Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Batch 243, Leeser

 This is the second half of a double batch day. I'm making a major change to this recipe, so we'll see how it comes out. Usually, I use a Bohemian Lager yeast for this, but I want to get it done faster and I want to be able to ferment it at the same time as the Panama Red (batch 242). This time I'm using Wyeast 1318, London Ale III, since it has a similar flavor profile, but it ferments at ale yeast temperatures and won't need a diacetyl rest. The rest of the recipe is as usual.

10 gallon batch

21.5 lb pilsner malt

1.5 lb white wheat

Mashed in with 8 gallons at 175F, a little high, hit 156F, added a gallon of cold water to hit 148F. Adjusted pH to 5.25. Mashed about an hour and a half because I was waiting on the Panama Red to get out of the way.

1 oz Saaz, FWH

1.5 oz Magnum, 60 minutes

3 oz Saaz, 5 min

90 minute boil. Like as last time, the Saaz comes in 2 oz packets, so I put the extra ounce at the start as a first wort hops.


1.5 qts Wyeast 1318 from batch 232, it's a couple of months old, so I made a starter to get it going well.

Update, June 2, 2021 -- I meant to add a note about this last year. I had a keg and a half of this left in the fridge before we went to Mexico. I'd canned 12 or so cans to take, and they didn't even make it to Mexico before they were gone. It's a quite good beer, very similar to using the lager yeast, in fact, it's close enough that no one will notice it's not technically a lager, it is in fact an ale. The half keg went sour while we were gone, the full keg came through the winter just fine and I'm drinking it now. Doing it as an ale is a big time saver, however, I've been brewing these just before heading south so they can lager over the winter and be ready when we get back. That worked out fine for one keg, it was on CO2 all winter. The CO2 for the half-keg went empty while I was gone, so maybe that's what caused it to sour. Or it could have been the other keg in the kegerator, I don't have check valves on the CO2, so maybe some funk from the other empty keg made its way into the Leeser keg and soured it.

I should mention also that I had about half a keg of Panama Red from batch 242 and about half a keg of IPA from batch 241 that wintered just fine. Those kegs also remained on CO2 over the winter, and are quite drinkable now. The hops aroma hasn't faded as much as I would have guessed. It's nice to have these available since I won't be able to brew for a few more days and it'll be a few weeks before a new beer is ready.

Batch 242, Panama Red

 The brewing season is winding down for me, we're heading south as usual for the winter sometime next month, so I'm brewing up a batch of Panama Red to take along, and also brewing a batch of Leeser to lager while we're gone. Double batch day!

10 gallon batch

22.5 lb 2-row (update, actually, it was about 17 lb of 2-row and the rest pilsner since I am now out of 2-row)

1.5 lb Crystal 60

1.5 lb white wheat

4 oz Chocolate malt

Heated 8 gallons of water to 170F, mashed in, hit 154F, adjusted pH to 5.23. Mashed for 45 minutes, then started recirculating for 15 minutes. Got 5 gallons from the first batch, added 7.5 gallons for the second batch, collected 12.5 gallons total in the boil kettle.

2 oz Mt Hood, FWH

2 oz Centennial, 60 minutes

2 oz Cascade, 30 minutes

2 tsp Irish moss, 15 minutes

2 oz Cascade, 5 minutes

2 oz Mt Hood, 5 minutes

I did a 70 minute boil on this batch rather than the usual 90 as I'm doing a double batch today.

Wyeast 1272, 2 quarts from batch 241, so really fresh yeast.

OG: 1.064 actual (target is 1.063, so right on)

FG: 1.016

ABV: 6.1%

SRM: 11.8

IBU: 56.6

In spite of being a double batch day, the brew day went really well. The only issue was my water hose broke where it connects to the faucet, so I had to stop and do a repair, but no big deal.

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Batch 241, an IPA of some sort

 I was thinking about brewing, not because I'm low on beer, but because I needed a brew day to just chill out. You know, pandemic and all. I was thinking about doing some sort of Arrogant Bastard clone, but that thing is like 7.5% alcohol, and that seemed like a bit much at the time. Really not, but whatever. So this one is the same hop bill, but a different grain bill, so it should come out closer to 5.8%.

