Saturday, June 28, 2014

Hoppy Beer, Day One

We've been meaning to find time to brew a batch of beer in which I could use the wild hops I found last fall.  Time just keeps getting away from us.  Finally, we got the kick we needed to get started; my husband's work is having a homebrew showcase in a month or so.  We'd like to enter this beer.  We hope it's worthy.

After a lot of discussion with the proprietors of the brewing supply store my husband came home with a kit for something called "Hopehead Pale Ale."  To that we plan to add our own hops during the second rack, which will be next week sometime.  Today we steeped the grains, boiled the wort, and it's currently cooling enough to pitch the yeast.  Then it will ferment for about a week before we move to the second rack.  Initial SG appears to be about 1.042 with a potential alcohol of 5.5%.

I felt badly about throwing away all the steeped grains, and I thought about making horse treats with them.  A quick search online suggested they made a good bread.  The only problem with this is that my yeast must have been old so after mixing all this damp grain with flour, sugar and yeast and kneading and waiting, it didn't really rise.  I thought maybe I could bake it anyway, like a quick bread, but that was an epic failure.  Next time, I will either make sure I have new yeast, or just make dog and pony treats (both are possible, recipes are different).  There are enough dogs and ponies in my life that they can at least enjoy whatever I come up with.

In other news, I made strawberry-chocolate chip pancakes this morning and now we only have 1 quart of berries left.  Since this bread didn't work out, I think I will make strawberry muffins and give some to our neighbors when I return their plate which arrived last weekend with cookies on it. 

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