Tuesday, June 16, 2009
I went out and got my hands on Charlie Papazian's The Complete Joy of Home Brewing. I highly recommend this for anyone who wants to not only brew beer, but also understand the art of fermentation. The book has great, easy-to-understand information on how microbes break down starches, how enzymes work, how to prevent contamination, etc. This is a must-have for people wanting to get into activating EM1..or wanting to start fermenting other things with EM1.
Brewing beer with EM1 is quite an art and very difficult at times because you need to have lots of patience. For some reason it takes a long time to get a really good brew. I have tried a couple different methods and have a batch going right now that I plan on trying something different....again (it is the chef in me that I like to experiment).
The first, and best beer I ever made, I did the following:
I made a 5-gallon batch of bock, but added in about 3 times the amount of hops to the mix (I wasn't crazy about hops back then, but threw them in anyway.) After about 2 weeks of fermentation in the glass carboy (outside on the porch...in Tucson) I tasted the brew and thought it was too bitter. I took another kit and boiled it according to instructions...minus the hops this time. I mixed in the 5 gallons from the fermented batch. (yes, I had 10 gallons of wort now).
I took these 10 gallons and added two vials of liquid yeast (one each) after it cooled down. I decided I would add an equal amount of EM1 per carboy as well and pitched it in too.
The 10 gallons then fermented on the porch for three months, bubbling away for over 1 month.
The black beer ended up being about the same color as a rich IPA (similar to Moylan's Hopsickle or Decadant Imperial IPA). When it was ready, I bottled it and let it age in the bottle for another 3 months. I did try a bottle here and there during the three months and have to say that it needs that amount of time to mature.
The cool thing about this beer, besides a great flavor, was that you didn't get drunk drinking it.
FYI: Drinking EM1 can sober you up pretty quickly. Depending on how much alcohol you've had, you can drink EM1 and it eats the alcohol in your system. It helps prevent hangovers...and can be used to get rid of hangovers the next day.
Last year's "Arrogant Bastard" clone:
Our local home brew store...Brew Your Own Brew, sells a kit that helps make a beer like Stone's Arrogant Bastard. This time I added the EM1 at the beginning. This brew was one of those that sneaks up on you. It was a little flat, but had a great flavor. I swear it was stronger than most beers and went right to your head. I recommend only drinking one of these bad boys.
This month's batch: IPA. Whole Grain, Whole Hops, American Ale Yeast.
The batch is still brewing...been about a week. I'll let you know how it comes out.