Blue Moon Brewing creator Keith Villa is all in on brewing marijuana-infused beer, leaving Coors-Molson in 2018 to start his own line of craft beers that are infused with THC and CBD but devoid of alcohol. The Brewers Association, previously in the dark on the subject, asked Villa to write a book on marijuana beers to help advise other brewers, and he happily obliged.
Villa will be at the Brew Hut in Aurora on Friday, August 6, to talk about his new book, Brewing With Cannabis: Using THC and CBD in Beer, and give a presentation to homebrewers on the science and art behind infusing beers with cannabinoids. He was kind enough to provide Westword with a sneak preview of what’s to come, sharing a recipe for one of his favorite bud-friendly brews: a THC peanut butter porter.
“This recipe gives a full-bodied porter with roasted peanut notes. The final THC content will be about 18 milligrams per 12-ounce bottle, which is a hefty dose and can lead to cross-fading if the alcohol is left in the beer. However, without alcohol, the THC will provide a buzz similar to drinking a couple of pints of alcoholic imperial porter,” Villa says. “This beer is a nice dessert beer that is reminiscent of a chocolate peanut butter cup. I tend to carbonate my porters and stouts higher than usual to help bring out the dark malt character in the aroma. As a final note, the oils in peanut butter will provide the yeast with nutrients to build cell membranes and multiply, much like the addition of oxygen.”
THC Peanut Butter Porter
(Malts and fermentables)
6.9 pounds (3.1 kilograms) pale malt, 2-row
0.7 pounds (0.3 kilograms) malted white wheat
0.9 pounds (0.4 kilograms) crystal, 50 degrees lovibond
0.7 pounds (0.3 kilograms) crystal 75 degrees lovibond
0.2 pounds (0.09 kilograms) Baird’s chocolate malt, 450-550 degrees lovibond
0.33 ounces (9.4 grams) Chinook (12.3 percent alpha acids) at 60 minutes
0.33 ounces (9.4 grams) Perle (9 percent alpha acids) at 60 minutes
0.2 ounces (5.7 grams) of decarboxylated buds at 22 percent THC at dry hop
Wyeast —1968 London ESB Ale
1 pound (454 grams) peanut butter at 15 minutes
1 tablet Whirlfloc at 10 minutes
300 parts per million alkalinity as CaCO
1. Mash in malts at 1.32 quart/pound. (2.71 liters/kilograms) at 140 degrees Fahrenheit (60 degrees Celsius). Hold at 140 degrees Fahrenheit (60 degrees Celsius) for 30 minutes.
2. Raise to 149 degrees Fahrenheit (65 degrees Celsius) and hold for ten minutes.
3. Raise to 167 degrees Fahrenheit (75 degrees Celsius) and hold for ten minutes for mash out conversion.
4. Sparge with 170 degrees Fahrenheit (77 degrees Celsius) water to kettle full volume of 5.3 gallons (20 liters).
5. Boil for 60 minutes, adding 0.33 ounces (9.4 grams) Chinook and 0.33 ounces (9.4 grams) Perle hops at start of boil.
6. Add peanut butter fifteen minutes before kettle knockout.
7. Add Whirlfloc tablet ten minutes before kettle knockout.
8. Whirlpool for ten minutes and rest for 20 minutes.
9. Adjust post-boil volume to 5 gallons (18.9 liters), if boiloff was excessive.
10. Cool wort to 68 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) and pitch Wyeast 1968 London ESB yeast at 1 million cells/milliliter/degrees Plato.
11. Ferment at 68 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) to completion, then rack to aging vessel.
12. Drop temperature to 39 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius), add cannabis, and age until diacetyl is not detected (usually one to two weeks).
13. At this point, to remove the alcohol from the beer, it should be transferred back to the brew kettle and gently heated up to 173 degrees Fahrenheit (78 degrees Celsius). If an oven is available that holds the brew kettle, then that is easier to control temperature. Otherwise, a stovetop will work, but the beer should be constantly monitored to keep the beer at 173 degrees Fahrenheit (78 degrees Celsius). The smell of alcohol coming from the brew kettle will be strong when the correct temperature is achieved. Hold the brew kettle at this temperature until the aroma of alcohol has decreased, usually within 30 minutes, then continue to hold for another 30 minutes. Remove the brew kettle from the heat and cool back to 39 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius).
14. Package at 2.7 volumes of CO2.
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