The fall season is here! The leaves are turning and the cold front is moving in. What better way to welcome the season than preparing your homebrew beer lineup. Apple and pumpkin spices are great for that holiday touch, but did you know pecans can offer a wonderful taste to your beer? Of course, it’s no surprise that pecans add a flair of nutty smoothness. Especially when you take into account one of the most iconic holiday favorites around the country, Butter Pecan Pie.
From butter pecan coffee creamer to southern pecan syrups, pecans add a uniquely satisfying twist to any drink. So it’s only natural to take that next step and experiment. Treat yourself this fall and consider adding pecan meal to your homebrewed beer recipes.
What is so special about the pecan nut?
The pecan nut is an excellent source of healthy fats and proteins. Those fats come in the form of oils, which the pecan is famous for as it contains roughly seventy-five percent nut oil. Knowing this, it’s easy to imagine that rich nutty flavor in every sip of a chilled brew.
Some homebrewers might worry about the excess oils affecting the outcome, but rest assured experimentation will lead to something wonderful. It’s all about finding the happy balance of hops, malt, and pecan nut flavor.
Roasting the pecans is a great way to draw out the oils and enhance the overall nutty quality. Include crushed toasted pecans or use pecan flour, also known as pecan meal, in your mash bill.
Pale Ale, Brown Ales, and Dark Lagers
There are four basic steps involved in homebrewing, preparing your mash bill, brewing it, letting it ferment, and when you think it’s ready - bottle it. Although the last three steps are integral parts of the process, starting with the right ingredients will make all the difference in the results.
Brewing beer also requires four initial ingredients, water, malted barley, hops, and yeast. The malted barley is your mix of grains which delivers the sugars, flavor, coloring, and body. The sugar is converted into alcohol and carbon dioxide by the yeast. The type of ale, porter, or lager you want depends on your grain bill having the right percentages of malts.
If you are aiming for a stout lager, using roughly eighty percent base malt, ten percent roasted malt, and ten percent specialty malt is a good starting point. A black lager typically uses a combination of ninety percent base malt, five percent black malt, and five percent specialty malt. What goes into the grain bill will affect the amount of fermentable sugar present. This is an important aspect as fermentable sugar is needed for the desired total alcohol content of your beer.
Pecan Meal Grain Bill Recipe
The Mash Bill
Seventy percent (70%) Amber Malt Extract (liquid)
Ten percent (10%) Caramel Crystal Malt
Ten percent (10%) British Brown Malt
Use a sixty/forty split of East Kent Goldings. For the first boil, use sixty percent (60%) and for the second, use forty percent (40%).
Use roughly ten percent (10%) pecan meal in the rest of your mash bill. Pecans do contain oils that will impact head retention. Be sure to prepare them by crushing and toasting them. This part takes just as much patience as the whole process. If you are using whole pecans or pecan halves, finely chop them and use a food processor to crush them even more. Toast them in the oven for about fifteen minutes to help draw out the oils. Place pecans on paper towels or in a paper bag to help remove excess oils. For convenience, try using pecan meal to reduce some of the chopping, crushing, and soaking process.
As with all homebrew recipes, don’t be afraid to experiment. That is the key to finding the perfect blend of smooth, bold flavor.
Pair It Well
Once you have fine-tuned your holiday masterpieces try pairing it with a savory supper. Your pecan brew complements any hearty salad, decked-out sandwich, or traditional cheeseburger. To add a bit of panache, look at this pecan breaded chicken recipe.
Bourbon Pecan Chicken
Be prepared for the sweet and spicy kick.
4 (1LB)- 4oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts
⅓ cup of finely chopped green onions
1 cup of chopped toasted pecans
¼ cup of pecan meal
¼ cup of brown sugar
½ teaspoon of sesame oil
3 tablespoons of soy sauce
⅓ cup of sweet chili sauce
3 tablespoons of bourbon whiskey
½ cup of melted butter
½ cup of cubed butter pieces
- Mix the chopped toasted pecans, pecan meal, and ¼ cup of melted butter in a wide bowl. Transfer to pan and spread it out. Press and coat all the chicken breasts in it.
- Put the rest of the melted butter in a skillet over medium heat. Fry the breaded chicken on both sides, until golden brown and thoroughly cooked. Should take 10-12 minutes.
- In a saucepan, stir together the brown sugar, bourbon, soy sauce, sesame oil, sweet chili sauce, and chopped green onions. Let it simmer over low-medium heat for a couple of minutes. Remove it from the heat and slowly whisk in the ½ cup of butter pieces, one cube at a time.
- Place the chicken over rice or arrange it with a side of mashed potatoes. Drizzle the sauce over the chicken - the sauce is delicious with rice or as a gravy over your mashed potatoes.
- Take a sip of your homebrewed pecan beer and dive into dinner. Bon Apetit!
Order Your Bulk Pecan Meal Today!
Whether you are interested in trying pecan halves or using pecan meal, it’s important to make sure you have enough on hand before brewing. Order bulk pecans for all your homebrew recipes plans. A variety of sizes can make the exploration process easier, so consider getting a mix of bulk pecan halves, chopped pecan pieces, and pecan meal.