...sharing food...

i am currently sharing food pictures from Belize and travels in Latin America.... i hope you enjoy!
i have started this blog with a number of ideas in mind. i love to cook, bake, and otherwise play with food, so i thought sharing what i do might be fun. i am also going to use this as a means of recording the various dishes that i do come up with. i try to use all organic and as much local food as possible, and i am vegetarian, although a fish dish or two may pop up on here at some point along the way. i'll try to describe what i do to make the food, but if you want a recipe, email me at cocinadooglasATgmailDOTcom. i will also offer up some restaurant reviews from time to time, and share food that i eat on my travels. otherwise, enjoy, and make some food!!!

oh yeah... i like beer too!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Bust a Nut Brown Ale!

As I noted in a previous post, I finally broke down and purchased the equipment to start making my own beer, and about 1 month ago, a group of friends and I brewed our first beer - a nut brown ale. It turned out to be a great decision. It has given us another fun reason to get together, as there were six of us at the brewing, then eight of us at the tasting. If you enjoy cooking and creating in the kitchen, and you also enjoy craft beers, then homebrewing is a natural extension. I picked up the recipe and ingredients from Southern Brewing in Tampa, and the guys there have been friendly and helpful ever since.

Here's the tasting impression of the first brew of our recently dubbed "Greenbriar Artisan Brews" followed by the recipe:

Bust a Nut Brown Ale
Malty aroma - a slight smell of yeast
pours with a big head - well carbonated; doesn't hold that long.
a mild tasting malty brown; almost creamy with notes of walnut; slight hoppy finish.
aftertaste is a bit nutty.
not at it's best right out of the fridge. i didn't temp check it, but it seemed to be best at what i think was about 55 degrees.

Ingredients (for a 5-gallon, extract brew):
Yeast - Nottingham dry yeast
Malt - 5 lbs Amber Dry Malt Extract
Steeping Grains -
- 1 lb Briess Carmel 40L
- .5 lb Briess Victory
- 1 lb Briess Flaked Oats
- .25 lb Fawcett Pale Chocolate
Hops -
- 1 oz Fuggles (60 min)
- .5 oz EKG (15 min)
Priming Sugar (Dextrose) for bottling

Instructions.
Heat 2 gallons water to between 165 & 175 degrees and remove from heat. Place steeping grains into a mesh bag and steep for 30 minutes. Remove bags, strain, bring pot to a boil. Remove from heat, and add malt extract, stirring constantly until dissolved. Return to heat, and slowly bring to boil, being cautious of boil over. Boil for 5 minutes. Add Fuggles hops, boil for 45 minutes, add EKG hops, boil for 15 minutes more. Remove from heat. This is your wort.
Place the pot in an ice bath to drop temperature to about 110-120 degrees. Vigorously pour wort into fermenting bucket, add cold water to the 5 gallon mark. Wort should be below 80 degrees, add yeast, cover with airlock in lid.

The beer must now ferment for at least 10 days, but 2 weeks is probably better. I use a water bath in a round plastic keg holder that I purchased at the Home Depot garden center. It must be temperature controlled and kept in a range of about 60-74 degrees. I add ice bottles once in the morning and once at night, keep it covered, and that seems to do the trick.

After fermentation is complete, it's time to bottle. Dissolve the priming sugar in about 1 cup of water, add to bottling bucket. Carefully and slowly siphon beer into bottling bucket, causing as little oxygenation as possible. Bottle the beer. Five gallons gives you about 25 22oz bottles or 52 12oz bottles.

The beer is then ready in about 2 weeks. Some people try it after 1 week. I've heard it peaks at 3 months, and then deteriorates after about 6 months. Most important, enjoy your fresh yummy homebrew!