Brewing with Potatoes: Techniques

potatoes

Both corn and rice are used as starchy adjuncts by brewers worldwide. These adjuncts boost the strength of a beer without increasing its body. Corn and rice also dilute the protein content of wort. As adventurous homebrewers, there is another common starchy food we can use as an adjunct — potatoes.

Types of Potatoes

The common potato comes from the potato plant (Solanum tuberosum), a member of the nightshade (Solanaceae) family. The nightshade family also includes tomatoes, tobacco and peppers. The edible portion of the potato plant is the tuber, a modified underground stem. There are many varieties of potatoes found on supermarket shelves and they can be grouped into two functional categories, waxy or mealy (or starchy). Mealy varieties — such as Russet, Yukon Gold or baking-type potatoes — can easily be used in homebrewing. Waxy varieties — such as Chef’s potatoes or red potatoes — may be usable, but I don’t have any experience with them.

Both corn and rice are used as starchy adjuncts by brewers worldwide. These adjuncts boost the strength of a beer without increasing its body. Corn and rice also dilute the protein content of wort. As adventurous homebrewers, there is another common starchy food we can use as an adjunct — potatoes.

Types of Potatoes

The common potato comes from the potato plant (Solanum tuberosum), a member of the nightshade (Solanaceae) family. The nightshade family also includes tomatoes, tobacco and peppers. The edible portion of the potato plant is the tuber, a modified underground stem. There are many varieties of potatoes found on supermarket shelves and they can be grouped into two functional categories, waxy or mealy (or starchy). Mealy varieties — such as Russet, Yukon Gold or baking-type potatoes — can easily be used in homebrewing. Waxy varieties — such as Chef’s potatoes or red potatoes — may be usable, but I don’t have any experience with them.

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