Barack O'Beer

Monday, September 03, 2012

Perhaps it was public pressure. Perhaps it was our post, one among many, urging the White House take action.  Perhaps our President and his staff are just into the finest hobby in the world.  Whatever it was, whatever the reason was, the White House has decided to release their beer recipes unto homebrewers the world over!

From the press release:

As far as we know the White House Honey Brown Ale is the first alcohol brewed or distilled on the White House grounds. George Washington brewed beer and distilled whiskey at Mount Vernon and Thomas Jefferson made wine but there's no evidence that any beer has been brewed in the White House. (Although we do know there was some drinking during prohibition…)
Since our first batch of White House Honey Brown Ale we've added the Honey Porter and have gone even further to add a Honey Blonde this past summer. Like many home brewers who add secret ingredients to make their beer unique, all of our brews have honey that we tapped from the first ever bee-hive on the South Lawn. The honey gives the beer a rich aroma and a nice finish but it doesn't sweeten it.
Another nice touch is that the staff didn't just brew the kit recipe.  They sought some advice, engaged other homebrewers who work at the White House and made some recipes they can truthfully call their own.

Before I get to the recipes, the White House has included a fun little 4-minute vid on brewing the beer, the first-even beer brewed on the White House premises.

These recipes are extract-plus-specialty-grain beers; the kind almost every homebrewer whets their teeth on.  In the coming days, I'm going to look into converting the extracts detailed in the White House recipes into all-grain.  It's a matter of picking the right base grain and a few additional grains for color and flavor in such a way as to match the flavor of the extract syrup.  Additionally, they used dry yeast.  I'm not a giant fan of dry yeast, so I'll grab some yeast strains from White Labs or Wyeast that are in essence the same as the dry...just, you know, wet.

But for the extract brewers on this blog, and for general interest, behold:  The White House Honey Porter and the White House Honey Ale!


White House Honey Porter

Ingredients
  • 2 (3.3) lb. cans light unhopped malt extract
  • 3/4 lb Munich Malt (cracked)
  • 1 lb crystal 20 malt (cracked)
  • 6 oz black malt (cracked)
  • 3 oz chocolate malt (cracked)
  • 1 lb White House Honey
  • 10 HBUs bittering hops
  • 1/2 oz Hallertaur Aroma hops
  • 1 pkg Nottingham dry yeast
  • 3/4 cup corn sugar for bottling
Directions
  1. In a 6 qt pot, add grains to 2.25 qts of 168˚ water. Mix well to bring temp down to 155˚. Steep on stovetop at 155˚ for 45 minutes. Meanwhile, bring 2 gallons of water to 165˚ in a 12 qt pot. Place strainer over, then pour and spoon all the grains and liquid in. Rinse with 2 gallons of 165˚ water. Let liquid drain through. Discard the grains and bring the liquid to a boil. Set aside.
  2. Add the 2 cans of malt extract and honey into the pot. Stir well.
  3. Boil for an hour. Add half of the bittering hops at the 15 minute mark, the other half at 30 minute mark, then the aroma hops at the 60 minute mark.
  4. Set aside and let stand for 15 minutes.
  5. Place 2 gallons of chilled water into the primary fermenter and add the hot wort into it. Top with more water to total 5 gallons if necessary. Place into an ice bath to cool down to 70-80˚.
  6. Activate dry yeast in 1 cup of sterilized water at 75-90˚ for fifteen minutes. Pitch yeast into the fermenter. Fill airlock halfway with water. Ferment at room temp (64-68˚) for 3-4 days.
  7. Siphon over to a secondary glass fermenter for another 4-7 days.
  8. To bottle, make a priming syrup on the stove with 1 cup sterile water and 3/4 cup priming sugar, bring to a boil for five minutes. Pour the mixture into an empty bottling bucket. Siphon the beer from the fermenter over it. Distribute priming sugar evenly. Siphon into bottles and cap. Let sit for 1-2 weeks at 75˚.

White House Honey Ale

Ingredients
  • 2 (3.3 lb) cans light malt extract
  • 1 lb light dried malt extract
  • 12 oz crushed amber crystal malt
  • 8 oz Biscuit Malt
  • 1 lb White House Honey
  • 1 1/2 oz Kent Goldings Hop Pellets
  • 1 1/2 oz Fuggles Hop pellets
  • 2 tsp gypsum
  • 1 pkg Windsor dry ale yeast
  • 3/4 cup corn sugar for priming
Directions
  1. In an 12 qt pot, steep the grains in a hop bag in 1 1/2 gallons of sterile water at 155 degrees for half an hour. Remove the grains.
  2. Add the 2 cans of the malt extract and the dried extract and bring to a boil.
  3. For the first flavoring, add the 1 1/2 oz Kent Goldings and 2 tsp of gypsum. Boil for 45 minutes.
  4. For the second flavoring, add the 1/2 oz Fuggles hop pellets at the last minute of the boil.
  5. Add the honey and boil for 5 more minutes.
  6. Add 2 gallons chilled sterile water into the primary fermenter and add the hot wort into it. Top with more water to total 5 gallons. There is no need to strain.
  7. Pitch yeast when wort temperature is between 70-80˚. Fill airlock halfway with water.
  8. Ferment at 68-72˚ for about seven days.
  9. Rack to a secondary fermenter after five days and ferment for 14 more days.
  10. To bottle, dissolve the corn sugar into 2 pints of boiling water for 15 minutes. Pour the mixture into an empty bottling bucket. Siphon the beer from the fermenter over it. Distribute priming sugar evenly. Siphon into bottles and cap. Let sit for 2 to 3 weeks at 75˚.

8 comments:

steves 9:33 PM  

So is anyone going to make this? I will volunteer to drink it.

Smitty 8:29 AM  

I thought I was pretty clear in my post that I intend to make both of these beers.

Bob 12:18 PM  

How do you think the Honey will work with the Porter? Seems like a strange combo to me.

Smitty 12:26 PM  

Honey is considered more of an adjunct; maybe it'll increase the body, definitely dries the beer out a bit, and adds a big alcohol kick because it ferments nearly completely. Not really meant to add flavor. The recipe calls for adding it with 5 or so minutes left in the boil; thus, this is meant to dry it out and give it a booze boost. If it were for flavor, the recipe would have you add it after you've chilled the wort (or brought it below about 150). Then, yes, I'd argue that the honey adds nothing to a porter other than novelty unless you're using a honey produced by bees that fed on a really mega-pungent pollen source, like orange blossoms.

Sopor42 4:47 AM  

I have only one word for you Smitty: Maris Otter.


(ok, 2 words)

Joel 12:32 PM  

I will drink. I will help. Whatever.

Smitty 1:29 PM  

I love Maris Otter. I use it in any Brit-originated beer. Will it give me the proper taste given the WH's recipe, though? Or do I need like American 2-row or some other like light Crystal?

steves 3:01 PM  

All joking aside, I will help, too.

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