Brewed: Three Tooth Joe

March 18th, 2016 by scot

three_tooth_joe_hops

Another home brew day, another India pale ale (or American pale ale, depending on interpretation of the recipe).

This recipe came from the need to use Mosiac hops in a home brew for the first time. It also comes on the heels of a new series of beers I have been brewing: the 8s – Equinox and Eureka. In preliminary tastings of the two aforementioned home brews, I haven’t been stunned by either of the hops. Nice hops, definitely no where near great or above average.

Time for a hop bill with some gusto; one with old favorites (Citra and Galaxy) and new comer, Mosiac, that I have tasted in many commercial craft beers.

I decided to switch my naming convention with beers, starting with Three Tooth Joe. Inspiration comes from craft breweries that name their beers after family members. Now the task was to match the profile of this beer with a family member.

The hop profile makes me happy, makes me think of good times. My grandfather, Joe, the only grandfather I ever knew, was always happy, smiling and ready for a game of cards. His perceived jolliness was aided by his coke bottle glasses ,that made his eyes the size of watermelon, the three teeth that still were grasping onto his gums for dear life, and his desire to play cards that led him to deal almost every hand without fail or question. I always looked forward to seeing my grandfather. I would bring over my baseball cards to hear the stories he would share about each player. Good times. In order to honor my grandfather, I pay homage with my first family member beer being named after Joseph Brenner, the smiling guy that only had three teeth to his grin.

I do have one hesitation: this beer will live up to the lofty status that it is named. Enjoy!

Three Tooth Joe

General Information:
Brew Date: Friday, March 19th, 2016
Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: Nottingham Ale
Yeast Starter: N/A
Batch Size (Gallons): 5.50
Original Gravity: 1.051
Final Gravity: 1.008
IBU: N/A
Color: 5.0 SRM
Boiling Time (Minutes): 60
Brewhouse Efficiency: 70%
Alcohol by Volume: 5.0%
Primary Fermentation: 2 days @63*F, 9 days @68*F

Grain Bill:
11.00# 2-row
1.00# Munich
8.0oz Oats
4.0oz Caramel 20L

Mash:
Saccharification @153.4*F

Hop Bill:
0.25 ounce Citra @20 minutes
0.25 ounce Mosiac @20 minutes
0.25 ounce Citra @15 minutes
0.25 ounce Galaxy @15 minutes
0.25 ounce Galaxy @10 minutes
0.25 ounce Mosiac @10 minutes
0.25 ounce Galaxy @5 minutes
0.25 ounce Mosiac @5 minutes
2.50 ounce Citra @whirlpool 30 minutes @180*
1.25 ounce Galaxy @whirlpool 30 minutes @180*
1.00 ounce Citra @dry hop 4 days
2.25 ounce Mosiac @dry hop 4 days

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

Updates:

  • 2016-03-20: put on heat as temperature dropped to 61*F
  • 2016-03-24: fermentation ran crazy, blew off bubbler. Concerns over contamination since it took two days to catch.
  • 2016-04-06: dry hopped: 2.25 ounces Mosiac, 1.00 ounces Citra. Gravity: 1.005. Tasting gravity reading beer showed a lack of bitterness.
  • 2016-04-10: bottled with 4.0 ounces of priming sugar and 2.0 cups of water. 29, 22 ounce bottles. Bottle crown label: TTJ.

Useless Fact: In a study of 200,000 ostriches over a period of 80 years, no one reported a single case where an ostrich buried its head in the sand.

Tasted: Morning Mud

March 17th, 2016 by scot

morning mud oatmeal stout

Morning Mud was my first attempt at home brewing an oatmeal stout. I have tasted this several times before reviewing. Per typical, the beer has changed as it has sat under pressure. I don’t want to wait much longer before giving a proper review…

Look: Pours opaque. Black like the night, the coffee added to the beer contributing to dense absence of light penetrating. Plump, billowing mocha colored foam tops the pour. Retention is average with minimal foam lasting to the end. As it recedes it give a sense of a creamy milkshake. Inviting. Lacing is thick and coating but amazingly recedes back quickly.

Aroma: Roast and coffee greet the nose quickly, even when the nose is not completely entrenched over the top of pint. Caramel and chocolate are light, coming about more as the beer warms.

Taste: Roast and coffee race up and down the sense. The coffee lingers in the finish with a late splash of bitterness. Chocolate and caramel are in the middle to give balance and complexity.

Drinkability: Medium body. Light carbonation. The low ABV sets the table to make this an easy to drink stout.

