Posts Tagged ‘beverage’

Make Your Own Pumpkin Keg

October 24, 2012 3 comments

Easy DIY Pumpkin keg pours whatever you put in it, like your favorite pumpkin beer. Or try root beer, butter beer (Harry Potter cookbook) or apple cider for the kiddies! (photo by

What better way to serve a pumpkin beer – and a host of other fall beers and beverages – than in your own homemade pumpkin keg.  No fancy brewing equipment or extreme sanitation methods required…I promise! came up with this great tutorial for creating your Halloween party masterpiece.

This idea is not limited to just pumpkins.  I can’t wait to try it next summer using a watermelon.  Fill with your favorite watermelon lager, summer beer or beverage.

Serve your favorite summer beer or beverage in a watermelon keg!                                    (photo courtesy of

Visit for the written instructions and for other great party ideas.

Happy Halloween!  

Cheers Beers


Brew Your Own Hard Cider

September 8, 2012 4 comments

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Fall is a few weeks away and I have a fun and easy brewing project that’s perfect for this time of year.  It requires 3 ingredients, and about 15 minutes to mix and prep for fermentation.  In just 2 weeks, you’ll have delicious homemade hard cider to share with your family and friends.

Some important notes before you begin:

  1. Use apple cider with NO preservatives.  Preservatives will kill the yeast.
  2. If apple juice is the only ingredient, then you are good go.  Cloudy or unfiltered is good, and the fresher the better since it may contain wild yeast that will add to the flavor of your finished product.
  3. Yeast can be purchased at your local homebrew store or online from homebrew sites like Maryland Homebrew or Northern Brewer.
  4. This recipe makes a 5 gallon batch.  You can make smaller batches – use 1 cup of sugar per 1 gallon of cider.  However, you will need to adjust the amount of yeast required.
  5. Alcohol content will range from 5-7 ABVs.  Likely closer to 7 ABVs.  For big kiddies only!
  6. For best results, consider investing in some standard brewing equipment, especially if you plan to make this recipe again and again.  A standard carboy, a rubber stopper, an airlock (to keep oxygen out), a funnel, and a bottle of santizer.  All of these things can be purchased at your favorite homebrew store.
  7. Lastly, as with beer brewing, sanitation is of prime importance.  All equipment, including bottles or carboy and anything that touches the inside of the fermenting container should be sterilized or sanitized to ensure no unwanted bacteria mucks up your cider.  You can do this by adding an ounce of sanitizing liquid to a bucket and to the carboy and filling it with cold water.  Then soak all equipment several minutes (3-5) or spray it on with a spray bottle.  You can also boil or put in dish washer immediately beforehand to sterilize.  This step alone can make all the difference between success and disaster.

Homebrewed Hard Cider


  • 5 gallons apple cider, no preservatives – room temperature
  • 5 cups white granulated sugar
  • 1 vial yeast – room temperature
    Champagne yeast is good for drier cider, or use a British Ale Yeast for sweeter cider.


  • 1 5-gallon carboy, or 5 gallon container with airtight lid.  Sanitize or sterilize well before use!
  • 1 large funnel (santized!)
  • 1 airtight stopper for carboy, or lids or caps for other containers (santized!)
  • 1 airlock (if using carboy) (sanitized!)
  • 1 cup measuring cup (santized!)


  • Insert funnel into top of carboy.
  • Pour in 5 cups of sugar (add sugar before cider so it doesn’t stick in the funnel).
  • Pour in 1 gallon of cider.
  • Remove the funnel, lift the carboy, and swish it around really good to dissolve the sugar, set it down for a minute, then lift and swish again to ensure sugar is dissolved.
  • Add remaining 4 gallons of cider.
  • Rock the carboy to swish and mix the liquid.
  • Shake yeast well and add contents to cider.
  • Rock the carboy to swish and mix yeast with the cider and also to add lots of air into the liquid.  Do this for at least 1 minute to ensure all is well incorporated.
  • Add stopper and airlock (with water added, per instructions) to top of carboy.
  • Move carboy to a dark and cool location with consistent temperature, like a basement or crawl space.  Leave it for 2 weeks.
  • Check regularly to ensure the yeast are active and that gas is not building up too much in the carboy.  This could cause a bit of an explosion if left unattended.

Finished cider can be kegged and force carbonated, or bottled with a bit of sugar to naturally carbonate the cider.  Or drink it uncarbonated.

No matter how you drink it, it will be delicious and it will be brewed by you!

I’ll check back in two weeks with an update.  In the meantime, have you made hard cider before?  Tell us how it turned out and let us know if you have any advice.  If this if your first time, come back and let us know how your cider turned out.   And of course, send questions and comments.

There are also some great videos on YouTube (Check out HomeBrewRecipes) for more info and ideas.

Cheers beers!

Cozy Up with a Mug of Mulled Beer

December 10, 2011 8 comments

The holidays and cold weather call for warm spirits and cozying by the fire.  Mulled wine, irish coffees, spiced ciders are all well and good, but have you ever considered mulling beer?  Indeed…why not?

