Birch Beer: The Off-Gridders National Beverage

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I just lost my homebrewing virginity to a tall, dark carboy of Birch Beer.  How do you make Birch Beer?  We don’t really know for sure, but you can check out our maiden voyage here:

Ok, it’s so simple, if you know of a lonely birch tree in your neighbourhood, you gotta try this:

How to Collect Sap from a Birch Tree:

First off, it must be collected in the spring.  Just put a hole in the tree and put a bucket under the hole.  You can read all about it here.

collecting birch sap

How to make Birch Beer from Birch sap:

  • Render down the sap so that it thickens up (don’t boil it, it will taste burnt).  We started with about 75 litres and ended up with 15 litres (this took a couple days sitting on the wood stove, adding more fresh sap each day).
  • Measure Specific Gravity (SG) with your hydrometer.  Ours was around 1.022, this would make very weak beer.  We added 800 grams of honey and the new SG was 1.038 (this should make beer around 5%).

how to make birch beer

  • Add a package of sparkling wine yeast (EC-1118) and place the whole batch in a carboy with stopper and airlock.
  • Enjoy the bubbling sounds from the airlock for the next 3-4 weeks (until it stops bubbling and gets clear).

how to make birch beer

  • Almost ready to bottle.  We racked it (siphoned) into a stainless pot and left the dead yeast bodies (the Lees) behind.  Add 90 grams (or maybe a bit more) of sugar (so that it will continue fermenting a little bit in the bottle to make it bubbly).  Fill bottles.

how to make birch beer

  • Wait at least 3-4 days for it to carbonate.

How to enjoy:

how to make birch beer

Love homebrewing? You gotta check out Beer for Children!

I’d like to thank Emma Hughes for posting her birch beer recipe at Miscellaneous Adventures, it pushed me over the edge and solidified my deep need for home made birch beer.

Ever made Birch Beer? Like this homebrew love story?  Tell us about it, like it and share it with even your remotest of acquaintances.  Already know how to make birch beer and you can tell we are a couple hacks? Hate beer and what it does to your belly? Then I recommend you expose us, and this low-carb post, with repeated facebook shamings.

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Beer for Children: Pint Sized Pint Consumers

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The kids don’t have to stand on the sidelines any longer while you build a brew!  No, they don’t, there is Beer for Children!  Yep, exciting as any home brew, but way faster and for those concerned, less complicated and less intoxicating.  It is, to the delight of pint sized pint consumers, super fizzy!

Check out this bottle bursting brew:

I just started my first batch of birch beer and was so pumped about it I had to find a way to get the little people involved.  The ginger beer and apple cider was so easy to make and so yummy and so fun for the kids I had to share it with you.

Beer for Children

What do I need:

The ginger beer consisted of some grated ginger and sugar and sparkling wine yeast.  The apple cider was pure apple juice and yeast.  Thats it.  We have made the ginger beer with honey instead of sugar and I think it was better.  You’ll need a sealable bottle to put it in, plastic is probably a little safer than glass if you’re into safety.

What do I do:

Warm up the water, add the ginger and the sugar and the yeast.  Or, warm up the apple juice and add the yeast.  Cap the bottle, sit it on the counter and watch it bubble and foam all day long.  Just before it explodes, chill it in the fridge and serve when cold.  If it’s in a plastic bottle it should not be a problem to predict its explosion point by palpating the bottle.  Seriously, it’s that easy. The yeast is the only kind-of tricky part, you can buy it in little packages at the ubrew or at some grocery stores.

Beer for Children

Beer for Children research:

We installed a pressure gauge on our bottle of ginger beer and it reached 22psi within 10 hours.  After placing in the fridge overnight, the pressure decreased a little to about 20psi. It turns out that 22psi is a little more than sufficient.  After opening and re-sealing the bottle a number of times over a couple days, the pressure sat closer to 10psi which was perfect.

Will my child get a red nose and will I go to jail?

That would be funny, but no. After just a day or two no significant amount of alcohol is generated, just a lot of CO2.  In fact, keeping this brew in a sealed container is a built in safety mechanism, the bottle will explode before the beer ever reaches an intoxicating level of alcohol. They will love the whole process and the fizzy product..

Beer for Children

Tell us what you thought of Beer for Children. Try out one of the fancy new “feelings”, or leave us a comment. Even better, subscribe, for weekly offgrid adventures, emailed right to your doorstep.

Have you checked out Jalapeno and Cheddar Smokies?  They go great with ginger beer.

Think we should go to jail for letting our kids make their own beer? Share this post with all your FB friends to show them how irresponsible we are, that’ll teach us!

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