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Brutus Brewer

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Being a fan of Chai tea, I have thought about brewing a Chai Stout. Any thoughts on how much Chai tea would be needed for a 5 gallon batch?
 

Wheat King

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sorry, i cant offer any help! just wanted to say: wow, that sounds delicious! is this your idea or have you seen this before?
 

the_bird

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I've never seen any tea-based recipes, although I will confess to being a relative newbie. No idea how much you would need. It would seem that the chai is a relatively delicate flavor (much less aggressive than black coffee, for example), so you'll want to start with a base stout that won't completely overwhelm it. Good luck with this.
 

david_42

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You might be better off with a porter or a brown as the base. I'd start with enough chai for a gallon of tea. If you can find a liquid concentrate, you could experiment adding it to a pint at bottling time.
 

Chairman Cheyco

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I imagine you would want to back off the hop rate as well. If you brewed a gruit-style with tea, you may be able to eliminate the hops alltogether. Try a few one-gallon batches, sounds interesting.
 

G. Cretin

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That sounds damn intresting. I have an idea about this, I would do a Makesons (sp) clone because of the lactose(?) gulactose(?) (the milk sugar that doesn't ferment) and then add the chi spices (nutmeg,ginger,and cinnamon equal parts) and prime with honey. I make chi at home my recipe is 4 black teabags in a1/2 Quart of water a 1/2 quart of milk and 1/2 teaspoon of the above mentioned spices and 4 tablespoons of honey.
 

Cap'n Jewbeard

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Hey man-

I think a couple of things are good to keep in mind:

1) Like somebody (david?) said, you can lay off the hops, especially as concerns flavor/aroma; you can put some in for bitterness, depending on how you like to make your tea.

2) Rather than using tea itself, you might consider just dumping in the Chai spices (cardomom is a big deal for chai, cinnamon, ginger, coriander, maybe a little vanilla? If you like vanilla)

3) Maybe a chai-spiced mead would be delicious in addition to your beer? I think I'm going to make that a priority for me.
 

nduetime

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Cap'n Jewbeard said:
... Maybe a chai-spiced mead would be delicious in addition to your beer? I think I'm going to make that a priority for me.
did you ever get around to trying this out? i'm very interested in know your experience if you did.
 

TexLaw

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Certainly, you wouldn't want to boil the tea. That gets nasty pretty fast. You would need to steep and then add the tea after the boil. To preserve the volatiles, you may even want to add it to the secondary.


TL
 
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I've been planning on a chai beer my own self.

My plan is to do it in a sweet amber or brown style ale and add some vanilla too. I'm going to go for quite a strong chai flavor with no hops. I'm thinking probably about five tea bags for a 5-gallon batch and putting them in for about five minutes after the boil finishes.

Hmm. I guess a trip to the homebrew store is in order.:mug:
 

LouT

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I have been looking into making a Chai beer for about a year now. I came across the thread and recipe (pasted below) somewhere on the internet this past summer but I haven't tried it yet. It is posted as a "proven" recipe, so is probably a great starting point. Some of the author's comments will answer some of the questions that have come up in this thread. Here's what I have:

PROVEN CHAI BEER RECIPE FROM INTERNET IS BELOW:

Date: Thu, 18 Jun 1998 21:46:24 -0600
From: "Brian Rezac" <brian`at`aob.org>
Subject: Spice Beer

George De Piro <gdepiro`at`fcc.net> wrote:
> Marc (at JPullman127`at`aol.com) asks about a recipe for a good
spiced beer.
> While I don't have one,
> I judged a Indian-curry spiced brown ale at the World Homebrew
Contest
> in 1996. It was probably the best spiced beer I have ever
evaluated. I (much) later
> found out that it was brewed by Brian Rezac.
> The beer went all the way to the "Jim Koch" round (where it
didn't stand
> a chance because there was no way he was going to market
something that unique.)
>
> So out with it, Brian. Send Marc the recipe!

...and David Johnson <dmjalj`at`inwave.com> wrote:
> My comment would be that we could request that the recipe
should be shared
> with all of us especially with that kind of praise having been
heaped on
> it. Although I may never brew a curry beer, I am interested in
how Brian
> might have used his spices. In fact, I am interested in
learning how to
> used spices better and read posts on this subject closely here
and on the
> Mead Lovers Digest.

