Category Archives: Malt Extract

Battle of the cellars – ‘Brew Your Own’s’ Caveman Kellerbier vs. Creemore’s Kellerbier

After trying Creemore Springs Brewery‘s seasonal Kellerbier for the first time last summer, it quickly became one of my favourite go-to beers. I stocked up as much as I could before it disappeared, but it nonetheless did anyways. Having started brewing by this point, I thought I would take a stab at trying to brew a clone of it. (see article titled “Caveman Kellerbier”) Not really knowing much of the history, or the style at the time, I was lucky enough to come across an article in Brew Your Own Magazine titled “Kellerbier – Style Profile“, that gave me a bit more of an insight. I imagined that this style could vary greatly from region to region, so I wasn’t sure how close to Creemore’s version I would get. After waiting about 4 months to taste the results, I have to say, I am pretty blown away! Here is what I’ve found:

  • Colour: As you can see from the picture, it’s 95% there
  • Body: The original has more of a body to it, the difference probably due to us brewing it from extract. I can only imagine how good the all grain version would be. Ours also tasted a bit sweeter.
  • Head: Our version had slightly less foam to it, again, an all grain version would probably help with that.
  • Bitterness: The “traditional german hops” they refer to on the can must be Hallertrauer, because the hop character & flavour is totally the same, although I would add a touch more to ours next time.
  • ABV: The original sits at 5.0% ABV, and even though the recipe called for a higher alcohol content, we came in at 5% as well.

One thing I would change is the amount of ‘oak’ flavour. To simulate aging in oak casks, as would have been traditionally done, we added 4oz of oak chips to the fermenter. It came out a little too pronounced for me. Oak really isn’t my thing, even in wines. Perhaps if it were more subtle, then maybe I could appreciate the complexity it brings. Next time we’ll try it from all grain, I can only imagine how good it will be! I guess we’ll find out next winter!

Cheers!

Brewing an Oatmeal Stout

So we tried our hands at making our first Stout. An oatmeal stout to be more specific.

I figured that the recipe we decided upon would be easier to produce rather than trying to tackle the mysterious depths of a Guinness clone.

After this we may have a better idea of how to approach that, plus I hope to have my buddy Rich from Brewtal Honesty join us for that session. (Be sure to check out his site for some great reviews on all styles of beer!)

Our friends Mark, Amanda and their son Aiden joined in on the action with Eric’s family & mine for a mildly chaotic brew session / dinner party!

The recipe called for the following ingredients:

  • 4.39 lbs – Sparkling Amber DME
  • 1.10 lbs – 6 Row Pale Malt
  • 0.82 lbs – Flaked Oats
  • 0.73 lbs – Crystal Malt 77L
  • 0.37 lbs – Chocolate Malt
  • 0.37 lbs – Roasted Barley

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Falcon Town Pilsner

After trying my hand at lagering with the Caveman Kellerbier, I had a rare saturday night at home with my gal who had some freelance work to do. My daughter was in bed, so I thought “why not brew something up?”. So I decided on a simple extract recipe for a Pilsner that I snagged from John Palmer’s – How to Brew, which is a fantastic reference for learning how to make your own beer.

I’ve renamed it “Falcon Town Pilsner” in honour of my soon-to-be-father-in-law who hails from the town of Sokolnice, Czech Republic, (translates to “Falcon Town” as it is known for the falcons used in the area for hunting). Sokolnice is a mere 300km from the town of Plzeň, where on the 5th of October, 1842, the first cask of original Pilsner lager was tapped. (Read “The History of Pilsner Urquell“)

It’s been lagering in my fruit cellar for just over 8 weeks and I’ll be racking it into a keg pretty soon to welcome the summer beer drinking season. The buttery golden colour and the aroma of the noble Saaz hops create a rather otherworldly aura.

UPDATE: I ended up lagering it a bit longer than I expected, with pretty amazing results. I racked it into a 5 gallon keg at the end of May in order to filter it. (see post “How to filter your beer using a plate filter…”) That means it was lagering for a total of 11 weeks, plus the initial 4 weeks of fermentation. It’s just finished being carbonated and is the perfect beer to welcome the hot weather here in Toronto.

I’ll post a final picture when I have a frosty cold glass poured!!

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Caveman Kellerbier

Kellerbier, also Zwickelbier, or Zoigl, is a type of German beer which is not clarified or pasteurised. The term Kellerbier literally translates as “cellar beer”, referring to its cool lagering temperatures, and its recipe likely dates to the Middle Ages. In comparison with most of today’s filtered lagers, Kellerbier contains more of its original brewing yeast, as well as vitamins, held in suspension. As a result, it is distinctly cloudy, and is described by German producers as naturtrub (naturally cloudy).

My first and only experience with Kellerbier is Creemore’s seasonal summer brew aptly titled “Kellerbier”, (obvious, I know).

Right off the bat, it’s a beautiful amber/copper colour that I just love, but it is very cloudy because it’s not been filtered. The Hop flavour definitely dominates and is very floral.

I searched out where and how I could recreate this fantastic beer and here is the recipe I found at “Brew Your Own – Kellerbier – Style Profile):

See the results here:  “Battle of the cellars”

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