I've been wanting to brew a beer with kava root for quite some time, as I have found that kava root's effects are quite synergistic with alcohol (especially beer). Also, I have had kava drinks with coconut, and thought coconut paired nicely with kava's slightly astringent and earthy taste. A few months ago, I had brewed a great coconut porter, so I figured that it would be a good base recipe to use for a kava beer.
I brewed this beer last night and will report on how it turns out in the end. I haven't been able to find another person who has brewed with kava, so hopefully this will turn out well... If it does, it will certainly be a very relaxing beer to drink, which is why I decided to call it "the doctor."
Here is the recipe:
"The Doctor" Kava Coconut Porter
Style: Robust Porter
Type: All Grain
Calories: 177 (per 12 oz.)
ABV: 4.72 %
Batch Size: 5.00 Gal
Boil Time: 60 minutes
14 days @ 68.0°F
14 days @ 72.0°F
14 days @ 74.0°F
Grains & Adjuncts
8.50 lbs Pale Malt, Maris Otter
2.00 lbs Chocolate Malt
0.75 lbs Caramel/Crystal Malt - 80L
0.50 lbs Cara-Pils/Dextrine Malt
1.30 ozs Northern Brewer - 60 mins
0.75 ozs Goldings, East Kent - 10 mins
Wyeast Labs 1318 - London Ale III
1.00 tsp Irish Moss - last 15 mins of boil
1.00 lb Coconut (toasted) - 14 days Secondary
1.00 lb Kava Root - soaked for 4 hours prior to kegging (see notes below)
Medium Body Infusion - 60 min @ 154.0°F
Add 17.62 qt ( 1.50 qt/lb ) water @ 174.0°F
10.1 psi Force Carbonation @ 40.0°F
Toast flaked coconut in oven @ 325 degrees for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown. Put coconut into muslin bag, weigh it down with marbles, and add to secondary. Let soak in secondary for 14 days (entire duration of secondary).
I used whole kava root, but you can also use kava chips (do not use kava powder). Break up kava root or chips as much as possible, then smash with a mortar and pestle and place into a double-bagged mesh bag. Add marbles (or other weights) to the outside bag. Rack beer onto kava in a fermenter bucket just prior to transferring to keg, after secondary fermentation is complete. Let sit for 4 hours, then squeeze the bag to extract all of the kava. Do not stir the beer as you will stir up a great deal of sediment, and rack to your keg (or bottles, if you want to bottle condition).
I found a great source for whole kava root from Hawaii (http://www.konakavafarm.com
), and the quality of the root is fantastic. Hopefully, it will work well in this beer!