Nov 142013

In my earlier post, Putting Jolly Ranchers in a Beer, I mentioned that we brewed a grape Jolly Rancher Belgian tripel for this year’s Iron Brewer in Grand Ledge, MI.  Judging for this competition took place this past Tuesday and our beer won.  All of the beers presented were well done.  Some were delicious beers that lacked a Jolly Rancher character.  Others tasted like delicious desserts or wine coolers.  The idea behind the Red Salamander’s Iron Brewer competition is to make something that showcases the “secret ingredient” while still being a beer.  This year the judges felt that our entry was best at walking that line.

Myself and Karl from The Red Salamander

Myself and Karl from The Red Salamander

Tom Payne Sr. - Jolly Rancher Unwrapper Extraordinaire

Tom Payne Sr. – Jolly Rancher Unwrapper Extraordinaire










Here’s the recipe for 5 Gallons:

Grain Bill:

2 lbs Pilsen Malt2 lbs Cara Pils

Mash for 60 minutes at about 152F


2 Oz Opals at 60
1 Tablespoon Orange Peel at 5 mins
0.5 Tablespoon Cardamom at 5 mins
0.5 Tablespoon Coriander at 5 mins
1 lb Grape Jolly Ranchers at 0 mins
2 lbs Cane Sugar at 0 mins

O.G. 1.087

We fermented this with White Labs WLP530 Abbey Ale yeast.  After four weeks it was still fermenting but we had to get it kegged so we could get a couple of growlers to Grand Ledge.  It definitely tasted a little young and only fermented down to 1.029.  In truth, a tripel was probably a poor choice given the one month time frame from brew day to tasting.  Also, I don’t believe that we added any yeast nutrient to it.  That may have helped out some.

I’m also not sure about the fermentability of Jolly Ranchers.  This might be the subject of an upcoming experiment.

All analysis aside, we won so I guess it was good enough.

We have another five gallons of this beer sitting in a carboy.  We’re going to let it ferment to completion.  We’ve even tossed around the idea of souring it.

Thanks again to The Red Salamander and the Red Ledge Brewers for hosting this competition and allowing us to take part.  It was a blast and we plan on being there again next year.

Also I’d like to thank the rest of our phenomenal team from Two Guys Brewing:
Tom Payne Jr.
Tom Payne Sr.
Frank Landgraff
Rick Hamilton

If you make this beer or have ever tried fermenting Jolly Ranchers be sure and let me know.


 Posted by at 8:15 am