Return of the Wee Shroomy

denny's picture

Here in Oregon, we had the best year for mushrooms in the last 20 years. Yummy bits of fungal goodness were popping up all over in the woods behind my house. When my wife came back from a walk in the woods with a grocery bag full of chanterelle mushrooms, it was time to brew the Wee Shroomy! If you don't know, that's a Scotch ale/wee heavy that has 2 1/2 lb. of chanterelles added to it after primary fermentation. The very idea makes some people gag (kinda like when I think of a PB&J beer!), but others like me can almost taste in our minds how the rich, earthy, apricoty chanterelles integrate with the delicious malt of a wee heavy. I got the idea from Randy Mosher's book "The Brewers Companion". He calls his version Nirvana...I mean, with a name like that, how could you NOT want to taste it? For the wee heavy, I use an amazing recipe from Scott Braker-Abene. You can find the entire recipe and procedure for my version at http://wiki.homebrewersassociation.org/WeeShroomy . Be sure to read all the notes and follow the instruction exactly. The boil down of the first runnings of the wort and the method for treating the mushrooms are really crucial to getting the best results. Believe me, I've tried it other ways, and I want to save you the trouble! Be sure to ferment at no higher temperature than mid 50s. yeah, I know that WY1728 isn't supposed to work that low, but it does great at that temp and it really benefits the beer.

For those of you with a keen sense of the wild and absurd, here's a picture of the secondary just before the beer was kegged. Most of the mushrooms are submerged, but there are some floating on the surface.