This idea requires an open mind, an adventurous spirit, and the courage to risk 12 oz of perfectly good beer.  So rather than endure reader backlash in case this recipe is a total disaster, I put my own beer on the line (actually, it’s the hubster’s subpar scotch ale which has been sitting in the keg since summer).

The recipe came from wikiHow, it’s been edited by almost a dozen contributors and has evolved substantially over the past 3 years.  So most of the kinks should have been worked out.  It’s also been visited by over 61,000 readers, and the countless comments of those who’ve tried it are very positive.  So here we go…

How to Make Mulled Beer

Posted on wikiHow at – Edited byGiM and 11 others

Ingredients at the ready!


  • 12-16 oz decent-quality beer (the contents of your average bottle or can of beer)
  • 1 pinch ground ginger, or 1 slice (sometimes called “coins”) of ginger 1/4″ long
  • 1/8-1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼-1/2 tsp cinnamon, or 1″ section of a cinnamon stick
  • 1 pinch ground cloves or 2-5 whole cloves
  • 2 tsp (10 grams) sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) honey

Temper the egg and stir rapidly as you slowly add the egg yolk.

Strain the floaties using a fine mesh strainer.


  • Put beer in a small saucepan and add spices.
  • Heat beer and spices in a small saucepan on low to medium-low heat. If the beer begins to boil, turn down the heat. The beer will begin to foam, but should subside after a minute or two.
  • Separate the egg white from the egg yolk and put in a small bowl. This recipe only uses the egg yolk.
  • Add two teaspoons of sugar to the egg yolk.
  • Beat the sugar and yolk with a whisk or fork until it becomes nearly white (it’s the hardest part!).
  • Optional but recommended – Temper the yolk mixture. To prevent “scrambling” the egg yolk mixture by the heat of the beer, you can temper the mixture by adding 1-2 tablespoon(s) of the hot beer to the yolk mixture very slowly and mixing thoroughly as the egg is being added.
  • Add the yolk mixture slowly to the warm beer and continue to heat for 5 minutes. Stir gently.
  • Add honey to taste.
  • Use a strainer (double mesh or cheese cloth) to sieve out the spices and any egg particles that may have formed.
  • Pour into steins or mugs and enjoy!

Tips and Variations

  • The types and amounts of spices listed above should be treated as a guideline. If you know you like lots of ginger, add more. If you’re more of a cinnamon fan, use more of that. Remember, add only a small amount at first. You can always add more spices, but you can’t remove them once they’ve been added.
  • Other ideas for spices may include orange peel, pieces of apple, a drop or two of vanilla or almond extract, different flavors of honey.
  • Experiment with different kinds of beer. Lagers, ales, stouts and IPAs will all yield different (and possibly tasty) results.

Surprise, surprise!  The results were actually very tasty.   Our final drink was creamy and coffee-like in appearance and the aroma reminded me of cinnamon-spiced applesauce.  There was no carbonation left, or alcohol for that matter – assuming it turned out as intended.  The drink was warm, sweet and spicy with a hint of malt flavor and a mild bitter aftertaste.  Something different to try on a cold winter’s day.  In fact, whip up a batch in the crock pot for your next holiday bash.  It’s a great way to use up that substandard beer that’s been sitting around the house since June, and no doubt it will be the talk of the party.  Oh, and do come back and share your comments!

Happy Holidays and Cheers Beers!

Beer Margaritas – Semi Homemade, Super Tasty

I’m not usually into cocktails, but someone gave me this beer margarita recipe awhile back and I’ve been itching to try it out.  We finally had some friends over who were willing to help me polish off a pitcher.

You don’t taste the beer.  I used mexican beer to stick with the mexican cocktail theme.  The recipe makes a good size pitcher, and although my margarita experience is very limited, I thought they were as good as any I’ve had.

Beer Margaritas


    • 1 (12 ounce) cans frozen limeade concentrate ( semi-thawed)
    • 12 fluid ounces tequila
    • 12 fluid ounces water or 7-up, or 6 oz of each
    • 12 fluid ounces beer (I used DosEquis – mexican lager works well)
    • ice ( lots of ice!)
    • 1 limes ( cut into wedges)
    • Margarita salt and glasses


  1. Pour the limeade, tequila, Seven-Up, water and beer into a large glass pitcher; stir with a long-handled spoon until completely blended and the frozen limeade has completely melted.  Adjust with extra water if the mixture is too sweet.
  2. Run a lime wedge around the rims of the glasses, and dip the rims in margarita salt.
  3. Add lots of ice to each glass.
  4. Fill ’em up, add a lime wedge and serve.

  I used just water rather than 7-up.  I think it makes a dryer, more authentic margarita that doesn’t mask the tequila flavor.  If you want sweeter with some carbonation, then go for the 7-up.

Bacardi also has a great frozen Margarita mix that works well in this recipe.  The frozen mix comes in a 10 or 12 oz container.  So  I just dump the frozen mix into the pitcher, then use the empty container to measure out my water and tequila.

Great for a party, and particularly a good lady pleaser.  Don’t forget the ice, salt and limes!

Cheers beers!

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