Bacon & Beer = Awesome … Maybe Beer Bacon

This is my second attempt at making my own bacon. The first batch I did, turned out great, but I didn’t use the beer. This time around I chose 2 beers to use in the wet cure.

My main resource for the project comes from amazingribs.com which has whole section on making your own bacon. I modified their recipe for my use.

Choosing your Beer

The best advice I can give you is choose a low IBU beer. When cooking with beer, I ( and many others) have found that even a little bitterness can become very pronounced, which is not normally what you want in your food. I’m not sure what would happen in the case of using a hoppy IPA in a wet cure… so perhaps I’ll try that in the future. For now I would aim for beers under 25ibu if possible.

Another point I found after making the bacon: pick beer you like, and would like your bacon to taste like. You can actually taste certain aspects of the beer in the bacon.

I choose Innis & Gunn Barrel aged Ale, & from Moon Under Water, Creepy Uncle Dunkle. I hadn’t had either of these beers in a while, and after trying them both, I realized I would of probably pick something else next time for the bacon. ( Both are still really good beers)

 

Ingredients

For Each Slab:IMG_1262

  • 1lb Pork Belly
  • 1.5 tsp Kosher Salt
  • .5 tsp Pink Salt #1
  • 1.5 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 tbsp Coconut Sugar
  • 250ml of Beer

I combined all the ingredients in a freezer bag and gave it a good mix to ensure even distribution. Then Popped her in the fridge for 7 days. I made sure to flip the bag every day to ensure an even cure. You can find Pink Salt on Amazon.ca, or check your local butcher shop, but don’t confuse it with Himalayan Pink salt.

Smoking it.

After 7 days your bacon will look much more red and less pink, with a firmer feel to it. Take it out of the fridge, give it a good rinse and take it to your smoker or BQQ.

Use any kind of wood chip you like, I think I used Cheery ? Also don’t pre-soak them, it doesn’t do anything. See Here. I put my mine in a tin-foil pouch and place it over the flame. The pork belly is placed away from the flame, so it is cooked indirectly.

I tried to keep my BBQ between 200-250 degrees F until an internal temp of 150F. I used by Thermoworks Chef Alarm thermometer in case anyone is wondering – it’s the shit.

Beer Bacon on BBQ

IMG_20150210_142119

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     Your Done! The bacon should last in the fridge     for around a week. Cut, fry, and enjoy.

 

 

Was it worth it?

I’m not sure. The bacon was good, but not as good as the bacon made without the beer. Perhaps the beer spoils (oxidizes) and contributes to funny flavours, or perhaps I used the wrong beers. Either way, I’m trying again with different beers, and I’ll post my results here.

PICT0132
Once again we brew in my room, this time we end up with 250 bottles. This is the beginning of M.B. (MalcolmsBasement) proposal # 003, Batch A. 

 For those looking for the basic brewing instructions check out the post: How to Brew Beer.

As per usual we start by sanitizing all equipment, this time we used Iodophor as a sanitizer, – unlike the pink chlorine based sanitizer (Sani-Bright), the Iodophor is not used as a cleaner as well.

This is what happens when you forget how to use a can opener.
Here are all 5 carboys, we made a 1) Nut brown ale, 2) English Bitter, 3)IPA, 4) Generic Ale  5) Lager.
 Around 250 bottles latter.
Total Cost
 In time: -It took around 4hours for us to make the wart, set up the carboys, and add the yeast.
 -It took around 7 hours to bottle them, including sanitizing bottles and doing the clean up of the carboys. 
Each time there was about 4 of us.
In $$$: – The entire cost of the beer kits, sugar, and liquid malt extract was about 100$ which works out to about 20$ per batch. Then you need to add the cost of the sanitizer and bottle caps used which would work out to about 10$ -Assuming you got all your bottles for Free.
This works out to around $0.44/ beer. – This is the average since one of the batches cost around $17 while another cost around $24.
Time wise… well 11hours x 3 people= 33hours –>
33h/250beer. Which works out to around 11min/beer.
That being said, we are trying to get the time down to 1min/beer. The $ should stay the same.

IMG_0009

So after 6 days in the 6 gallon carboy, it was time to bottle. Note, never try to sanitize all the bottles in a bath tub, it will take you 3 hours. For next time, lets try using the sani-rinse on the dishwasher.

IMG_0009.JPG

A total of 60 bottles- we can only hope that they will carbonate, and not explode. We put 1/2 tsp sugar in each. Hopefully the yeast is still active.
IMG_0020.JPG
They will be ready in 1-2weeks
IMG_0017.JPG

100_2260

So in the last week, I have started to brew 12L of Mead, and 23L of Beer! If the beer goes well, we (malcolmsbasement) will make a larger batch, maybe around 700 bottles.


So I’ll explain how to make mead real easy in a couple posts, just not now.

  So 3 days latter me and a friend thought it would be a good idea to buy more wine/beer equipment than we had any idea how to use.
So the morning after we made the test batch, I awake to the smell of beer. The brew was fermenting so fast that it blew the airlock right off. The solution is to replace it with a tube running into a adjacent container under some water, keeping the air out, put allowing for overflow.