# Calculating Alcohol Content

Here’s two quick formulas for calculating the alcohol content of homemade beer and wine.

For Beer:

Original Gravity – Final Gravity (prior to adding priming sugar) x 105 = Alcohol by weight (ABW)

Alcohol by weight x 1.26 = Alcohol by Volume (ABV)

Example:

1.037 – 1.011 = 0.026 x 105 – 2.73% ABW x 1.26 = 3.44% ABV

For Wine:

Original Gravity – Final Gravity / 7.36 = Alcohol By Volume (ABV) x 7 / 4 = Degree of Proof

Example:

1.200 – 0.096 = 1.104 / 7.360 = 15% ABV x 7.000 = 1.050 / 4.000 = 26 proof

For an new or used 5 gallon barrel

1. Make a solution of 4 oz of soda ash per 1 gallon of water; fill barrel and let sit a few days
2. Drain and flush three times with water.  If barrel is new, repeat steps 1 and 2 three times
3. Make a solution of 1 oz potassium metabisulphite to 1 gallon of water, pour in barrel and close with stopper.  Roll barrel several times to cover all surfaces.

# Hop To It

There’s tea in the kettle; coffee in the pot;

milk in a jug, but that’s not what I want.

Hmmm…only something cold and frothy will do.

Something thirst quenching…something like a brew.

But I’m tired of all those brands on the shelf.

I wonder if I could make it myself.

Now that would be truly awesome

To have a beer, my own beer, anytime I want some.

I will make all different kinds to suit my taste,

and believe me, it will never go to waste.

I’ll make a dark, alight and German and a pale

So many kinds I’ll be swimming in ale.

I’ve heard it’s fun and easy and doesn’t take long.

What a great idea! How can I go wrong?

Well, enough talking, i’d better get doing, and head down

to Leeners Brew Works to get my stuff brewing.

By Laurie Bodziony; Leeners Fermentorship August 1997

# Perry

Perry is the pear based equivalent of cider.  Comparatively low in alcohol compared with wine, perry can be sweet or dry, still or sparkling.  Pears are high in tannin but low in acid and nutrients; the addition of a teaspoon of tartaric acid is advisable.  Perry recipes are few and far between; here is one we found for the home winemaker

• 10 lbs pears
• 10 lbs mixed apples
• 1 lb sugar
• 2 tsp pectic enzyme

Wash the fruit in a campden tablet solution (2 tabs per gallon of water) then freeze and thaw, or simply crush the fruit and press the juice out.  Dissolve the sugar in 1/2 pt of hot water and stir into the juice. Pour into a carboy, and a good wine yeast and the pectic enzyme and fit with stopper and airlock. Siphon off sediment after 2 weeks, top up to gallon mark with tap water and let fermentation complete.  Rack again, when the perry falls clear on to a crushed campden tablet and bottle.  Store for at least one month before sampling..

Content from Homemade Beer, Cider and Stout; 1993 Tiger Publishing International

# Cider Making and Freezing Apples

To freeze apples for cider making we recommend gathering 17-18 lbs of assorted apples, both mild and tart for a good balance.  Rinse apples in a campden tablet solution before freezing. Fast freezing is not required, rather slow freezing to cause large destructive ice crystals in the fruit is advantageous, as the ruptured cells in the fruit give a larger juice extract.  When all the apples have had at least 24 hours to to freeze, place them in a large bucket to thaw.  Do not leave them in bags or you will lose part of the valuable juice. Press the thawed fruit or crush and squeeze with a twisted cloth to extract the juice.  Dose the juice with crushed campden tablet to prevent oxidation.  If you have a hydrometer, dissolve 1 lb of sugar in 1/2 pint of boiling water and let it cool.  Use this little by little to increase the specific gravity of the juice to between 1040-1060.  If you do not have a hydrometer, add 4 oz of sugar dissolved with hot water this should give your cider a minimum alcohol content of 4 percent which is slightly higher than pub beer.  Add general purpose wine yeast to ensure that fermentation takes place.  Usually the wild yeast on the apples will take care of this but cultivated yeasts are more reliable and give a better end product.  Ferment the juice in a carboy with a stopper and airlock, rack off the sediment after two weeks.  Top off to the full gallon with cold water and let fermentation complete.  The cider will slowly clear from the surface downwards, when all is clear it should be siphoned off of any sediment, add a crushed campden tablet and age for a month or so.

