The featured beer painting of the day is of High Five Hefe by Iron Horse Brewery in Ellensburg, Washington. I have been home-brewing a ginger honey ale since 2005, and it has been “hands down” the most popular beer I have ever made. I even featured it in the Year of Beer as my sister’s wedding ale. So when I saw this beer on the store shelf, I had to buy it so I could compare it to my homebrew. This hefe was really good, but I think it was too heavy on the honey flavor, and I didn’t notice any ginger at all. The ginger is my favorite part in my homebrew, which I call the Drippy Hippy. Here is a recipe for a five-gallon, malt extract batch:
Drippy Hippy, Honey Gingered Ale (invented by Scott Clendaniel and Nick Pugmire)
5 lbs pale malt extract
2 lbs Clover honey
1 oz Centennial hops
1 oz Cascade hops
4 oz fresh peeled Ginger root, cubed into ½ inch pieces
California Ale yeast
Make a starter for the California Ale yeast a few days in advance to make sure you have plenty of cell count for the pitching.
Heat the water to boiling, add the malt extract and honey (if you are bold, you can add the honey during cool down at 160 degrees). Bring back to boil.
Make five piles of hops. The first three of Cascade and the last two of Centennial.
Add one pile every 15 minutes. If using whole cone hops use hop bags, if using pellets toss ‘em in directly. The last hop addition should only hit the boiling water for one or two minutes.
After the hops have all been added, remove from heat.
Add the ginger.
Allow the wort to cool slowly without a wort chiller. Leave all the hops and ginger in the wort until it cools to around 80 or 90 degrees. This should take a few hours. This is important for getting the right ginger extraction.
Transfer to the fermenter. Wait until the wort cools down to 65-70 degrees, depending upon your indoor temperature. Pitch the yeast.
Ferment for a week and rack to secondary.
Ferment two more weeks, take gravity reading, it should be done.
Rack into keg, or bottle with ¾ cups powdered malt extract as the krausening sugar. I prefer the taste of beer bottled with DME (dry malt extract) over corn sugar. One of the reasons people notice a homebrew taste is because of the corn sugar in the bottles, especially if the bottles are not sterile. I double cleanse each bottle first with One Step using a brush, then with Iodaphor to rinse. Then I rise again with clean water.
Now that was the secret recipe for making the Drippy Hippy, Honey Gingered Ale. The ginger flavor will knock your hat in the creek!
Cheers to High Five Hefe, the beer that got me thinking about my homebrew. High five to honey and ginger beer!