Real Fermenting

Friday, 11 July 2014

Hedgerow Pale Ale

This is the first in a series of unhopped gruit ales I have been researching and planning for the past few months. The inspiration for this brew is the simple availability of certain herbs to our forebears in hedgerows and the margins of forests. The herbs I'm using are Nettle, Horehound, Yarrow, St. John's Wort, Elder (berry and flower). I am aiming to produce an ale that is analogous to an American Pale Ale. It will be around 6% with a medium-high level of bitterness.
Yarrow growing in my brewer's garden

Monday, 5 May 2014

English Pale Ale - Extra Special Bitter

This is going to be my last hopped ale for a little while. I decided on an English Pale Ale, of which ESB is the heaviest class. Maybe it's pure nostalgia, but I am really hoping to recreate the brews I drank back in Merry Olde England when I were a lad. So I got my (organic) Whitbread Goldings hops and my biscuit malt and my Marris Otter LME and my fingers crossed!

Pelletized Whitbread Goldings hops

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

The Best Six Beer Homebrewing Resources on the Web

Homebrewing is about results. Whether you're opening your 1st beer kit you got as a Christmas gift, or you're planning a new 10-gallon all-grain recipe from scratch, we all need help and information from time to time. I have collected what I think are the six best homebrewing resources online for beer making. I look forward to hearing from you guys in the comments about your favorite sites/books/whatever.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Notes for Winter 2013

These notes are mostly for myself. But I also want to keep y'all up to date with what I am planning on brewing, fermenting and writing about. Join me below the fold for stream of thought note taking!

Holiday Wit

Over the past year, I have been focused very much on improving my beer brewing knowledge and skills. Brewing different styles, brewing from kits and making my own recipes. Experimenting and reproducing. Today I am going to write about my most recent brew, which was bottled on December 9th 2013. It is a Belgian Wit style, brewed with seasonal spices.

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Sunday, 14 October 2012

Maple Wine

A fine time to return to brewing  - the fall. Autumn. It's always so exciting to me when the new fall vegetables and fruits come into season. My own brewing history began with an autumnal abundance of pomegranates and pineapple guava. Now I have an abundance of apples, and I want to make an apple beer, but first, the inspiration struck me to make maple wine.

Maple syrup is one of my favorite foods. I have a sweet tooth, but maple syrup has always seemed more nutritional than simple sugar syrup. And you know what? It's packed with vital minerals (this gallon of wine will have about 20 doses of the daily value of manganese). And there is something exciting about pouring a quart of maple syrup at one time. I really recommend trying this recipe for that reason alone. Forget the expectations of a complex, full-bodied white wine in the spring and enjoy fermentation at its simplest level. Great ingredients, yeast, drink!

Pouring the syrup

Friday, 10 August 2012

Not Fermenting - Pickled Jalapeños

Pickled jalapeños - I can't get enough of them! In order to support my habit, I needed to make my own. These aren't fermented, but they are made with homegrown peppers, along with jalapeños from my farm box. This recipe follows a basic canning process, which you won't see very often on this blog, because it is designed to prevent fermentation, or any kind of microbial activity. Canning was invented fifty years before germ theory was discovered, by the French brewer and confectioner Nicolas Appert. For Napoleon... hmm. Maybe next time, I will try to find a fermented jalapeño recipe. 
Chopped jalapeños. Wear gloves