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It is an indisputable fact that both marijuana and beer bring intense happiness to most adults. Ironically enough, these two have gone head to head in endless debates over which product is more enjoyable: alcohol or pot. But, what if... Just, what if... We could join the two together, making a wicked canna-brew.
Nowadays most of the beers we buy and drink are made with hops and malt as the main flavoring agents; the bitterness of the hops counteracting the sweetness of the malt. But many other plants can be used, and have been for thousands of years; not only for their flavor but their stimulant or soporific effects, e.g. spruce, liquorices, wormwood, nettles, ginger, burdock, and now marijuana. That's right, MARIJUANA! After reading this you might just go out and show your friends how to make weed infused beer yourself.
Elements of Beer
Hops have a bitter taste due to resins and oils secreted in the flowers and also have soporific and antibiotic effects. Hops (Humulus lupulus) belong to the family Cannabaceae, which only contains two genera, the other being Cannabis which is also eminently suitable for brewing.
The alcohol in beer is produced by fermentation. This is the action of yeast living and multiplying, using the Sugar we feed them for energy and raw materials, and producing alcohol and carbon dioxide as waste products. As the concentration of alcohol in a fermenting liquid gradually increases it poisons and eventually kills the yeast; so there is a limit to how strong (alcoholic) you can make a beer without distilling it.
Malt is made by roasting barley; like coffee it can be roasted either light or dark. To the brewer it supplies color, taste and sugar. This sugar is in the form of maltous, which like glucose is a single sugar, and the yeast can digest these more readily than the larger molecules of ordinary sugar (sucrose). For this reason glucose is often used for brewing as it ferments faster and more completely than common sugar.
This recipe is designed to make 35-40 pints of Herb Beer.
- 4 lbs glucose
- 2 teaspoons yeast
- 3 ½ lbs malt extract
- 4 oz hops / 2oz flowertops or 2oz hops / 8oz bottom leaves
Take two large saucepans (8 pints). Put 5 pints of water in each and place them on the stove to boil. While the water is heating up there are two things to do. Wrap the hops loosely in a piece of muslin, and start the yeast fermenting. This is done by mixing the yeast and a small amount of ginger (2-3 teaspoons) in 4 pints of luke warm water (70–90 degrees Fahrenheit). Set this yeast aside until later. In one pan put the glucose to dissolve. After it has dissolved put in the bag containing the hops and herbs. Tip the malt extract into the other pan of boiling water, and simmer both pans for 40 minutes. Take the bag containing the hops and herbs out of the pan and put it into a basin of cold water.
Pour the contents of both pans into a large bucket (5-6 gallons, white or black plastic—not yellow or red). Squeeze the muslin bag into the bucket. Add enough cold water to make the temperature in the bucket fall to about 80 degrees Fahrenheit, (this usually brings the total volume in the bucket up to 40 pints). Finally add the yeast. Set the bucket aside somewhere warm to ferment it. At 70 degrees Fahrenheit it will take about 610 days. You can lag the bucket with blankets or a quilt to keep it warm; The yeast generates its own heat.
The beer is ready for bottling when the surface clears of bubbles only little patches of bubbles remaining about 2 cm in diameter). Clean and sterilize the bottles. Put 2 teaspoons of sugar in each bottle and fill with beer to the base of the neck. This sugar is fermented by residual yeast to produce carbon dioxide (under pressure) which makes the beer fizzy and stops it going bad.
Leave it to settle for two weeks, then drink up!
It comes to no surprise that people are already starting to experiment. Here is what a few Reddit users had to say:
“My first attempt at a marijuana infused home brew. I started with a hop heavy Imperial IPA recipe, then tweaked it to have an extra punch of THC. I started by dry hopping with a quarter ounce of decarbed bud. At bottling I added a tincture containing a half ounce of bud and 7 grams of hash oil. The end result was a deep amber colored, delicious, fully bodied IPA coming in around 10.5% with a serious edible style high.” (Reddit user Norville-Rogers)
“The high is essentially the same as most edibles, its a very strong body high but also has a fairly powerful cognitive effect. It takes a significant amount of time to kick in usually in realm of one and a half to two hours…. I have yet to drink more than one in a sitting, and that has proven to be more than sufficient for a serious buzz.” (Reddit user Norville-Rogers)
“It tastes good!...Each 12oz beer is like eating the equivalent of a strong brownie. But you might wanna only drink them on the weekends, as the effect lasts 12hrs...You’d get the same high as you would eating an edible (like a pot brownie), since both beer and food go through your intestines. Smoking your weed is so 2000-and-late.” (Reddit user brad1775)