The Bacon Beer Challenge – Greasy Pig Brown Ale

So a couple weeks ago fellow homebrewer and IronBrewer participant Scott Stroh (aka @corosis) threw down a public challenge of a mini IronBrewer.  How could I say no to that?

After a couple tweets back and forth it was on!

A couple tweets after that we had roped a couple other homebrewers into our bacon challenge.  With myself, Scott, Billy Broas (@billybroas), Joe Postma (@JoePostma), and Jamey Barlow (@BarlowBrewing) this is going to be a crazy tough brew with some seriously stiff competition!

For this brew I actually decided to use bacon grease in the brown ale lending to it’s name, the Greasy Pig Brown Ale.  The smell of the beer while in the boil was friggin’ amazing.  My garage was overtaken by the ludicrous smell of fresh cooked bacon.  I still haven’t decided if I’m got to “Dry Pork” the beer. (Stealing Jamey’s phrase).  Going to try the beer again in two weeks to see if it needs more bacon before I carb it.  We are all going to be tasting the beer in feb; so I have a couple more weeks for it to settle in the corney before I decide what to do.

Now if you’ve been brewing beer for awhile, you’ll know that my main ingredient is the probably one of the worst things you can do to a beer.  Oil, or in this case grease, will destroy a beer.  It will kill the head retention and make the beer feel slick.  Yet, I did it any way.  In order to get around the beer killer problems, I lagered my beer before I fermented it.  Taking out the beer from under the grease that had solidified on top, then fermented it as normal.

Here is my recipe:

10 lbs                Pale Malt, Maris Otter (3.00 SRM)        Grain
1 lbs 8.0 oz          Caramel/Crystal Malt - 40L (40.00 SRM)   Grain
12.0 oz               Chocolate Malt (350.00 SRM)              Grain
1 lbs 4.0 oz          Carafoam (2.00 SRM)                      Grain
8.0 oz                Biscuit Malt (23.00 SRM)                 Grain
0.80 oz               Magnum [14.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min         Hop  14.6 IBUs
1.00 oz               Willamette [5.50 %] - Boil 15.0 min      Hop  3.6 IBUs
1.00 oz               Willamette [5.50 %] - Boil 5.0 min       Hop  1.4 IBUs
1.0 pkg               Safale American  (DCL/Fermentis #US-05)  Yeast
10.00 Items           fermcap (Boil 60.0 mins)                 Other
1.00 tbsp             PH 5.2 Stabilizer (Mash 60.0 mins)       Water Agent
1.00 Items            Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 mins)        Fining
1.00 pt               Bacon Grease (Boil 10.0 mins)            Flavor             

Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Medium Body
Total Grain Weight: 14 lbs
Name                Description                       Step Temperat Step Time
Mash In             Add 4.88 gal of water at 164.7 F  154.0 F       60 min
Mash out            Add 0.03 gal of water and heat to 168.0 F       10 min

2 Responses to “The Bacon Beer Challenge – Greasy Pig Brown Ale”

  1. andrew Says:

    Wondering how this came out? I was going to try this technique with half of a maple wheat weizenbock I’ve made in the past.

    My theory was to cook off the bacon, and add both the cooked bacon and grease to the end of the boil and then doing the pre-lager technique to remove the fat.

  2. Simply Beer Says:

    This came out great, but I’m going to up the bacon grease to 2-3c from 1. But the lager technique is critical to get rid of the oils.

    Good luck!

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