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jbrons

Toasted Pecan Octoberfest Lager

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Hey all,


I was about to place the order for my next brew, and I figured I would try to bounce some ideas off of everyone first. For the last two, everyone has been so helpful, but I sadly didn't ask until after the fact. So here's the plan: I want to make a nice octoberfest lager with a bit of a brown ale character to it, and I really want to incorporate pecans into the flavor.


I was going to boil 1/2 ounce of Goldings hops in a UME of Creamy Brown for 10 minutes, then add in 2 cans of the Octoberfest Vienna Lager HME and 1/2 cup of brown sugar. I was also going to use the S-23 dry lager yeast. About a week into fermenting, I was going to toast up 4 ounces of pecans, put them into a hop sack, and soak them in bourbon for a few days to sanitize them. Finally, I was going to toss the pecans (and bourbon soak) into the fermenter with 3 days left to go, much like would be done for a dry hop. I put it together in QBrew, and it's posting a 7.2 ABV with an OG of 1.075.


Any thoughts? Is there a better way to sanitize the nuts other than to soak them in bourbon/vodka? Don't get me wrong, I love that makers mark aftertaste on a brew, but if there were an easier way, that would be helpful.

Thanks!

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That sounds delicious. I am all about the pecan. Austin homebrew has a pecan extract that they sell. I was planning on going with that, but if using fresh toasted nuts is better, I would love to know.

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Yeah I saw the pecan extract. Have you used it at all? Any review on it? I'm always afraid an extract will just give it that fake flavor.

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The other day SWMBO made a toasted pecan encrusted chicken which of course led me to thinking about how you could use these pecans in a brew! Then low and behold you posted this idea for a Toasted Pecan Octoberfest Lager which actually sounds pretty good. After a little Google searching I found a recipe for a Pecan Brown Ale. In the recipe they took 4 cups of chopped pecans and boiled them in the wort for 60 minutes. I would think that toasting them first then doing a boil might be the best way to impart the flavor your looking for! Now doing a 60 minute boil seems like a lot to me but you could so a shorter boil depending on what your looking for.

Here's the link for the other recipe! http://the-kitchenette.com/2010/11/27/adventures-in-home-brewing-pecan-brown-ale-part-one/

Good luck and keep us posted with what you end up doing and how it ultimately turns out!

:cheers:

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Wow I didn't even think about boiling them in the wort. I think that's what I'm going to try. A 30 minute boil of the pecans in a hopsack in water/UME mix and then drop the hops for a 10 minute boil and go from there. I'll let you know how it turns out! Thank you very much for the input.

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I've been wanting to use pecans in a beer as well. Every method I looked up just seemed too time consuming for my first attempt at using them so I decided I would use the alcohol soak method. I didn't want to use vodka and had always planned on making a rum porter so I thought I'd try soaking them in some black charred oak spiced rum then add it to the lbk about 3-4 days before bottling. 1/3rd cup per gallon, any more and I read it hurts head retention.

Not sure how it will turn out but the toasted pecans have been soaking in the spiced rum for about 2 weeks and it smells amazing!

If you add pecans to the wort everything I've read says to make sure you've toasted them enough to extract as much of the oil as possible. I can't attest to that but I thought I'd just pass it along.

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Thanks for all the input guys. I am going to bottle the double ipa that's in the fermenter tomorrow, and then I will get started on this brew! After reading everyone's input, I'm going to use the bake and dry method.


350 degrees for 15 minutes, then dry in paper bags to soak up all the oils
350 degrees for 15 minutes, dry in paper bags
Chop up the pecans
350 degrees for 15 minutes, dry in paper bags
350 degrees for 15 minutes, dry in paper bags


Then I'm going to put them into a hop sack and boil them for 60 minutes in a water-UME mixture and add to the wort. I'll be sure to keep everyone posted on how this turns out!

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Hey all,

Just bottled the pecan lager yesterday. I changed the procedure a bit from what I posted above, so I figured I would pass along the one actually used in case anyone wanted to make this.


I toasted 2 cups of pecan halves in the oven at 350 on a baking sheet for about 10-12 minutes, until fragrant. I then took them out, and put them into brown paper bags to absorb all of the oils. Next, I chopped them all and threw them into a hopsack. I boiled the pecans for 60 minutes in a water/UME mixture. During the last 5 minutes, I added the hops to the boil. Finally, added in the two HMEs and poured the wort into the keg. Since I was using the lager yeast, I put the fermenter in a cooler and cycled frozen water bottles around it for 2 weeks to keep it about 60 deg. I tasted it off the tap yesterday before bottling, and the nice rich pecan taste is definitely there. Can't wait to open one of these in a few weeks!

Thanks again for all the input everyone.

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I really hope no one else tried this recipe! I had planned on opening the first bottle next week, and I had it in the fridge. The rest were in a box in my basement awaiting the results of the first one. I came home from work yesterday to find that 3 of the bottles had exploded. I investigated the issue and had another explode. Not sure what went wrong, but I scrapped the whole batch. Thanks for all the input guys, but no go on this one.

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Did you sample any of the unexploded bottles, especially the one in the fridge, before discarding them? Worst case you would have gotten confirmation that the flavor of the pecans was what you were expecting.

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What was the FG? If you used a lager yeast but only fermented two weeks it probably wasn't done yet.

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I tasted the one in the fridge. It was incredibly yeasty. There was definite pecan flavor with a malt character, but it was really heavily yeasty. Maybe that was the issue, maybe it wasn't done. I had kept an eye on it, and kept it at a lower temperature during fermentation. It had no head on it anymore, and a thick sediment layer was present at the bottom. It was just strange to me that they had been in bottles for 3 weeks, and all started to pop on the same day.

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