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Share your #homebrew pics with the hash tag below to win a free beer recipe. Enter as often as you want. Tag Salt City Brew Supply to increase your chances of winning. #beeryeast #beer #homebrewing #hops @brewingwithbriess @brewyourownmag @greatamericanbeerfestival @brewingnetwork @brewenthusiast @bitchesnbrews

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Cherry’s are here. It’s time to make booze!
There are a lot of people this time of year that have more cherry’s than they know what to do with, and since you can only make so many pies, you might as well make some booze. A few options would be beer, cider, or wine!

For any of the following recipes, make sure your cherries are de-stemmed, cleaned and pitted, free of worms and are as ripe as possible. 

If you are a beer brewer and don’t like wine, beer is the obvious option, but if you haven’t added fruit to a beer before, you might be hesitant. Don’t worry, adding fruit to a beer is easy, and can produce great results. The big question is, what kind of beer goes well with cherries? Well, if you like beer, and you like the taste of cherries, the options are pretty much limitless. Most people think of light colored and light bodied beers like a Hefe or a Blonde, but the tart flavor goes well with sour beers like berliner weisse or lambics. But, sometimes the overlooked beers for fruit are the dark beers, and sweet or tart cherries work well in porters and stouts. Try adding 5 pounds of tart cherries to your fermenting dry Irish stout, and get an easy drinking cherry stout:

Light LME - 6 lb
   (or 8 lbs 2-row pale malt for all grain brewers)
Flaked Barley - 1 lb
UK Roasted Barley  = 12 oz
Acid Malt  - 4 oz
UK Black Malt  - 4 oz
Kent Goldings - 2 oz @ 60 min
Cherries - 3-5 lbs
Yeast: Wyeast 1084 or Lallemand Nottingham dry
OG: 1.046, FG: 1.010, IBU: 32, ABV: 4.4%

Add cherries to the end of primary fermentation or to start of secondary fermentation. This will create a reactivation of the yeast and will start fermentation again. Once this second fermentation has stopped, transfer to another vessel for clearing and aging, or bottle. 

Making cider can be an easy way to ferment some cherries also. This can be done with just cherry juice, or as an apple cherry blend. While the blend is more popular, if you love cherries, try it straight. Using just cherry juice will give you a starting gravity of 1.055-1.065, just right for a cider. Much like an apple or pear cider, the only thing really needed is juice and yeast. Since even “sweet” cherries are relatively tart, I would recommend starting with sweet cherries so you don’t get something too sour to drink, but some people like it sour, so do whatever you like, it is homebrewing after all. Make a 1 gallon batch to start, and go from there:
Sweet Cherry Juice 1 Gal
Yeast: Wyeast Cider or Mangrove Jack Cider dry
Yeast Nutrient
OG: 1.046, FG: 1.010, ABV: 4.4%

Not much to do here. Just ferment your juice in either double or single stage and bottle. Try it carbonated.

Many people think that after grapes, cherries make the best wine, and cherries also blend well with grape wines, but for the sake of purity we will just discuss a straight cherry wine. Like the cider you can use a sweet or tart cherries, or a blend of whatever you have, but unlike the cider, instead of just cherry juice, we will use sugar and water to bump the volume and alcohol. It is a bit counterintuitive, but the cherry wine recipe takes fewer cherries than the cider recipe, but again it is homebrewing, so make some 1 gallon batches with varying amounts of cherry juice to see what you like best:
Fresh or frozen sweet cherries 4-6 lbs 
   (or 1 gallon black cherry juice, pure or reconstituted)
Finely granulated sugar  2-3 lbs 
Water      1 gallon (omit if using 1 gallon juice)
Acid blend    1 tsp 
Pectic enzyme   1/2 tsp 
Yeast nutrient    1 tsp 
Montrachet or Premier Cuvee wine yeast

Whether you use juice or water you can use a nylon bag to “steep” the cherry “pulp” in your primary fermenter, this should add some body and character to your wine. Remove bag when transferring to your secondary vessel (or after 5 days).

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1759 - Arthur Guinness signs a 9,000-year lease on an unused brewery at St. James’s Gate, Dublin. It costs him an initial £100 (about $147 US dollars) with an annual rent of £45 (about $66 US dollars) - this includes crucial water rights. The brewery covers four acres and consists of a copper, a kieve, a mill, two malthouses, stabling for 12 horses and a loft to hold 200 tons of hay. Arthur begins brewing porter and ale.

In honor of the St. Patrick's Day holiday we thought we would cover that classic beer style; the Stout. Although there are many stout styles outlined by the BJCP, there is one that is more prolific than the others, and we can thank the Irish for it. 

