Archive for the ‘Beer Recipes’ Category

Brewed: Black Doug

Saturday, March 11th, 2017

If you ever sit around with your friends making a list of movies that you would want on a deserted island, The Hangover is at the top of my list. And, unlike most, I enjoyed all three movies. Black Doug is an American black ale (or cascadian dark ale if you prefer) that pays homage to the Hangover and Mike Epps‘ character sharing the same name.

Black Doug takes inspiration from Wookey Jack by Firestone Walker Brewing Company, one of the smoothest and best black ales available.

The darkness to the beer is obtained by Carafa III, giving color without the astringency of other dark malts. A touch of chocolate rye adds some depth to the beer that can be obtained from the Carafa along.

Still, the question begs: why brew a beer that is more of a fad style? I like a good American black ale and I love hops. I needed some variety to all the east coast ipas that I have been brewing.

Home Brewing For Black Doug

The biggest thing I did to this beer to make it different from other American black ales, I decided to use east coast ipa hopping process: lots of late hops with dry hopping occurring as primary fermentation begins to slow. Otherwise the beer followed a normal brew day. Enjoy!

Recipe for For Black Doug

General Information:
Brew Date: Saturday, March 11, 2017
Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: S-05, not hydrated
Yeast Starter: none
Batch Size (Gallons): 5.50
Original Gravity: 1.068
Finishing Gravity: 1.014
IBU: 61.4
Color: 28.9 SRM
Boiling Time (Minutes): 60
Brewhouse Efficiency: 70%
Alcohol by Volume: 7.09%
Primary Fermentation: 10 days @68*F

Grain Bill:
12.00 pounds Maris Otter
2.00 pounds Red Wheat
1.00 pounds Rye
0.56 pounds Carafa III
0.50 pounds Caramel 60L
0.19 pounds Chocolate Rye

Mash:
Saccharification @154.4*F

Hop Bill:
2.00 ounces 2015 Equinox @20 minutes
1.00 ounces 2015 Cascade @10 minutes
1.00 ounces 2015 Citra @5 minutes
2.00 ounces 2015 Cascade @whirlpool for 25 minutes
2.00 ounces 2015 Equinox @whirlpool for 25 minutes
1.00 ounces 2015 Citra @whirlpool for 25 minutes
2.00 ounces 2015 Cascade @4 day dry hop
2.00 ounces 2015 Citra @4 day dry hop
2.00 ounces 2015 Equinox @4 day dry hop

Extras:
1.0 tsp Irish Moss @15 minutes
1.0 tsp Yeast Nutrient @15 minutes
3.0 quarts of rice hulls
~4.5 gallons of reverse osmosis water used

Updates:

  • 2017-03-12 (morning): @63.0*F, slow fermentation.
  • 2017-03-12 (eveningg): @63.0*F, added heat blanket set to 68*F.
  • 2017-03-13: @66.0*F, hard fermentation.
  • 2017-03-14: Added dry hops.
  • 2017-03-18: Bottled with 3.75 ounces of priming sugar and 2.0 cups of water. 25, 22 ounce bottles. Bottle crown label: BD.

Useless Fact: It would take you 10 years to view all the photos shared on Snapchat in the last hour.

Brewed: MaMoo

Saturday, March 11th, 2017

Equinox, Eureka and Vic Secret used in MaMoo.

MaMoo, an American India Pale Ale, pulls inspiration from my mother. My mom has always been a heavy set person. She likes to eat. I have inherited that trait. Since my mom was the only female in the family, she took the brunt of our chiding (there was enough for everyone). We had many nicknames for each other throughout the years. Of course nicknames should typically be based on the person that is receiving the nickname. Due to my mom’s size and shape, the nicknames typically could have been deemed as condescending. But Moo Cow eventually progressed into MaMoo. It rolls of the tongue better.

Some may possibly find it unbelievable that we called my mom, MaMoo, but you had to understand my family and that nicknames were always a part of my youth. I don’t find it condescending. I see it more as a indirect way of saying “I love you.”

My mom was the backbone of the family. She was a throw back mom. She did all the laundry, made dinner, cleaned house, made lunches to bring to school, cleaned up after the dog, gardened and more, all while working full time. She was selfless, always looking out for everyone else, making sure they were happy.

As I have become a parent, I really appreciate the sacrifices she has made. Even more I appreciate the time she likes spending with my kids, playing board games The kids really look forward to visiting with granny to play.

She is one in a million. They don’t make them like my mom anymore. I am thankful that my mom was always there to lend advice (even though I didn’t feel that way at the time). Enjoy!

