homebrew and breakcore

Son of Man (gluten free graf)


It dawned on me that a cider based beverage that was not gluten free was somewhat wrong by the justice of world. After the success of the first graf, I made it a goal to devise a recipe that eschewed the use of any gluten malts.

Son Of Man. gluten free French style graf

12.3ºp SG
1ºp FG
6% abv
8 ibus
23 litres

12 litres Cider (10.8ºp~)
210g Demerara Sugar
100g black strap Molasses
1.5kg Briess White Sorghum Syrup

14.25g 3.8%aa French Aramis 90 minutes 6 ibus
14.25g 3.8%aa French Aramis 10 minutes 2 ibus

Yeast Nutrient 15 minutes

Danstar Belle Saison 11g

Bring11 litres to a boil. Add Sorghum, Sugar, and Molasses. Add hops when indicated. Adjust final volume for 11 litres @ 14.1ºp. Cool, and combine with cider in a 23l (6g) carboy. Aerate, and pitch yeast. Ferment at 21c - 25c. Bottle for 3 volumes.


Though there are better yeast strains—wlp072 for example—liquid yeast is not gluten free. Granted the ppm of gluten in the resulting graf would be next to zero, it is best to play it safe.

All-Grain Graf


A few months ago I stumbled across episode 68 of brewing tv, and subsequently the originating thread on homebrewtalk. From there it went further down the rabbit hole through reddit, and youtube. Graf (or Graff) is a slightly malty hopped cider, inspired by a beverage of the same name from the Stephen King’s Dark Tower series. Fanfic homebrew. I have not read the books, but graf piqued my interest. I thought it was an ingenious way of providing a degree of control over a cider fermentation to a homebrewer. On a commercial scale, cider manufacturers have many ways of controlling the terminal gravity of their ciders. Be it dry, semi-sweet, sweet, or whatever their market research department deems appropriate. On a homebrew scale, it is a bit of a crapshoot. One could carefully monitor the fermentation, stopping fermentation at the desired gravity with sulfites, then force carbonate in keg. This method pretty much requires you to not have a job or sleep, and a kegerator. Another method would be backsweetening after terminal gravity has been reached. Though if you are bottle conditioning, you are limited to using complex sugars which the yeast can not ferment, e.x. lactose, stevia, splenda, maltodextrin. Which I have read can lend off-flavours to the cider. From there there are other methods such as keeving, where nutrients are removed from the cider slowing fermentation down to a crawl. Not impossible on a homebrew scale, but a daunty task none the less.

Because your standard sacchromyces cerevisae is unable to ferment longer chain dextrinous sugars in the malt, by favouring alpha-amylase in the mash you can control the final gravity of the cider by the cider:grist ratio and the mash temperature. If all goes according to plan, the result will be a slightly malty hopped cider, or a graf.

English Mild Cider

7 ibus
23 litres
70% bhe

15 litres apple cider (10.8ºp~)
450g (1#) wheat malt
560g (1.25#) amber malt
270g (.66#) dark crystal 150l malt
230g (.5#) chocolate malt

8.5g 4.7%aa East Kent Golding 90 minutes 4 ibus
20g 4.7%aa East Kent Golding 10 minutes 3 ibus
28.5g 4.7%aa East Kent Golding 7 days dry hop in secondary

whirlfloc 1 tablet 15 minutes
yeast nutrient 15 minutes

1 packet Fermentis S-04 11g


  1. Heat 4 litres of dechlorinated water on the stove to the appropriate mash temperature to achieve a mash temperature of 70c. Best to undershoot, as raising the temperature is relatively easy with the stove top.
  2. Put grains in BIAB/paint strainer bag, and steep in strike water until conversion. If your oven goes down low enough, place the mash pot in the oven at 70c to help maintain temperature.
  3. Remove mash bag from liquid, and place aside. In another pot heat 4.6 litres to 76c. Steep mash bag in water to extract residual sugars
  4. Combine first, and second pots for total volume of 8 litres, with an estimated starting gravity of 9.6ºp. Depending on how efficient is your stove top, you may want to adjust starting volume to compensate for the boil off. I had no idea what I would boil off in 90 minutes, so I decided to adjust the volume post-boil. Boil wort, and add hops, and additionals when indicated. 
  5. Cool the wort, and combine with the cider in a clean 23l (6g) carboy. Aereate, and pitch yeast. Ferment at 18-20c.
  6. When airlock activity ceases, rack to secondary and dry hop for one week. From there bottle, or keg as desired.


