Yerba mate recipe

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Well, this recipe had to be changed on the fly. I hadn't brewed in a few years due to living in small apts and no room for the bottles! Anyway. I couldn't find my scale so I asked the guy at the ubrew where I bought my malts etc (no dedicated HB stores here). Well I should have known better since the staff all looked really tired, busy night at the ubrew I guess. It seems he measured Double the amount of Crystal Malt and Chocolate malt since his scale was metric and my amounts were in lbs and he got confused with the conversion.
So When I'm boiling everything together I suddenly remember what he said a pound equalled in grams and realized that didn't sound right and sure enough he had doubled it all. Also he mis-measured the liquid malt and I was a 1.65 litres short (almost 5 lbs)! So I compensated with Corn sugar. With the extra body from the Crystal malt I don't think the body will suffer.

Here's my recipe.

Crazy Squirrel's Okanagan Nutcase Ale
for 10 US Gallons (obviously half this for 5)

Amber Malt Extract: 13.5 lbs (Should be 18.5lbs & No Corn sugar)
Crystal Malt (60L): 3 lbs
Chocolate Malt: 1

Corn Sugar: 4.84 lbs (2.2kg bag)
Rogers Demerara Sugar: 3.96 lbs (1.8kg)

Pride of Ringwood Hops: 1oz 60min, 1oz 30min
Saaz: 1oz 10min, 1oz last 3min

Yerba Matte: 2.5 cups (approx .5 lb)

Presoak yerba mate in bottled water for a few minutes then add to boil when heat has been turned off. Yerba Matte, like hops is very unlikely to cause an infection. Boiling it destroys many of the nutrients.
Yerba Matte is loaded with nutrients (160 or so) and yeast seems to love it and has anti-bacterial properties. It is also fairly bitter like hops, though I have yet to determine what is the correct amount to add. I'm about to bottle in a few days and will let you know how it tastes. The wort tastes slightly sweet with a nice bitter after taste.

Yeasts: Coopers Ale Yeast, Lalvin EC1118 added day two after second Aeration. and tranfer to glass carboys (hour 14)

OG: 1.089 - 1.091
FG: 1.015

I bottle condition to free up equipment.

Denny (The Crazy Squirrel) AKA DEC


EDIT:

It's 2011 and I drink Yerba on a rate that equals an Ecuadorian, Argentinian or a Paraguayian.. Yerba Mate should never be used in a liquid that is boiling. Should be 90 Celsius maximum. Besides ancient practices that state that boiled water is "dead" or "burnt" and shouldn't be used in a brew Yerba even when thus cooled, for the non-believer, at boiling temps, Yerba Mate will have an extremely tannic, bitter, foul taste.

So, if whether you drink it as teat or use it in your brew of beer, do NOT use boiling water. If used in a beer, soak your yerba in 80c - 90c water for several minutes and then add the add it to your primary, or whatever vessel you prefer. You can either add just the tea or the leafs/stems as well. I should note that Yerba is full of beer friendly nutrients and may help feed yeast.
 

Baron von BeeGee

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That's really interesting...I'm curious to hear how it turns out. I love coffee and tea both, and I find mate pretty foul by itself, but I can see how it could work in a beer.

I got a notion yesterday to try agave sugar in a beer, only to find out it has been done (though not widely). You could potentially replace the demerara sugar in your recipe with agave nectar and have a real Latin inspired concotion!
 

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Denny's Brew said:
Where can you get agave sugar? What does it taste like?

Denny
I just started researching it last week on a whim after something I read on this board. It's relatively easy to order online (google 'agave nectar') and it looks like it's probably available in health stores or froofy gourmet grocery stores. I haven't tasted commercial agave nectar, but I've tried actual roasted agave prior to tequila fermentation and it was very much like a cross between sugar cane and molasses (not nearly as strong as molasses). It seems like it's found a niche as a sugar substitute for diabetics.
 
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OK, So I tasted a bottle on day 4 to see what the flavor was like young, compared to later. I bottled 5 gallons in plastic and 5 in glass. The majority of the glass will be aged for a year. The plastic will be for drinking in a week or so.

Even this young it had quite a nice flavor. Needs to clear and age, but I was impressed none the less. Bitter dark amber with a nice balanced seetness and alcholic punch.

Can't overtly recognise the yerba mate, but it did increase the bitterness. It's to way to young to to notice the any delicate flavors. Can't wait to try this in a few weeks (or months!)

