mmmm...brain death.
April 4, 2008 11:57 AM   Subscribe

'Is there any chance there would be some Brain Death left?' Brain Death was the creation of two homebrewers and certified beer judges, both brewers of whom are highly respected in their hobby. (For reasons that will become apparent, they wish to remain anonymous.) A potent barleywine (OG 1,100), Brain Death contained an extra ingredient that one of the euphemistically calls "special hops".
posted by mrblack (30 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Get some Squatters Full Suspension Beer (its brewed in Salt Lake City) and see if you don't immediately start thinnking of seedless flowers after the first sip.
posted by Fupped Duck at 12:21 PM on April 4, 2008

Hops and hemp are both in family Cannabaceae. Just sayin'.
posted by gimonca at 12:31 PM on April 4, 2008

I have always thought that Boulder Beers' Hazed and Infused tastes like a fine Sativa.

Give that one a shot if you see it in your local store. It's quite good!
posted by jstef at 12:40 PM on April 4, 2008 [1 favorite]

Most Europeans were ignorant of the plant's psychoactive effects until after the Napoleonic Wars, when scores of French soldiers returned from Egypt addicted to hashish.

I hear just one puff on a hashish pipe can turn you into an raving dope addict.
posted by Meatbomb at 12:43 PM on April 4, 2008 [3 favorites]

Interesting. I wonder if I know these guys. Back in the early '80s I studied brewing science in college, and several of us were home brewers. We did the same infusion, except we didn't come up with any fancy names for the beer, we just called it "bud".

We also brewed coffee beers, and bottled them in Jolt Cola bottles. Porters and stouts packaged in coke or pepsi bottles were great for sneaking on campus where alcohol wasn't allowed. (Except, of course, the on campus pub called "The Last Resort".) Ahhhh those were the heady days...
posted by Eekacat at 12:49 PM on April 4, 2008

Oh yeah, Hazed and Infused is good. Stone Coast, in Maine, has got a "420 IPA," which I recall being pretty decent. I wonder what the overlap between hopheads and stoners is. Someone ought to draw a diagram of some sort.
posted by uncleozzy at 1:17 PM on April 4, 2008

I've had hempseed-infused beer. It's fucking terrible tasting. Oily is not a good beer flavor. Of course, marijuana flower-infused beer probably tastes much different, and this is a funny story (especially the bit about Michael Jackson).

And yeah, Hazed and Infused is OK, but Mojo -- now that is a beer.
posted by cog_nate at 1:18 PM on April 4, 2008

When I was in college we brewed up some beer with jenkem.
posted by Flashman at 1:21 PM on April 4, 2008

When I was in college we brewed up some beer with jenkem.

Did you dry-plop it?
posted by cog_nate at 1:23 PM on April 4, 2008 [4 favorites]

Great, now I'm getting all hop-jones-y. Luckily I've got some hop bombs in the fridge. When's quitting time?!
posted by uncleozzy at 1:25 PM on April 4, 2008

Back in the day, when hemp was used to create rope, the US government paid a researcher to basic research into cannibis to see if he could figure out how to produce a strain which could be used to make rope but which didn't contain THC. Turns out he didn't figure out a way to do it, though he did find a bunch of ways of making it more potent.

One of the things he experimented with was grafting. Because hops and cannibis are closely related, he thought it might be possible. It turns out that you cannot graft a cannibis top onto hemp roots, but you can graft a hops top onto cannibis roots. The resulting plant leaves and flowers look like hops, and have the same flavoring components as normal hops, but they also contain THC.

Which of course leads to the question of what would result if they were used for beer brewing, and I've never found anyone willing to admit that they know. I wonder if that was what happened in this case.