10 gallon batch

23 lb 2-row

1.5 lb white wheat

8 oz Crystal 120

Heated 8 gallons of water to 170F, mashed in, hit 154F, outside temp today was about 75F when I mashed in. Adjusted pH to 5.25. Mashed for 45 minutes, started recirculating for 15 minutes, collected 4.5 gallons in the boil kettle, second sparge at 180F, 15 minute recirculation, collected another 8 gallons for 12.5 total to boil,


3 oz Chinook, 90 minutes

2 oz Chinook, 45 minutes

2 oz Chinook + 2 tsp Irish Moss, 15 minutes

2 oz Chinook, flame out


90 minute boil. Super simple, easy brew day, got lots of stuff cleaned up that just needed it.


Wyeast 1272, American Ale II, 2 quart jars, just got them out of the fridge and let them warm up over night. As usual, 60 seconds of O2 in the wort before pitching.


Pitched the BeerBouy also!



OG: 1.058, got 1.064 actual, might need to adjust the efficiency on BrewTarget.

FG: 1.015

ABV: 5.8%, it's going to be a little higher, probably 6 or 6.2.

SRM: 7.2, that's the only purpose of the Crystal 120.

IBU: 114.6! Yeah! A real IPA, not that neipa shit.

Calibrating beerbouy:

Hydrometer    Angle

1.004                70.8

1.064                62.9


Seems off to me, but we'll see. 


9 Sep 2020: Pulled out the bouy and set the Inkbird to 33F for cold crashing. 

Friday, August 7, 2020

Batch 240, Amber Ale

 A friend was given some hops rhizomes a couple of years ago. He has them planted and growing nicely, but he's not a brewer, and he doesn't know what they are. So last fall, I bought home about 7 ounces. This batch is just to try them out. It's really the same recipe as the basil IPA, which I like quite a lot, so hopefully it's a decent recipe to showcase these hops.

10 gallon batch

22.0 lb 2-row

2 lb Biscuit

1.5 lb white wheat

1 lb special B

Mash at 155F for 60 minutes, adjusted pH to 5.3, vorlauf 15 minutes each batch. Collected 12.5 gallons in the boil kettle.

1.5 oz Magnum, 60 min

2.0 oz Steve's hops, 30 min

2.0 oz Steve's hops, 10 min

2.75 oz Steve's hops, 5 min

2 quarts Wyeast 1272 from batch 239, I probably overpitched, 1 quart would probably have been enough.

OG: 1.065 actual

FG: 1.016

ABV: 6.1%

IBU: 52 (just a guess, I really don't know what the hops are, other than the Magnum)

SRM: 12.4

Update, 2 Sep 20, so I'm thinking about these hops from Steve, I believe these are hops I got originally from another Steve, and I think they might be Willamette hops. For the amount of hops in this recipe, I expected decent hops flavor, but no, it's pretty bland. I was thinking this would hit in the pale ale category, but the hops just aren't there, so I've been calling it an Amber ale. It's okay, definitely drinkable, just not the sort of beer that I'm partial to drinking much of.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Batch 239, Panama Red

An uneventful brew day, 10 gallons of Panama Red, the usual recipe.

22.25 lb 2-row
1.5 lb Crystal 60
1.25 lb White Wheat
4 oz Chocolate malt

That ran me out of both wheat and chocolate malt, I'll have to make a run to the store soon. Mashed at 154F, pH 5.3, 10 min vorlauf each batch.

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

90 minute boil.

Reused the Wyeast 1272 from batch 238, which I kegged today, so the yeast is fresh out of the fermenter.

OG: 1.063, 1.064 actual
FG: 1.016
SRM: 11.8
IBU: 56.6
ABV: 6.1%

Friday, July 3, 2020

Batch 238, Basil IPA

Another batch of Basil IPA, like the last one. It seems a little early in the season, but the 5 basil plants I planted this spring are more than big enough to harvest enough leaves for a brew. I picked the leaves this morning as the water was heating up.

10 gallon batch

22 lb 2-row
2 lb biscuit
1 lb special B
1.5 lb white wheat

Mashed in with 8 gallons of 170F water, hit 152F. Adjusted pH to 5.25. Mashed for 60 minutes, 15 minute vorlauf both batches.

1 oz Magnum, FWH
2 oz Chinook, 60 min
2 oz Cascade, 30 min
2 oz Cascade, 15 min
1 cup basil leaves, 15 min
2 tsp Irish Moss, 15 min
1/2 cup basil leaves, 8 min
2 oz Citra, 2 minutes
1 cup basil leaves, 2 minutes

90 minute boil. For measuring the basil leaves, I just used a measuring cup and packed them fairly tight.

