Friday, December 28, 2012

#71: Cidre Normande

The prize winnings included some EC-1118 champagne yeast that is also good for ciders.  Seeing that I was more likely to do a cider than a wine, I did a bit of searching for cider recipes.  I'm more inclined to like a dry cider or wine, so I'm going to let this sucker ferment all the way out as far as it'll go.

This one is based on a 5 gallon recipe from BYO called Cidre Normande.  Scaling back this much causes some tiny values for the acid blend, but I went ahead and added it nonetheless.  Used generic GFS honey and Whole Foods apple juice.  The juice comes in a one gallon jug, so this was a 5 minute "brew" day...  I poured a small amount of the juice into a sanitized container with the honey, acid blend, and yeast nutrient, and then microwaved that a bit to thin the honey.  Then that was poured back into the jug, temps were checked, and yeast was pitched.   Easy peasy...

I ended up a little higher on the OG than I thought (the honey and scale were not cooperating, so some estimation occurred), but no worries.  I think the max I'll see is a 7% abv, with the low end around 5 to 5.5%, which is about what I intended.

Cidre Normande                                               
Common Cider


Type: Cider Date: 12/23/2012
Batch Size: 1.00 gal
Amount Item Type % or IBU
0.10 tsp Acid Blend (Boil 5.0 min) Misc
0.10 tsp Yeast Nutrient (Primary 3.0 days) Misc
0.85 lb Apple Juice (1 gallon) (1.0 SRM) Sugar 73.91 %
0.30 lb Honey (1.0 SRM) Sugar 26.09 %
1 Pkgs Champagne (Red Star Lalvin #EC-1118) Yeast-Champagne
Beer Profile
Est Original Gravity: 1.049 SG Measured Original Gravity: 1.054 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.012 SG Measured Final Gravity: 1.000 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 4.89 % Actual Alcohol by Vol: 7.04 %
Bitterness: 0.0 IBU Calories: 232 cal/pint
Est Color: 1.6 SRM

Monday, December 17, 2012

#70: I'm Calling it a Kolsch

German Ale WY1007 is up next, and I was puzzled as to what to do.  I considered an alt, but have a lot of darker beers in the pipeline already and was thinking more pale.  I became a fan of kolsch beers via Blackstone and Cool Springs Brewery, so I got to thinking more along that line.  The standard calls for a smooth, crisp beer of a straw yellow color, with low hop character and little to no hop aroma.  I decided on the low bitterness of the Canadian Blonde extract, but with a 20 minute boil of Perle to get up to the bitterness desired.  OG (of course) is lower than Mr. B estimate.  Though this isn't truly a kolsch, this should be a very nice session pale, hitting something like 140 cal per bottle.

#70: I'm Calling it a Kolsch                          


Type: Extract Date: 12/17/2012
Batch Size: 2.12 gal
Boil Time: 20 min

Amount Item Type % or IBU
0.83 lb DME Golden Light (Briess) (4.0 SRM) Dry Extract 30.74 %
1.87 lb Canadian Blonde (2.0 SRM) Extract 69.26 %
0.50 oz Pearle [6.30 %] (20 min) Hops 16.1 IBU
1 Pkgs German Ale (Wyeast Labs #1007) Yeast-Ale
Beer Profile
Est Original Gravity: 1.049 SG Measured Original Gravity: 1.044 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.012 SG New Est. Final Gravity: 1.011 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 4.87 % New Est. Alcohol by Vol: 4.30 %
Bitterness: 29.1 IBU Calories: 194 cal/pint
Est Color: 3.4 SRM

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Notes from the free ingredient adventure...

Notes so far from the eight beers in progress:

