Homebrew Recipe: Bacon Beer, a Stout-Lover’s Breakfast

This is the story of what happens when the author’s plans to ordain as a Buddhist monk in Thailand are derailed after he has arrived in the country. Next Life in the Afternoon is spiritual, viagra order funny, and at times irreverent, and full of personal lessons learned along the way.

I’m squatting naked on a concrete floor in the predawn coolness of Udon Thani, pouring water from a washbasin onto my head to rinse off the bar soap I used as shampoo. My hair is long and stringy. I had counted on it being shaved off by now, so I had let it grow out a bit leading up to the trip. It’s about fifty-five degrees, and I am trying to be as quiet as possible so as not to wake the monks and my traveling companions. The splish-splosh of water is punctuated by my sharp, pronounced inhaling, a result of being doused with such breathtakingly cool water. My toes tingle against the cold floor, and I am momentarily brought back to Boston, where my trip began. It seems to be a different planet, almost, although the air and water hold a familiar chill.

A week into the trip, I still haven’t acclimated to everything, and I am stuck somewhere between amazement and culture shock. My mind tries to escape like the cool sudsy water that pools at my feet. The sun is nearly on the horizon, and the temple is coming alive with slow-moving footsteps along the rainy paths outside. I should get going. The morning alms rounds have begun, and I hear familiar voices muffled outside the door. I can’t make out many words, but hear one that is familiar: Farang. A half-derogatory Thai word for “foreigner” and the name I have in this country that keeps me at arm’s length.

-From Next Life in the Afternoon: A Journey Through Thailand

About the author:
[tag]Carl Weaver[/tag] is a [tag]writer[/tag] and [tag]photographer[/tag] and based in [tag]Arlington, VA[/tag] and available for assignment around the globe. A specialist in travel writing and portrait photography, Weaver enjoys creativity in his artistic pursuits and loves to play with light, shadow, depth of field and macro lenses.

He also loves being back in the south after a number of years up north, which he found both lovely and too cold.

troche on Flickr”>Beer & BaconThis past weekend, ambulance @brew_thusiast tweeted his disappointment with a particular homebrew bacon beer, saying that it was a decent enough brown ale but lacked the bacon flavor that made it the draw it was. This got me thinking about bacon beer. Is it really good or too good to be true? The promise is great – a smoky, meaty, maybe salty brew that could be good as an accompaniment for your eggs, rashers, and black pudding, or whatever you like to have for breakfast. You do like black pudding, don't you?

It would have to be a stout or porter, is my guess. Bacon is a heavy meat, and most pairing guides suggest putting rich drinks with rich foods. A heavy beer would be best, for sure.

I searched online and finally arrived at this homebrew recipe, from That's Nerdalicious. Apparently bacon beer is nerdy. Who knew? Here are the ingredients for a 90-minute boil:

7 lbs 8.0 oz Pale Malt (2 Row) UK (3.0 SRM)
1 lbs Oats, Flaked (1.0 SRM)
8.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt – 60L (60.0 SRM)
8.0 oz Chocolate Malt (450.0 SRM)
2.9 oz Roasted Barley (300.0 SRM)
2.00 oz Goldings, East Kent [5.00 %] (60 min)
1.00 tsp Irish Moss (Boil 10.0 min)
(To Taste) Bacon (Secondary)
20.00 oz Coffee (Bottling)
1 Pkgs Irish Ale (Wyeast Labs #1084 / a starter was used)

According to the author, the bacon was added using a dry-hopping method. He used 3/4 of a pound in total, adding a little at a time, tasting it along the way.

One thing to note is that you need to get rid of as much fat as possible. You can do this by buying lean bacon and trimming fat off before cooking. In addition, use paper towels to soak up the grease. Do whatever you can to get rid of that fat. Excess fat (even yummy bacon fat) can reduce the ability to have a head on your beer. Likely there are other reasons to remove the fat too.

I am going to try this. Beautiful Girlfriend said this is a disgusting idea. Maybe so, but that won't stop me from making a one-gallon test batch. I think I will skip the coffee because that strong flavor, while rich and complex, will probably compete with the smokiness and bacony goodness. All of life is an experiment. I will return and report.

Have you found a good homebrew recipe for bacon beer? Let me know how it turned out.

Beer & Bacon by Mark H. Anbinder.

3 comments for “Homebrew Recipe: Bacon Beer, a Stout-Lover’s Breakfast

  1. MHA
    March 8, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    Thanks for the link, and the recipe. 🙂 Please credit Mark H. Anbinder for the photo.

    • Carl
      March 8, 2012 at 12:34 pm

      Done. Thanks for the correction, Mark!

  2. February 28, 2014 at 4:09 am

    Really curious how this turned out. Did you try it, and if so, what lessons did you learn?

    Best regards!

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