Monday, September 29, 2008

The Adventures of Super Yeast: First Batch

Greetings dear reader(s), I know some of you have been waiting for this for a long time well here it is, the first batch of Super Beer has been brewed and tasted. Daddy was kind enough to write up the experience and send it to me for your enjoyment. Besides the fact that I didn't have to write it myself what I love most about this post is that this is exactly how my father talks/tells a story, LOVE it! I will be adding my thoughts in the "Copy LiteralDan Section" (see Dan, I am linking you so your tech thingy will go up, I get minion points right?). So without further ado here is the next installment of The Adventures of Super Yeast:

Once upon a time there was a very nice, but very sober and boring, Grandfatherly person who had a very sensitive and loving daughter who, noticing her beloved father's sad plight solved his problem: She bought him a MrBeer homebrewing kit. At first his miserable existence took a turn for the worse; he had to listen to vast quantities of bitching and nagging* about the house smelling like a brewery. Ignoring bitching females** is a character trait that must be developed for a man to stay sane. Others include the babble filter*** and the random noncommittal grunt communication technique****. In any event, although it seemed like an eternity, the brew was ready, but alas it was wimpy. It was far better than supermarket swill but wimpy. Also the wimpy MrBeer kit cost a lot more than supermarket swill.*****

A drinkable brew must have:

  1. Great taste tailored to the individual. If I like it it is good otherwise it sucks.
  2. Potency otherwise we can just drink Kool aid and enjoy pissing.
  3. Ease of production. I use liquid malt extract (LME) rather than barley for that reason.
  4. Low cost, about 1/3 the price of supermarket swill. Buy the LME in bulk.

I now consume about five gallons of my home brew per month which I am still striving to perfect, along with a little help from my good friend Richard. Richard had a handicap which developed over the years. His taste buds atrophied from drinking MGD****** for far too long. His mind was going too as he started believing the MGD commercials on TV. He condescended to try my brew just to prove me wrong. Then he realized what he likes the most about my brew: it was free!! Since then his taste buds have completely regenerated and his mind is coming back. At least he no longer sings along with MGD commercials (not that he could sing anyway)*******.

My loving daughter provided me with a sample of a new Industrial grade, genetically enhanced yeast (aka Super Yeast) tailored to quickly produce ethanol in copious supply and high concentration to replace gasoline. I brewed a 2 ½ gallon batch with it as a test. It fermented quickly (2 days vs 1 week). It looked a little darker than my earlier brew but no big deal.

I sampled the new stuff tonight (1 12 oz bottle). The bitterness of the hops was apparent as the sugar was totally consumed by the Super Yeast. One bottle bent my head about the same as a 16 oz bottle with normal brewers yeast. If I made a really nasty******** batch I would use the Super Yeast. If I used it for a normal batch I would have to add some non-fermentable sugar to sweeten it. It might make good Christmas gifts for some redneck relatives*********. Just imagine a 50 proof********** beer would do for your reputation. I really like the last batch and will continue with it with minor changes, if any. I am naming it Bill's Kickass Ale #1.


Add 2 Gal water to brewing kettle and heat to 160 deg F

Add ½ # of Wheat Malt to aid Head Retention

Steep at 160 deg F for ½ hour

Heat to boil;

Add 1 oz of Vanguard hops (alpha acid 4.4%)

Boil for 30 min;

Add 1 oz of Spalt hops (alpha acid 2.2%)

Boil for 15 min more;

Add 6.6# of Liquid malt extract

Add 1# Corn Sugar

Add Water for 5 Gallons total in fermentor

Aerate; Add Yeast when temp is under 70 deg F

After 1 week transfer to secondary.

After 1 week transfer back to primary fermentor.

Add ¾ cup of corn sugar and stir well. Bottle

After 2 or 3 weeks it is ready!!!!

Note: I prefer to use leaf hops but due to diminished hop availability

I had to use hop pellets. I can look at hops plugs and see what I

am getting but with pellets I could be using lawn clippings or

worse and never be sure.

-----Copy LiteralDan Section-----

*My mother tends to be a bit vocal when she doesn't like something, and by bit I mean a lot, a whole lot, enough to get her way 99% of the time not only at home but everywhere.

**Mainly my mother but he also has three daughters and a granddaughter so is quite outnumbered and outgunned. He is not as chauvinistic as he sounds, it is part of his sense of humor, which can be quite warped.

***Babble Filter = Ignoring/tuning out people.

**** The random noncommittal grunt communication technique = pretend you are listening by making noises every once in awhile. Note that this is not always the most effective method, it works better if someone is ranting and raving but not seeking advice just venting, I totally know when he is doing it much of the time.

*****Supermarket swill = any store bought beer that was cheap enough for him to be willing to buy prior to him brewing his own beer and becoming a total beer snob.

******There has always been a "friendly" debate between Uncle Richard and Daddy over the worth of MGD. Daddy is convinced that MGD is just as good as the cheap crap he always bought (red dog and busch usually) while Richard has always maintained its superiority and that it is worth the extra money to buy it.

