Friday, July 27, 2012

Krausen overflow (New brewer panic)

Today I woke up to find my carboy of hefeweizen spewing the krausen out and the airlock lying on the floor two feet away. I laugh when I think of the panic I used to go through when I first started brewing. I would run through the house gathering up an air lock, a hose and an overflow jug. I would throw out anything in the sink and start sanitizing the items needed. The whole time, thoughts that my beer is going to go bad ran through my head. I would put the blow by tube on and worry about if the beer is going to taste bad when its’ finished. I would get on the internet and research anything I could find about carboy’s overflowing during primary fermentation. I would call my fellow brewers and ask them if they think it will be ok, and they would say don’t worry it will be fine.
After a whole lot of overflows in the middle of the night, I realize that I have come a long way since then. I have learned a lot over the years, especially in the overflow department. I always used to think something would get inside and contaminate my brew when the airlock popped off. After understanding that the amount of CO2 pressure coming out of the small neck during the primary fermentation; would not allow that, I am a very calm brewer now. I also have gotten to know my brews and can usually predict which ones will ferment like that.

So for that new brewer out there in a mad panic, don’t worry about it. Be prepared and listen to your fellow brewers and know that its’ all good.

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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Bojon Brew

Bojon brew is not a brewery in a business sense but more so a school we attended, while learning to brew. The name is something that came up one day during conversation over a few beers. The owners, Doug and Linda were our inspiration to homebrew and wine crafting. While we were living in Germany they came to visit and we discussed the opportunity to have them teach us the craft of home brewing and wine making; as they have been doing it for many years. We explained how we want to have the same type of flavors we have in Europe when we get home but did not want to pay a fortune to get them. They assured us that we could achieve the flavors we craved as long as we put in the effort and dedication to make good brew and wine.
After returning to the States we got right into wine making and brewing. We spent many hours in didactic lessons and took lot of notes. Doug and Linda are the best teachers as well as great friends. They made it very easy to learn and love the whole concept of brewing and wine making. We would have dinners or BBQ during brew and wine making days and a lot of other friends would stop by. It was a huge family affair with great company, great food, and classes on how to brew and make wine. Now I should clear up a couple of things. We have known Doug and Linda for a long time and it is not an official school they run. In fact they are a family that loves to share and enjoys entertaining with great wine, beer, food and friendship.

We owe them a lot of thanks for all they do for us and the time spent with them is very precious to us. We really enjoy brewing, wine making and spending time with them. They are an extension of our family and we are proud to pass on their legacy of making great beer, wine and also their entertaining values. So with a heart filled and sincere thank you; we thank you Doug and Linda at Bojon Brew. Love ya both.

Sincerely; Melinda, Steve and Spencer

Left: Steve, Linda, Doug. Right: Melinda, Spencer, Sandy, Jerry
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Monday, July 23, 2012

Paulaner Beer Clone (10 Gal all grain)

Paulaner Clone (10 Gal all grain)

After spending a few years in Germany we knew that we would miss the flavors of the beer we love. Germany is such a great place for food, fun and drinks. The beer is great and what makes it better is that each of the 16 States (regions) within Germany has their own beers that represent that specific state. Not all the beers can be purchased outside of a particular state, so when we found one we liked we would stock up and bring it back home with us. Paulaner was prominent throughout Europe and it is a great beer that everyone should try. After returning to the States we knew we would want to have that same flavor to enjoy. We tried some of the import versions and found the flavor to be off and not very good. I hope it is not due to preservatives, as that would go against the Reinheitsgebot purity law of 1516. This began our quest to brew it and love it. We have come up with this recipe and we agree it is very close to the same flavor as what we had in Germany. We did bring a few cases back from Germany with us to compare to. We won’t claim it to be a dead ringer as Germany has and will continue to master the art of Hefewiezen beer. This is a simple recipe, I hope you enjoy it.
11 lbs German wheat
10 lbs 2row pale works but (Pilsner malt for a more true taste)
8 oz Munich malt 20L
Mash 60 minutes @152 degrees. Sparge with 170 degrees over 50 minutes. I do sparge until I have enough wort to make 12 gallons. I have not had any astringent flavors and my efficiency is very good.
2.5 oz Hallertau /60 minutes on the boil
1 tsp Irish moss last 15 minutes of boil
Weihenstephan Wyeast 3068
I pitch a yeast starter about 1qt and ferment between 60-72 degrees in primary for 1 week and secondary for 1 week until FG is met. I still use a primary and secondary based of specific gravity, even with short fermentation times. I will adjust times based on gravity and clearing (usually due to temperature)
OG: 1.054            FG: 1.013             ABV: 5.2%           Color: 4.9sm       Bitterness: 17.1IBU
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Saturday, July 21, 2012

Dog Beer biscuits from spent grain

With each brew, we always think about the spent grain and how we could make better use of it. We don’t live close to any farms for donation but we do have dogs and we have heard about making dog biscuits with spent grain. We have researched and discussed it with our friends and fellow brewers. It seems the same thoughts have been the topic of discussion with many brewers. We searched the internet and saw a few recipes that others have tried and the one we went with was from, Http:// . They had a simple recipe and we just had to try it.

