Zombie Apocalypse Wheat Beer: Part 3

FRIDAY, JANUARY 25, 2013

Zombie Apocalypse Wheat Beer: Part 3

Finally! Last Saturday we tried our first batch of homebrew. If you haven’t yet, check out Part 1and Part 2 to read about the process of making it.

We cranked open a bottle to have with dinner. It is best to pour homebrews into a glass rather than drink out of the bottle. The yeast sediment settles to the bottom and can upset your stomach. Plus, you can enjoy the beer more out of glass. See the color and smell the aroma awhile you leisurely sip your tasty brew.
It smelled very banana-y like a hefeweizen should, so I was very happy. And, I was even happier when it tasted like a hefeweizen too! A little bit of spice, a little malty, and of course very banana-y. I was very pleased with the outcome. The only minor addition I would make a orange slice on top.
We have a batch of California IPA in the fermenter now, I hope it comes out as well as this one did. Once we start developing our own recipes or try a cool kit, I will post another homebrew story. Thanks Michael for my awesome Christmas present!

Zombie Apocalypse Wheat Beer: Part 2

As I stated in Part 1, the next step in my beer making adventure was to bottle the beer after fermentation. The two or so weeks we waited for it ferment we collected as many beer bottles as we could. This meant drinking a beer with dinner almost every night and asking our friends to save theirs for us. When I asked my boss if I could have the empties from work, he gave me the fabulous advice of using Pacifico bottles. He said to soak them in soapy water and the labels will peal right off. And they did! We also sanitized the bottles with the solution provided in the kit before  filling.

When I got back from Oregon I checked the specific gravity and it was perfect. I waited eagerly for Michael to come home so we could bottle it.

Smelled so good!

It smelled just like a hefeweizen the minute he took the lid off. I was so happy all our earlier issues did not ruin it.

However, just as I thought that, I made another mistake. The instructions say siphon the beer into the other fermenter then add corn sugar packet. I add the corn sugar packet first. It foamed up instantly and I realized I did it in the wrong order.

I quickly siphoned it into the other container.

It was still pretty foamy so I figured it was not that big a deal.

Still foamy, phew!

Next came the very messy part, the actual bottling. The second fermenter as a little spout on it so we just put it on the edge of the table and started filling. The spout sprayed everywhere at first and it took me a few bottles to get the hang of it. Once I got it down, it still took FOREVER to empty the fermenter.

It actually pours better if you hold the bottle farther from the spout.

As I filled, Michael capped the bottles. Our kit came with a nifty capper tool and bottle caps.

He complained that he only got to do the grunt work.

We probably lost about 2 beers due to the spout spraying. We put some towels on the ground underneath the spout to soak up the mess.

In the end we filled 47 normal bottles and 2 large bottles.

Ignore my messy living room…

The beer needs to carbonate in the bottles for 3 weeks. So Part 3 will be coming up soon.

Zombie Apocalypse Wheat Beer: Part 1

Before I launch into the first part of my home brewing experience, you are probably wondering about the name we chose for our beer. Well over a year ago I was invited to attend the factious Zombie Apocalypse on Facebook, you know since the world is ending tomorrow. Then when Michael and I started dating, I noticed he was attending too! Since this could be our only sustenance while we fend off the zombies, it seemed fitting.
Home tiki bar one day? source
Awhile ago Michael and I discussed what we wanted to do with our back bonus room and the idea of putting a bar or a kegerator came up. That got me to thinking about brewing our own beer. So I asked Michael for a home brew kit for Christmas. He loved the idea and instantly started researching it.
It takes about a month to make beer, so  we got my present early. Michael found a wine and beer making store in Campbell called Fermentation Solution. We went last Monday and asked a bunch of questions. The guy who helped us (I don’t think we ever caught his name) was very friendly and super informative. He recommended the Starter Beer Making Kit and one of their Recipe Ingredient Kits.  We discussed it some more then I came back on Friday and bought it.
I was so excited! Then I read the instructions that came with the recipe kit and realized our first issue. The beer takes 7-12 days to ferment. We were leaving in a week to spend Christmas with my family. That meant we either started it right then and hoped it would be ready before we left, or wait until we got back to make it. When Michael got home I told him the issue and he said let’s just go for it. He is coming back few days before me so if it wasn’t ready in a week, he would bottle when he got back at the 12 day mark. So I followed the recipe instructions as best I could.
First,  I essentially made tea from grain. I put wheat malt and row malt  in a bag and steeped it in very warm water.
Grain bag, steeping in 164 degree water.
Then I realize our second issue. We had a 3 gallon pot of water to steep the grain, but we need another pot to serve as our brew kettle—and it needed to be at least 5 gallons. So we quickly ran to Target and bought another pot.
In our new pot, we brought 2.75 gallons of water to boil…which took FOREVER!
Bringing 2.75 gallons of water to boil while the grain steeps.
Then I added the “tea” to the pot and realized our third issue. The pot was completely full now and we still need to add 3 lbs of liquid wheat malt. Rather than pour off some of the liquid to make room and risk loosing the flavor, we decided to boil off about 1 inch of it instead. This once again took FOREVER.
Too full to add the liquid malt…hmm…

