How to make a hot/fusel tasting beer... on purpose

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dan46nbrew

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Back in my college days I used to have this beer at a local microbrewery/restaurant that I think is what people would describe as a hot alcohol or fusel alcohol like taste. Although probably off-putting to most people, for some reason I liked it and it paired well with their roasted chicken. I want to say it was below 7-8% but I couldn't to drink more than 2 of these and still walk out. How would I go about purposely making something like this? Underpitch, use excess table sugar, ferment warm? Any particular yeast strain that would work well for this experiment?
 

16'er

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Maybe 50% extra light malt extract and 50% adjuncts. Use a brew calc to figure your total sugars for fermenter volume to reach 7-8% abv.

Thinking that using a mix of honey and corn sugar would get you desired effect. Ferment on warm side as mentioned. Could even add half a gallon of apple juice might be a usable adjunct.

Using a mild hopping regimen and keeping complex sugars to the minimum would be my strategy. If you want color a light dose of steeped patent malt to the pre boil?
 
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dan46nbrew

dan46nbrew

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Dumb idea. Hot and fusels aren't just taste, they're associated with toxins like acetone and methanol. Willingly drinking that is not smart.

Definitely don't want to make any toxins. I'm not really sure if what I was tasting was hot/fusel but I don't I know how else to describe it. I've never had a beer like that before. I figured I would try to make what people refer to as hot/fusel to see if its the same taste. Apparently other people liked it too because they were sold out of it all the time.
 

DBhomebrew

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Your beer of memory sounds like a strong ale that could have used some months of conditioning. As mentioned above, fusels are absolutely under no circumstances something to strive for. Alcohol (ethanol) warmth in aroma and flavor is something that can be a pleasant feature of some stronger beers. With some conditioning, the ethanol can smooth into something really special in a big sipping beer. Strive for that. A well-crafted alcoholic beer that warms from the inside. Two might make your legs wobbly, but no risk of blindness.
 

Brews and Blues

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Reading this thread made me think of this beer we used to drink in college called Camo ICE. It was god awful and after thinking about it, I almost threw up in my mouth.
We would drink a couple of those BEFORE going into a bar thinking it would help us save money because we were getting drunk beforehand. Instead, it just made us make really poor decisions 😂
 

cmac62

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He does have a colt 45 as his avitar. I'd say look up malt liquor and make one of those. A schlitz clone might work, or old english 800. My son and I did a tasting night with Steel reserve, Lucky and some other awful beers, it was a chore, but we got through it unharmed. LOL :mug:
 
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dan46nbrew

dan46nbrew

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Hey now, don't knock it until you try it! :p I checked the website of the place I tried it at and I don't think they are making it anymore 😭 You never know, might be a new BJCP category in 2022, Hot Fusel Tripel :mischievous:
 
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dan46nbrew

dan46nbrew

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Your beer of memory sounds like a strong ale that could have used some months of conditioning. As mentioned above, fusels are absolutely under no circumstances something to strive for. Alcohol (ethanol) warmth in aroma and flavor is something that can be a pleasant feature of some stronger beers. With some conditioning, the ethanol can smooth into something really special in a big sipping beer. Strive for that. A well-crafted alcoholic beer that warms from the inside. Two might make your legs wobbly, but no risk of blindness.


Ok, this sounds more like it, an alcohol warmth is a good description of what I had.
 

travisg

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My first homebrew experience I was gifted a one gallon 'off the topper' recipe kit from Northern Brewer. Came out okay except had a mild spicy boozy heat on the finish. Not overpowering but there. Maybe it I was fermentation "character" as I fermented it on my kitchen counter and temperature ranged from upper 60s to low 70s. Maybe it was the fact that heady topper is known for the hops adding a drying aftertaste that emphasized a burn sensation. Hop burn? Maybe some combination. The kit came with dry yeast, probably something like us05. Perhaps you could intentionally induce hop burn by bittering a iipa with lots of low alpha hops that are known for a spicy flavor profile at the top of the boil and see if that scratches your itch.
 

