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Old 09-09-2009, 06:23 PM   #1
cassj
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Default Brewing a Green Tea Ale

Hey everyone,

My very first post! I have been reading the forums for a few months now and I am finally stumped. Forgive my ignorance, I only started brewing 8 months ago.

As the title says, I am thinking of brewing a Green Tea beer. I did some research but came up surprisingly short. The resources I found suggest that an American Pale Ale would be the best to work with a green tea flavor. From a smattering of different recipes here is something that I came up with. Please tear it apart, I won't take it personally

Ingredients:
8 lb. US 2 Row
1 lb. Munich 10L
.5 lb. Crystal 20L
.5 oz Amarillo (90 min)
1 oz Cascade(.5 oz at 10 min, .5 oz at 5 min)
Wyeast #1056 American Ale Yeast

After the primary has calmed down I was going to make a very strong batch of Green Tea, about a gallon, and put it in my secondary. I am going to boil the tea after I steep the leaves to prevent infection.

Hopefully this will impart the flavor that I am going for and I can't help but doubt myself.

Does anyone have experience/tips in brewing a similar beer?
Should I change my recipe at all?
Did I miss any fundamental aspects to brewing an herbal beer?
Would the tea be better if I added it during another step?(Pre-boil)

Thank you!


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Old 09-09-2009, 06:33 PM   #2
Natron008
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Sounds very interesting. I'm anxious to hear how it turns out.


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Old 09-09-2009, 07:44 PM   #3
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adding a gallon to secondary might affect your gravity too much, and give you a much weaker beer.

Why not steep the tea like you would steeping grains pre-boil? I once steeped ginseng roots with my steeping grains with good results.
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Old 09-09-2009, 07:52 PM   #4
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+1 on alcibiades idea. Steep with the grains
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Old 09-09-2009, 07:55 PM   #5
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I agree with alcibiades....one gallon will dilute your finished product causing it to be watery.

Maybe you could use a coffee press with the tea leaves and a smaller amount of water to get the a concentrated extract to add to the beer?

I would also suggest testing various amounts of tea extract in smaller volumes of beer so you can calculate the amount to add to the whole batch. That way, you can avoid adding too much and ruining the batch.

Good luck!
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Old 09-09-2009, 07:59 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alcibiades View Post
Why not steep the tea like you would steeping grains pre-boil?
That was my second option. I am not sure how that would effect the yeast. I am also not sure if it would have any other adverse effects to the wort. If you guys think it will be better to steep them pre-boil then I will give it a shot and let everyone know how it goes.
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Old 09-09-2009, 08:05 PM   #7
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If you do go with steeping the tea separately from boiling your wort, you should probably boil the water and add the tea bags just after taking it off the heat. That way you aren't boiling the flavor compounds in the tea, and the high temperature (above 185*) will kill anything within 5 minutes. Even if it cooled, I believe that a temperature above 160 will kill everything within 30 minutes.

I'd say that you should make 1 gallon of strong tea and 4-4.5 gallons of above-gravity pale ale, and then mix them in the primary just before pitching the yeast. I've heard that adding liquid after the primary will give a watery taste, whereas adding liquid (even the same amount) before primary fermentation will taste normal.

But take this with a grain of salt, I've never done a tea brew before.
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Old 09-09-2009, 08:06 PM   #8
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im also not sure how much flavor the green tea would impart. Green tea is pretty light in flavor if im not mistaken. The hops and malt might overtake it easily. Still.....it would be cool to say that your beer has the healthful effects of green tea infused into it, even if you can't taste it much. My "attainment IPA" had Moroccan ginseng root steeped into it, and people liked the idea of drinking a healthy/herbal beer.....I'm planning on experimenting with more herbs in the future (ginko biloba, st. johns wort, etc).

Let me know how it goes with green tea, sounds like a good idea!
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Old 09-09-2009, 08:15 PM   #9
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I've heard of people using Chamomile Tea in Belgian Wit and Trappist recipes, and they recommend adding the tea at flame-out. The recommended amount seems to be .25 oz to .5 oz of dried tea leaves per 5 gallon batch, but that is meant to add a slight flavor to it. If you were trying to impart a stronger tea flavor, I would up this amount significantly, maybe to 1 - 2 oz., but that is really your call.
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Old 09-09-2009, 08:30 PM   #10
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Matcha Sauce. The Japanese use it to flavor a lot of various green-tea foods (primarily candy) iirc. Might want to look into that, or else the delicate flavor of the green tea may be overwhelmed with the flavor imparted by the malt and hops. Matcha is Japanese powdered green tea, and I'm pretty sure any Asian market will sell Matcha Sauce (or Matcha powder, from which you can make the sauce), which will give a more concentrated flavor, something you're probably looking for compared to simply steeping the tea (which, with 5 gallons, is going to require a lot I'd imagine). I don't have too much experience with it though, so take my advise lightly! I absolutely love my green teas, and I love my beers, but how well the two would mix together...I'd be surprised to find a winning combination!

Edit: Seeing as the sauce would almost be characterized as an "extract", I'd say the most efficient time to add it would be during bottling? I don't know much about herbal brewing, but I'd think the ingredients are added at the end of the boil to use the heat to extract the flavors, but since the matcha already has a lot of flavor to it without any sort of preparation, I'd think it'd be best to add it in the end. If you want to experiment, maybe add it during the flame-out(?) period, then secondary, then bottling. Just some things to consider.



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