Quantcast

Ice Beer

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

rightwingnut

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2004
Messages
463
Reaction score
4
Location
New Jersey
Anyone ever think of brewing an "ice beer"? I guess it's really pointless, and difficult. I'm not gonna try it, just curious.
 

Janx

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 29, 2004
Messages
1,677
Reaction score
24
Location
San Francisco Bay Area
It's not that hard. You can just freeze a keg...not solid, just until it's slushy. Chill it to like 31-32 degrees or so. The transfer the liquid to another keg.

We've had inadvertent ice beer when the keg fridge gets too cold. ;)

A buddy of mine told me about how his granddad used to make hard cider every Fall and then put a barrel of it outside where it froze solid in the winter. He would take a hot poker and poke a few holes in the fozen stuff and then pour off the melted beverage. This, he called apple jack, and it was basically an ice-distilled apple brandy. Pretty neat.

Just to note...making ice beer or apple jack as described or anything that involves freezing and removing the water component of a fermented beverage is illegal. It falls under the same laws as distilling. Not that I think ATF will kick down your door if you try it, but there it is.
 

D-brewmeister

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2005
Messages
224
Reaction score
1
Location
Pocatello, Idaho
How would icing your beer affect the flavor? I'm aware that it would raise the gravity/alcohol level by removing water, and thereby substantially change the mouthfeel, but would it change the hop profile or overall malt characteristics? I know that all the comercialy produced "ice" brews I have tried tasted (icehouse, milwaukee's best ice, etc.), how should I put it, putrid, nausiating, like stale thick nasty Bud. Are those actually ice brews, as you described, or are they just some form of cold brewed lager?

I am also guessing that you would have to keg such a beer, as the freezing would probably zap all the yeast, making bottle conditioning imposible, not to mention raising the alcohol level to the point that that alone would kill 'em.
 

Janx

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 29, 2004
Messages
1,677
Reaction score
24
Location
San Francisco Bay Area
I wouldn't think that the freezing would affect the hop or malt profile, but I really don't know.

I imagine you could bottle condition if you pitched more yeast in after distilling. Some pretty strong Belgians are bottle conditioned in this way.

Cheers! :D
 
Joined
Jan 7, 2005
Messages
6,024
Reaction score
152
Location
Twin Cities, MN
I heard that "Ice Beer" was at some point during the brewing process freezing it much like a lake would be frozen where you get a layer of ice on the top and then remove that ice layer thereby extracting some of the water from the beer making a higher ABV. Interesting this thread kicked off on this topic as I just had this conversation a couple weeks ago on Ice Beer. I can't even recall who the heck I had this conversation with. Probably directly related to me using an aluminum kettle :D
 

Janx

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 29, 2004
Messages
1,677
Reaction score
24
Location
San Francisco Bay Area
When my beer freezes, it goes slushy rather than having a layer of ice on top, but the theory is the same. You're removing water by freezing it. It's just like distilling except you freeze the water instead of boiling off the alcohol.

I believe it comes from a traditional style of German beer called eisbier.
 
OP
rightwingnut

rightwingnut

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2004
Messages
463
Reaction score
4
Location
New Jersey
Janx said:
Just to note...making ice beer or apple jack as described or anything that involves freezing and removing the water component of a fermented beverage is illegal. It falls under the same laws as distilling. Not that I think ATF will kick down your door if you try it, but there it is.
That's interesting. I never would have thought that. You learn something new.....
 

AllHoppedUp

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2005
Messages
300
Reaction score
0
Location
Oregon
Genghis77 said:
Tried Milwaukee's Best Ice. Now I have discovered a new worst beer.:mad:
Ahhhh - the memories! I killed more than a few brain cells with that stuff in college. We lovingly referred to it as "Beast Ice". They sold it in 32 oz. bottles and we would often drink two before going to the bars to get a decent buzz, thereby reducing the amount of money spent at the bar on those expensive $2.50 micro pints. :drunk: You're right though - it tastes like crap.

AHU
 

snaproll

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Messages
109
Reaction score
1
Location
Flat Rock Mich.
Brewing a bigger beer would require investing in more raw materials and therefore cost more to brew.
that is why the American (macrobrewd) beers are like club soda instead of good beer.
Well that is my opinion anyway, be that as it may. Pass me another homebrew.
:drunk:
 

Chairman Cheyco

***DRAMATIZATION***
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Dec 31, 2005
Messages
3,238
Reaction score
16
Location
Calgary
snaproll said:
Brewing a bigger beer would require investing in more raw materials and therefore cost more to brew.
that is why the American (macrobrewd) beers are like club soda instead of good beer.
Well that is my opinion anyway, be that as it may. Pass me another homebrew.
:drunk:
Yeah, but then it would taste good and and have more of a kick.

