Need help altering my BBA RIS (coffee, coconut, cherry, etc)

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by cantak, Mar 23, 2014.

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  1. cantak

    cantak Aspirant (207) Oct 10, 2012 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    I have 55 gallons of homebrewed RIS. It's a Cate the Great clone. It's sitting in a 12 year Heaven's Hill barrel straight from the distillery and has 5 months to go. Unfortunately only 12 gallons are mine when completed, so I don't have a lot to play around with! I plan to carb and bottle 5 gallons, and experiment with the remaining gallons in 1 gallon sized glass carboys. Due to evaporation and losses in racking I'll get 5-7 of these 1 gallon carboys to experiment on.

    I have varying ideas on these carboys and what to do. If anyone has used any of these ingredients, or can answer any specific questions here, please chime in!
    1. Coconut. Has anyone done this? Do you simply toast fresh coconut in the oven? How much would be the right amount for 1 gallon of beer? I loved GI Proprietors, and that's what I'm shooting for.
    2. Coffee. Shooting for GI BCBCS here. They list the brand of coffee on the site and 2013 used Intelligentsia Los Inmortales, but that's of little help to a guy in MN. At a decent grocery store there will be at least 50 bins of beans to get coffee from. What should I look for? How dark/light a roast is equivalent to the one GI used here? What country? Do I just soak the coffee beans in the beer, and if so, for how long? I assume it's a cold steep? Do I need to somehow sanitize these? How much should be used for a coffee presence that's not overpowering?
    3. Cherries. GI used "Michigan Cherries" in Cherry Rye and so did Bell's in their version, but that simply seems to refer to the place they came from. Again, little help. What kinds are good to use here, and in what quantity? Do I pierce the skin first? Do I freeze first to open cell walls? How do I sanitize to not introduce a wild yeast strain?

    The above three ideas I'm set on. I have 2-4 other possibilities I can consider. Options I've thought of so far are other berries, tej, peaches, mangosteens, miracle fruits, leeche/rambutans, cherimoya, and aguajefruit. Any thoughts/opinions here? Anyone tried anything this crazy?
  2. JohnSnowNW

    JohnSnowNW Defender (602) Feb 6, 2013 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    I wish I could help with some of the above questions, but I just don't have the experience to do so.

    That said, I really enjoy anise, and I especially enjoy it in a RIS. So, consider adding some to one of the gallons...unless you dislike the flavor.

    Another fruit I always thought would work in a RIS, but am unaware of it's usage, is black currant.

    Good luck with this, I'm super jealous.
  3. IrishHockey

    IrishHockey Initiate (0) Oct 12, 2012 Indiana
    Beer Trader

    You should be able to order the same coffee beans on the internet. If not, check out a local coffee shop that roasts their own beans. Dark Matter coffee is another good coffee. They have a website you can order from. Their Bourbon barrel coffee beans look interesting.
    If you just would rather pick some up from the grocery store, I've used a couple different kinda. Some dark roast, some medium. In my KBS clone,
    I did a Sumatra at flame out and Kona dry hopped. The Kona beans I crushed with a mallet and soaked in bourbon over night before adding to the secondary. Hope that helps a bit
  4. MrOH

    MrOH Defender (614) Jul 5, 2010 Maryland

    When they say Michigan cherries, they are referring to Michigan Montmercy cherries, which are sour cherries.
  5. ryane

    ryane Initiate (159) Nov 21, 2007 Washington

    I had a similar thought about 2-3yrs ago, I thought, man I sure would love to use black currants in some homebrew.

    So I decided to make a wild flower and black currant melomel, used 14# of honey from a buddy that keeps bees, and added ~4lbs of black currants. It turned a beautiful deep blue, dropped clear and I bottled. Fast forward ~4-6mos, I pop a bottle, my mouth salivating as i pour out the now reddish blue nectar, take a sip.........tomatoes, it tastes exactly like sour tomatoes..........
  6. JohnSnowNW

    JohnSnowNW Defender (602) Feb 6, 2013 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    I do NOT want to drink sour tomatoes.
  7. ryane

    ryane Initiate (159) Nov 21, 2007 Washington

    yah needless to say i was super bummed out, maybe others have something to say about my use of currants??

    on positive note, its a pretty good cooking wine
  8. smchenry75

    smchenry75 Initiate (0) Jul 7, 2010 Indiana
    Beer Trader

    FWIW, I made a big 12% RIS, Bourbon Barrel aged it and added vanilla and black walnuts (made an extract from the black walnuts with bourbon). It turned out phenomenal! Very unique and tasty.
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