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Old 04-15-2012, 06:16 PM   #1
Oct 2010
Posts: 33

Having just finished an ale trying to capture the flavour of scotch, I figured I would try my hand at capturing the "spirit" of tequila in an ale.(please forgive the pun, I couldn't resist) I'm going to try for a relatively light bodied ale for a base, and I am trying to figure out how to replicate the taste of tequila.

From everthing I have read, agave nectar does not add much in the way of flavor. So my question is how does one capture that unique spiciness that tequila has? Here is what i have come up with so far;

5lbs pale extract
1 lbs agave nectar
1 lb flaked maize
1/2 lb dextrin malt
1/2 lb 2 row malt
2oz cascade hops, 1 oz at 60, 1 oz at 5

In secondary, 8 fl oz tequila, and maybe some lime as well. I'm not sure if cascade hops are the best option for this one, and I certainly open to suggestions. I was also thinking of possibly using tequila soaked oak chips in the secondary. Can anyone think of anything else I could do to give this ale some spice?

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Old 04-15-2012, 07:07 PM   #2
Dec 2010
Olympia, WA
Posts: 465
Liked 23 Times on 21 Posts

Agave nectar is really really fermentable, so i suggest treating it like honey.

I wouldnt use the oak chips, all things considered. While white oak is used in tequila aging, i think the majority of the toasted oak the LHBS would sell could overpower the details of the tequila flavor. Maybe just add a strongly flavored 100% agave tequila prior to bottling, and call it a day. The flavor should shine through with such a pale beer.

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Old 04-16-2012, 03:43 AM   #3
Jan 2011
Sierra, Nevada
Posts: 4,042
Liked 440 Times on 351 Posts

Originally Posted by mwc9711 View Post
Can anyone think of anything else I could do to give this ale some spice?
...Yeah, incorporate some Ancho chiles.

Onto the other matters:

Piloncillo or Panela has a much more prominent dark sugar cane than agave nectar and still fits within the Latin guidelines. I suggest adding it to the carboy and/or priming with it.

I would use more 2-row in place of DME and definitely use spicy, herbal English hops (early and middle additions, not late) if you want to accentuate more of that Scotch feel of the beer.

I know where you're trying to go with maize here, but I don't think you will find that it will be successful for this beer. It will detract from the malt character, not add to it. And despite using a lot of DME, which already contains a portion of dextrin in the product, you're also using even more dextrin for body. Something to think about for sure.

If you're using tequila blanco, don't go with the oak chip idea. However, if you're using reposado, anejo, or extra anejo then by all means use it.

Look up "Sangrita" for some more inspiration. Sangrita, not Sangria. It is a traditional Mexican accompaniment to beer. Perhaps you can find a way to incorporate some of those more subtle flavors IN beer without making it a full-fledged Michelada.

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