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Recipes for beer.

Vanilla Soda

Posted by Maggie on November 27, 2011

After my great success with the root beer, I thought that I would try a vanilla soda (also known as cream soda but very different from the historic cream soda).  I sterilzed the bottling equipment and bottles and then used the following to make one case:

  • 2 gallons water
  • 1.5 oz. pure vanilla extract (the type used for baking)
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1/4 tsp yeast

I dissolved the yeast in some warm water and let it sit for five minutes.  I added the sugar to slightly warm water so that it would dissolve well.  Then I added the yeast mixture and the vanilla and then stirred and bottled.  I hope that it will come out well.  I will update when it is ready. 

 

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English Ale #21

Posted by Maggie on October 24, 2011

I have a vomiting child at home so, well, I might as well make beer!  I am going to try White Lab’s WLP002 English Ale yeast.  It is described as creating a somewhat sweet beer.  That sound good to me.  Dry wine and sweet beer.  I am using Munich and Vienna Malt, Pilsen dry malt extract, and just a little Cascade and Hallertau.  I hope to get a nice, mild, pale ale.   We’ll see.  This is for a three gallon batch:

  • 3/4 lb organic Munich malt
  • 1/4 lb Vienna
  • 3 lbs Pilsen DME
  • 3/4 oz Cascade at 1 hour
  • 1/4 oz/ Hallertau at 5 minutes
  • WLP002 English Ale Yeast

Instructions: Bring 2.5 gallon of water to 170F.  Add grain in a cloth bag.  After soaking the grain for 40 minutes at 170 F or less, remove.  Bring to a boil.  Add DME.  Add first hops batch.  Boil for one hour, adding second hops batch five minutes before completion.  Put pot in the sink full of cold water and ice.  There is probably about 2 gallons in the pot now due to the boil.  Cool to about 100F.  Poor into sterilized carboy.  Add about one more gallon of cold water to the carboy to get three gallons total.  Add yeast.  Put on a airblock, cover with a dark cover (I use an old sweater), and put somewhere that is at least 70F (depending on your yeast).  

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Root Beer

Posted by Maggie on October 13, 2011

I was all ready to bottle the fresh hops beer I brewed 11 days ago when I saw that it was still bubbling a bit.  I certainly don’t want any exploding bottles.  So what was I going to do with a nice rack of sterilized bottles and a sterilized bottling bucket and tubes?  Make ROOT BEER!  I bought the flavoring a while ago.  I just needed sugar, dry yeast, the flavoring, water, and the equipment.  What I didn’t have was a good way to measure 2 gallons, which is what the recipe called for, so I ended up with somewhat diluted root beer.  I hope that it still gets carbonated.  It tastes great.  The kids were really happy about that since they think beer is yuck.   It was super easy.  Here is the recipe I used:

  • 1/8 tsp dry yeast dissolved in 1/2 cup warm water
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 TBL root beer flavoring (I purchased it at my local brewing supply store)
  • 2 gallons of water (I used 2.25 since I ended up with 24 bottles ((12 oz. x 24)/128 oz. = 2.25)  

Mix well, bottle, wait 4-6 days for carbonation to take place. 

I’ll write about how it turns out. 

Wow – it’s great!  The carbonation level is perfect.  Who knew I could use the yeast I use for waffles to make root beer?  The flavor is a bit diluted due to the extra water but it is very refreshing.  We made ice cream floats with it on Friday.   And the cost per bottle is slight.  I made 30 bottles with about $1.00 of flavoring, $0.50 worth of sugar, $0.20 worth of yeast.  I had to use electricity and natural gas to sterilize the bottles ($1.00?) and I used iodine for the equipment – another $0.50.  And I used tap water which is pretty cheap per gallon.  Say it was a total of $3.00.    So $0.10 per bottle.  That is hard to beat.


Now I want to make vanilla soda and real root beer with natural ingredients.    

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American Ale #19

Posted by Maggie on July 15, 2011

Alas, I have only 2 apricot ales left!!  A friend told me that it is the best beer she has every had.  It is delicious.  I will try to replicate it in the future.  I need to restock my beer supply and I want a crisp, clear, refreshing beer from the summer.   Last weekend I brewed an American Ale, named afer the American ale yeast from WYeast.  This is supported to be crisp and clean tasting.  For the three gallon batch:

  • 1 lb Belgian malted barlet
  • 3 lbs pale dry malt extract (DME)
  • 1.5 oz Fuggle at 60 minutes
  • .5 oz Hallertaur at 5 minutes
  • American Ale from WYeast

I will be bottling it in a couple of days and will report back on how it tastes.