Wow! Thanks George, for such praise. I'm always happy to share
recipes. Actually, I think I may have shared this one with some
of you already during the thread on Anchor's 1997 Our Special
Ale. I think that there is a strong resemblance albeit not an
exact duplicate.

As my brother-in-beer, Mike Bardallis, pointed out, it is in
Amahl Turczyn's book, A Year of Beer, (It's the last recipe.),
but here are some better directions for brewing this recipe.

First of all, the recipe is based on an Indian spiced tea called
"Chai", which is a combination of black tea, six spices, honey
and milk. They usually serve it at yuppie-granola coffee shops,
very similar to those found in Boulder, Colorado. (Curiosity
caused me to break from my coffee routine one day and try the
tea.)

What struck me is that all the spices blended into one very
pleasant taste and that's what I wanted to emulate. Obviously, I
had to omit the milk. I thought the black tea would leave too
much tannic acid bite so I added some roasted barley to emulate
the tea. I choose not to use honey because I didn't want to
lighten the body and I wanted the beer to remain "sweet" from the
malt.

Adding the spices was the tricky part. I first added them
directly to the wort, but the extraction was low due to the
viscosity of the wort itself. (It wasn't spicy enough.) I also
tried "dry spicing" in the primary, but each spice flavor
separated to where you could taste them all individually. (It
was interesting, but no what I wanted.) So what I came up with
is first making a "tea" of the spices, then adding that to the
wort. This worked very well and I would recommend this procedure
when you want one complex flavor from your spices.

(Sorry about the long introduction. It just nice to be talking
about brewing. Thanks.) Anyway, here's the recipe.

Chai Beer (aka India Chai Ale)
- brian rezac
- ------------------------------------------
8 lbs. Munton & Fison light malt extract
1 lb. English crystal malt (55 L)
8 oz. Belgian Munich malt
4 oz. Belgian CaraPils malt
4 oz. Briess chocolate malt
4 oz. Briess roasted barley

2 oz. Cascade, 4.9% AA (70 min)
3/4 oz. Saaz, 3.0% AA (15 min)
1/2 oz. Saaz, 3.0% AA (2 min)

1 teaspoon Irish moss (15 min)
1 teaspoon Burton salts (optional)

Wyeast #1007 - German ale yeast

Naturally carbonate, bottle condition.

Spices
- ---------------
120 Cardamom pods, (cracked slightly - just enough to open the
pods)
11 teaspoons Cinnamon chips
11 teaspoons whole Coriander
5 1/2 teaspoons whole Cloves
5 1/2 teaspoons whole black Peppercorns
11 inches fresh, peeled, sliced Ginger root (or 5 teaspoons dried
ginger chips)

Adding Spices
- ---------------------
In a separate pot, boil all spices in approximately 1 quart of
water for 20 minutes. (You should have the spices boiling about
the same time as you start the wort boiling.)
After 20 minutes of a nice rolling boil, shut off heat, cover and
leave spices sit in water for another 20 minutes.
At 20 minutes left to the wort boil, add spice tea through a
strainer directly into wort.


A few months after I came up with this recipe, my daughter,
Caitlin, who was seven at the time, came to me with a whole
advertising campaign of four different ads that she had drawn in
crayon. The theme or tag-line in all the ads was, "Chai Beer.
It's a good beverage."

Enjoy!

Brian Rezac
Administrator
American Homebrewers Association
736 Pearl Street, Boulder, CO 80302
brian`at`aob.org http://beertown.org

That's about it, hopefully not considered "plagiarism"...
 

steve123

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Did a Chai Red hit me up with a email or PM and I'll send the recipe, just openned one I guess 3 months later and wow Flavor explosion.

We used an Actuallt loose leaf Chai tea blend and the tea really came up with a good amount of spice, though needs tweaking to taste I am sure.
 

sharpstick

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Being a fan of Chai tea, I have thought about brewing a Chai Stout. Any thoughts on how much Chai tea would be needed for a 5 gallon batch?
I'm planning one. I found a promising recipe here:
DaveDave Breweries: Spiced Chai Rice Extract Milk Stout
I've emailed the guy and he is going to send me his final recipe and further mods. He said he used tea for the base, but I doubt that it was the whole 5 gallons of liquid!
 