Unfortunately, THC doesn't dissolve well in water, so even if there were THC in the grafted hops it's not clear that much of it would come out into the wort during brewing.
posted by Class Goat at 1:27 PM on April 4, 2008 [3 favorites]

THC doesn't dissolve well in water

THC does dissolve in alcohol, though I don't know if the 10% alcohol or so of a good Barleywine is enough to get the job done.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 1:29 PM on April 4, 2008

Amusing but silly. THC breaks down in alcohol.
posted by Afroblanco at 1:35 PM on April 4, 2008

Afroblanco: Clearly you've never tried Green Dragon.
posted by CCBC at 1:44 PM on April 4, 2008

TOCT, there is no alcohol in wort. The alcohol develops later, after the hops have already been removed. (I used to brew beer.)
posted by Class Goat at 1:47 PM on April 4, 2008

... which is why you've got to dryhemp, like they say in the article.
posted by uncleozzy at 1:53 PM on April 4, 2008

You weren't a very good brewer if you don't know what dry hopping is, Class Goat.
posted by Eekacat at 1:54 PM on April 4, 2008

I know about dry hopping, and I did it. But that doesn't expose enough hops to enough alcohol to really dissolve a lot of THC. Probably there'd be enough to be detectable chemically, but not enough to get you stoned.
posted by Class Goat at 2:14 PM on April 4, 2008 [1 favorite]

Huh. I just helped some friends bottle their latest batch of homebrew a little while ago.

We added some "special hops" to a few bottles as an experiment. Good to know we are not the first to experiment with such things.
posted by utsutsu at 2:15 PM on April 4, 2008

I'll disagree there, Goat. I've had a kind IPA and it does work.

But man, wasteful and really not all that uncommon.
posted by drewbage1847 at 2:21 PM on April 4, 2008

drewbage, I have to agree with class goat. I dont think it opens up enough of the cannabis to allow for the THC to really interract. It also depends on when you put in the hops.

I dont think dry hopping or boiling the hops is going to add in enough THC to get you high. You will probably taste and smell the cannabis, though...
posted by subaruwrx at 2:56 PM on April 4, 2008

I'm going to have to fall on the side of what a waste of weed. Mixing it with beer?


Of course my motto on this subject has always been "beer is the drink for people who are afraid of alcohol". I guess you could say I'm a bit biased.
posted by quin at 3:09 PM on April 4, 2008

You could make a tincture and add at the bottling stage.

or so I have heard.
posted by Seamus at 3:27 PM on April 4, 2008

I hear just one puff on a hashish pipe can turn you into an raving dope addict.

I wouldn't say that, but it is seriously powerful stuff. In college, two of my friends came in before the nightly barcrawl with some---but they decided to have fun with me, and told me it was just some cheap weed. I took 7-8 good, manly pulls from the bowl within about 10 minutes.

Needless to say, I didn't make the barcrawl that night. Actually, I didn't get back up off of the floor until about lunchtime the next day...
posted by spirit72 at 5:10 PM on April 4, 2008

Cannabis sativa...some call it the hop's shady relation. Both plants belong to the family Cannabinacea, and hail from Central Asia. Both are dioecious

At first glance I read that last bit as "both are delicious." Yessirree.
posted by ludwig_van at 5:38 PM on April 4, 2008

Once, at Bear Republic Brewery, a stop on our drink-your-way-from-Ft. Bragg-to-San Francisco trip and home to the fantastic Racer X, the brewmaster was taking us on a tour of the place, and led us past an area that had some hop vines growing. He let me pick a couple of flowers. I put them in my glasses case, and forgot about them for several weeks (I don't wear glasses much). When I opened the case, I was astonished to find what appeared to be dried, beautiful looking buds of maryjane. It had never before occurred to me that the two were related.
posted by rtha at 7:36 PM on April 4, 2008 [1 favorite]

"both are delicious."

These are a few of my favourite things.
posted by Wolof at 8:02 PM on April 4, 2008

*bites dog*
posted by Wolof at 8:02 PM on April 4, 2008

Beer and weed together? Who ever heard of such a thing?! B)
posted by wsg at 1:03 AM on April 5, 2008

Just a minor update that last weekend on 4/20, my friends cracked open the special brew. We use some of the hops-relative in question to dry hop the beer before bottling... or so I'm told is the technical term.

It was delicious. It really changed the flavour towards the yum side of the scale.
posted by utsutsu at 2:35 PM on April 25, 2008

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