Dave's Beer


Despite owning the domain registration Dave's Beer.com, I'm not a fanatic brewer. Dave's Beer embodies the spirit in which I would like to live. Kicked back, relaxed, sharing food and spirits with friends. I'm a tad type A to fully realize that dream. Something to work on.

I do love to brew though. With parenting and work, brewing gets low priority. In addition to celebrating food, I also have a passion for process development. Not quite an idea man, I don't invent many things, but I see opportunity for improvement on underdeveloped good ideas.

If you Google no boil ale, the #1 search result is a 2001 piece from a periodical called BYO (brew your own). Kind of interesting but not a popular concept. Boiling the wort (beer before it's fermented) takes a long time and I don't know how important it is since I do only malt extract brews with some specialty grains infused.

A couple weeks ago, I put this method to the test. I infused some chocolate malt (1/2 lb.) and 120 crystal malt (1 lb.) in 140-deg-F water for an hour. This mini mash was filtered and added to 6 lbs. Breiss Gold dry malt extract and about 2 ounces of Fuggles hops and a couple teaspoons of gypsum and dissolved in water that was about 140-deg-F. The mixture was stirred vigorously and a Nottingham yeast culture was added once the mixture cooled to about 75-deg-F. I aerated it vigorously and let it ferment for about a week. My basement was approximately 60 +/-10 degrees (we lost heat for a day during that period), but the fermentation kept going along, ending the primary at 1.015 F.G. (O.G. 1.060). Should be a nice copper colored brown ale about 6% alcohol by volume. The sample so far is better than any recent batch. And, much easier brew! We'll see after a brief secondary and bottling/kegging for the final test.


Andrew said...

Interesting post. I actually noticed a big differnce in the taste of the beers that I made on a gas stove that gave me a nice rolling boil and my electric stove, which could barely simmer the wort.

Maybe I'll give this method a try, at least it won't be as much work!

Dave said...

Hey Andrew,
I've always been pretty casual about brewing. WAY too many parameters to control in a household setting - temperature, microbial sanitation, aeration of wort, about 40 possible avenues of possible introduction of contaminants, etc. My big thing is to do a mini ferementation with a liter of wort the day before to get a huge charge of yeast. That way, I dominate most other microbes, hopefully. As far as your observation of boiling vs. no boiling, I'd guess the control over each batch wasn't tight enough (no offense).

So, given how complicated it really is, I just punt and take the easiest route and hope to get lucky. The BYO article is pretty good. And, when I sample the wort immediately following fermentation, it's a pretty reliable indicator of the success of the batch. I'm excited. Very hoppy too!

Andrew said...

After my last experience, I was going to give up until I got the set up for all grain (probably not goint to happen for a while), but I might give your method a try