Recipe for For the MaMoo

General Information:
Brew Date: Saturday, March 11, 2017
Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: S-05, not hydrated
Yeast Starter: none
Batch Size (Gallons): 5.50
Original Gravity: 1.056
Finishing Gravity: 1.008
IBU: 30.0
Color: 5.5 SRM
Boiling Time (Minutes): 60
Brewhouse Efficiency: 70%
Alcohol by Volume: 6.30%
Primary Fermentation: 10 days @68*F

Grain Bill:
10.00 pounds Maris Otter
1.50 pounds Oats
0.50 pounds Caramalt

Mash:
Saccharification @150.3*F

Hop Bill:
2.00 ounces 2015 Equinox @5 minutes
1.00 ounces 2015 Eureka @5 minutes
4.00 ounces 2015 Vic Secret @whirlpool for 25 minutes
4.00 ounces 2015 Vic Secret @4 day dry hop

Extras:
1.0 tsp Irish Moss @15 minutes
1.0 tsp Yeast Nutrient @15 minutes
3.0 quarts of rice hulls
~4.5 gallons of reverse osmosis water used

Updates:

  • 2017-03-12 (morning): @62.4*F, slow fermentation, placed on heat blanket set at 68.0*F.
  • 2017-03-12 (evening): @90.3*F, fantastic fermentation. Thermometer fell off. Removed from heat.
  • 2017-03-13: @66.1*F, hard fermentation.
  • 2017-03-15: Added dry hops.
  • 2017-03-18: Bottled with 3.5 ounces of priming sugar and 2.0 cups of water. 26, 22 ounce bottles. Bottle crown label: Ma.
  • 2017-04-25: Tasted

Useless Fact: 8 billion chickens are consumed in the U.S. each year.

Brewed: For the Little Woman

Sunday, February 19th, 2017

For the Little Woman is a home brewed beer with a ton of inspiration from Spotted Cow, by New Glarus Brewing Company; one of my wife’s, Little Woman, favorite craft beers. I home brew two other beers that are mainly hers: Grass Cutter and Honey Pale Ale, but For the Little Woman is the first that was inspired by an actual craft beer.

I couldn’t find a definitive clone recipe for Spotted Cow, even after talking/researching at the local home brew shop. I did gather enough to know what I needed outside of the norm:

  • Flaked corn
  • Custer hops

Base malt, cara-pils, and S-05 yeast are always on hand. Some of the recipes also called for flaked barley. I decided to drop that for a bit more flaked corn. The only concern I have for 12.0 ounces of flaked corn: too much corn, yielding an almost popped corn and/or corn cereal flavor/aroma.

The total of the flaked corn used in this recipe was less than any total of flaked corn and barley combined as well as, there were a couple of recipes approaching this much flaked corn as well. Still concerned. It will be a simple fix if the corn is too strong: use less corn.

Home Brewing For the Little Woman

This is a rather simple beer to brew based on my recipe formulation. Using a single ounce of hops in a beer is something I rarely do and brings back memories of when I was brewing many wild/sour beers.

This was one of the most successful/easy days of home brewing I have had in quite some time. Gravity readings were higher than expected. I think I finally have the grain mill dialed in. Thanks to Fred Francis, at monster mill, for his patience with his assistance. Rich joined in to make the time pass quickly as our conversation centered on craft beer, home brewing, and anything similar. Enjoy!

Recipe for For the Little Woman

General Information:
Brew Date: Sunday, February 19, 2017
Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: S-05, not hydrated
Yeast Starter: none
Batch Size (Gallons): 5.50
Original Gravity: 1.052
Finishing Gravity: 1.006
IBU: 14.6
Color: 3.1 SRM
Boiling Time (Minutes): 60
Brewhouse Efficiency: 70%
Alcohol by Volume: 6.04%
Primary Fermentation: 21 days @68*F

Grain Bill:
8.00 pounds 2-Row
0.75 pounds Flaked Corn
0.50 pounds Cara-pils

Mash:
Saccharification @153.3*F

Hop Bill:
0.50 ounces 2016 Cluster @60 minutes
0.50 ounces 2016 Cluster @5 minutes

Extras:
1.0 tsp Irish Moss @15 minutes
1.0 tsp Yeast Nutrient @15 minutes
3.0 quarts of rice hulls
~4.5 gallons of reverse osmosis water used

Updates:

  • 2017-02-20: @63.5*F, moderate fermentation, placed on heat blanket set at 68.0*F.
  • 2017-02-21: @67.3*F, fantastic fermentation.
  • 2017-02-23: @66.8*F, slow fermentation, placed heat blanket temperature to 70.0*F
  • 2017-03-05: Bottled with 3.5 ounces of priming sugar and 2.0 cups of water. 25, 22 ounce bottles. Bottle crown label: LW.
  • 2017-04-14: Tasted.

