Two Brewed With Dew

As I mentioned when I posted my sweet potato ESB recipe, I like brewing with unusual ingredients. I’ve actually brewed several beers using soda pop in place of part of the brewing liquor. So today I’m presenting two recipes for beer brewed with Mt. Dew — the orange-flavored, green-colored, soda made by PepsiCo.

mountaindew4

12 oz. (355 mL) of fermentable sugars. (SG 1.046)

Mt. Dew is mostly a mix of water and high-fructose corn syrup with an OG of 1.046. It contains some sodium benzoate as a preservative. The amount of preservative is meant to deal with the tiny level of contamination that Mt Dew would normally encounter. It is no match for the amount of yeast pitched here. Likewise, every 12 oz. of Mt. Dew contains 54 mg of caffeine, but this doesn’t seem to bother the yeast, either. (As single-celled organisms, they don’t have a central nervous system, so it certainly doesn’t have the effect it has on humans.) The low pH and carbonation level in Mt. Dew could slow the yeast a bit, but in practice I’ve never seen this happen. Mt. Dew should be sanitary enough that you do not need to boil it.

The first recipe is my latest version of Beelzeboss, a partial mash beer that resembles a witbier. To brew this, you’ll need a 2-gallon (7.6-L) or larger beverage holder to hold the grains for the partial mash. The second recipe is a very simple extract beer that tastes sort of like orange Champagne.

 

Beelzeboss 

(“Witbier”)

Partial mash (English units)

by Chris Colby

 

DESCRIPTION

I first brewed this beer while developing partial mash recipes. It’s a big improvement (in my opinion) over my previous Mt. Dew beer. Although obviously a gimmicky beer, but it’s also a great summer drink.

 

INGREDIENTS (for 5 gallons)

 

Brewing Liquor

roughly 2.5 gallons of filtered tap water

water with a fairly high level of carbonates (over 100 ppm) works well

3.0 gallons Mt. Dew

thirty two 12-oz cans of Mt. Dew or six 2-L bottles of Mt. Dew

Malts, Grains and Malt Extract

(for an OG of 1.053, when combined with the soda, and an SRM of 5, with a slight greenish tint)

1.0 lb. Pilsner malt

1.0 lb. Vienna malt

1.0 lb. wheat malt

10 oz. flaked wheat

6.0 oz. flaked oats

1.0 lb. dried wheat malt extract

Hops and Spices (for 17 IBUs total)

Tettnanger hops (17 IBUs)

1 oz. (at 4% alpha acids), boiled for 60 minutes

zest of 5 Valencia oranges(*), boiled for 5 minutes

(*) minimize the amount of pith (white part) when zesting oranges

1/4 ounce coriander (crushed), boiled for 10 minutes

Yeasts (for a FG of 1.006 and 6.1% ABV)

1 pkg Safbrew T-58 and 1 pkg Safale US-05

Finings, Nutrients and Priming Sugar

1 tsp. Irish moss, boiled 15 minutes

0.75 tsp. yeast nutrient, boiled 20 minutes

6.5 oz. corn sugar (to prime bottles for 3.0 volumes of CO2)

 

PROCEDURE

Pour roughly 2.0 gallons (twenty one 12-oz. cans or four 2-L bottles) of Mt. Dew into a clean and sanitized bucket fermenter. If using canned soda, dip a paper towel in Star San (or other sanitizing solution) and wipe the top of the cans down. Pour roughly to knock the level of carbonation down. Cover fermenter with aluminum foil and allow soda to outgas as you boil your wort. Place crushed grains and flaked adjuncts in a large steeping bag. Heat 5.5 qts. of water to 164 °F and pour into a 2-gallon or larger beverage cooler. Submerge grain bag slowly into water, stirring to break up clumps. Add lid to cooler and mash, starting at 153 °F, for 60 minutes. Heat another 5.5 qts. of water to 190 °F while mashing. When mash is done, remove cooler lid and draw off roughly 2 cups of wort from spigot, then pour this wort on top of grain bed. Repeat this step 7 times to recirculate wort. Draw off roughly 2 cups of wort and place in brewpot. Pour the same volume of 190 °F water on top of grain bed. Repeat these two steps until you are out of 190 °F water and have roughly 2.5 gallons of wort collected. Add remaining Mt. Dew to brewpot, to make about 3.5 gallons of wort. Bring to a boil and boil for 60 minutes, adding hops when the boil starts. Stir in malt extract with 15 minutes left in boil. (Dissolve in wort first, in a separate pot.) Add yeast nutrient, Irish moss, coriander and orange zest at times indicated in the ingredient list. Chill wort and rack to fermenter, to make 5.25 gallons of wort. (Top up with water, or Mt. Dew, if needed.) Aerate and pitch both sachets of dried yeast. Ferment at 70–72 °F. Bottle in heavy bottles. Keep bottles in a warm place for 2 weeks, then check one to see if it has carbonated. Move beers to cold storage once carbonated.

