Sunday, December 26, 2010

Batch 101, St. Brigid's Lake IPA

Another batch of St. Brigid's IPA. I bought a pound of Centennial this year, so I had the right combination: Centennial, Cascade, and Chinook, the best of the "C" hops!

I got a brand new Blichmann Brewmometer for Christmas (thanks Linda!). I got it installed on my mash tun this morning, so thought I'd brew this evening. My old thermometer is still stuck at 160F. The Brewmometer barely fit, it is quite a bit larger in diameter than my old one. I also had to make the hole in the kettle a little larger.

10 gallon batch.

Recipe St. Brigit's Lake Style American IPA (14B)
Brewer Dale Anson Batch 10.00 gal
All Grain

Recipe Characteristics

Recipe Gravity 1.056 OG Estimated FG 1.014 FG
Recipe Bitterness 95 IBU Alcohol by Volume 5.4%
Recipe Color 11° SRM Alcohol by Weight 4.2%


Quantity Grain Type Use
23.00 lb American two-row Grain Mashed
0.25 lb American chocolate malt Grain Mashed
Quantity Hop Type Time
0.25 oz Chinook Whole 90 minutes
0.25 oz Centennial Whole 90 minutes
0.25 oz Cascade Whole 90 minutes
0.25 oz Chinook Whole 80 minutes
0.25 oz Centennial Whole 80 minutes
0.25 oz Cascade Whole 80 minutes
0.25 oz Chinook Whole 70 minutes
0.25 oz Centennial Whole 70 minutes
0.25 oz Cascade Whole 70 minutes
0.25 oz Chinook Whole 60 minutes
0.25 oz Centennial Whole 60 minutes
0.25 oz Cascade Whole 60 minutes
0.25 oz Chinook Whole 50 minutes
0.25 oz Centennial Whole 50 minutes
0.25 oz Cascade Whole 50 minutes
0.25 oz Chinook Whole 40 minutes
0.25 oz Centennial Whole 40 minutes
0.25 oz Cascade Whole 40 minutes
0.25 oz Chinook Whole 30 minutes
0.25 oz Centennial Whole 30 minutes
0.25 oz Cascade Whole 30 minutes
0.50 oz Chinook Whole 20 minutes
0.50 oz Centennial Whole 20 minutes
0.50 oz Cascade Whole 20 minutes
0.25 oz Chinook Whole 10 minutes
0.25 oz Centennial Whole 10 minutes
0.25 oz Cascade Whole 10 minutes
0.25 oz Chinook Whole 5 minutes
0.25 oz Centennial Whole 5 minutes
0.25 oz Cascade Whole 5 minutes
0.25 oz Chinook Whole 0 minutes
0.25 oz Centennial Whole 0 minutes
0.25 oz Cascade Whole 0 minutes
Quantity Misc Notes
1.00 unit American Ale yeast Yeast Wyeast 1272, 1 qt slurry

Batch Notes
Actually measured 7 grams instead of 1/4 ounce, it works easier with my scale.

Half of the 20 minute hops are actually FWH, the other half are actually at 20 minutes.

Mash at 156F for 60 minutes, collected 14 gallons.  Temp didn't fluctuate more that 1 degree during the entire mash.  It's nice to have confidence in a thermometer.

OG: 1.062 actual
The OG is higher than I'd calculated, which puts this batch more in the middle of the range for the style.

Balance value: 3.357

Jan 7, 2011: Gravity is down to 1.018, so almost done, or close enough not to matter.  I'm going to let it sit on the yeast cake for another week while dry hopping anyway.  Added dry hops, 1 ounce each of Chinook, Centennial, and Cascade.  The hydrometer sample tasted great!  Recalculating numbers, the higher OG bumps the expected ABV to 1.057, assuming the gravity doesn't drop any more.


Monday, December 13, 2010

To Partigyle

Some notes on the process for making a partigyle.  I did a couple of things wrong and a few things right on Batch 100, so I thought I'd write down what should have happened for future reference.

Partigyle is a way of making 2 beers out of one batch, one strong, one weaker. This is a great way to get more beer out of a high gravity beer recipe. The basic idea is to add enough water to the mash to get out enough wort for half a batch, run that into one kettle, then add enough water to the mash to get out enough wort for a second half batch, and run that into a second kettle. You can either keep them as they are, so one strong beer and one not-so-strong beer, or blend as appropriate to get just what you want. This does require some extra equipment, you'll need 2 boil kettles and 2 fermenters.

First, create a recipe of some sort, then enter the recipe OG into the calculator below. This will tell you the OGs of the two beers. The most common use cases are making a strong beer out of 1/3 and a somewhat smaller beer out of the other 2/3, or go half and half. Pro brewers in England often do 1/3, 1/3, 1/3 to get three beers, and blend a little to get exactly what they want, so they'll get a 6% beer, a 5% beer, and a 4% beer out of a single mash.

Partigyle Calculator

Recipe OG:
1/3 - 2/3 method
First runnings (1/3):
Second runnings (2/3):
Half and half method
First runnings (1/2):
Second runnings (1/2):
3 thirds method
First runnings (1/3):
Second runnings (1/3):
Third runnings (1/3):
You might have to adjust the recipe to get the individual OGs that you want. I have only done the half and half method, where I end up with 5 gallons of strong beer and 5 gallons of not-so-strong beer. For example, my recipe for a 10 gallon batch of End of the World has an OG of 1.070, I'll get 5 gallons of 1.093 End of the World beer and 5 gallons of 1.047 brownish beer.

Use both the HLT and BK to heat water.  Heat just enough in the BK for mash in.  Use whatever is appropriate for the recipe, but usually 1.25 - 1.5 quarts per pound of grain.  This will leave your BK empty and ready to receive the first runnings. Pay attention, if you try to mash with all the water necessary for the first runnings, you might overfill the mash tun. You can use somewhat less water, run some off, then add enough to complete the necessary volume.

Calculate 0.125 GALLONS per pound for grain absorption.  Use hot water from the HLT to get enough for the first running.  Example:

28.25 lbs grain
1.5 qts/lb x 28.25 = ~42 qts = 10.5 gallons

28.25 x 0.125 g/lb = 3.5 gallons lost to grain absorption

10.5 - 3.5 = volume of first running = 7 gallons.

Heat 10.5 gallons of water in the BK to mash in temp.  Use all of this water to mash in - or not, pay attention to your MT volume.

That should be about right for a 5 gallon batch with a 90 minute boil.  If it is more than you need, make the mash a little thicker by adding less water for mash in, maybe use 1.25 qts/lb instead of 1.5 qts/lb.  If it's not enough, add water from the HLT at the end of the mash (and maybe after running off some of the wort) to get exactly what you need.

