Quantcast

Absinthe barrel IPA?

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

Channel66

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Mar 27, 2012
Messages
2,815
Reaction score
1,043
So as I was putting my current IIPA over to secondary, dry hopping it and adding some cedar chips I got to wondering...

Usually I soak any and all wood chip additions in bourbon or vodka (depending on the wood or the beer) to get rid of any creatures that could be crawling.

I have a bottle of Kubler Absinthe just sitting in my liquor closet, I dont care much for the drink itself, but I do really like the smell, and I feel as though it would go well with a cedar IPA. So here I come, to ask you all what you think? .5 oz of dried cedar chips soaked for 3 days in absinthe, burn away the absinthe (or just strain it away?) and add the cedar chips to secondary as well as my ahtanum dry hops.

60 min 1 oz millenium
30 min 1 oz nugget
15 min 1 oz cascade
1 oz ahtanum dry hopped in 2nd ferment
1/2 oz absinthe soaked cedar wood chips added in 2nd ferment

Am I way off base in thinking that the absinthe being as strong as it is will impart some sort of flavor to the chips and in turn to the beer? Think the absinthe flavor will be too strong? not strong enough? maybe add a bit to fortify it? anyone ever try anything like this?
 

Srceenplay

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2011
Messages
219
Reaction score
4
I remember absinthe having anise in it, a black licorice flavor to it.
Curious to hear how it turns out.
 

Chuckabrewski

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2011
Messages
289
Reaction score
9
Location
Oklahoma city
Can you split it into 2 different batches half with and half without? Wouldn't want to ruin a good IIPA if bit didn't turn out well.
 

Stauffbier

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 7, 2011
Messages
5,091
Reaction score
1,049
Location
El Paso
I can't drink Absinthe. I had a crazy night with that stuff once. Now, just the smell of it makes me ill! I'll stay far away from your brew, thanks! It sounds like a fun idea, though!
 
OP
Channel66

Channel66

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Mar 27, 2012
Messages
2,815
Reaction score
1,043
Chuckabrewski said:
Can you split it into 2 different batches half with and half without? Wouldn't want to ruin a good IIPA if bit didn't turn out well.
I could split the batch I suppose, I was actually thinking of using a regular ipa so the cedar/absinthe flavor wasnt completely drowned out by hoppiness and alcohol. I can't think of another style beer where absinthes flavor would be welcomed as much as a standard ipa, I would think that the spiciness of the liqour would compliment the bitter hops and the aromatic wood chips quite well.
 

Zamial

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2010
Messages
3,171
Reaction score
190
Location
WI
Not for me but I am interested in the end results. I have had my own bottle absinthe and did NOT like it at all. A recent brew of mine I used some different liquor in and it gave the beer almost a sour taste/profile (I suspect it was a sour mash. ;) )

I do not think I would torch the alcohol off the chips/absinthe. IMO there is nothing wrong with making a "fortified" brew.
 

ktblunden

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 29, 2011
Messages
1,950
Reaction score
318
Location
Lancaster
The absinthe I've had was so unbelievably bitter I can't imagine doing that to a beer. Granted, I've only tried one brand and I don't even remember what it was, so yours might not be so bad.
 
OP
Channel66

Channel66

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Mar 27, 2012
Messages
2,815
Reaction score
1,043
It is sharp hot alcohol, with alot of spice, overly black licorice in smell and taste, I'm not just going to dump a bunch of absinthe in the carboy, I'm looking for the essence of it, just that note of spice. Not looking to make some sort of absinthe infused beer. Just trying to take advantage of the absorbency of cedar chips with flavors that I think my brew can benefit from.
 

Zamial

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2010
Messages
3,171
Reaction score
190
Location
WI
It is sharp hot alcohol, with alot of spice, overly black licorice in smell and taste, I'm not just going to dump a bunch of absinthe in the carboy, I'm looking for the essence of it, just that note of spice. Not looking to make some sort of absinthe infused beer. Just trying to take advantage of the absorbency of cedar chips with flavors that I think my brew can benefit from.
Oh, I get lol. Like I said I have had my own bottle. For anyone wondering what absinthe tastes like this is my description: A black licorice ninja with an icepick stabbing you repeatedly in the chest. It is so bitter they had to make the alcohol high to cover it. Not a pleasant bitter like hops, this is a tannis bitter that grabs the back of your tongue and throat. :cross:

FWIW there is no additional "effect", that was a medieval sales pitch to sell foul swill to people who never had it before. The best part is this stuff is normally greater than 60% alcohol. That being said, I would not soak the chips and then "light them or burn off" the alcohol. This is much like soaking charcoal with lighter fluid, I am pretty sure you will have a mini cedar bonfire if you do it that way... ;)

I would take 250ml and dump it in the bottom of a sanitized carboy w/ the cedar chips. I can guess that most of the alcohol should have evaporated or get soaked into the chips to a negligible level by the time you rack over to them in a few weeks, also a great time to dry hop.

