Roasted Beets — they’re not just for eatin’ anymore.

My newest brew experiment — Roasted Beet Lager (my husband is laughing a bit too much at the moment as he comes up with potential names for this brew such as “Call Your Doctor Lager” and “It’s Red When I Pee Lager”).

My brew day started by roasting 6 medium beets in the oven.  Onto the stove went two large stock pots — one for additional water in case I need to add some to primary to get to 5 gallons; the other for the brew.  Into the brew kettle I added 6.6 pounds of light LME.  After about 1 1/2 hours the brew kettle with the extract was almost to a boil.

I know this seems like a long time, but my brew kettle is a 5 gallon stock pot from a restaurant supply store.  It has a 1/2 inch copper core on the bottom to ensure even heating and help prevent things from burning to the bottom.  It’s probably a bit more than you really need to brew, but the restaurant supply shop is much closer than the brew shop and when I first started brewing, I was itching to get started and not wanting the long drive on the Los Angeles Freeways.

After skimming the foam from the top of the wort, I added the first hops (1 ounce Perle @ 8.2% AA).  The next hop addition wouldn’t be for 30 minutes, so I set about sanitizing my bucket, lids and lock for primary and also sanitized my carboy as I’m still planning to move my Belgian Witbier into secondary this afternoon.

Once the second hop addition was taken care of (0.75 ounces Saaz @ 2.8%), I set about peeling the beets.

For anyone who hasn’t roasted and peeled their own beets, it’s really a very easy process.  Cut the leaves off the beets leaving about 2 inches of stem.  Rinse the beets and wrap in foil (I create packets with 3 beets in each).  Roast beets in a 350 degree oven for 50 – 70 minutes.  Once the beets are done roasting, remove from oven and let them cool in the foil until they are able to be handled.  The remaining stems and the peels should be easy to peel off using just your fingers.  Rinse occasionally under cool water.  This should also help keep your hands from getting stained.  If your hands do get stained, fresh lemon juice can be used to neutralize the staining agents.

Back to the beer.

After peeling the beets, I cut them into cubes and made two satchels off beets using cheese cloth.  I also reserved the beet juice from the foil packets to add to the wort along with the beet packets.

The last hop addition was again Saaz with 15 minutes remaining in the boil.  The beets and beet juice were added with 10 minutes remaining.

Currently I’m waiting for the temperature to come down enough to add the wort into the primary bucket and pitch the yeast (Wyeast Bohemian Lager).  I’m debating leaving the beets in primary.  I made a cranberry wheat beer a while back and added 3 pounds of chopped cranberries to the boil and left them in during primary.  I think it helped the cranberry flavor get more infused into the beer.  What I’m not sure is if that’s what I want to do here.

It has been pouring rain here all day and the power has gone out 3 or 4 times already today.  It has made for an interesting brewing experience with candles — mood lighting?  Thankfully I have a gas stovetop, so I haven’t lost brewing ability.  We have a week of rain predicted for the area.  I’m hoping we don’t have significant power outages as primary needs to be controlled at 50 degrees and I need my wine fridge to be working consistently.

Since I’m lagering this batch, I’m not expecting to be able to truly know the outcome for close to 10 weeks.  If all goes well, I’ll post a detailed recipe.

More to come!

Published in: on January 18, 2010 at 9:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

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