Need ideas for brewing an experimental beer

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Jaffy

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I'm someone who likes doing weird experimental things, and one thing that I love other than my love of homebrewing is theology and philosophy. I actually studied Philosophy in college back then! So anyways, I'm thinking of brewing a theologically inspired brew, and not just say Trappist abbey ales. I read the entire book of Ezekiel couple days ago and was motivated by the bread recipe the Lord gave to Ezekiel as preparation for the time of destruction, and since now when I think bread I automatically think beer because as we all know, beer is liquid bread. So here is my recipe so far, and I'm only using starches listed on the bible verses Ezekiel 4:9

50% Malted Barley
10% Malted Wheat
10% Malted Spelt
10% Millet
10% Beans
10% Lentils

And with the hops I'm thinking of keeping it really "traditional", with German nobles throughout, though if someone can find any middle eastern hops HMU

Hallertau 90 Min
Tettnang 15 Min
Tettnang 5 Min

And for the yeast, I have no clue yet. While the obvious thing to do would be to either do like a sort of lambic-wild fermentation to mimic the bread making of the time, or use a Belgian Trappist strain, I'm too impatient for a lambic and personally I do not always enjoy the overly phenolic characteristic of some Belgian ales, including some Trappist Ales. So I'm considering an English strain and one with a complex fruity ester profile, but also something to let the malt character shine. I researched some strains and I have used a bunch, and I'm quite fond of the classics like WLP002, Ringwood, London Ale,1968 ESB, etc, however I want to try something different and more unique. I want something chewy and malty but also with some fruitiness to shine. I'm definitely going to brew this beer, however I want this to be sorta an open thing free for anyone's comments or suggestions. Any criticism is welcomed of course, and all ideas are welcomed. And I'm also going to be posting this brew on the forum in a couple weeks, however with such a weird brew it might take a while to fully mature and develop itself.
 

bracconiere

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50% Malted Barley
10% Malted Wheat
10% Malted Spelt
10% Millet
10% Beans
10% Lentils

you know i saw this and didn't even notice the beans and lentils at first glance.....


instead of malt 'sweetness' you're going to have to counter act beany 'tart, waxy?"
 
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Jaffy

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you know i saw this and didn't even notice the beans and lentils at first glance.....


instead of malt 'sweetness' you're going to have to counter act beany 'tart, waxy?"
All about being biblically accurate! Also, at that percentage beans impart a sorta nutty semi sweet flavor, as I have used beans before in brews. Also gives an amazing head!
 

Bramling Cross

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Joking aside about spitting in it, it ultimately needs to be a beer and I think you'd agree that the grist is your showcase, right? That being the case, and this being your first run at an unorthodox grist, why not ensure that you get a good solid look at your grist? Just hit it with Chico. That'll give you a clear look at your grist and allow you to make informed choices about the development of this very interesting project.

Once you have your grist locked down, you can start goofing around with the yeast. Maybe the kveik strains would offer a good launch pad for complementary strains that match your rustic grist? Or the hefe strains? Both are wild-ish, but not too wild. Writing as an unwashed heathen, I'd stay away from Ringwood. It's an amazing strain, but... I wouldn't wish that strain on even the most caustic church lady. ;)

To my mind, I would keep it simple on the first run. German hops and a clean yeast should allow you to dial in your grist. Once that's sorted, you'll have a good idea about your next steps, whether they be on the hops or yeast front. From there, the beer will be your guide.

I wish you the best on what looks to be a fascinating project. I hope the first run is great, but I really hope it gives you a years-long project that you can sink your teeth into!
 
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Jaffy

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Joking aside about spitting in it, it ultimately needs to be a beer and I think you'd agree that the grist is your showcase, right? That being the case, and this being your first run at an unorthodox grist, why not ensure that you get a good solid look at your grist? Just hit it with Chico. That'll give you a clear look at your grist and allow you to make informed choices about the development of this very interesting project.

