Last Thanksgiving, I was in Praha celebrating the holiday with my best friend, John, and a childhood friend Jordan over local beers.
This year, my brother and I will be heading to his friend’s house, Kelsey to celebrate with her family. The past year I’ve had a lot to be thankful for, an awesome family, amazing friends, a good job, opportunities to travel and good health.
My co-worker sent me this great article from the Wall Street Journal, What did George Washington Drink? which had a Homemade Harvest Ale, no special beer equipment needed!
HOMEMADE HARVEST ALE
Despite the modern conveniences, this remains a very rustic recipe, and makes a rough-around-the-edges brew.
1 small pumpkin
Handful malted barley
1/8 ounce spices (I used a mix of fresh ginger, licorice, anise, and cinnamon)
1/4 cup molasses
1 pound malt extract
1/8 ounce hops (I used Fuggles)
1/2 packet dry ale yeast
1 ounce brown sugar
A few raisins
TOOLS YOU’LL NEED:
1-gallon glass jug
Diluted bleach (for sanitizing)
Empty beer bottles, caps and capper, or re-sealable bottles
1. Split pumpkin in half and roast in oven at 350 degrees until soft and caramelized, about 30 minutes.
2.Put malted barley in mesh bag (or wrap in cheesecloth), and steep in 1½ gallons water as you bring it to a boil. When it boils, remove malted barley. Boil hops and spices in water for a few minutes, then add pumpkin pulp, molasses and malt extract. Boil for another minute. Cover pot and let it cool to room temperature. You can put it in a sink full of ice water to speed this up.
3. Sanitize the jug, strainer and funnel by rinsing them with diluted bleach, then with water. Pour liquid through strainer and funnel into jug, add yeast and cover tightly with plastic wrap (poke a few holes in it to let CO2 out). Leave in a dark corner for a few days. It’ll bubble and foam as it ferments.
4. When beer stops bubbling and starts to clear, sanitize bottles and pour in beer, leaving dead yeast sediment in jug. Boil brown sugar in 1/2 cup water to sanitize it. Let liquid cool, and use it to top off bottles. Drop a raisin or two into each bottle; cap and wait. This is an old trick: When the raisins float, the beer is carbonated and ready to drink.
What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving? What is your favorite beer to go with Turkey?