Category Archives: Beer Brewing DIY

Slaapdronken, a Chamomile Tripel

Hubs and I have had so little time to brew lately it is embarrassing. We’ve been traveling, juggling crazy schedules, and I’ve been running around helping with private beer tastings, teaching my Beer Ed class and cooking up a storm, of course.

Some serious 'cold-break' when brewing Slaapdronken
Some serious ‘cold-break’ when cooling down Slaapdronken wort

In addition to all that great life stuff, I have been focusing my energies on a very exciting career move. Like many beer-bloggers, as of last week I had a ‘grown-up,’ 9a-5p desk job that wasn’t fulfilling my creative side. But, it paid the bills, and  I remained hopeful that some day I would transition this beer-loving hobby of mine into a full time gig. I didn’t realize quite how soon an opportunity would present itself, but it did, and I snatched it up.

I’m extremely excited to share that as of today, Monday July 7th I am a sales representative for Cavalier Distributing!

Not only does Cavalier distribute beers from some of the my absolute favorite breweries (Dogfish Head, Stone, MadTree, Breckenridge, Revolution, Dieu de Ciel, Two Brothers, Jolly Pumpkin . . . just to name a few), what convinced me to work for them is the people. Everyone I’ve interacted with there is stellar and I have no doubt that I will be happy there. At what other job is jeans and a polo considered business casual? I am too lucky.

The blog will continue, don’t worry, and I’ll still support ALL of my favorite breweries, near and far, no matter who distributes them. Continue reading Slaapdronken, a Chamomile Tripel

“Emerald,” Dry Irish Stout Recipe

Despite all the crazy homebrew recipes I tell you about, I’ve actually been making an effort over the last year to come back to basics a bit. This stout recipe is a delicious outcome of that goal: simple and lovely.

There are lots of different versions of stouts. You’ve got your sweet stout, milk stout (a sub style of sweet stout which is brewed with lactose sugar ), oatmeal stout, American stout, foreign extra stout and of course the big boozy delight that is Russian imperial stout. And those are just the BJCP recognized varieties. There are truly endless options. If you’re crazy like us, you can also make spiced stouts like our “Chai Latte Milk Stout,” or a delicious fruit stout like our award winning blackberry stout we call “the Bearded Lady.”

All are great, but on an average day, nothing is more satisfying than a simple, dry Irish stout.

"Emerald" Dry Irish Stout

Dry stouts are more drinkable than your hoppier, boozier stouts – a true session ale. At around 4.5 – 5% abv you can sip on a few of these and remain a totally reasonable person. Continue reading “Emerald,” Dry Irish Stout Recipe

“The Bearded Lady,” Award winning blackberry stout recipe

As some of you already know, we got some very exciting news last weekend – our blackberry Belgian stout, “The Bearded Lady” won a GOLD MEDAL in the “All American Homebrew Competition,”  a BJCP sanctioned contest hosted by the Cincinnati Malt Infusers.

Obviously, we are ecstatic. Though we’ve been brewing beer for about 7 years, we’ve only just started entering competitions.  What makes the win all the sweeter is now that I’ve actually judged in a competition, I know how intense and critical our BJCP folks are.

Blackberry Belgian Stout

Even before winning the award, we knew this beer was pretty special. We first brewed it in the summer of 2012. We liked it so much, it became a household seasonal. Since then, we’ve had special requests for it from friends, acquaintances, and near-strangers too. Continue reading “The Bearded Lady,” Award winning blackberry stout recipe

The making of Amour, a French Saison (and Saider!)

I haven’t been talking much about our homebrew adventures of late, but that’s not for lack of activity, just standard life craziness. So let’s update!

All the way back in November I was asked to participate in the first ever CannonBLOG Event at Fifty West Brewing. The back story to this is that the  50W brewers started a competition called Cannonball amongst their staff for who can brew and pair the best beer/food. For CannonBLOG they changed things up and asked us Cincy beer bloggers to brew beer instead!

CannonBLOG! at Fifty West

Myself, Hoperatives, the Brew Professor, Beer Mumbo, Queen City Fresh, Jesse from WCPO #9Beer and Queen City Drinks all gathered together at Fifty West, had some tasty brunch, and brewed. It was a fantastically fun day and we all learned a thing or two about the various homebrew systems we all have. Continue reading The making of Amour, a French Saison (and Saider!)

Funky, Farmhouse Saison

Saison is one of those wonderfully complex beers that puts even the most delicious white wines to shame.  The fruity, somewhat spicy aroma, the crisp dry palate with even more fruit and spice and sometimes funky finish – what’s not to love?

Lately, I have been obsessed.

fizzy yellow beer is for wussies

Over the summer hubby and I brewed up our own saison using pilsner malt, torrified wheat, flaked wheat, and some light munich malt for complexity. We added just a dash of spices at the end of the boil (whole peppercorns, fresh orange and grapefruit peel, and coriander) for that extra something. You’re probably wondering to yourself, um, it’s November, wtf happened?

Well, somewhat stupidly, we chose a notoriously slow fermenting yeast (Wyeast 3724), which meant our beer bubbled slowly but consistently all summer long. This yeast loves warm temperatures (>90 degrees Fahrenheit ideally), but even after two months in the warmest part of our house, the beer still wasn’t quite as dry as we wanted. On our next trip to the brew store we chatted up the employee, and when we told him of our saison dilemma, with a twinkle in his eye suggested we add brettanomyces. Mike and I exchanged sideways glances and I remember thinking and saying out load, I’m not sure if we’re ready for that . . .

Continue reading Funky, Farmhouse Saison