Brewed: Morning Mud

January 9th, 2016 by scot

morning mud oatmeal stout

Every winter I try to brew up at least one stout. I brewed a batch Pot Licker Milk Stout in November. It was my first experience with coffee in a home brew of my own. I liked it. Nothing like another go around.

Morning Mud, the name, is a play on breakfast, oatmeal, and coffee as it is an Oatmeal Stout with coffee. Thesaurus.com comes in handy in those situations. I am not a wordsmith. Morning is obviously a take on breakfast while mud is a slang synonym for coffee.

The make-up of the recipe is inspired by a clone recipe of Wake ‘N Bake by Terrapin Brewing Company that I found on HomeBrewTalk.com. If memory serves me, I believe I looked at Breakfast Stout by Founders Brewing Company clone recipes as well. No matter which or both of these recipes inspired me, I wanted coffee in the finished beer. I leaned more towards Wake ‘N Bake for inspiration as I didn’t want a huge beer but ample enough to hold up to the coffee and cocoa nibs.

Probably the biggest decision I had in the recipe formulation: use black patent malt or a de-bittered black malt. Since the final recipe called for coffee in the boil and in secondary, I thought that the coffee would lend enough bitterness. Also, black patent lends an ashy flavor and aroma that shows up late in the taste, something I don’t care for. Will the beer have enough balance without the black patent? I will know in six weeks or so.

The coffee is the same light and medium blend that I used in the aforementioned Pot Locker Milk Stout. I will be adding close to an ounce per gallon for two days prior to bottling. My mouth is watering. Enjoy!

Morning Mud Oatmeal Stout

General Information:
Brew Date: Saturday, January 09, 2016
Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: S05, .5 Danstar BRY-97
Yeast Starter: N/A
Batch Size (Gallons): 5.50
Original Gravity: 1.062
IBU: 61.9
Color: 45.5 SRM
Boiling Time (Minutes): 60
Brewhouse Efficiency: 70%
Alcohol by Volume: 7.5%
Primary Fermentation: 28 days @67*F, 2 days @67*F w/ 2 ounces of coffee

Grain Bill:
13.5# Maris Otter
1.5# Oats
1.0# Chocolate
12.0oz Roasted Barley
8.0oz Caramel 120L
8.0oz Debittered Black Malt III

Mash:
Saccharification @156.2*F

Hop Bill:
1.00 ounce Magnum @60 minutes
1.00 ounce Willamette @25 minutes
1.00 ounce Willamette @10 minutes

Extras:
1.0 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 15 minutes
1.0 tsp Irish Moss @ 15 minutes
2.5 ounces cocoa nibs @ 15 minutes
2.0 ounces coffee @ 0 minutes
2.0 ounces coffee @ 2 days

Updates:

Useless Fact: The average North American will eat 35,000 cookies during their life span.

Tasted: Little Mon’ Down Under

January 5th, 2016 by scot

Bomber of Little Mon' Down Under home brew.

November was a busy month of home brewing for me. I ended with four batches totaling 22 gallons of delicious home brew.

Lil Mon’ Down Under is an American pale ale brewed with a heap of Galaxy hops (11 ounces), mostly late additions and copious amounts of dry hops.

I haven’t been that fond of many of my beers lately but this beer made me excited to home brew again. This beer was all gone, outside of two bottles, two weeks after it was ready in the bottle. Like lightening it was gone. I had a coworker ask me how much I would charge for six bottles as his friends really liked the beer. Confidence builder.

Look: Pours cloudy giving a dull, dark gold color. Very drab looking, almost ugly. Huge amounts of white, billowing foam fill the glass. Retention is solid while the foam thickens as it recedes. Lacing begins as the foam falls back, leaving sticky wisps. Whenever I use four or more ounces for dry hopping I end up with a dank looking beer.

Aroma: Lots of tropical fruit. Pineapple, passion fruit and mango. Great aroma.

Taste: Light sweet malt takes the rear seat as the hops come through. Tropical fruit. Touch of honey.

Drinkability: Medium body. Medium carbonation, maybe.

Overall: This is one of the better beers I have brewed lately. A nice pale ale with plenty of tropical hops to hold up and balance a basically base malt beer. The one fault: I think I need a 20ish minute hop addition to give it more hop flavor. The aroma trumps the flavor.

