Anyone ever drink Kava?

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

McCall St. Brewer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 10, 2005
Messages
1,172
Reaction score
6
Location
West Monroe, Louisiana
I just finished reading a travel book "Getting Stoned With Savages." In it, one of the things the author does is drink a lot of kava in Vanuatu (formerly New Hebrides).

Sounds like some interesting stuff. Looks like muddy water, tastes so bad it makes you almost puke, but apparently is very pleasantly inebriating.

From what I can see it is something that is grown and consumed on many islands in the Pacific, including Hawaii.
 

SavageSteve

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2007
Messages
985
Reaction score
10
Location
Connecticut
I've tried Kava Kava pills... different than the drink you mention but probably the same ingredient. Doesn't do too much but make me feel a bit relaxed, kind of like Valerian does. Never tried it in large quantities.
 

mrfocus

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2007
Messages
573
Reaction score
3
Location
Montreal, Canada
I drank some about 2 years ago when my sisters came back from a University semester abroad (Australia) where she toured the south pacific.

The taste isn't that bad (think like a strong tea). It makes you feel relaxed, and can give you a tingling sensation on your lips and tongue after a while.

All in all, it's ok, it's worth trying it, although it's not something I would do regularly.
 

DavisKettle

Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2008
Messages
9
Reaction score
0
Kava tea is great, look for Kava Kava extracts. makes you chill out, get really relaxed for up to 3 hours. sorry no psychadelic journeys while listening to Pink Floyd records.

its alright, too organic for me.
 

PeteOz77

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2007
Messages
1,458
Reaction score
9
Location
Canberra, ACT Australia
I had the pleasure of drinking Kava in a native village in Fiji about 18 months ago. It was an amazing experience. We hired scooters and drove over an hour to the middle of nowhere, even forded a stream on the scooters! This native village didn't have elctricity, and harvested their own Kava. It's actually a tree root that they pulverise with a mortar and pestle then wrap it in a dish towel, soak it in water and wring it out, over and over. It looks like mud, tastes like mud and after two bowls (Small handmade pottery bowls) of it, I didn't feel anything except a bit of numbness in my mouth and on my tongue.

It was an amazing experience, and I would suggest it to anyone that has the opportunity, but if you are looking for a buzz, 2 bong hits, or 3 shots of wild turkey will give you triple the buzz.
 

KingBrianI

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 23, 2008
Messages
3,512
Reaction score
152
Location
Wake Forest, NC
is this that stuff that all the elders sit around a bowl chewing and spitting it back in to get the fermentation started? or is that something else? i'll pass...
 

zoogobot

New Member
Joined
Sep 10, 2008
Messages
1
Reaction score
0
I live out in Hawaii and some of the kava that I have tried is not bad. They have a kava festival out here at the University of Hawaii where you can try the different strains from other islands including Hawaii. It is basically strained out with water and still taste like mud but some of it is lighter and easier to go down.

There is also a drink called Ozia that has kava and some other relaxing herbs. This guy makes it here in Hawaii and bottles it. This is probably the best kava type drink that I have had because it tastes kinda like a normal tea, but you can still feel that certain "kava" chillout. If your are curious, you can check it out at: drinkozia.com

Basically mixing kava with other stuff can really help. I think natives use coconut sometimes. Hope this helps.
 

flyangler18

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2008
Messages
5,557
Reaction score
44
Location
Hanover, PA
I've tried it a few times- looks like dirty dishwater and has a numbing effect on the tongue and lips, along with a nice mellow.

Drink the stuff to excess over the years and everyone will know it- it causes a scale to form in shingles on the skin. You can spot a kava abuser on sight. Saw far too many Yolngu with the crocodile skin drinking kava all day long when I was in Arnhemland. It was introduced into some of the homelands as an alternative to alcohol during the times of the missionaries.
 

radtek

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 2, 2008
Messages
150
Reaction score
0
Location
/texas/san_antonio
I have some kava in my pantry. It is a little wiry in effect. I don't really like the taste. The gel-caps should not be smoked...

I always got super buzzed when I combined alcohol and kava. Bad hangovers.
 

TerapinChef

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2007
Messages
995
Reaction score
9
Location
St. Clair Shores, MI
I used to drink a kava drink I found at a health supplement store. It was a powdered, tropical fruit flavored beverage, and it made me nice and calm for quite some time. And still tasted bad.
 

BrewlsTrachsel

New Member
Joined
Apr 8, 2010
Messages
1
Reaction score
0
Location
IOWA
I'm about to start a small batch of kava ale. I have an affinity for oatmeal stouts so I believe I'll try incorporating Kava into an existing recipe I have. Any suggestions?
 

jppostKW

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2009
Messages
1,802
Reaction score
12
Location
Englewood CO
ahhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!zombie thread!

might try some kava kava extract and put a couple drops in a beer to see if you like it before you brew five gallons of it
 

bkov

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2008
Messages
971
Reaction score
9
Location
jersey
wheres the best place to get it to try out?
 

