Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Brew belly

This morning i woke up to the sound of chirping birds, kids playing outside and the smells of early spring. As i laid there in my gigantic California king, I pondered about the various activities planned for the day. It was super bowl Sunday and i had nothing really going on. I didnt have any friends coming over to watch the game, i didnt have any plans to cook, i had basically not much to do.

I got up, took a shower and went to church. When the wife and i came home, we had a nice dinner and some refreshing fruit. I all of a sudden had an idea. I want to weld some parts for my grills and smokers. So i went out side and hooked up me ole welder and went to town. After finishing up that project i went in and found myself fumbling(no pun intended for superbowl sunday) through the fridge. I noticed my bag of ginger, hops, and yeasts sitting there. I looked at the wife and said: "Hey babe, wanna make some Ginger lager?" she politely  agreed and off to the kitchen we went. Now, all the homebrews i make, are soft. I am not a drinker.

I first did some research on the two types of yeasts i have. The first one is the lager type. This one works great for real beers because even when put in the fridge and at cooler temps, it still is active. This is bad news bears for sodas because that means extra pressure from the yeast eatin all the sugar and then you have bottle bombs. SO to prevent that, i purchased an ale yeast that goes dormant below 35*F. You could add Potassium Sorbet to permanently kill the yeast if needs be.

Well, with that in mind, my wife and i started our adventure. First, we gathered our equipment. You have to use stainless steel because with aluminum, it will make it taste to acidic. I used my new 5qrt SS stock pot. You will also need a digital scale, measuring spoons and cups, a very good strainer with small small holes, a gallon pitcher or carboy, and your bottles. I am using two 2 litter bottles that used to have diet coke in them. You can use those bottles up to 2 times before you MUST replace them.

I sanitized the bottles in very very hot water and some dishsoap. I rinsed and dried very well. Once dry, try not to touch the threads or the inside of the bottles. This will prevent little microbial from growing.
Now for the fun stuff.

Here is the list of key ingredients to use:

All together:

1.75 oz fresh, grated ginger.

.25 oz hallertauer hop pellets.

1.75 cups of sugar.

1/8th teaspoon ale yeast.

Into your brew pot, bring 2 qrts of water, the grated ginger, and  sugar to a small rolling boil. Once it is simmering, add .25 oz of hops to the water.

Simmer for 20 minutes UNCOVERED. Then remove from heat and cool COVERED for 30 minutes. While it is cooling, add 2 qrts cold water to a gallon pitcher or carboy. Once the mixture has cooled, add it to the cold water and store till mixed. Roughly 30 seconds. Let the entire mix cool till room temp. this is very important because if it is to hot or cold, it will kill the yeast. Take a teacup and add 1/4 cup of  luke warm water. Add the yeast to the teacup of water and mix well. Once mixed, add it to the large carboy or pitcher and thoroughly stir the mixture. Once it is mixed, pour the room temp solution into the plastic bottles, leaving 1.5 inches of air space from the top. This will make enough to fill 11 12 ounce bottles or one 2 litter bottle and about 4 or 5 12 ounce bottles. 

Once they have been bottled and sealed. let sit in a cooler at room temp for about 2-4 days. You will start to notice bubles and foam in the first 24-30 hours, this is good. This means the yeast is eating the sugar and creating the carb we need. Once the bottles are rock hard CAREFULLY PUT THEM IN THE FRIDGE!

Wait 3 to 4 days before serving. This will allow the yeast to go dormant and settle at the bottom. Serve cold on ice with a nice grilled blue cheese burger or a nice slice of Prime Rib!

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