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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Happy Holiday Ale


Once a year folks eat, drink and are merry. We think this is a great time to impress your friends and relatives with homemade beer. This spiced ale will make egg nog a thing of the past. 
Ingredients: 6 lb. Dark liquid malt extract, 3.3 lb. Amber liquid malt extract, 8 oz. Caramel 60L, 8 oz. Special B specialty grains, 2 oz. of hops, 1 Cinnamon Stick, 1 tsp. nutmeg, 1 tsp. ginger, yeast, priming sugar and a grain bag.
Custom Yeast: White Labs Burton Ale 023
Additional Information:

Origin of Style USA
Color Dark
Gravity Level High
Hop Rating (1-4) 1

Can't wait to get started!

Kit spread out, kit in a box

Fresh ingredients equals fresh beer! Grains and extract turn over weekly at Midwest. 

The small pouch contains the cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger.

Grain soak 

Spent grains

Here you can see the added color a grain soak gives. Smells amazing.

Adding malt extract

Adding hops

Time to add the spices

Then the finishing hops

By this time the first hops additions have stopped floating

I run the wort through a strainer to remove all the pelletized hops

Pitching yeast directly into wort. Between 100-150 million cells, no need for a starter.

A few days later, here is the krausen

Cant wait to taste this one! Extra time may be needed for flavor mellowing. Will report back when it's ready to pour in the glass! Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

American Dream Ale

Based off the old forgotten American Cream Ale style. Rich and creamy with a hint of citrus undertones. 

Kit includes:
Malt Base: 3.3 lbs. Northwestern's Gold Malt Extract & 2 lbs. Munton's Extra Light SDM
Specialty Grains: 6 oz. Crystal & 4 oz. Victory
Hops: 5 HBU Cascade (bittering) & .5 oz. Willamette (finishing)
Yeast: Ale (dry)

Everyone is excited to get a new beer kit!

Let's see what's inside!

Grain soak

Liquid and dry extract

First hops

Finishing hops

Tuckered out

Muntons Nut Brown Ale - Extract-Only Kit

Dark and smooth, a brown ale with a slightly "nutty" character. To really enjoy this ale serve at cellar temperature.

This is the first kit I have done that is extract-only, which means there are no hops to add as the can of extract has already been hopped. All you do is boil water and mix in the can of extract. Cool, top off fermenter and pitch yeast. Very simple. However I have not been impressed with the taste at all so far, although it has only been three weeks. I will let it age before passing judgement. I only let it ferment two weeks before moving to the keg for conditioning, which is sooner than I would like.

Fermented three weeks, keg conditioned one week. I am still not happy with the taste of the brew. Live and learn, no more corn sugar.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Kegerator Upgraded!

The kegerator has been upgraded! 

Added a 2nd keg and tapper handle.

Love it! Also chilled mugs and backup beer.

Belgian Wit Ale


Malt Base: 6lbs Weizen (wheat) malt extract

Specialty Grains: 4oz flaked wheat, 4oz aromatic grain, 4oz cara-pils grain

Hops: 5HBU's Willamette (bittering) hops, 1/4oz Saaz (finishing) hops

Extra additives: 1Tbs coriander seeds, 1oz bitter orange peel

Yeast: Liquid Wyeast #3944

Results: This brew made for an interesting evening. Two grains (cracked) plus whole grains steeped made the house smell amazing. I found it interesting this kit contained much smaller packets of hops than usual. Near the end of the boil I added cracked coriander seeds and bitter orange peel. The coriander smelled very interesting; should be flavorful. This was the first brew I have done containing liquid yeast - 100 billion cells!

Here are all of my ingredients assembled.

Stovetop setup ready to boil

First we crack the grains, then add the flaked wheat (do not crack). 

Bring the water to a boil, then take off heat and steep grains 20 mins in muslim bag.

Next we add the malt extract (sugar is food for yeast).

Stir up malt to dissolve, then return to a boil. Add hops, stir 45 mins.

Here are the coriander seeds and orange peel ready for 10 min boil.

The finished wort, ready for cooling.

The cooled wort is poured through a strainer into the fermenter bucket and tap water added to reach 5gal mark. Note the hops and other sediment in the strainer and near the drain.

Wyeast is activated by breaking inner tablet and shaking. Let sit 3-6 hours until swollen. 100 billion cells!

Add Wyeast to wort in fermenter.

Store in 70degree garage under blanket away from sunlight.

Finished Product!