Homebrewing at Solemn Oath | Chicago Beer Geeks

Homebrewing at Solemn Oath

It was a warm Sunday morning in Naperville as we hit the road to 1661 Quincy Ave. We were fighting the church traffic, but this week our Sunday school was at Solemn Oath Brewery. The topic was all-grain homebrewing and the teacher was Solemn Oath assistant brewer/beer blogger, Paul Schneider.

Paul (photo by Caitlin Sullivan)

My fiancée and I have been wanting to jump from extract to all-grain and we’ve wanted to visit Solemn Oath ever since we tried their beers at Beer Under Glass earlier this year, so this event was perfect for us. The class was two hours long, focusing only on the steps prior to boiling the wort (milling, mashing, and lautering). We arrived at the brewery shortly before 11:00 AM and gathered round with the other attendees. There looked to be about 20 people in attendance.

After Paul introduced himself to the group, we checked in with the bartender and received one of our two complimentary beers. I opted for Snaggletooth Bandana (American IPA). They were also offering Yarnbomb (Cascadian Hefeweizen) and E-Ville (American Brown Ale). This was my first time trying Snaggletooth Bandana, but the citrusy IPA was great for a warm summer day. I’ve only had a handful of their beers, but I’d say that so far Snaggletooth Bandana is my favorite beer in the Solemn Oath lineup.

The Grains

 

After we got our drinks, the lesson began. First, Paul passed out the recipe for the day’s brew: a homebrew version of Solemn Oath’s Whisper Kisses (Saison). We did a quick run-through of the ingredients and passed around samples of the malts that were going into the mash. After that, we began heating the strike water for the mash and milling the grain. Paul discussed how the temperature of the strike water can affect the sweetness of the mash, with higher water temperature leading to a sweet mash.

Milling the Grain

Once the strike water reached the desired temperature, the water and the milled grain were added to the mash tun, which in this case was a modified Rubbermaid insulated cooler fitted with a false bottom. The mash sat for about 25 minutes while we enjoyed our second beer break of the day. I should have tried another beer but the Snaggletooth Bandana was too good to resist.

Draining the Wort (photo by Caitlin Sullivan)

 Next, the mash was recirculated by draining the mash tun and carefully pouring the liquid back into the cooler. Basically, pouring the wort back into the mash tun clarifies the liquid by using the grain as a filter.

Recirculating

After recirculating the grain, we had to sparge the grain. Sparging involves rinsing the grains with water to pull out more sugars. Water temperature is very important to this step. Paul mentioned that you want to keep the temperature below 170° to avoid leaching tannins. For this batch, water was slowly and continuously added until the sparge was complete. While waiting for the sparge to finish, we went on a quick tour of the brewery and had a short Q&A session. Once the sparge finished, the wort was ready for the boil and class was officially over.

Preparing to Sparge (photo by Caitlin Sullivan)

Overall, it was a great time. Paul was very informative while also encouraging all attendees to participate. The beer on tap was refreshing, especially on a hot summer day. Even though you can get their beers in Chicago, Solemn Oath is worth making the trek to Naperville to visit the brewery. Also, if you are interested in getting schooled in the ways of all-grain homebrew, they have another class upcoming on August 19th.

Taking the Tour (photo by Caitlin Sullivan)

 

(Photos by Oscar, unless otherwise stated)


Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Current day month ye@r *

Random Posts

  • Facebook Fan Page

  • Upcoming Events

    Jul
    24
    Thu
    6:00 pm Ciders and Sliders and Sci Fi Oh MY @ Jerrys Wicker Park
    Ciders and Sliders and Sci Fi Oh MY @ Jerrys Wicker Park
    Jul 24 @ 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm
    Ciders and Sliders and Sci Fi Oh MY @ Jerrys Wicker Park | Fairfield | Montana | United States
    Beam yourself over for an evening with Vander Mill cider, science fiction movies on the big screen, and small sammies. Live late music from Miss Sixty Six. Possible real live angel sighting from Angel’s Envy...
    Jul
    25
    Fri
    8:00 pm Period Panties Launch Party @ Chop Shop
    Period Panties Launch Party @ Chop Shop
    Jul 25 @ 8:00 pm – 11:45 pm
    Period Panties Launch Party @ Chop Shop | Chicago | Illinois | United States
      ATTN: MUST BE 21 OR OLDER TO ATTEND! IDs WILL BE CHECKED AT THE DOOR! Good for admission to the Period Panties Launch Party, held July 25th, 2014, 8pm, at Chop Shop’s 1st Ward...
    Jul
    27
    Sun
    12:00 pm Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across A... @ Navy Pier Chicago
    Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across A... @ Navy Pier Chicago
    Jul 27 @ 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm
    Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across America @ Navy Pier Chicago | Chicago | Illinois | United States
    Along with our 12 collaboration brewers, we’ve invited every craft brewer from these states to serve their beers at the Midwest Edition: WI, MN, IL, MI, IA, MO, IN, OH and KY—more than 600! See...
    Aug
    2
    Sat
    12:30 pm Highwood Craft Beer Festival @ Everts Park
    Highwood Craft Beer Festival @ Everts Park
    Aug 2 @ 12:30 pm – 4:30 pm
    Highwood Craft Beer Festival @ Everts Park | Highwood | Illinois | United States
    Everts Park   Saturday, August 2 , 2014  GA 12:30PM-4:30 PM, VIP – 11:30AM to 4:30 PM  40 Breweries, 80 Different Craft Beers to Sample Music by:  Draft Week & King By Friday A portion of the proceeds...
    2:00 pm Old Irving Park Beer and BBQ Cha...
    Old Irving Park Beer and BBQ Cha...
    Aug 2 @ 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
    Old Irving Park Beer and BBQ Challenge @ Chicago | Illinois | United States
      St. Viator presents… 1st Annual Old Irving Park Beer & BBQ Challenge 10 Cook & Local Craft Brewer teams will be presenting unique BBQ pork & beer pairings + an additional beer style from...
    Aug
    17
    Sun
    12:00 pm Chicago Brewers Bean Bag Champio... @ Slapshot Brewing Company
    Chicago Brewers Bean Bag Champio... @ Slapshot Brewing Company
    Aug 17 @ 12:00 pm – 7:00 pm
    Chicago Brewers Bean Bag Championship Of The World @ Slapshot Brewing Company | Chicago | Illinois | United States
    Come out to SlapShot for the day and relax. There will be a bean bag tournament, so bring your A game. We’ll have various sections of pig on the smoker and grills going with brats...
    Sep
    12
    Fri
    6:00 pm 8th Annual Chicago Festiv-Ale @ Carmichaels Steakhouse
    8th Annual Chicago Festiv-Ale @ Carmichaels Steakhouse
    Sep 12 @ 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm
    8th Annual Chicago Festiv-Ale @ Carmichaels Steakhouse  | Chicago | Illinois | United States
    TICKETS ON SALE NOW! A showcase of craft beers for beer lovers by beer lovers to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Festiv-Ale will take place Friday, Sept 12, 2014 // Post by Chicago Festiv-Ale.  ...

    View Calendar

  • Tag Cloud

  • Archives