  • Of the ones already drinkable, they are all pretty tasty:
    • The Winter Dark Ale, with the addition of a grain steep and some DME, is a nice winter warmer.  Roasty, malty, and a bit of raisin.  Pretty happy with this.  In the bottle since mid-October.
    • The Northwestern Pale Ale is a fine APA.  Used WY1056 with this instead of the Coopers yeast.  Head retention is a bit lacking, and I maybe should have dry-hopped it a bit, but it's a perfectly drinkable pale.
    • The ESB is the only one with slight problems.  I was working oldest to newest on the liquid yeasts, and this one did not expand much at all.  I should have done a starter, but I decided that for a 2 gallon batch, even the non-expanded quantity would be enough.  It actually did fine from a FG standpoint, but I'm getting a slight banana ester that likely is from the yeast being stressed a bit (I've read a few other cases on Homebrewtalk where people reported this ester with WY1968). The beer tastes fine, but that flavor just doesn't mesh from an ESB perspective.  Maybe it will fade, or maybe I just shouldn't call this an ESB.  Regardless, it's still a tasty brew, but I will likely let it sit for another month before trying another.
    • The Abbey Dubbel had problems from the get-go.  Another yeast pack that didn't expand, an addition of an additional T-58 pack to get things going when the old WY3944 stalled, and finally a broken spigot causing half of the brew to be lost and the other half to be likely aerated.  After all of that, this may be my favorite of the bunch.  The taste is spot-on for a young belgian, and though the original plan was to age this a bit, I'll likely drink this young just because of the aeration concern.  
    • The IPA was converted into a 5-gallon batch via a mini-mash and DME addition, as well as an additional hop boil.  The result is quite a nice IPA.  I've just dropped this into the drinking rotation.
  • The current ferments are as follows:
    • The Oktoberfest Lager HME was supplemented with a bunch of Munich LME and a flameout Tettang addition.  Instead of this being a misnamed ale, I used the WY2206 lager yeast for a true lager.  Looking at bottling mid-January and taking the first drink sometime in the spring/summer.
    • The Weizen is pretty much a straight-up deluxe Bavarian Weissbier kit, with the yeast replaced with WY3068.  I also added small amounts of orange peel and coriander to a short boil with the LME.  Looking to bottle around New Years, and drink first in February.
    • The Light beer is also a lager, using the Budweiser yeast (WY2007).  Pretty much just the deluxe American Light kit with a flameout addition of Mt. Hood.  Bottling mid-January, and first taste in the spring.
What's left - HME:
So, I still have about 10 brews from these contest winnings, with a bunch of yeast and hops to spare.  The fruit has thus far gone into pies and will likely continue to be used for that (not a fruit beer fan).   I'll need to (at least) find additional uses for the three wheat yeasts, as well as the Trappist.  I'll likely make a cider with the Champagne yeast.  That will leave about 8 Coopers ale yeasts (unless I double up on these 5g packs on some brews, which is a possibility).  Lager yeasts will likely be paired with the Pilsner, the Patriot Lager, or the Mexican Cerveza.  S-04 maybe with the stout, US-05 with one of the ales.  Not sure on the S-33 (maybe the Winter Dark Ale).  The rest will get the Coopers ale yeast. Decisions...


Here's a few possibilities (one for each extract):

Kolsch Ale:  Canadian Blonde HME, Pale DME, Perle hops, German Ale yeast - Complete 12/17
Liberty Lager:  Patriot Lager HME, [Pale LME], Liberty hops, S-23 lager yeast.
Dortmunder:  Pilsner HME, Smooth LME, Mt. Hood hops, S-23 lager yeast.
Sutter's Gold Steam beer:  American Ale LME, [Pale LME], Northern Brewer hops, 34/70 yeast.
Oval Office Honey Amber:  Northwestern Pale HME, Smooth LME, Fuggle hops, honey, S-04 yeast.
POTUS Honey Porter:  Porter HME,  Smooth LME, Perle hops, honey, S-04 yeast
Ole Mole Stout:  Stout HME, cayenne pepper, brown sugar, cocoa, Coopers Ale yeast
Christmas Ale:  Winter Dark Ale, Robust LME, mulling spices, almond extract, [Tettang hops], Coopers Ale yeast
Mexican Cerveza:  Mexican Cerveza HME, [Pale LME], [hops?], [yeast?  lager or Coopers Ale] - Gifted on 12/25
IPA:  IPA HME, [pale LME], Centennial hops, Columbus hops, Coopers Ale yeast
Cider:  Apple juice, EC-1118 yeast - Complete 12/28

Will be glad to get back to AG brewing, but I must admit that these are easy and have made good beer thus far...

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

#69: Light #2

Eons ago, I made my first cut at a Light beer, using a Munton's Light LME and ale yeast. This was way back on my 20th brewday.  Seeing that this time I had the Budweiser lager yeast at my disposal, I decided to take another swing at this using the American Light HME. Dropped some remaining Mt. Hood at flameout. Hit the OG this time. Go figure. 

Should be tasty...

Lite American Lager 

Type: Extract
Date: 12/11/2012 
Batch Size: 2.12 gal


Amount Item Type % or IBU 
0.81 lb Booster (0.0 SRM) Adjunct 30.22 % 
1.87 lb Classic American Light (2.0 SRM) Extract 69.78 % 
0.60 oz Mt. Hood [6.00 %] (0 min) Hops - 
1 Pkgs Pilsen Lager (Wyeast Labs #2007) Yeast-Lager 

Beer Profile

Original Gravity: 1.048 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.012 SG 
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 4.69 % 
Bitterness: 11.0 IBU 
Est Color: 2.2 SRM

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

#68: Weizen 2

The weizen yeast is gettin' old, so it's time to get it in a fermenter. The obvious choice is the deluxe Bavarian Weissbier kit with the 3068 yeast instead of the packed dry wheat yeast. Decided to add some coriander and sweet orange peel to a boil with the golden LME just for funzies. Quick, smooth brewday, though I still didn't hit temps very well and had to ice bath for a while. Going to ferment cool to hopefully avoid bubble gum. OG is a fair bit lower than the advertised (not surprisingly)... RDWHAHB. Not a big wheat fan, but thinking this may be good...