After my icky #16 beer (I still have some bottles of that in the garage that I need to find a use for), I am double sterilizing the carboy.  First I soak with sodium percarbonate for an hour, rinse well, and then soak with an iodine solution for 20 minutes.   It is too discouraging to brew something that isn’t good.  THe up-front work is worthwhile. 

Oct 9: This is delicious.  I am drinking one now.  It is a bit light on carbonation for some reason, but the flavor is very nice – not bitter but flavorful, just as I like it.  I’m almost out.  Good thing I have my fresh hops batch almost ready to bottle.

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Apricot Ale

Posted by Maggie on May 14, 2011

I now that fruity beer isn’t for everyone, but I have always loved Pyramid’s Apricot Ale.  For Christmas I got some Brewcraft apricot natural fruit flavor so I tried it in this batch.  OMG, it is YUM!  So easy too.  Perfect for summer (although it is cold and rainy now.   Brrr.)  The color is really nice too.

I haven’t tried this yeast before.  It is hard to tell how it affected the flavor since I added the apricot.  It certainly fermented nicely and left no strange flavors.  This recipe is for a three gallon batch.

  • 1 lb. Belgian Pilsner malt
  • 3 lbs. light malt extract
  • .75 oz. Fuggle at 60 minutes and .25 oz. at 5 minutes.
  • WYeast 1056 American Ale
  • 3 oz. Apricot Brewcraft Natural Fruit Flavor added before bottling (right in the bottling bucket)
  • 2/3 cup priming sugar

Due to both fear of contamination and pure laziness, I stopped measuring the alcohol level in my beer (and yes I have gotten grief about this.)  I would say that this particular beer is stronger than my normal brews.   Maybe I should use a bit less DME next time to get a lighter beer.  I can’t drink more than one of these.  But I want to.

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Christmas Eve Ale #17

Posted by Maggie on December 24, 2010

It being Cristmas Eve, I am baking (Christmas stollen and rugelach), and cooking (leg of lamb dinner), so I might as well brew some beer while I’m in the kitchen.  I just was walking to the Oak Barrel to get some yeast when I ran into a friend of mine.  We stopped to chat and she was on her way to the Oak Barrel as well to get a gift card for her husband.   So I got a ride.

I decided to use California Yeast (WLP001) to celebrate the great state I live in.  Here is what I am using.  This is for a 3 gallon batch.

  • Specialty malts:  1 lb. crystal 15, 1 lb. Weyerman Pils (organic)
  • 3 lbs. Pilsen DME
  • Hops:  1 oz. Belgian Cascade at 60 minutes, .5 oz. Centennial at 10 minutes
  • White Labs California Ale yeast

I just got two cases of bottles from my friend Norm so I will be ready to bottle this after the primary without having to drink all the beer in the other bottles.

Feb 8:  This is delicious.  Much better than #16.  What I have learned: Sterilization is not enough!  I sterilized the carboy for #16 but there was a film inside of the bottle from previous batches.  Before I brewed #17, I cleaned this out by filling the carboy with a sodium percarbonate solution for an hour and then brushing out the residue.  #17 has a much cleaner flavor.  #16 has a weird after-taste.  I think that the really crisp flavor depends on everything being incredibly clean and sterile.


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Kolsch Ale #16

Posted by Maggie on December 4, 2010

I haven’t brewed for quite a while because I just don’t drink as much beer when the weather is cold.  But my stocks are getting low, the holidays are coming, so I am brewing again.  Here is what I am using as ingredients:

  • Specialty malts:  1 lb. crystal 15, 1 lb. Weyerman Pils (organic)
  • 2 lbs. Pale Ale DME (organic)
  • Hops:  .5 oz. Hallertaur, 1 oz. Centennial at 60 minutes, .5 oz. Belgian Cascade at 10 minutes
  • Kolsch yeast

I bottled this after 12 days in primary.  I’ll see how it tastes in a couple of weeks.  I only had 30 bottles and more beer than fit in the bottles so I had to drink a big mug of fresh beer.  Yum.   No carbonation but drinkable.  I wonder how much people used to drink fresh beer back in the day.

It tastes OK but I don’t really like the after-taste.  Almost a bit banana-ie.  It is a little more hoppy that what I usually make, almost like an IPA/pale ale cross.   My first few batches were so good that I thought I couldn’t fail.  But this is certainly mediocre.  Still drinkable but not delicious.  Now what do I do with all of this?  I am too picky to drink it.

