How to make jelly bean beer
Did you know you can use Jelly Beans as the sugar for the secondary fermentation?
It's an amusing exercise to make Jelly Bean beer. The effect on the beer flavoring is interesting as I found that different coloured jelly beans produce different flavours...
First up I would suggest if you are making a 'fancy' beer where you've paid for a more specialist beer kit and you have a pretty sweet hop combo in mind that you don't try to make jelly bean beer with that particular brew. This is because the bean will likely over power any hop subtleties you might be going for!
However, if you're doing a run-of-the-mill beer kit then while you are doing your normal bottling routine, you may want to have a crack at making beer with jelly beans.
The jelly bean is a substitute for your normal sugar so acts as the carbonation agent in the 2nd fermentation that occurs during bottle conditioning.
First, a wee caution.
It is very easy to over carbonate with jelly beans!
In my personal experience, you should not put more than three beans in one 750 ml bottle. Any more and you will probably get a classic gusher situation when you open the bottle.
So what are the best colours to use? First up, do not use the black ones if you like green beer that tastes pretty horrid! In my experience, black jelly beans are usually aniseed based so are not really a complementary flavour for beer.
That said, it hasn't stopped people from adding aniseed to beer....
Instead, for this home brew enthusiast, oranges, reds and yellows seem to be fairly fun flavours to carbonate with. That flavour being a sweet sugary taste - albeit one that doesn't overwhelm the whole beer itself.
Greens, blues and purples will be OK but the colour of your brew might be a bit off putting! Maybe if you were making an ale rather than a lager then the colour wouldn't be too off putting.
So yes, despite what you may have heard, you can successfully make home brew with jelly beans, just add them when doing your bottling.
Your results however, may vary!