Knightshade

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He does have a colt 45 as his avitar. I'd say look up malt liquor and make one of those. A schlitz clone might work, or old english 800. My son and I did a tasting night with Steel reserve, Lucky and some other awful beers, it was a chore, but we got through it unharmed. LOL :mug:

Aw man....I had a Steel Reserve at a post New Year's Day thing for the first time. First sip I was thinking it wasn't that bad.

Thinking my buds weren't calibrated because that second sip was...blech. "Dude..I'm dumping this, hope you're okay with that."
 

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old english 800
This ^
I think you'll find a lot of useful suggestions if you search for "Malt Liquor recipe".
I weirldy like such kind of swill (fond memories of university days strongly involved) and brew beers of this kind time to time, just to have it. My last brew in this vein has been Carlsberg Elefant Clone which is lagering now. I think you don't need fusels in this style, you need bare clean alcohols, not masked by fancy grains, esters or hops. I put as much adjuncts as decency allows. I think, it's adjunct-derived alcohols that produce "that taste". I like it alcoholic, non-estery, meddium-bittered, zero hop aroma. It should be bland and mighty strong cold-fermented fast-conditioned Lager. Otherwise, esters will come into play and the point is missed. YMMV
 

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Make a bad choice in yeast and ferment warm. That should get you fusel alcohol and plenty of esters.

I'll support this and be more specific.

Underpitching a weak yeast that has lower alcohol tolerance, or using "turbo" yeasts to rush a warm fermentation on a relatively high OG wort will work wonders in producing fusels. You'll see this a lot in lower ABV macro lagers loaded with adjuncts rushed out the door for sale, or those unbalanced IPA's some folks love to crow about. I typically leave lower OG fermentations in the primary for up to three weeks and avoid warm ambient temperatures above 65F for homebrewing.
Never had a problem with this method so far, and it's convinced me the nagging ache in my forehead is due to fusels. Keep your yeast healthy with FAN rich grains, lower the adjuncts and sugar additions, and keep the temps relativley cool and stable.
 

Lefou

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Some of us have, by accident. The hot, solvent-like burn, the hangovers the next day. Hard pass.

There's one reason I've never liked higher ABV distillations. Poor quality control.

I've watched Old Tickle and friends on TV and they know their stuff, but the methods they use scare me. "Eyeballing" your creation for roiling, oily distortions in the jar isn't my idea of real quality control. :oops:
 

bracconiere

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Back in my college days I used to have this beer at a local microbrewery/restaurant that I think is what people would describe as a hot alcohol or fusel alcohol like taste. Although probably off-putting to most people, for some reason I liked it and it paired well with their roasted chicken. I want to say it was below 7-8% but I couldn't to drink more than 2 of these and still walk out. How would I go about purposely making something like this? Underpitch, use excess table sugar, ferment warm? Any particular yeast strain that would work well for this experiment?



i once asked how to make more esters, to some forum about brewing ;)

but if you want HOT burn, use some glucoamylase! shoot for an OG of around 1.070....you might become a homebrew light beer fan like i am! :mug:

when your FG is about 0.995...all sweetness is taken out of the drink, and it doesn't cover up the REAL flavor 🤣 but to me if you use enough crystal, dark malts, it still has body....
 

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Apparently other people liked it too because they were sold out of it all the time.
With that logic (and this is sounding more rude and attacking than the point I'm trying to make, so don't take it too seriously :p ), I should probably tell you that the people here in SA that aren't financially stable enough for proper booze, they buy methylated spirits, pour it through a white bread and drink that, so we should perhaps make and market that as a poor man's drink?
 

Miraculix

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If you're up for a big hangover party after one pint, go on! Use angel cn36 and ferment at room temperature. I am throwing away half a batch because of this troublesome yeast. Alternative would be 002 at elevated temperatures. Cost me also one batch.
 

