What's the "weirdest" ingredient you've used?

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dnr

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As many probably are, I'm brewing during quarantine. I'm also trying to get caught up of all those little things around the house; cleaning out the fridge, the pantry, freezer, finding room for hops, malt and bottles. :yes:
This has me asking, "Would that work in a beer?"
I have frozen pineapples that my son never ate and my wife doesn't like, golden berries that we bought and no one likes enough to just snack on, hemp seeds and a tub of whey protein powder.
I know it doesn't all work, but I'm gonna see what I can play with.

Whatcha doing over there?
 

Yooper

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I haven't done this, but in competition one time I had an entrant submit "French onion soup stout".

I'm not sure if this is good or bad, but he completely nailed it. Onions, beefy, and even with some cheese flavor. It gushed when the steward opened it, and filled the entire room with the strong scent of cooked onions. It was really gross.

So that's the oddest ingredient for sure that I've ever heard of.

For me personally, I was in a stout competition a number of years ago and I made a "breakfast stout". It involved Captain Crunch and maple syrup. It turned out really good!

I harvest wild rice in the Native American way, and I have used wild rice in a cream ale with great success. It's about $25/pound for the hand harvested stuff, so it wouldn't be cheap to do if you had to buy it though!
 
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That all sounds damn good.
 

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That all sounds damn good.
Not the French onion soup stout, I hope! That was the most disgusting thing ever. Cheesy oniony beefy roasty stout.

The others, well, yes, they were really good! I don't usually mess with odd ingredients, but those were definitely worthwhile.
 
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dnr

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Honestly, I'm pretty open to anything. I'd be willing to try.
but the your beers sound much more appetizing.
 
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Damn. There's some good ideas in this thread.

I grew up in a family with a grandfather from the depression era, so I hate to see anything go to waste. That's where my idea are now while figuring out the art of the Brew.
I am still asking my wife why she threw away freezer burned mixed berries (even though they were probably in the freezer door for ~2 years).
I keep saying, "I could've made a fun beer with those," like I wouldn't be able to repurchase for $3.

In my first ever beer, I added brown sugar, then pear, clove and allspice to half the batch.
This go around, I'm adding lemon zest and Earl Grey tea to half my batch.
 
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@pdxal
Thanks. I love this new hobby. I can finally nerd out about something again.

Keep us all posted. Get experimenting.
 

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I used to go nuts - in the past I've added stuff such as tree branches, spruce tips, rye bread, lucky charms, s'mores ingredients (before that seemed to be a "thing"), chipotle peppers, a plethora of fruits, spices and herbs (ie, juniper, mugwort, etc.), with varying degrees of success.
MUCH more into sticking to "traditional" ingredients these days. But of all the crazy stuff, the 2 recipes that still make it into my brewing schedule are a sahti (with juniper of course), and a gruit-inspired imperial oatmeal stout with like 9 herbs/flavorings.
 

Hoppy2bmerry

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Sorry, spruce tip and rye bread are old traditional ingredients not weird, but oft forgotten. i made a small batch of bacon wrapped scallop stout. I didn’t think it was horrible and I didn’t think it was particularly good either. Sent it to a competition, and the judges hated it.
 

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Sorry, spruce tip and rye bread are old traditional ingredients not weird, but oft forgotten. i made a small batch of bacon wrapped scallop stout. I didn’t think it was horrible and I didn’t think it was particularly good either. Sent it to a competition, and the judges hated it.
Yes, very true. I meant "traditional" more in the Reinheitsgebot sense. I enjoy doing historical recreations, and that was the intentions with the beers made with those. I've done an oyster stout before and though about adding other seafood, but then talked myself out of it.
 
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Seafood is where is draw a line, but only because I've never enjoyed it. But have tried quite a bit to see if anything has changed, until an allergic reaction. So no more of that.

I was looking into using rosemary or spruce in place of hops for a small brew. Any recommendations?
 
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To be a nerd, if I may, don't esters tester like fruit and reduce fatty acids?

Maybe phenolic?

Sorry.
 

Hoppy2bmerry

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Spruce can be nice, or catty. I really like Juniper berries In beer. I’ve have many oyster stouts, that were tasty, but not the mountain oyster stout. LOL I think rosemary would play nicely with the grapefruit flavors of hops.
 
