California Dreamin' - Barley the Brew Pup's March Recipe
March 13, 2016
Wind blowing through my hair. Top down, my snout filled with the wonderful aroma of salty air from my left, orange groves from my right. The sky illuminated in magnificent hues of fiery red and crimson. Blasting north along Highway 1, losing myself in the beauty of the fading light. That's my idea of a perfect California evening.
The scene above inspired my take on the perfect California Beer - a delicious brew with a creamy mouthfeel, complimented by notes of vanilla and orange.This is our California Dreamin' recipe using oats, vanilla beans, and navel oranges, which are native to California. We will steep the oats, peel the oranges, and scrape the vanilla beans from the pod, so come along and brew with us!
- 1 can of Mr. Beer Canadian Blonde HME
- 1 bag of Mr. Beer BrewMax Pale LME
- 1 pack of Mr. Beer Brewers Yeast (found under lid of HME)
- 2 hop sacks
- 1/2 pound of oats
- 2 oranges (we used navel, you can use any kind you like)
- 1 vanilla pod (vanilla extract can be used but won't have a fresh, natural flavor)
- 1/4 cup vodka
- 2 navel oranges (again, any variety of orange will work, but navel will give it that California flare!)
- 1 vanilla pod
- 1/4 cup vodka
- 1 small, air-tight glass jar.
No, that's not a fake mustache, it's a vanilla pod.Only one orange is pictured for photo purposes, but we used the peel from two as noted in the instructions. We found our vanilla bean pod at Whole Foods, which happened to come in the perfect size air-tight jar! To begin, have your assistant (the one with opposable thumbs) peel each orange. I like to keep a close eye on the upright to make sure he doesn't peel too deep, as the white "pith" will leave bitter and unwanted flavors. Next, I instruct the big guy to split and scrape the vanilla pod. You want all the delicious little vanilla bean nuggets that are inside, so make sure you take your time and scrape carefully. I am a visual pup myself, so for those of you who are like me, here is a short video from Chow Tips on how to scrape a vanilla pod: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bICPn7Ifrh8 Last, I have my assistant place the orange peels and vanilla bean paste into the air tight jar and pour in the 1/4 cup of vodka. I would watch your assistant closely here... they seem to like the "one for you, one for me" method. Once your orange/vanilla concoction is in its sterile environment, place the jar in a cool, dry location... on the shelf where your fermenter will go is perfect. Now, let's get back to brewing! Did you already forget about your oats steeping? Give the oat sack a gentle stir with your brew spoon to release some of the trapped oaty, creamy, deliciousness, and then remove and discard the sack and oats. Bring the creamy water up to a boil by returning the brew pot to the stove on medium heat. Once the boil is achieved, I have the big guy remove the brew pot from the heat and add the Mr. Beer Canadian Blonde HME and Mr. Beer Brewmax Pale DME. After the wort is thoroughly mixed, I fill my sanitized LBK to the 4 quart mark with refrigerated fresh tap water. The big guy carefully pours in the wort and we top off the LBK with more cold tap water to the 8.5 liter mark. Using our sterilized brew spoon, we give the wort/water in the LBK a vigorous mix (taking care not to scratch the sides of the plastic LBK) and take a hydrometer reading. For some reason, the big guy likes to taste the hydrometer sample... sometimes, I just don't get these humans. Once we have our hydrometer sample and ensure our wort temperature is between 66-68 degrees, we pitch our Mr. Beer Brewer yeast and place the LBK on our fermenting shelf next to the orange/vanilla jar.
SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE ORANGE & VANILLAAfter one week of fermentation, we carefully empty the contents of the orange/vanilla jar over your fermenter and into a sterilized hop sack (provided with the recipe) and gently place into the LBK. You want to pour the orange/ vanilla contents into the sack OVER the opened LBK, so that the flavored vodka mixes into your now fermenting beer. With a sanitized brew spoon, remove the hop sack 3 days prior to bottling Now comes my favorite and, quite possibly, the most important step in the entire brewing process... Once you have tucked your fermenter away in a cool, dark, dry location and thoroughly washed all of your brewing equipment, you should sit down and crack open a nice cold homebrew. Get yourself a brewing journal and jot down any memorable notes from your brew day, as every brew is unique and a great learning experience. Also, while enjoying your homebrew, take a look on Mr.Beer.com to start planning your next brew. You have to keep the pipeline going! Disclaimer:
- Please don't give your pups beer…WE DONT! Everything you see here is staged for entertainment purposes.
- Sanitization is very important to us and we recommend following all of Mr.Beer's recommended sanitization process. A much more thorough write up, including information about sanitization practices, can be found online on the California Dreamin' recipe page.