  • 4 cups spent grain that has not seen hops
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 2 eggs
  • Mix all the ingredients in a bowl or mixer.
  • Spread the mixture on a 12 ¾ x 9 x 2 pan, and press it until it was about an inch thick.
  • In the oven, bake them at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. After that, break the treats apart.
  • Cut the mixture with a knife, shaping rectangle treats.
  • Reduce the heat to 225 degrees and bake them on a cook sheet for four and a half hours. Hers were a little thicker, so they took longer. If you make them a little thinner, they could be done in about three hours.
  • Make sure you bake them until the treats are completely dried out. The author of the original article warns that if they aren’t totally dry, they can become moldy.

Changes we made:

  • I went with a 15”x 9” x ½” sheet pan and made them ½” thick.
  • I cooked them on the reduced 225 degrees for 3 hours.
  • I cut them into 1 inch by 1inch squares (I have Small dogs).
  • Our dogs love them, and I tried them as well and with a little honey on them they could become a snack for me.

Note: We are going to try to use a food dehydrator for the second step next time.

We did notice that some breweries were grinding down the spent grain and making biscuits and bread as well as using them whole. We will also try this as well as using leftover wort (no hops) to make up water content within the goods.

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Friday, July 20, 2012

Fermentations Colorado Springs

So yesterday, myself, my wife and son were driving around and decided to stop in to a local winemaking and supply store. The place is named Fermentations and the owners Tim and Brenda are very nice and great to talk with. We totally can feel the passion they have for crafting fine wine and beer. They just had their one year opening anniversary the other day so they had lots on sale. They teach winemaking and craft beer classes and sell a large variety of wine making products as well as a nice selection of extract beer kits. We hung out and talked about wine and brew techniques and looked around at some of the changes within the store since our last visit. The store is like a huge home kitchen and very comfortable with a great set up for making wine and beer kits. They close up and have winemaking parties upon scheduled requests and we would highly recommend the new winemakers and craft brewers to go and check it out. If you ever had one of those small businesses you truly wanted to see succeed, then this is that place to us. If you find yourself in Colorado Springs please check it out and I am sure you find it very nice. They also have good prices that match or beat the other local supply stores. Check out their website .
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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Beer Brats

Beer Brats (Deutschland influenced)

A beer brat is more than just a pack of meat bought at some random grocery store. I prefer brats from a local German deli or an organic market such as (Whole Foods or Sunflower Market). The brats we use most are Nurnberger brats and Weise brats.
I start with my brats in a frying pan and then add some German Hefewiezen. I prefer Paulaner home brew or store bought if you tapped your keg out. I pour enough beer to submerge the brats a quarter of the way up. I simmer them and roll them around until the beer reduces away. This is where you have to pay close attention so you don’t ruin your pan and burn the reduction; so turn down the heat a little. The beer is now reduced and the caramelization process has started. With the heat turned down its time to roll the brats so they get sticky and soak up all the caramelized beer. Now it’s time to move them to the grill and sear them all around using moderate heat. Be careful with the amount of heat because the high heat will make them split. They should end up a nice golden brown color.
I thought I heard you ask “what do we put on them”. We prefer sweet Bavarian mustard, found at your local German deli and special food stores like World Market. We also top them with German sauerkraut found again at the German deli. Submerge the sauerkraut half way in the same beer, and cook on a low simmer; then reduce the heat to low until the brats are done. This process starts when you start cooking the brats. One last note; please use a nice Brotchen roll, don’t cheap out and sacrifice the ultimate flavor ride you are about to experience.
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Vanilla Porter recipe

Here is one of my favorite porters. It has a very nice vanilla node with a hint of chocolate. Happy brewing. Prost!!

Steve’s Vanilla Porter (10 Gallon all grain)


20 lbs 2 row pale

1 1/2 lb 120L Caramel Crystal

4 oz Chocolate malt

4oz Black Patent

8oz Roasted Barley

Mash for 60 minutes at 152 degrees. Strike temp 170 and on slow sparge for 50 minutes. I sparge enough water to get 12 gallons of wort. My efficiency was about 82% for this brew. Pre boil gravity was 1.046

Boil for 60 minutes


½ oz Chinook 60 minutes boil

¾ Tettnang 30 minutes boil

¾ Perle 30 minutes boil

¾ Kent Golding’s 15 minutes boil

Whirl flock 15 minutes boil

Cooled wort and cyclone swirled and let rest for 10 minutes prior to moving into the carboy’s.

Pitched Wyeast London ale 1028 with traditional DME yeast starter (1qt)

Fermented at ale temp/ fermentation was at 1.012 after 7 days, racked/ added 1.5 Mexican vanilla beans and 1.5 Madagascar vanilla beans split and scraped contents of each half bean into each 6 gallon carboy.  Let stand for another 7 days to FG 1.011. Starting Gravity was 1.052.  The fermentation was highly active and went into the air lock (be prepared).
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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Welcome to Three Hearts Homebrew and Wine

Welcome to Three Hearts Homebrew and Wine. We are dedicated to sharing all the great things we have experienced during our travels. We will be sharing craft brew recipes, favorite wine kit selections, and inventive ideas for craft brewing as well as food recipes from all over the globe. We are a very inventive family and between us we have a palate of taste that ensures great success. The blogs will have input from all the members of the family as well as some of our closest friends and fellow Craft Brewers. We hope you enjoy our blog. Prost!!
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