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Old 12-23-2005, 06:09 PM   #1
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Default Cactus yeast?

I tried grinding up some cactus pattys and mashing with some pale malt. I'm sure it had alcohol, and an unusual 'bite' but was the consistency of... aloe vera lubricant? It was my only 'homebrew' that went to the compost pile.

Cactus is served here in the southwest (San Diego?) as 'nopalitos', a geen vegetable. Think Okra? Pretty slimey due to 'Poly-fructans', fructose chains ala 'poly-saccarides'. I don't think malt has the right enzymes. Tequila and Pulque use a different 'yeast'. Anybody know where to get it?


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Old 12-23-2005, 06:31 PM   #2
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Agave tequilana is a succulent, not a catus. The juice is 70% fructose and ferments just fine with ale yeasts. Most agaves do not product usable juices. I doubt the catus you were working with would product anything fermentable, so you had beer with catus slime. Not that it's a bad thing. Polyfructans is very good for your gut bacteria, unfortunately, they product methane not ethanol.


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Old 12-23-2005, 07:45 PM   #3
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Also, the sugars derived from the agave which are fermented into tequila come from the 'pineapple', or tuberous thing, not the leaves. You can buy agave nectar online or in some health stores and add it to your kettle. As far as yeast I'd just use whatever brewing yeast your recipe calls for.
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Old 12-23-2005, 09:17 PM   #4
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I'm just figuring that if it's got carbs, it can be turned into alcohol. And cactus is much more abundant around here then wild barley....

Agave nectar has almost no flavor, just sweetness, and costs more than maple syrup. No point to adding it. Tequila is made from the agave 'core', but for pulque they 'tap' the core by hacking a hole into it and dipping 'sap' out. Some tequila-rias use the natural 'yeast' off the plants. Maybe I should try grinding up a pad, and allow it to ferment naturally?

I don't know if it's possible to brew poly-fructans without using something that's been gene-spliced. Seems like a waste of bio-mass that could be turned into party-fuel....
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Old 12-24-2005, 04:17 AM   #5
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Bifidobacteria is what you are looking for to break down the FOS
(Fructooligosaccharides) Some healthfood places sell it, but stay
away from products that have lactobacillis in them as this can
cause your regular brews to sour.

I'm not saying this will work, but you seem to be willing to try
new things. I would process the catus first with the bifido, then
add it to the mash.
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Old 12-24-2005, 08:08 PM   #6
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Yup. looks like bufido is worth a try. I think I'll eat some myself, it might be a + for digestion...
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Old 12-25-2005, 05:47 AM   #7
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And don't forget to post the recipes after you get the bugs strained out.


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