MrGneissGuy

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I'm in the middle of a batch of porter, that I was planning to add vanilla to, and then got to thinking that chai would also be good with it. I thought about just adding two or three tea bags along with the vanilla going into the secondary, but thought I'd do a search to see if it had been done before and found this thread. It doesn't sound like tea bags in the secondary would be the best way to go about it based on reading these responses, and I'm seeing to leave the hops out when trying this. I'll stick with just the vanilla for this one, but am curious how the stout turned out and if anyone else tried these other recipes. I definitely want to try a chai beer soon. I've been thinking it would be great in porter, but also think it might be good in a wheat beer. I made a dark wheat last summer where I added chocolate malt to give it a bit of smokiness and went light on the hops. I think chai spices would go really well with that.
 

philrose

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My brewday tomorrow is a Chai Brown Ale for the upcoming holiday season.

The recipe is verbatim from Radical Brewing.

I'll be making the basic Brown Ale recipe tomorrow, fermenting out and adding a chai mixture to taste at kegging, estimated two cups of strong chai tea.

As for the creamyness of chai, I was thinking this could be a really cool beer to serve on nitro! Unfortunately, that is (so far) beyond my means.:drunk:
 

philrose

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gibts Braun chai brautag!

Just doughed in. Dogs chewing on her bone and I'm measuring sparge water on this beautiful day in Seattle.

I think I'll source my chai from World Spice Merchants near the pike place market. That place is bar none the best spice shop I've ever seen!
 

BrianRezac

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I know it might be cheating, but couldn't you just use Tazo Chai Tea Concentrate? I really like that stuff and now I want to do a Chai beer too! :)
From my medic days, I remembered that black tea has some antiseptic properties. I would be careful using ingredients that contain black tea. I haven't tried it...and maybe I was being a little too cautious. But that is why I used roasted barley to emulate the black tea instead of black tea, itself.

Good Luck!

Brian Rezac
Longmont, Colorado
 

philrose

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I'm +1 on leaving out products with black tea. If not for technical reasons then for flavor reasons. I think that it gets a bit tannic and might not be a silky smooth as the chai-malt combination's potential.

I went down to the spice market on western here in seattle and smelled some of their chai blends. None had the actual tea leaves. I went with this blend and added to taste as I was bottling.

...time for part two of this post...the opening of the brown chai canary bottle...

To be continued...
 

philrose

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Gordon Strong's Chai Brown Ale (from Radical Brewing by Randy Mosher)

og 1055 - fg 1010 - 19 ibu

This was my first spice beer, mashed to poured in a scant 13 days.



Color is plum and brown, somewhere in the 17-20 srm range. This beer has no haze or sediment cloud. Clarity does shine through the brown beer.

The aroma is there, soft cinnamon, nutmeg and licorice. despite the essential oils of the spices, I'm impressed by the young beer's medium, tan colored head.

First sips are an affirmation. I'm pleased to have made this brew! Slightly thinner body than expected when pouring with pie spice right up front and a tiny hint of hop bitterness at the end. The front end is punchy with cassia and clove. The rest of my swig is very smooth. Overall a soft yet present spice flavor over a somewhat simple marris otter grain bill. Spice overcomes sweetness with ease on the palate.

If I was going to change the process, I might try mashing a bit higher for more malt body. 147 made for a pleasant dry finish that lets the spice shine through, but more body and more spice could easily be done. Also more malty, biscuity grains like victory might be something to look into.

Warms the body, this will be great for those rainy Seattle nights, SWMBO will go nuts for it. Big fan, one of my favorite brews to date. Recommended beer to make!
 

RobbyBeers

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I'm a regular chai drinker, and I'm ashamed to admit that I never thought of this before. Anyhow...

I think you could forgo the black tea. Even in an actual chai, it's just the base. It doesn't seem like there's much there flavor-wise that couldn't be accomplished with grain, and with the tea, there is more of a chance of doing damage with all the tannins.

I think a milk stout might make a good base. Sweetness is the platform that makes the spices jump out. Under-sweetened chai just tastes like tea and milk.

I think the key to a good chai is a touch of heat. Make sure you put some black pepper in your spice mix.

Good luck. I may be following your lead soon.
 

Sedge

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I'm just getting started in homebrewing, and this thread is fortuitous. My first brew is going to be a breakfast stout with some chai overtones. I make chai in the traditional stovetop manner about every day (I use cardamom so much I have a pepper mill full of it...great for fresh fruit, especially mango).

