Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Some beer recipes

I recently threw my semi-annual beer bash and since I've found it hard to post about my beer and brewing I thought this was the right time to talk a little about it. I had six beers on tap and I cooked up a menu that included each of them in a recipe, something I hadn't done before. Unfortunately, I didn't take the time to shoot many photos but here are some details:

On tap no.1 I had a Belgian wit, not just any wit but without a doubt the best one I ever brewed. My opinion of this beer was backed up by the fact that it was the first keg emptied at the party. This is the first time a wit has beaten out both my pale ale and my IPA for this distinction. Here's the recipe.

Mash: 1.5 gal. per pound at 65 degrees centigrade for 90 min.
5 1/4 lb. Durst Pilz malt (Yes, it's German but I couldn't get the Dingemans pilz I prefer)
5 1/4 lb. raw red winter wheat (I'm a big believer in using the traditional raw wheat in these beers)
1 ml. lactic acid
Sparge: 4.5 gal w/ 1 ml lactic acid at 100 degrees centigrade for 90 min. (Yes, I sparge hot but as long as the grain bed doesn't increase above 75˚ you will be ok)
Boil: 75 min.
1 ml. Hopshot 60 min. (Hopshot is a hop extract I've been experimenting with, 1 ml= about 10 IBU's or substitute 3.5 or so AAU's of your favorite noble hops)
.75 oz. whole coriander seed (steeped for 45 min. after boil)
.5 oz. bitter orange peel (steeped for 45 min. after boil)
Pitch: White Labs 400 Belgian Wit yeast tube and aerate or oxygenate well.

O.G. 13 F.G. 3.2 A.B.V 5.3%

With this beer I made unconventional Belgian carbonade. Traditionally, cabonades are a beef and onion stew made with an Oud bruin (old brown), A slightly sour/malty Belgian beer. I used this wit and echoed the flavors by adding some ground coriander and giving it it's sweet and sour notes with cider vinegar and an orange/apricot fruit spread added at the end.

On tap no.2 I had a Belgian tripel brewed with 1 1/2 lbs. of local honey. These can be dangerous beers to put out at a party because they are both potent and deceptively easy drinking. As a warning to the uninitiated I named this one "Tripel Fukt" complete with a blue silicone phallus as a tap handle.

Mash: 1.25 gal. per pound at 68˚ centigrade for 90 min.
11.5 lbs. Durst pilz malt
.5 lb. Breiss dextrine malt
1 ml. lactic acid (the lactic acid in both of these recipes adds just enough acidity to help avoid having them end up "floppy" of cloying because they are not very bitter beers)
Sparge: 6.25 gal. at 100˚ for 90 min. (long sparges will give you better yields)
Boil: 90 min.
7 AAU's whole Sterling hops 30 min.
1 1/2 lbs. honey added at the end of the boil
Pitch: White Labs 500 Trappist ale yeast (This is a strong yeast but you should make a starter. I used the slurry from a Dubbel I had previously brewed) Oxygenate well!

O.G. 20.2 F.G. 3.1 A.B.V. 9.5%

This beer was used in both a chicken waterzooi stew and some beer braised meatballs.

On tap no.3 was an English-ish IPA. I used all English hops but I hopped it aggressively enough to give an American "over the top" vibe. This was the second keg to be emptied that night.

Mash: 1.25:1 at 66˚ for 90 min.
10 lbs. Maris-Otter malt
1 lb. Dingemans caravien malt
1/2 lb. Dingemans Biscuit malt
1/2 lb. Breiss 20L crystal malt
Sparge: 5 gal. at 100˚ for 90 min.
Boil: 90 min.
31 AAU's Millenium pellets FWH (First Wort Hop = added to runoff at the start of the sparge)
1 oz. Kent Golding pellets 13 min.
1 oz. Willamette leaf 6 min.
Pitch: White Labs 001 (starter or slurry from previous batch)

O.G. 17.2 F.G. 3.6 A.B.V. 7.5%

This one was used in a beer-cheese ball. Amish Cheddar and Colby with cream cheese, "worst chest hair" sauce, IPA and brown mustard seed pureed in the food processor.

