Garlic beer

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Dec 9, 2007
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I wanted to do an easy recipe for garlic beer (its for a coworker). I want to just throw it in my old Mr Beer keg so I dont waste a bucket fermentor (and possibly producing 5 gal of crap beer). SO what I found so far is this:

6 pounds, plain light extract syrup (hopped? who knows...)
2 ounces, Cascade leaf (boil)
2 ounces, Cascade leaf (finish)
one Big Thing of garlic (maybe half the size of your fist)
Whitbread dry ale yeast

-of course parred down for 2 gallon batch.

Question: What kind of grain should I seep to get a better flavor? Can I crush grain in a coffee grinder?
I agree, garlic beer sounds about as good as bud light (I call it sparkling horse piss). but I wanted to play around and see what I can come up with.
I'm not sure citrusy cascades would be a good choice with garlic (imagine eating a grapefruit and munching on some garlic at the same time). For grains, a little bit of crystal 60L wouldn't hurt, though I have no idea how well it would work with garlic.

I wouldn't 'crush' grains in a coffee grinder. Put them in a heavy zip-top bag and just roll them with a rolling pin or a champagne bottle or something.
Were you thinking raw garlic or roasted? I think raw would probably be way too pungent but roasted in SMALL amount (just a HINT of garlic rather than liquid garlic) might be at least drinkable.
hey thats not a bad idea, I agree-raw garlic=bad drinking experience. How would you roast it?
yeah thats exactly what my boss just said too (we talk beer alot, makes the job more enjoyable)
I've actually heard of this before. There is a garlic festival (or at least was) somewhere out here in OR years ago that promoted garlic beer. Don't know if there are any commercial examples...
Since you came up with that Gak & Laurel's recipe, I imagine you've already done the obligatory Google search. As bradsul, mentioned, though, I don't know how well that Cascades will work (although a 15 min addition won't be so bad). I would focus more on a bittering addition to just balance out the sweetness and let the garlic go from there. If you want some sort of hop flavor or aroma, I would more consider a spicier hop.

Gilroy, CA has a huge garlic festival and they have anything and everything you can think of made with garlic. Not sure if doing some searching on the event would do any good but perhaps you can get a name of a company that serves it.
I wonder about making some kind of 'garlic tea' similar to hop tea that you can use in the bottling bucket to add the garlic flavour slowly rather than trying to guess on a totally unknown quantity in the boil. Maybe soak some roasted garlic in vodka or something.
Don't know about garlic beer, but I've had a few sips of garlic wine at the Gilroy fest. Not good. Plan on tossing the Mr. Beer afterwards.

If you do make so, please post the results as a warning to others.:rolleyes:
I agree, please post the results. I love garlic and was wondering about a garlic beer myself, however I could not get anybody else excited about it, (not sure why).
In the Homebrewing for Dummies book by Marty Nachel he talks about a garlic beer that he and a group of judges sampled. The acclaimed beer judge writer described the beer as almost unpalatable, even for those who love garlic.
yeah I gotta say, I don't know if I actually want to make garlic beer now, it really does sound gross after I think about the flavors.
I'd use slivered garlic (dried and slivered) if you can find it. Great stuff! Makes the garlic real mild. Then I'd only add the garlic slivers in the last 15 mins and maybe "dry garlic" in secondary.

I have a very experimental recipe brewing on paper and I'm planning to use garlic slivers in it.

Let us know!

noobrewer said:
yeah I gotta say, I don't know if I actually want to make garlic beer now, it really does sound gross after I think about the flavors.
I'm with you. I was interested in doing a 4L test batch 'just for the h3ll of it' but now I think it would be a waste of a trip to the LHBS to buy some extract - not too mention a waste of good garlic!
I love garlic; give me a nice head of roasted garlic and I'll just eat the cloves (for those of you that have never had roasted garlic, it's not as disgusting as it sounds. Roasted garlic is squishy, mellow, and almost sweet). However...I can't imagine a way to make garlic beer work.
MMM, ribs racked and steamed over garlic beer till you can allmost pull the bones out, then slow smoked and baisted with a homemaid garlic beer BBQ sauce. MMMM
Down here is the South we do crawfish boils and add halved heads or garlic to the boil. In between crawfish tails, you pop a clove in your mouth and it's super sweet, a touch spicey, and like buttah!

I see no reason why this wouldn't work in beer!

I made a Garlic Beer once (one gallon batch). I put sliced garlic in the primary. It tasted OK if you drank it while eating pizza, but by its self it was nasty. The worst part was the smell while it was fermenting!

