What To Do With Canned Peaches

Last weekend, I took my first steps into all-grain brewing. Lacking in the equipment to do a five gallon batch, I have been hesitant to do so, seeing as a rather sizable investment would be needed. Also, as I have mentioned at least a time or two, I am on a brewing hiatus until I buy a house. But, a short time ago, I took an all-grain brewing class and have been itching to give it a shot ever since. Just a wee batch. But, my brain kept telling me to wait.

However, I found myself with some canned peaches that needed to be used soon. When I made them this summer, they seemed fantastic. In reality, they were super sweet. Each time I had one, I felt the death march of diabetes. One or two slices atop tangy frozen yogurt would be divine, except that my ice cream maker is all packed up. So, I decided they were ripe for a sour beer. And what better way to test my newly acquired all-grain brewing skills than with a long-aging sour beer that will incorporate Brettanomyces at a later date?

"Foolishness! Utter Babytown Frollicks!" you might say.

However, I was willing to try. So here is the recipe that I used (sized for a two gallon batch):

  • 1.9 lbs NW Pils Malt
  • 1.52 lbs Rye Malt
  • 0.19 lbs Barley Flaked 
  • 0.19 lbs. Acidulated Malt
Mash schedule (in 2.5 gallons of water):
113° for 10 minutes
131° for 15 minutes
149° for 45 minutes
162° for 15 minutes
170° mash out

I then sparged with the canning liquid (40/40/20 honey, water, sugar), plus enough hot water to get back to 2.5 gallons. This recipe is low on hops, .5 oz Cascades @15 minutes. Cooled to 80° and pitched a packet of rehydrated Munton's Ale Yeast. After primary fermentation is complete, it will be racked atop the peaches, and the dregs of two bottles of Orval (to incorporate the funk) added. I will then ferment it for six months in the vessel, and an additional six in the bottle. And it will be astounding.

Lastly, I recently bottled most of the meads I made last summer (peach and plum), plus the wine experiment. I tasted all, and they shall be spectacular. And what pretty bottles.

Cheers, and enjoy the rest of the week!