Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Another hoppy red rye

2/25 - and bottled. Small batch, but looking forward to it. Big citrus and candied strawberry aroma after 6 days dry hopping. Still not as red as I want...

This one was good, but not quite the right color, so I brought out an old recipe with a deep red malt bill. Mixed some good base malt (MO) with mediocre (CA 2-row), subbed in some rye, and turned up the hops.

Batch #97
Red Rye IPA
5 gallons (nominally, transfer losses and hop absorption = small batch)
6 lbs Crisp Maris Otter
4 lbs California 2-row malt
1 lb Munich
1 lb Rye Malt
1 lb Flaked Rye
1 lb Crystal 40L
0.5 lb Crystal 120L
0.5 lb Victory
0.25 lb Pale Chocolate Malt

1 oz Citra 12.7%aa (60 min)
1 oz Citra 12.7%aa (10 min)
1 oz Cascade 6.9%aa (5 min)
0.7 oz Citra 12.7%aa (1 min)
1 oz Mosaic 11.2%aa (1 min)
1 oz Mosaic (dry)
1 oz Cascade (dry)
2 oz Citra (dry)

Water: RO with (about) 8g gypsum, 3g epsom, 12g chalk, 7g salt, 2g calcium chloride.
Yeast: ~1L starter WLP041 Pacific Ale Yeast

OG: 1.075 (might have read high)
FG:  1.020 **
ABV: 7.2-7.5%, depending on how much you believe the OG.
IBU: ~70

Single infusion mash at 154F for 1 hour. Fly sparge to collect 7 gallons wort. Boil 1 hour, chill. 

**which makes me really nervous, but running the numbers it seems okay. Next time I'll run a test batch in parallel for target FG. The original goal was 1.066 -> 1.016, so I'm only a slightly under-attenuated if at all based on the high OG. Right? No grenades.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Dark days.

12/3 - Bottled at 1.016. The extra time helped. Tuned the cacao/vanilla/oak and chile infusions to taste in a sample of the base beer and dosed the bottles. Had some extra chile booze, so bottled a few chile-only beers, too. I'm pleased.
11/19 - SG at 1.018. Will let it go a bit longer. Too much aromatic malt (or possibly too old?). Otherwise pretty good. Started the flavorings for the split batch. Cacao nibs, oak cubes, vanilla bean, and (separately) dried NM chile (off-brand Hatch), all soaking in rum.
Coffee, chocolate, caramel, with just a hint of char and ash. EKG hops for good earth. This will probably be split after primary for a side-by-side base beer and trendy beer version (cacao, oak, booze,... peppers?)

Batch #96
Extra Stout
5 gallons
12 lbs California 2-row malt
1 lb Flaked Oats
1 lb Belgian Aromatic malt
0.5 lb Crystal 120L
0.5 lb Roasted Barley
0.5 lb Coffee Malt
0.25 lb Black Patent
0.25 lb Pale Chocolate Malt
2 oz Kent Goldings 5.2%aa (60 min)
2 oz Kent Goldings 5.2%aa (15 min)
2 oz Kent Goldings 5.2%aa (5 min)

Water: RO with (about) 3g each CaCO3, CaCl2, and 1g each MgSO4, NaCl, NaHCO. Planned 3g CaSO4, but ran out ... just under 1 g added.
Yeast: 1.5L starter of WLP028 Edinburgh Ale Yeast

OG: 1.070 (a little low... batch sparge and weak boil)
FG: 1.016
ABV: 7.1% (closer to 7.8% for the highest dosed beers)
IBU: ~55-60

Single infusion mash at 152F for 1 hour. Batch sparge to collect 7 gallons wort. Boil 1 hour, chill. 

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Yes, we do have Citra

Brewing on a weeknight. It's 9:50pm, the boil hasn't started, and I am tired... batch sparged in a hurry, weak boil. Targeted an OG of 1.070, came up a bit shy.

Batch #95
Hoppy red
5 gallons
13 lbs California 2-row malt
0.5 lb Carared
0.25 lb Special B
0.25 lb Chocolate
1 oz Citra 12.7%aa (60 min)
1 oz Citra 12.7%aa (10 min)
1 oz Simcoe 11.6%aa (5 min)
1 oz Citra (1 min)
1 oz Citra (dry)
1 oz Simcoe (dry)

Water: RO with (about) 3g each CaCO3, CaSO4, CaCl2, and 1g each MgSO4, NaCl, NaHCO3
Yeast: 1L starter of WLP001 California Ale Yeast

OG: 1.060
IBU: ~65

Single infusion mash at 149F for 1 hour. Batch sparge to collect 7 gallons wort. Boil 1 hour, chill. I let it settle overnight before racking to the carboy and pitching yeast.

