Eat, love, beer.
Our personal heart-warming story of beer-discovery and self-fulfillment. The journey began in February of 2012 when our friend Jan- who’s been making beer since he was 17- took us under his wing for what we thought would be a little show and tell on beer-making. Little did we know it could become sooo addictive. Think about it: your very own home-brewed beer, custom made to satisfy your heart’s desires. Fancy a white beer? A red? Perhaps a chocolate-espresso porter? Yeah. That’s right. You can make ANYTHING you put your mind to.
The first beer we tackled was an IPA made at Jan’s house, which we followed up a month later with a ginger infused amber-ale. They were both fantastic but unfortunately there are no pictures or recipes for them. On the bright side, the very next batch was our coming of age brew for which we took all the equipment up to Jo’s and made all by ourselves!! (Well… under careful supervision by Jan).
So without further ado, here is the first post of what (I hope) will be an epic and yes, life-changing chapter in our lives. This month’s beer: Wheat, with a hint of orange, coriander, and honey. First up: a trip to the local beer supply store. We went to La Chope a Barrock where we told the owner what we wanted to make and he made a quick little recipe for us!
You will need:
- 1.4 kg LME
- 500 g g DME
- 500 g honey
- 500 g wheat
- 500 g Pils
- 30 g Hallenton (@ 30 min)
- Grind from 3 oranges
- 2 T crushed coriander seeds (@ 15 min)
1. Bring water to a boil a boil and lower the temperature to 70˚C (~ 160˚F). All these temperature dependent steps are important so have a thermometer handy.
2. Once the water is the right temperature, place the grains in a cheese cloth and let them rest inside the hot water for 1h.
3. When the time is up, remove the grains but squeeze the bag before discarding to get all that flavour in the pot.
4. Bring the water to a boil again. Add the malt extract and stand by the pot for a minute or two. While the malt breaks down, the water will want to overflow so when you see it doing that, remove the pot from the water, let it settle down and bring it back on the element. From here on out it shouldn’t give you any more trouble. The malt is what will be converted into the alcohol and boiling it breaks down all the sugars that the yeast will then consume.
5. Next, add 1/2 the hops and boil with the malt extract for 1h.*
6. The second half of the hops, the orange rind, the coriander and the honey will go in with 15 minutes to go on the hour.
7. At this point, your beer should smell delicious. It will fill the house with a deep, rich aroma that will get you way pumped for the final product.
When all the time is up, the beer has to be transfered into a food safe container for fermentation. We use a 5 gallon pail that we clean with a food safe sanitizing powder. This is important! You definitely don’t want anything growing alongside the beer you worked so hard to make. Once you transfer the beer, let it cool in the food safe gallon to the temperature indicated on your yeast package. Don’t add the yeast right away because the heat will kill it! Our yeast said it was safe at 24˚C but we added it at 31˚C. Here’s our reasoning: we knew that type of yeast actually dies at a bit higher temperature than that and more importantly, it was getting close to bedtime. You definitely want to add the yeast as soon as you can because at this point, there’s nothing growing in your beer and it could be colonized by.. dare I say it… bacteria! So add the yeast, close your pail and fill the airlock to the fill line with water. The next morning, check to make sure there are bubbles coming out of your airlock: this means it worked! Woohoo. If not, make a run to the beer store, get more yeast and add it in there as soon as you can!
Now, you’ve gotta let this baby sit for about two weeks, or until it stops bubbling. Then comes the bottling.