#68: Weizen 2 

Type: Extract
Date: 12/10/2012 
Batch Size: 2.12 gal


Amount Item Type % or IBU 
1.87 lb Bavarian Weissbier (3.0 SRM) Extract 77.27 % 
0.55 lb BrewMax Golden LME (Wheat) (1.0 SRM) Extract 22.73 % 
0.33 oz Orange Peel, Sweet (Boil 5.0 min) Misc 
0.75 oz Coriander Seed (Boil 10.0 min) Misc 
1 Pkgs Weihenstephan Weizen (Wyeast Labs #3068) Yeast-Wheat 

Beer Profile

Est Original Gravity: 1.046 SG
Measured Original Gravity: 1.037 SG 
Measured Final Gravity: 1.009 SG 
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 4.58 % 
Adj Est Alcohol by Vol: 3.64 % 
Bitterness: 17.7 IBU

Saturday, December 8, 2012

#67: Oktoberfest Lager

More contest beer. Lager yeasts are next up in terms of expiration date, so I'll be doing two lagers this weekend, and then likely two lagers as soon as these clear the lager fridge. I had a can of Munich LME that I didn't use for another project, so that goes in with the Oktoberfest HME. Hit my OG perfectly. Pretty quick brewday. I didn't have my water chilled enough, so it took a bit longer to cool than anticipated, but otherwise perfectly smooth.

Oktoberfest (Mr. B ) 

Type: Extract
Date: 12/7/2012 
Batch Size: 2.40 gal


Amount Item Type % or IBU 
1.86 lb Oktoberfest Lager (10.0 SRM) Extract 52.39 % 
1.69 lb LME - Munich (8.0 SRM) Extract 47.61 % 
0.50 oz Tettnang [4.50 %] (0 min) Hops - 
1 Pkgs Bavarian Lager (Wyeast Labs #2206) Yeast-Lager 

Beer Profile

Est Original Gravity: 1.053 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.013 SG 
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 5.27 % 
Bitterness: 16.2 IBU 
Est Color: 8.8 SRM 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

#66: IPA #11

In honor of Teach a Friend to Brew Day (or whatever it was called), I did a brewday with three friends today.  Missed the OG by quite a bit...  not sure what we did, but no worries...

IPA #11                                                                 
American IPA


Type: Partial Mash Date: 11/2/2012
Batch Size: 5.00 gal
Boil Size: 5.72 gal
Boil Time: 60 min

Amount Item Type % or IBU
3.00 lb DME Golden Light (Briess) (4.0 SRM) Dry Extract 28.96 %
2.86 lb Diablo IPA (4.0 SRM) Extract 27.61 %
2.00 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 19.31 %
1.00 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt - 20L (20.0 SRM) Grain 9.65 %
0.75 lb Munich Malt (9.0 SRM) Grain 7.24 %
0.50 lb Carapils (Briess) (1.5 SRM) Grain 4.83 %
0.25 lb Caramel Malt - 40L (Briess) (40.0 SRM) Grain 2.41 %
0.50 oz Summit [17.00 %] (60 min) Hops 31.6 IBU
1.00 oz Centennial [10.00 %] (10 min) Hops 13.5 IBU
0.80 oz Nugget [13.00 %] (10 min) Hops 14.0 IBU
1.00 oz Cascade [5.50 %] (5 min) Hops 4.1 IBU
0.80 oz Amarillo Gold [8.50 %] (0 min) Hops -
0.25 tsp Irish Moss (Boil 10.0 min) Misc
0.50 tsp Calcium Chloride (Mash 60.0 min) Misc
1.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient (Boil 10.0 min) Misc
3 Pkgs Cooper Ale (Coopers #-) Yeast-Ale
Beer Profile
Orig Est Original Gravity: 1.072 SG Measured Original Gravity: 1.055 SG
Orig Est Final Gravity: 1.017 SG New Est Final Gravity: 1.013 SG
Orig Est Alcohol by Vol: 7.14 % New Est Alcohol by Vol: 5.48 %
Bitterness: 105.9 IBU Calories: 245 cal/pint
Est Color: 8.7 SRM Color:

Sunday, October 14, 2012

#65: Abbey Dubbel

A rush to get some of the older yeasts in the free ingredients leads me to a third brew for this weekend.  Since these brewdays are so fast, I finished all three in less time than a normal AG day, but I'll have quite a bit to bottle on the back end, so gains here are losses later.  The final yeast that was close to expiration was the WY-3944 (Belgian Wit).  I'm not a big wheat fan, and in reading on this yeast, I found it can be used for dubbels and tripels as well.  I had intended to do an Abbey Dubbel recipe on the Mr. B site with the WY-3787 (Trappist Hi-Grav) that came with the free ingredients instead of the T-58 it called for, but I'll just do an AG with that yeast and use the the 3944 here.  OG was pretty much on par with the rest (lower than the unreasonable estimates).  Again, no worries...

