Stonehenge Stein Beer

Stonehenge Stein Beer

(5 gallons/19 L, all-grain)
OG = 1.051  FG = 1.013
IBU = 22  SRM = 10  ABV = 5%

Heat from the rocks boils the wort and caramelizes sugars they directly contact. To brew this beer, you will need at least a 10 gallon pot, a stainless steel basket and heat resistant tongs to handle the rocks. For safety purposes, it would be best to get a friend to help you. When moving the rock-filled basket into the wort, suspend it by the basket handle from the middle of a pole, held on each end by one brewer. So here’s the recipe — do you have the stones to try it?

5.0 lbs. (2.3 kg) 2-row pale malt
5.5 lbs. (2.5 kg) Munich malt
0.5 lbs. (0.23 kg) crystal malt (40 °L)
6 AAU Hallertau hops (60 min.) (1.5 oz./43 g of 4% alpha acids)
10-15 fist-sized chunks of granite
1 tsp. Irish moss
White Labs WLP002 (English Ale) yeast (1 qt/1 L starter)
0.75 cups corn sugar (for priming)

Step by Step
Start a hardwood fire in a large grill. Let fire burn down to coals and place rocks in coals. Mash grains in 2.5 gallons (9.5 L) of water. Hold mash temperature at 150 °F (66 °C) for 60 minutes. Run off wort, then sparge with 170 °F (77 °C) water to yield 6 gallons (23 L) of wort. With heat-resistant tongs, remove 3 to 5 rocks from coals and place in a stainless steel basket. Whisk away any ash or embers from rocks with barbecue brush. Submerge basket with stones in wort. Boil for 90 minutes. Rotate rocks in kettle with those on the coals during entire boil period to maintain boil. Add hops with 60 minutes left in boil, Irish moss with 15 minutes left in boil. Cool wort, siphon to fermenter, aerate and pitch yeast. Place stones on a clean surface and allow them to cool. Store stones — wrapped in plastic wrap or in clean Tupperware-type containers — in refrigerator. After one week of primary fermentation, add rocks to sanitized bucket and rack beer on top of stones (which will be surrounded in a layer of caramelized sugar). Let condition for 2 weeks. Bottle or keg.

Extract with grains option:
Replace 2-row and Munich malt with 3.5 lbs. (1.6 kg) Weyermann Bavarian Pils liquid malt extract and 4.0 lbs. (1.8 kg) Weyermann Munich amber liquid malt extract. Heat 6 gallons (23 L) of water to 160 °F (71 °C) and stir in malt extracts until they are completely dissolved. Place crushed crystal malt in a steeping bag and steep in wort for 45 minutes. Keep temperature between 148–162 °F (64–72 °C) while steeping. Remove bag and begin heating with heating with rocks as described in the all-grain instructions.

Issue: March-April 2005

When you wish for new brewing gear, do you ever wish for metamorphic rocks? You might after seeing this recipe. Here’s a recipe for steinbier — a beer whose wort is heated by hot stones.