The options are: you can have it fast, you can have it good, you can have it cheap. Pick two.;)
 

cowain

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2005
Messages
334
Reaction score
2
Location
Little Rock, AR
You will all stop disrespecting the YETI right now. I have too many great partial memories because of YETI in college.

P.S. In a drunken stupor someone had a moment of clarity and came up with the name. Get it - the Ice beast?
 

casebrew

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 11, 2005
Messages
856
Reaction score
8
Location
San Diego
I think "Ice Beer" is an advertising gimmick. It just means that the beer is filtered when cold, to get rid of 'chill haze'. It probably means that the found a way to brew cheap beer that would be cloudy if they didn't "ice filter" it. Which brewer used to sell "cold filtered" megaswill?

Tried googleing for what it really means?
 

Kaiser

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 1, 2005
Messages
3,895
Reaction score
165
Location
Pepperell, MA
It's called Eisbock (Ice Bock) in Germany. And I just found out that it is illegal to brew in the US when I was reading "Designing Great Beers". But this made me even more interested in giving it a try.

Yeah, and I don't think either that the American ice brews have anything to do with ice beer.

The Maltose Falcons have an article about making an Eisbock on their web page. When I first came across this, I didn't even know it was illegal:
http://www.maltosefalcons.com/tech/styleseries/eisbock.php

Kai
 

boo boo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2005
Messages
4,164
Reaction score
45
Location
Hearts's Delight, Newfoundland
I made a "Ice beer" last summer when I used real iceberg ice melted and filtered. Made a nice pilsner. If luck holds this year I'll do my best to get more ice.
 

Mikey

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 11, 2005
Messages
666
Reaction score
5
Location
I'm gone!
There's two different types of 'ice beers' that really have nothing to do with each other

1) pis*y tasting lagers that are run through an ice bed to filter some of the yuck. These are the megaswill types that we get here in Canada and the US.

2) German style Eisbock (or Ice Bock in English) which starts out as either a light or dark bock beer running about 8% ABV. After primary fermentation but prior to lagering, the beer is brought down below the freezing point to where the water turns to slush. The beer is then separated from the slush (or vice versa) and the lagering phase is begun. The freezing and slush removal phase can be repeated over and over until the strength, taste and alc.% desired is reached.

I make a batch each winter (and don't care if it's legal or not) by scooping the slush out of the unlagered beer until I've reduced the volume from 23 liters down to 12. I use these volumes simply because that's what size carboys I've got.

The resulting high alc beer gets lagered for at least 6 months then kegged, fermented, bottled and labeled. I call it I, Spock.

Seems to be a favourite with the local beer club and is surprisingly smooth and non-alchoholic tasting for a 12%+ beer.:drunk:
 

cowain

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2005
Messages
334
Reaction score
2
Location
Little Rock, AR
Well, since he's from Montreal, I don't think it would be the same. Also, I'd think that registering with your state's office would only protect your property right in that state. To protect it within the entire country, you'd probably want to register with the Federal Government.
 

mpetty

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 15, 2005
Messages
101
Reaction score
0
Location
Fayetteville, AR
Actually, you would register in all 50 states. It sucks to do it and that's why people hire lawyers to do it for them.

But hell if I know the Canadian process.
 

caustichumour

New Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2006
Messages
3
Reaction score
0
There is an australian brewery Hahn, which makes an ice beer, now they claim that the removal of ice crystals takes a lot of fusels with it and produces a cleaner, fresher taste.
 

todd_k

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2006
Messages
2,638
Reaction score
30
Genghis77 said:
Tried Milwaukee's Best Ice. Now I have discovered a new worst beer.:mad:
Beast Ice is pretty rough stuff.... Ever try Keystone Ice? That crap is terrible.
 

magno

Sound Level Technician
Joined
Feb 24, 2006
Messages
981
Reaction score
42
Location
Austin, TX
Mikey said:
I make a batch each winter (and don't care if it's legal or not) by scooping the slush out of the unlagered beer until I've reduced the volume from 23 liters down to 12. I use these volumes simply because that's what size carboys I've got.

The resulting high alc beer gets lagered for at least 6 months then kegged, fermented, bottled and labeled. I call it I, Spock.
Mikey,

Does the yeast survive the slush, or do you repitch? WHat kind of yeast are you using?

-magno
 
Top