Bacon flavor into beer?

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Bacon flavor into beer?

Postby whitedj » Sun May 19, 2013 8:00 pm

So, I think I'm going to make a bacon maple stout. The only question on how to get the bacon flavor into the beer. I'm thinking on a couple different methods, what do you think of these?

1: cherry smoked malt ~10-15%
2: do an extract with bacon drippings in vodka or everclear, freeze and decant the fat. throw into secondary
3: throw the bacon [and drippings?] in the boil [10 min] and freeze prior to kegging.
3: throw bacon [cooked or bits] into the mash.

Realistically i'm leaning to one of the first two.
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Postby bf514921 » Sun May 19, 2013 8:20 pm

cook the bacon eat it, drink the beer, jump up and down to mix? Actually i think you identified the biggest issue. the fat going rancit on you.
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Postby JimPotts » Sun May 19, 2013 9:20 pm

Actually, rendered bacon fat has a shelf life of like a year. It's saturated, and pretty much shelf-stable.

As far as flavor goes, I have no idea. Just having maple and smoke is probably enough to evoke a bacon flavor for most people.
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Postby Matt F » Mon May 20, 2013 1:18 pm

Weyerman Smoked Bamberg Malt gives a strong bacon character as well as smoke. I use it around 40% of the grist in my smoked porter and people often comment on the bacon flavor. Some even call it my bacon beer. I have used it extensively. If you want to taste a porter with about 30% of this grain in it, Third Base had one on tap as recently as last week. Not sure if it is gone yet or not. It is a very good smoked porter.
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Postby tony b » Tue May 21, 2013 11:20 am

I've also read that the fat can inhibit the fermentation, so make sure that what ever you do, it's in the secondary.

I've tried the bacon infused vodka approach, with limited success. YMMV.

If it were me, I'd go with Matt's suggestion.
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Postby BrewHound » Wed May 22, 2013 8:06 am

From my understanding, fat (oils in general) inhibit head retension.
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Postby Steven P » Wed May 22, 2013 9:22 am

That's true about the fat. I'd home smoke some malt with a pork butt on the side over apple wood. Wait 4-6 weeks for it to mellow out and use that.
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Postby tony b » Wed May 22, 2013 10:56 am

Whatever you end up doing, please share at a Club meeting so we can see how it turned out.
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Postby whitedj » Wed May 22, 2013 11:13 am

I remember tony's 'bong water' ale, a bit over powering.

I'll figure something out and definitely share with the club. leaning toward the smoked malt route and have some bacon infused vodka to add to secondary if needed.
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Bacon flavor

Postby mjmarsha » Wed May 22, 2013 12:05 pm

Have you tried Rogue's Voodoo Donut? You might want to give that a try first to get some inspiration. It's an interesting brew but a small fraction of a bomber is all I could handle. In any case I am pretty sure they use real bacon for flavor. If that's the case perhaps you could cook the bacon really crispy and dry ,I.e cook as much of the fat out as possible. If I were doing it I would try smoking your bacon on a grill to the point were its really super crispy but not burnt.
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Bacon flavor into beer?

Postby DrPaulsen » Wed May 22, 2013 12:09 pm

To Steve's point, I can confirm that burning/smoking apple wood smells a lot like bacon.  If you're interested, I might know a guy that has some apple wood.


On Wed, May 22, 2013 at 1:05 PM, mjmarsha <brew-tech@crbeernuts.org (brew-tech@crbeernuts.org)> wrote:
Have you tried Rogue's Voodoo Donut? You might want to give that a try first to get some inspiration. It's an interesting brew but a small fraction of a bomber is all I could handle. In any case I am pretty sure they use real bacon for flavor. If that's the case perhaps you could cook the bacon really crispy and dry ,I.e cook as much of the fat out as possible. If I were doing it I would try smoking your bacon on a grill to the point were its really super crispy but not burnt.







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Postby tony b » Fri May 24, 2013 7:57 am

I just had an interesting thought - Has anyone ever smoked fresh hops (not like that, Dude!) I wonder if it would pick up a smoky flavor in the drying process. Do something like a cold smoking (120F) process with fruit woods - apple, peach, or cherry. Granted, the higher drying temperature would cause you to lose some of the more volatile hop esters, but if it added different flavors, it might be a good trade off?
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Bacon flavor into beer?

Postby Mr T » Fri May 24, 2013 8:45 am

I made a chocolate bacon porter for benz fest some years ago and used real bacon…(there is no substitute for real bacon). Although two things to note about real bacon usage in beer. A. it will impart a somewhat salty note, B. between the oils and salt you would be lucky to produce any head on the beer.

I left the event with an empty keg.


From: tony b [mailto:brew-tech@crbeernuts.org]
Sent: Friday, May 24, 2013 8:58 AM
To: brew-tech@crbeernuts.org
Subject: Re: Bacon flavor into beer?


I just had an interesting thought - Has anyone ever smoked fresh hops (not like that, Dude!) I wonder if it would pick up a smoky flavor in the drying process. Do something like a cold smoking (120F) process with fruit woods - apple, peach, or cherry. Granted, the higher drying temperature would cause you to lose some of the more volatile hop esters, but if it added different flavors, it might be a good trade off?




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Postby Matt F » Fri May 24, 2013 10:33 am

tony b wrote:I just had an interesting thought - Has anyone ever smoked fresh hops (not like that, Dude!) I wonder if it would pick up a smoky flavor in the drying process. Do something like a cold smoking (120F) process with fruit woods - apple, peach, or cherry. Granted, the higher drying temperature would cause you to lose some of the more volatile hop esters, but if it added different flavors, it might be a good trade off?


Using heat of any kind for drying hops usually is not good for the hops. You don't want to cook hops to dry them.
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Postby whitedj » Fri May 24, 2013 3:01 pm

I think I might try to distill bacon to see if I can't capture some of the esters and aromatics that give the flavor... leaving the fat and salt behind. I'm seeing a couple 2 gallon batches in my future.
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