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brybry

Aztec Mexican Cerveza & Agave

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Maybe I'm not searching right, but I can't seem to find much about Agave Nectar on the forums. Has anybody tried adding Agave to the Aztec HME?

 

How'd it turn out?

 

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There are 2 different agave products (syrup and nectar) and I want to be sure you're using the best one (nectar).

Syrup: Agave syrup is clear and flavorless. In large quantities, it probably has some slight honey or agave (think tequila) flavor, particularly when fermented. But in smaller quantities, it is more apt to be used as an adjunct to raise the alcohol content rather than to add flavor. I doubt if it were fermented alone it would have much flavor or produce anything enjoyable. Since it is mostly fructose and water, it will ferment very dry and will probably produce cider-like flavors, similar to table sugar. It could be used in recipes in the place of table sugar, corn sugar, corn syrup or golden syrup (which is really just corn syrup). Knowing how much alcohol content it will add would require finding the brix or OG of the agave syrup, which is probably available online or available through the agave syrup distributor. However, I personally wouldn't use it because I believe if you are looking for a concentrated, high-sugar adjunct, corn syrup is just as good of an option and it is much cheaper.

Nectar: Although you can use agave nectar in beer as an adjunct, it will leave a distinct flavor in beer, much like honey will. I would strongly urge using a more neutral adjunct if the goal is simply to bolster alcohol content. The real value of agave nectar in beer is to consider it as a flavor component. Agave is perfectly fine to use in place of honey in other recipes (as a vegan alternative). At low amounts it will produce a flavor very similar to honey. As it begins to increase as a component of beer, it will undoubtedly begin to take on a more agave/tequila flavor.

Because of the quirky nature of agave nectar, it may take some experimentation to figure out the balance between dryness and agave flavor and alcohol content. Agave nectar can dry out too much and give the beer a cider feel or it can leave more sweetness than desired. Because ale yeasts will not want to ferment so much fructose, it could take a long time for it to completely dry out. It can leave a honey flavor or an agave flavor. One thing is clear: the more you use the more alcohol content you beer will have, since it is composed almost entirely of fermentable sugars. If I were trying to make a beer with agave flavor, I would probably start out replicating a honey beer recipe (such as a honey brown) and adjust up or down to figure out the sweet spot.

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You might want to fool around with prickly pear nectar while your at it 'cause..

 

"Prickly pear extract has also been shown to reduce the severity and occurrence of hangovers if taken in advance of drinking. Nausea, dry mouth, appetite loss, and alcohol-related inflammation were all reduced in test subjects who ingested prickly pear extract 5 hours prior to drinking"

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I put agave necture in with American Classic Light . Produces a beer that you can drink all day long. I usually make 4 gallon batches. I also boil cinnamon sticks in water before adding the CAL and agave.

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There are 2 different agave products (syrup and nectar) and I want to be sure you're using the best one (nectar).

Nectar: Although you can use agave nectar in beer as an adjunct, it will leave a distinct flavor in beer, much like honey will. I would strongly urge using a more neutral adjunct if the goal is simply to bolster alcohol content. The real value of agave nectar in beer is to consider it as a flavor component. Agave is perfectly fine to use in place of honey in other recipes (as a vegan alternative). At low amounts it will produce a flavor very similar to honey. As it begins to increase as a component of beer, it will undoubtedly begin to take on a more agave/tequila flavor.

Because of the quirky nature of agave nectar, it may take some experimentation to figure out the balance between dryness and agave flavor and alcohol content. Agave nectar can dry out too much and give the beer a cider feel or it can leave more sweetness than desired. Because ale yeasts will not want to ferment so much fructose, it could take a long time for it to completely dry out. It can leave a honey flavor or an agave flavor. One thing is clear: the more you use the more alcohol content you beer will have, since it is composed almost entirely of fermentable sugars. If I were trying to make a beer with agave flavor, I would probably start out replicating a honey beer recipe (such as a honey brown) and adjust up or down to figure out the sweet spot.

What I have is the nectar, it's much darker than honey, and the packaging says it's 25% sweeter than sugar.

 

My thought process wasn't about a higher ABV it was about flavor. I've had a few loaded Coronas from time to time and I like the combination of the tequila & corona. So what I was thinking is since Tequila is made from Agave maybe adding it to the wort might give a bit of that taste to the Aztec. Maybe?

 

Or would you think it'd be better to use it for priming? Maybe I'll use it in one bottle of the batch of Aztec Deluxe that I'll be bottling in about a week.

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Add the agave at the beginning of your ferment with your malts. It has the most tequila flavor when it's fermented completely. Don't use it for priming because it won't impart any flavors and it's a waste of expensive agave. You can just use table sugar for priming and save the agave for other uses. Also, since it's sweeter than sugar, you may risk over-carbonation. You'd have to find out exactly what the brix of the nectar then do the math to figure out how much to use. Too much trouble when it won't affect the flavor anyway.

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