October 22, 2012

Ale to the Chief 2012

Four years ago, Nahum and I celebrated the election of Barack Obama by brewing up a batch of black and tan beer, a seemingly appropriate way to toast the new president. And while we'd discussed doing the same for the 2012 election season, the White House went ahead and presented us with an even better option.

The White House staff, in order to find good uses for the honey being produced by the First Lady's on-site beehive, created honey ale and honey porter recipes to be brewed for the Obamas. In September, they made the recipes public, and we had our orders from the Brewmaster-in-Chief.

Of course, the recipe for White House Honey Ale calls for 1 lb. of honey from the White House hives. Since the Secret Service would not take kindly to 2JB stopping by 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., we made do with some local NJ honey.

 Aside from that, we stuck pretty close to the presidential directives for brewing honey ale. The biscuit malt had a nice aroma as it steeped in 1.5 gallons of water. Interestingly, the addition of a pound of light DME and 6 lbs. of light malt extract...did not lead to a particularly light-looking or light-tasting wort.

Of course, it might have been the pound of honey that darkened things up. And it was certainly the Kent Goldings and Fuggles hops that made it all smell so nice.

After a surprisingly quick brew (I guess they're pretty busy at the White House and don't have 3 hours to kill on homebrewing), we cooled it down, pitched the yeast and sealed up the Ale Pail. The pre-fermented brew was very tasty, and I have high hopes for what we'll get post-fermenting.

In 2 weeks, it will be time to bottle, and time to vote. We'll do both, and hope for the best on all counts.

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