Beer Schnapps

Jack offers ...
    Beer schnaps are a somewhat unheard of spirit. for the most part, it is made privately among brewers in Germany, and shared among other brewers. Of the beers turned into schnaps, the pilsener style tends to produce the most complex distillate. With a complex malt profile and a powerfull hop bitterness/aroma they make a great spirit to show off to any commercial brewers you happen to know. One of the best pilseners I've turned into schnapps was a clone of a Czech pilsener: Pilsener Urquell. Here is the beer/mash recipe.

    Steep in a half gallon of water at 150F for 20 minutes:
    • 1/2 pound 2.5 lovibond German light crystal malt
    • 2 oz German Munich malt
      Strain the water into your brewpot, rinse the grains with 1/2gallon of 150F water.
    • Add water to the pot to bring the volume up to 1.5 gallons, bring to a boil and add:
    • 6 pounds extra-light dry malt extract
    • 3.5 oz of Czech Saaz hops @3% alpha acid
      Add water to bring volume up to 2.5 gallons, bring to a boil and boil for 45 minutes, then add:
    • 1oz Czech Saaz hops
    • 1 tsp Irish moss
      Boil for 15 minutes, then add:
    • 1oz Czech Saaz hops
      Boil for 3 minutes, remove the pot from the burner, put the lid on the pot, and cool with an ice water bath or a wort chiller. Top up with cool water to 5 gallons, put into a sanitized fermentor and add your yeast. The best yeast is Wyeast's 2278 Czech pilsener lager yeast. If you don't want to go to the trouble of fermenting it at 45F for 3 weeks, you can use two packets of EDME dry yeast. Just make sure you add the yeast when the beer is at 70F - NO HIGHER!! OFF FLAVORS WILL DEVELOP AT HIGH TEMPERATURES!!
      After 7 days soak 1/2 oz Czech Saaz hops in a quarter cup of vodka, and add to the beer (the vodka sanitizes the hops and acts as a carrier for the aromatic oils).

    14 days later, run it into a potstill, collecting the first 75ml as heads, then go by taste. Keep a teaspoon by the collection jar and taste it as the run progresses- it will end sooner than you think due to the lower alcohol. Don't try to adjust the recipe to get more alcohol in it- it will ruin the balance of the malt and hops. Some like to end the run at higher strenths, making the hops more dominant, some like to let the run progress a little farther, so the malt can come through a little more (my preference).
    You should make an attempt to ferment with a good liquid lager yeast at lager temps. A five gallon carboy fits into a 5-gallon bucket, which can then be filled with water. Ice can be added to the bucket when you leave for work, and when you come home, to maintain lager temperature. This gives the beer/spirit a better aftertaste/finish. If you decide not to distill it, just bottle the five gallons with either 3/4cup of corn sugar or 1.25cups of light dry malt extract, boiled in water. You now have something German brew masters talk quietly among themselves about.


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