First attempt to make lime mint juice

Waw, I can’t believe it’s almost two months ago I wrote something on my blog. The reason is quite simple though. I have been travelling quite a lot for work and I have taken some really nice holidays. Especially the holidays were very relaxing as I tried not to use the social media for once. I almost succeeded ;-).

That said, it’s time to pick up my weekly attempts to make some fresh juices. One of the juices I have been looking forward to is to make lime mint juice. The first time I tried this was in Qatar when my husband and me were on holiday there. My husband has been living there before and always remembered these juices as being so fresh on a hot day. As we have really summer weather at the moment (almost for three weeks in a row now!), it’s the perfect occasion to get a grip on this delicious juice mix.

I have also been waiting until our mint would start for real in our garden. With the warm sun, the mint has been going crazy in our garden the last two weeks, so I could pick some fresh mint leaves.

Needed for the juice:

– limes

– loads of fresh mint

– sugar (preferably cane sugar)

How to make it?

I squeezed 9 limes in my old fashion juice press. This gave around 350 ml of fresh lime juice.

Then I poured the mint leaves in the lime juice and blended it with my regular soup blender.

After blending, I sieved the mint puree out of the juice.

The mint puree can still be used to make tea or something else.

I poured the lime mint juice in glasses and added some sparkling water.

To finish up, I added some regular white sugar, but cane sugar would be better. Then I put in a straw and a mint leave as decoration and happy days, the juice is ready to drink!

We tried the juice and it was delicious 😋. However, we had to add quite some sugar to have the right sweet-acid balance. Very good first try, but next time I should add less lime. I also wonder if making mint tea first and mixing that with the lime juice would help to accentuate the mint a bit better. That’s for next time :-).

Cheers!

Blondine – my new Belgian Blond

Some weeks ago I could feel the butterflies in my tummy, yes, spring is coming! And that means it’s time to brew some light summer beers. As I still want to perfect my Belgian Blond recipe, I decided to give that one a try again. Last time I brewed a Belgian Blond was together with the people from Brewparts (read more here Brewing at Brewparts). That beer was served on the 40 years birthday party of my husband last November and was very well appreciated by the people.

So I used a similar recipe, existing of pilsner malt, flakes oats instead of oat malt and some Cara blonde to elevate the caramel taste and color. I also added some cane sugar during the boil.

As hops I used Mittelfruh as that one gives a very clean bitterness. This time I also used some spices: bitter orange peel and coriander seeds.

My Braumeister is still doing an excellent job and I really love brewing with it.

It takes me around 5 hours to brew with it, perfect for a Saturday :-).

I mashed in at 50 degrees Celsius and used a two step mashing: 45 min at 65 degrees C and 25 min at 73 degrees C.

After mashing, I boiled the wort for 60 min with the hops.

After boiling, I whirlpooled the wort and then it cooled down to around 75 degrees C so I could put it on a fermentation bucket.

I left the wort in my fermentation closet to cool down overnight. The next day, I aerated the wort for about 30 min before adding the yeast. I used M47 Belgian Abbey yeast from Mangrove Jacks.

After 7 days of fermentation, I cooled the green beer down to 4-5 degrees Celsius before bottling it. After 3 days of cooling, mist of the yeast dropped to the bottom and I could bottle my beer.

I bottled half of the beer on bottles to referment and half of the beer I put on a keg.

The beer has been nicely fermenting further in the bottles and I tried the beer some days ago. The flavor is really like a Belgian Blond should be: spicy phenolic, fruity (banana) and with a clean soft bitterness. As I used quite some oats, the beer is quite hazy, but it gives a good body to the beer. I’m quite satisfied already with the outcome but will need to age the beer a bit more to see how it evolves.

I have sent this beer in for the DM i håndbryg (Danish National Home-brewing competition). Very exciting to hear their verdict!

Pineapple heaven

Nope, winter is definitely not over yet. But last weekend, my husband and me spent the time in Belgium to visit my family. And guess what, yes, we had 18 degrees Celsius on Sunday. It felt like another world, spring just felt like the best body lotion on your skin. The sun rays together with the good company just felt like heaven :-).

And that’s why my next juice tries to capture this feeling. Sun with an extra good feeling on top. And that is exactly what my pineapple heaven will give you. The smell of pina colada is not far away.

Ingredients:

– 1 pineapple

– 2 apples

– 1 pear

– 3 lemons

Needed:

– a juicer

How to make it:

Peel the pineapple and other fruits. Slice them in small pieces.

Heat the juice in a pan until boiling temperature and cool down to 75 degrees Celsius. Then pour into a glass bottle.

