Saturday, September 23, 2006

Batch 40, Panama Red

Another lame batch posting --

This is a 10 gallon batch of Panama Red, it's the same as Batch 35 except:

Was out of Crystal 80, so I used Crystal 60.

I had thrown out all of my Wyeast 1272 because we're in the process of moving back to Boise, so I used Wyeast 1332, Hale's Northwest Ale yeast.

Actual OG: 1.055
Actual FG: 1.010

Kegged Oct 6.

I don't like the 1332 as well as 1272, it was good, but gave the beer a different flavor than previous batches.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Batch 39, Black Diamond Porter

Recipe Black Diamond Porter, a variation on the Black Butte Porter clone I'd done before.

Style Robust Porter

Batch Size 11.00 gal
Recipe Gravity 1.056 OG
Estimated FG 1.014
Recipe Bitterness 35 IBU
Recipe Color 26 SRM
Alcohol by Volume 7.8%
Alcohol by Weight 6.1%

2.00 lb American chocolate malt
18.00 lb American two-row
1.50 lb American wheat
3.00 lb Crystal 80L

1.00 oz Galena pellet 75 minutes
1.50 oz Cascade whole 30 minutes
2.00 oz Tettnanger whole 5 minutes

1.00 unit Ale yeast Other 1+ qt slurry, wyeast 1272

Recipe Notes
Actual OG: 1.070
Actual FG: 1.012

Kegged Sep 8

Use a bag for the hop pellets otherwise run-off might get stuck.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Batch 38, Gemütlich

July 29, 2006, Gemütlich


6 lbs 2 row
4 lbs wheat
.75 lbs Quaker oats
.25 lbs honey
.5 lbs crystal 60


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

Wyeast 1272

OG: 1.052
FG: 1.010

Kegged: Aug 26, 2006

This is such a nice recipe! Smooth and refreshing.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Batch 37, Panama Red

July 14. 2006: 5 gallon batch of Panama Red

Same as batch 35.

Yeah, these are crappy notes, but the beer was excellent!

A Brew Day

Brew Day, July 14, 2006, brewing Panama Red.

This is a nice, hoppy beer. It was a nice day, so I took some pictures to show the process. Start to finish, including clean up is right at 5 hours for a 10 gallon batch of beer.

The recipe is pretty simple, but is perhaps my favorite. I made it up myself.

20.25 lbs 2-row
1.5 lbs Crystal 40 or 60 or 80
0.5 lbs Chocolate malt

2 oz Mt Hood, FWH
1.5 oz Nugget, 60 min
2 oz Cascade, 10 min
2 oz Cascade, 5 min
2 oz Mt Hood, 5 min

Wyeast 1272, American Ale II

Grinding the grain. This is the corona-style mill that I traded to Doug for a 6-pack of Scottish ale after I got a Barley Crusher.
The corona mill works fine, but was a little messy to use.

The grain is ground.

Brewery is set up, HLT on the left, mash tun in the center, boil kettle on the right.

Mashing in, aiming for 153F.

Hops are ready, there is almost a half pound of hops in this recipe.

First wort hops. 2 oz of Mt. Hood go in first, the rest per schedule.

Using a March pump to transfer from mash tun to boil kettle. Using a pump means I can keep all the kettles at the same height and
don't have to lift hot, heavy pots.

Putting the heat on the boil kettle. While boiling, I clean up and put away the rest of the equipment.

Good, rolling boil.

Chilling with my counter-flow chiller. The water comes out of our well at 56F, so it chills quickly.

Yeast is ready to pitch, I'm using Wyeast 1272 in this recipe.

Fermenters in the fermentation box. I use jugs of ice in the summer, the light bulbs in the winter. Red Green should be so lucky to own such a thing!

It's really just that easy!

Saturday, July 1, 2006

Batch 36, Dunkelweiss

Okay, I'm done copying and pasting from my old website, so these posts will be coming a little slower.