Vekta

Active Member
Joined
Mar 30, 2010
Messages
34
Reaction score
0
Location
CA
*necropost!*:eek:

Kava tastes pretty earthy on it's own but after the first mouth full I find it's not as noticeable due to the numbing affect.

The pills don't do much unless they're the liquid gel caps. They sell the filling for those as "kava paste".

Either way powdered root or instant is the way to go. It's a very nice relaxing mellow. I use it for anxiety instead of prescription drugs.
 

Pilgarlic

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2010
Messages
1,328
Reaction score
149
Location
Tampa Bay
There's an herbal tea made from Kava Kava available in some grocery stores. I've been drinking it for years. GREAT stress relief, though none of Kava's lauded "intoxicating" effects. It's marketed as "Kava Stress Relief". It tastes pretty good in this formulation.
 

Ouroboros

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2010
Messages
303
Reaction score
4
Location
Indiana
Be careful.

First, kava potentiates the effects of alcohol. A lot. I've seen people on kava get blackout drunk off of amounts of beer that would ordinarily just get them a little buzzed. If you're going to brew with it, make sure you know how much you're using and don't go overboard with either the alcohol content of your beer or the kava concentration.

Second, there have been reports of liver toxicity associated with kava consumption. You're probably safe if you use low doses and get your kava from the roots and not whole-plant extracts that include stems and leaves, but it's another reason not to go overboard with it.
 

Vekta

Active Member
Joined
Mar 30, 2010
Messages
34
Reaction score
0
Location
CA
There's an herbal tea made from Kava Kava available in some grocery stores. I've been drinking it for years. GREAT stress relief, though none of Kava's lauded "intoxicating" effects. It's marketed as "Kava Stress Relief". It tastes pretty good in this formulation.
You won't get any of the affects of kava as a tea. Heat kills the active substance in kava root. When making kava you're not even suppose to use hot water let alone boiling water. Luc-warm water is about as far as you can go without killing the kavalactone. Only use hot water to dissolve lecithin, which helps your body absorb kavalactone better.

The reports of liver damage or not completely true. The reason why some people got liver damage is because the pharmaceutical companies making kava pills were putting stems and leaves in there product. The stems and leaves are poisonous and are traditionally never used when making kava. Another reason why liver damage has been associated with kava is because those users already had a history of hard alcohol abuse in the first place.

It won't cause liver damage as long as you stay away from pharmaceuticals, those weird elixirs some places sell, and kava that's not from a good source. Kava bars in Florida, southern California, and Hawaii are good places to go. The cost will be higher but that is because they get it directly from the islands and import it themselves. Right now it's even worse because the American dollar got weaker. Islands like Vanuatu use the Vatu and the dollar has pretty much no value until it's converted into Vatu. The exchange rate went from 115 vatu per dollar down to 92 vatu per dollar. But it's worth the extra cash to start off with or keep buying the good stuff.

Dr. Vincent Lebot has been research Kava for 30 years and has found no sign at all of liver damage related to Kava among the native population of Vanuatu.

 
Last edited by a moderator:

bkov

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2008
Messages
971
Reaction score
9
Location
jersey
i tried the yogi kava tea from wholefoods. i didnt notice any stress relief or effects
 

Austin_

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2008
Messages
867
Reaction score
36
Location
Nashville, TN
I have never heard of the stuff, so I looked in to it because I regularly have anxiety flare ups but don't want to take pharmaceuticals. From a FAQ page:

No kava products should ever be mixed with alcohol. The FDA does not recommend mixing kava and alcohol either. Kava increases the hepatotoxicity of alcohol and increases chances of alcohol poisoning. It also increases the chance of liver failure if kava and alcohol are mixed regularly. We at Nakamal At Home recommend that persons that consume alcohol on a daily or regular basis not drink kava. Or wait at least 24 hours for all alcohol to be gone from their systems before consuming any type of kava product.

Most kava alcohol mixing will lead to nothing but trouble. We have seen and heard of people getting rashes on their face and getting bad cases of diarrhea from mixing the two. Don't say we did not warn you!
I guess that weeds out most of us on this site. ;)
 

Styles

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2009
Messages
152
Reaction score
2
Location
Papakura, New Zealand
I've had Kava a few times, last time was in Fiji, on holiday. I got some and we had a Tanoa in the apartment we stayed in, so I made up a batch and drank most of it myself, the best nights sleep I've ever had! You don't get a massive buzz off it or anything, you're still very clear headed, just that you feel relaxed and un-stressed.
Off to Vanuatu (for honeymoon) in 6 weeks, apparently their Kava is the most potent. I'm definitely planning on visiting a Nakamal and having a few shells!
Will report back in due course.
 