Overall: A solid offering. Good complexity in “smaller” stout from the varying ingredients. The coffee is a solid addition without muddying the overall beer. Would brew again with a touch more chocolate.

The coffee seems to be fading a bit quickly as I have tasted this several times before doing the official review. This write-up is about two months post brew day. Not a long time. It hasn’t oxidized yet. I will have to determine the reason and try again. Enjoy!

Useless fact: The Guinness Book of Records holds the record for being the book most often stolen from public libraries.

Tasted: Rye IPA

February 23rd, 2016 by scot

home brewed rye ipa

Rye IPA didn’t last long. The 28 bottles lasted only five weeks from bottling day. Typically it takes two weeks for a beer to fully carbonate once it has been bottled. Rye IPA was juiced in about a week.

Once I had my first bottle I noticed myself turning to this beer on a daily basis to satiate my craft beer needs.

Look: Pours mostly clear but enough particulate remains to create a golden hue. 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.

Aroma: Good amount of rye spice and hops. Hop profile is floral, citrus and mango. Pleasant.

Taste: Caramel and sweet up front, both mild. Citrus and floral hops mingle through out, joined by mango in the finish. Rye is bright, helping the beer finish crisp.

Drinkability: Medium body. Medium carbonation. Lots of lacing.

Overall: The strong showing of beers that I been brewing lately continues. The spiced bitterness added to the finish of the beer, mixing with the citrus from the hops made for a very pleasant experience.

This is top three beers that I have brewed. Period. I could easily argue it is the best. I will have to drum up another batch or three this year. Early spring is the next target. I want to drink this all summer. Enjoy!

Useless Fact: The average secretary’s left hand does 56% of the typing.

Reacquainting: Three Floyds Dreadnaught

February 19th, 2016 by scot
Three Floyds Brewing Dreadnaught.

Three Floyds Brewing Dreadnaught.

I reviewed Dreadnaught on the site over six ago. I had Dreadnaught as part of the 365 days of American craft beer back in 2011; almost five years ago.

It has easily been 4 years since I have been able to lay my hands on a bottle. In spite of my proximity to the brewery (about an hour), I don’t find my way to the brewery all that often, I can’t find Three Floyds on the local beer shelves, and I can’t stand standing in line for an hour on a weekend just to purchase beer to go from the brewery.

My attitude towards chasing beer is apathetic at best.

Matt, a new addition to Thursday night beer club, has an in with the local beer store. He was kind enough to get a bottle on hold for me. Upon bringing it over, squaring up on the cash, I promptly opened and shared with Matt.

This was a treat to the senses. Better than I remember, possibly due to the long time since I was able to land an example.

This isn’t a review but a testament to how this beer has stood up to the test of time. I have found that some beers that I rated highly at one point, don’t have the staying power to my senses. As time, new ingredients and brewing techniques evolve, so have my senses, especially with hopped up beers. The new, bold hops have conquered my ability to enjoy lightly hopped pale ale and india pale ales. I crave more.

Wish I could lay my hands on this more often but not too much; I want to keep it being a beer that I fondly regard. Enjoy!

Useless Fact: There is a town in Newfoundland, Canada called Dildo.

Brewed: 8s – Eureka

February 14th, 2016 by scot

grains bed for the 8s - eureka

A second beer in the 8s series of IPAs. Equinox was brewed a couple of weeks ago. Eureka is right on it’s heels.

Eureka is another new hop that needs investigation.

The 8s will be a series of beers that I will be home brewing as a single hop beer. The goal of the group of beers is to get more acquainted with a single hop, more specifically ones that I have never used, typically newer varietals. The second goal is to push the envelope of the base grains to be more in line with the latest grain bills that are being used in the best APAs and IPAs. Therefore the grain bill will not change from beer to beer, just the hops and possibly the yeast.

Eureka is described as

“Dank, Black Currant, dark fruit, strong herbal notes, Pine Tree, Mint, pungent, light grapefruit rind, citrus, Tangerine. Good oil content drives flavor. Simcoe on Steroids!”

I expecting some great things from this hop. If it lives up to the description, the last eight ounces will not last long. Enjoy!