4 lbs 2 row
5 lbs munich
.25 lbs chocolate

1 oz Tettnanger, 60 min

Wyeast 1056

I think the yeast was bad, it was on it's 5th generation, this batch went down the drain.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Batch 35, Cascade Red

Cascade Red
American Amber Ale
5.00 gal

Recipe Characteristics
Recipe Gravity
1.059 OG
Estimated FG
1.015 FG
Recipe Bitterness
67 IBU
Alcohol by Volume
Recipe Color
15� SRM
Alcohol by Weight

10.00 lb
Canadian two-row
0.75 lb
Crystal 80L
0.25 lb
American chocolate malt
2.00 oz
5 minutes
1.00 oz
10 minutes
0.50 oz
60 minutes
0.25 oz
30 minutes
1.00 oz
Mt. Hood
90 minutes
1.00 unit
American Ale yeast, Wyeast 1272
Harvested from batch 33, Denny's Rye IPA, 1 qt slurry

Recipe Notes

I made up this recipe myself. I am going for something similar to Rogue's St. Rogue Red, a dark red, very hoppy beer. The BCJP guidelines say IBU can be 40+ and list St. Rogue Red as a commercial example. Now St. Rogue lists its IBU's at 44, and I've gone way above that, but the dry hopped version available at their brewpubs is very strong on hop flavor. I started with the 'Cascade' recipe that I've made several of, darkened it up a bit, and added more (lots more!) hops.

Batch Notes

Brewed on May 25, 2006. The Mt. Hood hops listed at 90 minutes is actually FWH (first wort hops, that is, the hops were added to the bottom of the boil kettle before the wort was run in from the mash tun.)
Actual OG: 1.056

I thought I was off on my volumes. I'd ran off 7 gallons of wort, and figured for a 90 minute boil to be right at 5 gallons. After 90 minutes I was still at 6.5 gallons. I considered boiling longer, but thought that would ruin my hop schedule. So I drained it out anyway, and came up short by half a gallon (what the...?!) Some simple math says that the 4.75 ounces of hops were holding at least half a gallon of wort, and that they had expanded to about 1.5 gallons in volume. Something to keep in mind for future batches. I strained out an additional half gallon from the hops, so volume was right on and OG was very close to target.

Racked to secondary on June 11, so 17 days in primary. Gravity seems a bit low, I got 1.010. Looked very nice coming out of primary, a very clear beer (so far). I added some gelatin to the secondary as I've been having clarity issues. Palmer says there are 3 reasons:
1) chill haze, caused by insufficient cold break. I'm using a CFC, so I don't think that is the issue.
2) yeast. Maybe, but I've used 2 different varieties, and this particular strain is supposed to be highly flocculant.
3) incomplete conversion. Maybe. I've had some trouble keeping mash temps constant.

I'm planning to keg this on June 17.

This is the original, and now semi-famous "Panama Red" recipe. It will go through several iterations, but is still perhaps my favorite beer ever.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Yeast 102

After my yeast starter fiasco (see Yeast 101), I was short a packet of yeast. I'd only bought enough for two batches, and one was splattered all over the walls of the hot water heater closet. Larry's is a drive from my house, it's over an hour round trip. I'd read about getting the yeast back out of the fermenter and reusing it. This seemed like a good opportunity to give it a try rather than spend an hour staring at the windshield of the car. Although, I did anyway...

Getting the yeast back from the fermenter and reusing it doesn't sound particularly difficult. It does require some 1 qt canning jars. After my last fiasco, I figured I should go ahead and get the right jars, after all, if this works out and isn't too difficult, it would be a big money saver (a smack pack of Wyeast is $4.25, the instructions I got from Wyeast say I can reuse the yeast 6 - 10 times before needing to buy a new pack). It turns out that almost nobody sells canning jars anymore. It took checking at 4 stores before I found some, $10 for a case of 12.

It was time to rack the batch of Cascade to the secondary and dry hop, which is the also time to gather the yeast. The instructions said to get 3 jars, sanitized, filled half full of sterilized water. Once the beer is racked out of the primary, pour the first jar of water into the primary, swirl it around with the hops, trub, and yeast, then empty the primary back into the jar. I had way more "stuff" than would fit in one jar, in fact, I was able to fill all three. I let them sit for about 15 - 20 minutes, until they were nicely segregated into layers. While they were sitting and separating, I got 6 more jars ready, then poured the top layer of the first set of jars into the second, and tossed the bottom layer down the sink.

The jars are sitting overnight in the refrigerator now. After about an hour, they are separating out into three layers, the top layer is water, the middle layer is the yeast, the bottom layer is junk. There's less than 1/4 inch of junk now, I'll see how it looks in the morning. The next step is to pour off the water, then pour the yeast layer into the third set of jars. The third set can stay refrigerated for up to a month. To use, pour off the water layer and pitch the yeast directly, or make a starter out of it.


I let the jars sit overnight (about 6 hours), poured off the water layer, poured the yeast layer into the third set of jars, and threw the bottom layer down the sink. I put them back in the refrigerator overnight again, there was a fairly thin layer of yeast on the bottom of each the next day. It didn't look like very much yeast to me, so I combined all three into one and made a starter out of it.


