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McSquirrely

Brewing with Coconut

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Since tasting my 1st really good beer with coconut flavoring (Santiam Brewing's Pirate Stout) I'm decided I need to try making one.  I don't find an MRB recipe so I'm scouring the internet for an easy one for extract brewing.  Wondering if anyone here has brewed a coconut beer with success (or not) and if they would be willing to share their experience?

 

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@kedogn makes a coconut porter right?

 

the last session podcast had maui brewing company on it. He talked alot about using coconut in his brewery. No extracts, no short cuts, the real thing will always taste the best. For his porter he uses a hop back full of coconut chips after fermentation. But for an LBK, id toast them in the over to kill any bugs, then DH with it. You need to toast every side of the coconut. Thats where the real flavor comes from. You can get them at Trader Joes

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I made a Coconut Porter a while back. I got my advice from Josh at MB. Here's my notes:

 

1.Made the beer as usual

2.After 7 days put 7 oz of unsweetened shredded coconut on a cookie sheet and toasted it in the oven till brown.

3. Put the toasted coconut in a bowl and cover with vodka for 3 days.

4. On day 10 poured the bowl of coconut + vodka into lbk

5. Ferment another 10 days 

 

Turned out great. Maybe my best brew ever!

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2 hours ago, gophers6 said:

I made a Coconut Porter a while back. I got my advice from Josh at MB. Here's my notes:

 

1.Made the beer as usual

2.After 7 days put 7 oz of unsweetened shredded coconut on a cookie sheet and toasted it in the oven till brown.

3. Put the toasted coconut in a bowl and cover with vodka for 3 days.

4. On day 10 poured the bowl of coconut + vodka into lbk

5. Ferment another 10 days 

 

Turned out great. Maybe my best brew ever!

 

The 'beer as usual' must have been a porter.  MRB American Porter?  Also, I was a bit surprised you added both the coconut and the vodka.  Pouring booze into the lbk seems....odd.  But I don't imagine it was very much, just enough to cover the raw coconut?  Thanks!  If I can come up with something that comes even remotely close to what Santiam Brewing has concocted I will be happy.  AG brewing would probably be better - but I'm not there yet.

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16 hours ago, McSquirrely said:

 

The 'beer as usual' must have been a porter.  MRB American Porter?  Also, I was a bit surprised you added both the coconut and the vodka.  Pouring booze into the lbk seems....odd.  But I don't imagine it was very much, just enough to cover the raw coconut?  Thanks!  If I can come up with something that comes even remotely close to what Santiam Brewing has concocted I will be happy.  AG brewing would probably be better - but I'm not there yet.

Yes, Mr B American Porter HME.

Josh told me soaking the coconut in vodka would bring out more flavor.

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22 hours ago, Creeps McLane said:

@kedogn makes a coconut porter right?

I have yes.  I have done it with toasting my own coconut and tossing it straight in... that was a HUGE nightmare.  I have done with toasting and putting it in a sack and DH'n with it.  The problem I see is that what you really want is the oils that come with toasting and a couple of things happen here: 1) It takes a boatload to get a decent coconut flavor and 2) These oils reduce head retention and basically make the beer look flat and IMO, almost unappealing when it is poured.  I like a good, chocolaty, head on my porters when poured.  The way around this is coconut extract.  Using extract does at least 3 things for you: 1) No toasting, no mess! 2) Easier to control flavor profile & be consistent with it  and 3) Gives you head!

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20 hours ago, gophers6 said:

3. Put the toasted coconut in a bowl and cover with vodka for 3 days.

4. On day 10 poured the bowl of coconut + vodka into lbk

 

1 hour ago, gophers6 said:

Josh told me soaking the coconut in vodka would bring out more flavor.


You are, basically, making your own coconut extract ("Tincuture") is what you are doing.    I used to do this with cocoa nibs for my chocolate porter.  Toast, soak, toss.   However, what I have learned as a 'professional' now is that this isn't allowed unless you get TTB approval prior.  Putting anything that isn't Reinheitsgebot approved, basically, needs TTB approval.  Most certainly liquor.  While still needing approval, to me, a good coconut extract is the way to go.... keyword: good. Not some cheap ass extract, it's gotta to be a good, true flavor.  Again, the biggest factor for me is, this allows us to control the flavor profile.  We can add to the fermenter or we can add it just to the keg as we are kegging and we will always get the right amount of flavor we are looking for.

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7 hours ago, gophers6 said:

Yes, Mr B American Porter HME.

Josh told me soaking the coconut in vodka would bring out more flavor.

 

Rick had advised me last week to store the bottom half of my large can of Muntons extract with vodka on top, under plastic wrap, in the fridge.  I had the plastic but not the vodka.  It's 28 miles to the nearest liquor store.  I've been reading as much as I can on beers with coconut and I think I just have to do this, sooner rather than later -  thanks for responding, g

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6 hours ago, kedogn said:

I have yes.  I have done it with toasting my own coconut and tossing it straight in... that was a HUGE nightmare.  I have done with toasting and putting it in a sack and DH'n with it.  The problem I see is that what you really want is the oils that come with toasting and a couple of things happen here: 1) It takes a boatload to get a decent coconut flavor and 2) These oils reduce head retention and basically make the beer look flat and IMO, almost unappealing when it is poured.  I like a good, chocolaty, head on my porters when poured.  The way around this is coconut extract.  Using extract does at least 3 things for you: 1) No toasting, no mess! 2) Easier to control flavor profile & be consistent with it  and 3) Gives you head!

 

So, I have two widely different methods to consider here:  a) using toasted coconut in a hop sack at mid-ferment point (give or take) OR b) use a coconut extract like I did when I made my variant of MRB's 'Nilla Porter. 

