White House Honey Ale

We love beer… a good cold beer paired with pizza, mexican cuisine, or enjoyed on a hot or cold day = delicious.  Thus brewing our own beer seems like a natural thing to do.  By brewing our own we can control tastes, flavor, and of course price (to a degree).  We are very much novices on this front and in preparation for our brewing we read up a bit on the topic: How to Brew  .  So armed with some knowledge and a love of beer we decided to brew White House Honey Ale , since we have a surplus honey flow from our honeybees this year.  There is also a White House Honey Porter we may try at some point, but wanted to start with the standard ale first.  Below is the recipe…

White House Honey Ale

Ingredients

  • 2 (3.3 lb) cans light malt extract
  • 1 lb light dried malt extract
  • 12 oz crushed amber crystal malt
  • 8 oz Biscuit Malt
  • 1 lb White House Honey
  • 1 1/2 oz Kent Goldings Hop Pellets
  • 1 1/2 oz Fuggles Hop pellets
  • 2 tsp gypsum
  • 1 pkg Windsor dry ale yeast
  • 3/4 cup corn sugar for priming

Directions

  1. In an 12 qt pot, steep the grains in a hop bag in 1 1/2 gallons of sterile water at 155 degrees for half an hour. Remove the grains.
  2. Add the 2 cans of the malt extract and the dried extract and bring to a boil.
  3. For the first flavoring, add the 1 1/2 oz Kent Goldings and 2 tsp of gypsum. Boil for 45 minutes.
  4. For the second flavoring, add the 1 1/2 oz Fuggles hop pellets at the last minute of the boil.
  5. Add the honey and boil for 5 more minutes.
  6. Add 2 gallons chilled sterile water into the primary fermenter and add the hot wort into it. Top with more water to total 5 gallons. There is no need to strain.
  7. Pitch yeast when wort temperature is between 70-80˚. Fill airlock halfway with water.
  8. Ferment at 68-72˚ for about seven days.
  9. Rack to a secondary fermenter after five days and ferment for 14 more days.
  10. To bottle, dissolve the corn sugar into 2 pints of boiling water for 15 minutes. Pour the mixture into an empty bottling bucket. Siphon the beer from the fermenter over it. Distribute priming sugar evenly. Siphon into bottles and cap. Let sit for 2 to 3 weeks at 75˚.

NOTES (A few things we did differently, or did which is not stated on the recipe)

  • Use a 6.5 gallon fermenter for the first fermentation, you will have enough head space for the fermentation
  • In step 6, rather than adding two gallons of chilled sterile water we used a wort chiller…if you have one use it.  Chilling the wort this quickly helps to keep risk of bacteria to a minimum.  Once it chilled we added it to the fermenter via straining (see next step)
  • We strained our beer, even though the recipe says no need.  It pulls out some of the trub and aerates the wort as it is being ported into the fermenter which ultimately helps when you add the yeast as it initially needs oxygen to do its thing.
  • Add rest of water to get it up to the 5 gallon mark on your 6.5 gallon carboy then follow rest of directions.

Here are a few pictures, we are currently on our first ferment & this coming saturday we will rack to a secondary fermenter (5 gallon carboy).

Some of the different stages of brewing this batch of beer.

Some of the different stages of brewing this batch of beer.

Has anyone out there made this recipe?  Any other tips we should follow or know about?

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