 

 

Beelzeboss 

(“Witbier”)

Partial mash (metric units)

by Chris Colby

 

DESCRIPTION

I first brewed this beer while developing partial mash recipes. It’s a big improvement (in my opinion) over my previous Mt. Dew beer. Although obviously a gimmicky beer, but it’s also a great summer drink.

 

INGREDIENTS (for 19 L)

 

Brewing Liquor

roughly 11 L of filtered tap water

water with a fairly high level of carbonates (over 100 ppm) works well

11.4 L Mt. Dew

thirty two 355 mL cans of Mt. Dew or six 2-L bottles of Mt. Dew

Malts, Grains and Malt Extract

(for an OG of 1.053, when combined with the soda, and an SRM of 5, with a slight greenish tint)

450 g Pilsner malt

450 g Vienna malt

450 g wheat malt

280 g flaked wheat

170 g flaked oats

450 g dried wheat malt extract

Hops and Spices (for 17 IBUs total)

Tettnanger hops (17 IBUs)

28 g (at 4% alpha acids), boiled for 60 minutes

zest of 5 Valencia oranges(*), boiled for 5 minutes

(*) minimize the amount of pith (white part) when zesting oranges

7.1 g coriander (crushed), boiled for 10 minutes

Yeasts (for a FG of 1.006 and 6.1% ABV)

1 pkg Safbrew T-58 and 1 pkg Safale US-05

Finings, Nutrients and Priming Sugar

1 tsp. Irish moss, boiled 15 minutes

0.75 tsp. yeast nutrient, boiled 20 minutes

180 g corn sugar (to prime bottles for 3.0 volumes of CO2)

 

PROCEDURE

Pour roughly 7.6 L (twenty one 355 mL cans or four 2-L bottles) of Mt. Dew into a clean and sanitized bucket fermenter. If using canned soda, dip a paper towel in Star San (or other sanitizing solution) and wipe the top of the cans down. Pour roughly to knock the level of carbonation down. Cover fermenter with aluminum foil and allow soda to outgas as you boil your wort. Place crushed grains and flaked adjuncts in a large steeping bag. Heat 5.2 L of water to 73 °C and pour into a 7.6-L or larger beverage cooler. Submerge grain bag slowly into water, stirring to break up clumps. Add lid to cooler and mash, starting at 67 °C, for 60 minutes. Heat another 5.2 L of water to 88 °C while mashing. When mash is done, remove cooler lid and draw off roughly 500 mL of wort from spigot, then pour this wort on top of grain bed. Repeat this step 7 times to recirculate wort. Draw off roughly 500 mL of wort and place in brewpot. Pour the same volume of 88 °C water on top of grain bed. Repeat these two steps until you are out of 88 °C water and have roughly 9.5 L of wort collected. Add remaining Mt. Dew to brewpot, to make about 13 L of wort. Bring to a boil and boil for 60 minutes, adding hops when the boil starts. Stir in malt extract with 15 minutes left in boil. (Dissolve in wort first, in a separate pot.) Add yeast nutrient, Irish moss, coriander and orange zest at times indicated in the ingredient list. Chill wort and rack to fermenter, to make 20 L of wort. (Top up with water, or Mt. Dew, if needed.) Aerate and pitch both sachets of dried yeast. Ferment at 21–22 °C. Bottle in heavy bottles. Keep bottles in a warm place for 2 weeks, then check one to see if it has carbonated. Move beers to cold storage once carbonated.

 

 

Dew-vel 

(Light Golden Ale)

Malt extract (English units)

by Chris Colby

 

DESCRIPTION

This is an extremely simple recipe, that makes a light, fizzy ale with a hint of citrusy Mt. Dew flavor. The soda contributes about 45% of the fermentable sugars for this, so it finishes very dry. Back when I was jogging, this made a great post-run beverage.

 

INGREDIENTS (for 5 gallons)

 

Brewing Liquor

3+ gallons tap water (filtered)

water with a fair amount of carbonates (over 100 ppm) works great

2.25 gallons Mt. Dew

twenty four 12-oz. cans or four and a half 2-L bottles

Malt Extract (for an OG, when the soda is factored in, of 1.045 and 2 SRM, with a greenish tint)

2.75 lbs. light dried malt extract

Hops (for 23 IBUs total)

Northern Brewer hops (19 IBUs)

0.75 oz. (at 9% alpha acids), boiled for 30 mins

Northern Brewer hops (4 IBUs)

0.25 oz. (at 9% alpha acids), boiled for 15 mins

Yeast (for a final gravity of 1.005 and 5.2% ABV)

1 pkg Fermentis Safale US-05 dried yeast

Finings, Nutrients and Priming Sugar

1/2 tsp Irish moss, boiled for 15 minutes

1/2 tsp yeast nutrients, boiled for 20 minutes

6.0 oz. corn sugar (to prime for 2.75 volumes of CO2)

