What’s Brewin’ in June: Ivory Cane Home Brew

Inspiration for homebrewing our next batch of beer can come from anywhere. Sometimes we have a certain taste in mind that drives our brewing decisions. Other times, as was the case with this Ivory Cane Belgian Wheat,  it’s pure curiosity.

Written by Jess & Jason

We were browsing through Whole Foods recently when my eyes fell upon a bundle of sugar cane. “Hey, is it possible to make beer with that?” I asked Jason, pointing. The devious glimmer in his eye as he snatched up a bundle was all the answer I needed.

Jason browsed through Clone Brews by Tess and Mark Szamatulski until he found a Belgian-style beer similar

Gotham, reporting for duty! He likes to "help" (read: get in the way)

Gotham, reporting for duty! He likes to “help” (read: get in the way)

to what he was looking for. He does this so he gets an idea of type and quantity of the essential beer ingredients and then customizes it to match his own vision. This time we set our sights on a light, summer ale with a slight woody taste from the cane itself.

Jason chose Citra hops from Yakima, Washington to add a hint of citrus and keep the bitterness from getting too strong. He also tried doing a split malting for the first time. This process entails, quite simply, adding the malts in two batches. The end result decreases the sugars in the initial brew and, hopefully, will keep things light in color and flavor.

The recipe and instructions are below if you want to try making it yourself. Otherwise, check back tomorrow when we do a tasting of it. In future posts we’ll be posting the recipes at the beginning of the month and a tasting at the end (when it’s done fermenting) but we started the blog mid-June so we had to mash them together this time.

Recipe

This recipe is for 2.5 gallons of beer

Grain Bill:
1 lb. Malted Barley (crushed)
1 lb. Malted Wheat (crushed)
2 lb. 2-Row Barley Extract
2 lb. Bavarian Wheat Extract
Hops:
0.66 oz. Citra Hops (13.9% aa), bittering hops
0.33 oz. Citra Hops, aroma
Additional Ingredients:
Approximately 2 lb. (4.5 feet) of sugar cane, chopped into strips and chunks
Bavarian Wheat Yeast

Process:

Mash the crushed grains in 1 gallon of water  at about 155 degrees F for 20 minutes.  Sparge the grains, then add half of the extracts and the bittering hops to boil for 60 minutes.  When there are 20 minutes left to the boil, add the remaining extracts and the sugar cane. Next, add the aroma hops for the last 10 minutes of the boil.  Once the boil is done, cool the wort and add it to cold water in the fermenter. Remove the sugar cane and spent hops from the wort.  When it has reached about 70 degrees F, pitch the yeast and allow to ferment.  After a few days and fermentation has slowed, move to a secondary fermenter and allow it to finish fermenting.  Bottle with ¾ cup of barley extract, let it rest for a week to ten days, then cool and drink the beer.

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