Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Gluten Free Lagering

So my wife recently found out she is allergic to gluten, while never the biggest fan of beer she has been known to knock back a couple (I say she was never a big beer fan because she has always been allergic to gluten but …). So it is with that news, I have expanded into to Gluten Free Brewing and my first attempt is a Gluten Free Lemon Lager.

For the most part brewing Gluten Free beers is the same old extract process most of us used to brew our first beer(s). Gluten Free home brewing will most likely stay that way due to not having the proper equipment to malt and mash grains like quinoa and sorghum. I do have a plan for a all grain all rice beer, be ready!  As a home brewer I have never brewed a lot of lagers. For a couple of reason; I live in Florida without controlled environment lagers die, and it take so damn long. That said I have a killer Cuban Lager I make when I am traveling for a couple of weeks at a time, but I am a Ale type of drinker.

So I started the brew out with 6 pounds of White Sorghum syrup, after bring my water to a boil. In addition to hops I added during my 60min boil, seeds of paradise and lemon zest. I am also experimenting with a  new sugar, Palm Sugar. My friend Eric picked up a pound of raw palm sugar at a Vietnamese store. I am hoping for a little flavor from the palm in addition to increasing my ABV. Palm Sugar has a very earthy dry sweetness to it that maybe lost in primary fermentation. Once my boil finished and everything was transferred to a primary fermenter  I add some whole leaf hops for dry hopping,  and pitched my yeast.

The lager has wrapped 2 of it's 3 weeks of primary fermentation and will be racked this coming Sunday for at least another 3 weeks at a lower temperature. I'll end up kegging the lager and if maybe keeping in the garage fridge instead of the chest freezer for serving.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Chrysanthemum, Boston Beer Company, and Epcot

Went to Epcot with my girls this weekend. The China store has been completely overhauled. They now also have a food area with a chrysanthemum iced tea in a can. The tea was amazing I will most likely get a can every time we visit, yep that good. But it inspired me, I have a ton of recipes mocked up using tea and/or flowers. So I got home a spent a little time working out a Chrysanthemum American Pale Ale recipe.

Now on too Boston Beer Company aka Sam Adams. I love Epcot it's my favorite of the four major parks at Walt Disney World. I went out of my way to sweat less when they had Sam Adam Brick Red on tap at the Fife and Drum outside the American Adventure. The only place until sometime last year to get Brick Red was at the Sam Adams brewery and then Epcot. It said a lot to me when the American pavilion started offering Sam Adams. To me it was a sign that American Craft represented American Beer now. No longer were we to be painted with the pale yellowish brush of Bud, Coors, and Miller. The full flavor of American beer was back and on display at the number one tourist destination worldwide Walt Disney World. I have railed against Disney for the lack luster beer selection in the hotels and sit down restaurants, with the best option always being Sam Adams Boston Lager and Sam Adams Seasonal. Great beers ... but they could do so much better, and now they lost my favorite beer in the whole resort.

My plea to Disney. There is are two large empty spaces in the American pavilion build a microbrewery partner with Sam Adams. Offer an adventure into the America's beer history more then once a year during the Food and Wine festival. If that is too big of an undertaking get Big River to crank out some more beer and sale it in the American pavilion. Not interested in that, okay easy way out, expand the selection of draft American Craft Beer at your sit down dining options and at the resort bars. Twice a year we stay DVC, and I bring a case of my homebrew. Not just to save money, but because I know when I get down to the pool or before dinner at the bar I have two options, not that either of them are bad ... just I've had them before the day before at the pool or before dinner.

Monday, July 18, 2011

New Commitment

I know I do not update this blog as much as I should. My day job and takes me away from brewing a lot, and I try to makeup the lost time with my family. So when I am inspired to share I am nowhere near a PC to do so.

While none of the above has or will change anytime soon. I have co-founded a home brew club; Funky Brewster http://www.facebook.com/FunkyBrewster0. We will meeting monthly on Monday nights. I will continue to blog about brewing in Florida and Florida beer scene, I will also use the Blog and Facebook page to talk about Funky Brewster meeting and events.

Next up, I am looking at going semi-pro. Yep a couple of are starting a Nano Brewery as a stepping stone to opening a 7-10 barrel brewhouse. I will have more info on this as it happens. For now I promise to post some updates on a couple of projects I completed over the last two months.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Lagering for the First Time

Bottled the Lager last night. It is pretty damn fine if I do say so myself. Style wise it's based on a American Premium Lager. My malts were 2-row and white wheat, single hopped and aged on Spanish Cedar. It's lite, refreshing and the Cedar added a spicy/bitter. This one goes into rotation for next year, I am going to try and save a case for summer.

Monday, January 24, 2011


Okay I am sorry I have not blogged in a while, meanly because I have not brewed in a while. I started a lager since I was traveling for a couple of weeks straight and would not be home to keep an eye on a ales primary fermentation. The lager is like most everything else I brew, influenced heavily from my Cuban grandmother , growing up in Florida and my time as cook and understudy to some guys with serious cooking/chef chops. I am brewing what I hope reminds my mother of summer vacations in Cuba before Castro. Style wise it is a premium American Lager, infused with fresh sugar cane, mint, rum and aged on red cedar.

During my recent travels, I did get to spend too much money at the Brick Store in Decatur and Hop City in Atlanta. If you are driving in GA and want to bring back beers you can’t find in Florida go to Hop City, and until Cigar City gets to GA take some with you for trading. The Brick Store was great, good food awesome bottle list and great tap selection. I am not going to recommend anything because it changes so often. What I will recommend is hitting the Sweet Water Brewery. I don’t know why the tours are only Wed-Fri 5:30 – 7:30, but I will tell you the tour, glass and 6 half pints are well worth it. Better yet, bring a friend that doesn’t drink or hates real beer, get their drink tickets, and have them drive you home. Big thanks goes to my boss who has started to drink craft and homebrew this last couple of months, however he is a one or two beer guy so I got his 4 leftover tickets. The brewery is the from what I’ve seen the largest craft brewery in the south east and is a sight for those looking for start-up inspiration.

Visited the Titanic brewpub in Miami last week and it was a breath of fresh air for the no existent south Florida beer scene. Good traditional ales and they did all Belgium’s for their winter seasonal offerings. Also found a place today I have not visited but I am thinking about it call the Democratic Republic of Beer. 500 bottles and a dozen taps. Since Miami is the Manhattan of South America and the Caribbean they carry every crap pilsner made south of Miami. However, they also have over 100 Belgium bottles and all of Hitachino Nest beer exported to the States and the two beers from Lao, which are perfect with Thai Curries.

Okay back to the day job, I’ll be brewing soon with tasting notes on some of the items I bottled recently.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Been a while

Okay so it's been almost a month since i posted to the blog. Been busy with real work travel and with school (non-beer school). I did find sometime for brewing and have a 9 gallon batch of my signature Guava Wheat sitting in secondary waiting for me to come home and bottle. Looking at the calendar I should be able to get one or two brew days in the week of Dec 27th, hoping for one at the house and one assisting at a local brewery on big boy equipment.

With the lack of free time for brewing I am think about doing a larger. I will be traveling all of January, so I won't have time until February to really tend to it in terms of bottling or kegging if I have a draft system setup by then.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Narcoossee's at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

Went to Narcoossee's for a nice dinner with the wife tonight. Great food wonderful menu. However they have one of the worst beer menu's of any restaurant I have been too in the the last month. I mean every place I went to in Tallahassee had a better offering. Disney needs to step it up on their craft beer offerings. A restaurant like Narcoossee's should have a wine and beer pairing for each dish.