Oxygenated, then pitched
Wyeast 1272, American Ale II, new package, 2 quart starter

OG: 1.060, 1.065 actual -- I guess my efficiency is back up since I adjusted the mill
FG: 1.016
IBU: 78
SRM: 8.4
ABV: 6.1

Also did a berry cider:

5 gallon batch

1.5 gallons wort strained from the grain after mashing the beer
11 cans Winco frozen 100% apple juice
Mixed together, then added water to make 4 gallons
Oxygenated, then pitched
1 qt Wyeast 1318 London Ale III

At the end of fermentation, I'll add 4 lbs of frozen mixed berries that have been blended in a food processor plus enough water to make another gallon.

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Batch 237, Dunkelweizen

I'm going for something similar to Erdinger's Dunkelweiss, which is one of the nicest beers I've ever had. It's best enjoyed in Germany, of course, but on occasion it can be found here in the States.

10 gallon batch

10 lb Munich
10 lb white wheat
4 lb 2-row
9 oz chocolate wheat
5 oz chocolate malt

Mashed in with 10 gallons, hit 151F, adjusted pH to 5.3.

1 oz Magnum, 60 minutes
1 oz Mt Hood, 10 minutes
2 tsp Irish Moss, 10 minutes

90 minute boil

Wyeast 1010 - American Wheat for yeast, I made a 2 quart starter. This yeast doesn't have any of the banana or clove flavors that regular German hefeweizen yeast has, those would be inappropriate for this style.

OG: 1.055, 1.060 actual
FG: 1.013
ABV: 5.7%
SRM: 18.7
IBU: 24

Smooth and easy brew day, although the weather was a little blustery, a regular spring day.

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Batch 236, Imperial Panama partigyle

I have a good amount of ingredients on hand, and kegs are starting to empty, so I must need to brew! In the past couple of days, my Panama Red, Oktoberfest, and a keg of Mosiac all blew. So I started looking back through old recipes to see what I haven't done in a while. There were several good possibilities, but I settled on this one, because Panama Red, of course! I haven't made this since 2014, so it's due. I have judiciously bolded some things below to get the highlights.

Like last time, this is a partigyle batch, so it's a little more complicated brew day. The plan is to do a single mash, with the first sparge making a stronger beer and the second sparge making a somewhat smaller beer. The original specs for this recipe are:

OG: 1.067
FG: 1.017
SRM: 11.7
IBU: 62

I'm making two 5 gallon batches, a 50-50 split on the partigyle, so my handy partigyle calculator says this should give me a stronger beer with 1.89 OG and a smaller beer with 1.045 OG.

25 lb 2-row
1.5 lb Crystal 60
1.5 lb White wheat
4 oz chocolate malt

This is almost exactly the same grain bill as my regular Panama Red, this one just has a little more 2-row to bump the OG to get the individual OGs that I want.

Heated 10 gallons of water to 170F (in my regular HLT),  but I was weighing hops and didn't pay attention, so the mash water got up to about 185F. I cooled it down to 170F, then mashed in with 10 gallons, mash temperature was 153F (mash tun thermometer), adjusted pH to 5.2. I think the thermometer on my pH meter is off by about 4 or 5 degrees too low, I checked with 2 other thermometers and got 153F and 152F (bbq instant read thermapen, wish I had a couple more of these, but I think they quit making them), while the pH meter read 148F. I'm not sure if I can calibrate that, I should look into it.

Recirculated 15 minutes. With grain absorption, this should run off to 7 gallons in one boil kettle. It turns out I only got 6 gallons. Hmm.

In the mean time, I heated 7 gallons of water to 180F for the second batch sparge. That came out exactly as planned with 7 gallons of wort back in the secondary boil kettle.

Now that the mash tun was supposedly drained, I went ahead and started the 60 minute boil on the smaller beer. I let the stronger beer just sit for a bit, then scooped out the grain from the mash tun into a 2-bucket strainer that I devised (dead simple, just two buckets stacked, with holes drilled into the bottom of the top one) to help keep the liquid out of my garbage can. This got me an additional gallon of wort for the stronger beer. Kicked on the 90 minute boil on that one.

With partigyle, I have two hop schedules.

For the strong beer, this is exactly the same as for a regular 10 gallon batch of Panama Red:

2 oz Mt Hood, FWH
2 oz Centennial, 60 min
2 oz Cascade, 30 min
2 oz Cascade, 5 min
2 oz Mt Hood, 5 min.