American Stout
OG: 1.050 – 1.075, IBUs: 35 – 75, FG: 1.010 – 1.022, SRM: 30 – 40, ABV: 5 – 7%

Foreign Extra Stout
OG: 1.056 – 1.075, IBUs: 30 – 70, FG: 1.010 – 1.018 SRM: 30 – 40, ABV: 5.5 – 8%

Sweet Stout
OG: 1.044 – 1.060, IBUs: 20 – 40, FG: 1.012 – 1.024, SRM: 30 – 40, ABV: 4 – 6%

Oatmeal Stout
OG: 1.048 – 1.065, IBUs: 25 – 40, FG: 1.010 – 1.018, SRM: 22 – 40, ABV: 4.2 – 5.9%

Russian Imperial Stout
OG: 1.075 – 1.115, IBUs: 50 – 90m FG: 1.018 – 1.030, SRM: 30 – 40, ABV: 8 – 12%

Dry Irish Stout
OG: 1.036 – 1.050, IBUs: 30 – 45, FG: 1.007 – 1.011, SRM: 25 – 40, ABV: 4 – 5%

Of Course the Dry Irish Stout has been popularized by that iconic Irish brewery, Guinness. So how did the Irish (dry) stout come to be so popular? Well, stout is actually a relatively new type of ale for the Irish. Some kind of red ale is mentioned in am 8th century poem about Irish ale, among other beers from the around the Emerald Isle, but sadly the poem makes no mention of a Stout or other dark roasted barley beer. But the Irish have a long history of beer. Old Irish laws required farmers to have brewing equipment and room for malting beer, just so they would have beer on hand in case they had to entertain nobles. Laws also required brewers to adhere to specific malting practices. Seems like the Irish were even more strict about their country's beer production than the German's Reinheitsgebot. 

While there are mention of red and brown ales in the UK before 1772 it seems like dark toasted malt wasn't used in excess until the invention of the malt roaster in 1817 made a smooth black malt available. The history of the stout starts a bit earlier though and in fact were not stouts at all, but porters. It is generally accepted that porters date back to 1722 and a London Brewer Ralph Harwood who made what was called an “Entire” which was a blend of different beers. Many believe this blend became popular with the dock workers and quickly became known as “Porter”. This already strong beer eventually broke into different variants of color and alcohol content; “export”, “stout, and “extra stout”. These British porters quickly made their way across the water to Ireland (and other parts of Europe), and large breweries put their own spin on it using their own yeast strains and local water. The Irish generally used mostly pale malt with just enough roasted malt to darken the beer, and with the porter's popularity growing, Guinness doubled down on the porter by excluding all other styles by 1799.

The Irish Stout was further defined by Ireland's tariffs on barley which lead to a lower gravity porter. The use of black malt lead to a darker smoother beer, and the Guinness version of the Irish Stout was born, and through shipping, marketing, and production volume (the Guinness brewery was the largest in the world for a time), their version of the Dry Stout became synonymous with the style itself like Budweiser is to the Standard American Lager. 

So even though St. Patty's day may seem a bit trite, go ahead and drink an Irish stout and know that there is some very real history in your mouth.

Sláinte mhaith!

Want to know more about the Guinness Brewery:

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While most of this information has been covered in previous posts, we have a new product on the shelf that we wanted to highlight, and it is always good to go over things that are important. There is a new player in the liquid yeast scene. GigaYeast, Inc. "laboratory was opened in July 2011 to create perfect.... And by perfect we mean the right yeast, the right pitch rate and no detectable contamination.”

We have picked up GigaYeast as a product for a couple of reasons; One, they offer some yeast strands that are not available from both Wyeast and White Labs, and Two, they provide a real pitchable yeast for the consumer without the need for a starter, for most 5 gallon batches of ale. 

Putting the correct amount of yeast in your beer can be one of the easiest ways to eliminate off-flavors. However, it is probably one of the most common oversights by the home brewer. Most people like the variety available in liquid yeast, and feel like it is a better product than the dry counterpart, but the fact is, the large Wyeast pack and the standard Whitelabs vial, contain about half the necessary yeast for clean start to fermentation for a 5%, 5 gallon batch of ale. Doing a yeast starter is a great way to use liquid yeast correctly, but many beginners are intimidated by them. Giga Yeast has twice as many yeast cells at the time of packaging as their liquid yeast counterparts, which is ideal for many beers. 

We of course recommend figuring out what your correct pitch rate should be for any beer before adding your yeast. While pitching yeast is a fairly straight forward process, there is a bit of mathematical magic happening in the background that has to do with keeping your yeast cells happy and healthy. But, since math is hard and magic doesn't exist, let's make this as easy as possible, first we need to find how many degrees Plato your beer wort will be. Like specific gravity, Plato is just a measure of density, and approximating Plato can be done by taking the numbers after the decimal of your Original Gravity (O.G.) and dividing them by 4. So, an O.G. of 1.048 would be 12 degrees Plato (1.080 would be 20 degrees Plato). Once you know how 

to find Plato you can easily find your pitch rate using one of the below:

Find Plato, double that number, add a zero after it, and then say billion after that... it's easy. “My recipe is going to have a 1.048 O.G, so 48 divided by 4 is 12, double that is 24, or 240... Billion”. Subtract 25% for ales, or add 25% for lagers.