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But why everyone suggests the most disgusting ingredients and techniques?
Malt Liquor is a legitimate and popular style, whatever the geeky styleguides say. If the beer in question was so popular, it probably wasn't that bad. I doubt it was purposedly brewed with the worst ingredients, extreme temps and sloppy practices, as that would involve too much of a creative approach, which hardly was the case.
Rather it seems like the OP tries to pinpoint the style to recreate it and mistakenly thinks he needs fusels. He doesn't. What he needs is a thin, highly alcoholic, mass-produced type of beer. Which doesn't need any fusels or esters, it needs just alcohol, and there's plenty of ways to get there.
 

bracconiere

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If you're up for a big hangover party after one pint, go on!


but it's about how good the night life is, now that i know how to add esters....i'm just a little groggy in the morning, GREAT night life..not sure about fusels, but tertamyl alcohol is like 20-or something more ptent so there's that too...
 

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@dan46nbrew

If you know the bar and they might remember the name , you should be able to find the brewery. Then if still running contact the brewery and you maybe surprised with some info. If not find out where the staff went, it's a small world really.
 

WESBREW

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Warm the fermenter up to about 80. The yeast will do the rest. No need for anything else. This is kind of a thread on how to ruin beer. Fusel is harsh like cleaning solvent. It would likely come out better to add a liquor to the beer that tastes good on its own
 

Toxxyc

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Warm the fermenter up to about 80. The yeast will do the rest. No need for anything else. This is kind of a thread on how to ruin beer. Fusel is harsh like cleaning solvent. It would likely come out better to add a liquor to the beer that tastes good on its own
This is not a bad idea. Add a single malt whisky (cheap one, please) to beer to see how it tastes and if it serves the purpose?
 

DuncB

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@Toxxyc I do remember filtering some cask ale at a party where the barrel had been moved and then mixing it with the hosts 100% proof whisky he'd got for his birthday ( which we were all celebrating ). Can't remember the taste of the drink but did sink a few, I'll blame Jimmy ( the author James Herbert ) it was his idea to up the ante.
 

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Add leucine. I once tried to increase the amount of isoamyl acetate (banana) in my wheat beer by adding leucine. It did produce the banana but it also significantly increased the amount of isoamyl alcohol in my beer. I added 69g of leucine into something like 10-13 liters (pre boil water was 18l) of cooled wort.
 
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Oleson M.D.

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You will do this one time, and one time only.
For many of the reasons listed above.
 

HB2 HughBHomeBrew

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How would I go about purposely making something like this? Underpitch, use excess table sugar, ferment warm? Any particular yeast strain that would work well for this experiment?
(emphasis added)
I think the key to what you want is the excess sugar and fermenting warm, but I don't think you want to under pitch because you want that high ABV. I was trying to make a Belgian Tripel and ended up getting something like what I think you are going for. It had an ABV of 10.5% and was actually OK. The yeast was 2 jars of slurry harvested from a previous 5 gallon batch that I had pitched with 2 packages of Abbaye Ale. I pitched at about 70F then let it "free rise" to about 78F. The OG was 1.088 (with the sugar) so I would definitely pitch 2 packages of yeast of high alcohol tolerance like Abbaye Ale or Safale BE-256
  • 10 lb Briess Pilsen malt
  • 2 lb Briess 2-row Brewer’s malt
  • 0.5 pounds aromatic malt
  • 0.5 pounds Cara Munich
  • 0.25 lbs Special B
  • 0.0625 lbs chocolate malt
  • 3 pounds Imperial Light Brown Sugar. Added 18 minutes before end of boil
  • 13.3125 pounds total fermentable (not counting sugar)
 

WESBREW

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This is not a bad idea. Add a single malt whisky (cheap one, please) to beer to see how it tastes and if it serves the purpose?

Yeah I’d say get some beers and sample cups, start experimenting with different booze and see what you like
 
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