Posts Tagged ‘Recipes’

While not directly related to this post, I did have some bacon steak at Oceanaire a while back...

So my first attempt at bacon bourbon (for a maple bacon bourbon stout) wasn’t so great. I left the bacon in the bourbon for over a week, filtered it, froze it, filtered it, and tried it.

And almost passed out from dehydration on the spot. It was so salty! Ever take a big gulp of water in the ocean? Add salt.

However, after the Dead Sea-esque salinity dissipated, I did feel great. I felt like I’d just had some bacon. So there’s that.

Here are some pictures from the first attempt:

The tin foil apparatus - keeps the bacon somewhat vertical, and the oil drips through holes in the foil

Baked the bacon at 350˚ until the oil starting foaming. That was the signal.

The bacon is almost oil free. And crispy! Hard not to eat it.

The bacon is in 16 oz of bourbon.

Bacon Drip - filtered through a coffee filter

My next attempt will be different. This was fun, and made the condo smell awesome, but the result wasn’t great. I asked my buddy James, who’s getting his PhD in Chemistry, how to dilute the salt flavor. He said lots of water (probably more than the 5 gallons of wort) or to use dialysis. Not gonna do that.

I then came across a video (sorry – forget who sent this to me) about a bartender who makes a bacon-infused old-fashioned. I like this method, and might try it.

Whatever method I try next, I’m thinking uncured bacon is the way to go.

I’m also thinking about where the bacon flavor we all love comes from. Is it from the meat itself, or from the grease? I might, rather than soaking bacon in bourbon, just dump grease in, and fat wash it after a few hours. Meaning, freeze it, skim off the grease, filter, repeat as necessary.

As has been the trend for the past year or so, Brew Your Own and Zymurgy magazines come out with issues directly related to what I’m working on. Seriously, this happens every issue. When I’m thinking about reusing yeast, they come out with articles about it. Building my own equipment? Article. Bacon beer, and breakfast in beer in general? Article.

I’m relatively sure they’re bugging my condo, and I’m totally cool with that. It does feel good to know that Kell and I are thinking of things that the industry is interested in, before it is written in the publications.

That’s it for now. I still have a pint of the bourbon if you want to try it…

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Do I need to brew an amber? I am a fan of New Belgium – 1554 is a crazy good beer, Biere de Mars is awesome, and La Folie is a different experience altogether – but do I need to have a Mad Haven version of Fat Tire to please the masses?

Beer for the masses (aka a picture of a lot of people drinking beer at Oktoberfest)

Beer for the masses (aka a picture of a lot of people drinking beer at Oktoberfest)

There are a lot of beer styles. A lot. My last post was a quick rundown of BeerAdvocate’s styles, and how many beers are listed in each one. It wasn’t very scientific. There are a lot in there that aren’t made anymore. There might even be some that are in the wrong style. And honestly, we could probably narrow it down to 10 categories rather than 90.

I did narrow it down a little. I went into this thinking that ambers would be toward the top of the popularity list. I have no reason for this hypothesis, and I was apparently wrong. Here’s a quick breakdown. Be nice, I know my categories aren’t perfect.

Pale Ale 9064
Lager 6514
Other 4552
Wheat 3841
Stout 3033
Strong 2439
Amber 2140
Porter 1806
Pilsner 1712
Brown 1566
Bock 1457
Light 1418
Scottish 1010
Barleywine 632

It’s no surprise that Pale Ale is number one. For this count, Pale Ale includes all varieties of Pale Ales and IPAs, both American and English, Imperial and regular, double, etc. IPAs are all the rage these days, so obviously there are a lot of varieties. For Lagers, I just grouped all the lagers together. I don’t know much about lagers, so I’m ok with this grouping. Other includes things like sours (which I love!), Oktoberfests, Chile beers, Fruit / Veggie, Pumpkin, and the rest of things that fit in a category named “other”. And so on down the list. If you group Light with Amber, which one might be inclined to do,  the hybrid groupology pushes it to #5.

When I originally set out to grab these numbers, I had an unfounded hypothesis that ambers would be higher. So the premise of this post being somewhat shot, let’s move on.

