Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Oatmeal Raisin Honey Beer: breakfast in a glass

So this is my next beer project. I will probably make it next week so that it will be finished before my next trip to Malawi. Tentatively here is the recipe I will follow.

50% malted barley extract
20% rolled oats
10% honey
10% roasted barely
5% brown sugar
5% raisins

With my first beer I added the honey too early to the wort so when I taste tested it all the honey flavor had basically boiled out. This time I'm going add the honey and raisins maybe only 10 minutes before I finish boiling. They (the homebrew experts) say this will help retain flavor. Adding the oats and roasted barely requires me to do what is called "partial mash" brewing. The terminology used by homebrewers is pretty intimidating at the beginning but, like practitioners of most fields, homebrewers love their jargon. I think it mostly has to do with signaling.
Making beer, at its core, is a very simple process however.

1. Boil sugar (made from barely) and water. Add a bitter tasting plant called "hops."
2. Take out the hops and cool down the sugar water (called wort) so that it won't kill the yeast you are about to put into it.
3. Put in yeast.
4. Wait a week or two.
5. Put in bottles. To make your beer (yes it is beer now) fizzy you just put a little bit of sugar in the bottom of each bottle.
6. Wait another week or two for the carbonation to build up.
7. Drink.

Now of course you can get real fancy and add a million more steps to this, but basically everything else is just frills.