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Cambo

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I'm doing a project for a history of beer class, and my research involves the proliferation of European Beer in Africa through the colonial era. As part of it, I'm planning on brewing two beers; a traditional African Sorghum beer, and a more modern colonial inspired ale from Africa, in order to compare the two. Does anybody have any useful information about either? Any recipes, or places to find the ingredients?
 

Revvy

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Are you the guy who asked about the plantains a couple weeks ago? No luck finding any info on it? Darn, I was hoping you came up with something!

A couple of weeks back a guy had posted a thread about South African beers....he came back from there and was interested in re-creating some. He might have some info...though since his interest was SOuth Africa, his stuff is probably more influence by germanic lager and pilsners than with using traditional ingredients....

One thought...thread search for "gluten free" and organic recipes, here or on the web...I know a lot of people who are wheat intolerant have come up with sourgham based recipes....they may give you some basic recipes from which combining with any research you find about traditional african brewing, you may be able to "fudge" the numbers in a brewing program and be able to brew something close....

Also take a look at John Mosher's radical brewing book and website http://www.radicalbrewing.com/ he's got some "multi ethnic" beer recipes than use some indegenous ingredients from around the world...you may find the names of some traditional african brewing ingredients there...I know he sells a lot of ingredients not commonly found in traditional brewing enviroments.

Again, you may not find plainly articulated and transcribed traditional recipes, especially if they were brewed by cultures that handed info down orally (I can't see any Akie tribesmen posting on a website their recipes.) You may have to combine many different source material, some of which is pretty loose. or obtuse with modern brewing ingredients, and from contemporay styles that may have evolved from indegineous cultures, to come up with what you "think" might have been brewed by them.

Remember that they would have brewed with whatever they grew around them...If they didn't grow wheat oats or other grains, they probably didn't make what we think of as beer. They may have converted starches (into sugars) from roots instead.

ANd they probably relied on open fermentation instead of yeast cultures.....

I'd really be interested in what you come up with...Please keep me posted.
 
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Cambo

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No, that wasn't me. Although I do enjoy experimenting. I'm the guy who is asking about citrus wine in the wine section.
 

Kai

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He lives with the one who was asking about plantains.

That was Judd. I live with both of them. We have fun.

OT: Hey Cam, you should see the rate this Saison is fermenting. It's going crazy - practically no krausen, but it blew the stopper out of place just with CO2 pressure. Hope your flight was good.
 

Revvy

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If all of you come up with recipes for this stuff I'd love to see it...

I was looking at that link that someone else posted...likes like your base ingredients are going to be sorghum and millet...

Here's an interesting article on gluten free beers that talks a little about the conversion process. http://www.sillyyak.com.au/gfb/gfbrew.html

Here's something interesting called "lost grains of africa" it mentions "finger millet" for beer.
lhttp://books.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=2305&page=39

This looks interesting http://timbuktuchronicles.blogspot.com/2007/03/brewing-millet-beer.html

And this is a link to a video on brewing african beer with millet

http://www.createspace.com/206776

And here's one on breweing millet beer in Mali!

http://sociolingomali.wordpress.com/2007/03/05/mali-brewing-local-millet-beer/

Google is a wonderful thing!

P.s. for this research you owe me a few bottles of your homework :D
 

Judd

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We will keep you updated. Although you may not want a few bottled of my project. Pure spruce and molasses.
 
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Cambo

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Thanks a lot, Revvy. That one article on Millet beer in Mali seems particularly useful. And I may want a copy of Radical Brewing for entirely non school related reasons.

Kai- What beers did you want me to buy for you?
 
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Cambo

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One of the West-African recipes that intrigued me was Mbele Banana Beer. Apparently the grain bill is typical of Africa- equal parts Sorghum and Millet, but it has bananas in it.

Anybody have any idea how I might go about adding Banana to beer? It can't exactly be juiced that easily. Should I just blend it up and dump it in with the wort? Before or after fermentation?

Also, in a slightly easier question, can anybody name any modern (nontraditional) African ales that I could clone for comparison purposes? Most of what I've found on that has been lagers, which I can't do because I don't have a fridge big enough to fit a carboy.
 

Revvy

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Cambo said:
One of the West-African recipes that intrigued me was Mbele Banana Beer. Apparently the grain bill is typical of Africa- equal parts Sorghum and Millet, but it has bananas in it.

Anybody have any idea how I might go about adding Banana to beer? It can't exactly be juiced that easily. Should I just blend it up and dump it in with the wort? Before or after fermentation?

Also, in a slightly easier question, can anybody name any modern (nontraditional) African ales that I could clone for comparison purposes? Most of what I've found on that has been lagers, which I can't do because I don't have a fridge big enough to fit a carboy.
Same way you'd make banana bread or use any fruit in beer. But remember you are trying to simulate traditional brewing techniques so perfect sanitization is not going to be as crucial...