On a side note. I was contacted tonight by Rob from Lallemand (Danstar/Lalvin) regarding some questions I had emailed him. It's nice to see that he could take the time to call a homebrewer directly! Quite impressed with Lallemand's customer service. I'll be posting some suggestions of his regarding higher OG beers in another thread.

Denny
 
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Well at 9 days this is tasting mighty nice. Not quite clear yet but getting there. The tannins have settled out so the bitter bite I've been noticing on the "samples" I've had so far is gone. I'm guessing the tannic bite was from the yerba Mate. The yerba gave this beer a nice bitterness that balances out the abundance of crystal malt. Tends to give you an awake feeling the balances out the 10% a/v. ;)

Not sure whether this is a "Strong Ale" or a "Barley Wine" either way it's going to be great once aged. Of course the hard part is letting it age!

:cross:
 

Baron von BeeGee

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Sounds interesting...glad it was a success! I'm most interested in hearing about brewing with unusual ingredients. Now you have to come up with a witty name for it somehow working in an Argentinean reference...
 
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BeeGee said:
Sounds interesting...glad it was a success! I'm most interested in hearing about brewing with unusual ingredients. Now you have to come up with a witty name for it somehow working in an Argentinean reference...
Crazy Squirrel's
Cerveza de Pirado de Okanagan

Not sure about the Argentinean reference, but that's the Spanish translation. At least according to freetranslation.com
 

Baron von BeeGee

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Yerba mate is primarily an Argentinean beverage...they even have a special cup with a filtered straw they use to drink it. This image, if only it included a tango, could succintly summarize quite a bit of the country:
 
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Yeah, I know. I've been drinking it for about 4 years. Just not sure how to work in the Argentinian anbgle into the name.

If you ever use yerba in a beer, keep in mind it's fairly tannic. I really should have waited longer in the secondary or maybe used a fining that strips out tannins. Or maybe just have waited long enough for the beer to condition....

Maybe I should go comercial and start marketing beers in Argentina or Paraguay? :) :D
 
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Well it's been over two weeks in the bottle and this tastes great. WIll even be better in a few months I'm sure. I've shelved half of this for long term aging. Been drinking some already since this was my first batch in a long time and I have no other beer in supply.

I have to say though that I think I used to much Yerba Mate in that the "zing" you get from the yerba (Cafeine/Mateine?) is a bit strong. One pint is fine, but over that and I find my pulse a running a little stronger than it needs to be after a few high test beers! Perhaps the higher alchohol level leaches out more stimulant from the yerba than you might normally get from the tea??

I'd reduce the yerba by 25%. And increase bittering hops to compensate, though you'd be fine either way.
 
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I'd like to make a note here. Even though this beer tastes great, I would reduce the yerba by 25% to 50% and boost the bittering hops to compensate. As I mentioned earlier I've noticed that the stimulating affects of the yerba seem higher than normal. I have a theory that the higher alchohol content may have added in leaching out the caffiene from the yerba. Though I haven't figured out how many drinks of tea one beer equates to yet.
I used 2.5 cups of loose yerba (Cruz De Malta) for 10 Gallons.

Usually with yerba mate tea you will notice the stimulation from the cafiene but the nutrient/mineral balance seems to negate the negative effects typical with cafiene. I wouldn't say I felt the same as drinking a number of coffee's, but the effect did seem different from drinking the tea.

One beer is ok, but when you have two of these you start to notice your heart beating faster. Any one with a heart condition should be aware of this fact. Same goes for drinking espresso I suppose.

I checked with the FDA and the ATF (what ever they call themselves now) and was told that Yerba Mate has been deemed safe as an ingredient in beer.

OK, that said, I think I might enter this into competition next year. Even at 3 weeks old this beer is fantastic.

If anyone else brews this could you let me know what you thought regarding the stimulant part of my long winded post? I'm curious if it's all in my head or not. haha The 10% a/v content may have been affecting my senses! ;)
 

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I might brew a batch if I can work it into the rotation somewhere...I've got some yerba mate I bought out of curiosity, and there is absolutely no other way I will ever wind up consuming it other than through an alcoholic beverage!
 

D-brewmeister

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Hooray for Mate! I'm addicted to the stuff, have to have it most afternoons if I expect to be more than comatose. I was wondering about a mate beer sometime last winter, but never got around to brewing it. Your experience gives me courage. How long did your brew ferment? It seems like something with that kind of high proof would have to go at it awhile. Do you think a lighter bodied brew would let the green goodness shine through a bit more, or would it be to bittery?
 
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I aerated well and fermented about 22-23C (73F) and had a fast fermentation, about 5 days for this batch.

