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Thread: Honey Locust Beer

  1. #1
    Tatterdemalion HammerOne's Avatar
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    Default Honey Locust Beer

    There is this guy at work (kind of a back woods fella) was telling me about Locust beer made from the seed pods of a Honey Locust Tree......I'm a brewer....OK I'll bite. I did some searches and didn't really turn up much other than old timers and indians made this stuff. I know where some of these trees are and in the fall I can get the pods...but what to do?
    The Dude Endures

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    Jewsus Lerxst's Avatar
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    Most importantly, I am told – though I have not yet been brave enough to try it – that the following recipe yields a palatable beer. With any luck, I’ll be drunkenly typing the results of my experiments to you in the weeks to come.
    Honey Locust Beer Recipe
    Ingredients:
    Long black honey locust pods (number depends on how big of a crock or keg is being used).
    Ripened persimmons or sliced apples (number same as above)
    2 cups of molasses
    Water

    Break the locust pods into pieces. Place a layer in a keg or crock. Add the persimmons or apples. Cover with boiling water. Add two cups of molasses. Let stand for three for four days before using.
    http://dirtynapkins.wordpress.com/20...urban-forager/

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    Jewsus Lerxst's Avatar
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    Obviously from the recipe above, the term beer is being used loosely and probably not a typical fermented beverage in the true sense of beer. You would probably be better off sampling them prepared a few different ways to find something pleasant that you could use as an adjunct or like fruit. Maybe roasting them and dry beaning like coffee beans?

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    Being a dick. Lifetime Supporter cheesefood's Avatar
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    What was the name of the kid on HBT who became a meme for his molasses beer question?
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    Of Dubious Provenance Lifetime Supporter Evan!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cheesefood View Post
    What was the name of the kid on HBT who became a meme for his molasses beer question?
    makingitgood?
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    Internets is new homes zoebisch01's Avatar
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    Holy crap, I had totally forgotten about makinitgood.
    12:30 PM [BlindLemonLars]I don't wake up for anything below 5.5.


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    Tatterdemalion HammerOne's Avatar
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    I've seen that recipe and it didn't look like beer to me. I guess no one has been brave or stupid enough to experiment.
    The Dude Endures

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    Jewsus Lerxst's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HammerOne View Post
    I've seen that recipe and it didn't look like beer to me. I guess no one has been brave or stupid enough to experiment.
    Answer the call my friend!

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    Internets is new homes zoebisch01's Avatar
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    I would do something with pils malt, nothing else and add the honey locust pods. Shoot for about 1.045 OG. Just enough bittering to get the balance to the malt and ferment with something like that Nottingham...cold. This will give you a good idea what you're working with and will at least be drinkable.
    12:30 PM [BlindLemonLars]I don't wake up for anything below 5.5.


  10. #10
    Senior Member hubie's Avatar
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    I've been poking around my favorite resources and the recipe listed above is probably as good as any. I could find a number of references that mention it, and most were in the context of persimmon beer, which sounds like something akin to an apple cider. A couple mention using the pods in a metheglin.

    A couple of excerpts...

    From John Skinner, The American Farmer, 1829:
    The fruit is in the form of flat, crooked, pendulous pods, from twelve to eighteen inches long, and of a reddish brown color. The pods contain brown, smooth, hard seeds, enveloped in a pulpy substance, which, for a month after their maturity, is very sweet, and which then
    becomes extremely sour- Beer is sometimes made by fermenting the pulp while fresh, but (the practice is not general, as the apple tree, and peach tree, particularly (the last, have become common in the. Western country, and afford a much superior beverage.
    From Dietotherapy, William Fitch, 1918:
    The pods of the honey locust are eaten raw and sold in confectioner's shops. A delightful beverage, locust beer, is made by breaking up the dried pods, adding dried American persimmons and dried apples, placing the whole in a barrel and pouring boiling water on the mass and allowing it to undergo fermentation. When three or four days have elapsed, a beautiful port wine colored "beer" is produced, possessing an alluring piquant taste with some "kick" in it.
    From Fruit Grower, Volume 19, 1909:
    The recipe for making persimmon beer was furnished by a Virginia reader, and published In The Fruit-Grower for June, 1908, as follows: Get a clean, tight barrel, and place within it a false head four Inches from the bottom; then a pone of bread made of wheat bran and baked very brown; It takes this bread a long time to cook, and it is added to give a good color to the beer. Next put in a small armful of honey locust shucks, then put in the persimmons in greater quantity than the locusts, and continue in this way until Hie barrel is two-thirds or threefourths full; weight down and add water until all is covered. In three days or perhaps a week. If the weather is very cold. It will be a sparkling drink that, will bite the tongue. A few dried apples or peaches will add to the flavor
    And, from The Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine, 1885:
    The colonists (About 1745.) brought from England the ancient art of making metheglin or mead from honey and water. That made in the colonies was praised on all hands; it was " as good as Malaga sack." A so-called metheglin was made from the sweet bean of the honeylocust, and some projectors in Virginia even set out plantations of that thorniest of all trees.
    I found a few more references, if you want them, but they are along these lines.

    Depending upon whether the stuff in the pods is mostly sugar or not, I bet there are some interesting things to try with dry-hopping pods. Both when they are sweet, and when they turn sour. It would probably make for an interesting entry in competition.
    He was a wise man who invented beer
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