I Don’t Know Ale … Conclusion (Bottling & Tasting)

I Don’t Know Ale … Conclusion (Bottling & Tasting)

bottling beer 11Bottling beer is an exciting step for us in the brew process as we know we are close to tasting (which is my favorite step) …  Depending on the style of beer they may age for months in the bottle or just need a bit of time to bottle carbonate.  This style (English IPA) just needed time for carbonation.  We are hoping in the near future to add a kegging system but we have been going back and forth on designs, I am for one idea Huz has another so until we decide we bottle… Let’s get to it!

Bottling: (This is a pretty straight forward process)

We bottled 6 days after we dry hopped (we were suppose to wait 7 but we had a crazy Sunday so we bottled 1 day early).  To bottle you:

  • Remove the dry hop bag if you have used one.
  • Rack the beer from the secondary fermenter to a bottling bucket using your auto-siphon
  • Add bottling/priming sugar, in this case we bottled at 2.7 volumes to give it a nice carbonation but also stayed in the style guidelines
  • Fill using a bottle filler
  • Cap
  • Give it 1- 2 weeks to carbonate
  • Below are a few pictures of these steps.

Bottling Beer 7

Tasting:

Since we brew a lot and like to have different varieties on hand I bought some 1 inch round labels and label each beer with the name, bottling date, and ABV.  This helps in telling them apart.

To read more about the “Beer Judge Certification Program” and the “14A. English IPA” style guide lines check out here.

We waited about 9 days after we bottled it to try it and  see how it was conditioning and as we suspected it was ready to go… here was the result!

  • I Don’t Know Ale:  This beer delivers with a medium amber color that has a nice light body mouth feel with good carbonation.  It offers refreshing notes of mango fruitiness, taking you away to a tropical paradise.  Also finishes like a true English Ale offering sufficient toasty/biscuit malt flavor.  Bring on summer, ABV 5.1%!

Bottling Beer  10

Bottling Beer 9

This will be be a great spring/summer beer now can we just get this weather to cooperate?  This concludes the overview on how to brew.  We have a Belgian Style beer on deck to brew over Huz’s spring break called “A Wif of Belgian Blonde”.  We also have a French style Saison upstairs in the primary’s which we are hoping is another great summer brew.  Please let me know if you have any questions! Enjoy ~ Megan

Peanut Butter Bars & A Honeybee/Beer Update!

Peanut Butter Bars & A Honeybee/Beer Update!

This peanut butter bar recipe is super simple and very very quick to make… 30 minutes start to finish!  As a bonus anywhere I take it to share it is an instant hit!  This is one of those sweet treats that does not look scary…meaning it is a straightforward cookie bar looking dessert with chocolate chips and substance so people gravitate towards trying it and it is delicious!  This is usually my go to dessert if Huz has to provide a snack for conferences at school, or we are going to a social gathering with a dish to pass.  This is a favorite all around, plus they freeze awesome for long-term storage, we actually love to eat them frozen.  Lets get started!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup Butter
  • 1 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 Cup White Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2/3 Cup Peanut Butter
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon fo vanilla
  • 2 Cups of Flour
  • 2 Cups of Oatmeal (I use the quick oats)
  • 1 12OZ bag of Semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

I use my mix master for this recipe, but it is easy enough to do by hand if you want to work on your arm muscles a bit.

  1. Add butter, brown sugar, white sugar, and eggs to bowl and mix until smooth and creamy.
  2. Then add the peanut butter, mix again until incorporated.
  3. Then add baking soda, salt, vanilla, mix again until incorporated.
  4. Next add flour, mix until incorporated – I add a cup at a time so it does not all poof out of my mixer.
  5. Lastly add oatmeal, and mix until incorporated. – *See some of these steps below.

Peanut Butter Bars 1

Next grease a 10×15 bar pan I use a bit of pam spray.  Dump the mixture into the greased bar pan and spread.  TIP:  Sometimes it is hard to spread since it has a cookie dough constancy so as I dump into my bar I try to spread it a bit, then I spray a bit of pam on my spatula and spread.  It takes a few minutes to spread, and I sometimes have to spray the spatula more than once to prevent the dough from sticking.  See pictures below.

Peanut Butter Bars 2

Then spread the bag of chocolate chips around, I slightly press them in with my hand, then bake at 350 for 17-20 minutes.  Below is the pre-oven shot.

Peanut Butter Bars 3

I like to pull it out of the oven when the edges are just slightly brown, in my oven which is pretty accurate it takes 18 minutes on the nose.  Below is a picture of the finished product.  Then I let them cool on a rack until ready to cut and freeze or bring to a party!

Peanut Butter Bars 4

Some other news… around the farm!

  • Our honeybee family has expanded!  Last week we picked up 6  bee nucs from Iowa, they are Russian Honeybees and are supposed to be more tolerant of the colder climates.  Of course the scientist in Huz had to try them, also over this past winter he built a special hive to try, it is long rather than up, we have named it the coffin hive.  The idea is when he gets older he won’t have to lift as much since the bees will be at waist level.  Here are some shots of the coffin hive…

coffin hive

  • The other update is we have brewed our first batch of all grain beer.  This is a step up from the type of brewing we have been doing, it also allows us to control the flavoring and style of our beer more.  We brewed a Dry Belgian Blonde, here are some shots of the brewing process, will keep you posted on the result of this beer.  Here is hoping it is a success as we brewed an 8 gallon batch!

Dry Belgian Blonde

Let me know if you have any comments or questions!  Enjoy ~ Megan