How to Brew Your Own Cannabis Beer
Discoveries like cannabis beer truly allow us to once again have faith in humanity. We bring you not only the process behind brewing your own cannabis beer but some tips and knowledge to have in your head before you do.
Cannabis Beer…Say What?!
So there are a few things to get off the table right away: How does this beer taste, what style of beer should I infuse, is it legal, and how is the high? First, assuming you brew it correctly, beer lovers have been raving about the flavors.
We’re sure that many of you have at some point realized many different strains of cannabis have very similar qualities to those in hoppy beers (piney, citrusy, etc). This raises the question, are the two plants in any way related?
The answer isn’t a black and white yes or no. However, there are enough similarities to begin to understand why these two can be so similar.
The term to know when comparing cannabis and hops is terpene. The definition of Terpene is a class of organic compounds synthesized by cells. Myrcene, beta-pinene, and alpha-humulene are three aroma terpenes shared by both hops and cannabis. Their presence often leads to similar aromas from both. While
While obviously, the two plants aren’t the same, it is also interesting to note that hops, categorized into the family humulus (humulus lupulus), share the family Cannibaceae with cannabis.
The Right Style
After reviewing some basic science between cannabis and hops, it leads us to the next question. What style of beer should you try and infuse? The answer is the hoppier the better. IPAs and Imperial IPAs should be the target style when trying to create a really tasty cannabis beer. The legality of cannabis-infused beers is still developing. Dad and Dude’s Breweries out of Aurora, CO, is the first to have a nationally distributed cannabis-infused beer, but it doesn’t get you high.
Instead, the cannabinoids in the beer include CBD and CBG, and the brewers claim that the beer’s components focus more on health benefits. Even so, you can still brew a cannabis beer at home that can get you high.
- 8.5lbs light malt extract syrup
- Columbus pellet hops (1 oz)
- Cascade pellet hops (1 oz)
- Centennial pellet hops (1 oz)
- 2oz Belma pellet hops
- 1oz leaf hops to complement the ﬂavor of your marijuana (Simcoe for piney,
earthy types, Amarillo for citrus or fruity varieties, or Belma for woody, grassy
- 3/4oz marijuana
- 8 oz Carahell malt
- 6 oz Victory malt
- 6 oz Carapils malt
- Your favorite slow-fermenting yeast
The first thing you need to do is bring 2 gallons of water to a boil at 160 degrees (in a 30-gallon pot, preferably). Crush your three malt varieties and put them into a straining bag. Add the grains to the water, stir for about 30 mins, then strain out and throw them away. Next, remove the water from the heat and add the light malt extract syrup, stirring it until it’s dissolved.
Once this is done, add no more than 4 more gallons of water, bringing it back to a boil and adding your Columbus pellet hops and allowing to boil for 1 hour. At the 45 minute mark, add the Cascade and Amarillo hops to the pot for the last 15 minutes.
After the hour is up, remove from the heat and add your 1oz of centennial and Belma hops, as well as 3/8oz of finely ground marijuana. Stir this for a few minutes, then chill. At this point, add the slow fermenting yeast (Wyeast 1332: Northwest Ale is recommended for this brew). Allow this to ferment at a temperature between 65 and 75 degrees.
After the Yeast
Almost there! Once the top layer of frothy yeast settles (this is known as the krauzen), prepare the last 3/8 of cannabis. To do this, grind it up into a mixing bowl, and add a tiny pinch of Potassium Meta-bisulphite into the mix (no more than 1/16tsp). Stir the cannabis with a little water to submerge it, then let it sit for at least an hour. Strain out the remaining green liquid, being sure to leave all the kief and bud, then add those to the beer along with your 1oz complimentary whole leaf hops. Once this is added, simply allow your brew to sit for at least 10 days, rocking the vessel daily to re-suspend the hops and marijuana. Your cannabis beer is then ready for a bottle or keg!
Now we know that’s a lot to take in, especially for someone with no brewing experience. These recipes are subject to change, with different hop varieties and levels of THC depending on your measurements. Have fun with it! And be sure to send us the samples.