Useless Fact: Farts have been clocked at a speed of 10 feet per second (7 mph).

Brewed: Winter Wheat Ale

Sunday, January 15th, 2017

Winter Wheat ale was a quick zigzag when trying to brew up another batch of Grass Cutter wheat ale. In case you haven’t been following along, Grass Cutter wheat ale is a beer that I home brew up for the wife once a year or less.

I haven’t had much time to brew lately. Telling the wife that I would make a beer she likes seemed to be the best way to carve out time from our busy schedule while doing good for others. 😀

I decided on Grass Cutter. Brewing it would have to do without the Saaz hops that I normally use as I was out and a trip to the home brew store wasn’t in the schedule. Not a big deal. Once brew day arrived, I collected up my supplies, including Azacca and Cascade hops. Yes, I know, no where near Saaz. It’s what I had.

Home Brewing Winter Wheat Ale

How did I come up with a new beer? First off, asking that rhetorical question loosely. Secondly, on brew day I was missing coriander as well. Coriander adds more pronounced orange while giving off some pepper notes as well. This is a big change to a beer that usually consider to be an Americanized Belgian Wit.

I had zigged around the hops, now it was time to zag around the missing coriander. Two major changes to a single recipe make for a new recipe, thus Winter Wheat Ale.

I also decided to add the zest at one orange, soaked in vodka, at bottling. I did this in the past with Grass Cutter and it adds a huge orange boost. Cheers to hoping this one turns out somewhat decent. Enjoy!

Recipe for Winter Wheat Ale

General Information:
Brew Date: Sunday, January 15, 2017
Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: S-05, not hydrated
Yeast Starter: none
Batch Size (Gallons): 5.50
Original Gravity: 1.052
Finishing Gravity: 1.005
IBU: 20.8
Color: 4.0 SRM
Boiling Time (Minutes): 60
Brewhouse Efficiency: 70%
Alcohol by Volume: 6.17%
Primary Fermentation: 10 days @68*F

Grain Bill:
6.00 pounds 2-Row
3.00 pounds Red Wheat
1.00 pounds Munich

Mash:
Saccharification @150.3*F

Hop Bill:
1.00 ounces 2015 Cascade @20 minutes
1.00 ounces 2015 Azacca @5 minutes

Extras:
1.0 tsp Irish Moss @15 minutes
1.0 tsp Yeast Nutrient @15 minutes
1.0 tsp Orange peel, bitter @15 minutes
1.0 tsp Orange peel, sweet @15 minutes
1.0 fresh Orange zest (soaked in vodka), @15 minutes
4.0 quarts of rice hulls

Updates

  • 2017-01-29: Bottled with 3.8 ounces of priming sugar and 2.0 cups of water. 28, 22 ounce bottles. Bottle crown label: GC.

Useless Fact: This year (2017), 30-second ads for the Super Bowl will cost around $5.5M.

Brewed: Carrot Top

Monday, December 26th, 2016

Life is full of memories, not always good, not always bad, with many somewhere in-between. One of my memories growing up was the color of my brother’s and my hair. It was bright red, almost orange in color. It was an easy target for kids of my generation to poke fun at; growing up in the 70s it seems like there wasn’t much needed in order to do so and it wasn’t looked down upon.

Red hair sticks out. When it is orange at the beginning of the school year, after a summer of natural summer sun bleaching, the red and blonde hues blend to a bright orange. It almost glowed.

It didn’t take long for a myriad of nicknames to fly our way. Since my brother was older, the nicknames were already in place and known before I showed up at school. “Carrot top” was the one that I remember most. It is the one that, at the time, I think I least liked. But in hindsight, who gives a shit. It is a memory that I will have forever.

As I have grown older, I don’t get the highlights in my hair I used to (tons of skin damage – yuck) and it is turning gray. No one will mistake me for a carrot top but I am one still at heart. This beer is for all those red heads that have found their way on the back side of nickname. Enjoy!

Home Brewing Carrot Top Amber Ale

I have been brewing North East India pale ales (NEIPA) for the past few months (The Dude, The Train Man, Baller, and Used to name a few.). I have been trying to become more intimate with style. I have tried many different hops and changes to the brewing process. It has been quite the tasty experience.

