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The White House releases honey-based homebrew beer recipes

Discussion in 'Beer News' started by Todd, Sep 1, 2012.

  1. gustogasmic

    gustogasmic Savant (350) Michigan Jan 13, 2012 Beer Trader

    Vegans can't drink it!
  2. joeebbs

    joeebbs Savant (360) Pennsylvania Apr 29, 2009

    He's had Guinness a few times although the two pictures I've seen were 1) In Ireland and 2) On St Patrick's Day.
  3. I am truly hoptamistic that we ARE finally headed in the direction of nirvana...
  4. airforbes1

    airforbes1 Savant (260) California Oct 27, 2010

    Speaking as someone who is only a beer drinker and not a homebrewer, I think this is awesome. Politics aside, I think it's neat having a president who is interesting in homebrewing, even if he basically has chefs using kits. That means Obama knows there's more to beer than fizzy, pale lagers. And anything that might get others interested in good beer and/or homebrewing can only be a good thing. As someone who likes porters and honey, I would love to try the honey porter.
  5. StuartCarter

    StuartCarter Savant (485) Alabama Apr 25, 2006

    sucks to be them?
    BJRHOMEBREW and Henamonster like this.
  6. bugdoc

    bugdoc Savant (290) California Apr 4, 2011 Beer Trader

    Etan likes this.
  7. kleinstadt

    kleinstadt Zealot (95) Illinois Apr 10, 2007

    Seems like Garrett softplayed them.

    I agree with him that it's surprising they went straight to steeped + extract.

    But, it seems like there are some very easy procedural improvements that would make a tremendous difference in the quality of an extract brew, which can be just as good as all-grain.

    These were probably obvious to Mr. Oliver, but he left them out either because he was trying to softpedal or he was just trying to keep it simple.

    These are the flaws I see, in order of importance:

    1) full wort boil vs. partial boil
    2) Wyeast 1968 instead of Windsor (dry) yeast
    3) chill the wort, fer chrissake (in an ice bath, if you have to)
    4) use all DME vs. any LME
    5) add the honey at 100-120F, during chilling, instead of the boil
  8. nanobrew

    nanobrew Advocate (645) California Dec 31, 2008

    While I overall agree with you, but I feel some of those things are up in the air about being called flaws (#2 and #4). To me the biggest flaw is #3, and it is such a simple fix. Just put the boiling pot in an ice bath. The only good side to #1 is it will help chill the wort when mixed with cooled water.

    As I mentioned above, the saddest one is #5. By boiling the honey (especially for the amount of time they did in the porter) all of the delicate flavors are pretty much gone. They pretty much could have just added table sugar at that point. I agree adding it around 100-120F would have been way better, but even more, what I like to do is add it right as high krausen is starting to fall in the primary. That way most of the activity as slowed down so it does not blow off a lot of flavor and aroma compounds, plus my yeast will work on complex sugars and then be able to move to simple sugars. The one thing that makes this beer special from anyone else who bought this kit is the WH honey, I would treat it more carefully next time.
  9. kleinstadt

    kleinstadt Zealot (95) Illinois Apr 10, 2007

    Ok, I agree that #4 could be an overstatement in that it is a flaw.

    But, that's assuming that the WH is getting fresh LME, which is a huge assumption, given the novice level of the homebrewers at the WH.

    As for your criticism of #2, I disagree. In the homebrew forum, liquid yeast is strongly preferred (although, anecdotally, and my experience agrees).

    I must disagree on the biggest flaw. #1 is the most important. A full wort boil will yield a much better beer than a partial boil (again, referencing the HB forum and my own experience).

    Glad that we can agree on the honey issue, at least. And, your suggestions on the honey addition are better than mine.
  10. nanobrew

    nanobrew Advocate (645) California Dec 31, 2008

    Oh, I agree 100% with you on your points, just that I wouldn't necessarily call them flaws, verse preferences or part of the learning curve.
  11. Sneers

    Sneers Savant (455) Pennsylvania Dec 27, 2009

    I am 100% certain all-grain brewing is within the capabilities of the White House staff. Extract brewing is not an unskilled task.

    Your cynicism fails.
  12. butterflybrewwing

    butterflybrewwing Initiate (15) Sep 17, 2012

    i agree. how many of you made your first batch of beer from a kit? second? third? (and how many tries and how many millions did it take to land on mars?)
  13. Jaycase

    Jaycase Champion (980) Illinois Jan 13, 2007 Beer Trader

    Garrett Oliver from Brooklyn Brewery is brewing the ale, step by step. Interesting article in the NY Times describes it here. It will be a month long process with occasional updates in the NYT.
  14. Heatwave33

    Heatwave33 Advocate (615) Florida Sep 13, 2011 Beer Trader

    Bottling the honey porter TONIGHT! 2 more weeks and it's drinking time!
  15. Jaycase

    Jaycase Champion (980) Illinois Jan 13, 2007 Beer Trader

    If anyone's interested, an update in the NYT on Garrett Oliver's progress brewing the Honey Ale. Might be particularly interesting for homebrewers.
  16. Jaycase

    Jaycase Champion (980) Illinois Jan 13, 2007 Beer Trader

    Next update: time for bottling
  17. StuartCarter

    StuartCarter Savant (485) Alabama Apr 25, 2006

    very interesting seeing this step by step.
  18. Flashy

    Flashy Advocate (675) Vermont Oct 22, 2003 Verified

    The late, great Darren Fehring used to tell me he brewed for the White House when Clinton was President. This does not appear to be unpresidented (sorry).
  19. wiscokid920

    wiscokid920 Savant (490) Maryland Apr 27, 2011