A Few More Homebrew Recipes From Brewtoob

As the title mentioned here are a few new homebrew recipes given to me by my friends at Brewtoob.com

Have a great week!

Honey Porter Extract

6.6 lbs LME
.75 lb Munich Malt
1 lb Crystal 20 Malt
1 lb Honey
6 oz Black Malt
3 oz Chocolate Malt
2.5 oz Golding Hops
Ale Yeast
¾ cup Corn Sugar (priming)

A few weeks ago,, my friend came over for a beer. This beer quickly turned into several, and our discussion turned (as it often does) to his farm. This year he’d added some top bar beehives. While I tend to shy away from anything that stings, I do love honey. Soon, he offered me some of his precious honey if I promised to return some part of it in the form of alcoholic libation.

Although I do love honey, I’m often reluctant to use it in brewing. In my experience, meads take too long and my results rarely please me. In beer I’ve had similar disappointment. I find it tends to thin out the brew and that the taste and sweetness of the honey are fermented out.

In the past I’ve experimented with several ways to remedy this – with results ranging from disappointing to disastrous. Honey is delicate. Honey is fragile. Wild and unfiltered honey tastes better, but contains more wild yeast. Here in lies the problem.

If you simply add honey to the fermenter, wild yeasts may (and have) take over the beer and (often) produce bad tastes. Conversely, if you boil the honey for 60 minutes, you’ll zap all the delicate tastes of the honey along with the yeasts. I’ve even tried back sweetening this porter with unfiltered honey; this resulted in exploding bottles. This made me shy away from the process.

I have, however, through guessing, philosophizing and copious amounts of drinking, found a method that seems to satisfy me (and anyone that I hand one of my Honey Porters). My beekeeping friend agrees, although he’ll drink anything.

Without further ado, here is the recipe.

Start the process by chilling 2.5 gallons of sterilized water. Next, we’re going to steep grains. I always steep when I brew extract. Generally, I use an old pair of panty hoes, but this time (based on the amount of grain) I did it without a bag so that the grains could move around more.

Heat slightly more than ½ gallon of water on the stove to about 165 degrees. When the water reaches temp (or close), dump in the loose grains and stir. You’re essentially making a tea. Think of this method as ‘loose tea’ while the grain bag method is ‘bagged tea.’ Let your grains steep for at least a half hour. Keep the temps between 140 degrees and 160 degrees. Use a lid, and goose it with some stove heat if it drops.

While the grains are steeping, use a separate pot to warm 2 gallons of water to 165 degrees. When the grains are finished steeping, place a strainer with a piece of cheese cloth (or grain bag, or pantyhose, etc) over the 2 gallons of 165 degree water. Pour the grains and the steeped water through the strainer. The strainer should catch the grains.

Next, use a ladle, pitcher or mug to pour some of the hot water from the pot back over the grains allowing the water to drain back into the pot. This step, called washing, is not strictly necessary, but will help release flavor and add mouth feel to the finished product. I usually ladle (slowly) about a gallon of water over the steeped grains. Let the grains drain slowly, and never squeeze or press them!

Now it is time to crank up the heat. Add your malt extract and bring to a boil. Stir constantly to avoid scorching. We will be doing a 60-minute boil. Start timing when the wort starts boiling.

After it has been boiling for 15 minutes, add an ounce of your Kent hops. After thirty minutes of boil, add another once. After 60 minutes, remove the pot from heat and add the remaining hops.

Next, cool the wort. I used an immersion chiller, but a simple ice bath will work as well. Add the 2.5 gallons of chilled water (from the first step, remember?) to the fermenter. This will help chill the wort when you add it. Luckily, this is your next step. Combine the warm wort with the chilled water. Pitch your yeast when the beer is only slightly warmer than room temperature (or whatever the package says). I fermented for 10 days at around 67 degrees.