The 8s – Euerka

General Information:
Brew Date: Sunday, February 14th, 2016
Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: S05
Yeast Starter: N/A
Batch Size (Gallons): 5.50
Original Gravity: 1.056
Final Gravity: 1.008
IBU:
Color: 6.5 SRM
Boiling Time (Minutes): 60
Brewhouse Efficiency: 70%
Alcohol by Volume: 5.0%
Primary Fermentation: 5 days @63*F, 9 days @68*F

Grain Bill:
10.00# 2-row
8.0oz Oats
4.0oz Caramel 40L
4.0oz Melanodin

Mash:
Saccharification @152.6*F

Hop Bill:
0.50 ounce Eureka @20 minutes
0.50 ounce Eureka @15 minutes
1.00 ounce Eureka @10 minutes
0.50 ounce Eureka @5 minutes
2.50 ounce Eureka @whirlpool 30 minutes
3.00 ounce Eureka @dry hop 4 days

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

Updates:

  • 2016-02-15: At 61*F. Fermenting slowly. Put on heat jacket at 68*F to finish out fermentation.
  • 2016-02-20: Took off heat jacket.
  • 2016-03-03: Dry hopped with 3.0 ounces of Eureka.
  • 2016-03-08: Bottled with 4.0 ounces of priming sugar and 2.0 cups of water. 27, 22 ounce bottles. Bottle crown label: 8Eu.

Useless Fact: There are more plastic flamingos in the U.S that there are real ones.

Brewed: 8s – Equinox

February 5th, 2016 by scot

equinox hops

The past six months or so has been all about creating a better IPA/APA from my home brewing efforts. Little Mon’ Down Under, Rye IPA and Sip of Sunshine have been my attempts at upping my hopped up beer game.

Modernizing the grain bill, trying different yeasts, and trying new hop varieties are a few of the keys to bringing it strong. I have yet to play around with water profile (although I have plenty of interest), oxygenating wort (I still shake the carboy), and monitoring the pH are some techniques I have yet to employ but hope to hit sometime during 2016.

I am always looking for new knock hops. Something eventually has to be the next Citra. Equinox is a new hop to me. It is relatively new hop that has enjoyed some spotlight by craft brewers in single hop IPAs (and APAs). The hop is described as

“A pronounced aroma profile with citrus, tropical fruit, floral and herbal characteristics. Specific descriptors include lemon, lime, papaya, apple, and green pepper.”

I had one hesitation purchasing a pound of this hop: green pepper. I hope that, if I find green pepper, that it is subtle. Unless ranch dressing accompanies green peppers or they are stuffed with meat, I am not a fan. Based on the description, there should be plenty of tropical goodness to outweigh this one bug. Optimistic. Enjoy!

The 8s – Equinox

General Information:
Brew Date: Friday, February 5th, 2016
Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: Vermont Ale
Yeast Starter: 2 liter
Batch Size (Gallons): 5.50
Original Gravity: 1.055
IBU:
Color: 6.5 SRM
Boiling Time (Minutes): 60
Brewhouse Efficiency: 70%
Alcohol by Volume: 5.0%
Primary Fermentation: 5 days @63*F, 9 days @68*F

Grain Bill:
10.00# 2-row
8.0oz Oats
4.0oz Caramel 40L
4.0oz Melanodin

Mash:
Saccharification @152.1*F

Hop Bill:
0.50 ounce Equinox @20 minutes
0.50 ounce Equinox @15 minutes
1.00 ounce Equinox @10 minutes
0.50 ounce Equinox @5 minutes
2.50 ounce Equinox @whirlpool 30 minutes
3.00 ounce Equinox @dry hop 4 days

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

Updates:

  • 2016-02-07: At 63*F. Wrapped in blanket to keep heat from fermentation in. Fermenting well.
  • 2016-02-08: At 67*F. Put on heat jacket at 68*F to finish out fermentation.
  • 2016-02-13: Took off heat jacket.
  • 2016-02-21: Dry hopped with 3.0 ounces of Equinox.
  • 2016-02-26: Bottled with 4.0 ounces of priming sugar and 2.0 cups of water. 28, 22 ounce bottles. Bottle crown label: 8Eq.

Useless Fact: Chewing gum while peeling onions will keep you from crying.

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.

Cold steeping coffee getting ready for secondary.

Cold steeping coffee getting ready for secondary.

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:

  • 2016-01-10: Fermenting at ambient first floor temperature: 68*F.
  • 2016-02-19: Placed 3.0 ounces of coffee in muslin bag, steeping in cold water.
  • 2016-02-21: Racked to secondary on top of coffee infusion.
  • 2016-02-22: Bottled, 30, 22 ounce bottles. Bottle crown label: OS.
  • 2016-03-17: Tasting.

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.
  • 2016-01-17: Dry hopped with 1 ounce each of Amarillo, Cascade, Centennial and Citra.
  • 2016-01-21: Bottled, 28, 22 ounce bottles. Bottle crown label: Rye.
  • 2016-02-23: Down to last bottle, reviewed today!

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.

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