Typically when bottle conditioning a homebrew it takes at least 2 weeks or more to properly carbonate the beer, however if you need to carbonate the beer faster, we have a useful trick that will reduce the carbonation time to just 6 days.
All you have to do is gently rouse the yeast and invert each bottle once per day for the first 5 days after bottling. After chilling the beer for a few hours on the 6th day it will be fully carbonated, this will work even for high ABV stouts that would otherwise take 3 weeks to carbonate.
Basically this just wakes up the yeast which is resting on the bottom of the bottle and increases their surface area, allowing the yeast to work more efficiently.
See the video below for a demonstration. Happy homebrewing.
A Shrub is is a concentrated syrup that combines fruit, sugar, and vinegar, and when combined with club soda or tonic, makes a delicious effervescent beverage. Shrubs also make a great addition of any of your favorite cocktails.
If your looking for a way to add a special touch to your cocktails, why not try making your own house bitters, it’s a really simple process once you gather all the necessary spices and herbs. This week we made 2 shrubs, and a batch of orange bitters. For our first attempt we made a Strawberry Mint Shrub, and a Mixed Berry/Lemon Balm Shrub with Strawberries, Raspberries, and Blackberries. The addition of Mint and Lemon Balm to the shrubs really complemented the fruity and tart flavors, these are going to make some truly excellent drinks. Cheers
House Orange Bitters
The magic ratio for shrubs is 1:1:1
Step 1: Go on a slow walk through the woods with your friends and your club mascot. Bring along a plant connoisseur if you can (lucky us, we have Ross Whitehead!) and learn all about edible plants of the Mid Atlantic while you stroll. If you’re planning to forage, avoid places where there may be pollutants (like roadsides) – some contaminants could be taken up by plants.
Step 2: Pick some delicious invasive species for your pesto: mugwort (Artemesia vulgaris), garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata), and wild onion (Allium vineale).
Step 3: Pour yourselves some homebrews and blend your harvest with olive oil, toasted walnuts, and parmesan cheese (optional additions: lemon juice, salt and pepper).
Step 4: EAT THE ENEMY! Preferably on a sunny rooftop in very flattering light. Thanks to Ross for taking us through this journey!
YCC was recently mentioned in the Mid-Atlantic Brewing News in an article discussing the “Free State Homebrew Guild”. The guild is the first and only statewide homebrewing guild which brings together representatives from every Maryland homebrew club.
For all who did not attend Maryland Day this year, the Micallef Food Safety lab had hand washing exhibits, bacteria viewing under the microscope, and adventures to find out what microbe you most identify with! Below is an example of a quick interactive game our lab came up with to get kids (6- 12) interested about microbiology and food safety ! It is a choose your own adventure based pamphlet full of fun questions and valuable information on the top food safety microbes. Please feel free to use this as an instructional tool in your educational setting!
This brew was one of our favorites! We thought it would be great with savory waffles, but we drank it all before we got a chance to test our hypothesis.
Modified from this recipe.
Brew Method: Extract
Boil Time: 60 min
Batch Size: 5 gallons
Original Gravity: 1.092
Final Gravity: 1.020
1 lb – Flaked oats
1 lb – Chocolate malt
12 oz – Roast barley malt
9 oz – Dibittered black malt
7 oz – Crystal malt (120)
6.6 lb – Liquid Malt Extract – Breiss light, unhopped
1.7 lb – Dry Malt Extract – Light
1 oz – Nugget Pellets
1 oz – Willamette Pellets
4 oz – Sumatran coffee
2.5 oz – semi-sweet chocolate chips
1.5 oz – unsweetened baking chocolate, chopped
1/2 tsp – Irish Moss
White Labs – American Ale #WLP001
1. Steep grains @ 155-160 for 30 minutes in 3 gallons of water
2. Remove grains and rinse with hot water
3. Add LME and DME and bring to a boil. Set timer for 60 min
4. At start of boil, add 1 oz nugget hops and start timer for 60 min
5. With 30 min left on the boil, add 0.5 oz willamette hops
6. At 15 min, add irish moss and wort chiller
7. At 0 min (flameout), add 0.5 oz willamette hops, 2 oz coffee, and all chocolate
8. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature
9. Transfer wort to primary fermenter and top up with water to 5 gallons.
10. Add yeast and swirl to incorporate and aerate
11. Ferment in primary for 7-14 days
12. Rack to secondary fermenter and add 2 oz coffee
13. After 7-14 days, prime and bottle
14. Bottle condition 2-3 weeks and enjoy!