Archive for the ‘beer’ Category

You Brew Your Own Beer? Pretzel beer?

I am taking a break from brewing starting January so I can prepare for my Professional Engineer exam in April. I have some backstock ingredients so I have been working them down. Today I brewed an experimental beer that I hope reminds me of pretzels.

Here is the recipe for 1.5 gallons:
10.00 g Sea Salt (Mash 60.0 mins) Water Agent 1 –
1 lbs 10.4 oz White Wheat Malt (2.4 SRM) Grain 2 69.5 %
4.0 oz Acid Malt (3.0 SRM) Grain 3 10.5 %
4.0 oz White Wheat Malt-toasted (2.4 SRM) Grain 4 10.5 %
2.0 oz Oats, Flaked (1.0 SRM) Grain 5 5.3 %
0.30 oz Goldings, East Kent [5.00 %] – Boil 90.0 min Hop 6 23.1 IBUs
1.6 oz Cane (Beet) Sugar (0.0 SRM) Sugar 7 4.2 % post krausen

I did a step mash, biab, stovetop. The first rest was 122F for 30 minutes. The second rest was 152F for 60 minutes. I did a 90 minute boil. I didn’t have any beer yeast, so I used a packet of Montrachet. Hopefully it rips through the sugars, I’m not looking for yeast character on this one anyways. Hopefully the acid malt gives the hint of sourdough, the salt, well salt, and the toasted wheat that toasty outer crust of a pretzel. The wort tasted pretty good going into the fermenter.

I used a 5 gallon paint strainer for this BIAB on my stovetop

The mash, really light with the white wheat

Sleeping bag wrap for the rests

Almost the scale of steeping grains in extract brewing…

Back to the kitchen sink cooling

While I was brewing, some other things were going on at Little House on the Sandpit…

Panels for gingerbread houses were made

I tried some pine needle and spruce tip tea

and our sick chicken started to feel better, she can stand without falling over now.

You Brew Your Own Beer? (and Cider) Stovetop Pasteurizing

Got my Wee Scottish 60 shilling into the fermenter and happily bubbling away.

The Recipe
Type: All Grain
Batch Size (fermenter): 5.25 gal
Boil Size: 8.75 gal
Boil Time: 90 min Equipment: BIAB
Est Mash Efficiency 82.0 %

Amt Name Type # %/IBU
4 lbs 6.1 oz Pale Malt, Maris Otter (3.0 SRM) Grain 1 80.0 %
8.0 oz Acid Malt (3.0 SRM) Grain 2 9.1 %
4.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt – 60L (60.0 SRM) Grain 3 4.6 %
4.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt -120L (120.0 SRM) Grain 4 4.6 %
1.5 oz Pale Chocolate Malt (200.0 SRM) Grain 5 1.7 %
0.64 oz Goldings, East Kent [5.00 %] – Boil 60.0 min Hop 6 14.8 IBUs
1.0 pkg Safale American (DCL/Fermentis #US-05) [50.28 ml] Yeast 7 –

Est Original Gravity: 1.031 SG Measured Original Gravity: 1.035 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.008 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 3.0 %
Bitterness: 15.3 IBUs Calories: 114.8 kcal/12oz
Est Color: 9.5 SRM

Then I pasteurized my Caramel Apple Cider
View the recipe here: Caramel Apple Hard Cider on Homebrew Talk
The cider is finished high then more sugars are added (back-sweetening) and it is bottled. I watched closely as it carbonated up by putting a couple in plastic bottles to check for firmness and by opening a few along the way until it appeared to be carbonated enough. Once ready, I put 10 bottles in 190F water for 10 minutes to kill the residual yeast, thus preventing bottle bombs. Apparently the sugar striated some or I have older bottles because 4 bottles burst in the process. Three blew in the pasteurizer kettle, and one on the counter cooling. A little bit of a mess and a scare, but I had a cover and towel over the kettle just in case and the counter one burst in the back of the bottle line so nobody was hurt.

I preheated the bottles in 100F tap water figuring it would lower the temperature in the pasteurizer less.

The bottles in the pasteurizer under the towel, the bottles preheating in the kettle, and bottles on the counter cooling.

The cider came out really good, a little sweeter than I had hoped so next time I will backsweeten a little less. Also, I think this would taste great aged a bit on oak and/or with a little bit of amber malt. This goes on the “to brew again” list for sure.