Needless to say, I never tried it again.
For cooking, you could just infuse any beer with garlic, truffles, whatever. I will try this in my basting spray bottle for slow fire barbecue sometime. Sounds great. As far as a pure drinking beer, well maybe if you throw a few clams and some parsley in the secondary.....
I'm in the middle of doing some homework about garlic beer myself. Bare with me as I dig up this month stale thread. It's one of the many reasons I decided I wanted to start brewing my own. I love garlic. I'll eat whole cloves raw. I'm a big fan of the phrase "lets eat garlic and make out" (garlic is an aphrodisiac).

I have 2, 1 gallon jugs I've been using for small batches of cider that I plan using to work out the best garlic beer recipe to ever exist! Something I can get exited about making 5 gallon batches of will be the goal, and I'm ready to roll with the punches. Bad batches will be great for cooking with I'm sure.

I've been interested in trying to toss a bit of garlic into a few bottles, recapping, and trying it after a week or two. I have a friend who did this with some hot peppers and she was happy with the results. At the moment, all I have around in bottles is wit and coffee porter though.... maybe not the best idea...

Garlic beer is in my future, for certain. It will take some time, but I'll keep ya posted.
I actually like the idea of cooking with it. If you can't drink it, that might be an alternative.

I read 2 1/2 pages before I got to my first thought. I'd think the ol chicken with beer in it's butt would be a prime candidate for Garlic Beer. Also for the bath for Brats on the grill.
Then you could make a fine batch of bread to eat with Italian food...just dump the beer right in the bread dough.

When you were done with that, I would soak some deer steak in it over night before lightly flowering and pad frying.

The possibilities of a garlic beer are nearly endless....I'd say that they end at the notion of pouring one in a pint glass and thinking you were going to drink it.
There is a Garlic restaraunt in Honolulu.. everything on the menu has garlic..I love garlic but was skeptical about garlic ice cream... It was actually quite good.. why not garlic beer? find a style that goes well with garlic food and add a hint to it.

First time I had banana beer I was skeptical too, pineapple yea, but when the Micro came out with a banana lager, I didn't think so, but it was good.
The book "Making Wild Wines & Meads" there is a recipe for garlic wine. it says "this is not a sipping wine. It is intended for the best wine-based salad dressings and marinades you've ever tasted"

it has
12 large garlic bulbs
12oz apple juice concentrate
juice of 1 lemon
2 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp pectic enzyme
1/4 tsp tannin
1pkg montrachet yeast

the garlic is baked in the oven for 2 hours wrapped in foil at 350f.
I havent had the courage to make this yet and I would never try to drink the stuff straight but it could definitely make some good cooking wine. I think for beer you might want to leave out the hops and make a gruit mixture with herb and spices that go better with garlic, basil, oregano, thyme, parsley but this is all for cooking with if you plan to drink the stuff straight I dont know. instead of adding specialty grains maybe you could roast garlic to varying degrees to show case the different flavors / colors the garlic can add.
I friggin love garlic. But garlic in a beer. Just think Now when you offend women for being too drunk you have horrible breath to go along with it.
Think though. It would lower cholesterol.
hmm...i definitely sounds intersting, but tricky. i'm pretty wary of what goes into my beer.

my friend almost has me convinced to make a ginger porter, tho. almost :D
theres a beer that is going to hit the midwest very soon if not already. Its the Mama Mia's pizza beer. I was lucky enough to have the brewer give me a few a couple months ago.

I know what you're thinking....gross right? Well it has sun dried tomatoes, garlic, oregano, and basil. Its not a beer that you're going to drink more than maybe two at a time, but its for pairing.... and it will go really well with any Italian food. If you keep the beer really balanced this garlic beer you're thinking of will turn out very well.
I've had the garlic wine from Gilroy & thought it was tasty. The garlic flavor was up front, wasn't overpowering, and dissipated quickly. I think a garlic beer if done right would be good too. Drink it with spaghetti.
I made a garlic chillie wine a few weeks ago with similar thoughts for cooking...

It is still in primary so I can tell you how it tastes but it smells great!

I think that one good option to taste test a garlic beer would be to secondary 1 gallon of a similar beer as planned above onto some dried garlic for a few weeks, then bottle.

This gives you the opportunity to play with the quantity of garlic without risking a full batch...
In my last 2 batches, I bottled a 6 pack of each with various homegrown peppers. These pepper beers are amazing, and the peppers come out of the bottle looking like they were just picked, 6 months later. I am now thinking about adding a half clove of garlic into a few bottles of the batch I have sitting in the secondary right now. I will update with results in a couple of months.
I love beer and I love garlic, but the idea of combining the two makes my stomach churn. Then again, some people swear by sour beer, and I won't go near the stuff. To each his own, and all that. Good luck!