*******This is actually believable, and Richard can definitely sing, though maybe not so much after a bottle of home brew given the significantly higher percentage of ethanol.

********High ethanol concentration.

*********He totally means my cousins, his sister had three boys to my family's three girls. I don't think they are all that redneck but Daddy loves to say they are, perhaps because they live in the middle of nowhere Michigan.

**********Given enough sugar the Super Yeast will produce up to about a 50 proof beer, the batch he made used the amount of sugar that he uses for a normal batch of beer. The normal yeast will generally stop producing ethanol before they run out of sugar since they can only tolerate a certain percentage of ethanol, since it has a significanly higher tolerance the Super Yeast used up all the sugar and made a stronger beer but in this batch it is not likely at the 50 proof concentration. If I run into one of the engineers that work with it I think I will ask them how much sugar they use in their fermentation broth to max it out but not have too much left over.


loren said...

I read the "50 proof" part and couldn't keep the swear words back. Holy *#@$. 50 proof. Isn't that like 3 to 5 times what regular beer is?!?

I'm gonna have to tell my dad (he brews his own beer, too). WOW.

The Microblogologist said...

I think store bought beer is 3-5% (the sources vary a bit) so 6-10 proof. Regular home brew given enough sugar is 10-15% (20-30 proof) if I remember right, it is more along the lines of the concentration in non-distilled wine. The industrial yeast goes up to about 24% (48 proof) depending on the volume and sugar content, though that number might not be accurate for brewing beer since it is a different broth.

Daddy did not make 50 proof this round, he would have needed to use more sugar. If I run into one of the engineering grad students who work with it I plan to ask them how much sugar it would take to bring it up to the ~50 proof but not have much left over. I'll likely have to do some math, they likely know stuff in liters and grams and Dad works in gallons and pounds. If your dad is as brew crazy as mine I sympathize with you and suggest we start a support group.

Does this mean Daddy is invited to your next drunken redneck block party?

iVegasFamily said...

I've never tried to concoct a homemade brew. I'm thinking it's about time.

WaltzInExile said...

Sorry it took me so long to read this. Have had a crappy week with school and political ideologies run amok, so I was saving this post to read to cheer me up. Now I'm going to "Star" it in my Google Reader so I can find it as often as I want. This was AWESOME. And your Dad and my Dad sound like they could talk each other's ears off.
BTW, if I'd known you could get me Super Yeast, I'd have befriended you a LOT sooner... Kidding. Seriously, though, that was hysterical.

The Microblogologist said...

Jason - Great now your wife is going to put me on a hit list too (unless she likes it, Mom is definitely not a fan)! If you want to get in touch with my dad about the subject he would likely be into the idea. He loves to talk about brewing, he got my uncle playing with the brew kit my cousins got him, spreading the home brewed love I guess, lol.

Goat Momma - I am so glad this post helped cheer you up! It would be so funny if our dads were BFFs! It is also funny that I never used terms like BFF until I became a blog addict. Hmmm, I think my dad is more popular than I am... I'll have to make him write more posts for me! Oh and I totally understand getting behind on the blog reading, I am SO behind myself, what the hell is up with "real life" getting in the way of blog life?! I hope your real life calms down soon! I am amused by the fact that my grandpa told me I need to have a social life and make contacts while in college, wonder if this is what he had in mind...

BusyDad said...

That was awesome! Your pops is one hell of an entertaining writer too. The brewing adventures could constitute their own blog. 50 proof beer would ROCK. Don't know if you feel like beer or shots? Go for the 50 proof brew! That is an untapped market.

The Microblogologist said...

Jim - I was on the phone with him last night and linked him. He read most of it to me and I was totally cracking up the whole time! Cheryl was joking about him starting his own blog, after having his ego stroked on mine. I don't know if that will happen but I plan to bug him to guest post on mine occasionally either way!

I am not sure if they are 50 proof or not but there are beers similar to Dad's regular home brew for sure that are becoming popular, think Daddy said especially on the west coast.

Weaselmomma said...

I so want want to sit and drink beer with your Dad. He sounds like a hoot.

The Microblogologist said...

He is quite the character Weaselmomma, I of course adore him. And he lives in the Chicagoland area and loves to show off his home brew...

LiteralDan said...

Minion points awarded!

MGD is the same old junk with better marketing.

I'm curious enough to try out the 50-proof stuff-- I agree with Jim that this is an untapped market!

Your dad sounds awesome.

The Microblogologist said...

Sweet, I got minion points! Did you notice the 10 footnotes? I thought of you as I compulsively looked to add the last one to make it even.

Think Dad is tinkering with it and working on getting it up as high as it can go. He wants me to see if I can find someone here who can tell us how to find out what the %ethanol is in the resulting beer. Daddy tends to like to show off his home brew, as I've said, perhaps a play-date for the kids and a sampling for the adults...