Saturday, November 12, 2011

Batch 115, 11-11-11, End of the World

Steve P in my homebrew club had an idea to brew a strong beer on 11-11-11 and age it until 12-12-12. Sounds like a good idea. I couldn't actually brew on 11-11-11, but I got my yeast and water ready.

10 gallon partigyle batch

22 lbs 2-row
8 lbs wheat
1.0 lbs Crystal 120
0.5 lbs Crystal 60
0.75 lbs Chocolate malt

Mash at 150F with 11 gallons water.
Lose 4 gallons to absorption, run off 7 gallons for strong beer.
Sparge with 7 gallons for small beer.

Strong beer hops:
5 oz Chinook @ 60 min
60 minute boil

Strong beer specs:
OG: 1.110, actual 1.114
IBU: 111

Small beer hops:
1 oz Galena, 60 min
1 oz Centennial, 30 min
1 oz Calypso, 5 min
60 minute boil

Small beer specs:
OG: 1.055
IBU: 70

Strong beer yeast:
Wyeast 1318, London Ale III

Small beer yeast:
Wyeast 1272, American Ale II

Nov 27, 2011: Small beer gravity is at 1.013, so racked small beer to secondary. Large beer is at 1.055, so pitched yeast cake from small beer into the large beer to help finish fermentation with some fresh yeast.

Dec 10, 2011: kegged

Nov 25, 2012: Was going to tranfer to another keg, but it seemed nicely carbonated, so I didn't want to mess with it. Put it on tap today. OMG! Way better than I expected. I'm naming this "End of the World" and thinking to brew it again.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Batch 114, ESB and IPA at once

I got a pile of newly harvested hops on the club hop tour last weekend, and I couldn't decide what to brew today, so I brewed both an ESB and an IPA. The base recipe is the same as batch 98. I made 13 gallons of wort, then split it into 2 boil kettles and hopped each one differently.

10 gallon batch.

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

OG: 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. Treated water with 1/2 tsp calcium chloride and 1/2 tsp gypsum per 5 gallons (treated both mash water and sparge water). Collected 13 gallons, then transferred 6.5 gallons back to the HLT for the IPA.

ESB hop additions:
7g Delta, 6.0%AA, 10 additions: 90, 80, 70, 60, 50, 40, 30, 20, 10, 0 min.

IPA hop additions:
4g Chinook, 4g Centennial, 4g Cascade, 11 additions: FWH, 90, 80, 70, 60, 50, 40, 30, 20, 10, 0 min.

1/2 T Irish Moss in each at 15 Min.

ESB yeast:
Wyeast 1318 London Ale III Yeast.

IPA yeast:
Wyeast 1272 American Ale II Yeast.

I didn't think ahead and mis-calculated -- BOTH pots will boil off about 3 gallons over 90 minutes, so I ended up with about 3.5 gallons of 1.080 wort at the end. Topped off each with about 5 quarts of water.


Saturday, July 2, 2011

Batch 113, Double Cherry

Last entry for the Brewforia/Simian competition. The rules are different on this one, must use chocolate wheat malt, Sorachi Ace hops, and Wyeast 3463, Forbidden Fruit yeast.

5 gallons

OG: 1.072 actual
FG: 1.018 est
IBU: 23
SRM: 22 (not counting the cherries)
ABV 7.0%

0.25 lbs Chocolate Wheat Malt
12.0 lbs American 2-Row Barley
1.0 lbs Belgian Special "B"

Mash at 158F for 60 minutes. Used RO water from Treasure Valley Coffee, added 1/2 tsp calcium chloride and 1/2 tsp gypsum in mash water.

0.75 oz Sorachi Ace hops, pellet, 60 minutes

1/2 tsp Irish Moss, 15 minutes

Wyeast 3463, Forbidden Fruit yeast, 1 packet, pitched direct with no starter.