Monday, February 8, 2016


--Update 3/1: Harm done? SG at bottling read 1.016...way higher than I remember last time.
--Update 2/21: 1oz Cascade and 1oz Citra added.


That Brett IPA far exceeded my expectations.

The only difference this time is that I accidentally left out 20%+ of the grain until my lovely assistant commented that the mash seemed a bit thin. OG was spot-on, so no harm done?

Yeast was started with some saved from the previous batch.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Anything but

-- Soaked ~1oz med+ American oak cubes in a chardonnay (after first rinsing the charcoal and particulate off with the same), for about 1 week. Added to the beer on 2/21. Very thin pellicle is present. Beautiful flavors :)

This isn't really a Temptation clone. But it started out as the idea of a Temptation clone.

Batch #93
Wine Barrel Aged Sour Blonde

5 lbs Belgian Pilsner malt
5 lbs American White Wheat malt
1 lb German Acidulated malt
1 oz El Dorado, 15.8%aa, 15 min

Water: 6 gallons RO with 1/3 tsp each gypsom, epsom, and calcium carbonate, 3/4 tsp calcium chloride, and a pinch of table salt. Added 2 gallons spring water. Overall, soft "light colored and malty" profile.
Yeast: Belgian Sour Mix I, WLP655 , 1 L starter

OG: 1.052
IBU: ~25

Mash-in to 155F in 17 qts water for 1 hour. Batch sparge to extract 7 gallons wort. Kettle sour overnight (mine formed a pellicle already?!). Boil for 75 min. Chilled, yeast and bugs pitched, nice warm day got things rolling fast.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

B. bruxellensis

In illa Brettanomyces nos fides.

Batch #92
Brett IPA

9 lbs 5 oz 2-row malt (yes, boring, I know, but I really thought I had some munich or caramel around)
1 oz El Dorado, 15.8%aa, 30 min
1 oz El Dorado, 15.8%aa, 10 min
1 oz El Dorado, 15.8%aa, 2 min
1 oz Cascade, flameout
1 oz Cascade, dry
1 oz Citra, dry

Water: RO with 8g gypsum, 1g epsom, 2g calcium chloride, and 1g sodium chloride.
Yeast: Brettanomyces bruxellensis, WLP650, 1L starter (~10days growth)

OG: 1.049
IBU: ~75

Mash-in to 150F in 14 qts water for 1 hour. Batch sparge to extract 7 gallons wort. Boil for 75 min.

Saturday, June 27, 2015


This turned out really well, and will definitely be a regular summer brew for me now!

I've decided it's time, and I am now a brewer of sour beers. This is thanks in part to another homebrewer who's wanted to get a berliner weisse going for a while. We went off to the LHBS to pick up ingredients, and I threw a Brettanomyces bruxellensis culture into my cart. So, anyway, interesting things to come, but for now, a split-batch experiment.

Batch #91
Berliner Weisse

6 lbs German Pilsner malt
6 lbs White Wheat malt
5 oz Melanoidin malt

Water: RO with various salts to get a decent profile for slightly bitter, light color beers. (I lost my notes, but ~50ppm calcium, and ~50ppm each chloride and sulfate from a mix of gypsum, epsom, salt, chalk, and calcium chloride)

Mash in with 10qts and acid rest at ~100F until next infusion is ready.
Drink beer instead of checking notes, adding too much hot water, thereby skipping right past a protein rest to hit a good saccharification rest at about 156F. Remember to look at a clock.

Later, batch sparge. Top up with cold water to 10 gallons, mix well, and split into two 5 gallon containers. Refractometer reading was 9 Brix. Here's the fun part.

My 5 gallons of wort went back into the now empty insulated mash tun with about 4 oz of the original unmashed grist. I intend to check on it over the next couple days and boil when the wort is sufficiently soured from naturally occurring lactobacilli. I plan on about 5 IBU coming from a tiny addition of saaz. Maybe use up the rest of the citra from the last batch as an aroma component. [Update: ~75min boil, no citra, 5 gallons in the carboy after pitching my share of the yeast starter. The two days of "kettle" souring in the mash tun gave a moderate tartness that I suspect will be much more pronounced after the sugars are consumed.]

My co-brewer took his portion home, and will pitch a lactobacillus culture, and probably also not keep notes on what he did. We'll get together in about a month to compare results.

Primary fermentation is slated to use the White Labs Saison II yeast blend.

OG: 1.036
FG: 1.006
ABV: 3.9%
IBU: ~5

Bottled 7/5/15