I put this brew into a mini-keg, but it is simple to bottle as well. To bottle, mix the sugar with 1 cup water and boil for three minutes. Pour the mixture into the bottling bucket and siphon beer from the fermenter to the bottling bucket. Cap and bottle. Enjoy in 2 weeks. Happy brewing!

Oatmeal Stout All Grain

7.5 lbs Pale 2-row
.5 lb Crystal Malt (60L)
.5 lb Chocolate Malt
.5 lb Flaked Oats
.25 lb Roasted Barley
2 oz Kent Golding Hops
1 pkg Irish Ale Yeast

This beer is my wife’s favorite. Every fall she will start dropping hints. When I start to see the flaked oats piling up in the pantry, I dust off this recipe. In the name of full disclosure, I tend to shy away from excessively malty and excessively dark beers. This one is dark in color, and contains a fairly decent (and strong) malt bill, but the end result is a mellow, creamy, sweet and full of roasted goodness. It has become one of my favorites as well.

This makes a great brew for the colder months, and it makes a great starting point for experimentation. Most recently, I’ve decided to branch out with this recipe. I used it as a base for my breakfast stout – I added some coffee to the beer and made it a oatmeal/coffee stout. I love it. I’ve also got less conventional with the recipe, adding things such a melted chocolate! This is a great bear standing alone, and a great base to hold up against other bold flavors. Brew it once, and go from there. Make it your own. It is sure to be a crowd pleaser every time!

The first step is simple, and it will make your house smell great. Toast the oats on a baking sheet at 325 degrees for an hour and fifteen minutes. The oats will start to turn a golden brown and smell delicious. Remove the oats when you’re happy with the smell. It will become more nutty and intense as the process goes on, but be careful to remove the oats before they burn! I used the same process to make roasted barley.

Roasted barley, generally speaking, is not malted. Malting refers to the process of germinating (aka sprouting) the barley seed. After the seed has sprouted, the seed is dried – trapping the sugars. Roasted barley does not undergo this process. I used leftover seed barley (I plant it as an ornamental grass – try it!) and roasted it in the oven. Not to go too far down the rabbit hole here, but you can also save money by buying 2-row in bulk and home roasting it to make caramel and other specialty roasted (or smoked!) malts. If you are the type of brewer that likes control of the process and starting from the most basic ingredients, give it a try. If consistency is your thing, you may want to shy away from this method.

First step is to heat up your water in your mash tun and add the grains. I allowed for a protein rest at around 120 degrees. I think we allowed it to rest for slightly under a half hour. This rest will help your enzymes convert starches at higher temps. For the non-eggheads, it helps your mashing efficiency. It isn’t necessary, but recommended.

I also added some pH stabilizer – which I often don’t, but my friend had some sitting around. (I did this brew in a friend’s garage – try to brew with friends and you’ll learn twice as fast!)

After the rest, I raised the temperature in the mash tun to 165 degrees and allowed the mixture to rest for an hour and fifteen minutes. Heat up your sparge water. Drain your wort into the brew kettle. I heated the sparge water to about 170 degrees and sparged through a colander in order to minimize disturbance to the grain bed. If you’re wondering about how much water you should be using step to step, there are many calculators available online. This grain recipe is meant for a 5 gallon batch, but your water numbers may vary depending on your equipment (boil-off, etc).

I boiled for 60 minutes. I added a half once of hops at 15 minutes. I added a full ounce of hops at 30 minutes. I threw in some yeast nutrients in the last 5 minutes of boil, and I added the last half-ounce of hops at flameout.

Use a chiller or ice bath to cool the wort to about 70 degrees. Pitch the yeast. Oxygenate the beer (aka shake it up a bit). I only did a primary fermentation on this – I left it for two weeks at 65 degrees. I kegged and force carbed it, and was enjoying it soon after. I apologize that I don’t have gravity readings, but I’ve made this beer enough times that I don’t even measure. Assuming an 80-90% efficiency, you should end up with a beer in the 5%-6% range. Happy brewing!

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