Added July 10 to primary:
1.5 lbs Bing Cherries, pitted and food processed
1.0 lbs raisins, food processed

July 18, racked to keg for cold conditioning.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Batch 112, Lawnmower Man

Again, for the Brewforia/Simian competition. A basic lawnmower beer.

5 gallons

OG: 1.050
FG: 1.013 est
IBU: 17
SRM: 3
ABV: 4.9%

6.0 lbs American 2-Row Barley
3.0 lbs American Wheat

Mash at 150F for 60 minutes. Used RO water from Treasure Valley Coffee, added 1/2 tsp calcium chloride and 1/2 tsp gypsum in mash water.

1.50 oz Hallertauer, 60 minutes

60 minute boil

1/2 tsp Irish Moss at 15 minutes

Wyeast 1318, London Ale III

No sparge.

July 18, racked to keg for cold conditioning.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Batch 111, Smash IPA

This is for a competition I'm going to enter. "Smash" means "single malt and single hop".

5 gallons

14 lbs Organic Munich, 10L
Mash at 156F with 5 gallons RO water from Treasure Valley Coffee, added 1/2 tsp calcium chloride and 1/2 tsp gypsum in mash water.

2 oz Mt. Hood, 90 min
0.5 oz Mt. Hood at 80, 70, 60, 30, 20, 10, and 5 minutes

Added 1/2 tsp Irish Moss with 10 minute hops.

Wyeast 1272

July 12, dry hopped with 2 oz Mt. Hood pellets.

July 16, racked to keg for cold conditioning.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Batch 110, Panama Red

Yet another batch of my favorite beer. I put Linda's laptop in my garage so I can have access to my music and internet access.

10 gallon batch

OG: 1.061, 1.062 actual
FG: 1.015
IBU: 64
SRM: 13
ABV: 5.9%

20.25 lbs 2-row
1.5 lbs wheat
1.5 lbs crystal 60
.25 lbs chocolate

Mash at 154F for 45 min, then iodine test says it's done, used heat exchanger to raise temp to 168F for mash out. Sparge at 170F. Hit the numbers just right.

Math error, collected 14 gallons instead of 13 gallons, boiling hard to get the volume down to where it needs to be. Had a boil-over even. Darn.

2 oz Mt. Hood, FWH
2 oz Centennial, 60 min
2 oz Cascade, 30 min
1 tsp Irish Moss, 15 min
2 oz Mt. Hood, 5 min
2 oz Cascade, 5 min

90 minute boil

Wyeast 1272

I may dry hop with 2 oz Centennial.

I've been reading Gordon Strong's "Brewing Better Beer" and used a tip -- instead of running the wort through my CFC directly into the fermenters, run it back into the boil kettle until it is cool. This leaves the cold break in the boil kettle rather than in the fermenter. It takes a little longer this way, but not much.


23.5 lbs grain
Mash with 1.25 qts/lb
30 qts mash water = 7.5 gal

23.5 lbs grain
0.125 gal/lb absorption in MT
3 gal lost to absorption
leaves 4.5 gal wort to transfer to BK

Want 12.5 gal in BK
4.5 after mash
need 8.0 gal sparge
Mash out with 2 gal
Sparge with 6 gal

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Batch 109, Hefeweizen

Looking back, I haven't made a hefeweizen in a couple of years. It's always a nice summer-time drink, so it seemed like a good idea to brew now so it'll be ready when the heat hits.

10 gallon batch

OG 1.047, 1.052 actual
FG 1.012, 1.015 actual
IBU 16
ABV 4.6%

4.5 lbs Munich
5.0 lbs 2-row
9.0 lbs wheat

Step mash, dough in at 113F for 10 min for ferulic acid rest, this enhances the clove flavor.
Step to 145F, hold 1 hour.
Step to 168F, mash out.
Collect 12 gallons, 1 hour boil

2 oz Hallertau @ 60 min

Chill to 56F, then pitch and let temperature raise to 64-66F.