I finally added the liquid malt and brought the kettle back up to boil. Then I added the bag of hops and then let it boil away for an hour.

Our house was very humid and sugary smelling after all the boiling.
That is when Michael realized the fourth issue. We needed to add more cold water before it ferments. He bought 5 gallons of purified water, but we boiled off a gallon or more of it already. Luckily the kit comes with dechlorination tablets so we dechlorinated water from our fridge.
Then we removed the hops bag and siphoned the beer into the fermenter while trying not to get the trub (the layer of stuff on the bottom).
Never thought learning how to siphon water troughs back
in 4H would come in handy one day
Next we added enough the dechlorinated water to bring it up to 5.25 gallons. Then I rehydrated the yeast packet in warm water and added it to the fermenter.
5.25 gallon of sugary yeast water.
Then Michael put the lid on and stuck in the airlock.
Ready to ferment!
It should be kept in a cool (between 62 and 72 dergees) and dark place during fermentation, so Michael decided on the garage.
The instructions said it should start fermenting within 12-24 hours. I check it in the morning before I left for work and there were no bubbles in the airlock. But it had only been 12 hours at the point so I was not concerned. That night after dinner I check it again….still nothing. But there was a residue visible on the side of the fermenter as if something was happening so I still was not too concerned. The temperature in the garage was 60 degrees so I figured it was just taking longer because it was chilly.
On Tuesday, there was still nothing in the airlock and the temperate was 56 degrees in the garage. I was worried fermentation never started or stalled, so I had Michael bring it inside.
It warmed up to just barely 62 degrees in the living room by the next day, but I was still concerned. After some research online, I decided that it was probably okay since it smelled like yeast. But I wanted to open it just to be sure. There was a lovely yeast cake right on the top, just like all the photos I saw online. I just chalked it up to being slow because it was too cold in the garage. On the plus side, there is no way it will be ready soon so we do not have to frantically bottle it before we leave. It can probably wait until I come home now.
The next step will be bottling and waiting for it to carbonate. So Part 2 will follow soon.

Beer Floats

Michael and I have been dating for one month now, and for a girl whose been single for awhile I was very excited about it. So, I thought we should celebrate a little. He took me out to sushi (because he was one of the people involved in my sushi post story and we still laugh about it) and I made him a desert that is sure to please any man: beer floats. It’s just like a root beer float, but with beer! Get your favorite ice cream and pour in your favorite dark beer, it’s that simple. We kept them simple, but you can top with anything you like—whip cream, chocolate sauce, nuts, cherries & etc.

Michael had real dairy chocolate ice cream and Rogue’s Morimoto Hazelnut Signature Ale. I had So Delicious Coconut Milk ice cream and Rogue’s Chocolate Stout. I didn’t try Michael’s obviously, but mine was sooooooo good. I am so making these again soon.

I could post an exact recipe for this, but I am pretty sure you can figure it out 🙂

Columbia River Gorge Trip: Brownies, Full Sail Brewery and Tofurky

Picture from here

Summer classes ended so I went home to Oregon for a little bit before fall semester starts. My friend Amanda invited me to come visit her in The Dalles (well, more like demanded since we haven’t seen each other in a year). Then my UHH friend Michael was in Hood River doing an internship for one of our geology professors, and said I should come see him too. So, I borrowed my dad’s car and headed down the beautiful Colombia River Gorge.

If you have never been, it’s defiantly worth a trip. The landscape is truly breathtaking.  As you drive east from Portland you transition from lush forests to a high desert, while passing alongside waterfalls, mountain peaks, high cliffs, and the lovely Columbia River itself. 

I stayed one night in Hood River with my professor and his family, which was very nice of them, so I decided to bring them a treat as a thank you. I made my favorite brownies, Chocolate Brownie Mix from Pamela’s Products. They can be made vegan or non-vegan, just follow the directions on the package. Here is how I make them:






Pamela’s Product Brownies
4 tbs water
1/2 cup vegan margarine 
1/4 hemp milk

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and spray a baking pan with cooking spray. 

