Archive for the 'Homebrew' Category

No posts in over 2 years

I’ve not brewed in 2 years. It’s not that I’ve stopped drinking beer, it’s just that I’ve seen the 6 hours it takes to brew a batch of beer and decided to use my time in some other way. Kids, Fishing, Camping, etc. I’m dragging my feet, but I’m prepping to sell my brewing gear at some point. Just need to pull the cord. It takes up a ton of room and someone could be making wonderful beer with it.

I’m not going to shut down the site just yet. The ads pay for the hosting, and I’m fairly proud of the content and time I spent on it over the years. The process of reflection (posting) is incredibly important to learning. And I really enjoyed the DIY aspects of brewing and setting up my brewery. So I’ll keep that online for some other prospective brewer to find and hopefully get some use out of.

Roscoe Simcoe, a red IPA

I dusted off my Amarillo Red recipe and decided to change it up a little for a fall brew. I have an abundance of Simcoe hops at the moment and a relatively small amount of Amarillo pellets, so I’me going to tweak the recipe for this brew.

Grain bill

  • 15 lbs. domestic 2-row
  • 5 lbs German Pilsner malt
  • 1.5 lbs Crystal 60L
  • 1 lbs Crystal 120L
  • 1  lbs malted wheat

Hops

  • 2oz Simcoe (whole cone) @ 60 minutes
  • 2oz Simcoe @ 10 minutes
  • 2oz Amarillo pellets @ 5 min
  • 1oz Amarillo @ flameout
  • 1oz Simcoe @ flameout
  • 1oz Simcoe dry hopped

Yeast

  • Safale S-05 (1st carboy)
  • Wyeast British Ale Yeast (2nd carboy)

Instructions?

You know the drill, right? Get up at 6am on a Sunday, start heating the water in the HLT, go back and get some more coffee, etc. The SRM should come out around 13-14L. f

Danzig Baltic Porter

Yesterday, as rain poured down outside the open garage, a Baltic porter was born. A few friends joined to get a refresher in partial mash brewing (extract plus steeping grains). We started the morning with a quick recipe, a trip to Homebrew Exchange (which is open Sundays thankyouverymuch), and got the water heating. I had to do some reading again to remind myself how to do an extract batch, but the savings in setup, time, and cleanup were a nice change of pace. To mix things up, and to get beer a little sooner, we decided to split the beer in two carboys and pitch one with british ale yeast and the other with California lager yeast (2 packs on a recommendation from the shopkeeper). Brew day was easy, and the extra hands around meant that cleanup (and carrying the 6+ gallons for beer to the basement) was much easier.

Anyway, here’s the recipe:

Grains:

  • 23 lbs light malt extract
  • 1.25 lbs chocolate malt
  • 1 lbs Munich
  • 1 lbs Vienna
  • 1 lbs Crystal 60L
  • 1 lbs Crystal 80L
  • 0.5 lbs black patent

Hops

  • 3oz Palisades @ 60min
  • 3.5 oz Glacier @ 10min

Other

  • British Ale Yeast
  • California Lager Yeast x2
  • Irish Moss

OG came in at 1.087. Get to work yeast!

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Avocado Leaf Pale Ale

I was recently given a homebrew from a coworker. Not an entirely unique thing, but when she said it was brewed with avocado leaves, I was intrigued. It’s a partial-mash beer. The carbonation is great, the beer is a nice hazy pale, and the aroma is predominantly malt but with an earthy sweetness that I’m not familiar with. The taste is great – I’m actually surprised by the beer – for an extract beer it’s very clean and there’s not too much sweetness or anything. It’s really good – and there’s just something different about it that is intriguing. I’ve never had avocado leaves in anything so I have nothing to compare it to.

There’s not much hop to it, but I understand why. The leaves apparently came from a friend in Hawaii, and were steeped and added to the wort. It’s definitely a recipe worth brewing again.

Imperial BIPA

Today’s brew went from normal to Imperial when the hot liquor tank ran out of hot water. I was shooting for an IPA with a nice biscuit flavor. Thus BIPA. All told, the OG was 1.078 and I managed to pull off a full 10 gallons.