Wyeast 3333, German Wheat, 3 qt starter. First time using this yeast, I guess when the homebrew store is out of the first choice, it causes new experiences.

I screwed this up right from the start. For some reason, I divided by 2 instead of by 4 to convert quarts to gallons, so I had a very thin mash. That blew my step mash plan of adding hot water to raise the temps. I used direct heat, and even with using my pump to recirculate and stirring constantly, I still scorched the mash. Fortunately, I can't taste any scorch flavor in the wort. Then when I did the first runnings, I forgot to vorlauf and got quite a bit of sludge into the boil kettle.

It took overnight in my freezer with Johnson controller to get the wort to 56F. I pitched the yeast Monday after work. For a change, I'm using the big fermenter that I usually use in the garage in the winter. I put it in the basement where the temp stays right at 64-66F all year long. I like using that fermenter as it makes both kegs more alike.

Update June 5: racked to kegs. Added 1 pound of table sugar before racking for natural carbonation.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Batch 108, Gemutlich

A repeat of the excellent oatmeal pale ale. I haven't done this one in a while.

10 gallon batch
OG: 1.057
FG: 1.014
IBU: 21
SRM: 11
ABV: 5.5%

11 lbs 2-row
5.5 lbs munich
3.5 lbs wheat
1.5 lbs flaked oats
0.5 lbs honey (added at flame out)

Mash at 148F, collect 13 gallons.

2 oz Tettnanger, 90 minutes
1 oz Tettnanger, 30 minutes
1 oz Tettnanger, 5 minutes
2 oz Mt. Hood, 5 minutes

1 tsp Irish Moss, 10 minutes

Wyeast 1272

Actual OG: 1.060

Monday, April 11, 2011

BJCP Comment Generator

Click and click.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Batch 107, Prickly Pear Beer

A second attempt at a prickly pear beer. The one I made last year still isn't very good. I tried a bottle today, so I know for sure. This year, I did things a little different. First, no honey. Second, no cooking of the prickly pears. I just added them at flame out and let them sit for about 10 minutes. Like last year, I ran them through my food processor first to make sort of a prickly pear soup.

10 gallon batch.

15 lbs 2-row
1 lbs wheat
8 lbs prickly pears (just a guess, I didn't actually weigh them)
2 oz Delta hops, 60 minutes
Wyeast 1318, London Ale III yeast

Mash at 152F.

I didn't calculate any sugar contribution from the pears, so I really don't know what they add. Just the grain should have given me an OG of 1.045, I ended up with 1.052 actual. Volumes were dead on, so I'm going to guess the difference is from the pears.

I used the new stainless braids that I made today. They worked very well.

A few brewday pictures:

The prickly pears. Lots of seeds and a lot of very small cactus spines.

About 2 gallons after the food processor.

New screen in the boil kettle.

New screen in the mash tun.

No screen in the HLT.

Grain is ready to grind.

Grinding grain. Mostly 2-row with a little wheat.

A picture of me brewing.

Another picture of me.

Mash out. I sure do like this thermometer.

Hops are ready. I went with Delta instead of Willamette because I was out of Willamette.

I put this screen over the boil kettle because the trees kept dropping things.

Those are the things I hope to prevent from getting in my beer.

Those are the trees. Last day of skiing at Bogus.

It's quite red in color, no scorched flavor this year!

Almost done, just filling the fermenters.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

New SS Braids

My old SS braids for my kettles are looking pretty pathetic. They are old, stained, stretched, and flattened. I only had two braids, one for my mash tun and one for my boil kettle. I wanted a third for my HLT so it could double as a boil kettle, which I've used it for when making partigyle batches. I got enough parts to make three new ones.