Or, an even shorter version; calculate Plato, then times that number by 15. That is it for ales. Double that number for Lagers. 

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A question we get a lot in the store is why to use a no rinse sanitizer, and whether or not the One Step or PBW is a sanitizer at all. So, I thought I would cover those very common questions. 

Unlike other posts, I will be slanting this towards the products we sell in the store and giving my opinion based on what I have use, seen, and read about. It seems there are neverending threads on forums on whether or not Bicarbonate cleansers such as PBW, One-Step, and B-Brite work as a sanitizer, but for the purposes of this post, I will just say they are NOT sanitizers. Yes, it used to be. Yes, it kills microbes. Yes, people use it as a sanitizer successfully. But it is not classified as a sanitizer any longer because it doesn’t kill enough microbes. They also leave a film and granules behind that I wouldn’t really want in my beer or wine, which means you need to rinse it… and if you are rinsing you are reintroducing microbes. 

So, we recommend treating your equipment like a commercial kitchen treats their dishing and cookware. Clean (with cleanser), Rinse (with water), Sanitize (no rinse sanitizer).

Since One-Step, PBW, and B-Brite are virtually the same thing and are all really good at removing organic material, you could go with whatever one you would like with similar results, but there are a couple popular no rinse sanitizers that are fairly different, so here is an over vew of Both:

This is an iodine based sanitizer that is great for home brewers. There is no real Iodine smell, and if diluted properly, should not affect the taste of your beer either, but if you have a severe iodine allergy, I would probably stay away from it. The main benefit of this product is price. It is a bit cheaper than Star-Stan. 

Dilution: 1oz to 5 gallons
Contact Time: 1 minute
Dry Time: None
Min Cost/Oz: $.66

Built specifically for the home brewer, this product is acid-based and uses a low PH to kill microbes. The diluted solution will quickly degrade in the presence of beer (wort) and break down into yeast nutrient. It is a bit more expensive, but you can keep the diluted solution around for several weeks (as long as the PH says below a 3) and reuse it, which makes up for the added cost. This product also produces a lot of foam, which turns some people off, but in my experience has never caused any off flavors or issues with fermentation.

Dilution: 1oz to 5 gallons
Contact Time: 30 Seconds
Dry Time: None
Min Cost/Oz: $.70

We suggest trying both products to see which one works best for you, but because of the longevity we give the edge to Star-San.

In full disclosure there are other products, such as Caustic soda, sodium hydroxide and lye which are a VERY effective cleaners for organic solids but rather dangerous to use without protection and not very friendly to the environment. 

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Have you ever brewed a large beer, say an Imperial Stout, or Imperial IPA, or maybe even a Barley Wine, and felt a little guilty throwing out that large grain bill when you finished making your beer? Some people compost, some people feed their chickens, some people put it in bread, and while these ideas are all fine and good, I personally make more beer with it. 

You may have heard the term “parti-gyle” before, but wasn't sure what it was, or it sounded like some new-fangled process to make all grain brewing more complicated. Well, in fact, it is a very old and traditional way to brew, dating back hundreds of years, and with some math and some practice it is a great way for you to walk away from your brew day with not one, but two beers in the fermenter(s). 

Historically brewers would mash and lauter the same grain bill several times producing a batch of wort and subsequent beer with each individual mash. Most likely this is where the Belgians got their terminology for their Trapist ales; Trippel (highest alcohol first runnings), Dubbel (high alcohol second runnings), and Pater or Table Beer (low alcohol third runnings). And, in early American colonies beer was made for sale at taverns, but “small” beer was made from the second runnings which was consumed by workers and even children as to avoid drinking the water which was often considered unfit to drink. Since the total potential of the original grain bill was known as a “gyle”, the process of splitting or partitioning the runnings became known as “parti-gyling” 

Today, the homebrewer typically just sparges the grain after the initial mash and combines the first runnings (mash) with the second runnings (sparge) producing a full gyle. So why do it differently? Well, because two beers are better than one, and if you don't think so, you are probably reading the wrong blog... And since you bought all that grain with your hard earned money, why don't you get the most out of it.

Practically speaking, there are a few different ways to use a parti-gyle brew day. 