I decided to take some of the NEIPA brewing processes and apply them to an American amber ale. I wanted enough malt to hold up the amber ale while getting a hoppier, non-bitter, aromatic beer. The beer needed to have the mouthfeel to hold up the style but allow clean hop flavors to shine.

Mosiac and centennial seemed to be two well suited hops that should/would play nicely together. Layered crystal malts would lend enough maltiness, sweetness and light caramel notes to remind the drinker of the malt backbone the style was once built upon. A touch of chocolate malt to give color, while oats would add to the body with some creaminess. A mash temperature at 154*F should help the body as well. An American yeast, S-05, should round the beer out nicely.

Excited to have this one in the glass as it sounds like it should be darn tasty.

Recipe for Carrot Top Amber Ale

General Information:
Brew Date: Monday, December 26, 2016
Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: S-05, not hydrated
Yeast Starter: none
Batch Size (Gallons): 5.50
Original Gravity: 1.051
Finishing Gravity: 1.008
IBU: 43.9
Color: 12.7 SRM
Boiling Time (Minutes): 60
Brewhouse Efficiency: 70%
Alcohol by Volume: 5.64%
Primary Fermentation: 10 days @68*F

Grain Bill:
9.00 pounds 2-Row
0.50 pounds Crystal 40L
0.50 pounds Oats
0.25 pounds Crystal 20L
3.00 ounces Chocolate Malt

Mash:
Saccharification @154.0*F

Hop Bill:
1.00 ounces 2015 Mosiac @1st wort
0.50 ounces 2015 Centennial @15 minutes
0.50 ounces 2015 Mosiac @15 minutes
2.50 ounces 2015 Centennial @0 minutes, 23 minute hop stand
2.50 ounces 2015 Mosiac @0 minutes, 23 minute hop stand
1.00 ounces 2015 Centennial @dry hop 4 days
2.00 ounces 2015 Mosiac @dry hop 4 days

Extras:
1.0 tsp Irish Moss @ 15 minutes
1.0 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 15 minutes
4.0 quarts of rice hulls

Updates

  • 2016-12-27: (morning) Slow fermentation at 62.1*F. Not on heat blanket.
  • 2016-12-27: (evening) Slow fermentation at 62.3*F. Not on heat blanket.
  • 2016-12-28: (morning) Mild fermentation at 62.7*F. Placed on heat at 68*F.
  • 2016-12-28: (evening) Good fermentation at 67.7*F.
  • 2016-12-29: Slow fermentation at 67.5*F.
  • 2016-12-31: Dry hopped.
  • 2017-01-03: Put in freezer at 38*F.
  • 2017-01-04: Bottled with 3.5 ounces of priming sugar and 2.0 cups of water. 27, 22 ounce bottles. Bottle crown label: CT.
  • 2017-01-24: Tasted The Dude.

Useless Fact: US consumers spend about $5 billion a year on Christmas gifts for their pets.

Brewed: The Dude

Thursday, December 22nd, 2016

Yes, I always seem to take pictures of the hops I use.

The Dude is a homage to my nine year old son. When he was born, I was on a huge Big Lebowski kick. I couldn’t get enough of the movie. Of course, it was only natural, to bypass his given name and refer to him as Lil’ Dude. I used the nickname so much that family and friends referred to him as Lil’ Dude as well. He was known more by his nickname than his real name.

Now that he is nine, he doesn’t seem so little. He has graduated to just “The Dude”. I enjoy watching him grow up (as I do both of my girls). This beer is named after a fun loving kid that enjoys video games, basketball and playing with friends.

Home Brewing The Dude IPA

Another IPA (seems like a hybrid: APA (American Pale Ale) an IPA (India Pale Ale)).

There were two changes I was going to make to this beer: water and a complex hop profile. I was finally going to use the reverse osmosis system that I received for my birthday in October. My plan was simple: cut the brew day water in half, 50% tap, 50% reverse osmosis. This wasn’t a complex plan or overly thought out. It was somewhat easy. I have tried to read books and forums on water but it seems to bounce of the thick skull instead of soaking in. Therefore KISS: Keep It Simple Stupid.

The second change, complex hop profile, was going to take a bit more thought. Looking up the hop profiles (again and again) helped me to understand the profiles of each hop. Past brewing days and notes also aided in choosing the hops. On hand hops played a role as well.

Eureka and Equinox were definitely going to add quality subtle complexities. Galaxy, Amarillo, Columbus and Mosiac each have big characteristics that add distinct aroma and flavor. Layered the complex nature of the helps should meld well together. Enjoy!

