Bear Spit and Wild Willy’s Wheat — Part I

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At some point I’ll post more thoroughly about home beer brewing.  Before I can do that, I need to learn more about the process.  Until that time, hopefully bits and pieces will suffice in your sharing the fun of beer making with us.

May 31, 2009.  L to R:  David Weiser, Jim Eaton and Bill Shimon transferring Bear Spit from the turkey fryer to the cargoy for fermentation.  Click photo to enlarge.

May 31, 2009. L to R: David Weiser, Jim Eaton and Bill Shimon transferring Bear Spit from the turkey fryer to the carboy for fermentation. Click photo to enlarge.

Last Wednesday evening, July 8th, Jim Eaton and Bill (and I, a little bit) sampled their first fruits of beer making.  To date Bill and Jim, with the help of Scott Finneseth and David Weiser, have begun three batches of home brew.

The first beer unveiled last Wednesday is what Bill and Jim fondly refer to as Bear Spit.  The kit for what we call Bear Spit is officially marketed as True Brew TM * “DOUBLE IPA All Malt.”  The Double IPA home brewing kit is $52.25 at Beer Crazy in Urbandale, Iowa.  The packaging says the kit should yield five gallons of beer; however, the yield at the Shimon household was a skosh more than four gallons.

First, Bear Spit fermented 2 weeks and 3 days in the carboy.  Then, to allow carbonation to occur, Bear Spit was bottled for three weeks before its first taste test.  (I.e., a total of 5 1/2 weeks from start to consumption-ready for Bear Spit.)

June 6, 2009.  Jim is transferring Wild Willy's Wheat from the turkey fryer to the carboy.  Click photo to enlarge.

June 6, 2009. Jim is transferring Wild Willy's Wheat from the turkey fryer to the carboy. Click photo to enlarge.

The second beer unveiled last Wednesday is referred to by Jim and Bill as Wild Willy’s Wheat.  The kit for what we call Wild Willy’s Wheat is officially marketed as True Brew TM “WHEAT American Style All Malt.”  This wheat home brewing kit is $27.85 at Beer Crazy.  It, too, is meant to yield five gallons.  Our actual yield was almost that.

Wild Willy’s Wheat fermented for 1 week and 6 days in the carboy, which was four days less than for Bear Spit.  To allow for carbonation, Wild Willy’s Wheat was bottled for 2 weeks and 5 days, again just a little bit shorter time than for Bear Spit.  From start to consumption-ready, Wild Willy’s Wheat took a total of 4 weeks and 4 days.

Jim’s and Bill’s reviews of Bear Spit and Wild Willy’s Wheat will be in Part II, which will be posted Wednesday.

*  At this link for the True Brew TM beer making kits, click on “Need Instructions? Click here for instructions to all kits.”  You’ll then see a list of True Brew available kits, including Double IPA and American Wheat.  Click on any of the kit names to view the instructions/ingredients for the kits.

It may be that someday Jim, Bill, David and Scott develop their own recipes.  But, being beer making novices, they are pleased as punch with their True Brew kit successes.

(Click here to go to Part II.)

(Click here to go to this blog’s home page.)

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8 Responses to “Bear Spit and Wild Willy’s Wheat — Part I”

  1. Peg Says:

    I’ll have to forward this post onto Josh and Jon! 🙂

    Wow, the wait between making and tasting must’ve have had you all pacing the floors! 😉

    Your Thanksgiving turkeys will never taste the same. 😉 It will be Nanna Shimon’s “secret ingredient.” 🙂

    Fun word: “skosh.”

    And . . . was “pleased as punch” some kind of round-about pun? 😉

  2. Josh Says:

    Nice work guys. Did you add any ingredients to the kit (hops, malt, etc)? Double IPAs are nice. Do you know the ABV?

    You should mail me some 🙂

  3. Louise Gunderson Shimon Says:

    Hi Josh,

    Before anyone answers, would you please enlighten me as to what ABV is? I’m clueless and learning. I DO now know that there is single and double fermenting!

  4. Josh Says:

    Alcohol By Volume 🙂

  5. Bill Says:

    Josh,

    Being the master brewers that we are, we did not take a hydrometer reading. We sort of determined that if it smelled good and tasted good that we did not really care, we are just so damn good at our craft….(ok, we really decided that we were going to cross the hydrometer bridge later in our beer making careers since getting to this point was an accomplishment for us). So, reading about a Double IPA on other sites about the time we bottled, the ABV range is supposed to be 7%+ to over 14%. My guess is that we are near the top of that range since our yield was slightly over 4 gallons from a five gallon starting point. Jim and I like hoppy beer and we were quite pleased with our first efforts.

    No we did not add anything extra. We used only the ingredients that were included in the kit.

    Don’t stray far from your mailbox. We will pour a little in an envelope for you tonight…ha ha!!!…ok, maybe not.

  6. Josh Says:

    Nice work. Yeah the ABV is helpful to know when you are drinking something in the 7%-14% range. That can make a big difference in how the night turns out :). Taking the hydrometer reading also helps you know when the yeast is finished.

    Not sure if you are a big connoisseur of that style of beer or not, but a couple of my favorites of that variety (one of my favorite styles) are Bell’s Two Hearted Ale (from MI), and a new brew from Sierra Nevada called “Torpedo.” Both are very yummy.

    • Louise Gunderson Shimon Says:

      I know we have access to Sierra Nevada so I’ll be on the lookout for the “Torpedo.” When we come to Michigan in April, maybe you can introduce us to the Bell’s Two Hearted Ale. How the night turns out is right! Recently we went to a wedding reception where Bear Spit was served. It did sneak up a little bit!

  7. Peg Says:

    Bell’s Two Hearted Ale coming right up! Well . . . in April! 🙂 Josh, maybe you can take Louise, Bill, and anyone who wants to to the store in Milford! 🙂

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