Blog Archive

Friday, November 27, 2015

Reeses' Peanut Butter Beer

Your peanut butter is in my beer....your beer is in my peanut butter.    

It's that time of year.  It has become a tradition each Thanksgiving to brew a beer with family for the yearly Christmas trip to Kansas.  Two years ago, I did a Peanut Butter Kolsh.   Last year a spot on PB&J (no real style).  This time....Reeses' peanut butter cup.   Of course there is the obvious equation for this beer to be a hit.  Stout + Peanut butter = Reeses'.  But that would be too easy and quite frankly, it's been played before.   So, how about a Blonde + Peanut Butter + Cocoa Nibs = Reeses'?  I guess we'll find out.

Here is the recipe.

Recipe Specifications
Boil Size: 7.49 gal
Post Boil Volume: 6.34 gal
Batch Size (fermenter): 6.00 gal 
Bottling Volume: 5.76 gal
Estimated OG: 1.057 SG
Estimated Color: 5.5 SRM
Estimated IBU: 16.0 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 76.3 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Amt                   Name                                                                   %/IBU       
8 lbs 4.0 oz        Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM)                       67.7 %       
1 lbs 13.0 oz      White Wheat Malt (2.4 SRM)                             14.9 %       
12.0 oz               Aromatic Malt (26.0 SRM)                                 6.2 %       
12.0 oz               Oats, Flaked (1.0 SRM)                                      6.2 %       
10.0 oz               Milk Sugar (Lactose) (0.0 SRM)                        5.1 %       
0.75 oz               Northern Brewer [6.90 %] - Boil 60.0 min        20.9 IBUs   
1.0 pkg               Safale American  (DCL/Fermentis #US-05)           

Mash Schedule:
Name                   Step Temp  Step Time   
Protein Rest         122.0 F       30 min       
Saccharification   158.0 F       60 min       
Mash Out             168.0 F       10 min       

If you read the PB&J article from last year, I explain the reasons why I developed this recipe and why I do a protein rest on this one.  You'll also read how I do the Peanut Butter addition.  Most would simply add PB2 which is a dried Peanut Butter powder.  The reason most brewers use this is because the oil has been removed from the peanut butter and oil is bad for head retention.  But I've figured out a why to add real peanut butter and not lose the head on the beer.

I brewed this beer on Thanksgiving night from abut 9:30pm to 3:30am.  Here are the stats:

OG: 1.052
FG: 1.016
Est FG: 1.015
ABV: 4.7
Est ABV: 4.9%
IBU: 21

Once I do the peanut butter addition, I'll take more pictures and add them to this article.


I used 2.5 lbs of peanut butter.  I'm guessing others will work but I've only ever used Jif.  I'm comfortable with the flavor and I know how much of an oil slick will be on the top of the beer after 7 days.

I laid down the cheese cloth after washing and spraying the counter with a star san solution.  After laying down the cheese cloth, I sprayed the cheese cloth with the same solution.  Make sure it's completely saturated.

I then spread the peanut butter out as evenly as possible.  This is the hardest part.
After spreading, you roll the logs.  Because of the moisture level, you shouldn't have a problem getting the peanut butter to roll by lifting up on side at each end.  Once rolled, sanitize waxed (un flavored, un scented) dental floss by soaking it in sanitizing solution and then tie at even increments as seen in the pic.

Finally, tie a long piece of floss at each end on each log.  You can leave this hanging out of the top of the fermenter.  This will make retrieval easier once the "dry PB'ing" is done.


In this pic, I'm showing how I drained the Cocoa Nibs.  I soaked them (4oz) for about 2 weeks in a small canning jar with vodka (use good vodka or you will end up tainting your beer with a harsh alcohol).
When racking into the keg or bottling bucket, make sure to keep the tip of the racking cane beneath the oil slick on the top of the beer.  You can continue to rack until you're just about to the point where the oil slick is getting ready to go into the cane.  As you can see in this pick, the oil slick coats the side of the fermenter.  This is what you want becuase that means there is less on the top of the beer allowing you to get more into your keg.  What ever you do, don't rack the oil because that will totally kill the beers head retention.
Just another pic of the oil slick on the side of the fermenter.  PBW will get that off just fine.