Log in

I Brew, Therefore I Am: Brew Beer, Wine, and Meade [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
I Brew, Therefore I Am: Brew Beer, Wine, and Meade

[ userinfo | livejournal userinfo ]
[ archive | journal archive ]

Beet Wine [Aug. 10th, 2009|04:39 pm]
I Brew, Therefore I Am: Brew Beer, Wine, and Meade

[Current Location |United States, Massachusetts, Cambridge]
[mood |thirstythirsty]

An e-mail conversation with my father may have just added beet wine to the fall's brewing schedule.

Have YOU ever made beet wine? If so, do you have a favorite recipe? What other vegetable wines have folks here made and how did they turn out?

(x-posted to a few brewing LJs)
link1 comment|post comment

This Saturday August 1 is National Mead Day! [Jul. 29th, 2009|02:32 pm]
I Brew, Therefore I Am: Brew Beer, Wine, and Meade

[Current Location |United States, Massachusetts, Cambridge]
[mood |thirstythirsty]

Mead is a fermented beverage made form honey, and may very well be the oldest alcoholic beverage on Earth.

What is Mead Day?

Mead Day, organized by the American Homebrewers Association (AHA), is a national event to help increase camaraderie among homebrewers (see What is Homebrewing?) and meadmakers (see What is Mead?) and to introduce or reintroduce the meadmaking hobby.

Each year on the first Saturday in August, homebrewers around the nation are encouraged to invite non-brewing and brewing friends and family to celebrate by making mead.

For more Mead information, visit Talisman Farm: Mead.

I'll be starting two small batches of mead this Saturday. First, will be a Mesquite and Prickly Pear mead. The other won't be a strict mead, but will be a mead recipe made using Agave Nectar in place of honey. Let me know if you're interested in joining in on the fun.

Mead Day Facts
2008 More than 950 people produced more than 820 gallons of mead at 54 sites in 29 states and Russia.
2007 More than 1,050 gallons of mead were produced at 51 sites by more than 500 meadmakers. There were Mead Day sites in 23 states, and in Canada, Australia, and Russia.

link3 comments|post comment

Passover, alcohol and me [Jun. 16th, 2009|04:35 pm]
I Brew, Therefore I Am: Brew Beer, Wine, and Meade

The background musing

I'm a gentile, but my wife is Jewish. I love making things for people to enjoy eating or drinking. I also enjoy making alcoholic beverages from scratch. All of these factors combine to forge my interest in making wine for assorted Jewish holidays.

I've spent the last year or so periodically threatening to make a haroset wine. When I looked up a few recipes, I learned that haroset is an amazingly varied dish. Depending on the base recipe I choose I could justifiably make a wine, mead or hard cider.

A little more research revealed that mead is actually a traditional Passover drink, or at least, according to Adventures in Jewish Cooking, it was 20 years ago. I was amused to learn that a hopped mead fermented in an oak barrel was the recipe recommended by the author of Adventures in Jewish Cooking.

This brings me to my questions:

1. What's your favorite haroset recipe?

2. If you don't have a favorite recipe, what are some of the ingredients you believe really SHOULD be in a good haroset?

3. Do you have a recipe you think would make a good alcoholic beverage?

The plan

I'm going to try making a few batches of haroset for Passover in 2010. Since my brewing schedule is already full for this year, I probably won't actually start any potential haroset beverages until after the 2010 passover. I'm also expecting to age the beverage for 6 to 12 months. In the end, this is a beverage that won't be cracked open until April 18, 2011, but I'll need to start it in the Spring of 2010.
linkpost comment

In Search of Elusive Eroica [Jul. 22nd, 2007|03:08 am]
I Brew, Therefore I Am: Brew Beer, Wine, and Meade

[Current Location |work, where else]
[mood |frustratedfrustrated]
[music |patients' snoring]

Eroica hops are my current grail. No matter where I look, no one has any left, or they don't carry them to begin with. I only need 4 oz. Do any of my fellow brewers have any to spare?
link1 comment|post comment

Mocha porter [Dec. 8th, 2006|01:27 pm]
I Brew, Therefore I Am: Brew Beer, Wine, and Meade
I'm relatively new to home brewing, but I've taken to it in an experimental, fun way. After two extract beers (and a couple non-beer brews: ginger beer, wine, lent a hand with some cider), I decided to try all-grain. This is the recipe for my first all-grain beer, one which surprisingly turned out to be among my favorite beers. It's a mocha porter, somewhat bitter and slightly sweet.


