What happens when you find a 20-year-old Mr. Beer kit, add coconut, use some baker’s yeast, and generally do everything wrong? Well, it doesn’t turn out that great. Before you dive into brewing, come to a meeting or a group brew, and get some hands-on experience so you don’t wind up like this guy!
It’s pretty obvious that different yeasts will impart different flavors, but unless you have the same exact baseline, it’s a little hard to compare. For our April meeting, we’ll be conducting an experiment, and you’re more than welcome to join in.
We will be brewing up a 10-gallon batch of beer and splitting it into 1-gallon batches, each with a different yeast. Once the beer is all done and bottled, we’ll gather to sample exactly how each yeast imparts its own signature. If you have a request for a specific yeast, post it here. And if you want to take one of the gallons home to care for it, then please come to the meeting. It should be a great learning experience for all.
Check the bottom of the post for the location and other details.
Our next walking tour is March 30th! Please share this with all your friends and family to help spread the word. It’s a great fundraiser for the group and a fantastic way to support your local brewers! We’ll be visiting brewers in Hoboken and Jersey City to check out their setups, discuss their craft, and of course, drink some delicious homebrews.
If you’re not familiar with ginger beer, then you should first be warned that this is not a beer. If you are familiar with ginger beer, then you’re going to love this recipe. It goes heavy on the ginger, but isn’t overwhelming, and the other flavors make for a nice sweetness. An ABV of 3-4% means there is a bit of a kick as well. As a ginger beer fanatic, I have to say this is some of the best ginger beer you’ll ever have, and it’s a great summer drink.
You’ll notice there is a lot of spice going on here. I suggest starting with 1.5 gallons of water at first, and then using cold spring water at the end to make 2 gallons. This does NOT need to boil, but you should heat it up enough to pasteurize everything. Please remember to use actual ginger root, and not dried ginger. And make sure you grate it, or you won’t get as much flavor out!
Steep in hot water (10-20 minutes): Ginger (grated), star anise, cardamom, cinnamon, pinch of cloves
Dissolve: Brown sugar, Panela aka Piloncillo. You can find this in any hispanic market.
Mix in: Honey, juice of 4 limes, zest of one lime, 1 Tbsp dark rum, 1 tsp vanilla
Once that’s cooled down, pitch your yeast and let it ferment out. Carbonate with 1 ounce of table sugar if you want a more traditional, flat ginger beer, or 2 ounces if you want a fizzier drink.
Also, the honey and brown sugar are in weight, but if you don’t have a scale, it’s 1 Cup of honey and 1/2 Cup of brown sugar.
On another note, if you’re in Downtown Jersey City and want a good ginger beer, stop by Soul Flavors, where they also make their own. It’s super strong though, so be warned!
The always-busy Rob has been at it again, and has created some pretty cool mugs and pitchers with the JCBC logo on them. I’ve seen them up close, and I have to say that they are really nice. View the image up close for information on purchasing one.
The American Homebrewers’ Association (AHA) National Homebrewers Conference is in Philadelphia this year, June 27-29. This is the first time it’s on the East Coast. I know people who have been previous years, and they said it was a fun time. There’s seminars, an expo, a banquet and a homebrewers club night, where clubs from around the country have tables and share their beer.
The details are all at the AHA website . If you want to go by yourself or with the club, act soon, as it fills up quickly, as does the hotel. Attendance all three days is certainly not necessary. Friday night is the club night.
This belgian-style double wit has a wonderful aroma and a strong, tangy taste. This recipe is courtesy of Kendall, and won first place at the 2012 JCBC Homebrew Contest at the 4th St Arts & Music Festival.
This recipe is courtesy of Tyler. It’s a cream ale with chipotle and specialty grains, and won first place at the 2012 Hoboken Chili Cookoff & Homebrew Competition. The spice makes for a very unique flavor.
Spice, Herb, or Vegetable Beer
1.03 - 1.11
1.005 - 1.025
0 - 70
5 - 50
2 - 3
2.5 - 12 %
Pale Malt (2 Row) US
Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L
American Ale (1056)
60°F - 72°F
First Place, Hoboken Chili Cook-off and Homebrew Competition (2012).