Potato Beer #1, or Spud Brew

Contributed by Steve Stroud (STROUD%GAIA@leia.polaroid.com)

You can make most any style of beer that you want with potatoes. Lighter-colored and flavored beers let the spud character shine through better. You are making an adjunct beer here, so use a good proportion of six-row. You'll need the extra enzymes.

First, shred the potatoes (I've never bothered to peel them, just wash them and grate them finely.) and boil the crap out of them, using lots of water. Your brewery will smell like a soup kitchen, not a brewery! Allow the mixture to cool to ~150 deg (ice cubes will help speed this up), and stir in a portion of your crushed six-row (how much depends on exactly what you are making). You are aiming for a protein rest temperature here. Let the whole mess sit for an hour, then add the rest of the barley malt (and water if necessary to maintain proper consistency). Heat to ~152 deg for 90 minutes for conversion.

From here, proceed normally (conversion, 'mash'-out if you want, sparge, etc.).

I've not had trouble with starch haze with this method.

Charlie P says in his book that potatoes don't add any flavor/aroma character to beer. I'd have to disagree. It's not strong, but there is a potato character that is distinctive.

One other point to remember is that potatoes are largely water, meaning that only a small percentage (maybe 10-20%) of the weight you add is convertible starch. I get ~5-6 pts/lb/gal. from one pound of potatoes. It's not much.

Good luck!

Steve Stroud

Potato Beer #2

Contributed by Thomas Vodacek (87749194@uwplatt.edu)

A friend gave me an old recipe from his uncle that was for potato beer. The idea is a little odd, but I would like to try it to see the result.

It calls for cutting each potato into just larger than matchstick-size pieces and mashing them separately from the grain portion and then filtering with cloth and then mixing the worts for the boil.

I was wondering where the enzymes for the potato starch conversion come from? It seems to me that if there were enzymes present, they would be converting the starches right away in the field and in the store. Or does the tuber have a way to control the enzymes in the living tissue? I would guess that when a potato is stored a long time and then gets soft before it begins to grow eyes (like mine usually do) this is like the point in grain malting where the grain is dried in a kiln. If this is true:

  1. Do I have to let all of the potatoes get to this stage, or
  2. Are there enough enzymes in just one or two that can do all of the work, or
  3. Are the potato starches in such a state that they are (very) quickly converted by the grain enzymes after mixing, or
  4. Should I hold the wort at mashing temperatures for a time as conversion takes place?
The recipe doesn't say to wait for conversion, but then it doesn't say to test for it either.

Has anyone used potatoes in a "beer" that can lend assistance? (87749194@uwplatt.edu)

Thomas Vodace

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