Food and Drink, Homebrewing, The Features

Homebrew DC: White House Homebrew

White House Homebrew! Party on, Mr. President!

I have been avoiding this topic on purpose. First, it’s that ugly political season and this is not a political issue. Partisan politics is good at driving people apart and beer is good at bringing them together. Whatever ills arise between people can often be soothed by a draught of beer and a cup of merriment. In fact, beer is so intertwined into the fabric of our nation that it cannot be neatly undone and cast aside. Beer is part and parcel of the American dream, a beverage whose roots are democratic, thus serving as a microcosm through which to view our nation, preferably while staring through the bottom of an upturned glass.

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Food and Drink, Homebrewing, The Features

Homebrew DC: Classic American Pilsner

Photo courtesy of Tony DeFilippo
T-I-N-Y BUBBLES….
courtesy of Tony DeFilippo

My homebrewing club  at Kena Shriners was asked to make a batch of beer for another club, and was given little direction on what type of homebrew recipe I should use. We did a little reconnaissance work and learned that this other club loves light lagers such as Bud Light, so I decided to make something similar enough that they would be familiar with it, but also different enough that it would be a bit more interesting than their usual brews.

I got this recipe from Brew Your Own, which labeled it “Your Father’s Mustache.” I have adapted the recipe a bit to accommodate for my timeframe and equipment. Specifically, I am using an ale yeast because I need the beer to be done and in a keg in a little more than a month. Making a true pilsner takes a bit longer than an ale because it requires a lager yeast, which ferments slowly, and at a low temperature.

I will be serving this beer on Monday at a Memorial Day cookout. If you go to the Falls Church Memorial Day Parade and see those guys in the little cars, they are the ones who requested this special brew. They will have it after the parade, mind you, so go enjoy all your fine fezzed friends driving their precision patterns.

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Food and Drink, Homebrewing, The Features

Homebrew DC: Dry Stout Recipe

Photo courtesy of Bernt Rostad
Mikkeller Beer Geek Brunch Weasel
courtesy of Bernt Rostad

This is another in a series of articles about homebrewing in the DC area by Carl Weaver of RealHomebrew.com. Want to learn about making your own beer? Keep an eye out for Friday homebrew features.

If you are like me and are a big Guinness fan, you may have toyed with the idea of trying to craft your own black brew. If you have, then good news: stouts are easy! This homebrew recipe is exactly what you are looking for.

Stouts are mostly associated with England and Ireland and are offshoots of Porters. As Porter styles evolved, the thicker and more robust Porters began to be referred to as “Stout Porters.” Eventually, the Stout developed into its own style and gained a devoted following.

In general, Stouts are very dark to black in color and have a roasty flavor. The hop flavor and aroma are minimal, though there are a few style exceptions with a pronounced hop presence such as the Imperial or Russian Stout. Stout styles can range from dry to sweet, relatively low to high alcohol content, vary from light to heavy bodied, and may have a hint of fruity esters.

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Food and Drink, Homebrewing, The Features

Homebrew DC: Coffee Porter

Photo courtesy of the little white box
Pause
courtesy of the little white box

Some people associate dark, rich beers with the winter months, but I think this recipe produces a beer that is just as good in the heat of the summer. It’s about 50 shades darker than a cream ale, but still as thirst-quenching and refreshing.

My friend Andy sent me this homebrew recipe after bringing a coffee porter to our homebrewing club. I lost the recipe for a couple months but just discovered it again, thank goodness. It is a dark, rich porter, very malty and with minimal bitterness, as you can see from the half ounce of bittering hops, boiled for only 45 minutes. The two-minute addition of Northern Brewer hops will impart a floral scent and the dry-hopping process will intensify this.

I am going to make this homebrew recipe soon but will deviate from Andy’s version below. I plan to use a different coffee. Andy used a French style fine-ground coffee. It tasted great, but my coffee preferences lean toward a Vietnamese brand called Trung Nguyen, which you can find at your local Southeast Asian supermarket. The deep, rich flavor of this coffee will work well with the malty character of the porter. I might try another batch with something a little less refined, like coffee with chicory. You can try any coffee you like a lot and think will give you a good flavor.

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Food and Drink, Homebrewing, The Features

Homebrew DC: American Cream Ale

Photo courtesy of Kevin H.
Liquid Light and Gold
courtesy of Kevin H.

This is another in a series of articles about homebrewing in the DC area by Carl Weaver of RealHomebrew.com. Want to learn about making your own beer? Keep an eye out for Friday homebrew features.

I recently decided to try a homebrew recipe for American cream ale. It reminded me of a guy I worked with who would walk from desk to desk in the office every afternoon and say, “It’s almost Genny time,” humorously referring to Genesee Cream Ale. Bob was fun to drink with. He was an older guy and naturally charming to everyone he met. He also had a penchant for drinking out of ten-ounce glasses, which I found interesting, if odd. “Give me a shorty,” he would tell the bartender.

Bob drank Genesee quite often and I drank it with him on occasion, so this beer kit I bought is more about reminiscing than it is about the particular style. Even if it is not my favorite, Genesee is an American original.

This style is light and slightly malty, not very bitter at all. It is an easy-drinking beer but has a good amount of alcohol, measuring in probably between five and six percent. That is a little high for what you might call a session beer, but not terribly so. I can imagine knocking out a couple of these with Hank Hill and the boys. A slight sweetness comes from the corn sugar, but the sugar is really there to boost the alcohol, so you get to taste what the hungry yeast cells never got to before they gave up the ghost. Continue reading

Food and Drink, Homebrewing, The Features

Homebrew DC: Kölsch, Springtime’s True Delight

Photo courtesy of ilovebutter
Adding the hops
courtesy of ilovebutter

This is the second in a series of articles about homebrewing in the DC area by Carl Weaver of RealHomebrew.com. Want to learn about making your own beer? Keep an eye out for Friday homebrew features.

Now that springtime is upon us, it’s time to start drinking like it. I brought this beer to fellow We Love DC authors Tom and Tiff’s house recently for a barbecue and it was met with a standing ovation. Well, most people were standing anyway, and truthfully there was no real ovation, but people expressed their desire to have more by, well, having more. Another almost-empty keg…

A Kölsch is an ale that is light, crisp, and great to drink. I think of a kölsch as a great springtime drink, cool and refreshing, clear, malty, and with a definite but not overpowering hoppy flavor. This is a pretty simple homebrew recipe, using some grains, but relying mostly on malt extracts. It’ll make you the popular house on the block on those warm spring nights. Continue reading

Food and Drink, The Features, We Love Drinks

We Love Drinks: Homebrew Your Own Hard Cider

Start your fermenting!

February may seem like a strange time to think about cider, or even autumn. But when Mother Nature seduces us on a Friday with the sweet smell of spring, then turns her back days later with a sick smack of sleet, I’m happy to exercise a flagrant disregard for the season. More importantly however, we’re about 8 months out from the peak of autumn, the same amount of time it takes to make a seriously strong batch of hard cider, which makes this the perfect time to start brewing.

I had never seriously considered brewing my own hard cider, let alone any sort of alcohol, until last September on a trip to Denver. I visited with my buddy, Nick, who is an avid homebrewer and we spent a day-hike discussing the ins-and-outs of brewing; I became very excited by the idea. He suggested cider as a good first step. Before I was on my way back to DC, I’d already ordered some supplies to get started.
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