Thanks everyone for the insights. I'm hoping to convert the non-beer drinking members of my Indian family with this.
 

philrose

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I'm just getting started in homebrewing, and this thread is fortuitous. My first brew is going to be a breakfast stout with some chai overtones. I make chai in the traditional stovetop manner about every day (I use cardamom so much I have a pepper mill full of it...great for fresh fruit, especially mango).

Thanks everyone for the insights. I'm hoping to convert the non-beer drinking members of my Indian family with this.
Brew a strong chai as you usually would (without milk of course) and add it bit by bit to the fermented beer until you like the taste. Worked great for my brown and hassle free.

Cheers to your first brew :)
 

rexbanner

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My brewday tomorrow is a Chai Brown Ale for the upcoming holiday season.

The recipe is verbatim from Radical Brewing.

I'll be making the basic Brown Ale recipe tomorrow, fermenting out and adding a chai mixture to taste at kegging, estimated two cups of strong chai tea.

As for the creamyness of chai, I was thinking this could be a really cool beer to serve on nitro! Unfortunately, that is (so far) beyond my means.:drunk:
Update: Mosher made a mistake with this recipe. I used the same spices in the manner described in Radical Brewing and the spice tea was not nearly strong enough to flavor a full batch of beer. Subsequently I looked up a few authentic chai tea recipes and the amount Mosher recommends is barely enough to make two cups of chai tea. Like someone earlier mentioned, you need around 100 cardamom pods, not 18. The other ingredients were similarly off as well.

I am going to throw the spice tea I made today out, and try just amping up the volumes for all the spices, grinding in a coffee grinder, and doing a 20 minute boil rather than steeping. From what I've read, boiling seems to be the way to go. Would this create an astringent taste for any reason?
 

MrVagabond

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philrose

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Update: Mosher made a mistake with this recipe. I used the same spices in the manner described in Radical Brewing and the spice tea was not nearly strong enough to flavor a full batch of beer. Subsequently I looked up a few authentic chai tea recipes and the amount Mosher recommends is barely enough to make two cups of chai tea. Like someone earlier mentioned, you need around 100 cardamom pods, not 18. The other ingredients were similarly off as well.

I am going to throw the spice tea I made today out, and try just amping up the volumes for all the spices, grinding in a coffee grinder, and doing a 20 minute boil rather than steeping. From what I've read, boiling seems to be the way to go. Would this create an astringent taste for any reason?
Dude- Thats wayyyy more spice than I used and next time I make this I'll be cutting back.

I used loose, unground chai mix with no tea leaves, steeped in my french press, cooled the tea and added about 3/4s of it to the bottling bucket. Much more control over the flavor. You couldn't taste as you go if you add to the boil. Rely on your tastebuds!
 

Sedge

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I agree that it can be a tricky dance to get the spice mixture right (especially if you decide to add cloves) but as for boiling: traditionally chai is boiled for a few minutes after the spices are added, so the astringency you extract from the spices will be normal. The only thing is you shouldn't add the cardamom until the end of the boil because it will burn and turn bitter. This is true of pretty much ever Indian recipe involving cardamom.

I wouldn't recommend grinding the spices to dust in a coffee/spice grinder. Chai spices are powerful, and you would want to avoid that instant coffee effect of garbage bitterness taste. If you want to use less overall then go ahead and grind, but the spices aren't too expensive and you have more control with whole or coarsely ground spices.

As a reference point, if I'm making a pot of chai (let's say four cups) I'd crush 1 clove for the whole pot with about 2 tablespoons of minced ginger, and crack 3-4 cardamom pods and crush those to throw in at the end (or two spins per cup of my cardamom filled pepper mill :) ). Cinnamon is a no-no in my house, as are other spices like nutmeg, but if you want to get festive with a lot of spices tread on the softside with these two.