I did a test with the carbonation: I marked the first two bottled I filled and the last two to see how the carbonation differs.  I haven’t opened those yet.  I’ll report back.   The bottles are sitting in a fairly cool garage now (by East Bay standards – low 40s, high 30s at night.  Global warming?  What a joke!  Just kidding.  I’m not a simpleton.)   I wonder how this will impact the flavor over the next couple of weeks.



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California Ale #15

Posted by Maggie on October 3, 2010

Today I had my first beer brewing class.  Seven student came over to learn the basics of brewing.   The class lasted about 3.5 hours.  We bottled the two Belgian ales which had been in secondary fermentation.  This is we brewed.  This is for a three gallon batch, as usual.

  • .5 lb pale ale and .5 lb crystal 15 specialty malt (organic)
  • 3 lbs Organic Pale Ale DMA
  • .5 oz. Organic Cascade and .5 oz. Hallertaur at 60 minutes, .5 oz. Fuggle at 10 minutes
  • WLP001 California Ale yeast

I’ll update with how it turns out.

I bottled this a couple of days ago and it had the thinnest yeast layer at the bottom of the carboy that I have yet seen.  It also didn’t seem to bubble for very long.  I lost my hydrometer but I think that I need to start using it again.  I wonder if the organic DME I used for this batch might not be of the same quality as the non-organic DME, although it is pesticide free, which is a big plus.  Although I used organic DME for Kolsch #11 and that beer was excellente.  Maybe the California Ale Yeast was a weak batch.  The flavor was good.  I’ll see what the alcohol level is like (through the non-scientific method of drinking it and seeing how much alcohol I feel.  This works very well if you are a serious alcohol light-weight like me.)

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Belgian Ale #14

Posted by Maggie on September 15, 2010

I am going to use the yeast cake left from #13 and brew another Belgian ale, this one with less hops.  What I am brewing today for a three gallon batch:

  • 1 lb. organic Great Western Crystal 15
  • 1 lb. organic Gambrinus Pilsner Malt
  • 2 lb. Pilsner DME
  • 1/2 oz. organic Fuggle and 1/2 oz. Hallertau at 60 minutes
  • 1/2 oz. Hallertau at 10 minutes
  • Belgian Ale Yeast

I will leave this in primary for nine days and then move it into a secondary fermentation carboy.  I like #11 so much that I am going to keep using a secondary fermentation step.

Doesn’t this picture make my hand look enormous and the pot look tiny?  It looks like I am stirring a coffee cup.  Or else I am a giant.  No pictures of me on this site.  I’m 18 feet tall.  No wonder I need to brew so much beer.  I drink a gallon for breakfast.

I just racked this to a secondary carboy after two weeks in primary.  I tasted it and it was quite spicy like cinnamon and ginger, not hot.  It tasted like a holiday ale.  I’ll see how it tastes when it is ready.

I ended up leaving this in secondary for only a few days so my class could have practice bottling.  Oddly, it is better than #13 which was in secondary for two weeks.  It’s delicious.

Well, this is my first flat beer.  I added adequate primer but I added it to the bottling bucket after I siphoned in the beer thinking that it might solve my problem of uneven carbonation that was extremely evident with #12.  Instead I have found that the bottles I have opened thus far are too flat.  The flavor is still very interesting and it is still drinkable but I would like more bubbles.  Perhaps I can pass it off as: “Belgian ale is usually served cold and flat.”  It worked well with a bread I once made.  It didn’t rise at all and was like a brick.  I sliced it thinly and served it at a holiday party as ‘Bulgarian Christmas bread’, or something like that.  It was a big hit.   I’m sure that we will still drink this up.


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Belgian Ale #13

Posted by Maggie on September 3, 2010

I have never used Belgian Ale yeast before so I thought that I would give it a try.  This is what I am brewing now.  The ingredients are for a three gallon batch.

  • 1 lb. Belgian Pale Ale malt
  • 1 lb. Munich Malt (smells like Honey malt)
  • 2 lbs. Pilsner DME
  • Belgian Ale Yeast WLP570
  • .75 oz. Liberty hops @ 60 minutes
  • .25 oz. Cacade hops @ 60 minutes
  • 1 oz. Fuggle (organic) @ 10 minutes

I liked that crispness and clean flavor of the Kolsch #11 so much that I plan to put this in a secondary fermentor after 2 weeks in primary.  It is more work but the flavor improvement might be worth it.  It might make a difference what yeast is used.  Maybe the secondary doesn’t make a big difference with Belgian Ale yeast.   Luckily, I have many years of beer brewing ahead of me for experimentation.

Update:  I racked this to secondary after 12 days.  I will be bottling it in 18 days for a class.  It is a short secondary fermentation but should still affect the flavor and crispness.  I will let you know.

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