#65: Abbey Dubbel                                          
Belgian Dubbel


Type: Extract Date: 10/13/2012
Batch Size: 2.12 gal

Amount Item Type % or IBU
2.86 lb Bewitched Amber Ale (15.0 SRM) Extract 83.87 %
0.55 lb BrewMax Smooth LME (80.0 SRM) Extract 16.13 %
0.50 oz Saaz [4.00 %] (0 min) Hops -
1 Pkgs Belgian Witbier (Wyeast Labs #3944) Yeast-Wheat
Beer Profile
Est Original Gravity: 1.066 SG Measured Original Gravity: 1.059 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.016 SG Measured Final Gravity: 1.015 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 6.48 % Actual Alcohol by Vol: 5.74 %
Bitterness: 27.9 IBU Calories: 212 cal/pint
Est Color: 19.1 SRM

#64: ESB

Next on the free ingredient extravaganza...

The WY-1968 (London ESB) yeast had the oldest manufacturer date.  Not yet expired, but within a month or so, and thus I started with this.  Seeing that it was an ESB yeast, I figured I'd try to make something similar to that.  I decided, since I had a couple cans of the Amber HME, to start with that, with a flame-out addition of Styrian Goldings.  OG was off (as expected) from their anticipated OG (not sure why they overestimate them so), but no worries...

#64: ESB                                                          
Extra Special/Strong Bitter (English Pale Ale)


Type: Extract Date: 10/13/2012
Batch Size: 2.12 gal
Amount Item Type % or IBU
2.86 lb Bewitched Amber Ale (15.0 SRM) Extract 100.00 %
0.50 oz Styrian Goldings [5.40 %] (0 min) Hops -
1 Pkgs London ESB Ale (Wyeast Labs #1968) Yeast-Ale
Beer Profile
Est Original Gravity: 1.057 SG Measured Original Gravity: 1.048 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.017 SG Measured Final Gravity: 1.012 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 5.18 % Actual Alcohol by Vol: 4.69 %
Bitterness: 30.1 IBU Calories: 212 cal/pint
Est Color: 11.7 SRM

EDIT (11/11/12):  Bottled today.  Got 22 bottles out of the deal.  FG 1.011, so nailed that pretty well for a 5% brew.  Very tasty...  The dryhop really does wonders with these kits.  Need to dryhop every one from here on out.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

#63: Northwestern Pale Ale

Going to be a lot of Coopers/Mr. B brewing for the foreseeable future after winning $500 worth of ingredients (as well as $200 worth of equipment) in a contest introducing the new Coopers extracts.  A half hour brew session is nice in one respect, but I still long for the picking my own ingredients, choosing my own mash temps, etc. that all-grain gives me.  No matter...  these ingredients will not go to waste, and, again, with a limited brewing schedule due to a ton of kids activities, etc., this is the best way to get some brews in.  Though I'm going to have to stack in some AG or partial mash brew days for my sanity...

Of the ingredients I received, the WY1056 yeast was starting to swell, so I decided to use it first.  Obviously that yeast pairs well with an extract that mimicks (in name, at least) SNPA.  So we'll go with the Northwestern Pale Ale craft series extract straight up...  no additions (except for some yeast food), no grain steeps, no hop boils, no nothin'.  So this one went real quick.  The temps were a bit high after the wort was added to the cold water in the fermenter, so am currently cooling it a bit to try to get to 70 degrees before pitching.  OG is lower than their estimate (of course), but no worries...

#63: Northwestern Pale Ale                  
American Pale Ale


Type: Extract Date: 10/13/2012
Batch Size: 2.12 gal
Amount Item Type % or IBU
2.86 lb Northwestern Pale Ale (4.0 SRM) Extract 100.00 %
1 Pkgs American Ale (Wyeast Labs #1056) Yeast-Ale
Beer Profile
Est Original Gravity: 1.057 SG Measured Original Gravity: 1.050 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.014 SG Measured Final Gravity: 1.012 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 5.62 % Actual Alcohol by Vol: 4.95 %
Bitterness: 40.1 IBU Calories: 222 cal/pint
Est Color: 4.7 SRM

EDIT (11/11/12):  Bottled today.  22 bottles plus a 10oz tester.  Taste is a bit apple-y, with a slight bitter.  Could use more upfront hops.  Should have dry hopped.  But many don't taste great at bottling but come out nice in the end...

Friday, October 12, 2012

The plan for all of these free ingredients...

Well, I have a mess of brewing ingredients that have fallen into my lap.  Here's the tentative plan to proceed.

