I stay chillin'... It swings from about 52-73 degrees Fahrenheit out here in Palo Alto, CA and I've been looking for a way to keep my cool under a blazing sun or to stop my Floridian blood from freezing over as we creep into night. So, naturally, if I want to stay cool or keep warm I think about brewing (and subsequently drinking said brew).
Now that I'm all the way over here and 11 degrees north of the subtropical Lake Worth, Florida, I need to spend my electricity wisely on running a fan through the afternoon and keeping my toes warm at night. So, I thought about going the no-boil route on my latest batch of beer.
NO-BOIL (sort of...)
The idea comes from using a can of extract, bottled water, and activated liquid yeast, and -- contrary to the title -- boiled water to steep the hops. Since most store-bought extracts come canned, and presumably sanitized in the container, there's little reason to boil except to give hops a medium in which to soak, or to kill off any errant microorganisms that might threaten your future brew from quaff-able completion. There is, of course, a dry-hop alternative that would totally eliminate the need for any type of heating.
HOW DOES HE DO IT?
TELL ME MORE!
Hold your horses. I'm getting to it.
- The no-boil brew is basically a test of endurance while you shake up pre-bottled water and extract to completely dissolve the malt syrup or powder into the liquid. Take any extract recipe and pick up any materials you need to make this thing happen.
- Start the brewday by sanitizing your brewing equipment. An investment into a five-gallon bucket and a bottle of IO Star Sanitizer will last many a brewday. Plus, the IO Star Sanitizer's effective concentration is so low (two caps full per 5 gallons of water) that you hardly need more than a quick rinse, if at all.
- I used a 6.5-gallon glass carboy and added a couple gallons of store-bought room-temperature water. Into that, I began to pour liquid malt extract to fit the recipe I chose. Then I shook it all up until it seemed like the syrup was at least mostly dissolved in the water. I topped off the recipe with the remaining few gallons of water for my 5-gallon batch and swirled that up to further dilute the syrup.
- Now, when it comes to hops, you could either make a hop-tea (and maybe add a heat-activated fining agent to clear your brew a little more) and let it cool off enough to add it to your wort. Give it another swirl and then you're ready to add a few billion of your tiniest friends to the pool.
- Finally, the windup and the pitch. I chose an aggressive yeast to help convert the sugar into magically delicious ethanol as quickly and completely as possible. I was on a time-budget, so I chose that route. Otherwise, I don't see any harm in picking your favorite or style-specific strain.
Yup. It's really simple from here. Just let the brew ferment as usual and in a few weeks, you'll be bottling, kegging, or guzzling delicious, homemade beer straight from the fermenter.
As always, feel free to write in at AskAHomebrewer@gmail.com. You can release your horses now.