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White House Honey Ale Recipe: The Delicious Details

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By Brittany Lyte, Revmodo.com

The President of the United States likes his beer — so much so that he’s instituted the first-ever home brewery at the White House. Drawing on the first ever presidential beehive on the South Lawn for its fresh, signature flavor, Obama’s kitchen staff last year started serving up a golden honey ale and a dark honey porter.

The honey gives the beer a rich flavor, but doesn’t sweeten it, according to the master brewer.

The president began making the first alcohol ever brewed on White House grounds in 2011 after buying a home brewing kit. Obama — who famously hosted a White House beer summit in 2009 to help diffuse racial tensions between Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. and a Cambridge, Mass. police officer who arrested him — first served his homemade beer, a honey ale, to guests at their Super Bowl party in March 2011.

“To be honest, we were surprised that the beer turned out so well since none of us had brewed beer before,” White House Chef Sam Kass said in a blog post. “As far as we know the White House Honey Brown Ale is the first alcohol brewed or distilled on the White House grounds. George Washington brewed beer and distilled whiskey at Mount Vernon and Thomas Jefferson made wine but there’s no evidence that any beer has been brewed in the White House.”

A behind-the-scenes video released (see below) by the White House Saturday shows the kitchen staff brewing and bottling the beer.

The White House kitchen staff has since released the recipes for the two brews so Americans everywhere can drink as the president would.

The recipe for White House Honey Ale is below.

WHITE HOUSE HONEY ALE

Ingredients

  • 2 (3.3 lb) cans light malt extract
  • 1 lb light dried malt extract
  • 12 oz crushed amber crystal malt
  • 8 oz Biscuit Malt
  • 1 lb White House Honey
  • 1 1/2 oz Kent Goldings Hop Pellets
  • 1 1/2 oz Fuggles Hop pellets
  • 2 tsp gypsum
  • 1 pkg Windsor dry ale yeast
  • 3/4 cup corn sugar for priming

Directions

  1. In an 12 qt pot, steep the grains in a hop bag in 1 1/2 gallons of sterile water at 155 degrees for half an hour. Remove the grains.
  2. Add the 2 cans of the malt extract and the dried extract and bring to a boil.
  3. For the first flavoring, add the 1 1/2 oz Kent Goldings and 2 tsp of gypsum. Boil for 45 minutes.
  4. For the second flavoring, add the 1/2 oz Fuggles hop pellets at the last minute of the boil.
  5. Add the honey and boil for 5 more minutes.
  6. Add 2 gallons chilled sterile water into the primary fermenter and add the hot wort into it. Top with more water to total 5 gallons. There is no need to strain.
  7. Pitch yeast when wort temperature is between 70-80?. Fill airlock halfway with water.
  8. Ferment at 68-72? for about seven days.
  9. Rack to a secondary fermenter after five days and ferment for 14 more days.
  10. To bottle, dissolve the corn sugar into 2 pints of boiling water for 15 minutes. Pour the mixture into an empty bottling bucket. Siphon the beer from the fermenter over it. Distribute priming sugar evenly. Siphon into bottles and cap. Let sit for 2 to 3 weeks at 75?.
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