I want to knock out the liquid yeast first.  Fresher the better on that front.  Also, the older the yeast, the earlier priority it gets.  Which leads to the following tentative, loose, probably not ultimately followed plan (looser the farther the list extends):

- Pale Ale: Northwestern Pale Ale HME, WY-1056 (American Ale - Chico). - Done 10/13
- ESB:  Amber Ale HMEWY-1968 (London ESB) Styrian Goldings hops.  - Done 10/14
- Abbey Dubbel:  Amber Ale HME, BrewMax Smooth LME, WY-3944 (Belgian Wit), T-58, Saaz hops.  - Done 10/14
- Diablo IPA HME, grain mini-mash, Golden DME, variety of hops, Coopers yeast  - Done 11/2
- Oktoberfest:  Oktoberfest HME, Bavarian Lager yeast, Munich HME, Tettanger hops.  Done 12/7
- Deluxe Weissbier:  Bavarian Weissbier HME, Weizen yeast, Golden Wheat LME.   - Done 12/10
- Pilsner:  American Light HME, Pilsen Lager yeast, Booster, Mt. Hood.   - Done 12/11

- Blonde Ale:  Canadian Blonde HME, maybe some DME, German Ale yeast(?), Fuggles hops.
- Deluxe Ole Mole Stout:  Stout HME, Coopers ale yeast, Robust LME, Brown Sugar, Cayenne, Cocoa.
- Christmas Ale: Winter Dark Ale HME, S-04, [either a mini-mash or additional DME], [hops], Mulling Spices, Almond extract.
- Mexican Cerveza:  Mexican Cerveza, S-23 Lager yeast, [either a mini-mash or additional DME].
- Pilsner:  Pilsner HME, probably some DME and hops, dry lager yeast
- Deluxe American Ale:  American Ale HME, Coopers ale yeast, Pale LME, [hops...  Centennial?  Cascade?].
- IPA:  Diablo IPA HME, coopers yeast(?), [hops...  maybe]
- APA:  Northern Pale HME, Ale yeast, [hops...  maybe]
- Porter:  American Porter, S-33, [either a mini-mash or additional DME], [hops...  maybe].
- Patriot Lager:  Patriot Lager HME, some yeast, some DME, some hops

That will leave a bunch of hops (may add some to the above), a heap of Coopers ale yeast, a few Coopers wheat yeast, champagne yeast, Trappist liquid yeast (figure I'll do a nice AG with this), 34/70 lager yeast (ditto), and WB-06 wheat yeast remaining for other recipes. 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

#62: Winter Dark Ale

Haven't had time to do AG brewing much these days, so I decided to get an extract brew or two so that I could get something in the pipeline.  I found a great coupon combined with a good sale, so I picked up the four new Mr. Beer craft extracts to play with.  Of course, right after that I won a contest on their site and have apparently scored something like 14 extracts, 18 yeasts, 13 varieties of hops, 4 (or 6... not sure) fruits, 1 booster, 7 fermenters, and 112 bottles, so I guess I'll be extract brewing for a while now.

Here's what I have planned for this one, using up some ingredients I have lying about...  I"m steeping the grains right now (haven't done a steep in about 2 years...  old school...):

EDIT:  Overfilled by a bit (me thinks the gallon container I used was bigger than a gallon), so the OG is a bit lower than anticipated.  Adjusted below.  RDWHAHB...

Winter Dark Ale                                             
American Brown Ale


Type: Extract Date: 10/7/2012
Batch Size: 2.50 gal

Amount Item Type % or IBU
0.66 lb Amber Dry Extract (12.5 SRM) Dry Extract 17.51 %
2.86 lb Winter Dark Ale (30.0 SRM) Extract 75.86 %
0.25 lb Carafoam (2.0 SRM) Grain 6.63 %
2.00 oz Malto-Dextrine (Boil 5.0 min) Misc
1 Pkgs Cooper Ale (Coopers #-) Yeast-Ale
Beer Profile
Measured Original Gravity: 1.056 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.014 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 5.48 %
Bitterness: 50.0 IBU
Est Color: 18.0 SRM

Saturday, September 1, 2012

White House extract brews...

Hmm...  Extract brews.  Why am I not surprised...

But...  but...  the media keeps trying to tell me that Obama is a homebrewer...  Why is he not in the video?!?  ;)

Monday, August 6, 2012

#61: New England Stock Ale

I was given some WLP008 (Brewer Patriot), which is widely assumed to be the Sam Adams ale yeast. Thus, I figured I'd rock with a Boston Ale-ish brew. Here's what Sammy tells us:

A smooth, refined version of a classic ale.