Enjoy the juice with some sparkling water and ice cubes.

As I did not use the whole pineapple, I used the rest to make a dessert.

Just heat some chocolate and mix with some cream. Pour over the left over pineapple pieces and enjoy this easy but wonderful dessert.

Smakelijk!!

Vitamine boost drink

It is almost spring, but when looking outside it seems winter wants to give it a last go here in Denmark.

As many of my friends and colleagues have been dealing with the flu, here a nice recipe to get some vitamine boost … a juice with only fruits and mainly citrus fruits.

And some ginger of course, my most liked ingredient in juices.

Ingredients:

– 3 mandarins

– 2 limes

– 3 apples

– 1 ginger root

Needed:

– slow juicer or centrifugal juicer

How to make it?

Peel all fruits and cut them in small pieces.

Juice all pieces and heat the juice up to boiling temperature.

Cool down to 75 degrees Celsius and put in a glass bottle.

Pour the juice in 2 glasses and enjoy some freshly squeezed vitamins :-)!

Apple citrus kiwi ginger heaven

As I have been travelling a lot, my juicer has been standing still for a while. However, last week I made a very nice fruit drink with ginger. Apple combined with some citrus fruits and kiwi gives a very nice sweet sour balance, combined with ginger to give it that spicy edge I love so much.

Ingredients:

– 3 apples

– 1 orange

– 4 limes

– 1 lemon

– 1 ginger

– 2 kiwis

Needed:

– juicer (I used my slow juicer)

How to make it?

Peel all fruits and the ginger and cut them in small pieces.

Juice everything in your juicer. Heat the juice up in a pot until boiling temperature. Boil for 5 min to sterilize the juice.

Cool down and put in a glass bottle to keep in the fridge.

Pour the juice in a glass and add some sparkling water to finish.

Enjoy! Some sunshine heaven in a glass 🙂

Barley Trouble – a crazy Barley Wine recipe

A month ago I was invited by a friend to do a home brew together. He has a Grainfather and I have a Braumeister and it would be fun to make two home-brews together, meanwhile comparing our systems. So I decided to try an earlier Barley Wine recipe again. This recipe failed the first time, as I tried a double mash in my old system, which completely clogged up the pump. However, I was sure the Braumeister would be able to handle it.

My first recipe turned out well by the way, as I loaded whatever brew came out with loads of hops. I also refermented with a Brettanomyces yeast, which yielded 43 out of 50 points at the DM i Håndbryg competition in 2016. Not too bad at all after all.

So I decided to use the same grain bill with 6 different malts: pale malt, crystal malt, rye malt, Cara aroma, oat malt, melanoidin and biscuit malt. Quite complicated, but loaded with flavor.

As I wanted to perform a double mash, I started on Saturday afternoon with the first mash. Therefore, I used half of the malt.

The color was already quite dark but I sparged with 8 liter of water, to have enough to use this first wort as mashing water for the next brew.

The next day, on Sunday, the time was there to do some real home-brewing and some comparison between Grainfather and Braumeister.

My friend decided to brew an out meal stout. As I never tried that, I was quite curious to see how that would turn out.

After boiling, the color was definitely much darker than my barley wine. The glass to the left is my barley wine, the one to the right is the out meal stout.

It is quite more fun to brew with a friend than just on my own. Especially when some good beers are served. We tried a Petrus Aged Red, a sour ale with cherries aged on barrel. The beer was very smooth, slightly sour but well balanced. The cherry flavor was prominent, but not too much.

After mashing, it was time to get the malt out and start boiling. This time I didn’t sparge, to make sure a high alcohol level could be achieved.

The boil went really well and as I wanted to make an American Barley Wine, I added Nelson Sauvin hops as bitter and aroma hops.

After a wonderful dinner, it was time to head home to get the Barley Wine some yeast to ferment. I used WLP001, California Ale to ferment, as this yeast has a neutral flavor profile and ferments to quite high alcohol content.

As I wanted to experiment with dry hopping and adding some whiskey drained French oak chips, I divided the brew in two and fermented them separately.

In the top one I added medium roasted French oak chips that were soaked in whiskey for two weeks when the fermentation was almost completed (after 2,5 weeks).

In the lower one I added Mosaic hops as dry hopping at the end of fermentation. Both buckets fermented for at least 1-2 weeks further and now the one with dry hopping is down to a density of 1026. The taste is already amazing!

Yesterday I have put the 8 liter of Barley Wine that I dry hopped on a keg to be carbonated.

