Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Height Charge

I have been experimenting over the past several months with concentrating beer and wine through fractional freezing. Sometimes I let the whole batch freeze solid, then collect the first half (by volume) that melts as the concentrate. Other times I let it freeze to a slush, then strain out the ice. And sometimes slush is as frozen as it ever gets in my kitchen freezer (since there's plenty of stuff in there other than water and alcohol, not freezing solid doesn't necessarily mean a particularly high proof).

I blogged a few months ago about the concentrated sangria I made. Just the other day, I strained out the last bit of ice from some concentrated Flying Dog Double Dog double pale ale.

Starting with 24 ounces.

The result is a beer concentrate of sorts, almost syrupy and with a bitterness that isn't pleasant to drink as is. But if you were to add a drop to a dram of whiskey, you'd have a sort of inverse depth charge -- a height charge, if you will, that might be enjoyed in front of a nice fire.

Playing crackle.wav on loop.

To be honest, the extra jolt of hoppy maltiness didn't do much for the Wild Turkey. But a half teaspoon in a dram of Powers Gold Label (for an Irish Car Dud?) gives it a touch more richness in flavor and body. Kind of like shifting the balance between malt and grain whiskies in the blend, if it were your first day in the blending room.

R: Beerjack on top, beerjacked Powers on bottom.

I count a result of "not bad" as a success in such experiments. (As a bonus, a splash of this stuff even gives ginger ale something of a kick, as a sort of inverted gaffshandy.)

I'm not sure what I'll do with the remaining 3 or so ounces of beerjack; at half a tsp per drink, I won't run out any time soon.


  1. Freeze it again!

    Crazy alchemy, dude. I'm beginning to worry about you... Seriously though, freeze hard cider next. Haven't you just been wanting real applejack in just forever?

  2. Freeze it again!


    (The really crazy alchemy was when I freeze-fractioned the original 24 ounces down to 6, which didn't freeze at all but did precipitate some solids, which I filtered with a coffee filter, and then the filtered solution froze to a slush.)

    Seriously though, freeze hard cider next.

    My current experiment started yesterday, with a jar of pear nectar and a tablespoon of turbo yeast.