Get the ripest nana's or plantains possible....Or stick them in a paper grocery bag for a few days till the skin is black and the inside is squishy. Sanitize your fermentor and carefully un peel the bananas and let the mush drop into the bottom of the bucket. Brew your beer and cool your wort, then pour onto bananas in the primary. and pitch yeast as normal...

USE A BLOWOFF TUBE!!!!

At racking to secondary taste your sample and if needed add more banana mush into the secondary...

Or you could not put them in primary but in secondary... It's sort of your choice....but I'd do it in primary figuring that's how they would have done it...all at once.
 

Revvy

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Here's a Beer opinons article on Tusker...

he Bottom Line A crisp and refreshing pilsner from Kenya.

Do you speak beer? I do. A lot of people I know speak beer too. Beer is a universal language, after all. You may not know how to communicate to somebody who speaks Swahili, for example, but offer them a beer, and you’ve made an instant friend. If only we could get world leaders to sit down and settle their differences at a pub over a few glasses of their respective local brews. What a better place the world might be.

A former co-worker of mine, an émigré to America from Kenya, spoke beer. He spoke Swahili and English too, but he loved a good brew almost as much as I do. He would often reminisce about a beer from home he missed dearly: Tusker. Imagine his surprise one day when I came to work with a few bottles and told him it was readily available here in America. You just need to know where to look.

Tusker is a lager beer broadly in the pilsner style. Kenya Breweries, the company that makes Tusker, has operated since 1922, and Tusker is one of the more popular African beers imported into the United States. Tusker is sold in half liter brown glass bottles that sport the profile of a bull elephant head on the label. Ironically, one of the brewery’s founders, George Hurst, was killed in 1923 by the very animal that now appears on every bottle of Tusker beer.

Tusker is brewed with Bima equatorial barley and water from Kenya’s Mizuma Springs. The resulting beer is crisp and refreshing, perfectly suited to hot African weather. It’s also on the lower side in alcohol content at 4.2% by volume, which makes it a great quenching beer that won’t leave you feeling quite so tipsy.

Tusker lager pours to a pale yellow color with a light creamy head formation and a soft malty nose. The palate is very crisp and refreshing with a refreshing creaminess and notes of biscuity, crackery malt. It's also quite clean of fruity esters and adjunct notes. In the finish, a light hoppiness emerges, nothing Earth-shattering mind you but bitter enough to impart a dry, quenching quality.

Tusker is easy to drink and great with lots of different foods, from African peanut soup to fried fish to pizza. Every Tusker label says Bia Yangu Nchi Yangu (my beer, my country). A sentiment my Kenyan friend would agree with most wholeheartedly.

EPINIONS CRITERIA:

Overall Rating: Three and one half stars

Beer Rating: A Solid Performer

Weight: Medium Body

Flavor: Balanced, dry

Complexity: Direct

Price: $2.99 per ½ liter bottle
It's still a lager so it more germanic influenced than indigenous...but it may give you some ideas...
 
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Cambo

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Thanks a lot for your help, everyone. I think this puts me well on my way, although expect me to frequently come back for advice.
If you want to keep track of the project, I'm writing a blog about it at africanbeer.blogspot.com.
 

Casperscaspix

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hi guys my names casper, some very interesting threads over here.
I recently tried to make my own cider

3lb. cooking apples
2lb. granulated sugar
3 juicy lemons
6 quarts water

this turned out to be a horrible fail, due to me being an idiot an altering the ingredients an adding to much sugar! not a happy chappy lol
(if any of you want the full instuctions dont hesitate to give me a shout)

but anyways gettin back to beer!

im origanaly from south africa, so from time to time i go to the south african shop in bristol to stock up on S.A goodies, and when i went there last week i told rose(the lady that owns the shop) about my cider fail!

So any it eventually got us talking south african beers an drink in general, an i referred to this beer in a 1lt kind of cardbourd milk carton thing that was only white an red in colour with a boxer on the front, an i think it was made from corn or summin? i asked if she could get it in stock, but due to it not having such a great demand in the uk, she said it would be pointless, but then pointed out that she stocked a zimbabweian beer in powder form!
so i bought that(which only cost me like 2quid)
but the funny thing was that it came in a see threw plastic bag with nothin but a price tag on, so rose wrote down what it was called, an this is how i found u guys trying to find out instructions on how to make it(an if u guys would like a packet of this beer, ill gladly post them off if u cover the costs)

hope i hav not bored you guys, lol an good luck
casper
 

rickahyatt

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Does anyone know if hulled millet will sprout? Or should I just roast it directly, boil it & add hops, yeast, sugar, etc? How much millet for a 5 gal. batch?
I live in a rural area where I can get the millet cheap, but all else kills me on shipping.
 
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