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In my extremely brief intro post, I mentioned that this blog might touch on the subject of cooking at some point. And then I went on to write a bunch of beer reviews, and not mention cooking at all. Today, I aim to rectify that oversight. This is my first beer-related food post, so please forgive me if it’s not as beautiful as your favorite food/cooking blog.
For my non-brewing readers, trub is the gloopy sediment left at the bottom of the fermenter when you take the beer out. Or, if you have a yeast-collection vessel like the ones that go with FasterFerment conical fermenters, trub is the stuff that settles in there.
This short video explains it well.
Depending on what you want to make next, you can pitch new wort right on top of the trub from a previous batch. But most of the time, it’s just stuff to clean out of your fermenter. With the conicals, we usually change the yeast collection ball mid-fermentation cycle. If we’re trying to save the yeast, we usually take it from the second ball, discarding the initial sludge in the first one. Except that I’ve started using it for sourdough starter. Today’s recipe is based on the trub from the English IPA we brewed last month. That beer’s carbonating now, so expect to hear about it soon.
Basically, I dumped the sludge from the collection ball into a glass bowl, gave it half a cup of flour for the yeast to munch on, and covered it with a damp paper towel (a damp kitchen towel works, too). Then I left it alone overnight. The next day, I used it in a modified version of this Sourdough Brown Bread recipe.
For reasons of thrift, and being fairly new to the bread-baking art, I use all-purpose flour for almost everything. Ben offered to let me use some chocolate wheat malt, since it would take many dark beer batches to use up a full two pounds of it. That, and the brown trub from the IPA, are what made the bread so dark.
Our first grain mill was this old-school Victoria number. We’ve since upgraded, but I still use this one for grinding coffee beans.
I cranked the burr plates down as tight as I could, and ground about one cup of the chocolate wheat malt. Then, I stuck the resulting not-quite-flour in the blender to get it a little finer. The end product was a somewhat course flour. Unfortunately, I didn’t take a picture of it.
Instead of the whole wheat flour and potato flakes in the recipe linked above, I used my chocolate wheat flour: about ¾ cup. I have a KitchenAid, which makes kneading bread way easier. But you can do it by hand, too. I didn’t want any chance of winding up with Scones of Stone, so I added a scant tablespoon of baking yeast to the sourdough starter in my mixer bowl, put in a cup of warm milk, and let that proof for a few minutes. Then I dumped the butter, molasses, salt, and flour in. Ben and I were sharing our tiny kitchen while he made candi syrup. Inspired by his project, I threw some raisins and dried currants into the mix, and let the KitchenAid do its kneading thing. While the recipe I was semi-following claimed to make one loaf from 4 ½ to 5 cups of flour, I wound up with two loaves.
Contrary to what most bread recipes advise, I don’t cover my dough for rising. I’ve had it stick to the plastic wrap/damp towel/what-have-you too many times, so I just don’t. Instead, I turn the oven to broil for about one minute, and set a shallow pan with some warm water on the bottom rack. Then I turn the oven off, and let my dough rise in a greased bowl for an hour.
For this recipe, I next formed the dough into two loaves, put those in greased bread pans, and let them rise for another half hour. It worked beautifully. 30 minutes of baking at 350 degrees produced two loaves of dark, rye-looking wheat bread with a decent crumb, medium density, and a delicious smell and taste with a very mild sourdough tang and a hint of malt sweetness. It didn’t really taste of hops. This bread was great with butter and jam, turned out to be good for croque monsieur sandwiches, and French toast.
Kater. “Sourdough Brown Bread.” Sourdough Brown Bread. Food.com, 31 Jan. 2006. Web. 1 Feb. 2015.
The Basics of Home Brewing: What Is Trub? Perf. Terpsichoreankid. YouTube, 2010. Web.