Beer Recipe for 2.5 gals (9.5L):
-4.6 gals (17L) Water
~8 LBS [3.8 KG] of Grains
-18% White Wheat
-12% Flaked Oats
-1 LB (454g) Chanterelle mushrooms
-0.75oz (21g) Warrior @30 mins
-1oz (28g) Mosiac @175°F Whirlpool for 10 mins
-1oz (28g) Galaxy @175°F Whirlpool for 10 mins
Yeast: Lallemand Verdant IPA
Mash @ 154ºF (67ºC) for about 45 mins
Boil for 30 mins
Ferment around 67ºF (~19C) for 10 Days
Add chanterelles during day 2 of fermentation
Original Gravity: 1.062
Final Gravity: 1.015
The Super Mario Brothers movie is coming out nearly 38 years since the original game dropped on the Nintendo Entertainment System.
And in order to celebrate, I’m brewing up a beer in honor of everyone’s favorite mushroom-eating Italian plumber, using beer ingredients inspired by the games and one special ingredient to help boost this beer to the next level.
I’m Trent Musho, and this is The Bru Sho. Let’s go.
I grew up on Mario games, having just about every Nintendo system and playing every Mario game I could touch. So when they announced a new movie, I couldn’t be more thrilled. I mean, it can’t be any worse than that TV show, right?
“Do the Mario, swing your arms from side to side, come on, it’s time to go, do the Mario!” Or what about that other classic Mario movie they made? “What is it now, they’re dancing again?”
Well, let’s hope it’s not that bad. So when I started to think about how I could make a beer to honor Mario, I had a few thoughts.
Originally, I thought an Italian pilsner would make sense, right? Since Mario and his bro Luigi are Italian. But I wanted to get a bit more creative. I then started to think about the types of ingredients that might be in Mario games, turnips from Mario Bros. Two, maybe leaves from Mario Bros. Three, nah, banana peels from Mario Kart. I could work in a half, but one item seemed to be the obvious choice. Mushrooms.
Now, before you go warp piping off this video, let me explain myself. Mushrooms have a whole range of flavors beyond just savory or dirt. You could go for a portobello that has that distinctive earthy flavor, but some other mushrooms can actually carry some more fruity notes.
And one of my favorite home brewers, Denny Conn, has proved this over and over again in his Wee Shroomy recipe. It calls for Chanterelles, which are one of the most popular edible wild mushrooms and grow in forests all over the world. They’re said to have a fruity, almost apricot-like flavor and aroma.
Then he uses it in his wee heavy. But surely this could work in a style that could benefit from an upgrade of apricot, and something like a hazy IPA could be interesting. And I apologize to everyone that thought that I was gonna add magic mushrooms to the beer, maybe next time.
So I got to work designing the recipe, but the first step was to find some Chanterelles. Chanterelles don’t really grow in the area that I live, but if you do have them in your area, please use caution when foraging, ’cause just as Mario knows, some mushrooms can be poisonous.
Luckily, I have a pretty awesome farmer’s market by me that has a mushroom shop. Now, Chanterelles are not cheap, so prepare to spend some coin if you don’t forage your own. I’ll get about a pound, and I plan to make a 2.5-gallon batch back at home.
I processed the mushrooms immediately so that I could preserve that fresh flavor as much as possible. I started by using a damp cloth to wipe away any dirt or gross bits. Then I chopped it up into small bits and placed it into a vacuum-sealer bag. I vacuum-sealed it and tossed it in the freezer.
This is exactly what Denny says to do as the freezing and then eventually thawing will help break down the cell walls of the mushroom and extract all those fruity characteristics we want. Much like it would be for a frozen fruit that you use in a beer or cider. So I let that chill out in the freezer one week ahead of brew day.
As for the beer ingredients, I’ll be basing this off my favorite hazy IPA recipe. So if you haven’t seen that video, be sure to check it out. But for the fermentables, I’m using 70% pilsner malt, 18% white wheat, and 12% flaked oats.
Now let’s talk hops. This is where we can get a bit more creative with the choices that reference Mario. First up, I’ll be adding Warrior for our bittering hop since, well, he is the Mushroom Kingdom’s warrior.
Then I’ll be following that up with some flavor and aroma hops. Mosaic to represent the pixelated history that Mario’s had all the way back to those eight-bit days, and then Galaxy hops for one of my favorite entries into the Mario game catalog, Super Mario Galaxy.
Both of these add strong citrusy and tropical fruit flavors to the beer, especially when added late in the boil. But let me know in the comments which hops you would choose for a Mario beer. There are a lot of ways you could go with this, but for now, let’s jump into the recipe and get brewing.
After the 45-minute mash, I pulled out the grains and brought the wort to a boil. At that point, I added the first hop, 0.75 ounces of Warrior. This will be our base bitterness and the only boil hop edition. I let this boil for 30 minutes.
Then I chilled the wort down slightly to 175 degrees Fahrenheit and added a whirlpool edition of one ounce Galaxy and one ounce Mosaic. I found that adding the hops late in the boil or even here at the Whirlpool adds a ton of great aroma and fruit flavors to the final beer. I let that whirlpool chill for about 10 minutes and then crash down to 67 degrees Fahrenheit.
For yeast, I’m giving Lallemand Verdant IPA a go for the first time. Supposedly a great hazy IPA yeast. I close up the fermenter and let it go for two days, at which point it was time to add the mushrooms.
I pulled off the shrooms from the freezer and let them thaw out. You can really see all those juices that came out.
Then carefully with a spray bottle sanitizer and some clean scissors, I opened the bag and then opened the fermenter and just tossed them in. I’m adding them now during high krausen or max fermentation activity to prevent any oxidation from ruining the delicate hazy IPA.
Plus, who knows? Maybe we’ll get some shroom bio-transformation. I let the fermentation finish up, and a week later, I kegged it up.
The original gravity is 1.062, and it ended at 1.015, meaning this has an ABV of about 6.2%. Once kegged, I carbonated it up and then anxiously waited to taste the beer.
“Mama mia!” That’s a good-looking beer.
Quite pale with a nice haze and a decent foamy white head. The aroma is mainly coming through as pineapple and lemon, but you can tell that there’s something else there.
The mouthfeel is consistent with a lot of good hazy IPAs I’ve had, not overly thick or too full, and on the flavors, again, I’m getting a lot of that pineapple with a bit of lemon peel.
But at the end, there’s this super interesting almost umami thing going on. It’s kind of hard to describe, but almost like a sauteed apricot, which I know sounds weird, but it works. It’s not a dominant mushroom or even Chanterelle flavor, but I think it’s clearly adding something.
I wouldn’t say this is a superstar beer, but it’s definitely drinkable and quite crushable for a hazy.
I think if you wanted to experiment with adding mushrooms, this is definitely worth giving a go. But if you’re looking to just make a great hazy, then watch my other video on how to brew the best one, and you’ll have a lot more success.
But nonetheless, I succeeded in making a Mario-themed beer and just in time. Now it’s time to power up and go see this movie. Cheers and happy brewing, and thanks for watching all the way to the end.
If you’re into weird beer ideas like this, then maybe you’ll be interested in this one. Check it out.
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