Tag Archives: lactose

Grains and milk, it’s dark

So good to be brewing again. Finally got around to brewing something I’ve been wanting to get down for a while. Plus, Chas was able to make it for another fun brew day.

Sunday before last, the seventh, was a bottling day for the Lazy House Ale #1 and brew day for a porter I’ve been wanting to make for a while. With the new place there was a bit of getting-use-to the place, but the day ran smoothly.

Milk Porter 1 chilling

Milk Porter #1 chilling in a cold water bath

The porter is an extract brew with steeped grains. Plenty of added bonuses to fill out the flavour and body. Milk Porter #1:

  • 11 litres of water
  • 1 kilogram Briess Golden Light dry malt extract, 60 minute boil
  • 35 grams Willamette hops, @ 60 mins
  • 5 grams Fuggles hops, @ 60 mins
  • Steeped grains (see below), @ 5 mins
  • 300 grams Maltodextrin, @ 5 mins
  • 350 grams Lactose, @ 5 mins
  • 5 grams Willamette hops, @ 60 flame out
  • 15 grams Fuggles hops, @ flame out
  • 1.5 kilograms Briese Dark liquid malt extract, flame out
  • Windsor yeast (nearly a full pack)
  • 400 grams Crystal malt 140 ECB
  • Steeped in 2 litres of water for 40 mins

Getting the 11 litre boil going and grains steeping was priority. Chas got to cracking the grain while I sorted the water. Once all set it was time to bulk prime and bottle the Lazy House Ale.

Lazy House Ale 1 FG

Lazy House Ale #1 Final Gravity

Used 64 grams sugar dissolved in about 200 millilitres of hot water. Put this in the big fermenter and carefully racked the beer into it. Took a gravity reading and was surprised to see it hit 1.012, just as calculated. You might remember I didn’t get a proper original gravity so it might have been higher, or maybe I’ve finally got the hang of this home being thing. On a side note, no temperature control in this and it would have dropped below 10 degrees a few times.

Bottling went without incident. After not too long there were 36 bottles filled and capped.

Lazy House Ale 1 bottles

Lazy House Ale #1 all bottled

Back to the porter, there was a bit of a rush. Lactose, maltodextrin and steeped grains were meant to go in with 10 minutes to go, but distractions meant they went in 5 minutes later. Oh well. I’m sure it shouldn’t make much difference.

Flame out then last hops went in. Rather than start chilling straight away, like last time, the liquid malt went in. Then into the ice bath with an ice and water top up. After a good half an hour or so of cooling we poured into the fermenter and sived out the hops. Realized that not all the liquid malt dissolved. Lesson for next time. Then topped up with cold water to 18 litres.

As the wort wasn’t cool enough yeast didn’t get pitched for a while. Wasn’t until next day that yeast went in. Nearly a whole pack of yeast, maybe half a teaspoon left. Was only a matter of hours before airlock started up. Always a good sign.

Milk Porter 1 OG

Milk Porter #1 Original Gravity

The original gravity came in at a respectful 1.060. This should come down to high 1.020’s giving a solid 6% alcohol and plenty of body backing it up. The sample tasted really good and I’ve got high hopes. If everything goes well I might pitch another dark beer wort onto the yeast. Maybe a coffee porter or stout.

Speaking of dark coffee beers, Chas brought around some bottles of his latest (4th) version of his coffee porter The Friedlieb. At 10.2% alcohol it’s a lot more like a stout. I’ll get a review up in the week or so.

The Lazy House Ale sample tasted great. Not over the top with hops like I feared, which is good. First tasting will be this Thursday. Probably a bit too early. Will wait and see.

Good to be back into brewing. Plenty to be excited about.

-Mikey

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Sneaky Milky Cider 1-3 – Review

After only a week in the bottles, on Saturday 18th it was time to open the Sneaky Milky Ciders. There were three versions and from the bottling I was pretty sure that number three would be a winner for the sweet tooth drinker. I wasn’t wrong. There wasn’t a huge amount of the cider brewed, but still plenty left over afterwards.

I’ve put all three cider tastings into one review. They deserve to be rated aginst each other. The idea was to make a sweet tasting and very easy to make cider. So, without any more delay lets get into it.