I would like to determine how other home brewers, without using filtration, are able to clear up large dry hoppings. I don’t mind the cloudy beer but its just not as sexy as a more clarified version. Needless to say, time to turn to Home Brew Talk. My next hopped up creation will include a bigger variety of hops and, quite possibly, some rye. Enjoy!

Useless fact: In the course of an average lifetime you will, while sleeping, eat 70 assorted insects and 10 spiders.

Brewed: Rye IPA

December 29th, 2015 by scot

rye ipa

Rye IPA

General Information:
Brew Date: Tuesday, December 29th, 2015
Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: Danstar BRY-97
Yeast Starter: N/A
Batch Size (Gallons): 5.50
Original Gravity: 1.064
IBU: 60.2
Color: 9.1 SRM
Boiling Time (Minutes): 60
Brewhouse Efficiency: 70%
Alcohol by Volume: 6.3%
Primary Fermentation: 5 days @63*F, 9 days @68*F

Grain Bill:
10.00# 2-row
2.00# Rye Malt
8.0oz Caramel 40L
8.0oz Caramel 60L
8.0oz oats

Mash:
Saccharification @151.9*F

Hop Bill:
1.00 ounce Centennial @20 minutes
1.00 ounce Citra @20 minutes
1.00 ounce Amarillo @10 minutes
1.00 ounce Cascade @10 minutes
1.00 ounce Centennial @5 minutes
2.00 ounce Amarillo @whirlpool 30 minutes
1.00 ounce Centennial @whirlpool 30 minutes
1.00 ounce Amarillo @dry hop 3 days
1.00 ounce Cascade @dry hop 3 days
1.00 ounce Centennial @dry hop 3 days
1.00 ounce Citra @dry hop 3 days

Extras:
1.0 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 15 minutes
1.0 tsp Irish Moss @ 15 minutes

Updates:

  • 2015-12-29: Added yeast once the temperature was down to 63.5*F.
  • 2016-01-03: Bumped up temperature to 68.0*F to finish out fermentation.

Useless Fact: Spiral staircases in medieval castles are running clockwise. This is because all knights used to be right-handed. When the intruding army would climb the stairs they would not be able to use their right hand which was holding the sword because of the difficulties of climbing the stairs. Left-handed knights would have had no troubles, except left-handed people could never become knights because it was assumed that they were descendants of the devil.

Brewed: Bond, James Bond

November 27th, 2015 by scot

every james bond ever

A recent article in Brew Your Own magazine had what seemed to be a tasty British mild recipe. I don’t brew many British beers (only Handicap, an ESB) as the malt forward styles of the beers are not my favorite, I prefer the hops.

Reading the article, checking the recipe over and over convinced me that it was time to brew another British inspired beer. The low ABV of the beer intertwined with the promise of big malt flavors and aroma in a sessionable had be hooked. It was time to take the road not taken (I went there as it is my favorite poem).

Of course I changed the recipe ever so slightly as this isn’t my comfort zone for brewing styles.

Bond, James Bond

General Information:
Brew Date: Friday, November 27, 2015
Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: Wyeast 1098
Yeast Starter: 1 liter
Batch Size (Gallons): 5.50
Original Gravity: 1.037
IBU: 25.5
Color: 17.3 SRM
Boiling Time (Minutes): 60
Brewhouse Efficiency: 70%
Alcohol by Volume: 3.5%
Primary Fermentation: 14 days @70*F

Grain Bill:
6.00# Maris Otter
8.0oz Caramel 60L
8.0oz Caramel 80L
3.0oz Caramel 120L
3.0oz Chocolate
3.0oz Chocolate Rye

Mash:
Saccharification @147.1*F

Hop Bill:
0.50 ounce Magnum @60 minutes

Extras:
1.0 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 15 minutes
1.0 tsp Irish Moss @ 15 minutes

Updates:

  • 2015-12-15: Bottled, 28, 22 ounce bottles. Final gravity: 1.008. Actual ABV: 3.8%. Bottle crown label: BJB

Useless Fact: A normal raindrop falls at about 7 miles per hour.

Brewed: Honey Pot Pale Ale

November 25th, 2015 by scot
Sun hitting the honey jars just right.

Sun hitting the honey jars just right.

A couple of first happened with this home brewing session of Honey Pot pale ale:

  • Used two different types of honey
  • used melonoidin malt instead of honey malt

You can see by the picture to the right that the honeys are not exactly the same. The one on the left is cheap store bought honey. The other is honey my wife picked up while on a visit to Michigan this summer. The Michigan honey is light in color but huge on aroma and flavor. Floral. This honey is by far has the biggest characteristics of any honey I have ever had the joy of using in home brewing. Curious as to how much will make the final bottled product.