Parts list:
1 - 6' washing machine hose with stainless steel braid, cut into 2' sections
3 - 1/2" copper T fittings
3 - 1/2" copper elbow fittings
1 - 1/2" copper pipe, 18" long
6 - 3/4" hose clamps
1 - 7' 14 gauge Romex house wire, cut into 28" sections

I got the washing machine hose from a local building materials recycling store for $3. I bought the 1/2" copper fittings, pipe, and hose clamps at Lowes for about $10. I already had the Romex, and already had solder and a propane torch to join the copper pieces.  Pretty cheap project.

I only used the ground wire out of the Romex. My thought with the wire is to insert it through the inside of the braid and twist the ends together. That will keep the braid from stretching, and I think it will also help keep it from floating.

I cut the copper pipe into three 3" pieces and three 2" pieces. This works out just right for my kettles.

Most of the parts.

Assembly in progress.

I cut off the end of the twisted part.

A little out of focus, but this shows how well the wire keeps the braid nice and round.

All done and ready to put in a kettle.

Installed in a kettle. Looks good!

Three new SS braids.

New vs old. See why I'm replacing them?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Bourbon Barrel Project, part 3

March 23, Filling the barrel. Derek brought over his CO2 regulator and two picnic taps, so we were able to transfer two kegs at a time. It filled up pretty quick. The barrel has about an inch of headspace remaining and there are still 10 gallons of beer to pick up and add, 5 gallons from Gordon, and 5 from Steve D.

Filling the barrel, two kegs at once

Filling the barrel

I put on an airlock because there is enough gas escaping that the solid stopper kept getting pushed out.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Batch 106, Oktoberfest

It's that time of year, time for Oktoberfest brewing!

Last year I did a full on, triple decoction mash. This year, I went with a double decoction instead.

10 gallon batch

10 lbs 2-row (I know, I should have made the trip and got some Pilsner malt)
10 lbs Munich 10L
1 lb wheat

3 oz Hallertau, 60 min

1 tsp Irish Moss, 15 min

Wyeast 2206 Bavarian Lager yeast

OG: 1.060 actual

Mash process:

Heated 6 gallons of water to 120F, dough in with 1 qt/lb. Using Palmer's equations, I should have hit around 104F, but I was a little high (110F? I should have paid more attention), so I added 3 qts cold water to get to 104F, for a total of 24 qts for dough in.

An actual dough in at 104F on the dot.

I let that sit for about 20 minutes, then again using Palmer's equations, I added 9 qts of 180F water, which should have brought the temp up to 122F for a protein rest, but it didn't. I ended up adding 6 more qts of 180F water and then overshot a little and ended up at 126F. Close enough, my fancy thermometer says I'm in the protein rest range.

A little high on the protein rest, I was aiming for 122F, but added a little too much hot water and got 126F. That is still in range.

I let that sit for about 15 minutes, then pulled the first decoction. I had 12 gallons total in the mash tun, so I pulled out 4 gallons of fairly thick mash to another pot. I covered the mash tun so it would stay at 126F, then heated the second pot of mash to 155F and held for 20 minutes, then raised to boiling and held for 5 minutes, stirring constantly to avoid scorching. I appear to have been successful -- no scorching, and when I added the decoction back into the main mash, I hit 150F. Last year I missed the temps and had to adjust with my heat exchanger. I was actually aiming for 148F, but I am not complaining.

I'm using the canning pot. It's a little small, but I can lift it and pour it back in the main mash tun.

I let that sit for 30 minutes, then pulled the second decoction. I did an iodine test, conversion is complete at this point. I pulled 4 gallons of regular mash, that is, I stirred, got the mash fairly consistent, then took out 4 gallons. I should have taken 6 gallons, but my pot isn't that big, so after bringing it to a boil and holding for 5 minutes and adding it back, I didn't get up to mashout temp. I added more hot water from the HLT to get to mash out, then recirced and sparged. I collected 13.5 gallons in the boil pot. The rest of the brew day went well. I'm going to ferment this in the freezer in the basement using my new Johnson controller. The fermenters are still a little warm (62F vs target 50F), so I'll pitch the yeast in the morning.

