Campfire Homebrewing

Fellow beer geeks gathering for National Homebrew Day chatted about beer brewing. The conversation offered leeway into getting involved with local homebrew circles. I spent day fellow brewmasters talking about equipment. When the day had ended I had a stronger take on brewing equipment and had met JA a local brewmaster. Our spat was about brewing revealing my obsession with yeast. JA challenged with an aversion to brewing with Propane. His adventurous brewing involved found items campfire heating.

I was intrigued. What equipment is actually needed? How long does it take? How is the flame controlled?

The questions halted as we planned to brew together. JA's next brew was to be a 10 gallon wheat beer using a cooler, a campfire, and a kettle. I would join the brew and take on the title of assistant-brewmaster.

The brewday commenced the following morning. JA was approaching his second year as a homebrewer. His first brew was pear cider with wild-yeast. I was impressed with his level of interest. Yeast was something most homebrewers would buy much less culture from open-air. He admits it was pure luck but the most encouraging attempt at brewing. Before I knew not to ask he offered some of the remaining cider.

Traditional Perry

My friends this cider was a rare luxury. I felt honored to be sampling this organic and naturally developed Perry.

We enjoyed its characteristics in comparison to BJCP the fruit wine profile was clearly traditional. I found the pear flavor maintained well. JA comments that the yeast showed very low activity during fermentation. He had no gravity reading at the time and so we enjoyed for flavor alone. Moving on to today's brew we prepared the strike water and begun the mashing.

JA's Open-Flame Wheat Beer
10 lbs 2-Row Barley
10 lbs Wheat
1.5 lbs Rice Hulls

90 Minute Infusion Mashing:
7.5 gal Strike at 160°F
Batch Sparge:
4.5 gal at 170°F
4.0 gal at 170°F

Boiling:
60 Minute Hops
2.0oz East Kent Goldings
30 Minute Hops
1.0oz Williamette
1.0oz Saaz
15 Minute Hops
0.5oz Williamette
0.5oz Saaz

Open Flame HomeBrewing
Campfire Beer Brewing
Trub Remains

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