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Brewing with Potatoes

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  • Brewing with Potatoes

    Hi all,

    I haven't been able to find anything using the search function on this forum, so now the question goes out to all of you!

    I'm looking at trying a beer using some locally grown potatoes as there are tons of potatoes grown in my neck of the woods, and I was wondering if any of you out there have had any experience with this.

    A few things I've found in my preliminary research are:
    I probably want to use a starchy variety versus a waxy variety as the starches should be easier to gelatinize.

    Gelatinization temperature of potato starches seem to be in the 140-150F range, so I should be able to do an infusion mash with the malt and potatoes as long as I'm at or above 150F without having to do a separate mash step to gelatinize those potato starches like you would have to do with rice or corn.

    So I guess the next step in this would be how do I "mill" the potatoes? Obviously I won't be able to get at the starches if I dump them in whole, and I would think the finer the particle size, the better in this situation. And right now I think I'm probably looking at using several hundred pounds of raw potatoes.

    If anyone has any experience with anything like this or any ideas to share, it would be much appreciated!


    Corey Zschoche

  • #2
    No experience, but

    Hey Corey.

    No personal experience, but I know of a few breweries that have used sweet potatoes in the mash for harvest type beers
    and whenever they did it, they would roast them first to break down some starch I believe.
    Dave Witham
    Proclamation Ale Company


    • #3
      French fries....


      Glad to see you're still in Klamath. I was there for the holidays but missed you at the brewery.

      Does the pub have a French fry cutter? The type with a lever pressing a plate on to a cutting screen? You can do a couple hundred pounds in an hour and then just dump them in the mash tun during dough-in. Does your MT have paddles or rakes to further reduce fry size?

      Mike Elliott
      Head Brewer
      Philipsburg Brewing Co.


      • #4
        Hey Mike! Good to hear from you. Been a long time. Holiday season can be pretty tough for finding me around the brewery, but stop in next time you're in town!

        I do like the fry cutter idea. Or maybe some kind of chip slicer. If I can find something that can do a fairly thin cut I think that might be the ticket. I think we still have one lying around here, though they don't use it in the kitchen anymore...

        Corey Zschoche


        • #5
          Hey Corey,

          We make Windlass sweet potato porter in the fall and have tried potatoes a few different ways. It took us a few years to get sweet potato flavor out of the things, and if you're looking for something more than a little extra starch this is the way we do it.

          After fermentation, cold crash & yeast drop we dose the fermenter with potassium sorbate to prevent more yeast growth. Roast & puree around 50 lbs / bbl sweet potatoes and transfer beer onto them. Let the temperature rise while you ciruclate the slush for a few days. Crash, carb, package. You get a nice beer-infused sweet potato mush in the bottom of the fermenter.

          We found that the yeast would eat up all the sweet potato flavor if we put the spuds anywhere else. If you're just going for some extra starch I imagine a fry cutter or a commercial ricer will do the trick.
          --Dean Brundage
          Owner / Unscrambler of Eggs
          Blake's Steaks Sandwich Shop
          (650) 823-3389