Now the CO2 needs to do the job and then I can hopefully bottle this first version of Barley Trouble next weekend! It takes time to make a Barley Wine, but if the result is great, I don’t mind to put the time in it as it is fun to experiment!

My honey cider – ready to be enjoyed

Last month I described how I made two types of cider (Cider made with special yeast). One with only apples and the other one with added honey.

After the yeast had been settled, I chilled both ciders. The honey cider was put on a keg, with the idea of force carbonating it. With this technique you force carbon dioxide into the cider without having to referment it. In this way you get a very fine sparkling cider without sediments in the bottle.

After one week of carbonation at fridge temperature, it was time to bottle my cider. I used my beer gun to bottle the sparkling cider.

I tried my beer gun now several times and am very happy with it. It works well and it is very easy to use once you know how to put it together. I also learned to over carbonate my beers or cider as you do loose some CO2 while bottling.

I used my beer gun to bottle the 18 liter of honey cider.

It was not so easy to find the right bottles, as I like white glass bottles for cider. However, they also have to withstand pressure. I found some bottles with a patent prop, and they work fine for cider.

After filling all bottles, I was happy that my first honey cider tasted very balanced. The flavor is a mix between apples and flowers and the taste is dry, but with full body and a hint of sweetness. Definitely the best cider recipe I have made so far :-).

Pomelo mixed drink

Before I went off to Singapore for a business trip, I made another freshly squeezed juice drink. As I feel that I need more vitamin C in winter, I decided to make a juice with Pomelo, which is a huge grapefruit variety.

The pomelo has quite a thick peel and the fruit itself is harder than a normal grapefruit. However, the taste is more sweet and not so bitter.

I used the pomelo for my next drink and used following fruits to blend it with:

Ingredients:

– 1 pomelo

– 3-4 kiwis

– 2-3 apples

– 1 lime

– 1 lemon

– ginger

Needed:

– slow juicer or centrifugal juicer

How to make it?

Peel and slice all fruits. Make sure to have small pieces as it is not so easy to juice citrus fruits in a slow juicer. Alternatively you can also juice the citrus fruits with a citrus press.

Juice everything and put in bottles. This time I didn’t boil the juice and that resulted in less hot ginger taste than the juices I made before.

The juice has a nice green color and tasted delicious. Kiwi, citrus, apple and ginger are a match made in heaven!

If you are joining ‘Tournee minerale’ in Belgium, this is a good alcoholfree alternative drink!

Cheers 😊!

Beetroot citrus drink

Another veggie drink for week 4, but with beetroot. Beetroot is a very thankful vegetable to make juice of. I was surprised to see how much juice you get from just 1.5 kg of beetroot. However, as it tastes very earthy and sweet, I have added some citrus fruit (lemon and orange) to balance the flavor and sweetness.

Ingredients:

– 1,5 kg beetroot

– 3 lemons

– 1 orange

Needed:

– slow juicer

How to make it?

Peel the beetroot, orange and lemons and cut them in small pieces.

Juice everything in your slow juicer. Put the juice in a pot to heat up to boiling temperature. Just look at the amazing color!

Let it boil for another minute and cool down to around 75 degrees Celsius before filling it in a glass bottle.

Pour the drink in two glasses and add some sparkling water on top.

The juice tastes very nice, but might still be a bit too earthy as it was quite a big amount of beetroot. I would recommend to add less beetroot and maybe 1 lemon more. Something to play with. However, beetroot is very healthy and the drink looks almost like a cocktail :-)!

I’ll have to give the beetroot another try soon, but was already pleased with the first try!

Carrot ginger drink

After two delicious summer drinks with ginger, it is time to try adding some vegetables to my alternative juice drinks. As a first one, I opted for adding carrots, as it is an easy veggie to juice, gives a nice sweet taste and the color is very pleasant. This is another drink with ginger, as I just love the taste of it. Ginger should also help against a cold, so that is perfect in winter time.

Ingredients:

– 500 g of carrots

– 1 apple

– 2 ginger roots

– 2 lime

Needed:

– slow juicer

How to make it?

Peel all the fruit, carrots and ginger. Cut everything in small pieces. Put everything through the juicer. The carrots contain a good amount of juice and you can check the quality of your juicer on the dryness of the leftover pieces coming out at the other end of your juicer.

Add the juice in a pot to heat it. The color is so lovely.

After cooling down the juice to around 75 degrees Celsius, bottle the juice and store cold.

Enjoy the juice with ice cubes and sparkling water. The taste of ginger is quite overpowering and the carrots add to the sweetness. A perfect way to ‘hide’ some veggies in a drink without tasting it ;-).

Cheers!