Brewed: Happy Accidents

By scot in Beer, Beer Recipes, Home Brewing on Saturday, February 12th, 2022

Home brewing has been a bit of a love-hate relationship since I picked up the Spike Trio brewing system about 16 months ago. I have only brewed on it less than a handful of times due to multiple issues every time that I brew on the system. These issues have made me apprehensive to use the system.

A bunch of money sitting there collecting dust.

I have contemplated going back to the propane burner and Blichmann 15 gallon stainless steel kettle. But, the dust settled, and I know that I have to learn to use the Spike system or forever be the grunt of my wife’s jokes.

The basement home brewing area.

After the last mishap using the Spike system in which I continually have boil overs in spite of the electric heating element being set at 206*F and 50.0% power, I sent an email to Spike. The email probably read like a crazy man ready to jump off the ledge. I was.

Their feedback was to lower the percentage on the heating element to 30.0% – 40.0% range when using the heating condenser lid.

The email correspondence took place in August of 2020. Almost six months later I brewed up the courage to try again, with one caveat.

An injury to my right shoulder has limited by ability to lift for the past 3+ months. Rich said that he would do the grunt work and had never seen the system work. Heck, I never have seen the system work the way I want it to work.

Luckily there were no boil overs: setting the element to 35.0% power did the trick. But, the boil wasn’t as vigorous as I would have liked. My efficiency is way off. I need to push forward to get better!

Recipe Formulation and Naming of Happy Accidents

Happy Accidents is an American India Pale Ale that uses some techniques from the North-East India Pale Ale style.

Rich asked for a west coast IPA since there aren’t many of those being made. Therefore I was going to use 2-row, some table sugar, and American yeast with Citra and El Dorado hops. The hops, hmm, I had Galaxy and Cascade sitting around, why crack open full pounds, that’s a lot of work. Cascade is more of a west coast hop while Galaxy is somewhat interchangeable with Citra. And, I have surgery coming up. I needed something that didn’t need a bunch of attention as surgery approaches and would be in the keg prior to surgery. Mix and match: west coast IPA in the north-east process. All the hops were back loaded in two whirlpool additions while a nice five ounce dry hop when fermentation slowed.

The inspiration for “Happy Accidents” comes from Bob Ross, the painter, but I think it is very fitting for my learning curve with the Spike Trio system. I am not making mistakes but happy accidents. I just don’t think they are that happy when a boil over occurs and I have 3 hours of wort cleanup. Enjoy!

Recipe for Happy Accidents

General Information:
Brew Date: Sunday, February 06, 2022
Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: S-04 (2), not hydrated
Yeast Starter: none
Batch Size (Gallons): 5.5
Original Gravity: 1.064
Finishing Gravity: 1.008
IBU: 80.1
Color: 4.0 SRM
Boiling Time (Minutes): 60
Brewhouse Efficiency: 54.42%
Alcohol by Volume: 7.35%
Calories per ounce: 208.2 per 12 ounces
Primary Fermentation: @65*F

Grain Bill:
10.00 pounds American 2-Row
5.00 pounds Pilsner
1.00 pound Oats

Saccharification @151.0*F

Hop Bill:
2.50 ounces Galaxy @30 minutes whirlpool, @180*F
1.00 ounces Cascade @30 minutes whirlpool, @180*F
2.50 ounces Galaxy @10 minutes whirlpool, @160*F
1.00 ounces Cascade @10 minutes whirlpool, @160*F
1.00 ounces Galaxy @dry hop
4.00 ounces Cascade @dry hop

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


  • 2022-02-10: Dry hopped: 4.00 ounces Cascade, 1.00 ounces Galaxy.
  • 2022-02-15: Kegged, gravity @1.008.

Useless Fact: There are only four words in the English language which end in “dous”: tremendous, horrendous, stupendous, and hazardous.

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