Having said that, for a 5 gallon batch, to achieve my desired level of spice, I'd probably use candied/crystalized ginger and whole cardamom pods in a hot tea, dose a pint of a similar styled commercial beer to taste then scale it up just like adding a fruit flavoring, extract or liquor. You can probably get away with boiling the tea if you're not crusing the spices to dust, but I do like the sound of phil's french press approach.
 

philrose

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I agree that it can be a tricky dance to get the spice mixture right (especially if you decide to add cloves) but as for boiling: traditionally chai is boiled for a few minutes after the spices are added, so the astringency you extract from the spices will be normal. The only thing is you shouldn't add the cardamom until the end of the boil because it will burn and turn bitter. This is true of pretty much ever Indian recipe involving cardamom.

I wouldn't recommend grinding the spices to dust in a coffee/spice grinder. Chai spices are powerful, and you would want to avoid that instant coffee effect of garbage bitterness taste. If you want to use less overall then go ahead and grind, but the spices aren't too expensive and you have more control with whole or coarsely ground spices.

As a reference point, if I'm making a pot of chai (let's say four cups) I'd crush 1 clove for the whole pot with about 2 tablespoons of minced ginger, and crack 3-4 cardamom pods and crush those to throw in at the end (or two spins per cup of my cardamom filled pepper mill :) ). Cinnamon is a no-no in my house, as are other spices like nutmeg, but if you want to get festive with a lot of spices tread on the softside with these two.

Having said that, for a 5 gallon batch, to achieve my desired level of spice, I'd probably use candied/crystalized ginger and whole cardamom pods in a hot tea, dose a pint of a similar styled commercial beer to taste then scale it up just like adding a fruit flavoring, extract or liquor. You can probably get away with boiling the tea if you're not crusing the spices to dust, but I do like the sound of phil's french press approach.
Candied ginger would be really interesting, I'd assume that it would ferment out to some degree.
 

rexbanner

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Dude- Thats wayyyy more spice than I used and next time I make this I'll be cutting back.

I used loose, unground chai mix with no tea leaves, steeped in my french press, cooled the tea and added about 3/4s of it to the bottling bucket. Much more control over the flavor. You couldn't taste as you go if you add to the boil. Rely on your tastebuds!
I am relying on my tastebuds....I made the chai tea as described in the book, and like I said, there is no way it would flavor five gallons of beer. It barely had any flavor itself.
 

ChrisKennedy

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I threw about 3oz of our Chai Spice mixture into about 500ml of cheap vodka and it has been enough to strongly spice at least 100gal of Chai Milk Stout. I only have to use .5oz of the vodka tincture per 5gal, and it is assertive.

The 3oz is a guess, but the spices are still sitting in the vodka bottle, and it is about 1in tightly compacted in the bottom. Not much.
 

DavidSteel

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I'd probably make a milk stout out of this as chai tea is traditionally made with milk, not water.
 

mavandeh

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Chai Beer (aka India Chai Ale)
- brian rezac
- ------------------------------------------
8 lbs. Munton & Fison light malt extract
1 lb. English crystal malt (55 L)
8 oz. Belgian Munich malt
4 oz. Belgian CaraPils malt
4 oz. Briess chocolate malt
4 oz. Briess roasted barley

2 oz. Cascade, 4.9% AA (70 min)
3/4 oz. Saaz, 3.0% AA (15 min)
1/2 oz. Saaz, 3.0% AA (2 min)

1 teaspoon Irish moss (15 min)
1 teaspoon Burton salts (optional)

Wyeast #1007 - German ale yeast

Naturally carbonate, bottle condition.

Spices
- ---------------
120 Cardamom pods, (cracked slightly - just enough to open the
pods)
11 teaspoons Cinnamon chips
11 teaspoons whole Coriander
5 1/2 teaspoons whole Cloves
5 1/2 teaspoons whole black Peppercorns
11 inches fresh, peeled, sliced Ginger root (or 5 teaspoons dried
ginger chips)

Adding Spices
- ---------------------
In a separate pot, boil all spices in approximately 1 quart of
water for 20 minutes. (You should have the spices boiling about
the same time as you start the wort boiling.)
After 20 minutes of a nice rolling boil, shut off heat, cover and
leave spices sit in water for another 20 minutes.
At 20 minutes left to the wort boil, add spice tea through a
strainer directly into wort.
Looks like much more ingredients than a 5 gallon recipe to me. Maybe 10?
 

hammacks

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10.5# of malt. Looks like 5 gal to me. What is that, like 5.5gal at 1.052 at 75% or so?
 

mavandeh

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Alright, thanks. I'm planning to start this one on Friday and I wasn't sure.
 
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