There was math, there are about 115 IBU.

For the smaller beer, I went with:

1 oz Magnum, 60 min
1 oz Centennial, 5 min

Didn't do math. It'll be good. It always is. I'll dry hop with another 1.5 oz Cascade at the end of fermentation.

The yeast came from my last batch, which was in fact Panama Red. That batch has been on cold crash for a couple of days, so I kegged it, harvested the yeast, and poured it right back into this batch. I got about 2.5 quarts of yeast, so I put 1 quart into the small beer and the rest into the strong beer (why do I want to say 'large' instead of 'strong'?)

Overall, the brew day went pretty well, although it does make for a busy day, not a lot of rest time. I ended up with:

Strong/Large beer:
Pre-boil SG: 1.072
OG: 1.082 actual
FG: 1.016 actual

Smaller, but still great beer:
OG: 1.040 actual
FG: 1.009 actual

Darn. I was supposed to get 1.089 and 1.045. The volumes were right, so maybe my efficiency is down? I do have pre- and post boil gravities, so I can check. I'll post back if I think about it.

Update, next day: I did the math, brewhouse efficiency came in at 59%. I've been getting a pretty constant 75%. Check the gap on the mill, maybe? Cleaned and adjusted the gap on the mill to .038.

Update, June 14, 2020: kegged both today. Added 2 oz Centennial to the small beer for dry-hopping. It tasted a little thin, so hopefully a few more hops will perk it up.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Batch 235, Panama Red

This might be different. For some reason, I'm out of Wyeast 1272, American Ale II. This is my usual yeast for most ales, but I'm out. Or not. I might have mislabeled my jars. I'm pretty sure I did. It's either 1272 or 1318, London Ale III, which should be fine also.

10 gallon batch

22.25 lb 2-row
1.5 lb crystal 60
1.5 lb white wheat
4 oz chocolate malt

Mashed at 150F for 60 minutes, pH at 5.2, vorlauf ~15 minutes each batch. Collected 12 gallons.

2 oz Mt Hood, FWH
2 oz Centennial, 60 min
2 oz Cascade, 30 min
2 oz Cascade, 5 min
2 oz Mt Hood, 5 min

90 minute boil

Some yeast :)

OG: 1.063, 1.064 actual
FG: 1.016
ABV: 6.4%
SRM: 11.8
IBU: 66.6

Easy brew day, no problems at all. Well, I did have a little trouble with the grain mill, the idle roller wouldn't roll for some reason. Eventually it did. Kegged the Leeser while I was at it.

This is the first time using my new pump, it's a Blichmann Riptide. It has it's own know for adjusting the flow, but I already had the valve attached to the hose on my old pump that I'm used to. So I just leave the built in valve wide open and use the one with the long handle.

New pump, isn't it pretty?

Friday, May 1, 2020

Batch 234, Leeser

It's time to make a Leeser!

10 gallon batch

OG: 1.055, 1.060 actual
FG: 1.014
ABV: 5.6%
IBU: 33.8
SRM: 4.0

21.5 lb 2-row
1.5 lb white wheat

I usually use pilsner malt in this, but I don't have any and 2-row should be close enough. Mashed at 150F, adjusted pH to 5.25, batch sparge, collected 13 gallons in the boil kettle.

1 oz Saaz, FWH
1.5 oz Magnum, 60 min
3 oz Saaz, 5 min

90 minute boil. I don't usually add an ounce for first wort hops, but the hops come in 2 oz packets, so I added the extra 1 oz at the beginning.

Oxygenated and pitched combination of:
Wyeast 2278 Czech Pils
Wyeast 2206 Bavarian Lager
from batch 220. I made a starter and pitched 2 quarts.

Nice boil going.

Friday, April 17, 2020

Batch 233, Guava IPA

I'm continuing to brew to get beer on all my taps again. At the moment, I have one empty, but 2 are repeats, I have the Oktoberfest on 2 taps and the Panama Red on 2 taps. This is sort of a double batch day, I made this Guava IPA, same as last time, and another berry cider, again, like last time.

10 gallon batch

OG: 1.058, 1.056 actual
FG: 1.015
ABV: 5.8%
IBU: 82.6
SRM: 9.7

20 lb 2-row
2.5 lb white wheat
1 kg guava paste, added at end of primary fermentation

Mashed at 154F, adjusted pH to 5.25, recirc 10 minutes each batch. Ran off 13 gallons into the boil kettle, and another 1/2 gallon into a fermenter for the cider.