Pilgarlic

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2010
Messages
1,328
Reaction score
149
Location
Tampa Bay
I've seen uncited assertions that kavalactones are destroyed at 140 degrees before. I've also seen numerous references to the effective use of kava teas. I'm quite sure the effects I get from drinking a kava tea are not imagined or a placebo effect, but I'm open to evidence. I'd love to see evidence (narrowly defined) if anyone has any.
 

Vekta

Active Member
Joined
Mar 30, 2010
Messages
34
Reaction score
0
Location
CA
I've had Kava a few times, last time was in Fiji, on holiday. I got some and we had a Tanoa in the apartment we stayed in, so I made up a batch and drank most of it myself, the best nights sleep I've ever had! You don't get a massive buzz off it or anything, you're still very clear headed, just that you feel relaxed and un-stressed.
Off to Vanuatu (for honeymoon) in 6 weeks, apparently their Kava is the most potent. I'm definitely planning on visiting a Nakamal and having a few shells!
Will report back in due course.

0o0o0o you're lucky, specially if you get to try fresh, green kava. :tank:

That stuffs suppose to be a fair amount stronger than any of the powdered stuff we can get in the states. definitely let us know.
 

Austin_

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2008
Messages
867
Reaction score
36
Location
Nashville, TN
So y'all got me curious and I ordered some Kava last week ( https://www.nakamalathome.com/buy_kava/product.php?productid=16249&cat=281&page=1 ). It came in yesterday and I made up a batch tonight. My small grain bag came in handy when making it. I had a pretty rough day at work, and I have to admit I'm feeling pretty good right now. To steal a former member's line, it tastes like Satan's anus, but I'll be damned if it doesn't work. I think I might have one more glass and then retire to the PS3 for the night.
 

Styles

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2009
Messages
152
Reaction score
2
Location
Papakura, New Zealand
Right, so I'm back. Vanuatu is a pretty interesting place, and my wife and I had a great time.

I only had Kava once there, I had 3 shells (coconut shells used as cups), before dinner one night. It certainly has more power than Fiji kava, I had a good subtle sense of everything being alright, a sort of relaxed awareness. Certainly the sensitivity to sound was there, although not in a bad way. It made my stomach feel pretty numb though, which I have felt before, and can be confused with nausea if you're not expecting/familiar with it. After 3 shells I was expecting to be a bit wobbly, but that wasn't a problem for me. Perhaps the muscle relaxant properties would have been there had I had more. I am also a pretty big dude (240 pounds, 6'2") so possibly that would've been a factor.

I can definitely recommend Vanuatu kava over the Fiji stuff, which I found to be a bit less pronounced in it's effects, that said the Fiji kava I had was dried, whereas the Vanuatu stuff was fresh.

As for the taste, a lot of people think it's awful. I don't think it's pleasant, but it's not that bad. Kind of a vegetable flavour with a bit of black pepper to it. I would recommend chasing it with something good, (non alcoholic though, as apparently it's a bad idea to combine due to Kava's effect on the liver).

After about 4 hours the obvious effects wore off, but by then it was off to bed, and a super-peaceful nights sleep.
 

Beernik

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2009
Messages
4,124
Reaction score
895
Location
Camano Island, WA
There is a new kava and hooka bar in Salt Lake called Kava Roots. I only know about it because it's next to my wife's tattoo shop.
 

karlozz

New Member
Joined
Jun 14, 2013
Messages
2
Reaction score
0
Location
Indore
Typically, I drink Kava two days out of the week. It takes 20–30 minutes for its effects. One can smoke it also it gives a light headed feeling when smoked.
 

jglazer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2013
Messages
355
Reaction score
54
Yep, last year at burning man someone gave me a cup and it made my mouth and tongue numb and made me real sleeeeeeeepy
 

badgerbrew14

Active Member
Joined
Apr 13, 2013
Messages
27
Reaction score
4
The stuff is nasty, but I managed to choke it down so my Fijian friend wouldn't be offended. BIG Fijian friend...
 

davidvhead

Member
Joined
Oct 22, 2012
Messages
7
Reaction score
0
Location
Somerset
Hello, I am getting read to brew a kava stout to enjoy this winter. I am writing to ask how you prepared the kava before racking onto it. How did you prevent contamination of your beer as you racked it onto the bacteria (and God knows what else) laden kava? Did you boil it, soak it in alcohol, have a witch doctor bless it, etc, (just kidding about the witch doctor....or may be not, it is kava kava).

I plan to allow it to sit on the root for about 1 day during secondary, or simply placing some kava chips in a sifting bag and putting it in the keg before I rack into the keg. Thoughts?

My big concern is bacterial contamination of the beer with a root that has not been boiled ( as I have heard boiling the root yields it useless).
 

Latest posts

Top