Recipe for The Dude IPA

General Information:
Brew Date: Wednesday, December 22, 2016
Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: S-04, not hydrated
Yeast Starter: none
Batch Size (Gallons): 5.50 (boil finished with 6.0 gallons)
Original Gravity: 1.068
Finishing Gravity: 1.010
IBU: 61.3
Color: 4.3 SRM
Boiling Time (Minutes): 60
Brewhouse Efficiency: 70%
Alcohol by Volume: 7.61%
Primary Fermentation: 10 days @68*F

Grain Bill:
6.50 pounds 2-Row
6.50 pounds Pilsner
2.00 pound Oats

Mash:
Saccharification @153.1*F

Hop Bill:
1.00 ounces 2015 Columbus @1st wort
1.00 ounces 2015 Cascade @10 minutes
1.00 ounces 2015 Columbus @10 minutes
1.00 ounces 2015 Amarillo @0 minutes, 25 minute hop stand
1.00 ounces 2015 Cascade @0 minutes, 25 minute hop stand
1.00 ounces 2015 Columbus @0 minutes, 25 minute hop stand
1.00 ounces 2015 Galaxy @0 minutes, 25 minute hop stand
2.00 ounces 2015 Eureka @dry hop 4 days
2.00 ounces 2015 Galaxy @dry hop 4 days
1.00 ounces 2015 Amarillo @dry hop 4 days
1.00 ounces 2015 Equinox @dry hop 4 days
1.00 ounces 2015 Mosiac @dry hop 4 days

Extras:
1.0 tsp Irish Moss @ 15 minutes
1.0 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 15 minutes
1.0 pound table sugar @ 15 minutes
4.0 quarts of rice hulls

Updates

  • 2016-12-22: Strong fermentation at 69.8*F. Not on heat blanket.
  • 2016-12-24: Blew off bung. Added new bung and dry hops.
  • 2016-12-27: Put in freezer at 38*F.
  • 2016-12-29: Bottled with 3.6 ounces of priming sugar and 2.0 cups of water. 25, 22 ounce bottles. Bottle crown label: D.
  • 2017-01-22: Tasted The Dude.

Useless Fact: US consumers spend about $5 billion a year on Christmas gifts for their pets.

Brewed: The Train Man IPA

Saturday, November 12th, 2016

home brew the train man ipa

Ever since I have had my first memories, my Dad has been a O-gauger. In simple speak: he has had an infatuation with trains, specifically O-gague, which defines a size of model trains (1:48 or 7mm:1ft) and is on the rather large size for model railroading. He worked for the Missouri Pacific Railroad that was bought out by the Union Pacific. If memory serves me, it was the C&EI before it was the Missouri Pacific. If you want to know more, Dad will fill you in any time, any place. He will talk trains as much as I will talk home brew. The two hobbies don’t mesh well together.

Our basement was full of his trains and a layout, always in one form or another of completeness. I tagged along to monthly train meets: early Sunday morning drives that seemed to last for eternity. Once there, I worked odd jobs, walked through all the tables and wondered how cool it would be to have a layout with one of everything. A kid dreams.

Dad is 80 now. In great shape and spry (I only hope to be as nimble when and if my turn comes at 80). His love for trains has never waned. His layout is more complete than ever. It is realistic. It is beautiful. It is a labor of love. This beer is in honor of the best Dad: a man who never looked the other way when it came to hard work or trying to make a better future for his family. The Train Man.

Home Brewing The Train Man IPA

I have found that I enjoy rye in a beer much more than I enjoy eating rye bread. A mix of rye spice works well with fruity and citrus hops. Azacca, a new hop for me, seemed to be a great place to start. I decide to add Columbus to get an extra spice kick while kicking up the citrus profile. The added IBUs would also assist with balance. The last time I brewed a rye ipa I only used two pounds of rye. I upped it to three here with the idea of pronouncing the rye in the finish even more (writing this also reminds me that I need to brew that rye ipa again).

Leading up to this brew day, I worked on my grain mill to get it better dialed in for higher efficiency. Based on the brew day numbers, I was spot on for the first time in a long time with my gravity. This should help the balance since the bitterness will be a bit more in check.

I am looking forward to this beer. Reusing many of the techniques from Baller IPA, I expect the mix of rye and Azacca to wow me. Enjoy!

