The Homebrewer’s Almanac: A Seasonal Guide to Making Your Own Beer from Scratch offers a month-by-month primer on making your own beer from the ingredients all around you, and the beer recipes are perfect for those brewers interested in creative ways to use these culinary ingredients in their brewing.
Green tomatoes have a crisp acidity that mellows out as the fruit ripens. We’ve never brewed with them, but Marika uses them a lot in cooking at the end of the season and has been itching to do a green-tomato beer for some time. (Unfortunately, they usually end up in curry, a similar ending to the story of our best of intentions to brew with morel mushrooms.) We recommend emphasizing the tartness of the tomato by brewing a lighter saison-style beer with a relatively dry finish, at a rate of about 2 pounds (907 g) of tomatoes per gallon (3.8 l). This should give a significantly tart flavor and finish.
Batch Size: 5 gallons (19 liters)
10 lb (4.5 kg) Pilsner
Mash in with 4 gallons (15 l) water to hit 147°F (64°C). Sparge with 7.5 gallons (28.4 l) water at 168°F (76°C).
0.33 oz (9 g) Nugget at 60 minutes
1 oz (28 g) Citra at flameout
10 lb (4.5 kg) green tomatoes, puréed in food processor and added to boil at flameout in very fine mesh bag (add juice that may come through the bag as you’re adding tomatoes to the boil as well)
LENGTH OF BOIL
90 minutes with 15-minute whirlpool at flameout
Begin fermentation at 70°F (21°C) and allow to rise naturally to 85°F (29°C) or above until fermentation is complete. Add more Citra (or any other citrusy or tropical hops) to the fermentor after primary fermentation is complete to enhance aroma, if desired.
This recipe was featured in an excerpt from The Homebrewer's Almanac: A Seasonal Guide To Making Your Own Beer From Scratch, by Marika Josephson, Aaron Kleindon, and Ryan Tockstein, published by The Countryman Press, and reprinted in our Cooking with Beer 2016 special issue with permission from the publisher. Buy your copy of The Homebrewer's Almanac at better bookstores, homebrew shops, craft-beer stores, or your favorite online retailer.
For more information about Scratch Brewing, see this Breakout Brewer profile from the August/September 2015 issue of Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine®.