The hop variety is not particularly important, the only thing to pay attention to is the alpha acids. Any variety below 5%aa should be fine. The goal is to moderately offset the residual sweetness, not have a hop bomb. Leave making an ICPA for another time.
Yeast strain is also not particularly important, something English would be most appropriate but an American strain would be just fine.

The graf does benefit from a bit of age. It is a tad harsh out of the gate. A week in the fridge after priming does the drink wonders.

Do The Ginger Bug


Upon one of my latest travels through the internets. I came across what is referred to as the ginger beer plant. Used for the traditional production of ginger beer (go figure), GBP is a composite organism consisting of Saccharomyces florentinus, and Lactobacillus hilgardii.

I had never heard of either organism, and them internets didn’t pony up much data. So, for science I decided it was my duty to attempt to cultivate said organisms.

The information that does exist about growing a GBP is unfortunately for the most part written by hippies. Generally very nice people, but have the habit of making OCPD brewers like myself cringe with the lack of reliable information. As an aside, I would like to say: hippies, the scientific method is your friend. Do not fear the method. It is a tool, not an ideology. At the very least, please list your ingredients in weight rather than in volume. If you don’t own a gram scale, you probably have a friend that does.

Using a recipe for a GBP starter taken from Wellness Mama, I extrapolated a 25ºp solution was built up over the course of a few days. The reason I assume for the stepped additions is due to the low nutrient environment for organism growth. I figured rather than waste time feeding the starter over the next 5 days, I would jump the gun and provide those lil’ organisms the proper environment for healthy growth. That is right, cocksucking beer wort! None of this white sugar - water solution shit. More FAN than you can shake a shaking stick at. Working with approximately half the plato (11.8ºp), but four times the volume (1.89 l), 6 pieces of ginger seemed appropriate. Granted, the requirement of 6 pieces was generally pulled out of my ass due to the original recipe.

I FUCKEN HATE PSYTRANCE ginger bug starter

1.89 litres 11.8ºp wort

513g grated ginger


can florentinus and hilgardii ferment maltose. find out next time, same shat-channel same shat-time?

19.01.14 update

Transferred sterilized mason jar, and took gravity. FG 2ºp

experiment verdict: SUCCESS!

Flavour: ginger spice, yeast bite, and lemon. Which ought to be pretty obvious.

Relaxing smooth jazz for your listening pleasure

Augmented gorilla arm cat cyborg

Trap Rave Doom Drone Witch~y thing.

A song about HNTGAF.

Making Not Skyr

Years ago on a trip to Iceland, I became acquainted with an Icelandic food called Skyr. It is sort of like strained yogourt like labneh. Recently I was reading the wikipedia article on skyr, and noticed it is made with a variety of bacterias, one of them being Lactobacillius Delbruckii. Lactobacillius Delbruckii is present on malted barley, and is the chief ingredient in making sour mashes, and acidulated malt. Which got me to thinking, could I make a facsimile of skyr with malted barley? Figured it was worth a shot.

Yes, it indeed was 2235 when I did this. Was a Saturday too. Some people spend their Saturdays snorting coke, and getting herpes. I make cheese like substances. Here the low quality milk is being heated to 49c, which is the optimal temperature for lactobacillius growth.

Please ignore my dirty quarter-round. One cup of good ol’ malted 2 row barley from Canada Malting.

Glorious cheese cloth. Fuck is my floor ever dirty.

Once the temperature was reached, and the bundle of bacterial joy was added to the milk, it was now time for the rennet. Most cheese recipes call for a quarter or half a tablet. Fuck that. I am too lazy for that shit. Again, please ignore the random dirt on my counter.

ha! Success! The Delbruckii was able to produce enough acid to curdle the milk.

Allowing the final bit of whey to drip out of the curd.

Whatever I made turned alright. By far not skyr in any respect. Closer to your standard farmer’s cheese. The sour lemony tartness from the lactic acid definitely comes through. All in all, a worthwhile culinary experiment.

Fixed. theme by Andrew McCarthy