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.