this flavor you probably need to add some to each bottle, I'd start with one bottle.

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Old 03-17-2011, 01:36 AM   #5
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Supposedly the taste is very unique. I'll try anything once; I have heard it is reminiscent of a gin taste (which would be fine because brewing with juniper berries isn't too bad), a gewustraminer, and/or gorgonzola. Im not sure what a gorgonzola-flavored beer would be like, although I have seen recipes for gorgonzola-beer soup, so they apparently go well together.

I guess I would wonder if I should try for a very light beer with a focus on the bug extract, or try a porter or something.

I guess I need to get the extract first. I'll try to pick it up tonight from a store nearby I suspect has it.

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Old 03-17-2011, 01:40 AM   #6
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By the way, the link to what this essence looks like is here:
http://www.mythaimart.com/g00260.html

And the bug it comes from is here:
http://blogs.villagevoice.com/forkin...a_na_--_th.php

The Thai people eat them all the time. The actual essence which is a pheremone is labor intensive, so few places sell the real deal. I have no idea what it tastes like, but I'll give it a shot.

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Old 03-17-2011, 01:43 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brewit2it View Post
I'm guessing the answer is no, no one here has intentionally done this. I would also suspect a few drops in a 5 gallon batch would be a waste. If you wanted to get this flavor you probably need to add some to each bottle, I'd start with one bottle.
So, if I were making a peach beer, for example, a batch of 5 gallons, how much peach extract would I put into the secondary? 1oz? 3? 5? I tried making a sassafras mead and I clearly didnt add enough for the sassafras to come through. I want to make sure this flavor, whatever it is, comes through. Should I add it to the secondary in my glass carboy in a large amount, or just add as drops to individual bottles? The stuff is cheap, if I can find it...so I can add as much as I need to the secondary.
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Old 03-17-2011, 01:45 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xevioso View Post
By the way, the link to what this essence looks like is here:
http://www.mythaimart.com/g00260.html

And the bug it comes from is here:
http://blogs.villagevoice.com/forkin...a_na_--_th.php

The Thai people eat them all the time. The actual essence which is a pheremone is labor intensive, so few places sell the real deal. I have no idea what it tastes like, but I'll give it a shot.
It sounds like the essence is mostly used in savory vietnamese dishes which are very salty. I suspect it lends itself to that rather than the sweet malty bitter hoppy flavor of beer.

But if you really wanted to go for it you should try to get the whole bug and toss it in the bottle like the worm in a bottle of Mezcal
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Old 03-17-2011, 01:55 AM   #9
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I had to write to suscribe! I cannot wait to see how this turns out! Please, keep us posted =)

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Old 03-17-2011, 02:03 AM   #10
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One warm summer day, a 20 gallon outdoor brew day turned into brew night. A few weeks later when I went to rack one of the beers, a Belgian Wit, there was a large moth in the fermenter! I racked the beer and left the moth with the yeast cake. The beer turned out awesome. Not exactly what you are looking for, but interesting never the less. Good luck.

P.S. There has to be a cool name in there somewhere.

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