It is not me/my brew and all I offer is some suggestions. ;) It will be fun to see how this turns out. GL!
 

ktm250

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2011
Messages
69
Reaction score
31
Location
Lostcreek Township
Zamial said:
Oh, I get lol. Like I said I have had my own bottle. For anyone wondering what absinthe tastes like this is my description: A black licorice ninja with an icepick stabbing you repeatedly in the chest. It is so bitter they had to make the alcohol high to cover it. Not a pleasant bitter like hops, this is a tannis bitter that grabs the back of your tongue and throat. :cross:

FWIW there is no additional "effect", that was a medieval sales pitch to sell foul swill to people who never had it before. The best part is this stuff is normally greater than 60% alcohol. That being said, I would not soak the chips and then "light them or burn off" the alcohol. This is much like soaking charcoal with lighter fluid, I am pretty sure you will have a mini cedar bonfire if you do it that way... ;)

I would take 250ml and dump it in the bottom of a sanitized carboy w/ the cedar chips. I can guess that most of the alcohol should have evaporated or get soaked into the chips to a negligible level by the time you rack over to them in a few weeks, also a great time to dry hop.

It is not me/my brew and all I offer is some suggestions. ;) It will be fun to see how this turns out. GL!
Actually, true absinthe contains wormwood, which is mildly hallucinogenic. Almost all stuff sold today does not contain wormwood (which is banned as a food additive in many countries). It is just a really high alcohol black licorice flavored beverage. There are a few places you can still get true, wormwood infused absinthe. Mostly eastern European countries, where the result may be of questionable quality. But the fact remains that it was a hallucinogenic beverage during its heyday, hence the prohibition of real absinthe in most countries.
 
OP
Channel66

Channel66

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Mar 27, 2012
Messages
2,815
Reaction score
1,043
Actually, true absinthe contains wormwood, which is mildly hallucinogenic. Almost all stuff sold today does not contain wormwood (which is banned as a food additive in many countries). It is just a really high alcohol black licorice flavored beverage. There are a few places you can still get true, wormwood infused absinthe. Mostly eastern European countries, where the result may be of questionable quality. But the fact remains that it was a hallucinogenic beverage during its heyday, hence the prohibition of real absinthe in most countries.
Kubler absinthe contains wormwood. I have served this drink to numerous people explicitly following the directions I found on their website not a single person experienced any sort of hallucinations. (no one cared to have more than one drink either.)

http://www.drinkupny.com/Kubler_Abs...mpaign=base&v_traceback=c0408_2025_f0408_2256
 

Zamial

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2010
Messages
3,171
Reaction score
190
Location
WI
Actually, true absinthe contains wormwood, which is mildly hallucinogenic. Almost all stuff sold today does not contain wormwood (which is banned as a food additive in many countries). It is just a really high alcohol black licorice flavored beverage. There are a few places you can still get true, wormwood infused absinthe. Mostly eastern European countries, where the result may be of questionable quality. But the fact remains that it was a hallucinogenic beverage during its heyday, hence the prohibition of real absinthe in most countries.
Then how is wormwood sold in almost every LHBS? The reason it is outlawed in most countries is because it has Thujone. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thujone .

No one ever had "extra effects" above what drinking +60% alcohol would do to you. It is a sales pitch... balderdash, bunkum, hooey, a tall tale, pillow talk, ect...
 

Bradinator

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 15, 2008
Messages
661
Reaction score
28
Location
Calgary
I think the hallucinogenic properties of wormwood are greatly exaggerated.

I have had 'supposed' real absinthe once while traveling in Germany and can was disappointed, though unsurprised at the lack of magical gnomes sprouting from the earth. Too be fair though I could have been had... I did buy it some sort of viking fair's vendor stall. The stuff you get here is basically green coloured Sambuca.

With that said I have brewed several times with wormwood to make gruits and have learned that it is wickedly bitter. Not bitter like that of hops, but more of a harsh, almost acrid bitter. Definitely an acquired taste!