Once you have your grist locked down, you can start goofing around with the yeast. Maybe the kveik strains would offer a good launch pad for complementary strains that match your rustic grist? Or the hefe strains? Both are wild-ish, but not too wild. Writing as an unwashed heathen, I'd stay away from Ringwood. It's an amazing strain, but... I wouldn't wish that strain on even the most caustic church lady. ;)

To my mind, I would keep it simple on the first run. German hops and a clean yeast should allow you to dial in your grist. Once that's sorted, you'll have a good idea about your next steps, whether they be on the hops or yeast front. From there, the beer will be your guide.

I wish you the best on what looks to be a fascinating project. I hope the first run is great, but I really hope it gives you a years-long project that you can sink your teeth into!
Excellent! Yes I also hope for this to be a years long project, since I love combining my love of things, especially theology and brewing! I mean, if we REALLY want to let the grist shine, fermenting with a malty lager strain would be the best but like uh patience is not one of my virtues lol
 

Bramling Cross

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Excellent! Yes I also hope for this to be a years long project, since I love combining my love of things, especially theology and brewing! I mean, if we REALLY want to let the grist shine, fermenting with a malty lager strain would be the best but like uh patience is not one of my virtues lol
There's always WY2112. It's a criminally under-used strain. There's soooo much more to it than steam beer--it makes an amazing cream ale. Or the Pacman strain...55F, 65F, Pacman doesn't care.
 
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Jaffy

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There's always WY2112. It's a criminally under-used strain. There's soooo much more to it than steam beer--it makes an amazing cream ale. Or the Pacman strain...55F, 65F, Pacman doesn't care.
Man this would be one interesting adjunct lager!
 

Alan Reginato

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Most important overall, check the gelatinisation temperature of yours ingredients. Maybe you will have to adapt your mash to that. Maybe buy some alpha amylase and make a partial mash.
 
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Jaffy

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Most important overall, check the gelatinisation temperature of yours ingredients. Maybe you will have to adapt your mash to that. Maybe buy some alpha amylase and make a partial mash.
most likely I'm going to step mash, mostly since I like doing things atleast in my head "naturally"
 

hamachi

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All about being biblically accurate! Also, at that percentage beans impart a sorta nutty semi sweet flavor, as I have used beans before in brews. Also gives an amazing head!

Fascinating. When you use beans, how do you do it? Mill them dry? Soak them before adding to the mash? Get them canned, smash them, then add to the mash?

Also, what type of beans (pintos, kidneys, etc.)?

A detailed procedure including your step mash schedule would be helpful because you have intrigued me enough that I might want to try making beany beer myself.
 

Mr. Vern

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I'm with @cmac62... hops were not yet recorded as a brewing ingredient although ale was around when Ezekiel was alive. (rose hips, juniper berries, eye of newt, etc... )

I also get a kick thinking about "spent spelt"

fun play on brewing! I hope you have fun and success with this!
 
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Jaffy

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Fascinating. When you use beans, how do you do it? Mill them dry? Soak them before adding to the mash? Get them canned, smash them, then add to the mash?

Also, what type of beans (pintos, kidneys, etc.)?

A detailed procedure including your step mash schedule would be helpful because you have intrigued me enough that I might want to try making beany beer myself.
All right so whenever I have used beans in the past, I tend to get them in their dry state, crack them under the mill but give them a coarse grind as bean flour sure loves to clog the system. After you have cracked them, cook them at say 180 f to 200 f for about 1-2 hours to completely gelantinize them but try and do so at the lower end to persevere protein and bean-y flavor. Avoid canned beans due to the fact they have preservatives and salts added to them. Also, never use beans in anything more then 20% of the mash, as at least to my taste, anything more leads to an almost "dirty" earthy flavors can come from the beans, especially Pinto and Kidney Beans. After the beans have completely gelantinzed, add them to the mash in the 122-130 f degree range, as the large amount of proteins in the beans can lead to a clogged system and haze. Also, a lavish head, if done correctly.

Pinto beans give a clean nearly non noticeable flavor, while black beans impart a literal purple hue giving the beer an out of this world appearance, alongside nutty characteristics and some pleasant grassy notes. Soybeans for some reason to my palate gave a taste resembling 6-row. Weird.

