HBW: Brewing a Tiger Nut Beer

Theophrastus informs his readers that the country-dwelling Egyptians added a sedge, tiger nuts, as a sweeter to their beer during the boil. Reading such I description, I knew which homebrew that would shoot to the top of my to-do list: Tiger Nut Beer.

Research Question
Will the addition of tiger nuts to the boiling wort sweeten beer?

Project Design
Make two equal batches of wort. Add tiger nuts to one. Ferment simultaneously.

2 lb. 2-row, milled barley
5 oz. tiger nuts (minus one TN)
4 gallons water
1 packet of active dry yeast

Mash the barley for 3 hours at 155 degrees F using a BIAB method. Remove the grain, separate the wort into two pots. Bring to a boil. Add tiger nuts to one of the pots of grain. Boil for one hour. Cool, add to sanitized containers, pitch yeast. Wait.

The tiger nut beer is on the right.

Tasting the Tiger Nuts
Prior to the addition of the tiger nuts, I decided to taste one. It tasted as if rice and nuts had a baby – not my jam. There is certainly a noticeable sweetness on the back-end. I am also convinced that my supply was stale.

After the boil, I tasted the tiger nuts again. They took on the texture of a Milk Dud and the sweetness was no longer present.

Tasting the Wort

TIger nut on the left.

It could be a placebo effect, but the tiger nut wort tasted slightly sweeter. It is difficult to tell because the overall sweetness of the wort overpowered any possible flavors from the tiger nut.

The Plan
Let these ferment. After the yeasties devour the barley-sugar, any tiger nut sugars should remain. At that time, I will have a better understanding about the efficacy of adding tiger nuts as a beer sweetner.

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