Heat water for small beer in HLT at the same time water is heating in BK for mash in.  Heat a couple of gallons extra in case you need it to top off the first runnings.  Make sure there is at least enough for sparge for the small beer since the HLT is going to be the boil kettle for the small beer.  Better is to heat a couple of gallons extra, just in case you need it.  You don't need to account for absorption on this sparge since the grain is already wet, so just add exactly the amount of water you want in the kettle for the small beer.

Drain any remaining water in the HLT to a bucket.  You might want it in case you come up short after collecting the wort for the small beer.  If you get more wort than you wanted, collect it all and boil it down to the right volume (need a 3rd burner).  Otherwise, the beer will be smaller than you planned. Or use it to make a cider or for a yeast starter.

One mistake I made was I used whole hops and don't have a SS screen on my HLT, so the valve clogged right away when trying to drain into the fermenter.  I used a scrubby on the end of my racking cane and siphoned.  Next time, I'll either add a screen to the HLT or put the hops in nylons. (Update, I have screens on all 3 of my keggles now.)

Note: here are the formulas used in the calculator above:
1/3 - 2/3 method:
    1st Run 1/3 = 1 + (3 / 2) * (og - 1)
    2nd Run 2/3 = 1 + (3 / 4) * (og - 1)
Half and half:
    1st Run 1/2 = 1 + (4 / 3) * (og - 1)
    2nd Run 1/2 = 1 + (2 / 3) * (og - 1)
3 thirds:
    1st run 1/3 = og * 1.5
    2nd run 1/3 = og
    3rd run 1/3 = og / 2

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Irish Stew

My wife saw this recipe on the Today show.  I made it this morning for football chow.  It's simmering on the stove now.  It smells awesome!  I made a couple of changes -- I used homebrew stout instead of Guinness, and I used Tullemore Dew (Irish Whiskey) instead of Jack.

Recipe: Guinness beef stew
Chef Nathan Lippy

2 lbs. beef, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes (use beef chuck or similar)
2 tbsps. garlic, chopped
1 cup carrots, rough chop
1 large yellow onion, rough chop
1/2 cup celery, rough chop
1/2 cup Jack Daniel
2 cups potatoes, rough chop
2 pint cans of Guinness
1 quart beef stock
4 fresh thyme sprigs
2 fresh rosemary sprigs
1/2 cup leftover coffee (we want the bitterness)
Drizzle of olive oil
Salt and pepper

1. In a large stockpot, heat up a drizzle of olive oil over medium heat. Add the beef and brown for about 5-7 minutes.
2. Once the meat is beautifully browned, add the garlic and other vegetables except for the potatoes and caramelize until they have a bit of color (about 8-10 minutes). “Deglaze” by adding the Jack Daniel's to release the brown bits at the bottom of the pot. The liquid will boil, loosening the caramelization and adding flavor back to the stew. Cook for 1 minute.
3. Add all the liquid, the whole sprigs of herbs (tie the herbs together with some string), potatoes, some salt and pepper and reduce the heat to a simmer (the soup should have small bubbles rise on the sides of the pot) for 1 hour or longer until the meat is super-tender.
4. Serve steamy hot with ciabatta or a simple French baguette.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Batch 100, Imperial Panama

Since this was my 100th batch, I thought I'd do something a little different.  This is a partigyle batch, with the strong beer being an imperial IPA and the small beer being a pale ale.  I did okay on the strong beer, but missed the gravity on the small beer, so it'll be a weak pale ale.  I was hosed right out of the gate -- I went to weigh out the Crystal 60 and found out that I didn't have any.  So I used a little Special B and some Munich instead.

I developed this recipe to hit 1.068, which translates into a 1.090 strong beer and a 1.045 small beer.  I used this table for the calculation:

Recipe Imperial Panama Style Imperial IPA (14C)
Brewer Batch 10.00 gal
All Grain

Recipe Characteristics

Recipe Gravity 1.068 OG Estimated FG 1.017 FG
Recipe Bitterness 59 IBU Alcohol by Volume 6.5%
Recipe Color 13° SRM Alcohol by Weight 5.1%


Quantity Grain Type Use
0.25 lb American chocolate malt Grain Mashed
25.00 lb American two-row Grain Mashed
1.50 lb American wheat Grain Mashed
1.50 lb Crystal 60L Grain Mashed
10 oz Special B Grain Mashed
15 oz Munich 10 Grain Mashed
Quantity Hop Type Time
2.00 oz Mt. Hood Whole FWH
2.00 oz Centennial Whole 60 minutes
2.00 oz Cascade Whole 30 minutes
2.00 oz Cascade Whole 5 minutes
2.00 oz Mt. Hood Whole 5 minutes
Quantity Misc Notes
1.00 unit Irish Moss Fining 1 T at 15 min

Recipe Notes

This is intended to be a partigyle batch. With a total recipe gravity of 1.068, the first runnings should produce 5 gallons of 1.090 wort and second runnings should produce 5 gallons of 1.045 wort. Assuming FG = 1.020 for the strong part, yields 9.0% ABV and assuming FG = 1.011 for the small part yields 4.4% ABV.

Strong part:

OG: 1.090, 1.094 actual

FG: 1.023

ABV: 9.0%

IBU: 115

SRM: 18

This part is a little dark to conform to the 14C Imperial Ale category (max SRM is 15), but I don't care.  Since I didn't have any Crystal 60, it might be closer, color-wise.

Small part:

OG: 1.045, 1.038 actual

FG: 1.011

ABV: 4.4%

IBU: 42

SRM: 8

Hops for small part: 1 oz Centennial 10%AA @ 60 min, 1 oz Cascade 6%AA @ 5 min.  Irish moss at 15 min. The small part fits the 10A American Pale Ale category.

All of the hops are for the first runnings, which gives a calculated IBU of 115.

Batch Notes:

28.25 lbs total grain.

I split the sparge water and heated half in my HLT and the other half in my BK.  This helped get the water hot faster since I was using 2 burners.  I used the water in the BK for mash in, so it would be empty to collect the first runnings.

  I mis-read the units, so I calculated grain absorption at 0.125 qts/lb instead of 0.125 gal/lb.  I mashed in with 8 gallons, which is good, but I thought that would be enough for the first runnings.  Wrong!  I'd calculated 3.5 quarts for absorption, but really it was 3.5 gallons.  I needed an additional 3 gallons to get 7 gallons in the boil kettle.

What I should have done is mash with 8 gallons, added an additional 3 gallons for mash out, then run off 7 gallons.

The small beer sparge is easier, there is no absorption to calculate since the first runnings already took care of it.  An assumption is that the mash tun is fully drained from the first runnings, then add 7 gallons.  Another mistake here, I collected 7 gallons and discarded the remaining wort from the mash tun.  I should have kept it all and boiled it down until it was the right volume.  I'm sure this is why I ended up low on the OG -- I threw fermentables out on the ground.

Brewing outside in the dark and the rain. I strung up a light under the canopy so it worked out pretty well.

Hops are ready to go. 10 ounces in the IIPA, 2 ounces in the pale ale.

