Friday, April 5, 2013

"The Doctor," Coconut Kava Porter

I've been wanting to brew a beer with kava root for quite some time, as I have found that kava root's effects are quite synergistic with alcohol (especially beer). Also, I have had kava drinks with coconut, and thought coconut paired nicely with kava's slightly astringent and earthy taste. A few months ago, I had brewed a great coconut porter, so I figured that it would be a good base recipe to use for a kava beer.

This beer turned out phenomenally! I am so satisfied with it, and my friends have nearly drained the keg! I did not need to use a filter, as the sediment settled enough after 4 hours of soaking, and I was able to rack the beer off of the kava sediment quite easily. The amount of kava in this batch is not overwhelming, and a pint will mellow you out quite nicely, but not kick you on your ass. Kava root and alcohol, although used together for centuries by many cultures, are synergistic and I would not recommend going overboard when drinking this beer. And as with any herbal supplement, I would recommend checking in with your doctor before consuming kava (although most people will be totally fine).

"The Doctor" Kava Coconut Porter
Style: Robust Porter
Type: All Grain
Calories: 177 (per 12 oz.)
OG: 1.056
FG: 1.020
ABV: 4.72 %
IBU's: 42.67
Batch Size: 5.00 Gal
Boil Time: 60 minutes

Primary: 14 days @ 68.0°F  
Secondary: 14 days @ 72.0°F  
Bottle/Keg: 14 days @ 74.0°F

Grains & Adjuncts
8.50 lbs Pale Malt, Maris Otter
2.00 lbs Chocolate Malt
0.75 lbs Caramel/Crystal Malt - 80L
0.50 lbs Cara-Pils/Dextrine Malt

1.30 ozs Northern Brewer - 60 mins
0.75 ozs Goldings, East Kent - 10 mins

Wyeast Labs 1318 - London Ale III

1.00 tsp Irish Moss - last 15 mins of boil
1.00 lb Coconut (toasted) - 14 days Secondary
1.00 lb Kava Root - soaked for 4 hours prior to kegging

Mash Profile
Medium Body Infusion - 60 min @ 154.0°F
Add 17.62 qt ( 1.50 qt/lb ) water @ 174.0°F

10.1 psi Force Carbonation @ 40.0°F

Toast flaked coconut in oven @ 325 degrees for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown. Put coconut into muslin bag, weigh it down with marbles, and add to secondary. Let soak in secondary for 14 days (entire duration of secondary).

I used whole kava root, but you can also use kava chips (do not use kava powder). Break up kava root or chips as much as possible, then smash with a mortar and pestle and place into a double-bagged mesh bag. Add marbles (or other weights) to the outside bag. Rack beer onto kava in a fermenter bucket just prior to transferring to keg, after secondary fermentation is complete. Let sit for 4 hours, then squeeze the bag to extract all of the kava. Do not stir the beer as you will stir up a great deal of sediment, and rack to your keg (or bottles, if you want to bottle condition).