Huzzah, part 2.

For several months I’ve been wanting to do a gruit beer, substituting herbs for hops and making a truly old school beer. I’m heading to the brewstore tomorrow to pick up grains, having already bought the herbs at the local shop Nature’s Magic. (Total cost on the herbs is a little under $6, which compares nicely to the cost of hops these days.) My basic idea is something like this(update: final recipe):

  • 3 pounds light or extra light dme
  • 1 pound wheat extract
  • 1 pound honey
  • 8 oz wheat malt
  • 8 oz 2-row malt
  • 8 oz 10L crystal malt
  • 2 oz honey malt
  • 2 oz Yarrow
  • 2 oz Mugwort
  • .5 oz Licorice root

My reasoning is as follows: Many grains were used in ancient brewing, so I’m adding wheat to approximate the mix. Likewise, honey was added to all sorts of fermented goods to be sure they reached the proper strength (this batch should be just shy of 5%). The herbs should be a nice earthy blend, slightly spicy, with bitterness coming from the mugwort – mugwort, or Artemesia vulgaris, is a relative of Wormwood. Both yarrow and mugwort are traditional ingredients in gruit. Note the absence of hops of any kind. Since in ye olden days this would have been casked, I’ll oak it in secondary to recreate that aspect of brewing. All told, it should be a fun, cheap, somewhat historical partial mash. I’ll post the final recipe when it’s final.

Also, should you want to learn more about brewing gruit ales, check out the aptly named, and for a broader look at herbs and spices and a whole lot of other cool stuff, pick up a copy of Radical Brewing. It’s worth it, and it’s 5 stars on Amazon for a reason.

Fun with Pumpkins

Well, Halloween’s coming up, and I haven’t updated in quite some time, for the simple reason that we haven’t been up to brewing anything lately.  There are two links that really need to be passed on, though, both involving pumpkins.  The first is actually brewing related: an interesting flickr photo stream about brewing in a pumpkin. The second is just plain cool, for those who are electrically inclined: Evil Mad Scientist’s Snap-O-Lantern. Very nice!

The Device

Stumbled across a link to a self-described, all-in-one beer brewing machine today on Gizmodo called simply The Device. The Device includes CO2-pressurized hoses that move the liquid through each stage of the brewing process and temperature control to regulate the fermentation vessel. Keep checking back for more information about Flagon Slayer’s own, Linux controlled, fermentation temperature regulator.

Back in the Ville.

I’m back, and it’s high time for an update. First off, here’s a highly un-instructional video that a couple of us put together for a now mostly-defunct group called HackLouisvile entitled “How Not to Brew Beer“. You’ll need QuickTime to play it, and it’s NSFW due to language.

I managed to find an old favorite recipe, it’s up at I really need to take a picture of the final product to add to the writeup, as it looks rather unappetizing while it’s in process.

Lastly, I hear Aaron is currently in Mad Scientist mode, with plans for a “Linux-based, fermentation temperature controller for homebrewing.” That sounds quite interesting, and I hope you’ll post what you have here soon. I’d also like to say hi back to the friendly chaps over at Monday Night. I have to say, I’m quite curious about the Mint Chocolate Stout Float.