Dec 21, 2010: update on the small beer -- added 1.5 oz Cascade dry hop today.

Dec 28, 2010: I though primary fermentation would be done by now, but the strong beer was stuck at 1.042.  The small beer was done, FG is 1.010, so I racked the strong beer onto the yeast cake from the small beer.  That ought to get the strong beer finished in another week or so.  I went ahead and put the small beer on tap.  It siphoned off very clear.  It's very young, but it's also very small.  The hydrometer sample was pretty tasty.  Dry hopping was a good idea, otherwise, I think this would have been a very dull beer.

Jan 22, 2011, the small beer is gone, and it was tasty to the last! I put the Imperial Panama on the same tap.  I think it finished at about 1.020 (need to check notes) and kegged on Jan 6.

Jan 26, 2011, Imperial Panama. F'ing awesome! Must do this one again.


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Batch 99, Porter

I brewed a Porter for a competition in February.

10 gallon batch.

Recipe Porter Style Brown Porter (12A)
Brewer Batch 10.00 gal
All Grain

Recipe Characteristics

Recipe Gravity 1.045 OG Estimated FG 1.011 FG
Recipe Bitterness 29 IBU Alcohol by Volume 4.3%
Recipe Color 25° SRM Alcohol by Weight 3.4%


Quantity Grain Type Use
5.00 lb American Munich Grain Mashed
1.00 lb American chocolate malt Grain Mashed
9.00 lb American two-row Grain Mashed
5.00 lb British brown Grain Mashed
Quantity Hop Type Time
4.00 oz Experimental Fuggles, 4.0% AA Whole 60 minutes
Quantity Misc Notes
1.00 unit London Ale yeast Yeast Wyeast 1318, London Ale III
1 Tbs Irish Moss 15 min

Batch Notes

Mash at 153F. I missed the initial temp and got 150F. I hooked up my heat exchanger and ran it for a bit, and the temp jumped to 170F, even with stirring. I added a couple of quarts of cold water, no change. Checked with a different thermometer, and got 151F. I've got to replace the thermometer on my mash tun. It stayed stuck at 170F for the duration. This happened last time I brewed too. So it looks like I started low, got to just about right, then cooled it down again. 150F will work, but this may be a little thinner than I was wanting.

Actual OG: 1.048

The hydrometer sample was excellent!

The yeast is from the ESB I brewed 2 weeks ago.

The hops are the experimental hops that I got on the hop tour this fall. They are a Fuggles derivative.

Nov 14: the airlock is bubbling nicely. I'm using the big fermenter in the garage since the outside temps are low enough.

Nov 26: Was going to rack to kegs today, but gravity was at 1.016.  I stirred up the yeast and will let it work a few more days.  I'd really like to get this down to about 1.012 or 1.011.


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Batch 98, ESB

Brewed an ESB for the January club competition today.

10 gallon batch.

Extra Special/Strong Bitter (English Pale Ale, 8C)

OG: 1.056, actual 1.056
FG: 1.014
IBU: 41
SRM: 13
ABV: 5.4%

19.0 lbs 2-row
1.0 lbs Munich
1.0 lbs Wheat
1.0 lbs Victory
10 oz Biscuit
6 oz Crystal 60
0.5 lbs Special B

Mash at 150F for 60 minutes.  Mash with 1 qt/lb = 6 gallons.  Collected 13 gallons.  Pre-boil gravity 1.050.

0.5 oz Delta, 6.0%AA, 11 additions: FWH, 90, 80, 70, 60, 50, 40, 30, 20, 10, 0 min.

1 T Irish Moss 15 Min.

Wyeast 1318 London Ale III Yeast.

Nov 4, transfered to kegs for secondary.


Saturday, October 9, 2010

Batch 97, Bock

There is a competition in March for Bocks, so I thought I'd make one now so it will be ready by then.

Traditional Bock, 5B
10 gallons

OG: 1.063, 1.063 actual
IBU: 25
SRM: 20
ABV: 6.3%

28 lbs Munich
1.5 lbs Crystal 60

Single decoction mash:
Dough in with 1.2 qts/lb = 8.8 gal for mash at 133F, hold for 20 minutes.
Bring 4.4 gal of water to boil, add to mash until temp is 150F, hold for 45 minutes.
Pull decoction, boil 15 min, add back to main mash for mash out.
Ran off 8 gallons, sparged with 4.5 gallons for 12.5 gallons in the boil pot.
Pre-boil gravity = 1.050

90 minute boil, added all hops at start of boil.  The odd weights are because that's all I had on hand.

0.39 oz Hallertau
0.35 oz Tettnanger
2.0 oz Mt. Hood

1 T Irish Moss at 15 min.

Wyeast 2206, Bavarian Lager yeast

Update, Oct 10, wort has cooled to 50F, pitched yeast.

Update, Nov 11, 'How to Brew' says primary is finished when fermentation is about 3/4 complete. (OG - FG) / 4 + FG = 63 - 16 = 47 / 4 = 11.75 + 16 = 28 = 1.028. Gravity is at 1.028 today, so I pulled the fermenters out of the fridge and moved them to the basement to bring the temp up to about 60F for a diacetyl rest. It should take a couple of days for the temp to rise.

Update, Nov 16, gravity is now 1.018.  Transfered to kegs for lagering.

Update, Feb 5, 2011, transfered one keg to a serving keg. I used a jumper hose and did not move the lager keg at all, so I got a very clean transfer for serving. This should be carbed nicely in a week or so, I'll fill some bottles for the competition. I had a little sample, it tasted quite nice.


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Filtering beer

I was less than impressed with the clarity of the Oktoberfest beer I'd made back in May, so I thought I'd try filtering.  It turns out I had almost all the parts necessary.  The only thing I had to buy was the filters themselves.  I got them at Lowes for about $7 for two filters, so it seems like a pretty cheap solution -- if it actually works.

I started with the water filter housing I already have.  I use a carbon filter in it for filtering the tap water for brewing.

I also had the ends I'd cut off of my immersion chiller a while back. I don't use the immersion chiller as a chiller so much as a heat exchanger for keeping my mash at a constant temp.  These are garden hose fittings, so they screw together and screw right into the water filter.

These are the filters I got at Lowes.  They were about $7 for the pack of 2.  They are 5 micron sediment filters, no charcoal.  1 micron filters would be better, but Lowes doesn't carry them and the prices I found online are significantly higher.  The research I did on the internet says 5 microns should do a pretty good job.

The other piece of equipment I had on hand was a "jumper" hose.  This connects 2 kegs from the out of one to the out of the other.  This is a handy hose for transferring from one keg to another, either by siphon or with some CO2.

My plan is to replace the hose on the jumper hose and insert the filter housing in the middle.  I still want to be able to have a jumper hose without having the filter, though.  No problem!  Here is the new hose attached to the disconnects and to the garden hose adapters from my immersion chiller.  The garden hose adapters screw together, so I still have a plain jumper hose.