On tap no.4 I had a mistake that I called a "burnt brown ale". The recipe is a variation of my robust porter recipe that didn't ferment down far enough to be a porter but ended up as a nice, if not overly roasty, brown ale.

Mash: 1.25:1 at 68˚ for 90 min.
8 lbs. Maris-Otter malt
1/2 lb. Breiss 90L crystal malt (So you know, my real porter recipe would use Breiss Victory malt in this malts place)
1/2 lb. Dingeman's special B malt
1/2 lb. Chocolate malt
1/2 lb. Black malt
Sparge: 6 gal. at 100˚
Boil: 90 min.
5 ml. Hopshot 60 min.
Pitch: White Labs 005 (I usually use 001 for the porter)

O.G. 15.6 F.G. 5.7! A.B.V. 5.4%

This beer was used in Welsh rarebit. Butter, flour, beer and Cheddar cheese.

Tap no.5 was my Imperial Oatmeal Stout. I make this beer once a year and it's always great. I'm fortunate to still have some left after the party. It's a big rich "meal in a glass" kind of beer so it's hard to drink too much in one sitting.

Mash: 1.1:1 at 66˚ for 90 min.
8 lbs. Otter malt
2 lbs. Quick oats (Quick oats are pre-gelatinized so they'll convert without having to do a separate cereal-mash)
1 lb. 90L crystal malt
1 lb. chocolate malt
1 lb. roasted barley
1/2 lb. 40L crystal malt
1/2 lb. dextrine malt
Sparge: 5 gal. at 100˚ for two hours
Boil: 2 hrs.
7.9 AAU's Cluster pellets 90 min.
Pitch: 005 (slurry from porter)

O.G. 20 F.G. 6 A.B.V. 7.9%

This beer was used in a stout-malt cheesecake fondue dessert type thing. I thought it was great but I think it showcased the beer too much for some people. It would have been too easy to add chocolate and leave the beer as a backround flavor. It was basically 3 cups of heavy cream, 8 oz. cream cheese, 1/2 lb. dry light malt extract and around a cup or so of the stout. I should have added some vanilla. This was served in one of those cheesy (pun intended) fondue fountains that you find at discount stores.

The fountain the morning after. MMMMMMM.

The last beer was a simple pale ale (although it was the third keg to die that night). I served it strait out of the keg since I only have 5 taps on my fridge inside. (I have 3 more outside on the garage but it was too cold to use them). While a good utilitarian ale, it's not interesting enough to worry about posting the recipe. I used it in my first, and very successful, shepherds pie.
I ground lamb and fatty beef (trimmings from the brisket that I used in the carbonade) and cooked it down with minced carrots and onions. I added some beer, "worst chest hair" sauce, salt and pepper and spread it evenly over a full sheet pan. The hard part was spreading a layer of mashed potatoes over the meat but once I succeeded in that it was a great way to heat and serve it.

Before potato spreading.

After spreading.

After being eaten (you'll notice the lack of a proper "done" shot).

And the brewers morning-after treat?

Some of the almost 100 pieces of glassware I got to hand-wash.

I'll be doing a ricotta cheese making experiment tomorrow and I'm overdue on a post about my recent experiences making fresh masa from scratch at home. I appreciate the patience of you who like to read the shit I post. Thanks.


pchak said...

Sounds like it was a great time. Sorry I missed it...


I almost included a short video of a bunch of forty-somethings dancing and singing along to The Smith's "How soon is now". It was almost as bad as washing all of those glasses. I'll get you guys over here some day.

Anonymous said...

I am so envious! Sounds like a good time was had by all! I am from the Cleveland area also. I look at your blog about once a month...that and Cooking in Cleveland. I love to hear how the locals are doing it. I just may have to stop out at your market and see what I can find this summer.

Keep up the great work!

Cooking Asshole said... long have you been brewing? Where did you learn? I am a sucker for Belgians and English IPAs.

lkeriegrl said...

With a stove that size you should really have a dishwasher, i think. The fact that you use glass barware despite the handwashing says a lot about both you and the guests. Slainte!