Nothing quite beats coming home after a long day, putting your feet up, and cracking open a nice cold beer. Well, almost nothing.
Imagine cracking open a cold can of beer that also contains a bit of marijuana, adding a little something extra to your end-of-the-day routine.
It may seem impossible, but weed-infused beer is officially here. While it’s a relatively new concept, more and more people are jumping on board. Weed-infused drinks, in general, are gaining increased interest, and companies are working hard to find the best ways to add weed to beverages.
However, when it comes to weed-infused beer, it’s not just the cannabis companies that are working on it. Brewing companies and even home brewers have all started to look at ways to add weed to beer and create an exciting new product.
What Is Weed Beer?
Also called Canna-beer, cannabis beer, or marijuana beer, weed beer is just as it sounds: it’s a beer made with marijuana buds.
Drinking Canna-beer will give you the same high you could expect from eating a marijuana edible. It will take time for your body to process the drink, but then, you will start to feel the effects of marijuana. So don’t expect using marijuana beer to be as fast-acting as smoking weed; give it about 30 minutes or so to take effect.
There is some debate over the legality of mixing beer and marijuana. In fact, it’s illegal to do so for our southern neighbours, which has led some companies to create an alcohol-free beer that they can then infuse with marijuana to stay within the confines of the law.
But laws are more lax here, and homebrewers may be interested in trying to make their own cannabis-infused brew. However, before you start brewing, make sure to look up any restrictions that may be in place in your area.
How to Make Weed Beer
Making Canna-bear is a complicated process, so it’s probably best left to those experienced in brewing. They will not only have the know-how; making Canna-beer also requires equipment you might not have and might not be worth purchasing. Instead, you can buy already-made weed beer.
But if you are up to the challenge of making your own beer infused with weed, here’s what you need to know:
- First, keep in mind that you’ll want to choose a strain of marijuana that will complement your beer’s flavour. Your dispensary might be able to offer suggestions, or you can find some advice online.
- Just like choosing the right weed is important, so is choosing the right beer to infuse it with—the “hoppier” the beer, the better.
- Keep your dosage in mind. Know how much weed you put in, and then divide that by how many servings of beer you made so you know how much cannabis you are consuming and won’t overdo it.
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s look at how to make it. First, you’ll need to gather your equipment and ingredients. You’ll need:
- 8½ pounds of light malt extract syrup.
- 3 types of pellet hops: Cascade, Centennial, and Columbus (1 ounce of each).
- 2 ounces of Belma pellet hops.
- 1 ounce leaf hops.
- ¾ ounce of marijuana (a strain that will compliment your brew).
- 8 ounces of Carahell malt.
- 6 ounces of Victory malt.
- 6 ounces of Carapils malt.
- Slow-fermenting yeast of your choice.
- 30-gallon pot.
- Stirring equipment.
- Cannabis grinder.
To make your beer, you will:
- Bring 2 gallons of water to a boil in your large, 30-gallon pot.
- As this heats up, crush your three malt varieties and put them into a straining bag.
- Add them to the water, constantly stirring the mixture for 30 minutes.
- Strain out your bags and dispose of them.
- Remove the boiling water from heat.
- Add your malt extract syrup and stir until it is completely dissolved.
- Add about four more gallons of water and bring it all back to a boil.
- Add in your Columbus hops as it heats up, then let your mixture boil for one hour.
- At about the 45-minute mark, add in your other two hops (Cascade and Amarillo). Let them boil with everything for the remaining 15 minutes.
- After an hour, remove your pot from the heat again.
- Add in your Centennial and Belma hops and your marijuana (should be finely ground).
- Stir your mixture for a few minutes.
- Let it chill.
- As it chills, add in your yeast and let it ferment to a temperature between 18 and 24 degrees Celsius.
- When chilled, the layer of yeast on top will settle. You can use this time to ground up the remainder of your weed so that it’s very fine.
- Stir the cannabis in the grinding bowl and add in a little water, just enough to cover it.
- Let this mixture sit for at least an hour.
- Strain out the green liquid, then add it to your beer mixture.
- Let your brew sit for 10 days at minimum, rocking your container occasionally.
- Bottle your beer and enjoy.
As you grow more comfortable with the process, you might want to start experimenting with different flavours and ingredients to create a beer that genuinely appeals to you.
Making beer infused with weed is a long process. Those without brewing experience might not have the equipment or knowledge to do so. But for those up to the challenge, making weed-infused beer can be a fun way to add a new drink to your repertoire.
Just remember to take the terpene profile (which determines the taste and aroma) of your cannabis strain into consideration before using it to make beer. You want to make sure that you not only enjoy the strain you are using but that everything works in harmony to create a quality product.