This is not a "before" shot, it's a nice Amber beer that I was drinking while assembling this.  Total assembly time was about half an hour, and most of that was spent looking for hose clamps.

Here is a shot with the filter housing.

And all set up to filter:

The pictures don't show the whole process.  First I put about a quart or so of Starsan into the empty keg and used the CO2 to push it through the hoses and filter.  (Tip: I put a sewing thimble on my finger to push in on the poppet in the disconnect. Big time finger saver!)  Then I reversed the setup.  First I let all the pressure out of the full keg. Then I  hooked the CO2 to the full keg, hooked the "in" side of the filter to the full keg, hooked the "out" side of the filter to the "out" of the empty keg.  Then I turned the pressure up on the regulator to about 2 or 3 pounds.  That is plenty to get the beer through the filter.  It took about 10 minutes to do the filtering.

Filtering in progress:

Pretty simple, and pretty easy.  Unfortunately, I didn't think to get a "before" picture of the beer.  Worse, I had a problem with the empty keg when I was cleaning it.  The "out" poppet broke, so I replaced it with a popped from another keg.  It turns out it doesn't quite fit.  I can't get any beer out of that keg, so I'll have to buy a new poppet to fix it.

Update Sep 15: The poppet was fine the next day, I don't know what the problem was. Vapor lock, maybe? I'm still less than impressed with the clarity. I think the 5 micron filters did an okay job, and I'd use it again for transferring from a lagering keg to a serving keg. I found some cheap 1 micron filters on-line, so I ordered them. They are $2 each, and I ordered 6. They should be here early next week, so I'll try again.

Update Sep 17: The filters arrived today. These are the same filters that Northern Brewer sells, but these are considerably cheaper. I got them here:

I poured a "before" glass, then filtered, then poured an "after" glass. Holding them side-by-side, I could see that the "after" class was somewhat clearer, but still not the sparkling clarity I was hoping for. I should have used Irish Moss in the first place...

Monday, September 6, 2010

Batch 96, Panama Red

Once again, Panama Red, but with a few changes.

10 gallon batch

20.25 lbs 2-row
1.5 lbs Crystal 60
1 lbs Wheat (this is new)
4 oz Chocolate malt

Mashed with 8.5 gallons 170F water to get 160F in the mash tun.  Didn't adjust the temp, but it did drop to about 155F by the end of the mash.  Mashed 40 minutes, iodine test said conversion was complete.

Batch sparge with 165F water, collected 13 gallons.  Measured mash efficiency, got 77%.

Hops additions, did a 90 minute boil:
2 oz Willamette, FWH.  Usually I use Mt. Hood, but I didn't have enough.
2 oz Nugget, 60 min
2 oz Cascade, 30 min
1 T Irish Moss, 15 min
2 oz Cascade, 5 min
2 oz Mt. Hood, 5 min (I picked these last week, this is my entire 2010 crop of Mt. Hood.)

Ended up with 9.5 gallons in the fermenters.  OG was 1.061.  I was aiming for 1.056, so I probably boiled a little too hard.

I'll use Wyeast 1272 in this, but I'm not going to pitch until tomorrow.  I'm going to let the wort settle overnight, then I'll rack into new fermenters to remove the cold break and trub, then I'll pitch the yeast.

Update, Sep 7: racked the wort off of the trub into new fermenters, pitched the yeast.  Lost about 2 quarts.  Wort was at 66F.

Update, Sep 20: racked to secondary, harvested yeast.

Update, Oct 1: kegged


Friday, September 3, 2010

Vacuum packing hops

How to vacuum pack hops for just about free

Parts list:

  • 2 ft 5/8" hose
  • Vacuum
  • duct tape
  • 1 gallon freezer bags
  • damp sponge
  • kitchen towel

You probably have all of this stuff laying around, so it might be totally free.


  • Tape the hose into the vacuum nozzle.


  • Fill a gallon freezer bag about 3/4 full with hops.  
  • Wipe the bag seal with the sponge to clean it (it will probably have hops particles on it, which will cause the bag to lose its seal).  
  • Zip the bag completely shut.
  • Open the bag about an inch in the middle.
  • Turn on the vacuum.
  • Push the hose into the bag about 4".
  • With one hand, pinch the zipper as closed as possible, with the other hand, press down on the hops to help compress them.
  • Place the sponge over where the hose enters the bag and hold.  This will make the vacuum even better.
  • Slowly pull the hose out of the bag.
  • Press down on the sponge to seal the bag zipper.

5 HP shop vac:




Monday, August 23, 2010

Batch 95, Idaho Steamer

I helped Tom brew this at the club group brew on Aug 22.  I posted pictures on Picassa.

Idaho Steamer

Style: California Common Beer   OG: 1.056 est, 1.058 actual
Type: All Grain   FG: 1.015 est, 1.016 actual
ABV: 5.23 %
Calories: 185   IBU's: 44.85
Efficiency: 70 %   Boil Size: 11.00 Gal
Color:    11.2 SRM     Batch Size: 10.00 Gal

Fermentation Steps
Name   Days / Temp
Primary   10 days @ 62.0°F

Grains & Adjuncts
Amount        Name   Gravity   Color
20.00 lbs     Pale Malt (2 Row) US   1.036    2.0
2.50 lbs       Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L   1.035    10.0
1.00 lbs       Lightly Toasted Pale Malt (2 Row) ??

Amount      Name   Time   AA %
2.00 ozs     Northern Brewer   60 mins    8.50
2.00 ozs     Northern Brewer   15 mins    8.50
2.00 ozs     Northern Brewer   1 mins    8.50

California Lager   Wyeast Labs 2112

Tom gave me the yeast at the group brew, so I popped it when I got home and pitched it the evening of Aug 23.  Before pitching, I racked to another fermenter, which left a lot of trub behind.

Sep 1: The original instructions said to primary for 10 days.  I'm surprised, there is still bubbling in the airlock on day 9.  I think I'll wait until the weekend to rack to secondary.

Sep 12: Racked to secondary. FG is 1.016.

Sep 20: On tap.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

How much wort do hops absorb in the boil?

"How much wort do hops absorb in the boil?"
The answer comes from Greg Noonan's "New Brewing Lager Beer"
whole leaf (flower) = oz./hops x 0.045gal
pellets = oz./hops x .02gal

So 2 0z of whole flower hops will absorb .09 gallons of wort. That's 1.44 Cups, .72 pints, or .34 liters.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Batch 94, Cascadian Dark Ale

Cascadian Dark Ale

10 gallon batch

  • OG: 1.067, 1.064 actual
  • FG: 1.017, 1.017 actual (Jul 31)
  • IBU: 60
  • SRM: 30
  • ABV: 6.5%


  • 12.0 lbs American 2-row
  • 10.5 lbs American Munich
  • 1.5 lbs. American Wheat
  • 1.25 lbs Special B
  • 1.0 lbs Crystal 60
  • 0.5 lbs Chocolate malt

Mash at 158F for 60 minutes.  Batch sparge, collect 12.5 gallons.  While mashing, steep 1.0 lbs chocolate malt in 3 qts cold water.  Add to boil kettle after sparge for a total of 13 gallons.  I'm going for a little chocolate flavor from the half pound in the mash and a lot of chocolate color with the cold steep.