That's Buddy, checking things out. I had to put up the fireplace screen because he wouldn't stay away and singed his hair.

Sacchrification rest, right at 148F. Nice!

Boiling the last decoction for mash out.

OG: 1.060 actual

Update, Mar 23: pitched the yeast. The Johnson seems to be working well, the thermometer I put in the freezer says 50F.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Bourbon Barrel Project, part 2

Part 1

I got the stand for the barrel built. It's just some pieces of 2x6 with a couple of 2x4 feet.

Barrel stand

I added the two pieces on the bottom because I thought of putting the tray from my dog crate under the stand after I'd already built it. The tray and the original stand were exactly the same width, so the stand plus the weight of the barrel would have crushed the tray. Adding the two "feet" alleviates that problem. I don't expect leaks, but I figure it can't hurt. The basement drain is just out of the picture to the left.

I bought about a gallon of reasonably affordable bourbon and am adding it to the barrel.  That ought to help bring back some of the bourbon flavors we are hoping to get out of this barrel aging.

Adding Old Crow Bourbon

On a furniture dolly

I turned a furniture dolly upside down and put the barrel on it. This makes it easy to rotate the barrel every now and then and let the bourbon contact more of the oak.


Lunch while working on the barrel. Red Seal from a Red Seal glass! That is an excellent beer.

Part 3

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Bourbon Barrel Project

Derek from my brew club talked to Rick at Brewforia about the bourbon barrel that has been sitting at the end of the bar for a while. Derek's idea was that people from the club would brew a Russian Imperial Stout and age it in the barrel. Rick agreed, so 12 of us brewed 5 gallons each. One thing lead to another, and I ended up volunteering to put the barrel in my basement. I picked up the barrel from Rick last Wednesday. Yesterday, I got the bung pried open and filled the barrel to check for leaks.



Obviously, there are significant leaks. Tom L from the brew club posted some instructions about how to condition used barrels. This barrel is actually from Widmer Brothers Brewery, and previously held some of their beer for aging. I used a hot water treatment, which means putting in about 6 gallons of hot water (the instructions didn't say how hot, so I used 150F water), then standing the barrel on end for an hour or so, then repeating with the other end. That did a pretty good job of sealing the leaks. I filled the barrel and let it sit overnight, but unfortunately, about a gallon had seeped out. I did another hot water treatment while brewing today, then filled the barrel again. There is still some seepage, but the instructions say to let it sit for a few days and the wood should continue to swell and seal the leaks.

A little seepage.

I had to head out to LA on Monday morning for work, so Sunday evening I filled the keg full with cold water. I'll be back on Thursday, and hopefully that will be enough soaking time to get the wood to swell and seal the leaks.

Update, Mar 18, 2011. I'm back from LA, and checked the barrel when I got home. A little bit of the water had seeped out, I'm guessing somewhat less than a gallon. The weather has been dry, and I don't see any wetness anywhere around the barrel. The area where it was seeping (at the bottom of the rim in the above picture) feels quite dry on the outside.  I'll take pics tomorrow.

Part 2
Part 3

Batch 105, Panama Hat

This is a "lite" version of Panama Red. It's still red, and still an IPA, but not quite as strong, alcohol-wise. This is a 5 gallon batch with a new pack of 1272, I went 'lite' to grow the yeast cake for future use.

