Tuesday, September 4, 2012

President Obama gets his homebrewing on!

Check out President 'Brewrack' Obama's recipes below, too!

Man, I have been receiving a lot of inquiries about this and I am answering the bell with pleasure! Undoubtedly, President Barack Obama has accomplished a lot of "firsts" in American history, but this is one of the feats I am the most proud to boast: He's the first President to make a brew in the White House! Sure, George Washington did it off grounds in Mount Vernon, but no POTUS has been a bigger advocate of the brewing movement since! We're talking about how Obama show suds love when settling controversial riffs (the Beer Summit I covered here), has local pub visits on his itinerary when he travels (see above), and the most significant when it comes to homebrewing, crafting ales on 1600 Pennsylvania Ave! 

After the Pres snatched up a homebrewing kit last year, there have been three delicious sounding ales that have reportedly been crafted since then. What's really cool is the fact that they collectively boast a common theme: they embrace his staff's infatuation with honey which is also produced within the House's fence on the South Lawn (another first!). Check out this video. Shout out to in-House Beekeeper Charlie Brandt!

First up was the nutty White House Honey Brown Ale, followed by their darker, more coffee-ish Honey Porter, and last was the lighter, refreshing Honey Blonde Ale (see below for the latter two's recipes). Now, let's give credit where it's due; it looks like the hands-on brewers were White House Assistant Chef Sam Kass and White House Sous Chef Tafari Campbell, but nothing gets done without the President's thumb's up, so props go to everyone under that roof. I wish I could sip one and see how well they came out, but after peeping this video, I would go out on a limb and say they look official. 

Now if there is a thick, smooth, and creamy imperial...errr, presidential stout aged in Kentucky's bourbon barrels or an extravagantly hopped India Pale Ale brewed with solely American hops next, that would be one hell of an addition to the President's beer portfolio. Plus, honey can go with both, so let's make it happen!

All in all, no matter what your political views are, we need to toast a cold one to President Obama and his staff, because it's all for the love of beer! 


By the way, here are the recipes in a cool, downloadable format courtesy of the blog for Whitehouse.gov here, but hey, I want to give you as much as possible on this site too, so here you go: 

The White House Honey Ale
2 (3.3 lb) cans light malt extract
1 lb light dried malt extract
12 oz crushed amber crystal malt
8 oz Biscuit Malt
1 lb White House Honey
1 ½ oz Kent Goldings Hop Pellets
1 ½ oz Fuggles Hop pellets
2 tsp gypsum
1 pkg Windsor dry ale yeast
¾ cup corn sugar for priming
Brewed with White House Honey

1. In an 12 qt. pot, steep the grains in a hop bag in 1½ gallons of
sterile water at 155 degrees for half an hour. Remove the grains.
2. Add the 2 cans of the malt extract and the dried extract and bring
to a boil.
3. For the first flavoring, add the 1½ oz Kent Goldings and 2 tsp. of
gypsum. Boil for 45 minutes.
4. For the second flavoring, add the ½ oz Fuggles hop pellets at the
last minute of the boil.
5. Add the honey and boil for 5 more minutes.
6. Add 2 gallons chilled sterile water into the primary fermenter and
add the hot wort into it. Top with more water to total 5 gallons.
There is no need to strain.
7. Pitch yeast when wort temperature is between 70-80°.
Fill airlock halfway with water.
8. Ferment at 68-72° for about seven days.
9. Rack to a secondary fermenter after five days and ferment for
14 more days.
10. To bottle, dissolve the corn sugar into 2 pints of boiling water for
15 minutes. Pour the mixture into an empty bottling bucket.
Siphon the beer from the fermenter over it. Distribute priming
sugar evenly. Siphon into bottles and cap. Let sit for 2 to 3
weeks at 75°.

The White House Honey Porter
2 (3.3 lb) cans light unhopped malt extract
¾ lb Munich Malt (cracked)
1 lb crystal 20 malt (cracked)
6 oz black malt (cracked)
3 oz chocolate malt (cracked)
1 lb White House Honey
10 HBUs bittering hops
½ oz Hallertaur Aroma hops
1 pkg Nottingham dry yeast
¾ cup corn sugar for bottling

1. In a 6 qt. pot, add grains to 2.25 qts of 168° water. Mix well to
bring temp down to 155°. Steep on stovetop at 155° for 45
minutes. Meanwhile, bring 2 gallons of water to 165° in a 12 qt. pot.
Place strainer over, then pour and spoon all the grains and liquid
in. Rinse with 2 gallons of 165° water. Let liquid drain through.
Discard the grains and bring the liquid to a boil. Set aside.
2. Add the 2 cans of malt extract and honey into the pot. Stir well.
3. Boil for an hour. Add half of the bittering hops at the 15 minute
mark, the other half at 30 minute mark, then the aroma hops at the
60 minute mark.
4. Set aside and let stand for 15 minutes.
5. Place 2 gallons of chilled water into the primary fermenter and add
the hot wort into it. Top with more water to total 5 gallons if
necessary. Place into an ice bath to cool down to 70-80°.
6. Activate dry yeast in 1 cup of sterilized water at 75-90° for
fifteen minutes. Pitch yeast into the fermenter. Fill airlock halfway
with water. Ferment at room temp (64-68°) for 3-4 days.
7. Siphon over to a secondary glass fermenter for another 4-7 days.
8. To bottle, make a priming syrup on the stove with 1 cup sterile
water and ¾ cup priming sugar, bring to a boil for five minutes.
Pour the mixture into an empty bottling bucket. Siphon the beer
from the fermenter over it. Distribute priming sugar evenly. Siphon
into bottles and cap. Let sit for 1-2 weeks at 75°.
Brewed with White House Honey


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