Infusing Hops with Liquor

Hops and beer go together like peas and carrots, but hops and liquor? I was a little surprised when my friend Zac said that he was drinking hop infused vodka the other day. New Holland Brewing makes an un-aged whisky infused with hops (Hopquila) that is turning into a top seller for the brewery/distillery. Oregon based McMenamin’s Edgefield Distillery makes a mean dry hopped whiskey (Monkey Puzzle) that I’d love to try (Haha, please contact me if you’d like to send samples). So why not make your own hop infused spirits?  The idea is pretty simple, mix hops with distilled alcohol to break down hop oils and make a hop elixir. There are several techniques I’ve found as I’ve been digging around, and also several suggested recipes. My inclination is that a dry hopped whisky would be awesome, but I’ve also found that vodka infused with Centennial hops would also be pretty good. Here’s what you’ll need to start experimenting…

1) Vodka or Whiskey (pick your poison)
2) A french press or a container/funnel/strainer/coffee filter (haha, which is easier?).
3) 1/2oz of Medium alpha acid hops (Centennial would be a good choice, but I’ve heard of people using Cascade or Amarillo as well)

I’ve found a great wiki for making vodka infused with hops on Bob Stempski’s blog here. In this wiki he used water to “sparge” the extracted hop resin, and then froze the end result. After the elixir had frozen, he inverted the mixture allowing the hop infused vodka to pour out before the water melted (this actually looks like the ice may also help filter out any remaining hop particles). He also mentions that you can add hop vodka to underdeveloped beer to bring up the abv and add some hop flavor. I’ll be giving this a shot here soon to let you know the results!

Making Hard Cider With Apple Juice

This is a step away from my usual posts, but I thought it would be a cool thing to try. EdWort of posted a thread on making Apfelwein (German Hard Cider) from 100% preservative free apple juice, corn sugar, and wine yeast. The recipe is super simple, apparently tastes fantastic, and can be made in as little as 6 weeks. What’s the downside? Haha, from what I understand Apfelwein gives you a ridiculous hangover. In fact, there is even a disclaimer at the bottom of Edwort’s recipe. Either way, I’m super interested in creating some Apfelwein of my own.


Here’s a video tutorial Craig Farraway of Craigtube has created that walks you through the process. If you’ve done this before, please share your results with us here or on our Facebook page. Prost!

Rogue Ales Voodoo Doughnut Bacon Maple Ale

I posted a link to Brooklyn Brew Shop’s Coffee and Doughnut Stout kit a little over a month ago. It appears that Rogue Ales has created a beer flavored with smoked malts, applewood-smoked bacon, and pure maple flavoring! Portland, Oregon based Voodoo Doughnuts and Rogue Ales teamed up to create a beer inspired by Voodoo’s popular Bacon Maple Bar. I wouldn’t assume this would be a session beer, but it may be interesting to try. Rogue’s website lists the beer as a Brown Ale with a “Baker’s Dozen” of ingredients. If you are interested in picking one up for yourself you can always fly to Oregon, or purchase one through their online store here.

via Laughing Squid

Coffee, Doughnuts, and Beer?

Turns out this may not be such a bad idea after all. Brooklyn Brew Shop has created a breakfast stout that embodies some of my favorite things: coffee, doughnuts, and beer :). The $40 Coffee and Donut Stout kit comes with a 1 gallon fermenter (what appears to be a gallon growler), Airlock, Tubing, Thermometer, Tubing Clamp, Packet of Sanitizer, Stopper and Blowoff Attachment. Although not included in the kit, the creators encourage customers to include crushed coffee beans (espresso), brown sugar, and coconut flakes to give your brew a smooth coffee flavor with coconut finish. I’ve never tried one of these nano batches before (roughly 10 beers once you siphon off your trub), but I think the idea is interesting. Please leave a comment if you’ve used one of these kits. I’m interested in the outcome.