To make a starter: boil 2 cups of water, add 1/3 cup of malt extract, boil 15 minutes, cool to 70 degrees or so, then add the yeast. Pour into a quart jar, tighten the lid, agitate well. Store at 75 degrees F for a day or two before pitching. I read that a rule of thumb is to let the yeast sit for 1 day per month that the yeast is old, that is, if the yeast was harvested in April and now it's July, let it start for 3 days. Overall, this works really well, and is a big money saver. Since I started doing this, I've only bought 2 new packages of yeast for 12 batches of beer.


Later in life, I've gotten lazy. Well, I suppose I've been lazy all along, but now I'm lazier! The whole yeast washing thing is a lot of work. My current method is to get a 12 oz bottle of store-bought water, dump it into the fermenter after racking out the beer, swirl it around to get everything flowing smoothly, then pouring it into Mason jars. I usually get 3 jars out of a 10 gallon batch. I add one water purification tablet per jar. You can get these at REI or other sporting goods store. They kill any bacteria, but leave the yeast alone. These seem to keep for several months in the refrigerator with no problem.  On brew day, I get out 2 jars (1 per 5 gallons) from the refrigerator and set them on the kitchen counter.  By pitching time, they are at room temperature.  I give the jars a good shake to get everything suspended, then pitch and stir.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Batch 34, Cream Ale

May 13, 2006

Not sure I like this formatting, I got QBrew to spit out some html, but it wouldn't work in my low-budget wiki, so I just wrapped the plain text version in a "pre" tag.

Recipe   Cream Ale  Style   Cream Ale
Brewer Dale Batch 5.00 gal Mashed

Recipe Characteristics
Recipe Gravity 1.044 OG Estimated FG 1.011
Actual Gravity 1.045 Actual FG 1.008
Recipe Bitterness 17 IBU Alcohol by Volume 4.4%
Recipe Color 4 SRM Alcohol by Weight 3.5%

Quantity Grain Use
8.50 lb Canadian two-row mashed
0.50 lb CaraPils mashed
0.50 lb American wheat mashed

Quantity Hop Form Time
1.00 oz Tettnanger whole 60 minutes
0.50 oz Mt. Hood whole 5 minutes

Recipe Notes:

I'm going for a very light colored beer here, something like a Corona, but hopefully much better.

May 20, racked to secondary

May 27, racked to keg. Looks very clear, very light colored.

Friday, May 5, 2006

Batch 33, Rye IPA

May 5, 2006

This recipe gets a lot of kudos on the internet. Now that I've been drinking it for a few days, it is indeed an excellent beer, but I think if I make it again, I'll swap out the Columbus with something else.

Denny Conn's Rye IPA -1st place Pale ales, Lane County Fair 2001

Recipe : Rye IPA
Recipe Specifics

Batch Size (GAL): 5.00 Wort Size (GAL): 5.00
Total Grain (LBS): 16.25
Anticipated OG: 1.073 Plato: 17.8 ACTUAL OG: 1.060
Anticipated SRM: 12.2
Anticipated IBU: 75.1
Brewhouse Efficiency: 65 %
Wort Boil Time: 70 Minutes

% Amount Name Origin Potential SRM
67.7 11.00 lbs. Pale Malt(2-row) America 1.036 2
18.5 3.00 lbs. Rye Malt America 1.030 4
7.7 1.25 lbs. Crystal 60L America 1.034 60
3.1 0.50 lbs. Cara-Pils Dextrine Malt 1.033 2
3.1 0.50 lbs. Wheat Malt America 1.038 2

Potential represented as SG per pound per gallon.

Amount Name Form Alpha IBU Boil Time
1.00 oz. Mt. Hood Whole 4.90 15.0 FWH
1.00 oz. Columbus Whole 17.80 54.4 60 min.
0.50 oz. Mt. Hood Whole 4.90 5.7 30 min.
1.50 oz. Mt. Hood Whole 4.90 0.0 0 min.
1.00 oz. Columbus Whole 15.00 0.0 Dry Hop

Amount Name Type Time
1.00 Tsp Irish Moss Fining 15 Min.(boil)
1.00 Tsp Gypsum Other 60 Min.(boil)

BrewTek CL-50 California Pub Brewery Ale or Wyeast 1272 Am. ale II

Mash Schedule
Mash Name :
Total Grain LBS : 16.25
Grain Temp : 63.00 F
Total Water QTS : 21.61 - Before Additional Infusions
Total Water GAL : 5.40
Tun Thermal Mass : 0.00

