Spent Grains

Spent grains are outstanding for baking. 

I can't give you a hard and fast recipe because I'm not that kind of breadmaker...but what I can do is to give you some guidelines.

I start with about 1 part spent grains to 2 parts bread flour, salt and yeast as usual, and then add a little more flour or water to get the "normal" consistency.

Mix or knead as you would any bread.  Let rise, punch down, form loaves, yadda, yadda, yadda as you would any bread...bake at 375 for 50 minutes or so.

Works great for pizza dough, too.

Same ratios, same concepts, etc.  But before you put on toppings, slip it into a 475 degree oven for a couple minutes...just long enough so the top firms up and won't soak up so much tomato sauce.

Pull out of the oven...tomato sauce, cheese, toppings, etc....then 475 until it's perfect.

Even Rox likes barley grain pizza.

BrewDay 2012

BrewDay 2012 has come and gone.

As Grant shows, above, there's always time to take your eye off your HLT and pour a cold one.

Grant's mashing BIAB Honey Brown lager.  Greg went with Three Hearted Ale, also BIAB.  Jed, a RyePA, all grain batch sparge and I did a kind of a pliny thing, batch sparge.

I demonstrated, conclusively (again!), no matter what you do, 9 ounces of hops in the boil does not go well with a plate chiller.  Hopblocker, whirlpool, whatever....9 ounces of pellets and a plate chiller are not going to get along.

We sampled the Dragon Milk (all three styles), Summer Ale, Bitter Bastards, a Choco-Porter, a breakfast stout, a Golden Nugget, a Pumpkin Ale, 3 different Ciders, a Strawberry wine and a Maple Nut Brown.

The carnivores attending had pulled pork, they seemed to like it and that's probably enough said about that.

Good times.

Squeak Mead

Slammed into the primary when my granddaughter was born...bottled a year later....put back until she turns 21.

  • 10 pounds of honey
  • 6 gallons of filtered water
  • 1 teaspoon yeast energizer
  • 1 sachet Lalvin D47

Original Gravity 1.060
Final Gravity 0.995

Racked to secondary after 3 months and dry hopped with 2 ounces of mulling spices from the Spice House in Chicago.

1/4 cup of cane sugar during bottling for a lighly sparkling end product.

Taste, while bottling was good but pretty darn intense.  I can only assume 20 years in the bottle will mellow it some.

So check back in 20 years and we'll see!

Carboy cleaning

I think we all use the same tricks to clean carboys.  A little soapy water, a dishrag stuffed down the bung and agitate the hell out of it.  Take a carboy brush to the more stubborn parts, swirl and curse, swirl and curse...

Some krausen just seems to stick to the top of the carboy, no matter what you do.

Now's the time for power tools.

You assemble your parts...a steel rod, a green scrubby pad and a hunk of sugru.

Sugru the scrubby pad to the steel rod and wait 24 hours for the whole thing to cure.

1 scrubby pad, sugrued to a 1/4 inch steel rod and rolled up will just fit in the mouthpiece of a carboy.

Chuck the other end into your cordless drill and watch that krausen disappear.

Now look at that shiny clean carboy! 

Power tools!  Sugru!  What's not to love about that?