90 minute boil.


  • 2 oz Cascade, FWH
  • 3 oz Cascade, 60 min
  • 2 oz Cascade, 30 min
  • 1 T irish moss, 15 min
  • 1 oz Cascade, 10 min


  • Wyeast 1272

The color came out about right.  It looks darker in the photo than in real life.  It's a dark brown as opposed to a black color.

I was a little low on the OG, but a little over on volume.  Boiling a little longer, or a little harder would have brought both to where they should have been.

Aug 1: transfered to secondary

Aug 16: kegged

Aug 19: added 1 oz Cascade dry hops per keg

Sep 12:  I've been drinking this for a while, and it has more roast flavor that I'd wanted.  The hops are underwhelming, this is more like a stout than a dark IPA.  I added 2 vanilla beans to the second keg today.  I'll let that keg sit for a month or so before tapping.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Update on Batch 92, Amber

Racked to secondary tonight. Added 4 oz table sugar for priming per keg, 1 cup water with Knox gelatin for clearing per keg.

July 25, 2010, Update on the update -- this was an abysmal failure.  Linda and I were headed out for one of those Alaska cruises, and not thinking about secondary at all, I put both kegs in the fridge.  When I got back from the cruise, I put one of these on tap, thinking it would have naturally carbed while I was gone and the gelatin would have cleared the beer nicely.  What I had was flat, sweet beer.  Ale yeast won't do much at 34F so I didn't get a secondary at all.  I put both kegs back in the basement (66F), let them warm to ambient temp, then pitched a little more yeast and let them sit for a couple more weeks.  Now they are carbed very well.  I've got these back in the fridge now to get the carbonation under control, and am planning to rack to new kegs in the next day or so.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Batch 93, IPA

A variation on St. Brigid's IPA.

10 gallon batch

20 lbs 2-row (Briess)
1 lbs wheat
1/4 lbs chocolate

Mash at 158F for 60 minutes, collect 14 gallons.

90 minute boil:

30 gm Cascade FWH

90, 80, 70, 60, 50, 40 minutes:
7 gm each Chinook, Nugget, Cascade

30, 20, 10, 5, 0 minutes:
10 gm each Chinook, Nugget, Cascade

1 T Irish Moss at 20 minutes.

Wyeast 1272.

OG: 1.062 actual

A brew day pic of the hops ready to go. The FWH are already in the kettle.

I couldn't find enough airlocks. Two are being used on the Amber I made last week and I could only find one more. MacGyver stepped in. Click for a larger image.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Batch 92, Amber

Nice day for brewing.  This is a basic Amber, but I took extra care to make it exactly balanced.

10 gallon batch.

20.25 lbs 2-row
2 lbs Crystal 60
Mash at 156F for 1 hour

45 g Cascade
28 g Willamette

90 minute boil.  Added hops at 60 minutes.  Added 2 tsp Irish Moss at 15 minutes.

Wyeast 1272.

OG: 1.060
FG: 1.015
IBU: 30
SRM: 12
ABV: 5.8
Balance value: 1.004 (see my nifty balance calculator.)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Update on Batch 91, Oktoberfest

Finally the gravity got down to about 1.012 on Monday.  I warmed the fermenters up to 58F overnight, and have held the temp steady since Tuesday morning.  Wyeast (and most other places I've checked) recommends a 24 - 48 hour diacetyl rest prior to racking to secondary.  Racking happens tonight, then the fridge gets set to 35F where the beer will sit until September.

Update, June 19:  I unplugged the temp controller and am letting the fridge do it's thing.  I set it on the lowest setting, it seems to stay between 32F and 35F, so I'm happy with that.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Batch 91, Hacker-Psycho Oktoberfest

I got this recipe from a book titled "Brew Classic European Beers At Home". This is a clone of the Hacker-Pschorr Oktoberfest. When I was in Germany, we called it 'Hacker-Psycho'.

The recipe itself is pretty simple, but I'd never done a double decoction mash before, and that turned out to be a time consuming event. Usually, it takes me about 5 hours start to finish for a 10 gallon batch. Today took 8 hours.

10 gallon batch.

11 lbs Pilsner
10 lbs Munich

47g Hallertau
47g Tettnang

8:45 am, started by setting up equipment. Filled the HLT and started heating it. Ground the grain. Realized the propane tank was low. Went to Albersons to get a refill. Bought donuts too.

10:15 am, mash in at 122F with 28 quarts water.  Rest for 20 minutes

10:35 am, removed 3 gallons of thick mash to a second pot.  Mash tun stays at 122F.

10:45 am, second pot heated to 158F.  Rest for 20 minutes.

11:05 am, turn up the heat on the second pot to boil the mash.

11:10 am, second pot is boiling, boil for 20 minutes.

11:30 am, pour the mash from the second pot into the mash tun.  Raise the mash to 149F.  Supposedly, the heat from the boiling mash from the second pot should have done it, but it didn't quite.  Used my heat exchanger to get it up to temp.

11:48 am, mash in mash tun is at 149F.  Hold for 30 minutes.

12:18 pm, stir mash.  Remove 2.5 gallons of thick mash to second pot.  Bring to boil.

12:30 pm, second pot is boiling.  Hold for 20 minutes.

12:50 pm, add mash from second pot back to mash tun to raise temp to 158F.  Missed it again, used the heat exchanger.

1:02 pm, mash is at 158F.  Rest 30 minutes.

1:30 pm, started batch sparge.

2:18 pm, wort is boiling.  90 minute boil.

2:48 pm, added hops.

3:48 pm, flame off.  Set up CFC and fermenters, began chilling.

4:45 pm, all done for the moment.  Everything is cleaned up and put away.  Need to chill the fermenters about 10 more degrees before pitching.

I'm using 2 plastic buckets, 5 gallons in each.  One will get Wyeast 2206 Bavarian lager yeast, the other will get Wyeast 2633 Oktoberfest blend.

Edit: pitched yeast at 10:30 pm.

Recipe stats:

OG: 1.059, 1.066 actual
FG: 1.015, 1.012 actual
IBU: 22
SRM: 10
ABV 5.7%
Balance: 0.81

A few brew day pics:

Thick mash in the second pot.  This is probably half of the grain, but only about a third of the volume of the mash.

The thick mash starting to boil.

The big turd of hops. I use knee-high nylon stockings for pellet hops.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Beer Balance Calculators

These calculators are based on the formulas and ideas found in this
article: On Beer Balance.