Samuel Adams® Boston Ale was first brewed to celebrate the opening of our Boston Brewery. Like Samuel Adams Boston Lager®, it originated as an old family recipe rescued by Jim Koch from his father's attic. Samuel Adams Boston Ale, a stock ale, has distinct earthy and spicy notes from the traditional English ale hops supported by sweet caramel malt notes. The ale yeast imparts a variety of fruit and ester notes while longer, cooler fermentation adds smoothness and complexity.

As a stock ale, Boston Ale has its roots in colonial New England. One of the few styles to originate in the United States, stock ales began over a century ago when the beer was carefully aged in barrels in cool rooms called “stock cellars”. Essentially this process creates an ale that’s been lagered so the taste tends to have characteristics of both. This technique imparted a smoothness and body which became the hallmark of this style.

Keeping with the stock ale style, Samuel Adams Boston Ale is fermented at warmer ale temperatures. The beer is then krausened like Boston Lager and dry hopped at cold temperatures like a lager. The English hops used in Boston Ale give it an earthy, spicy character that complements the sweetness from caramel malt. The resulting beer is smoother than most ales and richer than most lagers with a round, robust taste.

Flavor: Bright, citrus aromas and earthy flavors from the traditional English ale hops and a full bodied caramel malt sweetness.
Color: Red to amber, 14 SRM
Original Gravity: 13.2° Plato
Alcohol by Vol/Wt: 5.4%ABV – 4.2%ABW
Calories/12 oz.: 188
IBUs: 34
Malt Varieties: Samuel Adams two-row pale malt blend and Caramel 60
Hop Varieties: East Kent Goldings, and Fuggles
Yeast Strain: Samuel Adams ale yeast

I'm not sure yet if I'll try to krausen for the first time, or if I'll prime with DME. I'm not real certain how to work krausening to get the carb that I desire, so I'll likely just go the normal route (for me), but I may change my mind in the next few weeks as I do more research.

So, this seems easy-ish to replicate. I played with Crystal 60 and UK Pale Malt to get the correct color. I ended up around 85/15. Then I took the two hops they provided, decided to use reasonable substitutes due to availability, and worked my IBU and flavor characteristics. Finally, I searched for other clone recipes and adjusted a bit based on their findings and recipes. I seem good on OG, color, IBU, calories, etc., so I'm going with the following...

#61: New England Stock Ale 

Type: All Grain
Batch Size: 2.40 gal
Boil Size: 3.37 gal 
Boil Time: 60 min 
Equipment: Brew Pot (7.5 gal) 

Amount Item Type % or IBU 
5.50 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) UK (3.0 SRM) Grain 84.62 % 
1.00 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L (60.0 SRM) Grain 15.38 % 
0.50 oz Styrian Goldings [3.80 %] (60 min) Hops 12.7 IBU 
0.37 oz Glacier [5.60 %] (60 min) Hops 13.8 IBU 
0.68 oz Glacier [5.60 %] (Dry Hop 3 days) Hops - 
0.15 oz Glacier [5.60 %] (20 min) Hops 3.4 IBU 
0.80 oz Glacier [5.60 %] (5 min) Hops 6.0 IBU 
1 Pkgs East Coast Ale (White Labs #WLP008) Yeast-Ale 

Beer Profile
Measured Original Gravity: 1.057 SG 
Est Final Gravity: 1.012 SG 
Alcohol by Vol: 5.87 % 
Bitterness: 34.6 IBU 
Calories: 254   cal/pint 
Est Color: 14.8 SRM

Still not getting efficiency that I expect on the new equipment. This will be about 0.5% lower than the anticipated 5.5% (adjusted above).  (NOTE:  I actually finished lower than expected, so I ended up above the 5.5%...  adjustments above)

Started a starter on the yeast (which had expired... sigh... I intended to use it three months ago...), and it rocked the primary fermentation of the starter in about a day. Pitched that sucker at 9pm, and by 9:30 had active airlock bubbling. 

The next afternoon the thing was going crazy. This is among the top two or three in oddest looking fermentations. I have long since learned that odd looking fermentations are par for the course, but this one has a few oddities... Floating just below the krausen are what I assume are yeast islands that look solid... kinda like macaroni or bow-tie pasta. The trub is some of the loosest I've seen (may not use this yeast again if this is indicative... I like the gel-like trubs). 

By the 26 hour mark, it appeared to be done with the active primary fermentation.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

#60: IPA (5 gallon - partial mash)

First brew day with friends yesterday.  "Big Brew" a week or so late.  They wanted to do an IPA, and we wanted to shoot for less than four hours, so a partial mash on the new equipment seemed in order.  Cut some corners by hop-bursting the bitter and also by partial mashing and thus adding cold water at the end to get to volume.  Wrapped up in about 2.5 hours.  Super-efficient brew day considering two of the three people had never brewed before.  Did some grilling early and ordered pizza late, and also consumed a lot of beer.  Good times... 