The other change, malt, was minor. From my research, supposedly this malt is similar based on what the maltster reports.

I don’t think this change has as much a chance to impact the beer like the honey. Tasting notes by the end of December. Enjoy!

Updates:

  • 2015-11-26: Fermenting nicely at 68*F.

Useless Fact: Like fingerprints, everyone’s tongue print is different!

Brewed: Grass Cutter Wheat Ale

November 23rd, 2015 by scot

grass cutter wheat ale

Grass cutter wheat ale continues to be a staple. This time around it was the first brew of three during my week of vacation during Thanksgiving.

One minor change: used Danstar BRY-97 yeast.

This home brew will also serve as a good base while my cousin is visiting from California with his family at the end of December. Enjoy!

Updates:

  • 2015-11-23: Fermenting at 68*F

Useless Fact: A syzygy occurs when three atronomical bodies line up.

Brewed: Little Mon’ Down Under

November 12th, 2015 by scot

little mon down under

Lately I have been home brewing every two months, only to refresh the stock of IPA in the house.

I brewed a Sip of Sundshine pseudo clone back in September. In keeping with the focus of trying to improve on my IPA home brewing, I really looked into water profile. I purchased Salifert salt water test kits for alkalinity, magnesium and calcium. According to some correspondence that I had with a fellow home brewers on home brew talk, these test kits are very reliable and accurate. I have familiarity with them from my salt water days (miss it).

I did measurements for alkalinity and calcium. Alkalinity was 305 while calcium was at 140. If the 140 calcium number is correct, I believe that is a ridiculously high number. I am still investigating if those numbers are in the correct rate measurements that is needed for comparisons made by brewing water calculators. Therefore, as you could have guessed, I didn’t make any changes to the local water.

I will eventually figure out water chemistry. Enjoy!

Little Mon’ Down Under

General Information:
Brew Date: Thursday, November 12, 2015
Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: Vermont Ale
Yeast Starter: 2 liter
Batch Size (Gallons): 5.50
Original Gravity: 1.052
IBU: 51.9
Color: 3.4 SRM
Boiling Time (Minutes): 60
Brewhouse Efficiency: 70%
Alcohol by Volume: 5.1%
Primary Fermentation: 14 days @68*F

Grain Bill:
9.00# 2 Row
12.0oz Red Wheat
8.0oz Flaked Oats
8.0oz Honey Malt

Mash:
Saccharification @149.1*F

Hop Bill:
1.00 ounce Magnum @60 minutes
1.00 ounce Galaxy @5 minutes
4.00 ounces Galaxy @whirlpool 20 minutes
5.00 ounce Galaxy @2 days dry hop

Extras:
1.0 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 15 minutes
1.0 tsp Irish Moss @ 15 minutes

Update(s):

  • 2015-11-27: Dry hop with 5.0 ounces of Galaxy hops
  • 2015-11-29: Bottled, 28, 22 ounce bottles. Final gravity: 1.010.
  • 2016-01-05: Tasted one of the last bottles.

Useless Fact:

  • The “pound” key on your keyboard (#) is called an octotroph.

Brewed: Sip of Sunshine

September 14th, 2015 by scot

Home brew sip of sunshine

I was fortunate enough to taste Sip of Sunshine earlier this year. I say fortunate as it is a really nice IPA (India Pale Ale), full of citrus and tropical hop aroma and flavor.

I have never brewed up a clone. I have used clone recipes for inspiration in the past. This recipe originally started off as a quest to get my home brewing of IPA to the next level.

IPA has evolved over the past seven years as new hops, new hopping techniques and new malt combinations have taken a bitter bomb to a more balanced, dry, not sweet malt profile with huge amounts of flavor and aroma. I have tried to keep up but, at times, I believe I am doing my version of these (it is home brewing after all). But, my ultimate goal, is to brew the tastiest home brew possible. I want friends and family to ask for another. I am not too sure my recent creations have hit that level. Possibly due to process, possibly due to the time I have at my disposal and possibly due to inference of not trusting my abilities of late.

