Saturday, November 18, 2023

Batches 290 and 291, Basil IPA and a Dunkel

 Well, la dee da. I made two beers in one day, it was a lot of work, but worth it, of course. Right now, it's towards the end of November. I brewed these around the end of September, but apparently never bothered to update this blog. I've looked around, but can't find my brew notes. Since I've done both of these before, I'm just going to link to my previous notes:

Basil IPA:


A few things were done differently, so I'll use my awesome memory and write down a few fuzzy notes.

We took out our garden this year, we're just not back from Baja early enough in the spring to get things in the ground in time for a good harvest. The basil came from my son and some from a tennis friend. I had more than enough, so I made some dehydrated tomatoes with a basil leaf and black pepper on top. Those are so delicious and so easy! Just slice the tomatoes, put them on the dehydrator, grind on some fresh black pepper, stick a basil leaf on top, and in a few hours are a wonderful snack. Next year I'm growing my own basil in a pot, and maybe a tomato plant also. 

I should also mention another thing about the basil batch that I linked above -- that beer is still on tap! And it's still delicious! Admittedly, the hops flavor has diminished, but the basil flavor is still quite prevalent and it's still a very good beer. 

For the dunkel, I wanted to use Wyeast 1007, but my local homebrew store was out. My second choice, Wyeast 1010 , was also out of stock, so the homebrew store guy recommended a dry yeast. Beats me what it was, some sort of German strain, but it took off like crazy. I was at the homebrew store today, and couldn't find it again, so I still don't know what it was. I sprinkled one package on top of the wort, and had a blowout. I never have blowouts, I ferment in 13 gallon containers so I usually have 3+ gallons of head space, plus I always put another plastic bag over the top, which generally holds in any excess foam. Not this time, my chest freezer is a mess. 

So I brewed these at the end of September and put them in the fermenter I'm guessing around September 30? Maybe? Then my wife and I headed out on a 6 week cruise on October 5. I've got one of those nifty wifi connected Inkbird temperature controllers, so somewhere at sea off the coast of Peru around October 17, I turned the temperature down to 33F for a good cold crash. We got back from the cruise last night, and today I kegged them, discovered the mess in the chest freezer, and discovered that I have no notes, but this is a better read anyway. 

Monday, September 18, 2023

Beer Line Cleaner

I ran across a post on Reddit that mentioned this DIY beer line cleaner:

I spent half an hour or so putting one together. I found a pond pump in the garage and various bits of tubing, a liquid post from a damaged keg, a barbed connector that fit the liquid post, a couple of hose clamps, and it's done, easy peasy!

Just connect the liquid line in the kegerator to the pump, use the long hose on the tap, and recirculate. First with PBW, follow that with a rinse with Starsan. Here's a shot of it in action.

Saturday, September 16, 2023

Batch 289, Leeser and Berry Cider

Sort of a Leeser, I guess. This recipe has diverged so far from the original, it's not really the same any more. I was out of stuff, so substituted. 10 gallon batch 21.5 lb pilsner malt - I only had about 5 lbs, so the rest is 2-row 1.5 lb white wheat - I only had a pound, oh well Mashed at some unknown temperature because I forgot to look. The mash water was at 163F, so I'm guessing low 150's. Adjusted pH to 5.3. 1.5 oz Magnum, 60 minutes - turns out I'm out of Magnum, so I used Chinook. 3 oz Saaz, 5 minutes - I only had 2 oz of Saaz, so I used that plus another 2 oz of Hallertau, both were pellets. Wyeast 1272 OG: 1.055, 1052 actual, close enough Also made a cider, usual recipe: 1 gallon (maybe a little more) of wort from the above batch 11 cans Winco frozen apple cider juice Mixed together, then added water to make 4 gallons, gravity at this point was 1.062. Oxygenated and pitched Wyeast 1272. I'll add the fruit in a week or so. This should come out at about 6.5% ABV.

Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Batch 288, Centennial Pale Ale

 I'm still short of ingredients, but I have quite a bit of Centennial, so this one is all Centennial. Not a SMASH, I'm good on grain, just short on hops.

After a recent update to my computer, BrewTarget quit running, so I did some debugging on the latest code and got it running again. I set it to print my recipe as html, then copied and pasted here, pretty slick! (Don't do a view source, the html from both blogger and BrewTarget are shit.)

Pretty easy brewday, the weather even cooperated and didn't get too hot. No problems, everything went smoothly for some reason.

Batch Size

10.00 gal

Boil Size

12.000 gal

Boil Time

90.000 min




1.052 sg 1.060 actual


1.014 sg




39.8 (Tinseth)


8.1 srm (Morey)

Estimated calories (per 12 oz)










Pale Malt (2 Row) US


22.000 lb




2.0 srm

White Wheat Malt


1.000 lb




2.0 srm

Caramel/Crystal Malt - 120L


12.000 oz




120.0 srm


23.750 lb

Mashed with 8 gallons at 165F, hit 154F in the tun. Adjusted pH to 5.34. Actually, I was a bit short on Crystal 120, so I used 7 5/8 oz of 120 and 4 3/8 oz Crystal 60.











1.000 oz

First Wort

90.000 min





1.000 oz


60.000 min





2.000 oz


5.000 min









Irish Moss



2.000 tsp

15.000 min







1272 - American Ale II



0.53 cup


Friday, June 30, 2023

Batch 287, PNW IPA

 Back in the real world, making beer in the beer shed.

10 gallon batch

12 lb 6 oz 2-row

14 lb 10 oz pilsner

2 lb white wheat

1 lb crystal 60

1 oz chocolate malt (just for a little color)

Using what I had on hand left over from last year, hence the combination of 2-row and pilsner. Mashed in with 8 gallons at 165F, hit 147F in the boil kettle. A little lower than I was aiming for, but it'll be okay. Collected 12 gallons in the kettle, also ran off one more gallon for cider.