11 pounds American 2-row malt
2 pounds Chocolate malt
8 ounces Black Patent malt
8 ounces Flaked Barley


2 ounces Cascade
2 ounces Hallertauer


Nottingham Ale Yeast


1 cup corn sugar

Other junk

3 tablespoons unsweetened chocolate
12 cups fresh brewed coffee
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract


Mash grain with three gallons water at around 150°F for 30 minutes, then bring temperature up to around 160°F for another 30 minutes or so. Sparge with four gallons at 180°F. Boil wort 60 minutes. After 20 minutes, add the Cascade hops. After another 20 minutes, add half the Hallertauer hops. Add another half-ounce after 10 minutes, then the rest of the hops and the chocolate at 5 minutes remaining. Add the coffee at the end of the boil.

Ferment at around 70°F for one week. Add vanilla and primer (boiled 5 minutes) at bottling time.

What I would change

I liked this beer so much I'm going to make it again, but next time I'll:

- cut the coffee to 8 cups
- use 4 tablespoons chocolate, and add to the boil at 20 minutes remaining
- filter before fermentation, to remove any remaining chocolate that didn't dissolve
- double the vanilla extract

Other notes

The beer is undercarbonated (a complaint I've had about a lot of homebrew beer and wine), but foams over if you open the bottle and leave it sitting for about 5 minutes. I don't know what to make of this.

I don't know the following information:

- IBUs
- Gravity
- Alcohol percentage
link1 comment|post comment

Vanilla Cream Stout [Nov. 22nd, 2006|10:58 pm]
I Brew, Therefore I Am: Brew Beer, Wine, and Meade
[mood |tiredtired]

So, I've passed the pumpkin spice ale around for a couple of days now and it's getting rave reviews - even from the beer judge who knows far better than me  - so the recipe, with the modification of course, works.

Tonight I tried another one of my own design:  Vanilla Cream Stout.  the wort tastes like candy.

For those of you who might want to try it.  Here's the recipe:

Vanilla Cream Stout

First brewed: November 2006


8 oz. Roasted Barley

2 oz. Flaked Barley

4 oz. Chocolate Malt

2 oz. Black Patent Malt


6 lbs Munton’s Amber DME

4 lbs Munton’s Dark DME


16 oz. Lactose

4 oz. MaltoDextrine


1 oz. Fuggle Bittering Hop

½ oz. Kent Golding Flavor Hop

½ oz Cascade Aroma Hop


1 oz. Vanilla Extract


1 Tbsp Irish Moss


White Labs Irish Ale Yeast



Heat 1 gallon of Spring Water to 155° F

Remove from heat and add:

            8 oz. Roasted Barley

2 oz. Flaked Barley

4 oz. Chocolate Malt

2 oz. Black Patent Malt


Steep at 150° F for 30 minutes then sparge grains with ½ gallon of 150° F water


Return to heat, bring to a boil, then add:

            6 lbs Munton’s Amber DME

4 lbs Munton’s Dark DME

            4 oz. MaltoDextrine

            1 oz. Fuggle Bittering Hop


(note: add the dry ingredients slowly, seeing that each one boils down.  You must watch this wort closely, it will boil up on you)

Boil for 45 minutes


In a separate pot, boil 1 lbs lactose in ½ gallon of water.  When the lactose is dissolved, add to brews pot.


