I’m back on the bacon hype train with this one; a homebrewed and bacon-infused bourbon smoked porter.
Instructions for all you do-it-yourself’ers:
-Dice 7 or 8 slices of raw bacon and cook on low heat in cast iron pan to render as much fat as possible. That shit is going to cook for a while. Make sure them motherfuckers get all crispy.
-Pat bacon down with a shitload of paper towels. Get those little bacon hoes as dry as possible because this is going to end up in a beer and you don’t want fat floaties fucking up your head retention.
-Add the bacon to a mason jar or other sealable container and cover that shit with Maker’s Mark. Tighten the lid.
-Let that murky looking shit sit in a cool dark place for at least 24 hours and then put it in the freezer for a few hours (4-6 should do) to solidify the remaining fat.
-Pull bacon bourbon from freezer and strain through a cheesecloth first and then move it through a coffee filter. One thing I learned with the bacon vodka was to start with a coarse filter and then graduate to a finer filter. Even after getting a bunch of fat out of the bourbon with the cheesecloth that coffee filter action is still going to be slow as shit so make sure you have the time to do this. I finally gave up and started squeezing the bourbon out of the filter and repeated it through new coffee filters a couple times. I could never get the bourbon crystal clear so I finally said fuck it who cares I’m putting bacon in a beer a then went to the next step.
-Get some smoked porter. I suppose you could get a bottle or growler of this shit from a local brewpub. I happened to have a keg of my own home-brewed smoked porter lying around and a growler of O’Fallon Smoke (which is really fucking amazing if you get the chance to try it straight up or their whiskey barrel-aged limited releases).
-I used an eye dropper and measured out approx. 100 drops per 12 oz bottle, topped it off with my homebrew and then capped the bottle. If you are adding this to a bottle or growler of beer just drop it directly in a pint glass and then top with the beer to distribute the sweet, sweet goodness.
Since I know the brewers at O’Fallon I took the bacon and bourboned growler of their Smoke up to the brewery and had’em try it. They though it was good but maybe a tad too salty and the bacon and bourbon characteristics were too faint. Then I cracked open a bottle of my baconed homebrew and it was apparent the less smokey beer (mine) had much more bacon and bourbon flavor and aroma. If beer geeks think it’s drinkable then I’d say it was a success. Other reviews mentioned it tasted like soy sauce and I got more salt and beef jerky than anything, which kinda makes sense altogether. I’m digging on the remaining bottles but next time, yes there will be a next time, I would maybe add a little more than the 100 drops and take it up to 125-150 (depending on the bacon strength).
Every fall, Iron Barley (as seen on the St. Louis edition of Man vs. Food) hosts a tomato festival and invites people to submit their best tomato recipe for judging. Usually it’s food but for the past few years a buddy of mine makes a batch of tomato beer. This year we’re going to mix a fresh batch of this bacon and bourbon beer with his tomato concoction but with more of a twist. If you’ve ever been to a beer festival you may have seen a Randall. Well, we’re going to build one and fill it with lettuce, essentially “dry-lettucing” the beer on it’s way to the faucet to make a BLT beer. We’re not fucking around over here.