Recipe for The Train Man IPA

General Information:
Brew Date: Saturday, November 12, 2016
Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: S-05, not hydrated
Yeast Starter: none
Batch Size (Gallons): 5.50
Original Gravity: 1.071
IBU: 49.7
Color: 5.7 SRM
Boiling Time (Minutes): 60
Brewhouse Efficiency: 70%
Alcohol by Volume: 8.4%
Primary Fermentation: 10 days @68*F

Grain Bill:
11.00 pounds 2-Row
3.00 pounds Rye
1.00 pound Carapils
4.00 ounces Caramel 40L

Mash:
Saccharification @149.7*F

Hop Bill:
2.50 ounces 2015 Columbus @1st wort
2.00 ounces 2015 Azacca @1st wort
1.00 ounces 2015 Columbus @45 minutes
1.00 ounces 2015 Columbus @10 minutes
4.00 ounces 2015 Azacca @dry hop 4 days
1.50 ounces 2015 Columbus @dry hop 4 days

Extras:
1.0 tsp Irish Moss @ 15 minutes
1.0 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 15 minutes
8.0 ounces table sugar @ 15 minutes
4.0 quarts of rice hulls

Updates

  • 2016-11-13: moderate fermentation at 65.8*F.
  • 2016-11-14: morning – moderate fermentation @67.1*F.
  • 2016-11-14: evening – strong fermentation @67.1*F.
  • 2016-11-15: morning – hard fermentation @70.1*F.
  • 2016-11-16: evening – slowing fermentation @67.1*F. Added dry hops: 4.0 ounces 2015 Azacca and 1.5 ounces 2015 Columbus. Placed on heat @70*F to help finish.
  • 2016-11-20: bottled with 3.5 ounces of priming sugar and 2.0 cups of water. 23, 22 ounce bottles. Bottle crown label: TM.

Useless Fact: Al Capone’s business card said he was a used furniture dealer.

Brewed: Kate the Great Clone

Friday, October 21st, 2016

brewing water heating for mash

Kate the Great is a legendary American craft beer in my book. It was a big, robust stout, released annually by Portsmouth Brewery. The only access I had to the beer was via trades. Matt, a great trading for years, was kind enough to send me back-to-back years of the beer. I had cellared them until recently. I am glad I waited as it was great to get reacquainted with such a fine lady.

I have been fortunate enough to taste Kate the Great on two different occasions:

  • The first, a Tuesday night beer club bottle share in February 2010.
  • The second, a Thursday night beer club get together in the last few months when I attempted to do a mini vertical of the last two years the beer was released.

That first time was magical and I set out to get at least a bottle of my own. Eventually I stored up three bottles; one of those is still in the cellar. Maybe a treat if the Cubs win the World Series.

Formulating a Kate the Great Recipe

After having the beer the last time, I decided there was only one way to potentially taste the beer again: home brewing. Per typical, I turned to homebrewtalk.com for a clone recipe. Something this good had to have been sought out by the large home brewing community.

The huge thread still lingers on today with tons of great feedback. I decided to take the percentages in the first post as the gospel, creating a recipe to those specifications. The amount of dark malt, almost 3 pounds, is an absurd amount in home brewing career.

Home Brewing Kate the Great

Once again, just as I have been and, most recently with Baller IPA, my grain mill was pretty much useless. I had to dump grain at least 10 times to reset the mill as the non-driven roller continues to have a mind of it’s own, moving any which way it desires in spite of being locked down. Many of those times it bound up against the grain hopper, stopping the milling process completely. Frustrating, almost to the point of infuriating. My nine year old’s help was the only thing keeping me from blowing my stack. My efficiency suffered immensely, possibly the lowest percentage wise ever.

The gravity ended up some 20+ points lower than my brewing software predicted.

Outside of the milling process, the brew day went well. I am really taking to the Friday after work brew day. It leaves the rest of the weekend open for family time. Enjoy!

Note: I have reached out the the manufacturer of the mill. He has been very helpful in explaining what I should be able to do to stop my issues. More on this next brew day.

Recipe for Kate the Great

General Information:
Brew Date: Friday, October 21, 2016
Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: S-05 (1.8 – since the gravity was so low, should have been over 2), not hydrated
Yeast Starter: none
Batch Size (Gallons): 5.50
Original Gravity: 1.090
IBU: 69.9
Color: 63.9 SRM
Boiling Time (Minutes): 90
Brewhouse Efficiency: 70%
Alcohol by Volume: 11.8% (probably will be in the 10 range?)
Primary Fermentation: 30 days @68*F, condition at ambient basement temperature for two months

Grain Bill:
19.00# Maris Otter
1.00# Roasted Barley
1.00# Special B
14.0 ounces Red Wheat
12.0 ounces Black Patent
12.0 ounces Carafa III
8.00 ounces Flaked Oats
8.00 ounces Caramel 40L
8.00 ounces Aromatic
4.00 ounces Chocolate (Malt)
4.00 ounces Caramel 120L