Panama Hat

Recipe Panama Hat Style American IPA (14B)
Brewer Batch 5.00 gal
All Grain

Recipe Characteristics

Recipe Gravity 1.047 OG Estimated FG 1.012 FG
Recipe Bitterness 59 IBU Alcohol by Volume 4.6%
Recipe Color 14° SRM Alcohol by Weight 3.6%


Quantity Grain Type Use
0.12 lb American chocolate malt Grain mashed
0.50 lb American wheat Grain Mashed
8.50 lb American two-row Grain Mashed
0.75 lb Crystal 120L Grain Mashed
Quantity Hop Type Time
1.00 oz Mt. Hood Whole FWH
0.75 oz Centennial Whole 60 minutes
1.00 oz Cascade whole 30 minutes
1.00 oz Cascade whole 5 minutes
1.00 oz Mt. Hood Whole 5 minutes
Quantity Misc Notes
1.00 unit Irish Moss Fining 1 tsp 15 min
1.00 unit American Ale yeast Wyeast 1272

Recipe Notes

I was side-tracked with bourbon barrel maintenance, so I mashed a little hot, 160F rather than the 154F I was aiming for. Again, not paying attention, it was a little cold and windy outside, so the mash dropped to about 150F after an hour. I meant to keep an eye on it and keep it at 154F when it got there, but I forgot. I think I need to reset the efficiency setting on qbrew also. I have it set at 65%, but I overshot my OG (again), getting 1.052 instead of the expected 1.045. It looks like setting it to 70% will be just about right.

I used Centennial instead of Nugget this time. The Nugget I have looks a little odd, I think maybe it wasn't completely dry before I put it in the freezer.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Beer Coaster Project

My son has been gathering beer coasters for a while, and so have I. Many of the ones I have I picked up when I lived in Germany, which was 20 years ago. My son brought over a grocery sack full of coasters, which turned out to be about 260. I dug out all of mine, and had about 150 more, so just over 400 altogether. It turns out there were a lot of repeats, mostly doubles, but there must have been 50 Guiness coasters. After sorting and removing duplicates, I ended up with almost 300 coasters. Here is most the ones from my son:

And here are most of mine:

I actually had more than would fit in my basement. I ended up stapling 266 coasters to the top of the wall.

I see I need to dust on the top of the molding... :)

Bock photo

I was drinking a glass of the Bock I made back in October. It is one of the clearest beers I've ever made. I've been working on clarity, and it turns out there are a few things that really help that I hadn't been doing until recently.

  1. Use Irish Moss. I've used it every now and then in the past, but it really does help.
  2. Lagering, of course, is a big help, even for ales.
  3. Transfer several times. From primary, I transfer to a keg and leave it at fermentation temp for a few weeks. Without moving the keg, transfer to a conditioning keg. This is the same as a bright tank. Put this keg in the fridge until a tap is empty. Without moving the keg, transfer to a serving keg.
  4. When tranferring, run the beer into a bucket until it runs clear. The first pull will suck up some trub, which goes into the bucket.  Connect to the transfer keg when that first bit of trub is gone and the beer is clear. Watch as it gets near the end, and stop immediately when the murky beer appears as more trub will be sucked up at the end.
Here is a picture of the Bock in front of a copy of the Northwest Brewer's News.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Batch 104, Pale Ale

Just a basic pale ale. I'm behind, this will help me catch up. It's good having several kegs waiting to go on tap.

10 gallon batch

17 lbs 2-row
2 lbs Victory
1 lb Wheat
1 lb Crystal 60

Mash at 153F for 60 minutes. Collect 13 gallons.

1 oz Cascade, FWH
1.5 oz Chinook, 60 min
1 oz Cascade 10 min

90 minute boil.

Wyeast 1332, Northwest Ale yeast

OG: 1.050, 1.054 actual
FG: 1.012
IBU: 41
SRM 11
ABV: 4.8
Balance: 1.67

I'll dry hop this after primary fermentation is done with 2 oz Cascade.

Update, 2/20/2011, kegged, harvested yeast. I did not dry hop this -- I got busy and sort of forgot about this beer, so it's been fermenting for about 3 weeks. The hydro sample tastes pretty good, so I'm going to leave it as is and not add any more hops.


Saturday, January 29, 2011

Batch 103, Russian Imperial Stout

Twelve of us in the brew club are making this same recipe, then we'll each contribute 5 gallons to age in a bourbon barrel that Rick at Brewforia has. We'll fill the barrel in March and split it up toward the end of the summer.