Beer Balance Calculator

This calculator determines how balanced a beer is.
Values close to 1 mean the beer is balanced. Values greater than 1 means
the beer is out of balance toward the hoppy side, values less than 1 means
the beer is out of balance toward the malty side.
Enter OG and FG values in Gravity Units (GU). Gravity Units are the numbers right of the decimal point of the specific gravity without leading zeros, so, for example, if the original gravity is 1.055, enter 55, or if the OG is 1.110, enter 110.


IBU Calculator

This calculator finds the IBU's necessary to produce a balanced beer with
the given OG. Since the intent of this calculator is to help formulate
recipes, it is assumed that FG = OG x 0.25. Enter the OG value in Gravity

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Batch 90, Prickly Pear Beer

I read that Widmer made a Prickly Pear beer this spring. I still had a bunch of prickly pears that I'd picked last fall in the freezer. I'd intended to make another batch of the mead I made a while back, but I never got around to buying the honey. I made up this recipe after doing some research on the internet. Widmer hasn't posted their recipe anywhere, and I haven't tried their version, so I have no idea if this is similar or not. Obviously, I wasn't going for a clone. I just wanted to use the pears before they went bad.

This recipe is for a 10 gallon batch.

8 lbs Canadian 2-row (Gambrinus)
Mash at 155F for 1 hour. Collect 11 gallons. This was hard, my equipment really isn't set up to do small loads of grain. It was a cold and windy day, 45F at mash in, so it was some work to keep the mash at a consistent temp.

1.5 oz Willamette, added at 60 minutes.
6 lbs honey
8 lbs prickly pears. These are about 11% fermentable, or equivalent to 0.9 lbs sugar.

I did a 60 minute boil, or somewhat less... It was cold outside, so I brought the prickly pears into the house to warm them up. I'd thawed them out last weekend and ran them through the food processor, then put them in a bucket in the beer fridge waiting for brew day. Since it was cold outside and the pears had been in the fridge at 37F, I didn't want to just dump them in the boil kettle and have to wait to get the boil back. I put them in a big pot and warmed them on the stove in the house. I added the honey directly to the pears. I got a little scorching on the bottom, but not enough to matter. I dumped the pears and honey mixture into the boil kettle at about 20 minutes, then turned up the heat to get the boil back. It didn't take too long, although afterwards I found out that I should have stirred faster since I did have some scorching in the bottom. Once back to boil, I let it go for about 5 more minutes, then turned off the heat. Standard CFC procedure into the big fermenter.

Wyeast 1272 from batch 87. Just 1 quart. That's enough.

OG: 1.054 actual
ABV: 4.8%
SRM: I'm going to guess 5 or 6 or 7. I have no idea what the pears add to the color. The pears are a deep red on the outside, but greenish on the inside, so the end result is sort of a rhubarb color, more green than red. The slop at the bottom of the brew kettle is mostly green, part hops and part prickly pears, so most of the red color went into the beer. The hydrometer sample was quite tasty, not red at all, sort of smoky flavored. This might be a real interesting beer.

Here's a brew day picture. It was windy, and usually I put a fireplace screen around the active burner to keep Mikki away from the flames. He's been known to stick his head under the burner to lick up some spilled wort or grain and singe his hair. This is a masterpiece of duct tape and aluminum foil.

Update, Oct 8, 2010: I bottled the second keg of this. The first keg is on tap, and the smoke flavor has dissipated somewhat, making this a drinkable but "interesting" beer. I'm hoping that by letting the bottles age a while, the smoke flavor will dissipate even more.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Batch 89, Summer

A slight variation on the Summer recipe from last year. I didn't realize that I was totally out of grain other than 2 row until I went to grind, so this is only 2-row. The recipe last summer had a pound of wheat and a little bit of crystal. I mashed at a lower temp (notes from last year don't say for sure, but I'm certain I mashed at 154F). Mashing at 150F should give a thinner bodied, drier beer, and since this is intended to be sort of a 'lawnmower' beer, it seemed like a good idea.

10 gallons

20 lbs 2-row
Mash at 150F for 90 minutes. I read in the Brewmaster's Bible that I should mash for 90 minutes at this temp.

1/2 oz Willamette, FWH
2 oz Northern Brewer, 60 minutes
2 oz Cascade, 5 minutes
90 minute boil

Wyeast 1272 from batch 87.

OG: 1.060 actual

Kegged April 26.
FG: 1.012 actual

Primed the kegs with 8 oz table sugar dissolved in 1 pint water, poured half of the priming sugar in each keg. I don't usually carbonate naturally, but I figure that I really should. These will likely sit for a few weeks anyway, might as well let the yeast carb the kegs so they are ready sooner once they are in the beer fridge. I used the handy calculator here to calculate how much sugar to use for priming.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Time for hops

I got a few Centennial rhizomes from Steve P this week, so I went down to the garden to plant them today. What a mess! I spent most of the morning weeding and pruning. Some of the 3rd year hops are up almost a foot already. I had about 15 feet of one row that was empty -- I'd planted some Cascade there last year that didn't make it. I took out the one Cascade that had come back and planted the Centennials in that spot. I need to get some fertilizer on them all, I think. I didn't fertilize at all last year, so they are all probably due.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Batch 88, Arrogant Bastard clone

I made an Arrogant Bastard clone last summer. It came out alright, it was a good beer, but nothing like Arrogant Bastard. I realized today what I did wrong last time. I pulled up the recipe in qbrew, and realized that I'd put in the FWH as 90 minute hops. FWH is more like 20 minute hops, so my IBU calculation was way off and this explains why the batch last year was not as hoppy as expected. I redid the recipe, then modified it a bit when I was weighing out the grain and found that I didn't quite have enough 2 row. The recipe last year used 27 lbs of 2-row, I only had 23 lbs on hand.

I had some trouble grinding the grain last time. It wouldn't feed through the mill, the rollers would just spin and not grab the grain. Others in my beer club said they'd had the same problem with the Gambrinus 2 row and suggested "conditioning" the grain. I added 2 - 3 tablespoons of water per 5 lbs, then stirred the grain so it all got a little wet. This makes the grain a little sticky and helps the rollers catch the grain. This worked pretty well, although it left some residue on the rollers that doesn't want to come off easily.

10 gallon batch

23 lbs 2-row
2 lbs Crystal 60
.5 lbs Chocolate malt

Mash at 152F for 60 minutes. Outside temp was 52F. I mashed with 9 gallons at 165F, which hit 152F in the mash tun on the dot. I used the heat exchanger again to keep the temp constant, however, it didn't work quite so well this time. The mash temp had dropped to 150F before I got the HLT heated up again.

2 oz Chinook FWH
2 oz Chinook 60 min
2 oz Chinook 30 min
2 oz Chinook 5 min

90 minute boil. All hops are home grown from my garden, harvested last September.

Wyeast 1272 from batch 87, 1 quart slurry.