Content from Homemade Beer, Cider and Stout 1993 Tiger Books International

Our recipe for Hard Lemonade in 1, 3 or 5 gallon batches.  A cold mug of this on a hot summer afternoon, priceless!

Ingredients for:                          1 gallon                       3 gallons                  5 gallons

Water for Boil                               2 quarts                       2 gallons                     3 gallons

Extra Light DME                          1/2 pound                    2 pounds                     3 pounds

Corn Sugar                                    1/2 pound                    1 pound                     2 pounds

Ale Yeast                                      1/2 packet                    1 packet                     1 packet

Splenda Artificial Sweetener        10 packets                     20 packets                50 packets

Priming Sugar                               5 tsp                              5 Tbsp                       1/2 cup

Boiling Water                                1/2 cup                          1 1/4 cups                   2 cups

Frozen Lemonade Concentrate     1-12 oz can             3-12 oz cans                5-12 oz cans

OR

Fresh Lemon Juice                        one lemon                  3 lemons                    5 lemons

1. Bring water to boil Add DME and Dextrose and stir to dissolve. Boil for 15 minutes. Cool to 100° F
2. Place the mixture in the fermenter and bring up to appropriate volume with cool water, pitch yeast at 70 – 75° F and ferment in primary for one week.
3. Thaw lemonade concentrate and place into sanitized secondary fermenter.  Rack contents of primary into the secondary, allow to ferment for another one to two weeks or until gravity has stabilized.
4. Draw off a sample when it is time to bottle to test the flavor.  If lacking in lemon flavor, add fresh lemon juice where indicated in the priming sugar step in order to sanitize it. Prepare priming sugar by adding it to boiling water, add fresh lemon juice and boil for 10 minutes.
5. Remove from heat, add the Splenda and stir until dissolved, add to bottling pail and bottle as usual.

# Can You Cut the Mustard?

Because it’s almost May (already, seriously yesterday it was Christmas!) and baseball season is here with summer cookouts around the corner, I decided to talk about one of my favorite condiments, Mustard.  I love mustard because of it flavor and versatility.  You can squeeze it on a burger or hot dog, use it as a dip for chicken and fries and it’s an awesome cooking ingredient for sauces and salads, yellow potato salad with mustard instead of mayo is a summer fav, and less calories and fat the mayo version!  What’s your favorite mustard recipe?

A little history:  Mustard is one of the most commonly used spices in the world. Almost every country and cuisine has a history and use for mustard. Most major religions make reference to the tiny mustard seed in their teachings and mustard has even been used for various medicinal purposes throughout history. The mustard seed is a reference for those of Christian faith. It exemplifies something which is small and insignificant, yet when planted, grows in strength and power. Pope John XXII was so fond of mustard that he created a new position at the Vatican – ‘grand moutardier du pape’ (mustard-maker to the pope) – he then gave the job to his nephew.

The founder of Colman’s Mustard was once the mustard-maker to Queen Victoria. He perfected the technique of grinding mustard seeds into a fine powder without creating the heat which brings out the oil. The oil must not be exposed or the flavor will evaporate with the oil.