Another side note...  Used some of the Summit I ordered from Willamette Valley Hops.  Funny thing is that every time I order from them, I end up with twice as much as I ordered.  I had spec'd a 55IBU, with a 1.5oz addition of the Summit, but they wanted to go more bitter, so we went 2.0oz for a 100+ IBU.  These hops have been in the freezer for a while, so likely I won't get that much out of them (though they still smelled great)...  Probably gonna get something in the 80ish range, but no real way to judge that.

Missed the OG by a touch.  I found when I was cleaning the equipment that there was some of the LME coating the bottom of the pot.  I guess we didn't stir well enough.  RDWHAHB...  Still should be mighty tasty.

Also, got my lagering fridge working again (at least temporarily).  So I guess I didn't need to trade my lager yeast in after all...

IPA (partial mash)                                          
American IPA

Type: Partial Mash Date: 1/6/2012
Batch Size: 5.00 gal
Boil Size: 3.00 gal
Boil Time: 60 min Equipment: Brew Pot (7.5 gal)

Amount Item Type % or IBU
1.50 lb Light Dry Extract (8.0 SRM) Dry Extract 17.14 %
3.00 lb Pale Liquid Extract [Boil for 5 min] Extract 34.29 %
4.00 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 45.71 %
0.25 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L (60.0 SRM) Grain 2.86 %
0.60 oz Amarillo (Leaf) [8.70 %] (Dry Hop 3 days) Hops -
2.00 oz Summit [17.00 %] (35 min) Hops 67.1 IBU
1.00 oz Amarillo [6.90 %] (20 min) Hops 9.9 IBU
1.00 oz Amarillo [6.90 %] (5 min) Hops 3.3 IBU
8.00 oz Malto-Dextrine (Boil 5.0 min) Misc
1 Pkgs Safale American (DCL Yeast #US-05) Yeast-Ale
Beer Profile
Est Original Gravity: 1.055 SG Measured Original Gravity: 1.049 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.015 SG Measured Final Gravity: 1.012 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 5.20 % Actual Alcohol by Vol: 4.82 %
Bitterness: 108.3 IBU Calories: 217 cal/pint
Est Color: 8.1 SRM

EDIT:  Bloop...  bloop...

Monday, May 7, 2012

Budweiser accuses craft brewery of theft, slanders Calfkiller Brewing Company in Tennessee reports today on one of my favorite breweries, CalfKiller Brewery from Sparta, TN, being accused of theft by Budweiser over the use of old kegs that they bought from a reseller.  The Sergios responded on Facebook to the situation. "The big monopoly Budweiser has started walking in to accounts, and simply taking the little guys kegs! FLIRTING WITH SLANDER they have told business owners that Calfkiller had stole the kegs," in their words.  Very petty of Budweiser (or, at least their local tentacles).

If you are in the area, please support Dave and Don by buying their wonderful brews.  If you are not in the area, you are missing out, as they are very creative and out-of-the-box in their brewing, but you can still help by spreading this story far and wide.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

#59: Chestnut Brown Ale

This is a total ad-lib, as I have ingredient seal-a-mealed for a lager, but I have a broken lager fridge.  I may well be able to manage temps within the lager fridge with enough ice, but I will be out of town most of this week.  So...  why not punt and brew next weekend?  Well, I am planning to brew with other people in a few weeks, and I want to get in at least one pass with my new electric turkey fryer before doing this with someone else.  So, after realizing I had no ale yeast at all, my only option was to pick up a Brooklyn Brew Shop kit at Whole Foods and supplement from there (mainly to get the yeast).  After assessing their selection of refills, I ended up with the Chestnut Brown over the Porter or Stout.  I really wanted either the IPA or Pale, but they only had those in kits, and I really didn't need a one gallon fermenter.  No idea how to estimate the grain bill here, other than it makes 6.0%abv for one gallon, and while I could have used the grains for the lager to bulk it to 2.4 gallon, I am instead making it a partial mash with a stray Mr. B Cowboy Lager that is supposed to be 2.3% for 2 gallon, so at a 2.4 gallon I'm guessing I'll be somewhere in the 5% range. I'm also adding Mt. Hood to bump the hops and keep it close to what is intended, knowing that the HME has some hops (18 IBU).  I'm going to try to figure out some stats later, but this is truly a RDWHAHB brewday.  Currently halfway through the mash, and the new pot is maintaining temps nicely...

EDIT:  Here's my current best guess, but I will adjust further when the hydro reading is taken...

EDIT:  Pretty close...  adjusted below...  I've been playing with my efficiency on my old setup, so I adjusted back to 75% on this one, which may have been a touch optimistic, but really not far off.  This will be a nice session nut amber (is that a style?)...