After 45 minutes, add ½ oz Kent Golding Flavoring Hop and 1 tbsp Irish Moss


Boil for 10 minutes and add ½ oz Cascade Aroma Hop.


Boil for five minutes, remove from heat and stir in 1 oz. Vanilla Extract.


Chill wort.


Pour in Fermenter


Add 4.5 gallons of water and 2 ½ tsp of calcium carbonate.


Add one tube White Labs Irish Ale Yeast




Wait two weeks, rack into secondary fermenter.


Wait two weeks.

Boil ¾ cup confectioners sugar in 2 cups of water


Add to beer.




Wait 2 weeks.




linkpost comment

(no subject) [Nov. 20th, 2006|08:39 pm]
I Brew, Therefore I Am: Brew Beer, Wine, and Meade

Best Beer I've had this Year

1. Thomas Creek Dopplebock
2.  Cottonwood Pumpkin
3.  Sarnac Carmel Porter
4.  Rouge Hazelnut Brown
5.  Holy Grail Ale
6.  My chocolate Raspberry Stput
7.  Pyramid Apricot Ale (on tap)

Anyone know of good places to buy for home drinking, and drinking out of good beer in charlotte, nc.  i'm probably moving there soon.  Anyone know of a good homebrewing store around there?
linkpost comment

(no subject) [Nov. 17th, 2006|09:39 am]
I Brew, Therefore I Am: Brew Beer, Wine, and Meade

[mood |thirstythirsty]

I started a caramel apple cider, a 2ish gallon batch, about a month ago. I read forums that advised using caramel, but I couldn't really find any so instead I decided to get that sweet caramelly taste from wheat malt....similar color, texture and taste. I boiled the malt (about 3lbs) in 1/2 gal of soft apple cider (with a touch of vanilla extract), then added it to the balance of the cider in the carboy....pitched nottingham ale yeast at about 80F..........it smelled heavenly, OG was 1.100, can't wait to see the final product! Current SG is about 1.012, and its a little hot. The apple and caramel flavors I tasted at the beginning are almost gone. I've added a can of apple juice concentrate to my carboy, to help out the flavor. It also increased the remaining fermentable, and I now have bubbles on top of my cider again. I'll probably add another can of AJ concentrate at the end of the month, along with a few ounces of caramel syrup. Two weeks before x-mas, I'll add a few more ounces (for flavor and carbonation), and maybe some lactose, then bottle in beer bottles or swing tops. The next phase will be the hardest....forget about it till June. May, maybe....late April at the earliest!
linkpost comment

Pumpkin Ale Update [Nov. 16th, 2006|12:00 am]
I Brew, Therefore I Am: Brew Beer, Wine, and Meade

I (finally) bottled the Pumpkin Ale yesterday, now I just have to wait for it to carbonate.  I hope to be able to open it for Thanksgiving.  In any case, I'm quite satisfied with the result.  It has a deep reddish amber color.  The flavor is very malty with undertones of the pumpkin and other spices.  I will admit that the original recipe came out a little on the hoppy side, so I doctored it going into the second fermentation.  Another gallon and a half of water, a can of the Amber extract syrup, a tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice, a can of pumpkin, and 8 oz. of brown sugar later, I got the result I was after.  I'll let everyone know the verdict once I break it open next week.

linkpost comment

Brewing success (of course!) [Nov. 12th, 2006|09:19 am]
I Brew, Therefore I Am: Brew Beer, Wine, and Meade

I've been getting more adventurous in my brewing, again. I got involved in a group brew of some interesting beers. This let me play with them, without getting stuck with a big batch if I didn't like it. I just bottled some Spiced Pumpkin Ale and a Maple cream ale. I took some to a Medieval feast, and WOW, was that well received!!! Both turned out great, they poured well. Mind you, I've never before heard men complaining about getting so much head before, LOL. Anyhow, looks like the Wolf Pack enjoyed a few tasty brews.

Cross posted to my LJ
linkpost comment

[ viewing | most recent entries ]
[ go | earlier ]