Step Rest Start Stop Direct/ Infuse Infuse Infuse
Step Name Time Time Temp Temp Infuse Temp Amount Ratio
sacc 0 60 153 153 Infuse 166 21.61 1.33

Total Water QTS : 21.61 - After Additional Infusions
Total Water GAL : 5.40 - After Additional Infusions

All temperature measurements are degrees Fahrenheit.
All infusion amounts are in quarts.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Yeast 101

Here's a short story about a yeast fiasco:

I was behind on brewing, batch 12 had a week to go in the secondary fermenter, the keg for batch 11 was feeling light, so I made a run to Larry's and bought enough for two batches of Cascade (see Batch 13). My plan was to do one Sunday night followed by another on Monday or Tuesday. I'd been reading about using a yeast starter, so thought I'd give it a try.

I looked around for a suitable bottle to use, a quart jar was recommended, but I found a 28 oz vinegar bottle that was nearly empty and figured that was close enough. Early Sunday morning, I boiled a pint of water and added 1/2 cup of malt extract and sanitized the empty vinegar bottle. I cooled the wort, added the yeast, and poured it into the bottle. This particular bottle had ("had" is a keyword in this story) snap cap, that is, it was sort of a flip top with a hinge and plastic ring around the neck of the bottle to hold the cap in place.

I snapped the cap and set the bottle on top of the hot water heater. The hot water heater is ideal for starting yeast, it keeps a very constant 75 degrees F in the closet. The instructions I had said to agitate the bottle every now and then. The yeast should be ready for pitching in about 12 hours, which fit well with my plan to brew that evening.

As it happened, that particular Sunday was Easter, so we had some of the relatives over for dinner. It was about 2 pm when we sat down, and it occurred to me that I hadn't agitated the yeast bottle for a while. Rather than wait until after dinner, I thought I'd give it a shake right then, as I was afraid I'd forget about it if I waited.

So into the hot water heater closet I went, dressed in my Easter Sunday best, and gave the bottle a shake -- just one. It was like opening a champagne bottle, the cap went flying (I still haven't found it, it's probably deep behind the hot water heater), the yeast/wort solution shot out of the bottle like a geyser, hosing down the inside of the closet, getting all over the hall carpet and my Easter best. The bottle was essentially empty when it finally stopped gushing.

There goes brewing on Sunday. The moral of the story -- get a jar with a screw cap.

Batch 32, Estate Ale

Batch #32, April 20, 2006

This is similar to a recipe from the 1800's that was brewed on country estates large enough to have their own brewery. This is for a 5 gallon batch:

15 lbs 2-row
1 lbs crystal 40L


3 oz Mt. HoodFWH, 90 min
2 oz Mt. Hood30 min
2 oz Mt. Hood0 min

Wyeast 1056

OG, target: 1.064, actual 1.065
FG, target: 1.016, actual 1.013

Comments: Racked to secondary on May 2, 2006. I'm using a cornie keg as secondary, and took FG when racking. I purged with CO2, now I'm waiting until Sep 27 to rack to a final keg and carbonate.


Well, waiting until Sep 27 didn't happen. Today is July 29. I'm short on beer, and this has naturally carbonated and is quite excellent. I'm only going to have a few glasses (I hope!) and let the rest sit for another couple of months. There is a move coming up, though, so it might be better to just drink it and not worry about it for the move. I really like the Mt. Hood, very smooth at this point.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Batch 31 Black Diamond Porter

Batch #31, March 23, 2006

This is a Black Butte Porter clone.

10.5 lbs 2-row
0.75 lbs crystal 60L
0.5 lbs chocolate malt


1/3 oz Galena (pellets)60 min
3/4 oz Cascade300 min
1 oz Tettnanger5 min

Wyeast 1056 from batch 27

OG: 1.057
FG: 1.014

Comments: I've been using QBrew to print out recipes, and I've noticed that my notes aren't as good. The beer was most excellent, however!

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Batch 30 Jones Lake Ale

Batch #30, March 11, 2006

Malt extract:
None! First all grain batch!

Malted grain:
8.25 lbs 2-row Gambrinus (canadian)
0.5 lbs crystal 40L
0.5 lbs crystal 60L


1/2 oz PerleFWH, 60 min
1/2 oz CascadeFWH, 60 min
1 oz Cascade15 min
1 oz Mt. Hood15 min
2 tsp Irish Moss15 min

Dry hops: after primary fermenation, I transferred to two 5 gal buckets for secondary. Added 1 oz Mt. Hood to one bucket, 1 oz Cascade to the other.

Wyeast 1056, American ale yeast, 1 qt starter using yeast from batch 27.

