How to make Boozy Butter Beer

This is the recipe that has taken us many months and many tries to get just right. We are finally ready to present it to you. Our recipe for Homebrewed Butter Beer. The recipe took forever to get right and it started off in a completely different direction than what it ended up. Sometimes developing a recipe is like that.

A bowl of sweet condensed milk.
Credit: https://afewshortcuts.com/how-to-make-your-own-sweetened-condensed-milk/

The original recipe used sweetened condensed milk. It turned out really bad. The very initial batch was great. But every subsequent batch had way too much of that pungent lactic acid flavor to be enjoyable. Another problem with that was there were too many solids in there that the yield was actually like 3 gallons in a 5-gallon batch.

We took the sweet condensed milk and converted that into a pressure cooker to become dulce de leche. And while this turned out to make a really interesting product and an interesting brew that had a lot of smells and flavors you could associate with a butterbeer. It was too sour. No amount of sweetness seemed to cut through the sourness. So we threw out the idea of using sweet condensed milk.

When on a search for original beer recipes try our How to Brew Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter and see how it goes for you.

Recipe Ingredients

Two mugs of butterbeer.
Credit: https://www.tablespoon.com/recipes/harry-potters-butterbeer/014213de-794b-4d49-a92d-64a07ffb2894

Recipe ingredients for butterbeer bochet

  • 5 lbs Honey
  • 1 lbs Sucrose (cane or beet)
  • 4 oz Lactose
  • 1 lb Dark Belgium Candi Sugar
  • 3 g Wine Tannin
  • 5 gallons Water
  • Yeast D47 or EC – 1118

Secondary Finishing

  • 5 Vanilla Beans
  • 8 oz Lactose
  • 8 oz Maltodextrin
  • 5 g Lactic Acid (88%)
  • 1 g Citric Acid
  • 3 lbs Erythritol or Honey

The Process

A glass bowl of amber color honey.
Credit: http://www.hivemindmead.com/simple-bochet/

Put the Dutch oven on the stove and crank the heat up to medium-high. Then we add honey. We are using raspberry blossom honey but we also recommend using wildflower or clove honey for this. Then we add sucrose and lactose. We are just going to get that caramelized in a typical bochet process. Simmer it for 40 minutes at least.

When you turn off the heat it will go noticeably darker. Then we will add Belgian Candy sugar. We will cool it for a couple of hours. Once it has cooled we add water to the fermentation bucket and transfer all those caramelized sugars. On top of that, we are adding wine tannins and stir them up getting everything incorporated.

We sprinkle the yeast, get everything labeled and leave it to ferment for a couple of days. For this butterbeer recipe, it’s recommended to do a nutrient addition schedule. That means youre starting at the 24 hours mark and adding a small dose of nutrients every day for the first few days. This gives you a nice clean ferment with no off-flavors. You should have a nice clean ferment in about 1 to 2 weeks.

The Secondary

A row of glass mead bottles at the top and a row of wooden barrels at the bottom.
Credit: https://tucsonfoodie.com/2018/08/03/mead-bacon-pairing-for-national-mead-day-at-1912-brewing-company/

You need to make sure to take consistent hydrometer readings to know if your fermentation has completed before you move on to secondary. In our secondary vessel, we are adding lactose and maltodextrin. This is going to help thicken everything up and give it that nice butterscotch flavor. After that, we add vanilla beans.

At 3 weeks in secondary don’t forget to take out the vanilla. Because we are kegging we added honey but if you are going to be bottle conditioning this is where you would add erythritol. The benefit of brewing this with the sugars that we did in the way we did allows us to control the acidity on the back end.

After the rest of the solids have dropped out of there it’s time to get it siphoned into a keg. We put it under 40 psi for 4 days and we shake it for 30 minutes each day. This beer really needs to be carbonated. So make sure to use a priming sugar calculator if bottle conditioning.

The Tasting

A mug of butterbeer.
Credit: https://recipefairy.com/harry-potter-butterbeer/

Like a hard soda, this doesn’t hold a lot of head. But has a lot of carbonation which is exactly what you want. It’s rich, smooth, and sweet. Honey adds just a little more nuance of taste. Very refresshing butterbeer. Cheers.

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