Mash:
Saccharification @156.2*F

Hop Bill:
2.00 ounce 2014 Magnum @75 minutes
1.00 ounce 2015 Cascade @20 minutes
1.00 ounce 2015 Cascade @5 minutes

Extras:
1.0 tsp Irish Moss @ 15 minutes
1.0 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 15 minutes
1.0 minute of pure oxygen after racking to carboy
8 quarts of rice hulls

Updates

  • 2016-10-22: slowly fermenting at 65.8*F.
  • 2016-10-23: morning – medium fermentation @68.1*F.
  • 2016-10-23: afternoon – hard fermentation @72.1*F.
  • 2016-10-24: morning – hard fermentation @72.6*F.
  • 2016-10-24: evening – medium fermentation @67.7*F. Added heat blanket set to 70.0*F.
  • 2016-10-26: reduced heat blanket temperature to 68.0*F.

Useless Fact: Ants can accidentally misinterpret the chemical trails left by other ants and start walking in circles. If too many members of the colony join in, it can kill the whole colony in what is sometimes known as the “Death Spiral”.

Brewed: Baller IPA

Thursday, October 6th, 2016
Over an 1.5 inches of trub after my first go around with dry hopping while active fermentation.

Over an 1.5 inches of trub after my first go around with dry hopping while active fermentation.

Home brewing beers that are named after family members has created an issue: now all my kids want a beer named after them. When the first kid (that I named a home brew after) brags to the other kids, a battle for Dad’s attention ensues. Since my oldest was the most exuberant, Baller IPA was named after her. As I mentioned before, when naming a beer I don’t typically give it the name of the real person but something that reminds me of that person. Thus, Baller IPA, is named due to my oldest child’s affinity for basketball. She plays hard, tough and with a determination that continues to soar in recent months.

Formulating Baller IPA Recipe

Baller IPA is another attempt at a Northeast style IPA (earlier attempts: Smiles and Used). The beer actually started out with intentions of being a double IPA, using some Northeast style hopping processes, while resuscitating an old, friendly on. Alas, it did not end up that way from the standpoint of gravity.

Cracking grain for me can be an adventure at times. The drill that drives my grinder doesn’t allow me to crack the grain as finely as I would like; the grinder binds as the drill doesn’t have the stones to push through the grain to the powdery mist I prefer. Instead, I back off a bit, cutting down on efficiency. The drill, mill and myself did not see eye-to-eye on brew day, more so than usual. The drill/mill bound up, multiple times, making me dump out the grain and clean out any traces before “working” again. Half-dozen times later, I was a bit miffed. I opened the mill spacing to allow for a more coarse grind, alleviating pressure on the drill. 45 minutes after starting the milling process, I was done and hating the mill, drill and anything within eyesight.

I knew my efficiency was shot but I did not change the process I was going to use in terms of the hops. I felt that the way I was going to use the hops, the drop in efficiency shouldn’t raise the bitterness to an obnoxious level.

The changes to the hopping process was threefold:

  • No whirlpool hops. Happy with the aroma this adds but, perception is, not enough flavor. Also, was to be a DIPA to start.
  • Add a first wort hop. It has been a long time but feel this process adds a nice flavor profile to the beer with a minimal impact on bitterness.
  • Add the dry hops towards the end of active fermentation. I have been wanting to use this technique for a while. After my mediocre success with Smiles and Used, I thought that trying this technique might up the perceived aroma (never enough).

The aroma jetting out of the carboy, while racking to the bottling, was impressive. I hope that my milling blunder allows this beer to shine through once I begin tasting. Enjoy!

Recipe for Baller IPA

General Information:
Brew Date: Thursday, October 06, 2016
Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: S-05, not hydrated
Yeast Starter: none
Batch Size (Gallons): 5.50
Original Gravity: 1.070
IBU: 136.7
Color: 6.3 SRM
Boiling Time (Minutes): 60
Brewhouse Efficiency: 70%
Alcohol by Volume: 7.6% (due to poor milling)
Primary Fermentation: 10 days @66*F

Grain Bill:
7.00# Maris Otter
7.00# Pilsner
2.00# Munich
8.00 ounces CaraPils
1.00# Table sugar

Mash:
Saccharification @150.8*F

Hop Bill:
3.00 ounce 2014 Simcoe first wort
1.50 ounce 2014 Citra @20 minutes
1.50 ounce 2014 Simcoe @15 minutes
1.50 ounce 2014 Citra @10 minutes
1.50 ounce 2014 Simcoe @5 minutes
4.00 ounce 2014 Citra dry hops 4 days in primary
2.00 ounce 2014 Simcoe dry hops 4 days in primary

