Pink Beer batches 4&5

Spring has arrived and it is time to make more pink beer.  I am further refining the technique and materials.  I like doing this as a double size batch (10 gal) due to the extra time and steps involved. Plus I want to try adding marshmallow flavoring to half

Kettle sour

5 gal water

12 lbs Bavarian Wheat Liquid Malt Extract

6lbs Breiss Pilsen Light Dry Malt Extract

Starting pH = 6.05

4 grams (approx) Llalamand Sour Pitch lactobacillus. Reconstitute in 50% wort and water mix for ~ 1 hour   .   Start this before putting the wort on to boil (above).    The remainder of the 10g package was sealed and placed in the freezer.

Rest 36 hours at 85F – heater wrap on the brew kettle

Final pH = 3.14   – I could probably have reduced the amount of the sour pitch


Stir the wort to get the bacteria off the bottom. You dont want them to scorch

Add 3 lbs Pale Dry malt extract (could double this if you like).

Add 2 oz Tettnanger hops

Boil for 60 min

Rapidly chill to ~75F with wort chiller and then mix with cold water for final temp of 62F.

Primary fermentation

Reconstitute 2 packs of T-58 yeast in 1.5 l wort and place on stir plate.  I did this for about 2 hours  but overnight (as a proper starter)  would probably be better.

OG ~ 1.060

Ferment at basement floor temp (62F ) for 3 days and then slowly raise 1F per day to 69F

Secondary Fermentation

Transfer to secondary – at 10.020 SG

10 lbs frozen mixed berries – 3.5lb blackberries, 4lb blueberries, 1.5 lb raspberries, 1lb strawberries.   I am sticking with the ratio of 1lb of fruit per gallon of beer. These were allowed to thaw in a large stainless bowl overnight and then the stick blender was used to break them up .

These were added to the beer in the secondary fermenters. It came to about 2.8l each.

Lower temp to 65F for 3 days then raise to 75 at 1 degree per day to finish off.


The stick blender turned out to be a horrible mistake for filtering (may have helped flavor, but was an unbearable PITA for filtering and kegging ). The fermented fruit pulp  matted up the various filters almost immediately.   I tried multiple methods to filter and not simultaneously oxygenate the beer. No clear winner here but the stainless filter, drawing from the bottom fermenter valve with very careful non-disturbance of the trub seemed to work best. Using a pump siphon just stirred everything up and led to a lot of mess and frustration as the filters (bag or stainless), had to be cleaned multiple times.

Here is the result posted by my daughter, Jessie.


Fast and Easy Focaccia

Spring in Wisconsin means there is yard work to do. This weekend I was pulling buckthorn, dividing perennials and getting the garden ready.  Body hurts and I want some comfort food. We had decided on leftovers for today and I chose the pasta and meatball bake. However I  wanted some fresh bread  or bread sticks to go with it.    Gardening and sourdough bread baking dont really go together.  Rise & fold times are missed and cleaning off all of the dirt before playing with the dough is a pain.  However I still craved fresh bread.

After showering and applying a hot pack to my back, I was surfing the internet searching for ideas.  At this point it was 5PM and teal was getting hungry and would not tolerate a long drawn out process (neither would I- I wanted near instant reward).  One stood out as a quick from scratch idea: .   This would morph into a sort of foccacia bread.


Preheat oven to proofing temperature  approx.  100F

1 Tbsp instant yeast   (I use SAF instant)

1 tsp sugar

1 c luke warm water

Mix and rest for 10 min – it should start to foam in the mixer bowl.

Add 2 Tbsp Olive oil and scant 1 tps salt.

Slowly add about 2.5 c flour  – I used bread flour. Add the rfirst 2 cups and assess the consistency . Add more as needed so that it pullsa away from the side of the bowl and mix for 5 min on 2 (second slowest speed) on the Kitchenaid mixer.

Cover the bowl with a towel and place in the oven for 30 min.

Get your sheet pan ready. Slather with olive oil (including the sides)  about 1.5 -2 Tbsp.   Lightly cover with corn meal

When the 30 min has passed the dough should easily have doubled (thanks to lots of well fed yeast) . Start working it out on the counter with a little flour, (no rolling pin) like you see the pizza guys do.  Move it to the sheet pan and stretch / push to fit (my pizzas are normally circular so it needed reshaping.

Preheat oven to 450F

Add 2-3 Tbsp olive oil to the top and spread around and then sprinkle on the goodies:

5-8 Tbsp grated parmesan (yes the green can cheese)

1-3 tsp granulated garlic

1 tsp Italian seasoning

1 Tbsp dried rosemary crushed

1/4 c shredded cheese .    I did not want “cheese bread” but if so inclined, cover it with a lot more  (4 cheese mexican and mozzarella mixed if going heavy)

Rest on the counter (bread not me) until 50 min point.

Place in the oven for 10-12 min until lightly browned. If the middle bubbles way up, get one of the kids to stab it and let the steam out.

Remove and place on a rack to cool enough so you can rip off pieces without burning yourself too much.  Enjoy with a good beer or wine (and maybe forget about the rest of  the  dinner) .   And it was done by 6 PM!  No frozen or tube food involved.