 

I tasted a young bottle of my 'Nilla variant last night and it was what you'd expect of a porter drank too young - except that the vanilla flavor was almost impossible to detect.  I had used a bit more than the recipe had called for (2+ tablespoons) because I always add extra water to the LBK to make sure I fill 12 bottles full (740 ml).  But without knowing the recipe called for vanilla extract (McCormicks, a top brand) I'd been hard-pressed to know it was in there.  If coconut extract is the same, it must take a good amount for even just 2 gallons.

 

Thanks for responding, k

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32 minutes ago, McSquirrely said:

 

So, I have two widely different methods to consider here:  a) using toasted coconut in a hop sack at mid-ferment point (give or take) OR b) use a coconut extract like I did when I made my variant of MRB's 'Nilla Porter. 

 

I tasted a young bottle of my 'Nilla variant last night and it was what you'd expect of a porter drank too young - except that the vanilla flavor was almost impossible to detect.  I had used a bit more than the recipe had called for (2+ tablespoons) because I always add extra water to the LBK to make sure I fill 12 bottles full (740 ml).  But without knowing the recipe called for vanilla extract (McCormicks, a top brand) I'd been hard-pressed to know it was in there.  If coconut extract is the same, it must take a good amount for even just 2 gallons.

 

Thanks for responding, k

From a homebrewers page that I Googled. The poster was adding this to his leg. Maybe add it at bottling.

 

I do what denny describes. There are 48 teaspoons in a cup and 52 12oz beers in 5 gallons.  So I dose 1tsp in 12oz of beer. Adjust up or down, then extrapolate (if you like 1/2 tsp in 12oz, then use 1/2 cup in 5gal).  You can adjust the math to dose smaller portions.

 

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30 minutes ago, Cato said:

From a homebrewers page that I Googled. The poster was adding this to his leg. Maybe add it at bottling.

 

I do what denny describes. There are 48 teaspoons in a cup and 52 12oz beers in 5 gallons.  So I dose 1tsp in 12oz of beer. Adjust up or down, then extrapolate (if you like 1/2 tsp in 12oz, then use 1/2 cup in 5gal).  You can adjust the math to dose smaller portions.

 

I guess that could be method 'c', adding a small amount (to be determined) to each bottle at bottling time.  Perhaps 2 teaspoons?  That would be easy enough, I suppose.  Since there are 6 tsp per ounce, (a shot glass is ~1 oz) I'd need to figure out a way to measure out the 2 tsp accurately, 12 times.  Or, drop 12 x 2 tsps. (4 ounces) into the LBK a week before crash.  It so happens the wife does have a 4 oz bottle of the extract - IF I can talk her out of it.

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Another option is to soak light toasted oak in your favorite spiced rum and add it your LBK following primary fermentation.  Although the coconut flavor is subtle and fades with time, I've had decent luck with good ol' Captain Morgan 100 Spiced Rum which makes for a very nice barrel-aged Caribbean Porter.

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11 hours ago, kedogn said:

I have yes.  I have done it with toasting my own coconut and tossing it straight in... that was a HUGE nightmare.  I have done with toasting and putting it in a sack and DH'n with it.  The problem I see is that what you really want is the oils that come with toasting and a couple of things happen here: 1) It takes a boatload to get a decent coconut flavor and 2) These oils reduce head retention and basically make the beer look flat and IMO, almost unappealing when it is poured.  I like a good, chocolaty, head on my porters when poured.  The way around this is coconut extract.  Using extract does at least 3 things for you: 1) No toasting, no mess! 2) Easier to control flavor profile & be consistent with it  and 3) Gives you head!

Kedogn, not trying to argue with a pro, but my brew had a real nice head.

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1 hour ago, gophers6 said:

Kedogn, not trying to argue with a pro, but my brew had a real nice head.

 

And we all know - having good head is a very important thing!

Oh gosh, now I have at least 3 methods of approach to this coconut thing. Maybe I need to make three different batches, three different ways and find out what works best. ?  What I do know is that done right, coconut beer is mighty tasty and I'd be very happy to concoct something that tastes good no matter how I did it.  Thanks everyone who took the time to weigh in.  I guess I'm still open to suggestions...why not?

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5 hours ago, Bonsai & Brew said:

Another option is to soak light toasted oak in your favorite spiced rum and add it your LBK following primary fermentation.  Although the coconut flavor is subtle and fades with time, I've had decent luck with good ol' Captain Morgan 100 Spiced Rum which makes for a very nice barrel-aged Caribbean Porter.

 

Santiam Brewery's Pirate Stout that I tried (the outstanding coconut porter that started all this) was, indeed, aged in Rum barrels from the Rogue River Brewery in Newport.  So you may well be on to something there, B.  My 'laundry' list of liquors is growing...

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5 hours ago, Bonsai & Brew said:

Another option is to soak light toasted oak in your favorite spiced rum and add it your LBK following primary fermentation.  Although the coconut flavor is subtle and fades with time, I've had decent luck with good ol' Captain Morgan 100 Spiced Rum which makes for a very nice barrel-aged Caribbean Porter.

 

ps:  If that amazing pipeline of beer you have  starts to get overwhelming, B, I'm here for ya!  

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11 hours ago, gophers6 said:

Kedogn, not trying to argue with a pro, but my brew had a real nice head.

I can only speak of my experience and my studies.  Beyond that, I am not able to have an opinion.  So if you say it is thus, I have to believe you... so no reason to "argue" :)

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Still on topic, my wife unearthed a 1# package of coconut palm sugar (pure coconut flower blossom nectar) from the pantry.  As I build my recipe for making coconut beer I'm intrigued by this as a possible adjunct.  Wondering if anyone here as used this in a recipe?

(Note:  Coconut sugar comes from the sap of the cut flowers of the coconut palm. It does not contain the actual coconut fruit....)

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