very, very, very odd question

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red96jeep

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so i know that alot of people like the "earthy" tones that some beers have. and while pondering over a smoke today i thought of a wacky idea. most beers get an "earthy" tone from peat used to smoke the grains. well what if your from an area that dosnt have peat(assuming you cant access peat smoked grains), but still want an "earthy" tone in your beer. would it be possible to add an amount of soil into the brew inorder to give it that flavor? i know in some parts of the world people eat soil (mainly 1:1 type clays) in order to gain iron and other minerals that are lacking in there diets. so it's not bad to ingest. i know like i said strange. but has anyone else thought of this or am i the only weirdo out there? share your ideas or opinions. i think i might try and make up some sort of soil tea this weekend too see what kind of flavors it might impart.
 

Poindexter

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Ya know, I personally think Irish moss was "discovered" by a dude with a little too much beer on board who was looking to make a seafood type beer with some lobster and some clams and some seaweed and wouldn't you know it was the clearest beer anyone ever saw but it smelled like dead fish and tasted worse.

I say brew it and get back to us.
 

Schnitzengiggle

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Y'know, I like the "earthy" tone you are speaking of, it would have to be just right though...very sparing, I wish I could help but you would have to impart that damp/moist earthy flavor w/o the dirt taste. I think that would be the challenge, earthy w/o eating mud, maybe a little smoky to balance it,but good luck. If you nail it let me know because that very well could be a hit, however, you are walking a very fine line. :)

Just remeber, if you thought of it, it has probably already been done, google it, research it, see what comes up you may be surprised.
 

Poindexter

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I was just thinking of the peaty scotches while reading some other thread too. Burning peat has a very special relationship with malted barely. Tread gently here.
 

Edcculus

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I think you could get this without adding dirt, or peat for that matter. I think people have experimented with peated malt and found that it only has a place in fine Scotch. Oak aging might give it this tone. I've tasted wine that exhibits a very nice earthy tone. I know they didn't add dirt or peat.

I think a better option would be Pu-erh tea. This tea comes in compressed cakes. It comes in a variety of quality. Since it is a compacted cake, it takes very well to aging. Pu-erh generally tastes VERY earthy. Sometimes on the verge of dirt/damp cave.
 

effigyoffaith

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I like that earthy flavor too. Like the smell of old forest humus.

We might be looking for Geosmin - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The chemical responsible for the earthy smell of soil, compost, and rain after its been dry for a while.

Very interesting abou the pu-erh tea.
The eathy taste of pu-erh tea might be from this compound. The Wikipedia entry says that it is fermented (real fermentation by microbes, not merely enzymatic browning like normal black tea).
 

Brew-Happy

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You could also looking to clays as a source of flavor. Just google food grade clay or something similar. There are some sources that are supposedly edible. Never tried it myself, as I prefer things like chocolate:) The problem would be getting a clear beer when using something as fine as a clay. Tends to stay in suspension for some time.

Now, as far as earthy tones, I am liking Fuggles for that:mug: Latest two beers have Fuggles as flavor and aroma. Combine this with some type of light wood chips and you would have a forest in your mouth. :)
 

mmb

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While interesting, I think your basic premises of earthy flavors in "most beer" coming from peat smoked malts is totally incorrect. Peated malt is extremely noticeable and over the top when used and isn't even to style for the Scottish Ales.

The "earthy" notes are more likely derived from strains of yeast, hops used and process rather than dirt. I think making a "dirty tea" will taste mostly like the mud it is. If you're insistent on adding earth to the fermentation you could always use Benonite. It doesn't add any flavor but it is a clay product.

Perhaps I'm missing the joke? Someone clue me in here... :confused:
 

the_bird

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Peated malt is used so rarely that yeah, the basic premise is 100% flawed. Most "earthy" descriptors are a reference to the hops used (as noted, typically English varieties although I could also imagine some of the piney-type hops also being considered in this same vein).
 

Freezeblade

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IMHO, if you want "earthy" go for some classic english hops like fuggle, ekg, brambling cross, and use the WLP028 "Edinburgh ale" yeast (or equivalent) fermented cool to ward off the esters but keep that nice earthy/smokey feel that this yeast is awesome for.
 

MTpilot

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Ginseng gum has a very earthy dirty flavor. It sounds weird, but i love the stuff. I've thought about infusing ginseng into a beer to see if I can find some balance of the flavor/aroma that works, but i have yet to do that.

Let us know if you try anything.
 

Ewalk02

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Screw it man, this is what the hobby is about...experimentation! I say throw a few shovels of dirt in your BK and get back to us in a month!
 
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