Saturday, March 26, 2011

Weekend Whimsy: Beer and Bread

One of my husband's hobbies is beer and wine making.  Off and on for the 31 years we've been married, he has brewed beer and vinted wine.  Lately, he's been brewing quite a bit of beer with a new twist, he's been brewing it from scratch!  He actually buys the grains, then crushes them and then steeps them to make the beer wort.
Steeping the grains
The gauze sock holds the grains while they steep at about 150 degrees for about an hour.  Once the hops and malts are added you have a wort - a wort is simply young beer.

Once you have finished brewing, you pour the wort into a carboy and let it cool a bit.  Once cooled, you add the beer yeast, pop on an air lock and wait for fermentation to happen (go yeastie beasties!)
Wort in the carboy with an airlock
It took exactly one batch of beer with crushed grains before I realized what a waste it is to throw out those steeped grains!  The beer needs the starch from the grains but they provide lovely fiber and vitamins for bread!

This is what the crushed grains look like before they are steeped
David may be the beer maker, but I am the bread maker.  There's nothing I love better than homemade bread.  I make bread 2-3 times a week.  So you can imagine how thrilled I was to recycle these grains for my bread!  The next time David brewed, he packaged the steeped grains in sandwich size baggies and froze them for my bread making.  I now have dozens of grain packages in the freezer.
Beer Grain Bread Dough
Sub rolls I made with beer grains
David has gotten into the bread making aspect of this too!  He brought home a recipe for a carrot raisin sweet bread.  We added some of the beer grains and experimented.  It turned out great!  We decided to try making muffins with it next time.

So I left you hanging with the beer wort.  How does it get from wort to that bubbly goodness that tastes so good from a frosty mug you ask?  The wort is usually through fermenting in about a week.  At that point, you can add some primer (basically a malt sugar solution) and siphon the wort into bottles and cap them.  Wait another week and you have drinkable beer!  David and I just bottled my Oktoberfest beer last week..  He's got some stout that he made from scratch and a Foster's clone he made from a kit that is ready to drink right now.
Von and Jessica helped us bottle this batch
Is anyone wondering about the legality of brewing and vinting your own beer and wine?  In Florida, you are allowed to produce up to 250 gallons per year for personal consumption another 250 gallons if you are married........hmmmm, I wonder?

Have a great weekend!


  1. So interesting! I really enjoyed learning more about the beer-making process. That bread looks AMAZING! Wish I lived closer- I'd invite myself over to try some.

  2. I hope you bring some with you when you drive up to Michigan next month! ;) Love all the pics - I've never seen the process in action!!


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