3 oz Chinook, 60 min

2 oz Centennial, 30 min

All remaining Irish moss, about 2 tsp, 15 min

2 oz Centennial, 5 min

60 minute boil.

1 qt 1272 American Ale II, last years yeast, made a starter first

Pretty straightforward brew day, except for the stainless braid coming unconnected in the mash tun. That's a pain.

Made a berry cider also, usual recipe.

Thursday, April 20, 2023

Batch 286 - Mosaic IPA

 I'm running out of brewing supplies, so this batch and the next are what I have left. This one is fairly close to the Mosaic IPA I've made in the past, it's a little light on the grain, so a bit less on the ABV.

5 gallon batch

11 lb 2-row

17 oz white wheat

5.6 oz Crystal 60 (all I had)

Heated mash water to 168F, got 156F in the mash tun. Added 1 tsp phosphoric acid. Collected 7 gallons in the boil kettle.

2 oz Magnum, 60 min

1 tsp Irish Moss, 15 min

3.4 oz Mosaic, 10 min (all I had)

60 minute boil. 5.5 gallons in the fermenter.

Al and Louie yeast, it's either Safale 05 or it's kveik, it works.

Brewtarget stats:

OG: 1.052

FG: 1.014

ABV: 5.2%

SRM: 6.0

IBU: 131 ???!!! seems high, but I really haven't had a good hoppy beer from pellets, so maybe this one will be it.

Saturday, March 18, 2023

Batch 285, a Pale Ale of some sort

 Still in Baja, still working off of last years grain, just about done. I have enough for maybe 2 more 5 gallon batches. I'd brought a bunch of pilsner malt and quite a bit of Saaz hops, intending to make a "Leeser" sort of beer, so this is as close as it's going to get.

5 gallon batch

For grain, just this:

12 lb, 13 oz pilsner malt

The odd size is due to the packaging, that was two five pound bags (more or less) and a partial bag with a couple of pounds. Did some math, added some water, the usual. Got just over 6 gallons in the boil kettle.

For hops, more unusual amounts:

2 oz Saaz, 60 min

1 oz Doug, 60 min

1 tsp Irish Moss, 15 minutes

4.2 oz Saaz, 5 min 

Again, due to packaging and what I have on hand. The "Doug" hop is a bag that my friend Doug got from a friend that works at 805 in San Diego. I'm not sure what it is, I think it's a milder finishing hop like hallertau or similar.

Pitched on the yeast cake from the previous batch.

Friday, March 3, 2023

Batch 284, Panama Red

 It's another Panama Red, more or less. I'm about out of brewing supplies in Baja, so I used the last of some of my hops.

5 gallon batch

12 lb 2-row

12 oz Crystal 60

12 oz White wheat

2 oz Chocolate malt

Mashed at 154F, added 1 tsp phosphoric acid. Used park water, that's the locally supplied water that comes from a well, but delivered by truck to a cistern and piped through an ancient plumbing system. Should be good, right? We don't drink park water as a rule, but I was out of RO water from the local water store. It gets boiled, right?

1.5 oz Mt Hood, FWH (usually 1 oz, but using all remaining Mt Hood on this batch)

1 oz Centennial, 60 min

1 oz Cascade, 30 min

1.6 oz Mt Hood, 5 min

1.2 oz Cascade, 5 min

That finishes my remaining stock of Mt Hood and Cascade. Also added 1 tsp Irish Moss at 15 min.

Pitched on the yeast cake from Batch 283, which was probably way too much yeast, but it's good and fresh.

OG: 1.063

FG: 1.015

ABV: 6.5%

IBU: 65.5

SRM: 12

Saturday, February 18, 2023

Batch 283, Belma

 Just Belma hops in this beer.

5 gallon batch

12 lb 2-row

8 oz white wheat

6 oz crystal 60

Mashed at some temperature, forgot to look, probably mid-150F. Added 1 tsp phosphoric acid. Collected 6.5 gallons in the boil kettle.

2 oz Belma, 60 min

2 tsp Irish Moss, 15 min

4 oz Belma, 10 min

60 minute boil.

1.5 pints Al and Louie yeast, thick (really thick!) slurry.

OG: 1.058

FG: 1.015

ABV: 6.0

SRM: 6.5

IBU: 84

Friday, January 13, 2023

Batch 282 - Mosaic IPA

 Hopefully this one will be awesome!

5 gallon batch

14 lb 2-row

12 oz white wheat

6 oz Crystal

Mashed at 149F, still lower than I was aiming for. Ambient temp is about 70F, mash water was at 170F. I'm mashing in a 10 gallon Igloo cooler. 

2 oz Mosaic, 60 min

3 oz Mosaic, 10 min

60 minute boil.

Yeast cake from previous batch.

Batch 281 - Brown Porter

 Still trying to make a decent beer here, and I think this one is finally it. I got about a pint of fresh yeast from my neighbors, and that seems to have made the difference.

5 gallon batch

10 lb 2-row

8 oz white wheat

4 oz black patent

4 oz chocolate malt

Mashed at 151F. I seem to hit mash temp a little lower than I expect, but no worries. Added a 1/2 tsp of phosphoric acid. Ran off 6.5 gallons to the boil kettle.

2 oz Saaz, 60 minutes

1 pint of safale 04 from my neighbors.

I'm behind on entering batch notes, so this just went on tap today. It tastes just fine, just as a brown porter should taste. Brewed a batch of IPA today, I'm going to reuse the yeast cake.