Chicha beer: to chew or not to chew?

To make chicha beer, you start by chewing up corn and spitting it out. There was a skeptical article this week in the New York Times about Dogfish Head brewery’s attempt to make a chicha-inspired beer. It sounds like a lot of work, and it looks like it, too, from this video:

If you want to try it on a smaller scale, there’s a recipe in Katz’s Wild Fermentation. And if the idea of chewing up all that corn sounds like no fun (or just gross), there is a very comprehensive non-chew recipe at LocalHarvest which includes a 1947 Harvard Botanical Museum leaflet on the topic! Foodies will be happy to learn that you can even make wheat-free chicha homebrew out of quinoa.

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