Grilling with Hop Valley – Part 1: Alpha Preparation
While we do enjoy the cool, wet days of a Pacific Northwest spring here at Hop Valley headquarters, we can’t help but look forward to the most wonderful time of the beer: summertime! Because summertime means grillin’ and chillin’ in the sunshine while sippin’ some delicious craft beers.
We’re going to take our BBQ skills up a notch this year, and that means planning ahead. Over the next couple of months, as we inch closer to full-on shorts and tank top and grilling tongs weather, were going to work towards creating a grilled steak salad that’s perfect for summer and incorporates some of our favorite Hop Valley brews at every step.
First up: beer vinegar!
Actually, let’s call this Alpha Vinegar because we’re going to make it from Alphadelic IPA. A cousin to malt vinegar and champagne vinegar, this concoction works wonderfully in salad dressings, as a marinade and as a general condiment (beer-battered fish and chips anyone?).
Just a few easy steps and a few weeks of patience and you’ll be enjoying your own homemade Alpha Vinegar!
First, grab the following:
- A 64oz glass growler or similar container
- 48oz of Hop Valley Alphadelic Northwest IPA (you can either fill-up the growler and drink 16oz, or fill the growler/container with four 12oz beers)
- 16oz of unfiltered apple cider vinegar “with the mother” (this helps ensure good results)
- Cheesecloth and a rubber band or string
- A dark corner or closet to store your vinegar
- If you’re starting with a full growler of Alphadelic, pour yourself out a pint (16oz). Feel free to consume!
- If you’re using 12oz cans, pour four of the beers into the growler/container.
- Shake the apple cider vinegar for at least 30 seconds, then add 16oz to the beer.
- Tie the cheesecloth over the growler/container opening. This potion will bubble and release some gasses as it ferments. Don’t put a lid on it unless you’re ready to clean up a mess.
- Set the precious cargo in a dark corner that is around 65 degrees for at least a month-and-a-half, but two or three months is recommended for optimal taste.
Once the waiting is over, filter the vinegar through the cheesecloth and transfer your vinegar to smaller jars, or just put the lid on your growler and store in the fridge until you’re ready to use.