With the Flirty Flamingo a few days into fermentation I decided it was time to start preparing the coconuts.
While we were down in Florida last month I brought home quite a few fresh coconuts. After a little experimentation I figured that using the brown ripe ones would be the best plan. Over the course of a few nights they were all shucked and that’s a lot of work…
I think the problem was doing that so far in advance. The coconuts have been shucked for a couple weeks and I had noticed that some began to leak and others began to crack. After I began to drain and crack them open it quickly became clear that all of the coconuts that weren’t fully intact with liquid inside had gone bad. Sadly this was roughly half of the coconuts I had brought back. I though about giving up on this beer and going a different direction.
When I finished I still ended up with quite a bit, but not nearly what I was hoping for.
Despite the loss I ended up with 5.5 pounds of usable coconut meat.
After doing some research on how people use coconut in beer I found that I needed to toast the shreds, but I had no shreds, just large pieces. The first method I tried was using the grater, but it was slow and I almost grated my thumb a couple times. I considered the Vitamix, but everything I read online about using a Vitamix with coconut ended in the creation coconut milk. That’s when I pulled out the old, trusty Ninja.
The Ninja worked surprisingly well for the task. The only drawback was not being able to load more than a couple pieces in at a time.
It took a little time, but I was left with two large bowls of coconut chips.
After that I spread the coconut out on cookie sheets and pre-heated the oven to 350 degrees. Many sources said that it would take between 5-10 minutes to toast the coconut. I believe that these people were using dried coconut and therefore had a much shorter time. With my fresh coconut I ended up doing three cycles of 10 minutes, stirring after each timer went off.
As you can see it got toasted quite well. The smell and flavor were amazing. I really can’t wait to add this in to the beer later this week.
I ended up with just over 3 pounds of toasted coconut to add to the Flirty Flamingo. I think that the flavor will be good but, as typical with real coconut flavor, it will be slight. I may soak it in Vodka a little bit to help free up some more flavor and further sanitize before adding it.
In a couple days I’ll check back in with some ideas on how to add it and not make a HUGE mess.