I used coopers ale yeast then added ec1118 at 24 and 72 hours.
Probably work just as well if you used an ale yeast and pitched a goooood amount of it.

I actually bottled this after 8 days but should have left it much longer in the secondary. I was impatient. It was my first batch in a few years... :)

[EDIT: Forgot to mention, yerba should have nutrient properties yeasties would like.]
As for a lighter brew...definately use LESS yerba. It's fairly tannic. Though perhaps a good deal of aging in secondary would reduce that, but 2.5 cups for 10 Gal was pretty bitter. I think that weighs about 250 grams.

I used half that in my very light fruit beer and I can barely notice the taste, but that aged 8 primary and 8 days in the secondary.
 

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do you think that 2.5 cups of yerba was enough? I thought about maybe trying close to 1.75-2 cups for 5 gallons. what do you think?
 
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WOW, i haven;t seen this thread in eons.

I should have updated this thread. 2.5 cups is way to much. The stimulant on yerba tends to cause increased blood presure with that much yerba. I think I would cut it in half for 10g so .5 or so for 5 gallons.

Also, this beer aged weird. It actually tasted pretty good fairly young (though that was me just getting back into brewing... hard to say what my toungue would think now).

At about 1/2 to 3/4 a year, it was very odd tasting. Like the tannins from the yerba had taken over. Another few months, around a year or more it tasted great. An example of some flavors mellowing, letting others come a little strong and eventually those flavors mellowing is my guess.
 

Oaky

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bring on the sensory stimulation! is it just a factor of the effect or the flavor?
I'm a caffeine (in all shapes and sizes) hound.. so i'm somewhat immune to most. I'm most curious about flavor in your 2.5cup/5g batch.

Love the idea either way. On that subject.. get some mugwort. or yarrow, sweet gale and other gruit like ingredients.
 

FishinDave07

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I've been tossing around the idea of a yerba mate beer. Im planning on adding either yerba mate, yerba mate tea bags, or yerba mate liquid to the secondary. Maybe a little at flameout for aroma.
 

Blanda

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Geez.. I don't know how the hell I got to this thread, but here I'am. I'm from Argentina, and It never occurs to me to brew with yerba mate.
Never the less, I'll try to give you an advice... The mate is not an infusion (like tea) but a hot drink. This means that you musn't boil the water, no't even let it boil and then let it cool down. Once the water is boiled, is useless.
So... Lets see what happens when you use boiled water to drink mate:
Water looses a lot of oxigen, and gases disolved dicreases drástically in th water. That makes the water very soluble for other solids (in this case the nutrients and some minerals in the yerba). This not only "washes out" the yerba from it's nutrients, but also from substances that gaves the yerba some off flavors like strong acidity, and strong presence off tannins. My advice would be to make mate with water at 84º Celsius. And add it to the fermenter. You should get a lot of flavor and aroma without tannins and acidity. And you won't have to worry about the amount of yerba you use.
I hope this helps although I've never brew with yerba.

Sorry for my english, if anyone has any doubt about what I wrote. I'll try to explain myself better.

Cheers.
 
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Well, that is how I make my yerba mate, (which I am drinking right now actually), but I didn't think of that at the time.

BTW, what brands/grades are commonly drank down there? I think we are getting the mostly the stuff full of stems up here unless it's from Guyimaki, which is relly expensive.

Cruz de Malta is pretty cheap around here but it's the stuff with the red label. I'm drinking Amanda right nowm but it was hard to find. It did come with a ceramic gourd and a SS bombilla though.
 

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I would think that anyone who has never had Mate' is in for a SHOCK. You get used to it after a while, but the first time is like when you've ever taken your first megadose of vitamin B. I gave it to some guys at work - one guy got jitters - the other said he had big trouble falling asleep that night. And these guys were BIG coffee drinkers.
This would be like Drew Carey's BUZZ BEER. :D

-OCD
 

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Well, here we go again. It is just over 1 year since I made my very first batch of homebrew, and the style was a hybrid experiment. Since it was my first batch, I used a 5 gallon IPA extract kit. Once it was ready for the secondary, I 'dry hopped' a 500g package of yerba mate. It was a regular mate, not a fruit or herbal one. After a couple weeks in the secondary I drained the soaking mate from the wort and bottled it.

After a couple of weeks of bottle fermentation (I did not have the homebrewing patience yet, and I could wait any longer) I tried it out and wow! First off it was CLOUDY! I did not know yet that there was something I could use to clarify the beer. But who really cares. Also, I swear it was less yellow and more of a pale green color!