In a small bowl, mix together the egg replacer and the 4 tbs of water. 

In a large bowl, add the brownie mix, egg replacer and all remaining ingredients. Mix together just until combined. 

Pour into the pan and bake for about 20 minutes. They are done when a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Even my non-vegan brother and dad wanted some. My brother happily ate the one that wouldn’t fit on plate I took to Hood River.

When I got into town Michael and Dr. Anderson were still out in the field so I explored downtown for a bit. It didn’t take too long before I ended up at Full Sail Brewery. Their beer is vegan (click here to learn about what makes beer vegan or not) and the food at the brewpub is good too.

What I like about them, and most Oregon breweries, is that they use local, quality ingredients. I had the hummus plate–just didn’t eat the feta— and a pint of the LTD 03. The beer was very hoppy, but very good. Take the tour while you are there too, you get a free glass afterwards. 

And, right next door to Full Sail is one of the best vegan things ever: the Tofurky Factory! I didn’t go in but when I go stay at peoples houses I usually bring my own food to make it easier on my hosts so I brought some Tofuky Italian Sausages with me. I don’t know how they do it, but Tofurky products actually taste and have the texture of meat. I cannot express how much I love this company and its products. The sausages are juicy and get nice grill marks on them too.

After Hood River, I stayed a few days in The Dalles with Amanda and her family. Although not vegan, I brought them Mauna Loa Chocolate Covered Macadamia Nuts from Hawaii. Amanda said her sister already devoured most of them. And, Amanda’s dog Lilly is so freaking cute I just felt the need to put her on here.

Beer Crust Hawaiian Pizza

After about a month of conflicting schedules, my friends Rick and Kyla finally made it over from Kona to come visit me. It was nice to seem them and nice to have someone to cook for for once.

Awhile ago I saw a recipe for a pizza beer pizza crust. I can’t remember where I found it, but it was called something like “lazy single guy pizza crust” and that is essentially what it is. Just dump a some beer into flour and there you go. I was curious and decided to give it a try. The recipe claimed it would rise a little bit after 10 minutes, but it lied. It was still good though. It tasted just like a normal dough recipe, yeasty favor and all. It was a a little denser and chewier, but no big deal if you like thick crust.  Overall I liked it and it was definitely easy to make. I used Long Board from Kona Brewing Company because it’s awesome and thought it would be nice to use something local.

I made one Hawaiian pizza, topped with fresh pineapple that Rick brought and vegan ham from Yves (the store was out of vegan Canadian bacon but it’s same thing really), and one veggie with my usual toppings so refer to my Veggie Pizza post for those.

Both were cheese-less but topped with hummus instead. And, I am finally including my hummus recipe in this post. And yeah, I know traditional hummus has tahini and other fancy stuff, but this basic recipe is still good and easy to make (how many people really keep tahini in the house on a regular basis, let alone a single college girl?) And, I used a store-bought sauce this time because I had some on hand.

Easy Hummus (makes enough for 2 pizzas plus extra):
2 cans garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
2 tbs olive oil
1 tbs Ener-g Egg Replacer
Red pepper flakes, to taste
Pinch of salt and pepper
1/2-1 cup water, ass needed


Beer Pizza Crust (makes 2 pizzas):
4 cups all purpose flour
22 fl. oz. of bottle of beer
1 tbs olive oil
1 tbs salt

Hawaiian Pizza:
1 beer crust, unbaked
3/4 cup hummus
1/2 cup tomato sauce
Vegan Canadian bacon (Try Yves), chopped
1/2 cup pineapple, chopped

For the hummus, throw everything into the blender and blend until smooth. I suggest adding the water in slowly as needed to help it come together so it doesn’t get too runny.

It may not be traditional, but tastes just as good to me.

The crust is just as easy. Pre-heat the oven to 500 degree Fahrenheit.

In a large bowl, add the flour. Next add the oil and salt. Then pour in the beer slowly. Add a little bit at a time and mix well before adding more. Depending on climate, you may need more or less. I actually needed a little less then the whole bottle. It is ready when it’s slightly tacky but moist.

Since it doesn’t need to rise, it’s time to knead. Sprinkle some flour on a clean surface and knead gently. Don’t over work it, just till it’s smooth and workable. Roll the dough into the shape of pizza pan. Transfer to your pan and shape to fit. If it tears, just mold it back together.

Time to top. Spread the hummus on in an even thick layer.

Spread the tomato sauce on top.

Then finally top it with the Canadian bacon and pineapple.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the crust is all golden and crunchy.

It was so nice to share lovely vegan food with lovely friends! Thanks for coming guys!