Celebrate with Cake

BYOB by | May 2015 | Issue #100

Illustration by Ellen Crenshaw

It’s issue 100! Cue the confetti and the noisemakers. I guess we should make a celebratory homebrew. Looking back, it’s apparent I’ve been wrong about the full title of my column all these years. I thought BYOB meant “Brewing Yummy Odd Beer” not “Brew Your Own Beer.” Awkward… but either way, the brew must go on! This month, let’s take a page from one of my brewing mentors and brew a chocolate cake beer.

Cake is a mixture of wheat flour, sugar, flavorings, eggs and butter. The last two ingredients contain copious fats that make it a complicated beer additive. Yet to brew a true chocolate cake beer, one must have chocolate cake.

Order a full sheet cake from a baker. Ask for no frosting or remove it. (No judgment if you eat it.) Add the cake, crumbled, to 1–2 quarts of boiling water. Stir and boil until the cake is completely dissolved. Simmer gently for 15 minutes. Cover and cool the cake slurry overnight in the fridge. Scrape off the fat cap.

Add the defatted cake slurry to your Stout mash and proceed as normal. I learned this from fellow Falcon M.B. Raines, who did it to celebrate the birthday of Doug King with his leftover cake and has used it to great effect several times since. Here’s to a few hundred more Yummy Odd Beers.

For 5.5 gallons at 1.065, 22 IBU, 36.5 SRM, 6.6% ABV

10 lb. Domestic 2 row
1.0 lb. Crystal 120L
1.0 lb. flaked barley
0.75 lb. roasted barley
0.25 lb. chocolate malt

Single infusion for 60 minutes at 154°F.

0.50 oz Target (pellets) | 11% AA | 60 minutes

1 chocolate sheet cake without frosting. Crumble and boil in 2 quarts of water. Cool overnight and scrape off any fat. Add to mash.

Wyeast 1275 Thames Valley Ale or WLP022 Essex Ale