Second, the bitterness hits you hard at the front end, but mellow out a bit as you start to taste the hops and less of the mate. Also, the punch of the imperialness (I hadnt the expertise or equipment at the time to calculate the ABV) was quite strong.

All in all, a strong, extra bitter beer, that when a few bottles were consumed, there was a noticeable difference in the feeling you would get over a normal strong beer. My only complaint was that the overall bitterness of the beer was not balanced enough by any malty or sweet flavors. I wish I could have tested it's IBUs!

Sorry, this is getting long winded.

Now, just one year later, I wish to improve on my first creation. Building on what I know, a few things are going to change this time around. First, how I will add the mate. Either I am going to soak the mate in 70-80 Celsius water (I never use water hotter than that when I drink it, which is a few time a week) and add the water and mate to the secondary, or just the water. Too be honest I didnt mind the bitterness from having the beer soaking up all the mate goodness, I just want it to be a little sweeter this time out, to balance it out nicely.

The previous posts about agave nectar have piqued my interest. I am also still going to go for a imperial style IPA. I have been making all-grain beers for the last 3 batches, but I may not have time to do right now so as I work full time and go to school part time. I want this beer now!

Sorry this got so long, I just wanted to share my experience with a MateVeza (the term the guy who got me into homebrewing and I came up with for it)

I hope to hear about more beers made with yerba mate!! At least I will keep you posted here on how my 2.0 batch goes when I get to it this spring.

Dakota
 

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I did it, made a Mateveza 2.0!

First step: Prepare Mate
-I was going to start by making a vodka infusion of the mate, but after I dumped 1/3 of a bottle of Skyy vodka into 250g of mate (Taragui - Citricos del Litoral), it was soaked up by the mate. An actually infusion would require more vodka and less mate. I proceeded to throw the remaining 250g of mate into the bowl, added a 2 cups of cane sugar, and 2L of 80 degree celcius water. Mixed it all up, covered it, and went to my local homebrew shop.

Second step: Prepare Beer
I picked up a BrewHouse (non-extract) kit http://www.thebrewhouse.com. These brewhouse kits are apparently just unfermented beer, rather than concentrated malt extract syrup.
I chose the IPA, and am aiming at making it an IIPA. I added less water than asked for, even including the 2L of mate tea concoction I strained from the yerba mate. The wort is in my primary bucket, and in a few days I will rack to my secondary, dry hop it with additional hops and the remaining yerba mate from earlier.

This beer will really be out there, with the added suger, less water, and vodka added, it will be hard to say how high the ABV will get! Not to mention the high IBU's and extra bitterness from the mate. Also, the mate was a Coastal Citrus blend, meaning some of the dried fruit in the mate may impart some citrus flavor.
As long as all the added sugar does not get converted to alcohol, the added sweetness should balance out the high ABV and mate/hops bitterness. We will see in a month.

Dakota
 

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I'm trying a version of this next week.
I am going to put the yerba in a French Coffee Press to make a "tea" out of it, and I am going to use a Nugget Nectar clone for it, and a yerba with orange peels.
Besides those decisions I have no idea what I'm going to do. I'm either going to add the tea in the primary, or at bottling.
Can't wait to do this. I've only been brewing for a few months, but have been thinking about this beer for a couple years. It is one of the reasons I dove in to brewing.
 
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It's 2011 and I drink Yerba on a rate that equals an Ecuadorian, Argentinian or a Paraguayian.. Yerba Mate should never be used in a liquid that is boiling. Should be 90 Celsius maximum. Besides ancient practices that state that boiled water is "dead" or "burnt" and shouldn't be used in a brew Yerba even when thus cooled, for the non-believer, at boiling temps, Yerba Mate will have an extremely tannic, bitter, foul taste.

So, if whether you drink it as teat or use it in your brew of beer, do NOT use boiling water. If used in a beer, soak your yerba in 80c - 90c water for several minutes and then add the add it to your primary, or whatever vessel you prefer. You can either add just the tea or the leafs/stems as well. I should note that Yerba is full of beer friendly nutrients and may help feed yeast.
 

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Good tips Denny. Must common way to mess up Yerba Mate is to boil the water.

I don't think putting the leaves and stems in would do anything beneficial. They get "spent" fairly quickly. Better to use them to make a concentrate and dump it in.

Denny convinced me to add to primary. If it doesn't come out perfect I'll add it at bottling next time.

If I like my result I think I'll do a porter with a Brazilian Yerba I just tried that reminded me a little of coffee. I think using the right Yerba with the right recipe is key.
 

