By: James Walsh

 

Something about home brewing makes me feel like Willy Wonka. I sample the wort, making a mental note of ways to spice up the next batch with cocoa, ginger, orange zest, peppers, or any other flavor that deviates from the norm at a 90° angle. Yet I always thought I’d have to draw the line at peanut butter.

Brewing with peanut butter appeared unpredictable. The oils and lipids in your average goober could upend the desired taste and diminish the head down to nothing. Yet when I attended the Chicago Beer Festival, I tried a Peanut Butter Porter from Cademon Brewing. Now, I’m itching to brew a peanut butter beer of my own.

Decanted or Powdered PB?

Brewing with peanut butter is pretty simple. You can use a jar of non-homogenized peanut butter or the dehydrated stuff.

Non-homogenized peanut butter requires some patience, decanting the oils over a series of days. Believe me, one and done is not the way to go. You’ve missed more oil than you’d imagine.

Powdered peanut butter is the fastest way to start brewing with peanut butter. The natural oils are extracted beforehand and what remains is dehydrated. PB2, a powdered peanut butter brand, removes at least 85% of the oils. Not bad for $7.

Brewing with Peanut Butter

Porters and stout recipes are best. Go ahead and try an IPA (it’s been done ), but I can’t recommend it quite yet.

Add the peanut butter flavoring before you add yeast, but after all the hops in the boiling wort. Ferment for your recipe’s given time, bottle, and drink it sooner than later. Yeast continues to feast on the oils until they’re gone. But while that PB flavor is still there, you’ll be glad you did it.