OG: 1.068, 1.072 actual
FG: 1.017
SRM: 15
IBU: 93 (assuming 11.5%AA)
ABV: 6.6

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Getting caught up

I'm finally getting caught up. I like to have a few kegs on stand-by. Right now, I've got 4 kegs on tap and 5 ready to go. I've got just one empty keg at the moment.

From left to right:
Panama Red, batch 87
Panama Red, batch 87
Oatmeal Pale Ale, batch 86
Scotch Ale, from the group brew, batch 84

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Yeast 104

A question came up on my beer club forum titled "Saving Yeast". Here is my response:

I do this all the time. I buy yeast maybe once or twice a year. Of course, sanitation is critical. Here's how I do it:

1. Rack off the beer to wherever you rack it to.
2. Depending on how much beer is left in the fermenter, I'll add up to a pint of water. I use store-bought bottled water.
3. Swirl around until the yeast cake is all liquid, nothing clinging to the sides or bottom of the fermenter.
4. Pour out into sanitized 1qt mason jars. I generally get 2 or 3 jars per 10 gallon batch. I leave about 1 inch head space.
5. Drop in one of these per jar: This is a tip that Jeremy posted a while back. This helps prevent infection.
6. Refrigerate until you need it. My refrigerator is set for 37F. On brew day, I get out a jar or two (I use 1 jar per 5 gallons) in the morning and put them on the kitchen counter to bring them up to room temp. Shake every now and then to get the yeast in suspension.
7. Pitch when you're ready.

You can do even more if you want. Between #4 and #5, set the jars on the counter for 15 or 20 minutes. It should settle out into 3 layers, the top layer is beer/water, the middle layer is your yeast, the bottom layer is trub. You can pour off the beer/water and yeast into another jar and leave most of the trub behind. You can repeat this several times until what you have is pretty much just yeast.

I've used yeast as old as 2 months doing this and have not had any problems -- well, not any problems that I can attribute to the yeast, anyway.

Some pictures while harvesting yeast:

Mason jars are sanitized and draining.

I added a bottle of water because it looked like I got most of the beer siphoned off and it looks there is some yeast stuck to the bottom.

Yeast in the jars. I let them sit for a couple of hours so I could take some pics of the yeast separating out, but they really looked just the same, so I just put them in the fridge. It seems to me that the combination of whole hops, which form a filter bed in the boil kettle and the counter-flow chiller, there really isn't much trub that makes it into the fermenter.

Friday, February 19, 2010


I've never had this happen in this fermenter. 10 gallons of beer in a 15.5 gallon keg, I've never had a blowout, until today. This is the batch I brewed on Wednesday, I pitched directly on a yeast cake from a batch I brewed about 2 weeks ago. Perhaps I should have removed some of that yeast. After I got it all cleaned up, I put on a blow off tube into a growler of star-san.

Update, next day: I need a bigger blowoff tube. I had more mess on the floor this morning. It's a good thing I'm fermenting in the garage with a concrete floor. I looked back through this blog, and found that there had been a "massive blowoff" on a previous batch of Panama Red. Hmm.

Inside the fermentation box, what a mess:

More mess:

Inside the fermenter:

A shot of the Panama Red that I went to get a glass of when I noticed the mess. As it happens, it's another batch of Panama Red in the fermenter. It's hard to tell from the picture, but that beer is crystal clear with a nice rocky head. My guess is it's close to the last glass out of that keg.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Batch 87, Panama Red

I still have a lot of empty kegs and some time, so I brewed on a Wednesday. A pretty smooth day, except for the grinding of the grain. For some reason, the new Gambrinus 2-row that I have didn't want to feed. No problem at all with the Crystal 60 or Chocolate. Maybe next time I'll try conditioning the Gambrinus first.

A 10 gallon batch.

20.25 lb 2 row (Gambrinus, Canadian)
1.5 lbs Crystal 60
4 oz Chocolate

Mash at 154F for 60 minutes. I used my IC as a heat exchanger again, and again was able to keep the mash at very consistent 154F.

2 oz Mt Hood, FWH
2 oz Nugget, 60 minutes
2 oz Cascade, 30 minutes
2 oz Cascade, 5 minutes
2 oz Mt Hood, 5 minutes

All the hops are home grown, the Nugget is from Steve P, the rest I grew myself. I only did a 60 minute boil today instead of the usual 90 minutes. My propane tank was a little light, and I wasn't sure there would be enough to do 90 minutes.

Pitched this batch on the yeast cake from batch 86, Wyeast 1272.

Some notes:

165F water from the HLT put the mash right at 154F. The outside temp was 50F. I used 8 gallons of water to mash.

First sparge, I added 2.5 gallons of water from the HLT, then ran off 7 gallons into the BK.

Second sparge, added 5 more gallons of water from the HTL, then ran off 5.5 gallons into the BK for a total of 12.5 gallons to boil.

OG: 1.064 actual. Recipe says it should be 1.056, so somehow I did better than usual.

Some brew day pics:

Weighing the grain

Grinding grain. I had some trouble with the 2-row

Mikki the brew dog keeps an eye on the pump.

I noticed my hops are coming up in the garden when I was dumping spent grains on the compost pile. The sprouts are tiny, but there they are, mid-February!

Just about done, pumping from BK through CFC to fermenter.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Batch 86, Oatmeal Pale Ale

I wanted to make a batch of Gemutlich, but I didn't have the ingredients, so I made this Gemutlich-inspired oatmeal pale ale instead. Like Gemutlich, the oatmeal will give this a nice mouth feel and body.

10 gallon batch.


20 lbs 2 row
1.5 lbs Quaker oats
2 oz Chocolate malt
4 oz honey (add to BK at 30 minutes)
6 oz molasses (add to BK at 30 minutes)

Mash at 153F for 60 minutes. I used my immersion chiller again as a heat exchanger to keep the mash temp even, and that worked very well again. I brought the water in the HLT to 170F, then I adjusted the flow on the output side of the pump to be fairly low, and the temp stayed constant for the entire mash. That's probably the first time ever that has happened.


2 oz Fuggles, an experimental variety, 5% AA, FWH
2 oz mixed hops, 60 minutes (a mix of HG Chinook and Willamette)
1 oz Cascade, 30 minutes
1 oz Willamette, 30 minutes
2 oz Fuggles, an experimental variety, 5% AA

60 minute boil. The "mixed" hops is a combination of homegrown Chinook and Willamette. The plants had grown together, and I couldn't tell what was what.

Wyeast 1272 from batch 85, pitched directly on the yeast cake.

OG: 1.068 (actual)
IBU: 42
SRM: 10
ABV: 6.8%

A few pics of the brew day, it snowed most of the day. I started at about 9 am, and was done around 1:30 pm. Just getting started:

Using the immersion chiller as a heat exchanger:

Hops. The FWH hops are already in the boil kettle. I used 8 ounces total for this batch.

Transferring from mash tun to boil kettle. The bucket is to keep the snow off of the pump.

