Uncategorized

Brew Day! Steinpilz Gose

Dried porcini mushrooms, salt , hops (Willamette), and acidulated malt.

Dried porcini mushrooms, salt , hops (Willamette), and acidulated malt.

This has the potential to be really good, if I get it right…but it may sound pretty gross. I’ve brewed a beer today in a German style that is relatively obscure, but making a big comeback. The style is called “Gose” and is pronounced “goe-zuh”. Rather than go into a lengthy description, here’s a link that covers the history and details very well:

http://www.germanbeerinstitute.com/Gose.html

If you just want the brief version, it’s a beer made from barley and wheat malts and has a slightly sour and salty taste, usually with coriander. No, that’s not the most appealing description; but it really is quite good. Very refreshing. Every drink makes you want to take another! So, here’s where I push the limits even more: mushrooms! Instead of coriander, I’m flavoring my gose with dried porcini mushrooms. In German, porcinis are known by the name “steinpilz”, so, my beer is Steinpilz Gose. Stay with me now…the slightly salty/sour flavor, I believe, will go well with a savory pairing like the earthy flavors of the dried porcinis. I did a little tasting ahead of time…lighter beer with  few drops of porcini “tea” added. Actually, it was interesting and tasty! The trick will be getting the balance right. I want an earthy background note…not an aggressive flavor that would readily be identified as mushroom.

There are a few ways that I have read about to achieve the savory/sour component. Traditionally, lacto bacillus is used at some point (which varies, depending on who you ask). Another way is to create a sour mash ahead of your brew day…a little involved for my skill and equipment profile. And the lacto can be tricky, too. I settled for the use of acidulated malt.

I brew using a method referred to as “BIAB”, “Brew In A Bag”. The “mash-in” step is pretty standard…the milled wheat and barley malts are brought up to 149F and held there for 60 minutes.

Wrapped in a blanket and a "survivior" blanket to hold mash temperature.

Wrapped in a blanket and a “survivior” blanket to hold mash temperature.

Instead of draining the grains and going on to the boil, however, the acidulated malt is added and the temperature held at 149F for an additional 45 minutes. The reason for doing this is that the acid in the acidulated malt could inhibit saccharification (the conversion of starches to sugars. After the second mash step, the brew proceeds as normal.

Getting the water amount right has been a little tricky for me, but I wound up with 5-3/4 gallons of wort, after the boil. The original gravity is substantially higher than the target, though…1.054 instead of 1.045. Not a huge deal…more alcohol, but I just wonder why? Was I supposed drain and remove the first round of grain and just mash the acidulated malt? (As opposed to adding the acidulated malt to the existing grains and mashing ALL of them for the additional 45 minutes.)

Anyway, chilled the wort, aerated it,

Aerating with an oxygen "stone".

Aerating with an oxygen “stone”.

and pitched the German Ale/ Kolsh yeast. There’s not a lot of headspace in the carboy…I’ll have a blow-off tube ready, just in case.

About 5-3/4 gallons in primary fermentation.

About 5-3/4 gallons in primary fermentation.

When it’s done, I think a friend of mine is going to keg half of the batch to see how that compares to bottling. I’ve had an issue with overcarbonation that I can’t seem to figure out. My beer hits an optimum point and then, another month or more, and they start to get overcarbed. I’m looking forward to seeing how that “gose”! (Sorry.)

Update 2/22/15: Had to install the blow-off tube this morning. I guess those yeasties are happy!

Blow-off tube...yeast is chowing down!

Blow-off tube…yeast is chowing down!

 

 

Standard
Uncategorized

Extra Edition: Spent Grain Doggie Treats!

Spent grain from my brew in a bag session.

Spent grain from my brew in a bag session.

Spent Grain Dog Treats

The following recipe came from the home brewer’s forum that I frequent at www.homebrewtalk.com and is put there by one of the members who, in turn, gives credit to another member and they all go by screen names, so it may not matter to them if I credit them, but it was added by Schweaty and credited to Beerrific. No, really!

So, If you are or know a brewer and can get your hands on some used or “spent” brewing grains, then you can make these easily at home, The spent grains typically are barley, wheat and sometimes rye. It doesn’t really matter, unless it’s something you or your animals may be allergic to; in which case: never mind! If okay for you and your pets, then cheers!

NOTE: If your grains are wet or have been frozen and thawed, wrap them in cheesecloth and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. I didn’t do this with my second batch and had to add more flour. It was sticky and much harder to work with. I’m going to dehydrate the rest of what I pulled out of the freezer and turn it into a coarse flour, using my food processor.

Ingredients:

4 cups spent grain

2 cups flour

1 cup peanut butter (all natural) [I just used regular, crunchy]

2 eggs

Directions:

Mix all ingredients thoroughly. Press down into a dense layer on a large cookie sheet.

Score almost all the way through into the shapes you want.

Scored before baking.

Scored before baking.

Bake for about half an hour at 350F to solidify them. Loosen them from the sheet, break the biscuits apart and return them, loosely spread out on the cookie sheet, to the oven at 225F for 3 to 4 hours (or until they are really dry) to prevent mold growth. Store in an airtight container to keep them dry and mold-free.

My notes: You can roll these out and use cookie cutters or you can flatten them out on a sheet pan and score them whatever size suits your pets. After baking, I used a dough cutter to cut them through.

Using a dough cutter to finish cutting after baking.

Using a dough cutter to finish cutting after baking.

They were still kind of holding on to each other, so I used kitchen shears to snip them apart.  I put them back in the oven on 200F for an hour, checked on them, moved them around a bit and put them back in for another hour. Definitely still a little chewy.

Doggie treats after baking.

Doggie treats after baking.

After two hours at 200F, I felt these were dry enough and let them cool overnight. I bagged them up in the morning and, after giving the dogs a few, I had over 1-1/2 lbs.  I have a fairly large dog (pit mix) and a small dog (Morkie-Maltese/Yorkie mix). The big dog loves these. The small one is a little finicky, but ate one when I broke it down small enough for Her Highness! Oh, and yes, I have tried them. I admit it. Honestly…kind of like granola.

Close-up. See those grains?

Close-up. See those grains?

 

8/22/14 For my batch today, I thawed some grain from the freezer and spread it out to dry in a 250F oven for about an hour, stirring around every twenty minutes and spreading back out. Cooled to room temperature. When I added the other ingredients, it was a bit dry. For this recipe, it seems like a happy medium is required for the grain to blend with the other ingredients and provide the right texture…not too moist and not too dry. On a suggestion from another recipe, I tried the dough hook on my KitchenAid mixer. I think the batter beater works better. And I added 1/3 cup honey.

Standard