A mash I would recommend if brewing a bean beer in a 80% Malt 20% Bean recipe would be something like uh

105 F for 20 minutes as a way to not only let some necessary enzymes out for the conversion of the bean starches but also to lower the ph to compliment the beany tartness
123 F for 25 minutes to have the much needed protein rest, the gumming of the mash the beans produce is not something I want to deal with again, trust me
155 F for 80 minutes as you want to mash a little higher to really let the uh, bean sugars, shine and give the beer decent body. Mashing lower honestly in my opinion negates the flavor beans. If you have anymore questions, ask ahead!
 
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Jaffy

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I'm with @cmac62... hops were not yet recorded as a brewing ingredient although ale was around when Ezekiel was alive. (rose hips, juniper berries, eye of newt, etc... )

I also get a kick thinking about "spent spelt"

fun play on brewing! I hope you have fun and success with this!
Oh I know, however I've had mixed results with gruits. One time, when brewing a pale ale I added rose petals in the last 15 minutes or so and it almost tasted like Tettnang. It was obviously more floral however a lot of the flavor elements where hitting the same notes.
 

cmac62

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If you ever do choose to go the gruit way there are all kinds of bittering options in the bible. You can use the bitter herbs used in the Jewish Passover feast (the seder), or possibly bitter it with frankincense and myrrh for a Christmas version. I have some in my beer ingredients bin waiting for the right beer. :mug:
 

Motorbuffalo

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This looks like a fun idea! If you want to go ancient Middle Eastern/North African with your yeast selection, you could try the method used by the Ethiopian and Eritrean homebrewers at the LHBS where I work. They use gesho, a type of buckthorn plant, as a bittering agent and as a yeast starter. They add a few gesho sticks to their tej (mead) to start fermentation using the natural yeast on the plant, and they use dried gesho leaf as a bittering and flavoring agent in their beer, called t'ella or souwa depending on which language family the brewer speaks. You can pick it up at the Ethiopian market, or if you ask at your favorite Ethiopian restaurant they may have some in the back they're using to make homebrew.

Also the beans referred to in the Bible probably would have been either broad beans or chickpeas, because the common bean (pintos, black beans, small red beans, etc.) is native to the Americas.
 

Velnerj

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@Jaffy beer, theology, philosophy?! You sound like my brother from another mother! Did you ever get around to doing this yet?

When I read your first post I immediately thought about those forbidden raisin cakes in Hosea 3, that might make another interesting project...

But reading the context of Ezekiel 4 there are also quite a few numbers to play with... Ezekiel was to weigh out a shekel of food a day, that's approximately 8 ounces. He is to lie on his side for 390 days and drink a hin of water a day, that's about 0.65qts. It think those numbers could appear in your recipe somewhere...

He's also supposed to bake the cake over dried human excrement (though later allowed to use cow excrement) I'd like to see how you're going to incorporate that into the recipe :-D
 
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Man this would be one interesting adjunct lager!
Just gave me a name idea..
Junct Yard Dog God.

Also, smoke the malt over a burning bush, AKA acacia, then age it on a few charred sticks. Acacia is one of the oldest living things on earth, some of them are thousands of years old AND it's mentioned in the bible.
 

troxerX

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Haven’t been able to read the entire discussion so my apologies if someone already mentioned this. One of my favorites, the Anchor Brewing blog, has a lot of articles with historical and traditional brewing archives including Mesopotamian/Sumerian styled beer. I even recall they got to brew something but can’t find the exact post, there are hundreds of posts in general so it may take a while to find. I found one (attached below) but not sure if this is the one I read a few years ago. I remember that some of the discussions were around the grains and ingredients they used, how most likely they processed them and how the yeast probably came by infusing honey (honey may have trapped yeast and pollen in it) and the possibility of using honey as the major ingredient in general etc. I also recall how they avoided using anything technological during the brew like cooling and other aspects like open fermentation etc to replicate, as best as possible, the conditions back then.

Also I thought Dogfish Head brews a beer with ancient yeast found in the Middle East?, isn’t that Midas Touch?, if I were to brew something like this that’s probably the yeast I will look for, don’t quote me on this but I remember hearing the yeast was found in the pyramids or something like that?. Not sending anyone rushing to Egypt or to that matter Delaware, but please double check this to be true if using 😁

Also you might want to check if Professor Solomon Katz has written anything, like peer reviewed papers on the subject of Meso/Sumerian beers as well.

Cheers


 
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