Extras:
1.0 tsp Irish Moss @ 15 minutes
1.0 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 15 minutes
30 seconds of pure oxygen after racking to carboy
4 quarts of rice hulls

Updates

  • 2016-10-09: Hard fermentation @67.8*F.
  • 2016-10-10: Slowing fermentation @66.3*F. Added dry hops to primary: 4.00 ounce 2014 Citra, 2.00 ounce 2014 Simcoe.
  • 2016-10-15: Cold condition @39.0*F.
  • 2016-10-16: Bottled with 3.6 ounces of priming sugar and 2.0 cups of water. 28, 22 ounce bottles. Bottle crown label: LN.

Useless Fact: Spain leads the world in cork production.

Brewed: LaLa Barleywine

Sunday, September 4th, 2016
Preparing to add 60 seconds of oxygen to LaLa wort, post boil.

Preparing to add 60 seconds of oxygen to LaLa wort, post boil.

Requests for a new home brew don’t happen often. Heck, even my wife only requests for the same two beers over and over: Honey Pot Pale Ale and Grass Cutter. Maybe that should tell me something about how my home brews are perceived and/or my home brewing abilities.

Nonetheless, a request did come in the shape of my cousin Ron while chatting at this summers’ family reunion. He heard me say “La”. He asked me to say it again, mentioning that it had been a long time since he had heard someone call his Mother “La”. Of course she is my aunt and my Dad’s twin sister. Her real name is Catheline. “La” came about when my Dad was little and did not have the ability to say Catheline. Instead, he could say “La La”. Somehow it stuck. Ever since I am able to remember, we referred to Ron’s mom as Aunt La.

I not going to bore with more family details but let’s just say Aunt La, a damn hip and cool lady, has had a large helping of misfortune in her life. Ronny asked if I could make a beer for the 2nd annual New Year’s day get together, at my house, to honor his Mom. Of course I couldn’t say no, nor did I want to.

Now I had to determine the beer style and recipe that is fitting of Aunt La. A strong beer with the potential for multiple ways (bourbon soaked oak chips, large dry hop and possibly some with a combination of both) of changing the final product seemed to be the best route to go.

In order to brew up a large beer I had to get one more piece of brewing equipment that I have wanted for a long time and has held me back from brewing high gravity beers: pure oxygen. It has been at least a couple of years since I brewed a high gravity beer for the simple reason of my hyper-sensitivity to alcohol flavors in beer. The process of shaking the carboy only has lead me to believe that mine have that off-flavor. I was waiting for a time that I could get the necessary equipment and the wife wouldn’t bat an eye. Paying homage to my Aunt was an easy win.

Researching award winning barleywines and professional clone recipes, I ended up with what is below. The hope is there that everyone will taste and enjoy this beer that is truly created to represent Aunt La in liquid form. Enjoy!

LaLa Barleywine

General Information:
Brew Date: Sunday, September 04, 2016
Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: S-05 (2), not hydrated
Yeast Starter: none
Batch Size (Gallons): 5.50
Original Gravity: 1.088
IBU: 31.5
Color: 6.4 SRM
Boiling Time (Minutes): 180
Brewhouse Efficiency: 70%
Alcohol by Volume: 6.2%
Primary Fermentation: 30 days @68*F, condition at ambient basement temperature for two months

Grain Bill:
10.50# 2 Row
9.50# Pilsner
0.50# Caramel 60L
0.50# Caramel 80L
0.50# Dextrapils

Mash:
Saccharification @150.8*F

Hop Bill:
3.00 ounce 2014 Magnum @90 minutes
1.00 ounce 2015 Cascade @5 minutes

Extras:
1.0 tsp Irish Moss @ 15 minutes
1.0 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 15 minutes
1.0 minute of pure oxygen after racking to carboy

Update(s):

  • 2016-09-04: @1600 the temperature was @83.8*F, placed on concrete basement floor.
  • 2016-09-05: @0800 the temperature was @68*F, pitched yeast
  • 2016-09-05: @2100, fermentation showing good signs.
  • 2016-09-06: @71.3*F, strong fermentation.
  • 2016-09-06: @67.2*F, added heat @69*F.
  • 2016-09-14: Took of heat. Left at ambient basement temperature.

Useless Fact: The $99 Now watch, made by designer Micah Davis, doesn’t have a clock face that tells time, it literally just says “NOW.”

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