 

Sneaky Milky Cider 1-3

Sneaky Milky Cider 1 to 3 for review

Sneaky Milky Cider #1

Has a clear ‘Granny Smith’ apple aroma. It’s apple-y but also slightly sour.

Light fruit and sweetness in the start and some sour comes in. Quite refreshing at first.

Fills out with slightly more creaminess. Then moving to be more apple flavour before settling back into a Granny Smith apple flavour of slight sourness. Finishes with a dry and hint of tart taste.

Overall I’d classify this one as a dry cider.

 

Sneaky Milky Cider #2

Has more of a nondescript apple aroma. It’s slightly sweet  but nothing much either way.

First very light flavours. Hints of apple and sweet. Then the apple sweetness picks up. It becomes a bit like a fake sweet apple flavour you find in lollies. Verging on sickly sweet and still not quite tasting like real apple.

There is some slight filling out of the cider. But not much, leaving an empty feeling to it. Ends sweet, but also very dry. My mouth is confused. The front says sweet and the back of my mouth is desperate for water.

Along the way there is plenty of sweetness. Once that’s gone there isn’t much too this. This makes you want to drink some more, just to have something. But that’s where the real problem lies. At 7.2% this is going to mess you up, quickly.

 

Sneaky Milky Cider #3

A much sweeter aroma than the other two.

Starts as a soft light sweet apple taste. Then a full apple flavour builds. More sweetness and the apple flavour stays with you right to the end. Feels like there’s some good body to this.

Really enjoyable, at least compared to the other two. Plenty of flavour and easy to drink the whole way though. Overall I’d classify this as a sweet cider. Sweet tasting and sweet brewing.

 

 Verdict

The winner is clearly number three. Is it the yeast flavours? Or is it that the yeast didn’t eat through all the sugars? Does it matter? Not really. But I think it’s more to do with the former, rather than the latter. Will more be made? Absolutely. Next time I’ll take the lactose up a level and see what happens.

 

-Mikey

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Milk Stout – Review

You might remember I made a Super Stout back in May this year. Well, Chas made one about a month after that. We don’t have a write up on it, but I can tell you that he added lactose and didn’t oxygenate it (like I did). As there was a lot of lactose added he called it Milk Stout. This was a birthday present and by all accounts went down well.

Milk Stout

Milk Stout ready for drinking

Like the review Chas did of my Super Stout, this comes out nice and black. There’s not much head on this which is quite disappointing. What little there is has a nice brown tinge to it. Looks pretty good.

Aroma wise, this is a nice mix. There’s some sweetness, some rich dark malt and some chocolate as well. Not much hop aroma, and that’s a good thing here.

First taste is good. Hit of dark malt and is flat. What I mean by that is there’s no distractions from the malt flavour. It’s straight up dark malt. Good round flavour here that fills the mouth from top to bottom. The body on this beer is alright, not great for a stout but also doesn’t leave you thinking it’s not a stout. Overall you’re first met with a big round dark malt burst of flavour. And that’s exactly what you want.

In the middle it comes up with some sweetness. This helps with the malt and body. Then the darker flavours come back and help drag out the flavours for a while.  As the body drops away there’s the sweet milk flavour from the lactose coming though. And after that a slight bitterness. And the liquorice, which has been there the whole time, comes out and becomes it’s own.

Matching this beer with food is a little hard. I would tend to go with something dark and sweet, this is a dessert beer. Rich cake is a good option. Black forest cake or chocholate mud cake get’s my vote.

So, this is a good and well rounded beer. The body lets it down, that’s possibly because the beer comes in at only 4.8% alcohol. The flavours towards the end get a bit muddled. But that first mouthful works great. And you keep wanting to go back for more. And this is a great example of two brewers making (nearly) the same recipe with quite a different outcome.

-Mikey

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Apples and milk, in bottles

It’s not really milk that went into the apple cider. I simply like the idea that lactose sugar is milk sugar, and therefore milk. The important thing is that the Sneaky Milky Cider has been bottled. Plus the samples tasted pretty good.

Sneaky Milky Cider 1 FG

Sneaky Milky Cider 1 the Final Gravity reading

On Saturday evening I got busy and bottling. There are three batches across three carboys. Each had a splash over two litres in them. These were some very small batches, the smallest I’ve ever done. Used the auto syphon again which works pretty well. Manually priming each bottle wasn’t a huge pain as the batch sizes were small, plus I used a few 500 ml bottles which sped things up.

