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Old 06-20-2011, 12:35 AM   #1
BayArea
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Jun 2011
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Ever since Four Loko has been banned, I figured I would produce something that you just can't get in stores.

I brewed a Black Death Stout from the recipe at Oak Barrel Winecraft. I also added 1 extra pound of dark dry malt to pump up the alcohol and 2 cups of brown sugar during the boil. The resulting (potential) alcohol should be about 7.1%. I even had a little sample to make sure it tasted good.

My little trick this round was my addition of some Walgreens "Stay Awake" pills. These have 200mg of caffeine (for reference a red bull has 80mg and a cup of coffee is ~100mg). The one good thing is that the bitterness of these pills is a similar bitterness to match the beer so hopefully it won't be noticeable with a 7.1% alcohol stout.

Instead of ruining a full 5 gallon batch with dirty powder I only did it in 2 dozen bottles. I ground up a pill and put in the powder in each bottle. If I wasn't so lazy, I would have boiled the pills to add a sterile solution (like I do with the priming sugar). My main fear is that the powder will introduce microorganisms to spoil the batch but hopefully the high alcohol will defend it with brute strength. Hopefully these will work out just fine! Does anyone have any similar experiences or good ideas for this concoction?



 
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Old 06-20-2011, 12:41 AM   #2
step
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Not to give you a rude introduction on your first post, but.... that sounds horrible. Did you used to drink a lot of FourLoko and are really trying to fill that void in your life?

In all seriousness I hope it gives you what you want



 
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Old 06-20-2011, 12:46 AM   #3
Sweetchuck
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I'm beyond that age where I need a good reason for a heart attack, but honestly - that's not a bad idea if your goal is to brew a caffeinated malt beverage.

Sooner or later, someone would be trying it.

I just don't know if it's legal or not. I can't imagine it wouldn't be, but I'm not sure.
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Old 06-20-2011, 01:09 AM   #4
Zamial
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Pills are a little iffy. Your best bet would be to soak the pills into a tincture, then add that OR http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f12/wate...ed-yet-224879/ . I made a Breakfast stout that will be going into the keg tommarrow, warm and flat it tastes stellar.
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Old 06-20-2011, 01:22 AM   #5
kpr121
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While I admire your creativity, I would imagine those pills do not taste very good when ground up. If you want to get buzzed and caffeinated at the same time why not just swallow a pill with a big gulp of that stout? I understand how some people get a little caffeine coincidentally out of coffee beans and the like, but this sounds a bit amateur.
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Old 06-20-2011, 01:32 AM   #6
Sweetchuck
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I mean there are worse things you could put in your beer.

Like your dead wifes cremated ashes.
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Old 06-20-2011, 03:25 AM   #7
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Don't worry about the naysayers...this is part of why we homebrew...to make things that we can't get commercially, and to experiment at times.

I wouldn't worry about the pills contaminating anything...the pills are going to be at least aseptic, and as long as you are grinding them in a "clean" fashion (I would think a sanitized mortar and pestle would be best), I think you're correct that the beer environment would take care of any minor bacteria.

I'd be more worried about the taste, as kpr121 noted...still, you're putting it in a relatively large volume (12 oz), so for a strongly flavored beer like a stout, it may be OK...definitely report back as to whether or not there's any odd bitterness or flavor from the pills compared to the "undoctored" ones...

EDIT: I wanted to add that I did a quick google and there are multiple sites where you can buy powdered caffeine, and it's not terribly expensive...this could be an option for future experimentation so you're not introducing the inert stuff from the pill itself.

I did also want to mention that, from a medical standpoint, there's a reason why drinks like 4LOKO were banned...the caffeine really does mask the effects of the alcohol early on, but gets overwhelmed later, producing pretty profound, rapid onset intoxication. READ: you get sloppy drunk really fast, because you don't feel it at first, and alcohol poisoning is a real possibility if you're not careful...
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Old 06-20-2011, 05:18 AM   #8
RIT_Warrior
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Wouldn't worry about the sanitary aspect so much. After all, lots of people carbonate with "carb tabs", and you can't really sanitize those outside of using them like you would regular sugar.

I think your way is the best way to do things. If you crushed them all up and and added it to the fermenter or the bottling bucket I'd be worried about the pills settling unevenly, giving you potentially dangerous amounts of caffeine in a few bottles.

Quote:
Originally Posted by biochemedic View Post
I did also want to mention that, from a medical standpoint, there's a reason why drinks like 4LOKO were banned...the caffeine really does mask the effects of the alcohol early on, but gets overwhelmed later, producing pretty profound, rapid onset intoxication. READ: you get sloppy drunk really fast, because you don't feel it at first, and alcohol poisoning is a real possibility if you're not careful...
I did like the media-designated nicknames for 4LOKO: "blackout in a can" and "wide awake drunk". These nicknames seem to be contradictory to me...but what do I know?

 
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Old 06-20-2011, 05:47 AM   #9
seabass07
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There are also caffeine gel tabs and liquids that might contribute less flavor if this turns out bad. Maybe try a vitamin shop next time.

If it were me, I would put half of that in each bottle. Two cups of coffee and one 7.1% beer is a bit much all at once for me. I would figure out a way to cut that in half so it's more like 1 average cup of coffee per bottle. I also prefer to be able to drink at least a two or three beers before I get myself into trouble...

In for results!

 
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Old 06-20-2011, 06:03 AM   #10
dunnright00
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I keep hearing about FourLoko being banned, but I still see it for sale at my liqueur store...


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