If I had your opportunity I would be all over this! Brewing outside of the box is what makes home brewing so much fun! Terrible is in the mouth of the consumer. Too bad we don't live close by because I would have loved to try the final product.
 

kellanv

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2011
Messages
105
Reaction score
2
Location
Austin
Here is the deal with absinthe, as it is one of my favorite drinks other than beer :)

True absinthe contains a variety of wormwood that contains a chemical called thujone. Back in the early 1900s when absinthe was banned in the US, it was thought that this chemical caused hallucinations but it was rather unfounded. Thujone in fact is a stimulant. When paired with the other herbs in Absinthe, in addition to the 130 proof alcohol it becomes synergistic. If you have "tripped" on absinthe you were probably either very hyper/wasted or you were drinking stuff that wasn't distilled properly and probably poisoning yourself :) In the US, absinthe WITH wormwood/thujone has been legal since 2007 as long as the thujone content doesn't exceed 10ppb I believe.

There are three (to me) classifications of absinthe. Kubler for instance is Swiss which means it less green with a slightly different herb addition. French has the typical green color. Czech is typically drank a little differently than the other two. Instead of using a fountain and dripping water into the absinthe causing a louche, Czech absinthe is often drank in shot form with a flaming sugar cube for flavor or just for show. It was thought that the flaming sugar cube was originally used to hide the disgusting flavor of the subpar Czech stuff way back when.

Back OT, I think with the right pairing absinthe could be very interesting and something I may try. A little hops bitterness would work but I think flavors and aromas could mingle quite nicely.

Let us know how it goes :)
 

terrapinj

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2010
Messages
2,405
Reaction score
173
Location
Santa Monica
def curious how this goes with an IPA

i bet absinthe would pair wonderfully with a nice big RIS
 

ChickenArise

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2011
Messages
90
Reaction score
2
Location
Arlington
I'd also like to note that in much of the EU (and I *think* this is the same as the US) the Thujone content limit is 7mg, but it is possible to find 35mg varieties. Even at 35mg though, you might notice a slightly different effect than just drinking. It's frequently descriubed in vague terms such as feeling 'more lucid/awake' compared to a similar quantity+strength of other alcohol. It's nothing to get excited about, but it's a nice spirit for what it is, and it has a little history and character to go with it.

edit: Also, flavor-wise, I was quite impressed with Marilyn Manson's Mansinthe, which was unexpected.
 

kellanv

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2011
Messages
105
Reaction score
2
Location
Austin
I'd also like to note that in much of the EU (and I *think* this is the same as the US) the Thujone content limit is 7mg, but it is possible to find 35mg varieties. Even at 35mg though, you might notice a slightly different effect than just drinking. It's frequently descriubed in vague terms such as feeling 'more lucid/awake' compared to a similar quantity+strength of other alcohol. It's nothing to get excited about, but it's a nice spirit for what it is, and it has a little history and character to go with it.

edit: Also, flavor-wise, I was quite impressed with Marilyn Manson's Mansinthe, which was unexpected.
According to wikipedia, its 10mg/kg in the US, 35mg/kg in the EU. St. George is an American maker that I absolutely love. And yes, my best description for the effect is feeling very awake but thinking intoxicated things :)
 

Burgs

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 5, 2010
Messages
937
Reaction score
11
Location
Decatur, IL
According to wikipedia, its 10mg/kg in the US, 35mg/kg in the EU. St. George is an American maker that I absolutely love. And yes, my best description for the effect is feeling very awake but thinking intoxicated things :)
I saw a web video from chow.com that was about St. George and the guy who runs it - he was very interesting & quite knowledgeable about the drink! Made me want to try it.
 

Burgs

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 5, 2010
Messages
937
Reaction score
11
Location
Decatur, IL

This was the video I was talking about - just found it again.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
OP
Channel66

Channel66

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Mar 27, 2012
Messages
2,815
Reaction score
1,043
Thanks for all of the input guys I am brewing up the IPA tonight, I will start soaking the chips as soon as I am done with it. Let them soak in the carboy until I am ready to rack to secondary. I might tweak the hop schedule a bit depending on what my LHBS has in stock for fresh.
 

FatBaldBeerGuy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2012
Messages
92
Reaction score
0
Location
Swan Point
I want to try this!

I have family all over Maine, I'd be glad to take a few off your hands and give an objective opinion on it... :D
 
OP
Channel66

Channel66

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Mar 27, 2012
Messages
2,815
Reaction score
1,043
Sorry for the slow update guys, forgot about the thread. hind sight should have used more bittering hops, had a great flavor, nice subtle black licorice aroma, with a pleasant bite, but more of a pale than ipa after it was pulled off the chips the hoppiness didnt really shine through the absinthe. Im buying another bottle of absinthe next week to give this another go. More hops this time both bittering and dry hop I think. If I had some left I would def hook ya up. Maybe on the next batch!
 

Xpertskir

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 30, 2012
Messages
2,222
Reaction score
463
Location
Morgantown
I am really not a fan of anise....but if I were so inclined to add absinthe to a beer I think it would be more at home in a RIS or imperial porter.
 
Top