Cultivated for thousands of years, mustard was the primary spice known to Europeans before the advent of the Asian spice trade. Once trade routes were established, ancient people from India to Egypt to Rome chewed mustard seeds with their meals for seasoning and to sometimes mask unpleasant flavors. The origin of the word mustard comes from the Latin mustum ardens, which means burning must, in ancient times mustard was prepared with grape must or unfermented grape juice. It is a member of the Brassica genus of vegetables that includes broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower and kale. The volatile components common to these vegetables are mustard oils or isothiocyanates. In the live plant, they are inactive but, when they are broken or cooked the tissues release the oils giving off sharp flavors and odors. These oils range from mild (cauliflower) to very sharp (mustard). In mustard the pungency develops when the seed is broken and then combined with a liquid. This process activates an enzyme called myrosinase which releases mustard oil, giving mustard its sharp taste. Interestingly, myrosinase acts as a natural pesticide for the mustard plant. Prepared mustard is made from three types of mustard seeds: yellow (white Brassica hirta or Sinapis alba), brown (Brassica juncea) and black (Brassica nigra).

The mustard plant is entirely edible; the leaves or mustard greens are eaten in salads, as a veggie side dish and also cooked with ham or used in soups.  The seeds obviously make mustard and also and aromatic oil.  The flowers can even be used as edible decorations.

Mustard also has some health benefits.  The seeds contain nutrients that have been shown to prevent the growth of cancer cells, specifically stomach and colon cancer.  They also contain an element that reduces the severity of asthma as well as other benefits.

Check out the fun Mustard facts from The Nibble.  And don’t wait until National Mustard Day on August 1st to enjoy this awesome condiment!  Make your own mustard with our Mustard Kit! on sale for \$24.95, regular price is \$29.95.

# Leeners Home Brew Clinic

Leeners Home Brew Clinic: Saturday April 13, 2013

Extract brewing begins at 10am.  We will be brewing a stout with Australian/New Zealand hops.  We will cover sanitation basics, avoiding boil-overs and wort-chilling (aeration).  Extract brewing requires minimal special equipment and can be done quickly and easily on your stove top.  It’s a great way to learn how to brew and can easily be expanded into partial mash brewing.  Leeners has dozens of ingredient kits available online and in our store.   Extract brewing means that all of your wort (pre-fermented beer) is derived from extracts, with less timing and temperature controls and less brewing time.

At 1 pm we dive into Partial Mash brewing with a Belgian Strong Ale.  Partial mash brewing means a part of your wort (pre-fermented beer) is derived from grain and part from extract.  It is a great way to get the hang of mashing, with a safety net. See, with an all grain mash, your timing and temperature control is everything. If you’re not used to it, you could over-heat your mash or leave it too long at a given temperature and ruin all of your efforts. With partial mashing, you are not completely at a loss because you’ve still got the extract. We will cover basic water chemistry, temperature control and making a yeast starter.  Partial mash brewing can also be done on your stove top, it lends to greater flexibility with ingredients, can be applied to any beer style and it’s easy to formulate recipes using BeerSmith.  Partial mash is the next step towards all-grain brewing.

• \$20 per person, per session; each person will receive \$10 store credit valid on class day.
• Seating is limited, RSVP by Wednesday April 10th either by phone at (330) 467-9870 or email to crystal@leeners.com
• We require a minimum of 5 attendees for the class to be held.

Don’t know which is right for you?  Give us a call at (800) 543-3697, or email crystal@leeners.com, we’ll answer your questions and get you registered.

# Easter and Cheese

Well here in Northeast Ohio it feels more like Christmas than Easter; but here we are the last week of March or this year, Holy Week.  I’ve never been able to wrap my brain around how the day Easter falls on is determined.  I don’t know, I guess it’s just one of those things I don’t have room for in my head.  I found a good article on History.com (great site as well as great channel) it says the following,

“Easter, which celebrates Jesus Christ’s resurrection from the dead, is Christianity’s most important holiday. It has been called a moveable feast because it doesn’t fall on a set date every year, as most holidays do. Instead, Christian churches in the West celebrate Easter on the first Sunday following the full moon after the vernal equinox on March 21. Therefore, Easter is observed anywhere between March 22 and April 25 every year. Orthodox Christians use the Julian calendar to calculate when Easter will occur and typically celebrate the holiday a week or two after the Western churches, which follow the Gregorian calendar.”