EDIT (6/3/12):  Finally bottled...  Was sick last weekend (when I intended to bottle), so this one was delayed a week.  23 bottles in this small batch (plus a small tester).  Smooth bottling day outside of one bottle that, while not paying attention, I bottled on top of the sanitizer (forgetting to dump it before filling).  I just ditched that bottle.  Likely would have had an even 24 had I not done that, but no worries.

One of these things is not like the other...

EDIT (6/28):  This one is mighty nice now...  

Chestnut Brown Ale                                                  
American Brown Ale

Type: Partial Mash Date: 4/29/2012
Batch Size: 2.40 gal
Boil Size: 3.00 gal
Boil Time: 60 min Equipment: Brew Pot (7.5 gal) 
Taste Rating(out of 50): 35.0 Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00
Taste Notes:
Amount Item Type % or IBU
1.20 lb Classic American Blonde Ale (3.0 SRM) Extract 34.78 %
2.00 lb Brooklyn Brew Shop Chesnut Brown Ale grain blend (20.0 SRM) Grain 57.97 %
0.30 oz Goldings, East Kent [4.70 %] (60 min) Hops 10.8 IBU
0.10 oz Mt. Hood [6.00 %] (60 min) Hops 4.6 IBU
0.10 oz Mt. Hood [6.00 %] (20 min) Hops 2.8 IBU
0.10 oz Goldings, East Kent [4.70 %] (20 min) Hops 2.2 IBU
0.25 lb Candi Sugar, Clear (0.5 SRM) Sugar 7.25 %
Beer Profile
Est Original Gravity: 1.044 SG Measured Original Gravity: 1.043 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.012 SG Measured Final Gravity: 1.011 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 4.27 % Actual Alcohol by Vol: 4.16 %
Bitterness: 33.9 IBU Calories: 189 cal/pint
Est Color: 10.9 SRM

The setup and ingredients...

The accompanying homebrew IPA and grilled chicken... 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

#58: Sorghum Pale Ale

Decided I needed to brew today, but didn't have time to invest in a full AG.  A friend had wanted to do a sorghum brew but has never gotten back with a time, so I decided to use the sorghum extract I had bought for that purpose to do a straight up sorghum pale ale similar in nature to the Briess recipe they offer on their website.  I had Columbus on hand, so I subbed for their Cascades, and I'm using S-33 instead of their Nottingham.  I also threw in a bag of Booster that I had laying about.  I originally intended to steep some gluten-free items (oatmeal and the like), but decided to do this one straight up and save the experimenting for the next go.  So, a simple SMASH-ish go-round and the first brew day since January.  Really need to get back into the swing this spring/summer...

EDIT:  Well, that was an interesting brew day for everything that didn't involve brewing.  First, I had been missing my volumes on the low side, and while trying to adjust, I ended up coming in a bit high this time.  No worries, though it may lead to a mess in a day or two when we krausen up.   Recipe adjusted above.

But now for the non-brewing...  while I was transferring the wort to the fermenter, our backyard gate apparently broke and our dog got loose.  She was easily recovered (the boys saw it happen and called her back almost immediately), but in the melee, I am certain that I did not aerate well enough.  I did, however, pitch an entire pack of S-33 instead of the half pack I intended, so hopefully that will make up for it.  I also gave it a late stir after pitching, so I'll likely be good.

The other non-brewing catastrophe is that my free lagering fridge that has been so handy (it sat right at 50 at its lowest setting, so it was perfect for lagers) looks like it gave up the ghost.  The good news for today is that I did an ale and the fridge is sitting pretty at 62 or so.  The bad news is that I just picked up some lager yeast for a new lager I intended to do today (until time got away) and had postponed until next weekend.  I guess that gives me a week to find a new solution or to get some ale yeast.

So...  Dog recovered, fence repaired, beer in (non-working) fermenting fridge.  I guess it all turned out OK...

EDIT:  Hit 1.021 in four days.  Primary seems to have settled down.  Gonna let this sit for another couple of weeks before I can bottle, but hydro pull tasted quite promising...

Sorghum Pale Ale                                            
American Pale Ale

Type: Extract Date: 4/22/2012
Batch Size: 2.75 gal
Boil Size: 3.02 gal
Boil Time: 60 min
Amount Item Type % or IBU
3.30 lb BriesSweet White Sorghum Syrup 45DE (3.0 SRM) Extract 80.29 %
0.50 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.00 %] (20 min) Hops 29.0 IBU
0.50 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.00 %] (5 min) Hops 9.5 IBU
0.50 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.00 %] (0 min) Hops -
0.81 lb Booster (0.0 SRM) Sugar 19.71 %
1 Pkgs SafBrew Ale (DCL Yeast #S-33) Yeast-Ale
Beer Profile

Est Original Gravity: 1.055 SG Measured Original Gravity: 1.055 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.014 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 5.30 %
Bitterness: 37.4 IBU Est Calories: 246 cal/pint
Est Color: 3.6 SRM

                     First pour pic...