PS Sorry no in the glass picture, I keep forgetting to take one, I guess I get caught up in the yumminess.

You Brew Your Own Beer? And Cider? – Productive day at Two if By Sea Brewing

Got some brewing done finally. Nothing big, just some things that have been on the back burner for a while. It isn’t easy with two working parents and three kids. My youngest was not feeling good this morning so with our plans to go out canceled, I seized the opportunity to get the Canadian Red kit and kilo kit in. And I transferred my Moravian Pale Ale into a bucket and dry hopped it. To top the day off, I put together a Caramel Apple Hard Cider. Now I just need to get off my butt and bottle that lemon wine…

Far left is the Candian Red and to the right is the Caramel Apple Cider

It takes a lot of 1/2 gallon bottles to make 5.25 gallons of cider…

Product Review-Beer Use: Eva-dry E-500 Renewable Wireless Mini Dehumidifer

I went through my first full cycle of a beer in my ferementation chamber (a chest freezer with temperature control) with an . Works great! I usually find 1/2″ to 1″ of water in the bottom of the freezer after a beer is done. Not a single drop, not even any moisture in there. For $20, this is an investment well worth it. Hopefully it works as advertised drying out by plugging it in. The unit is made out of heavy plastic and looks to be very durable. It comes with a hook to hang it, I hooked it around the glass one gallon carboy I use as a blowoff. There are no batteries or plugs to deal with, the beads inside the unit absorb moisture. The say the beads will last 10 years and there is a 5 year warranty on the unit. This model is supposed to handle 500 cubic feet of area so it is quite a bit of overkill for the space inside a chest freezer; however with the ferment going with warm air and liquids, it is a pretty humid environment so overkill is probable best. The unit is oval in shape, about 8″ long, 6″ high and a couple inches thick so it is easy to fit wherever you need it.

There is the unit in my freezer, hooked on the 1 gallon jug.

I give this product 5 out of 5 hop cones.

You Brew Your Own Beer? BIAB Moravian Pale Ale

Go little enzymes, go forth and convert

The mash

Grains so heavy…

Chickens love spent grains. Chickens give eggs. Little House on the Sand Pit loves eggs. Win win.


All tucked in

Got some miscalculation on this batch. Ended up with an extra gallon which means the OG, ABV, and IBUs will be much lower than planned. Oh well. It will be beer. Serves me right for not brewing for so long. I put the blowoff from the main batch into 2 one gallon jugs. The yeast went in the main, we’ll see if the blowoff can get the overflows stated fermenting as well.

I’ve got a face made for Podcast

I was quoted on Basic Brewing Radio:

The mailbag section near the beginning talking about sour mashing with spent grains.

“Since we did those partigyle sour beers mentioned during your interview on the “Partigyles gone wild” podcast, I have used the sour mash method to squeeze out what I call a bonus beer many times with mostly good luck.

What I do is at the end of the brew day of a moderate to strong beer, I don’t throw out the grains. I do BIAB so I pitch the whole bag into a round cooler. I stir in a couple pounds of crushed 2-row and a couple ounces of torrified wheat (I find the first mash strips out head retention proteins, at least that is what i guess it does), and take a temperature reading. I then prepare a couple of gallons of strike water to reach ~120F and stir it in. I press plastic wrap onto the top of the mash and screw the top on. I take my BIAB insulating comforter and wrap the cooler. I let that sit undisturbed for 24-48 hours then brew day is on. I heat up a couple gallons of water to 170F+ and dunk sparge the grains in it and wring the snot out of it. DON’T FEAR THE FUNK! It usually smells horrible. I pour the wort from the cooler in, top up to 5 gallons plus my boil off and take a gravity reading. I calculate the probable OG and do a 60 minute hop addition to reach around 12 IBU.

Sometimes I do coriander and/or grains of paradise. I do a 60 minute boil, cool, ferment with a clean yeast, and bottle as normal without worry of contamination of my equipment on future non-sour beers. What I get is a very light (2-4% ABV), lemony pucker beer. All for a couple bucks in grains, hops, and yeast. I often just let the blow off from the first beer dump into the sour beer to ferment for even more frugality.”

You Brew Your Own Beer? Bottle and transfer

Part 1 of a Pale Ale experiment

Skeeter Pee finally got down below 1.000. Yeast kill, clarify, and backsweeten are the next steps.