I somehow still doubt it will stay in my head, I’ll just check the calendar next year!

Easter is a season in the Christian church, beginning with Lent which as you know is a time of reflection and penance representative of the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert being tempted by the devil.  As I write this it is Tuesday of Holy week, the home stretch as it were.  We have the holiest of days ahead in Holy Thursday (The Last Supper), Good Friday (Jesus is crucified), Holy Saturday (his transition to resurrection) and Easter, the day Jesus is resurrected and we can all eat again!

Speaking of eating, what is the traditional Easter dinner? Is there ONE traditional dinner?  Maybe there was long ago but know each culture and even family has their own traditional dinner.  We always have glazed ham with an abundance of sides including asparagus and lots of desserts including chocolates cheesecake. I know others may have lamb with mint sauce, or even deep fried turkey.  I came across Easter Cheese just this week, I’ve never had it but I’m very intrigued.  It’s a Slovak dish that is typically served at Easter time and goes by various names including hrudka, cirak, sirok and sirecz.  It sounds like custard and I’ve read it can be either savory or sweet.  I think I would prefer sweet but you never know.  I’m thinking of trying it this year, if I do I’ll let you all know what happens.  Here is the recipe:

Easter Cheese

• 1 qt milk
• 12 eggs
• 1 tsp salt
• 1 Tbsp sugar

Heat milk; add beaten eggs, salt and sugar.  Cook on low heat, stirring constantly with wooden spoon until mixture is thick and separated from the whey.  Pour into cheesecloth, tie closed and hang to drain.  Chill and slice.

So if Easter is a religious holiday, where did the Easter Bunny come from?  I haven’t read the entire bible but I don’t think Peter Cottontail is in it.  But this makes sense to me, (again from history.com)

“The exact origins of this mythical mammal are unclear, but rabbits, known to be prolific procreators, are an ancient symbol of fertility and new life. According to some sources, the Easter bunny first arrived in America in the 1700s with German immigrants who settled in Pennsylvania and transported their tradition of an egg-laying hare called “Osterhase” or “Oschter Haws.” Their children made nests in which this creature could lay its colored eggs. Eventually, the custom spread across the U.S. and the fabled rabbit’s Easter morning deliveries expanded to include chocolate and other types of candy and gifts, while decorated baskets replaced nests. Additionally, children often left out carrots for the bunny in case he got hungry from all his hopping.”

Whatever your traditions, all of us at Leeners wish you a Blessed and Happy Easter!

# How to make Fermented, Pickled Garlic using Lacto Fermentation

Fermented garlic is best made using homegrown or fresh garlic from the farmers market or purchased direct from the grower. Supermarket garlic has most likely been sprayed with a chemical that retards sprouting.

When breaking down the head of garlic, take very good care not to damage the flesh of the cloves and leave the skins in place. Also leave the root end of the clove intact.

The amount of garlic you will need is determined by the size of the jar you’re going to use to ferment in.  I recommend using a 1 pint canning jar, this size jar fits neatly into the refrigerator.

Carefully remove the skins from the cloves and place the peeled cloves into the jar. You should have enough clothes to fill the jar to just 1 inch below the shoulder.

Prepare a brining solution by combining 2 cups of water with 3 tablespoons of flaked pickling salt. Make sure the salt is completely dissolved.

Pour the brine over the garlic cloves until they are just covered. The remaining brine will be used later.  Place a sealable sandwich bag into the mouth of the jar and fill with enough of the remaining brine to prevent the garlic cloves from floating to the surface.  Loosely attach the jar lid so that gases from fermentation can escape.  Wrap the jar in a piece of dark paper to prevent exposure to ultraviolet light. Allow the garlic to ferment at room temperature for 30 days.

At the end of 30 days place the fermentation jar into the refrigerator and continue fermenting for 60 more days.  Your fermented garlic is now ready to eat. The garlic will keep in the refrigerator for up to one year.