I did this as a partigyle batch, so I got 5 gallons of Russian Imperial Stout and 5 gallons of brown ale. I think the brown ale will fit the Northern English Brown (11C) style.

Here is the base recipe:

28 lbs 2-row
1 lb wheat
1 lb crystal 60
1 lb crystal 120
1 lb special B
10 oz roasted barley
10 oz chocolate malt

1.5 oz Columbus at 90 min
1.0 oz Northern Brewer at 30 min
1.0 oz Northern Brewer at 15 min

90 minute boil.

This should give an IBU of 45. I was supposed to use Zeus, but they didn't have any at the store, and supposedly Columbus and Zeus and Tomahawk are all the same hop. These are all pellet hops, which, as usual, clogged my screen even though I put them in nylons.

This grain bill gives a starting gravity of 1.079. Using this chart,,
and using the 50/50 column, I should get a strong beer at 1.105 with 40 SRM and a small beer at 1.052 with 17 SRM.

I used 42 quarts to mash, and mashed at 150F for 60 minutes. I could have stopped the mash sooner since an iodine test said it was done at 45 minutes, but I was getting stuff ready.

Water calculation:
33.5 lbs grain x 1.25 qts per lbs  = 42 qts strike water
absorption = 17 qts
which gives me 42 - 17 = 25 quarts to run off = 6.25 gallons
add 6 qts at end of mash to run off 7.5 gallons to boil

This worked out perfectly, I ended up with just what I'd calculated. I used all of the hops in the strong beer. The actual OG was 1.108, with 5.5 gallons in the fermenter, so it was slightly high, but I'm not complaining!

For the small beer, I sparged with 7 gallons and collected 6.5 gallons to boil and another half gallon to use for a yeast starter. I only did a 60 minute boil so it would be done and in the fermenter before the strong beer was done boiling. For hops, I used:

0.5 oz Columbus
0.5 oz Perle

I added both at 60 minutes, which should give me 33 IBU. This is slightly out of spec for an English Brown Ale. I had originally thought this would be an American Brown ale, which allows IBUs up to 40, but as I mention below, I ended up using an English yeast rather than an American yeast.

Again, these were pellet hops.  No clogging on this one because I used my HLT as the boil kettle for this, and my HLT does not have a screen, so any hops residue ended up in the fermenter.

The small beer also ended up just right, 5.5 gallons of OG 1.052 wort in the fermenter. Overall, I was pretty pleased with this, a little math up front and the numbers came out just right in the end.

One other change -- I was supposed to use Wyeast 1056 yeast, but the store was out of it, and they were out of 1272. The ESB from batch 102 is done, so while the boil was on, I kegged the ESB and harvested the yeast to reuse in this batch. I used Wyeast 1275, Thames Valley yeast, in the ESB, so it's an English strain rather than an American strain, but it is an appropriate and historically accurate yeast for a stout and for a Northern English Brown ale.

Update, Feb 15, 2011: Kegged both. FG on both was 1.018, which seems just about right for the RIS and a little high for the brown.

Update, Mar 18, 2011: The brown has been on tap for about 5 days, getting carbed. It is f*ing awesome!


Monday, January 17, 2011

Batch 102, ESB

Similar to Batch 98, just a couple of minor changes.

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.

0.5 oz Experimental, 7.0% AA, 3 additions: 90, 80, 70 min.
0.5 oz Delta, 6.0%AA, 8 additions: FWH, 60, 50, 40, 30, 20, 10, 0 min.

Wyeast 1275 Thames Valley Yeast.

Update 1/29, FG 1.010, kegged.


Thursday, January 13, 2011


My lovely wife passed away on January 13. She fought cancer for 2 years with 5 series of chemo and 2 series of radiation. Cancer is a bitch.