Looking for high rated American IPAs on Beer Advocate is a great place to start for the commercial beers that are turning heads. Next, I took the list over to Home Brew Talk searching for clones of these beers. This step was probably the most fun: reading people’s input as they build a recipe, pulling in their own research along the way to finally create what most agree is a great clone.

That all said, I couldn’t do an exact clone :), slight changes, but I really have to give credit to the homebrewtalk community. Enjoy!

Sip of Sunshine

General Information:
Brew Date: Monday, September 14, 2015
Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: 1 pack Safale S-05, .5 pack Lallemand BRY-07
Yeast Starter: none
Batch Size (Gallons): 6.50
Original Gravity: 1.060
IBU: 143.1
Color: 5.8 SRM
Boiling Time (Minutes): 60
Brewhouse Efficiency: 70%
Alcohol by Volume: 6.9%
Primary Fermentation: 5 days @63*F, 7 days @68*F

Grain Bill:
6.00# 2 Row
5.00# Maris Otter
1.00# Flaked Oats
12.0 oz Red Wheat
4.0 oz Caramel 60L

Mash:
Saccharification @152.6*F

Hop Bill:
1.50 ounce Magnum @60 minutes
1.00 ounce Citra @20 minutes
3.00 ounce Citra @5 minutes
3.00 ounces Citra @whirlpool 30 minutes
3.00 ounce Citra @4 days dry hop

Extras:
1.0 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 15 minutes
1.0 tsp Irish Moss

Update(s):

  • 2015-09-17: Actively fermenting at 63*F
  • 2015-09-19: Ramp up to 68*F to finish.
  • 2015-09-22: Out of temperature control, resting at ambient: ~66*F
  • 2015-10-01: Dry hop with 3.0 ounces of Citra hops
  • 2015-10-04: Bottled, 30, 22 ounce bottles. Final gravity: 1.010.

Useless Fact:

  • A duck’s quack doesn’t echo, and no one knows why.

Brewed: Grass Cutter Wheat Ale

August 9th, 2015 by scot

A quick update on the home brewing front.

Grass Cutter Wheat Ale was requested by the wife. Keeping the wife happy with my home brewing is the key to being able to continue home brewing.

I slightly changed the bottling process. Instead of adding bitter and sweet orange peel sanitized in vodka, I just bottled the beer. More because of time than anything else. It really wasn’t a conscious decision. Enjoy!

Useless Fact: Due to precipitation, for a few weeks, K2 is taller than Mt. Everest.

Family Trip to Iowa, South Dakota and Colorado Yields American Craft Beer Score!

June 25th, 2015 by scot

2015 trip for American craft beer booty

The family trip took out west, at least of where we live. Our main stopping points were South Dakota and Colorado with stops in Iowa, Minnesota and Wyoming. Per usual the wife was kind enough to allow me to stop at breweries, beer stores and brewpubs along the way.

The first stop was in northeast Iowa at Toppling Goliath Brewing Company in Decorah. I had a few beers on tap, excellent. The family was restless, time to move on. I picked up a few beers, highlighted in the beer haul section.

More to come…

Beer Haul

4 packs
  • Surly Furious (2)
  • Surly Doomtree
  • Surly Blakkr
  • Goose Island BCBS
  • Toppling Goliath Pseudo Sue (2)
  • Avery Liliko’i Kepolo (2)
  • Telluride Fishwater IIPA
6 pack
  • Squatters Off Duty IPA
  • Indeed Let it Ride IPA
  • Telluride Bridal Veil
  • Toppling Goliath Dorothy’s New World Lager
Miscellaneous
  • Bull & Rush 4.0 GPA
  • Bull & Rush Man Beer
  • Avery Tectum et Elix (2)
  • Avery Insuln mulfos Callibus
  • Toppling Goliat Zeelander (2)
  • Avery Raspberry Sour
  • Sulry 2015 Pentagram (2)
  • Victory Sour Monkey
  • Topppling Goliath 1492 IPA (2)
  • Humbolt Black Xantus
  • Squatters Outer Darkness
  • Alaskan IIPA brewed with Rye
  • Dschutes 2015 Jubel (2)
  • Alaskan Double Black IPA
  • Humbolt 500 BC
Crooked Stave
  • St. Bretta (late spring)
  • Hop Savant – Citra (2)
  • Hop Savant – Amarillo (2)
  • Petite Sour – Tart Cherry
  • Colorado Wild Sage
  • Vieille
  • Surette
  • Origins (3)
  • Nightmare on Brett (4)
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