OG, target: 1.050 actual: 1.042
FG, target: 1.012 actual: 1.020

FG seemed high, but seemed done. Pitched more yeast, but didn't FG didn't drop any more.

Transfer to secondary: 18 Mar 2006

Kegged: Mar 23

Not bad for a first shot at all grain. It's more work and I missed both gravities. The beer was quite drinkable.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Batch 29 Oatmeal Stout

Batch #29, February 11, 2006

Malt extract:
13.5 lbs Pils ME (bulk)

Malted grain:
3 lbs crystal 80L
1/2 lb black patent
3/4 lb chocolate malt
3/4 lb oatmeal (Quaker)
Steeped all at 155 for 30 minutes.


2 oz Cascade60 min
2 tsp Irish Moss10 min

Wyeast 1056, American ale yeast, harvested from batch 26 and 27.

OG: forgot to measure
FG: 1.011

Kegged: sometime, drank it, it was good!

22 Jan 2006, minor panic (!) this 10 gallons will be ready for kegging this week, and I've only got 1 empty keg. Fortunately, I was able to polish off the last of batch 26 during the football playoffs. No Packers, but Seahawks (the local team) and Steelers (always a house favorite) are both in the Superbowl.

26 Jan 2006, Kegged, but I don't have enough CO2 hoses to do all the kegs at once, so I primed the kegs with 1/3 C white sugar. I found numerous references on-line that said white sugar would work fine since I don't have an corn sugar on hand.

Tuesday, February 7, 2006


Batch 5 was my last batch in bottles. I got some kegs and a refrigerator in the garage. Larry's ran a sale on 5 gallon kegs at Christmas time, 4 kegs for the price of 2, plus hoses, regulator, and CO2 bottle. I found a refrigerator on the internet for free, just had to haul it home. Kegs are so much easier than bottles, no more washing or capping or boxes of empties sitting around. Well worth the expense.

Here is the refrigerator that I found for free on the internet, I found it on It took a couple of weeks to find one, both that worked and close enough that I felt like driving over to pick it up. It had been sitting outside for a while, so it needed a bit of cleanup, but with a powerwasher (just visible on the right), some elbow grease, and some Mr. Clean, it looks pretty good. And the Packer sticker is a nice touch, too! (Go, Pack, Go!)

I pulled out all the shelves so the kegs would fit, and put a piece of hardboard on the plastic shelf above the veggie bins for reinforcement. I'm not sure that is enough if I ever happen to get all 4 kegs full at the same time. Each keg weighs about 50 lbs full, so that would be 200 lbs, plus the CO2 and plumbing, I'm not sure if the plastic will be strong enough to hold it all.

A few things to point out --
1. 4 kegs and the CO2 bottle fit nicely.
2. A temperature gauge (just in front of the CO2 helps make sure the temperature is cool enough. I've got the reefer set at 40? F.
3. The door makes a good storage place for left-over hops and other brewing ingredients.
4. Not shown, but the freezer section stores glasses (a set of 6, shamelessly swiped from the Hotel Abrams in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany) for a frosty mug, long term storage of hops, and provides the frozen jugs for my fermentation ice box.

Sunday, January 8, 2006

Batch 28 Jones Lake Ale

Batch #28, January 8, 2006

Malt extract:
13 pounds Breiss gold extract (bulk)

Malted grain:
No grain in this batch, Larry's was out of the pils ME, so I went with gold as the next lightest. Since the gold is already darker, I left the grain out of this batch since it is mostly for color anyway.


1 oz Nugget60 min
1 oz Cascade60 min
1 oz Cascade15 min
1 oz Mt. Hood15 min
2 tsp Irish Moss15 min

Dry hops: after primary fermenation, I transferred to two 5 gal buckets for secondary. Added 1 oz Mt. Hood to one bucket, 1 oz Cascade to the other.

Wyeast 1056, American ale yeast, harvested from batch 26.

OG: 1.048
FG: 1.010

Transfer to secondary: 19 Jan 2006 and dry hopped.

Kegged: 26 Jan 2006, primed with 1/3 C white sugar in each keg.

22 Jan 2006, minor panic (!) this 10 gallons will be ready for kegging this week, and I've only got 1 empty keg. Fortunately, I was able to polish off the last of batch 26 during the football playoffs. No Packers, but Seahawks (the local team) and Steelers (always a house favorite) are both in the Superbowl.

26 Jan 2006, Kegged, but I don't have enough CO2 hoses to do all the kegs at once, so I primed the kegs with 1/3 C white sugar. I found numerous references on-line that said white sugar would work fine since I don't have an corn sugar on hand.