My blonde is heavyset and a little dirty.

My blonde is heavyset and a little dirty.

I don’t tend to get too crazy with my recipes, at least not yet. They’re generally a little off to the side of their supposed style (the judges agree on that one too, at least), but I haven’t yet delved into the “extreme” side of things. My stout has caraway seeds. My blonde is more.. dirty blonde. My IPA is heavily hopped with hints of ambrosia (the food of the gods, not the weird fruit salad stuff).

I guess my long, drawn out question is this: Do I need to make beer for the masses? Or is the craft brewing world big enough now to support whatever style I make, assuming it’s amazingly delicious. I’m not getting into this industry to sell beer to every person who walks in off the street (though that would help sales quite a bit). I’m making beer because I love to make beer, and I love to share it. So what are your thoughts? Do I need to have the “entry-level” beer? Or can I stick with the bigger, stronger, hoppier, maltier, crazier, sourer, whateverer brews?

P.S. I realize this is was a complete ramble. Congrats on your persistence in getting this far into the post / my brain.

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Rye Dry Stout Recipe

Rye Dry Stout Recipe

The brew day went pretty well yesterday, though I did spill something on myself pretty much every step of the way. Turns out boiling water hurts, even when you spill on your non-waterproof shoes. Who knew?

This is possibly one of the darkest beers I’ve ever made. Also, I could have purchased a few pounds less of the 2-row. Our current mash system is in two buckets (though our next bash will be in a 15-gallon mash tun cooler. YES!). I didn’t even need to really use the second mash since we got so much sugar out of the first one. For the Caraway Seeds, I poured a tablespoon of them on a cutting board, and used another cutting board to crush them a bit. I just added these to the mash for this batch. Depending how strong the flavor is, I might add them to the boil next time.

Final ingredients:

  • 10 lb 2-Row Brewers Malt
  • 2 lb German Dark Munich
  • 3 lb Rye Flaked
  • 1 lb British Black Patent
  • 5/16 lb Chocolate Rye Malt (I meant to do 1/4 lb, but poured a little extra. 1/16 lb extra)
  • 1/4 lb Chocolate Wheat Malt
  • 1 tbsp Caraway Seeds – added during mash
  • 1 oz Perle (8.2%) – added during boil, boiled 60 min
  • 1 oz Amarillo (8.5%) – added during boil, boiled 15 min
  • 1 tsp Irish Moss – added during boil, boiled 15 min
  • White Labs WLP007 Dry English Ale

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The other day, I was eating a delicious sandwich. It was  peppered turkey, pepper jack cheese, and spicy mustard, on a nice Jewish rye. At some point, I was nibbling on a rye seed, and BAM, it opened up. Utterly delicious. So much flavor in that one little seed. And I thought, “hmm, this is utterly delicious! I should make beer out of this.” And thus, a recipe has been developed.

[Note: My office just closed due to the snow, so if this seems rushed, it’s because I want to get out of here]

I decided to make a Dry Stout, but a Wheat was also in the works. Let me know what you think of the following recipe, any tips you might have, etc.

  • 10 lbs 2-Row
  • 2 lbs Dark Munich
  • 3 lbs Flaked Rye
  • 1 lb Roasted Rye
  • 1 lb Black Patent
  • 1/4 lb Chocolate Wheat
  • 1 oz Perle (8.2%) @ 60 minutes
  • 1 oz Cluster (7.0%) @ 15 minutes
  • White Labs WLP013 London Ale Yeast

I’m thinking a nice long mash and a 60 minute boil should do the trick. I’d like to get a slightly creamy, very slightly hoppy, dry stout with a tinge to slight rye flavor. According to Beer Tools (I’m at work, I can’t do all the math right now…), this should result in approximately 1.060 OG, 1.015 TG, a brown/black color (32.54 SRM), ABV of almost 6%, and a bitterness rating of 34.8. The image below is the actual output in Beer Tools.

For those who have played with rye before, let me know what you think! For anyone else who knows what those numbers mean, let me know your thoughts too. And for those who have no idea what I’m talking about, ask questions!


Recipe - click for full size

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