One: you can just keep sparging your grain until your runnings hit a gravity of 1.010 rather than to a specific volume size. Depending on the grain you are using you can maybe pull out double the volume of beer you would have got otherwise. But remember that if your grain bill was built for a 5 gallon batch of 1.060 beer, that will be the gravity of the first 5 gallons. If you run out another 5 gallons at say 1.020, then your combined 10 gallon gyle will yield a 1.040 beer. As you can see, there are lots of gravity readings required. This is impractical for a hydrometer. Get yourself a refractometer. 

Two: Make a grain bill for your Imperial Stout/Porter/IPA etc, then continue to sparge until your runnings hit a gravity of 1.010 but make it a true pari-gyle and keep them separate. How you split it will be entirely up to you. Maybe split it in thirds for three similar beers but with varying alcohol, or maybe keep one an imperial, and the other a small session beer.

Three: After one of the partitions add some adjuncts or specialty grain to your mash for a different beer from your second (or third) runnings. Just add some roasted barley and flaked oats to your grain to turn what was an Imperial IPA first runnings into a small stout second runnings. 

Pretty awesome right? Are you asking yourself, “why haven't I been doing this since I started brewing?” Well there are a couple of reasons it can be a hassle, and it isn't for everyone. Sorry extract brewers, I don't think your way is inferior, but you just can't play here. The next biggest hurdle is your ability to brew and ferment two beers (or three) at once? Two burners, two kettles, two fermenters. Otherwise you are looking at a tremendously long brew day. Fortunately for me I have my old extract equipment so I usually brew a 3 gallon Imperial on the stove top and my 5 gallons session beer on my regular equipment. The other downside is the math. It isn't rocket science, but once you figure out what you are doing it will still take some practice to get the process down to something you are comfortable with. I will provide some more detail in a subsequent post on the mathematics of a parti-gyle, but don't wait for me. Jump in with both feet and make a couple of beers during your next brew day. Don't worry, it will make beer. We are happy to help you with this in the store also. 

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It is Learn To Homebrew Day today!!! 

Come in today with a friend, let us know you are teaching them to homebrew and you can get 10% off your ingredients for the both of you. 

Looks like it will be great brewing weather today, so come on in.

#learntohomebrew   #homebrewing  

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Prepare these skewers ahead so you can grill at your leisure, wine glass in hand, surrounded by friends.

Yield: 16 skewers and 3/4 cup herbed mayo
Herbed Mayo -
1/3 cup regular or light mayonnaise
2 tbsp each sour cream and Dijon mustard
2 tbsp each finely chopped parsley and green onion
1 tsp red wine vinegar
1 small clove garlic, minced

Lamb Skewers -
16 (6-inch) wooden skewers (soaked in warm water for at least 30 minutes)
1 egg 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp each sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 lb ground lamb2 tbsp olive oil (approx.)

Herbed Mayo -
Stir mayonnaise with sour cream, mustard, parsley, onion, vinegar and garlic. Let stand for at least 15 minutes before serving (or chill for up to 1 day).

Lamb Skewers -
Stir egg with parsley, mustard, rosemary, garlic, salt and pepper until combined. Crumble in ground lamb; mix gently to combine.

Divide meat into 16 portions; form around skewers into a log shape. (Skewers can be covered and reserved in the refrigerator for up to 1 day; bring to room temperature for 30 minutes before grilling.)

Preheat grill to medium. Brush lamb skewers evenly with oil.

Grill, turning often, for 7 to 8 minutes or until just cooked through (no pink remains).

Arrange skewers on a platter with herbed mayo for dipping.

#winemaking   #cabernet   #merlot  

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Serve this sweet and savory soup with crusty bread as a warming fall lunch, or make it the first course at your next dinner party. 

Yield: about 8 cups
3 tbsp olive oil, divided
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
2 tsp each ground cumin and coriander 
1/2 tsp each sea salt and ground black pepper (approx.)
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
2 lb peeled and cubed butternut squash (about 8 cups)
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 cups sodium reduced chicken broth
1 tbsp cider vinegar
Sour cream

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Stir 2 tbsp oil with ginger, cumin, coriander, salt, pepper and cinnamon; toss with butternut squash.

Roast squash on a parchment paper-lined, rimmed baking sheet for 40 minutes or until browned and fork tender.

Heat remaining oil in a large pot set over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; sauté until golden.

Add squash and broth; bring to a boil.

Remove from heat. Blend until smooth using a hand or classic blender. (The soup can be prepared up to this point and reserved in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.)

Simmer pureed soup gently over low heat for 10 to 15 minutes.

Stir in vinegar just before serving. Taste and adjust seasonings as preferred.

Garnish soup with a swirl of sour cream.

Pair With: Limited Edition South African Viognier/Chenin Blanc/Roussane

Tip: Save time and effort by using ready-cut squash, available in most supermarket produce sections.

#winemaking   #roussanne  
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