Tasting Score Sheet
Date Mar 5, 2010

Batch # 86
Beer Name Oatmeal Pale Ale
Style 10A, American Pale Ale, more or less

Packaging Bottle | Draft
Head spare | small
| average | large | huge | rocky |
creamy | frothy | fizzy | white
| off-white | light brown | dark

lasting | diminishing

Lacing excellent | good | fair | spare
Body clear | sparkling | flat | cloudy | hazy | murky
| muddy
Particles None |
lightly cloudy | cloudy | heavily particulate | chunky
Color light | dark | yellow | amber | orange | red |
brown | ruby | black | tawny
Comments This beer is always hazy due to the oatmeal.

AROMA 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 [10] 11 12
Malt light | average
| heavy | harsh | bread | cookie
| molasses | caramel | grain | hay straw | cereal | chocolate |
coffee | toffee | toasted | roasted | burnt | nutty | meal
Hops light | medium
| strong | heavy | harsh

flowers |
perfume | herbs | celery | grass

pine | spruce | resin

grapefruit | orange | lemon | lime

Yeast/Bacteria light | average
| heavy | harsh dough | sweat |
horse blanket | barnyard | leather soap | cheese | meat | broth | earth
| musty | leaves
Miscellaneous alcohol: light | average | heavy

| bubble gum | clove | grape | raisin | plum | prune | date | apple |
pear peach | pineapple | cherry |
raspberry | cassis | wine | port |
cask wood | toffee butter | butterscotch | smoke | tar | charcoal
sauce | licorice | cola | honey brown sugar | maple syrup |
vanilla |
pepper | allspice | nutmeg |
cinnamon coriander | ginger | tobacco | dust | chalk | vegetable
cooked cabbage/corn | cardboard | paper | medicine | solvent |
bandage |
skunk | sour milk | vinegar | rotten eggs

Comments Good hops flavor, not overwhelming, lingering hops aftertaste.

MOUTHFEEL 1 2 [3] 4 5
Body light | medium
| full
Texture thin | oily | creamy | sticky | slick |
alcoholic | thick | minerals | gritty| smooth
Carbonation fizzy | lively | average | soft | flat
Finish metallic | chalky | astringent | bitter
Comments: Smooth pale ale.

FLAVOR 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 [16] 17 18 19 20
Duration short | average | long
Sweet light |
moderate | heavy | harsh
acidic light | moderate | heavy | harsh
bitter light | moderate
| heavy | harsh
other vinegar | sour milk | salty | minerals
Comments Really good hops flavor. Hint of honey and molasses, but maybe that's because I know that both are in this beer.

OVERALL 1 2 3 4 5 6 [7] 8 9 10
Comments I like this beer. I'd make this again and I'd drink another.


Saturday, January 23, 2010

Batch 85, Imbolc

This is the same as St. Brigid's Lake IPA from batch 70. I made a change in the hops -- I don't have any Centennial, so I used Perle instead and am calling this batch Imbolc. Imbolc is the pagan name for St. Brigid's day, which is the Catholic name for Ground Hog's day.

10 gallon batch.


21 lbs 2-row
4 oz chocolate malt


This is the hard part.
1/4 oz Chinook (whole)
1/4 oz Cascade (whole)
1/4 oz Perle (pellets)
Add all of the above at 90, 80, 70, 60, 50, 40, 30, 20, 10, 5, and 0 minutes. That is 11 additions of 3/4 oz hops.

Wyeast 1272

OG: 1.059 actual: 1.065
FG: 1.015 actual:
ABV: 5.7%
SRM: 11

IBU: 98

I ended up with a little extra in the boil kettle, 13 gallons, so I turned up the heat to get to the right volume at the end. I guess I had it a little too high, since I only ended up with 9 gallons in the fermenter instead of 10. OG came out a little high because of that.

Tasting Score Sheet

Date Feb 14, 2010

Batch # 85
Beer Name Imbolc
Style 14B, American IPA

Packaging Bottle | Draft
Head spare | small
| average | large | huge rocky |
creamy | frothy | fizzy | white
| off-white | light brown | dark

lasting | diminishing

Lacing excellent | good | fair | spare
Body clear | sparkling | flat | cloudy | hazy | murky
| muddy
Particles None |
lightly cloudy | cloudy | heavily
particulate | chunky
Color light | dark | yellow | amber | orange | red |
brown | ruby | black | tawny
Comments Under carbonated, but looks good otherwise. Could be clearer, but that will come with age.
Update 2/23/10, carbonation is very good, beer is clearer now but still has a slight haze.

AROMA 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Malt light | average
| heavy | harsh | bread | cookie
| molasses | caramel | grain | hay straw | cereal | chocolate |
coffee | toffee | toasted | roasted | burnt | nutty | meal
Hops light | average
| heavy | harsh

flowers |
perfume | herbs | celery | grass

pine | spruce | resin

grapefruit | orange | lemon | lime

Yeast/Bacteria light | average
| heavy | harsh dough | sweat |
horse blanket | barnyard | leather soap | cheese | meat | broth | earth
| musty | leaves
Miscellaneous alcohol: light | average | heavy

| bubble gum | clove | grape | raisin | plum | prune | date | apple |
pear peach | pineapple | cherry |
raspberry | cassis | wine | port |
cask wood | toffee butter | butterscotch | smoke | tar | charcoal
sauce | licorice | cola | honey brown sugar | maple syrup |
vanilla |
pepper | allspice | nutmeg |
cinnamon coriander | ginger | tobacco | dust | chalk | vegetable
cooked cabbage/corn cardboard paper | medicine | solvent |
bandage |
skunk | sour milk | vinegar rotten eggs

Comments Nice hops aroma, pleasant, not overwhelming at
all. Need the carbonation to help bring out the flavor. Update 2/23/10, the flavor is now excellent. The carbonation has brought out that nice hops sharpness that make this an IPA.

MOUTHFEEL 1 2 3 4 5
Body light | medium
| full
Texture thin | oily | creamy | sticky | slick |
alcoholic | thick | minerals | gritty| smooth
Carbonation fizzy | lively | average | soft | flat
Finish metallic | chalky | astringent | bitter
Comments: I think the lack of carbonation is negatively
affecting the mouthfeel. Update 2/23/10, the carbonation is much better, I've moved the mouthfeel from sticky to smooth.
FLAVOR 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
Duration short | average | long
Sweet light |
moderate | heavy | harsh
acidic light | moderate | heavy | harsh
bitter light | moderate
| heavy | harsh
other vinegar | sour milk | salty | minerals
Comments Good flavor, but could be better with more

OVERALL 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Comments This beer is a little young and isn't quite
ready. It is still lacking in carbonation, although it's been on
the tap for 10 days. I'll rate this again, either later on this
keg or on the second keg. Update 2/23/10, same keg, beer is much better the past few days now that the carbonation is up to where it should be. I bumped the overall score from 6 to 8.

Update Feb 23, 2010: Bottled 2 bottles for future drinking. Updated the tasting sheet, this is quite a good beer now.