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I used graham crackers in a beer once. No noticeable flavor contribution but the head was very persistent and crackled like rice crispies
I was thinking about doing a holiday ale with graham crackers and pumpkin.
None of the pumpkin pie spice. Then use earthy and spicy hopes for late addition. If you didn't get much flavor, maybe I'll add a bit of honey or brown sugar.

What style of beer? I'm looking for ideas.
 
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Thanks.
Went back to work, worked a bunch, now the world is shutting down my job (partially) once again.
More time, more beer, less money.
The American dream.

I want to just do some fun beers without pellicle this go'round.
Pineapple, peach, gooseberry, coreander?
 

TurnipGreen

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I’ve used wild ginger in a blonde ale that turned out great. I’ve used in a braggot too, but nothing honey based I’ve made is worth bragging on. I use number 2 field corn from my in law’s farm in a saison that turns out great. That one’s fun to take back to family in IL. I tried rosemary in a saison that was not great.
 

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I brewed a summer ale, maybe sort of a shandy, and added honeydew in secondary. Really turned out kinda nasty. A little honeydew goes a LONG WAY and I used too much.

I usually brew a chipotle pepper smoked porter in the winter. Chipotles add a nice warmth and even a little "vegetable" flavor without being too hot.
 

kmmuellr

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I've not brewed with anything unusual, but years ago at the Chicago National Homebrewers Conference I had a variety of beers that Larry Bell brought for his talk on unusual brewing ingredients. If memory serves me correctly he had a beer with Rocky Mountain Oysters, and I want to say one with a placenta.

He had a few different beers, and they were all good. Those two, and probably one other with "gross" ingredients.

K
 

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I have a friend who made a kettle sour with 2 pounds of green apple Jolly Ranchers. That was actually pretty good...
 

FromZwolle

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Peanut butter. A whole mess of it.
Tasted great but it looked like ginger ale, not even a trace of head!


This was way before the pb2 and reeses stouts were a thing.
 

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Thyme in a saison but I think I went to shy with it because I was afraid of overshooting it, it ended up with no signs at all of that thyme addition
 
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One of our family's favorite soups is a Buckwheat Soba with tomatoes and chilis. So I thought, why not? Made a saison with soy sauce, sambal chili, lemon zest and juice (to mimic the tomato and cilantro), and buckwheat flour because we couldn't find groats. I didn't find it tart enough, so I also added our house sour culture (made from grapes/wild yeast that we grow ourselves).

#1-Don't use flour. Oh damn, don't use flour. That was the messiest mash experience I have ever had and the beer is still cloudy after a year and a half of aging/lagering.

#2-Other than the chili completely disappearing into the other flavors, it tastes like the soup. The Soy Sauce umami flavor is too strong for me, but this beer could be an excellent sour ramen base without any other additions.

SWMBO loves it and that is all that matters.
 

FromZwolle

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One of our family's favorite soups is a Buckwheat Soba with tomatoes and chilis. So I thought, why not? Made a saison with soy sauce, sambal chili, lemon zest and juice (to mimic the tomato and cilantro), and buckwheat flour because we couldn't find groats. I didn't find it tart enough, so I also added our house sour culture (made from grapes/wild yeast that we grow ourselves).

#1-Don't use flour. Oh damn, don't use flour. That was the messiest mash experience I have ever had and the beer is still cloudy after a year and a half of aging/lagering.

#2-Other than the chili completely disappearing into the other flavors, it tastes like the soup. The Soy Sauce umami flavor is too strong for me, but this beer could be an excellent sour ramen base without any other additions.

SWMBO loves it and that is all that matters.
i've always liked the idea of brewing beer specifically as a cooking ingredient. soup base, marinade, etc.

this one really fits the bill.
 

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I 'Dry Hopped" 2 1/2 gallons of Fat Tire clone with 2oz of High THC Marijuana Buds. Turned out nice, but would probably have been better off smoking the buds and drinking the beer seperately :)
Did youget any THC content in the beer? Don't you need to decarboxylate the weed to release the THC content? Dry hopping wouldn't have the needed heat?
 

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