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It's 2011 and I drink Yerba on a rate that equals an Ecuadorian, Argentinian or a Paraguayian.. Yerba Mate should never be used in a liquid that is boiling. Should be 90 Celsius maximum. Besides ancient practices that state that boiled water is "dead" or "burnt" and shouldn't be used in a brew Yerba even when thus cooled, for the non-believer, at boiling temps, Yerba Mate will have an extremely tannic, bitter, foul taste.

So, if whether you drink it as teat or use it in your brew of beer, do NOT use boiling water. If used in a beer, soak your yerba in 80c - 90c water for several minutes and then add the add it to your primary, or whatever vessel you prefer. You can either add just the tea or the leafs/stems as well. I should note that Yerba is full of beer friendly nutrients and may help feed yeast.
Good Tip, it's very important not to boil the water. The perfect temperature for water (at least here in Argenitna) it's between 80º and 84º Celsius. As Denny's Evil said. Over that temperature it gets very tannic and binding (I think thats the term, I don't know how to describe well the taste in english, sorry). Also it gets very bitter, thats a foul taste for drinking mate, but its because it get very concentrate, and that would be good because you are trying to get a concentrate extract, but you dont want the tannic-binding taste.
Also note that the reason why the boiled water is useless for mate (even if you cool it down) is because the big loss of oxigen. This make the yerba to loose all of it nutrients and properties very quickly and get "lavada" (washed).
What I would recomend you to do is to test this. Just prepare three cups with a little yerba in each one, heat water to 84º celsius and pour in the first one, continue heating th water until it boils, and pour in the second one, then let it cool down a bit until it gets again to 82-84º celsius and pour it to the third one.
I tell you to test this because although boiled and cool down water is useless for drinking mate, it may be the best water for making an extract. But I can't assure you that you wont get the binding taste.

I hope this info helps you. Good luck.
 

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I did it. It has been in primary since Monday night.
Yeast is kicking.
Really disappointed I forgot to take a sample. So I don't have the OG and I didn't get a taste. Oh well.
I used a pretty decent amount of of Yerba Mate. Almost a half gallon of strained tea.
I'll keep you guys posted.
 

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Nice work! I am a week or two away of trying it. I tried a sample of mine this week and it definitely needs more time bottle maturing. Not as sweet as I wanted, and not nearly as hoppy from the dry hopping I wanted either. Hopefully the less sweetness means more sugar converted to alcohol. So far I has a pretty good punch if you have a couple, meaning if you have a heart condition, you should stay away!!!
 

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A question for anyone who has made such a mate brew, DEC or others: what recipe would you use now, and why?
 

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I have done two, and I have gone with an IPA for both. I figured that any extra bitterness from the mate would lend itself better to an already bitter beer, rather than dominating another milder beer. Other stronger beers might work, like a porter/stout or strong belgian. Really my goal is to find a way to balance the mate, hops, and maltiness, if possible. Not sure what others are doing, but would like to hear from them.
 

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I just transferred my "Bolivian Monkey Blood" (working title) last night. The sample tasted pretty good. Had most of what I was looking for. I know it still has some work to do so I don't want to judge too much right now. I am happy with it at this stage. I think I got the proportions right.

I'll report back when I bottle in two weeks.
 

Cascadegan

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Sebowski said:
I just transferred my "Bolivian Monkey Blood" (working title) last night. The sample tasted pretty good. Had most of what I was looking for. I know it still has some work to do so I don't want to judge too much right now. I am happy with it at this stage. I think I got the proportions right.

I'll report back when I bottle in two weeks.
I used to drink an energy drink called 'howling monkey invigorating elixer' or something

We always called it monkey blood
Anyway.. I approve of the name
 

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Monkey Blood is not a failure!

I need to drink some more of it before I really break down, but it is very drinkable (read: not the disaster I was afraid of). The 5 other people that have tasted it liked it. It is super unique. Tastes a lot like the brand I used that is unique to begin with. It has orange peels in it and that has come through subtly in the beer. Smells more like the Mate than a beer. If anyone wants to trade with their own versions let me know.

Next experiment: Yerba Mate Porter
 

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I need to post this since it has happened a couple of times now. Has anyone, who has steeped their mate before adding it to the wort, noticed that after a couple beers that they can stay up all night? I am very used to the effects of yerba mate normally, but it still surprises me when I drink 2 matevezas in the evening, and then it is between 2-4am and I am not at all tired, but when I want to sleep, I can usually.
 

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