Boozy Beverages/ Mead/ Recipes

How to make Butter Beer – Homebrew recipe for a butterscotch bochet mead

This is a complex brew using multiple types of fermentable and nonfermentable sugars, some of which must be caramelized to achieve the roasty toffee and butterscotch flavors of the brew. This brew is designed to be carbonated and sweet. If you will be bottle conditioning, this will require the use of a nonfermentable sweetener (here, erythritol) as well as a fermentable sugar for priming the bottles. If kegging you can stabilize and back-sweeten with honey, which I believe gives a much richer flavor.

Why this recipe works: Multiple types of caramelized sugars work in concert to produce a butterscotchy flavor that is not overly buttery. Butter flavor typically comes from a glut of lactic acid and diacetyl. We control the lactic acid in this recipe by only adding what we need, with no fats, oils, or diacetyl slicking the final product. While the flavor isn’t the perfectbutterscotch, it’s close enough without having to add extracts or additives intended to mimic a buttery flavor. This is the most tested recipe on our channel!

What we like about it: It hits every mark – sweet, slightly tart, buttery, creamy, and you can’t taste a drop of alcohol in it!


Ingredients:

  • Caramelized for one hour:
    • 5# honey
    • 1# sucrose (cane or beet sugar)
    • 4oz lactose
  • Also for primary:
    • 1# dark Belgian candi sugar
    • 3g wine tannin
    • Full five gallons water
  • In secondary:
    • 5 vanilla beans (or 2 tablespoons vanilla extract)
    • 8oz Lactose
    • 8oz maltodextrin
    • 5g lactic acid
    • 1g citric acid
    • 3# erythritol or honey (if stabilized or kept super cold)

Recommended yeast:

D47 or EC-1118

Recommended SNA:

TOSNA

Recommended finishing:

Very sweet. For my palate, this means 3# honey or erythritol to back-sweeten this five-gallon batch.

Instructions:

  • Place 5# honey, 1# sucrose, and 4oz lactose in a large pot or Dutch oven and bring to a simmer. Be aware that your cooking vessel should be 3-4 times the height of your liquid volume, as the liquid will expand as it simmers. Simmer, stirring regularly, for one hour. Carefully add in the Belgian candi sugar and a half gallon of water and stir until completely combined. Cover tightly, and allow to cool to room temperature overnight. Pour the cooled concentrated wort into your fermentation vessel, add in wine tannin, and pour in the remaining 4.5 gallons of water. Your batch should be approximately 5.25 gallons total volume at this point.
  • Rehydrate yeast using a rehydration nutrient, if desired. Pitch in yeast.
  • Ferment under airlock, adding staggered nutrient additions by the prescribed schedule.
  • After primary completes, allow to rest two weeks to a month.
  • Rack to secondary and allow to clear.
  • Seed and chop vanilla beans, keeping all parts of the bean. In a sanitized fermentation vessel, add diced vanilla beans and seeds, 8oz lactose, 8oz maltodextrin, 3# erythritol or honey, and 5g lactic acid 88%. Rack on top of these ingredients and gently stir to combine. Allow to clear once more, and leave it on the vanilla beans no less than two weeks and up to a month. You may need to rack off the vanilla beans if it hasn’t cleared in that time. You may substitute 2 tablespoons of vanilla extract in place of beans.

Note: Only use honey if stabilizing to carbonate in a keg. If bottle conditioning, use the nonfermentable sweetener erythritol and priming sugar so that the brew can be sweet and carbonated.


Enjoy the brew once carbonated. Bottles take 4-6 weeks to properly carbonate and condition. It is recommended to add rehydrated champagne yeast to your bottling bucket to ensure active yeast for conditioning.

Potential changes or additions: If you can’t help but find out, diacetyl is sold in the baking aisle as “butter flavoring.” Add a little to your batch to enhance the buttery flavor. But be careful, some find the flavor and mouthfeel of diacetyl to be quite offensive!

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