Wow, has it really been two months since I posted?? Okay, so actually I’m not at all in shock about this because I was well aware of how long it had been. Soooooooo. Where was I?
Remember that post a while back about finding the time? Well when I added a few extra commitments (like taking two online courses to transfer my American teaching certificate to Ontario, teaching multiple Homebrew 101 workshops, selling beer-making ingredients, and working a part-time job) it turned out there was no time left for this old blog.
Such is life. Turns out the world kept on turning without me.
Nonetheless, I’m back to share a quick post about our Christmas homebrew, called the Acorn E. KWistmas Ale.
Yes, this beer is full of extremely witty word play and references to our beloved KW. But it’s even more full of extremely delicious malty goodness balanced with some classic holiday flavors like cinnamon and vanilla. Add to that a bit of acorn squash and you have a totally unique, local beer to share with friends and family.
Madame helped me make this beer and the labels, which was fun and awesome because she rarely participates in brewing! We’ll use this beer as a gift and for taking to holiday parties. We’ve tried to focus on handmade and homemade gifts this year, at least for the bulk of what we’re giving. In addition to that we’ve purchased locally made foods and products as stocking stuffers. It’s more work and more money than just ordering stuff from the Amazonian behomoth, which I’ll admit is almost always cheap and easy, but it’s nice to use our own skills as well as support local artisans.
Need some local gift ideas for KW? Here’s a few local folks we like to support:
- Seed of Life Bars – absurdly delicious raw seed bars.
- Your Time Boutique – beautiful beeswax candles.
- Sew Oiseau – handmade clothing and accessories from upcycled wool.
- Homestead Herbals – eco-friendly soaps and herbal products from Little City Farm.
Or what about buying some local craft beer or Ontario VQA wines? Gifts of food and drink are always nice because they don’t add clutter or unnecessary gadgetry to anyone’s life and give you another way of supporting your local economy.
What about you, are you giving local or homemade gifts? Any good ideas to share? If you were making a holiday homebrew what special festive ingredients would you add?
- 7 lbs Pilsner malt
- 6 lbs local 2-Row malt
- 1 lb Caramunich Malt
- 1 lb Munich Malt
- ¾ lb Melanoidin Malt
- ½ lb Flaked Barley
- ¼ lb Chocolate Malt
- 1 Roasted Acorn Squash
- 1 lb Honey – added at end of boil
- 3 oz. Local Hallertau hops (60 minutes)
- 1 oz. Local Hallertau hops (15 minutes)
- Safbrew T-58 Belgian Ale Yeast
- 1 Vanilla bean, cut down the middle
- 1 Cinnamon stick
- Add the roasted squash to the milled grains and mash at 152◦F for 1 hour. Sparge and collect 6.5 gallons of wort. Boil for 75 minutes, adding the hops according to their schedule above and the honey in the last 5 minutes. Chill to below 70◦F, pitch yeast and ferment around 68◦F, letting the temperature rise into mid-70s during fermentation.
- Optional – add more roasted squash to secondary fermenter (remove before adding spices). 3 days before bottling add vanilla bean and cinnamon stick.
- For bottling use 5.6 ounces of priming sugar.