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Friday, June 21, 2013

Another Way To Use Barley!

I've always wanted to do this. I had seen posts in many other places about using the leftover grain from brewing as an ingredient in bread. I love to bake, I love to brew. It just seemed like a natural fit. I don't know why it took so long to actually do it.

Drying the grain took longer than I thought it would, probably because I kept the oven door closed (My wife hates the smell.) I spread about 2lbs out into the largest pan we had; about 14"x18". I set the oven on warm, and stirred it every couple of hours. It took a couple of days. If I had left the door open, I think it would have gone much faster.

When it was completely dry, I ran it though my food processor. I wasn't quite flour, but was it wasn't just dried husks, either.

What to use for a recipe, I wondered? I did some searching, and everything I found looked WAY too complicated. In almost everything I do, I try to stick with the KISS principle (Keep It Simple, Stupid). So, I took a simple white bread recipe, and tried modifying it.

My first attempt went, uh, not well. I essentially made a hockey puck; small, black,hard. I increased the flour, decreased the barley, and got what you see above. It's dark, rather dense, and really yummy.

Here's the recipe I came up with. I used my bread machine, but it should work fine as a manual recipe, as well.

===================================
SPENT GRAIN BREAD

2 cups flour
1/2 cup (or less) spent grain, dried
2/3 cup water or milk
2 tbs sugar
2 tbs oil (or softened margarine/butter)
1 tsp salt
2 tsp yeast (or 1 pkt)
===================================

I plan to try this again with 1/4 cup of grain. I think that might result in a somewhat lighter loaf. I really like the taste, though. I also like the idea that you would make a slightly different bread after every brewing session.


Friday, June 14, 2013

An Apology/Explanation

I haven't posted in something like over a week. I've had some stuff going on which interfered with the whole writing process.

My dad went in the hospital, at first to simply get an infection cleaned out. As part of the normal examination process, they discovered he had colon cancer, and scheduled him for surgery.

There's no way to communicate the fear that grips you when a loved one goes through a health crisis. If you haven't been through it, you can't know it. If you have been though it, you know what I mean.

He came through the surgery well, and his recovery looks good. He's 81, and it looks like we'll have him with us for a few more years.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Mixed Bag

First, I had a very productive weekend, beer-wise. Saturday, I brewed a 1-gallon, all-grain milk stout with chocolate. In case you didn't know, milk stout doesn't actually use milk (That would be gross.), but milk sugar, lactose. Since ythe yeast can't eat it, it adds a bit of sweetness, but not alcohol. I'm looking forward to trying my chocolate milk stout.

And, that night, I went to my nephew, John's, birthday party, and gave him all the ingredients for a partial-mash imperial IPA. I really hope he offers me one. By recipe, it comes in at 115 IBU, and almost 10% ABV. I wish I were making it. It sound tasty.

Then, Sunday, I brewed up a batch of ordinary bitters. This English ale is one of my go-to beers. It has plenty of flavor. It's light and refreshing. And it doesn't break the bank.

One thing I decided to change up was the hops. Bitters doesn't require aroma hops, but I wanted to try something different. So, I used Czech Saaz as an aroma hop. I thought the idea of an English ale with Czech aroma sounded intriguing.

And, that was my weekend in brewing.

Today, a friend of mine wrote to me for some help. She's involved in a charity to help children who need medical equipment (prosthetics, wheelchairs, etc.). If you have a few dollars to spare, please help. It's a good cause, and she's a good person, and can use our help.

Here's the link:
http://www.gofundme.com/jillian-persons

Thanks for whatever you can do.