 

PROCEDURE

Pour roughly 2.0 gallons (twenty one 12-oz. cans or four 2-L bottles) of Mt. Dew into a clean and sanitized bucket fermenter. If using canned soda, dip a paper towel in Star San (or other sanitizing solution) and wipe the top of the cans down. Pour roughly to knock the level of carbonation down. Cover fermenter with aluminum foil and allow soda to outgas as you boil your wort. Dissolve malt extract in roughly 2.5 gallons and boil for 30 minutes, adding first hop charge at beginning of boil. Add second hop charge, yeast nutrients and Irish moss at times indicated in ingredient list. Chill wort and transfer to fermenter. Top up to 5.25 gallons with cool water and aerate wort. Pitch yeast and ferment at 70 °F. Bottle in heavy bottles and store warm (around 80 °F, optimally) for 10 days, then test to see that beer is carbonated and store cold.

 

 

Dew-vel 

(Light Golden Ale)

Malt extract (metric units)

by Chris Colby

 

DESCRIPTION

This is an extremely simple recipe, that makes a light, fizzy ale with a hint of citrusy Mt. Dew flavor. The soda contributes about 45% of the fermentable sugars for this, so it finishes very dry. Back when I was jogging, this made a great post-run beverage.

 

INGREDIENTS (for 19 L)

 

Brewing Liquor

11+ L tap water (filtered)

water with a fair amount of carbonates (over 100 ppm) works great

8.5 L Mt. Dew

twenty four 355 mL cans or four and a half 2-L bottles

Malt Extract (for an OG, when the soda is factored in, of 1.045 and 2 SRM, with a greenish tint)

1.25 kg light dried malt extract

Hops (for 23 IBUs total)

Northern Brewer hops (19 IBUs)

21 g (at 9% alpha acids), boiled for 30 mins

Northern Brewer hops (4 IBUs)

7.1 g (at 9% alpha acids), boiled for 15 mins

Yeast (for a final gravity of 1.005 and 5.2% ABV)

1 pkg Fermentis Safale US-05 dried yeast

Finings, Nutrients and Priming Sugar

1/2 tsp Irish moss, boiled for 15 minutes

1/2 tsp yeast nutrients, boiled for 20 minutes

170 g corn sugar (to prime for 2.75 volumes of CO2)

 

PROCEDURE

Pour roughly 7.6 L (twenty one 355 mL cans or four 2-L bottles) of Mt. Dew into a clean and sanitized bucket fermenter. If using canned soda, dip a paper towel in Star San (or other sanitizing solution) and wipe the top of the cans down. Pour roughly to knock the level of carbonation down. Cover fermenter with aluminum foil and allow soda to outgas as you boil your wort. Dissolve malt extract in roughly 9.5 L and boil for 30 minutes, adding first hop charge at beginning of boil. Add second hop charge, yeast nutrients and Irish moss at times indicated in ingredient list. Chill wort and transfer to fermenter. Top up to 20 L with cool water and aerate wort. Pitch yeast and ferment at 21 °C. Bottle in heavy bottles and store warm (around 27 °C optimally) for 10 days, then test to see that beer is carbonated. Once carbonated, store beer cold.

 

If you enjoy Beer & Wine Journal, please consider supporting us by purchasing my book — “Home Brew Recipe Bible,” by Chris Colby (2016, Page Street Publishing). It is available from Amazon and Barnes & Noble. You can also find the nearest independent bookstore that sells it on Indiebound

Comments

  1. Thanks for the post! I’ve started to develop the homebrewer mentality of “if it has sugar in it I can ferment it”, and soda has been near the top of my list of ingredients I’ve been wanting to play with. After a failed attempt at “Hard Pepsi”, this post is giving me some ideas. I’m doing a bunch of saisons this summer – I might have to split off a gallon or two and Dew it up.

  2. Jym Ferrier says:

    Any idea if the caffeine stays in solution? Picked up the dew today!

    • Chris Colby says:

      I think it does, but don’t know for sure. Yeast don’t have a central nervous system, so they shouldn’t need to degrade caffeine. On the other hand, they may metabolize it for some other reason. In the Mt Dew beers I’ve made, I’ve thought that there was residual caffeine in it.

  3. I made something like this based off of your original recipe in BYO from a while back as a birthday gift for a non-beer drinker. It is apparently the only beer he ever actually finished before going back to his drink of choice (you guessed it… apple-tini). I would actually describe my version of it as something akin to a shandy or radler, with the Mt. Dew coming through mainly as a candied lemon flavor. Perhaps one day I’ll get around to posting my version over at my lifeferemented.wordpress.com blog. If I remember off the top of my head, I think I used the Dew as half of my fermentables, with the rest coming mainly from pale malt, with a bit of carapils.

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