1.75 oz Citra, FWH
2 oz Magnum, 60 minutes
1 tsp Irish Moss, 15 minutes
3 oz Citra, 5 minutes

90 minute boil.

2 quarts Wyeast 1272 from batch 231. No starter since this is very fresh yeast.

Update,  22 April 2020 -- primary fermentation is done, it's at 1.014. Added the guava. I prepared the guava paste by cutting it into ~1" cubes, put half in the blender, covered with hot water (~105F), blend until smooth, repeat with the other half, then add it all directly to the fermenter.

Berry Cider

I always seem to forget to write down the details of the ciders. For this one, I ran off 1/2 gallon of wort into a fermenter, strained another 1/2 gallon out of the left over mash, so

1 gallon wort
11 cans Winco frozen 100% apple cider
~2 gallons water to make 4 gallons total

Mix it all together in the fermenter, added 1 quart Wyeast 1318 from batch 232, which I harvested today when I kegged that batch. At the end of fermentation, I'll add 4 lbs of frozen mixed berries that have been blended in a food processor plus enough water to make another gallon.

Update, 22 April 2020 -- primary fermentation is done, it's at 1.010. Added the berries. I prepared the berries by pouring half a bag into the blender, covering with hot water (~105F), blend until smooth, repeat for the other 3 half bags, then add it all directly to the fermenter.

Update, 28 April 2020 -- siphoned to a keg, then filtered to make sure there isn't any berry parts (skins, seeds, whatever) to clog things up later on.

Filtering the berry cider. It's a very pink color in the hose, it's very red in the glass.

Monday, April 6, 2020

Batch 232, Mosaic IPA

I'm using up the last of the Mosaic that I've accumulated over the past couple of years. This is following the same process as Batch 194 and Batch 70, that is, adding hops every 10 minutes for 90 minutes.

10 gallon batch
OG: 1.066
FG: 1.018
ABV: 6.6%
SRM: 7.9
IBU: 181

20 lb 2-row
1.5 lb white wheat

Mashed at 154F for 45 minutes, recirculated for 15 minutes, repeat for second batch. Adjusted pH to 5.25.

Hops are all Mosiac:
2 oz FWH
1 oz at 90, 80, 70, 60, 50, 40, 30, 20, 10, 5.
2 oz at flameout
1 tsp Irish moss at 10 minutes

Wyeast 1318, reusing yeast from last fall, so I made a good starter.

All the hops measured out and ready to go.

This is a shot of the Panama Red that I brewed on April 1, it's still going like crazy. It's close to done, right now it's at 1.020, it needs to drop another couple of points.
Update 16 April 2020 -- cold crashed on the 14th, kegged it today.
Update 19 April 2020 -- it's been sitting cold for a few days, transferred to clean kegs and added gelatin.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Batch 231, Panama Red

We got back from Mexico last week and are doing the quarantine thing like everyone else. We were pretty much in isolation for a week prior, our only contact with other people was paying at a toll booth and the customs officer at the border. So we're two weeks into self-isolation, it's a good time to take care of beer stuff, like getting a batch of Panama Red going.

It's mostly the usual recipe:

10 gallon batch

The grain bill is a little different since I was short on 2-row and used some pilsner to make up the difference.

22.5 lb 2-row + pilsner, roughly 50/50
1.5 lb Crystal 60
1.5 lb white wheat
4 oz Chocolate malt

Mashed at 150F for 60 minutes. I had meant to mash at around 155F, but it's cold and I hate turning on the burner under the mash tun since it always seems to burn. Adjusted pH to 5.2. Recirculated for 15 minutes each batch. Ran off 12.5 gallons to the boil kettle.

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

Wyeast American Ale II. This yeast came from the Panama Red I made in Batch 225, so it's fairly old, but it was only used once. I built up a starter over a couple of days, and today (April 2) the fermenter is looking good, lots of activity.

OG: 1.066, actual is 1.064
FG: 1.016
SRM: 11.8
IBU: 66
ABV: 6.4%

Not a bad brew day. The pump is still causing problems, so I disassembled it and reassembled and now it seems to be okay. I think it's just getting old, the post and the rotor don't fit tight anymore, which is probably the cause of the occasional squealing sound.