Patriotic Brew Day

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Having put this off long enough, I have finally pulled the trigger on a brew day for the Presidential beers! This Sunday, October 7, starting after breakfast and before kickoffs, I'll be firing-up the burners, mashing grains and boiling wort!

Northern Brewer offers the recipe kits for the White House Honey Ale and the White House Honey Porter for a decent price. The problem is this: the kits are extract-with-specialty-grain kits, and this blog has gone all-grain for some time now. A conundrum.

Problem solved, however! There are enough people interested in being a part of this "Presidential Beer" moment - and enough people who haven't brewed yet but want to learn - that I can kill 2 birds with one stone! I purchased the Northern Brewer Honey Ale kit, and plan to introduce the n00bs who will be joining us to the ease and joy of homebrewing by doing that beer the beginner's way: stovetop kettle, steep specialty grains in a little bag, add water to the fermenter. Easy, done in 2-2 1/2 hours! I hope to urge some folks to take-on this fine craft, and may even be willing to part with my old stovetop boil kettle and bottling bucket to an interested party.

Then, I took about an hour, consulted some resources and pros, and converted - to the best of my and our collective ability - the Honey Porter extract kit to an all-grain recipe. While the stovetop crowd knocks the Honey Ale out, some of us can do the all-grain on the big burner.

I am actually really looking forward to Sunday. We'll move a TV into the garage and show some football while we brew. People are bringing kids over and Mrs. Smitty is preparing a "hotdog party" for the families that come over (tons of hotdogs, gobs of options for toppings, from sophisticated to ballpark). This isn't just a brew's a brew party!

I have timed it so these two beers will be ready to be tapped on election night. So...follow-up party on November 6!

For the real geeks in the crowd, the original Northern Brewer White House Honey Porter Kit calls for:

  • 6.3 lb Gold malt syrup
  • 1 lb honey
  • 1 lb Briess Caramel 20
  • .75 lb Briess Munich Malt
  • .625 English Black Malt
  • .188 English Chocolate Malt
  • 1 oz Nugget (.5 @ 45 min, .5 @ 30 min)
  • 1/2 oz Halertau (end of boil)
  • Wyeast #1056 - American Ale
I converted it thusly:

  • 7.75 lb Maris Otter Pale Malt (base-grain, to simulate Gold malt syrup)
  • 1 lb Crystal Malt 60L (base-grain, to simulate Gold malt syrup)
  • all other specialty grains and honey remain the same, as is the hop schedule
I feel good about the conversion, and I am so in love with Maris Otter as a base grain for Brit-originated beers (thanks Sopor!) that I get all tickly just thinking about it.  It imparts just the perfect balance of biscuity-sweet that it really mellows and rounds-out a beer the way I remember them from my trip to the UK.  Its worth the extra pennies it costs per pound than any other pale malt base grain, and even more worth the extra-extra pennies to purchase the old-school floor-malted stuff that brewers over there have preferred for 200 years.

Pics and Facebook/Twitter-posting madness to ensue in a few days.  And if you're in the neighborhood around 11:00 this Sunday....come over.  There's beer to be had while there's brewing to be done.


Bob 9:07 AM  

Sounds awesome. I look forward to the Porter more than the other.

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