June 27, 2011

Recipe 11 - Harry Potter's Butterbeer v1.0

This is something that I've wanted to do for a long time even before Universal starting selling $4 cream sodas topped with butterscotch cream at their park. Having read the Harry Potter series a couple of times, I was very intriqued with the butterbeer concept. I thought it must be a flavor similar to butterscotch or butter rum, but it would have to have something that differentiated it from those two for it to have the beer moniker. I came to the conclusion that the chief distinction would have to be the source, I have some Briess caramel malt 20L for another project, and thought it would be a good fit.

When I made up the syrup, it tasted fantastic! Once I hit it with the carbonated water, it was actually quite the opposite. Like the chocolate recipe I posted earlier, I'm posting this with the caveat that it is not a completed recipe, but rather a work in progress. Stay tuned for version 2 and pictures to come. Don't worry, I'll be sure and have a perfected recipe with plenty of time to brew a batch for your Deathly Hallows Pt. 2 release party!

Yield is 1 gallon:
1/4 cup caramel malt, cracked
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar - caramelized
1 Tbsp molasses
1 tsp butter flavor
1 tsp salt

Once you have your caramel malt (available at a homebrew supply store), you'll want to crush or crack it. An adjustable grain mill is what I use, and it works quite well. If you don't have a mill, you can steep them whole, and crush them with the back of a large spoon while they are in the pan about 10 minutes in. This is not quite as effective as the mill, but it works.

In a saucepan, steep the crushed malt in 2 cups of water for 30 minutes at 170F. If you don't have a thermometer, bring your water to just below boiling. It should be steaming and you should see small bubbles clinging to the bottom of the pan. At this point, turn your stove to low/medium low to hold that temperature throughout steeping. Once finished, strain out the larger pieces of grain and allow the rest of the sediment to settle out.

After it has cooled and the sediment has settled, filter through a coffee filter. I've found that if you slowly decant off the top portion through the filter first, you can remove most of the sediment without clogging the filter.

In a separate dry saucepan, caramelize the white sugar over medium heat while stirring constantly. You want the sugar to caramelize evenly, so as you're stirring, try and keep the melting sugar in contact with the bottom of the pan for as little time as possible, it burns rather quickly. Once most of the sugar is melted and the overall color is golden, slowly add 1 cup of water. It boils on contact, so be careful, stir it as you add so the melted sugar doesn't harden in the water.

Once all your water has been added and the hissing and spitting has died down, you'll want to add the brown sugar, molasses and salt and heat until dissolved and the volume has been reduced significantly. At that point, add your malt water, mix well, and allow the syrup to cool. Once cooled, add the butter flavor and you're ready to add carbonated water up to 1 gallon.

So after making this, it's very apparent that there's simply too much salt. It was salty enough that I poured out about half the batch. Some suggestions would be to throw out the salt entirely, and substitute another cup and a half of brown sugar for the 1 cup of white. Other than that, this would be an excellent beverage while enjoying your favourite quidditch match. Er... something like that.


  1. I cannot pin this without a picture. :(

    1. You're right, but you can pin this: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/314829830173693028/


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