CRAFT BEER IN SAUCES QUESTION

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Joined Oct 9, 2017
Our existing menu says we usour beer in our BBQ sauce,(wings) beer cheese dip (cream cheese base, served warm) and beer cheese soup- but cooks stopped adding beer to any of these before I started, they said the bbq sauce goes bad too quickly and the dip and soup separate and can't be hot held, also no one liked the taste of the soup as much- wondered if there is a dry ingredient that adds a beer flavor or a good way to add and keep products with beer
 
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Joined Sep 26, 2017
I've used beer in cooking and never ran into the above mentioned problems.

Are you the chef? Have you tried making those stuff and see for yourself? Maybe the cooks were doing it wrong?
 
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Joined Mar 1, 2017
I agree with P Pat Pat .

Sounds to me like they are doing something wrong. Heat too high, maybe? Cream cheese is fairly sturdy and you really have to go out of your way to get it to break in a sauce or dip. So, it sounds to me like either the cooks are lazy or they are doing something wrong (maybe both).

Although you do not come right out and say it, from your description, it sounds like you work for a micro-brew pub. If that is the case, I would think the turnover rate on the bbq sauce would be high enough to where it "going bad" wouldn't be that much of a going concern. Perhaps the choice of beer in the bbq sauce is the problem? Did anyone commit the original recipe to writing?

Has anyone spoken to management/owners about the misleading information contained on the menu about the use of beer in some of the dishes? At the end of the day, if beer is not going to be added back into the recipes, the menu should be changed accordingly.

Good luck. :)
 

kuan

Moderator
Staff member
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Everything breaks when you hold it too long and too hot, or when the well runs dry and nobody cares.
 
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Hi GoneA,

I agree previous comments about never having those issues you describe.

An alternative method for incorporation is the use of reductions. Reduce appropriate beer for each product. Make current recipes and just finish with a drop or two of the reduction just before serving.
 
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Joined Mar 21, 2008
You could try a beer reduction but remember it is really going to intensify the hop bitterness... but I have made BBQ sauce with beer and held it in the fridge for over a month before I used it up. And beer cheese soup won't go bad faster just form beer. My bet is they cranked the soup warmer temp to high and it separated and they blamed the beer.
 
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Joined Sep 26, 2017
I have a new theory. The cooks decided to just drink the beer themselves instead of putting it in the food.

I just remembered a similar situation where a cook used to deliberately portion tuna on the lower end of the acceptable range (all 3.8 oz for the 4 oz pieces) so he had tuna left to eat afterward without the owner noticing anything wrong.
 
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First off, I would be wary of any place that is so blatantly dishonest with the menu.

Do you live in an area where there are homebrew supply shops? You could experiment with liquid malt extracts and dried powders to impart some beer flavor, probably with more consistent results than actual beer.

mjb.
 
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Joined Aug 15, 2003
It would help if you post the recipes/methods for what you are doing so we could maybe identify the problem. Typically things like soups (cream/dairy based) that are going to be held hot need a starch to stabilize the mixture, otherwise splitting and breaking is common. Often a slurry, roux or modified food starch help this problem out.

As far as the beer making the BBQ sauce sour too fast...I can see that as a possibility I suppose if the beer contains yeasts or something that might seed a spoilage colony faster...? I dunno. My intuition tells me that the yeast should be mostly dead by the time the beer is drinkable...I've never really experienced that beer in my sauces make them spoil faster though. But the solution is pretty easy IMO...make smaller batches of BBQ sauce. If you make it every day or every other day, then it won't have time to spoil. Try cutting your batch down.
 
2,619
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Joined Mar 21, 2008
First off, I would be wary of any place that is so blatantly dishonest with the menu.

Do you live in an area where there are homebrew supply shops? You could experiment with liquid malt extracts and dried powders to impart some beer flavor, probably with more consistent results than actual beer.

mjb.

Those are unhopped and unfermented so the flavor is totally different. Basically a barley sugar syrup or powder.
 
2,619
230
Joined Mar 21, 2008
It would help if you post the recipes/methods for what you are doing so we could maybe identify the problem. Typically things like soups (cream/dairy based) that are going to be held hot need a starch to stabilize the mixture, otherwise splitting and breaking is common. Often a slurry, roux or modified food starch help this problem out.

As far as the beer making the BBQ sauce sour too fast...I can see that as a possibility I suppose if the beer contains yeasts or something that might seed a spoilage colony faster...? I dunno. My intuition tells me that the yeast should be mostly dead by the time the beer is drinkable...I've never really experienced that beer in my sauces make them spoil faster though. But the solution is pretty easy IMO...make smaller batches of BBQ sauce. If you make it every day or every other day, then it won't have time to spoil. Try cutting your batch down.


Commercial beer the yeast is filtered out, craft beer it is either way...and my homebrew is not filtered in any way! But cooking the beer to make the sauce will kill any yeast that are left in it! Once temps rise above 145ish the yeast die.
 

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