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Parsnip

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hsb

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Anyone ever used a vegetable rather than fruit in a beer?

I was thinking of Parsnip as having three distinct flavours that could work in something like a Belgian Pale Ale or otherwise a Porter.

1. Sweet, caramelised.
That'd be the best but I guess you'd need to roast the parsnip first then maybe rack onto it?

2. Floral
That kind of perfumey taste you get. Maybe more from boiling. Love the idea of a Parsnip soup thing happening in the brew kettle.

3. Nutty
More the underlying flavour. Just boiled then rack onto them?

Could any of those work? Given the lack of topics I could find I'm guessing it's a stupid idea? Maybe youd need too much to impart any flavour other than stock/soup tainted beer.

Or is it the carbohydrates, I assume they can't ferment?
Are the veggies best left with the Sunday roast?
 

Malted

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No no I think there is merrit in it. Where exactly the merrit is, I can not say.

Outside the box. Subscribed.
 

dougsbrew

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hmm, interesting, im one of the few that do like parsnip, especially in a soup during winter.
in a beer i guess the main thing of consideration would be sterility, id throw it in the boil.
or boil it and throw it in the fermenter. hmm food for thought. let us know the results if you work up the courage to try this brew..
 

Adam Howard

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You could also try roasting it, then blending it up with water and straining through muslin to try and extract the flavour without the vege matter. Then boil the collected liquid down. Be good to experiment with it in a 10L batch.

People mash pumpkin so it could also possibly be thrown into the mash, definitely roast it and then blend it though to get the more sweet, caramel flavours with the floral aspects.

To capture the 'essence' of a parsnip I'd say the first option would work well, roasting, blending, extracting and boiling to sanitise and then adding the liquid to secondary to taste.

Worth an experiment, hell a bloke in the states cooked Cicada's and made beer with them!
 

hsb

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You've convinced me some kind of experiment is worth a go. I might try 2 different methods.
I hadn't considered roasting and adding to the mash, that could be one. Secondary might be the other.

I love parsnip and I love beer so it's got to work!

I may have boiled the odd cicada already, who knows!
 

Muggus

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In the Mash perhaps? If you can get a good supply at a good price it might be worth while.
If you kept the grist quite simple...even just something very simple and subtle, like Pilsner....and some Parsnip, part roasted, part not roasted, at an almost comparable weight to barley in the Mash, well there's a good way of discovering its potential.

Always wanted to try this with Sweet Potato personally. Got such a great flavour, so sweet when caramelised when baking....that flavour in a beer would be amazing!
 

Thirsty Boy

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I made a Best Bitter with Parsnip as 10% of the "grain" bill one time.

I went with the roasted caramelised angle - Chopped them up and sprinkled them with a bit of brown sugar, then roasted them till they were all chewy and caramelised (they themselves were delicious to eat) Then I smooshed em up with a potato masher and put them in the mash.

It was a drinkable if slightly odd beer. It had the characters you'd expect and have described above - toasty, caramel, nutty - but none of those were particularly identifiable as having come from the snips... could just as well have been malt derived. But it did have a sort of roast vege edge to it , a little carroty I'd say more than identifiably parsnip - not unpleasant, but not exactly something I'd generally go chasing in a beer either. If you just made it and didn't tell anyone - they'd probably make a little face and go "its OK... but there's something weird and vegetal going on - maybe its infected??" Probably les because it tasted bad and more just because it tasted pretty weird.

Worth a play - but my experience suggests that you make a fairly small batch.... i just made 8L and that was enough for the mini swap it was made for "root vegetable beers" being the theme.

A sweet potato porter was the pick of them as I recall - but carrots, parsnip, beetroot & potato got a run too... something else that escapes me as well.
 

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