Sneaky Milky Cider 2 FG

Sneaky Milky Cider 2 the Final Gravity reading

Gravity readings were a bit all over the place. I’m not surprised given the range of ingredients across the batches. The first one dropped from 1.060 to 1.012 which means after bottling will be 6.8% alcohol. The second one was more pronounced falling from 1.055 to 1.004 turning it into 7.2%. Then the third was more reasonable going from 1.055 to 1.011 and hitting 6.3%.

After gravity readings were done it was tasting time. The first batch had a nice sweet and apple flavour. There was also a hint of sour to this, but wasn’t overpowering or distracting. The second batch had similar characteristics but cleaner. That said, the sourness was more pronounced and it wasn’t as sweet as batch one. The last batch was noticeably different. It had a bigger mouth feel and overall rounder flavour. As a result this batch didn’t have the same noticeably sweetness or apple flavour.

Sneaky Milky Cider 1-3

Sneaky Milky Cider 1 to 3 for tasting

These ciders are only going to be bottle conditioned for a week before most of them are consumed. They will be the sweet cider option for those not drinking beer at a party this Saturday. The beer on offer will be the Pale Trial beers, 1 to 5 of both Eine and Zwie. I’m looking forward to hearing feedback on all of them. And I how that there’s enough to go around.

-Mikey

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Sweet like apple, sweet like milk

Sneaky Milky Cider 3

Sneaky Milky Cider 3 Original Gravity reading

A few months back in February I made the Sneaky Cider. Once I tasted it I knew this was something to revisit. It was easy, quick and nice enough. Nothing amazing but great vale on effort put in.

The biggest issue with the cider was the dryness. All the sugar in the apple juice was used up by the yeast, all converted to alcohol. That’s good if you want a strong cider, and you don’t want sweetness. Problem is, most people want cider to be sweet. Hence this being an issue.

I have been thinking how to overcome this issue for a while. The big companies, and even smaller commercial brewers, trend to put sugar or fresh apple juice back in. That’s fine if you can (1) remove all the yeast and (2) keep the carbonation or force carbonate. On a small home brew scale that’s not so easy.

Looking for alternative options to sweeten the cider, there are a few. Some range from easy to complex with quite a number tried and failed. But before looking up all these options I had thought of using what I use for beer. Lactose sugar. Yep, milk sugar.

Lactose is used in stouts as it gives both sweetness and helps with the creaminess. The creamy flavour mouth feel is not something you really associate with cider. But I’m hoping it’s either subtle or non offensive. Preferably both.

So, on Monday night I made Sneaky Milky Cider 1, 2 and 3. All use the basic 2 litres of apple juice and have sugar added to them. Details below.

Sneaky Milky Cider 1-3

Sneaky Milky Cider 1 to 3 in the carboys

Sneaky Milky Cider 1

  • 2 litres of apple juice
  • Around 80 grams white sugar (measuring was off)
  • 80 grams of lactose
  • OG = 1.060
  • Half a teaspoon of Champaign yeast
  • Half a teaspoon of yeast nutrient

Sneaky Milky Cider 2

  • 2 litres of apple juice
  • 80 grams white sugar
  • 40 grams of lactose
  • OG = 1.055
  • Half a teaspoon of Champaign yeast
  • Half a teaspoon of yeast nutrient

Sneaky Milky Cider 3

  • 2 litres of apple juice
  • 80 grams white sugar
  • 40 grams of lactose
  • OG = 1.055
  • Half a teaspoon of US-04 yeast
  • Half a teaspoon of yeast nutrient

Amounts of sugar are based on what the original Sneaky Cider was. I’m not sure if there’s too much, or not enough lactose. Also, there was a bit more than two litres of juice in each bottle. About 200ml more. That shouldn’t make any difference to the final product.

You’ll see that I’ve used US-04 yeast in one. This is an ale yeast, but it should ferment clean enough. The reason for using this is to see if it won’t convert all the apple sugars. As the alcohol gets higher the yeast should slow down or even die. This would then leave some unfermented sugar, and the cider would be sweeter. We’ll wait and see.

-Mikey

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