Grain

  • 18 lbs 2-row
  • 6 lbs Pilsner
  • 1 lbs Munich
  • 1 lbs Biscuit

Hops

  • 3 oz Simcoe @ 60min
  • 1 oz Newport @ 60min
  • 2 oz Simcoe @ 20 min
  • 2 oz Simcoe @ 10min
  • 1 oz Amarillo @ 7min
  • 1.5 oz Simcoe @ 5min
  • 1 oz Simcoe in keg

Other

  • 1 packet of Safale S05 in 1.5L starter
  • 1 smack pack Wyeast NW ale yeast
  • blend the two at inoculation

I debated whether to have two separate batches with a unique yeast, but given the initial gravity, I opted to mix and pitch to make sure both beers got a running start.

Oak-aged Bourbon Porter kegged

After 3 months sitting on bourbon soaked and toasted oak chips, I’ve kegged the remaining robust porter. It smells great and the sample I had while racking the beer suggests that it’s going to be a doozy. Stay tuned.

Banquet draft tower – for all your office party needs

Banquet Tap tower

I built this banquet tap tower for Michelle’s office christmas party in December. It’s a simple block of CVG Douglas fir with a hole straight-thru for a beer spigot and a partial groove in the bottom that allows it to be attached to a desktop with a C-clap. It started out as a part of a jockey-box, but after reading a fair amount, I decided that for the purposes of a party (or a wedding), the 5-gallon kegs usually get finished before they can cool down, and having the keg under the desk in a bucket of ice would be cheaper and less foamy than trying to get a jockey box dialed in.

Anyway, it worked well, looked nice, and was fun to make with some scrap I had laying around. I re-sawed some of the CVG fir to glue to the sides so that it would be CVG all the way around. It seemed a shame to have only 2 pretty sides. I didn’t finish it – and I probably should given the wet nature of beer – but unfinished fir just looks so lovely. Personally, I like it better with the short tap-handle. Next step will be to make a matching handle.

Holiday Brews – Two takes on a robust porter

This year’s holiday ale is based on a Robust Porter recipe, but one the two halves of the 10 gallons were halved, each faces a different fate. The first half was inoculated with my regular Fermentis dry ale yeast. It will be infused with cold-press espresso roast coffee during secondary, and will likely get quite a kick from it. The second half was pitched with Wyeast British Ale yeast, and will be put in to secondary with bourbon soaked oak chips. Both will have some pretty strong constituents, so I hope that this base recipe will be robust enough to support such big flavors.

Malt

  • 18 lbs 2-row
  • 1.5 lbs chocolate malt
  • 1 lbs Crystal 60L
  • 1 lbs Munich
  • 0.5 lbs roast barley

Hops

  • 1.5 oz Glacier @ 60min (4.6% alpha)
  • 2 (ish) oz Glacier @ 10min

Misc.

  • Irish moss @ 50min
  • Safale S05 in one
  • Wyeast British Ale Yeast in the other
  • lightly toasted oak chips soaked in Maker’s Mark
  • TBD amount of Portland Roasting’s Espresso roast

I’m still working out the details on how much coffee to add. Talked to a brewer and have been reading about other home brewers’ experiences. Plus, there’s a lovely step-by-step to cold-press coffee on America’s Test Kitchen.

As an FYI, the O.G was 1.062, and no less than 10 people stopped by to comment how good the the wort smelled.

Well I’ll be damned

During this year’s Super Bowl, President Obama created a stir by offering guests at the White House beer that he’d brewed himself. And now the president reportedly plans to have another batch of his homebrew on hand March 17 — that’s right, for St. Patrick’s Day.

Who would have known. From NPR News.

Hoptoberfest 2011

This is an amalgam of beer styles. Malt profile should be similar to a Märzen/Oktoberfest style beer, yeast is an ale yeast, and the hops are mostly from my neighbor’s and my hop plants. It’s an homage to our harvest season. This is for a 10 gallon batch.

Grains

  • 9 lbs. 2-row
  • 8 lbs. German pilsner
  • 2 lbs. Munich
  • 1 lbs. CaraPils
  • 1 lbs. Vienna

Hops

  • 2 oz Glacier @ 60
  • unknown addition of unknown hop @ 45
  • unknown addition of unknown hop @ 20
  • unknown addition of unknown hop @ 15
  • unknown addition of unknown hop @ 10
  • unknown addition of wet centennials @ 5

I used Fermentis Safale S-05 yeast again, one per carboy. Someone recently told me that they were bored with this strain. I’m not yet. I plan to cold-crash the carboys right before bottling to clear it up a little more like a true Oktoberfest.