What to do in a Blizzard? Make Snow Beer!
Yes, you read that right. 2 weeks ago we had a blizzard here in the north east which got me thinking; “Had anyone made beer from snow?” With no positive responses, I decided, what the hell lets give this a whirl. After a quick ph test, I found the snow and my normal brewing water was the same ph, so I gave it a shot.
Let me avoid the jokes right off the bat, I only used the snow that my dogs had peed on and I had written my name in!
Ok, with that said, since this was a spur of the moment brewing session I grabbed the first recipe I had the ingredients for, a Belgian Wit. Even though I had all the ingredients I wasn’t sure what kind of yeast to use since I didn’t have time to make a starter, but we’ll get to that later.
So, one of the “obvious” things I learned with this brew; it takes a lot of snow to make the water for this 5 gallon batch, about 35 gallons of snow. It also takes a long time to melt the snow, which turned this brew day into a long one. Not only did it make a long day, but I also needed to strain and filter the water to get out any particulates that may have been in there.
A small grain bill for this beer.
- 3.5 lbs Pale Wheat
- 3.5 lbs Pilsner
- 1 lbs Flaked Oats
Like the grist, the mash was straight forward, 152° for 60 minutes with 1.25 quarts of water per pound. Then a 170° fly sparge for 60 minutes.
- 2 oz French Strisselspalt @60 minutes (2.0%)
- 1 oz Bitter Orange @10 minutes
- 1 oz Coriander Seed @10 minutes
- 1 tsp yeast nutrient @10 minutes
After the 60 minute boil and the wort cooling, I still hadn’t decided on yeast. I had Belgian Wit yeast and Brettanomyces Bruxellensis. I decided to go with the Brett since I didn’t know what off flavors the snow would lend to the beer and I figured a sour funky beer could cover that up.
It is still under going active fermentation after 2 weeks and the krausen has just begun to fall.
Stay tuned for more updates.