Today’s lesson is a variation on a recipe I originally found on the Brewboard about a year and a half ago. I had originally wanted to brew it in January of 2010, using a simple witbier as the starter for the yeast (yes, an ENTIRE BATCH as a starter). This didn’t end up happening due to various circumstances, so the recipe sort of languished on the back burner, sitting lonely and unloved in my brewing folder.
Then, about two weeks ago, I had stopped in one of my local brewing stores to poke around and see if I needed anything. While in there, I noticed that they had all the specialty ingredients needed for the Stupid…except for the base malt and yeast. It was too good of an opportunity to pass up. I bought what I could, then set it down in front of the passenger seat of my car. There it languished until this past Sunday, when I finally brought it inside.
Before that, though, I had also gone to the other LHBS (Local HomeBrew Store) to pick up the last few things I needed: base malt, a small amount of hard-to-get specialty malt, and 2 packets of dry yeast. There was a slight problem, however. It had been close to 100 degrees Fahrenheit here nearly every day for the preceding few days.
And I hadn’t taken my ingredients out of my car.
This time, fortunately, I did not panic. I simply brought everything inside and set it out to cool down. Once it had, I brewed with it.
The beer seemed good, pre-pitching. Delicious, even. Which goes to show you that, if you’re careful and follow good practices, even if you goof up your storage you can salvage something out of even the most spoiled of hops (usually a lambic. My hops weren’t quite that bad yet). So just keep this in mind! Apart from yeast, most brewing ingredients are hardier than you might expect, so don’t immediately write them off in the event of poor storage conditions.
And, while I personally would be a little hesitant to brew with bug-infested malt (okay, I wouldn’t use it at all), lest we forget that the occasional sugar-seeking arthropod will sometimes land in the boil kettle on an otherwise perfect outdoor brew day. Is the beer any worse for the wear? I submit to you that it is not. All that being said, may the foam be with you, and happy brewing!
P.S.: For those who care, here’s the recipe as I made it:
- 13 lbs Pilsner malt
- 1 lb Dingeman’s Honey Malt
- 0.5 lb Carapils
- 2 oz. Hallertauer Hersbrucker (2.4% Alpha Acids) at 60 minutes
- 1 oz. bitter orange peel, dried and chopped, at 15 minutes
- 1 oz. coriander seed at 15 minutes
- 1 oz. ground and dried ginger root at 15 minutes
- 1 whirlfloc tablet and 2 tbsp bentonite at 15 minutes
- 3 lbs orange blossom honey while cooling, at 180 degrees Fahrenheit
- 2 packets SafBrew T-58 dry yeast
Mash in with 16 quarts of 170-degrees Fahrenheit water for a target rest temperature of 150 degrees. Batch sparge to collect a total of 6.5 gallons of wort. Bring to a boil and add the hops and other kettle ingredients according to the schedule above. Chill to about 90 degrees , adding the honey when the wort is about 180 degrees, making sure to stir it in completely. Pitch the yeast, seal it up, and let it alone for 2 weeks to a month. Rack to secondary. Let it alone for another month. Rack, repeat. You should probably rack it at least 4 or 5 times before bottling, then leave it for another few months in the bottles (or keg) for optimal smoothness and added stupid upon consumption (or so I hear. We’ll see what happens, as I’ve never made this before!).