No Shortage IPA

I’m finally brewing again. I’ve invited a friend who has wanted to give brewing a try, so we’ll be brewing a batch of IPA on Sunday. It’s a relatively simple IPA recipe, and I should probably save the name for a more significant beer, but its timely, and I’ll be happy to throw some serious ounce-age in for aroma. This recipe is for a 6 gallon batch.

Malt bill

  • 15 lbs domestic 2-row
  • 2 lbs domestic Munich
  • 1 lbs Crystal 40L
  • 1/2 lbs Carapils


subject to change, though all whole hops

  • 1 oz Amarillo @ 60 min (10% alpha)
  • 1 oz Amarillo @ 10 min (10% alpha)
  • 1 oz Amarillo @ 5 min (10% alpha)
  • 1 oz Amarillo @ 0 min (10% alpha)

The rest of the stuff is pretty standard (for me). Safale dry American ale yeast (with a starter), irish moss, bring to boil, etc.

Red Oak mash-in

This morning I mashed in at 10 am to an overcast sky at roughly 40F. Things are going smoothly so far as recycling trucks go by picking up the waste of the past few days. I’m praying that the rain will hold off for another 2 hours, and that I don’t slip on the wet birch leaves on the deck as I carry hot pots of water out to top off the hot liquor tank.

Today I’m brewing a fairly simple amber ale. It’s just 2-row and Crystal 60 and 80, with 1.5 oz of hops. I’m hoping to keep the flavor simple since I’m going to try and oak chip the beer in secondary with bourbon soaked toasted red oak chips. The bourbon is supposedly to “sanitize” the chips (blocks weren’t available) but I’m actually hoping to recreate a bourbon barrel flavor. I probably should have tried this with a bigger beer, but the amber will allow me to taste how the oak affects flavor.

Red Oak


  • 9 lbs. domestic 2-row
  • 1.5 lbs Crystal 60L
  • 0.5 lbs Crystal 80L


  • 0.75 oz Chinook (12.2 % alpha) @ 60 min
  • 0.5 oz Chinook (12.2 % alpha) @ 5 min


  • Yeast starter with Fermentis Safale S-05
  • 2.4 oz dark toasted oak chips (added in secondary, soaked in bourbon for 1 week)
  • pinch of Irish Moss near end of boil

Now I should get back to the mash. It’s probably just about time to sparge.

Max C Imperial IPA

Here’s a recipe for the Imperial IPA I’m brewing this weekend. It’ll be an 8 gallon batch (5 keg, 3 bottled) and the hop bill is still under scrutiny.

Malt bill

  • 16 lbs Domestic 2-row malt
  • 1 lbs Domestic Munich
  • 1.5 lbs CaraPils
  • 0.5 lbs Crystal 40L


  • 2 oz Chinook (12.5% alpha) @ 60 minutes
  • 1 oz Centennial (10% alpha) @ 30 minutes
  • 1 oz Centennial (10% alpha) @ 20 minutes
  • 1 oz Chinook (12.5% alpha) @ 15 minutes
  • 1 oz Centennial (10% alpha) @ 10 minutes
  • 1.5 oz Centennial (10% alpha) @ 5 minutes
  • 1.5 oz Centennial (10% alpha) @ 2 minutes
  • 1.5 oz Centennial (10% alpha) @ Dry Hopped

Misc. Ingredients

  • Fermentis Safale S-05 dry yeast
  • Irish Moss @ 15 minutes

Seems like I should be able to fit some more more hops in there. I can’t find any information on whether S-05 will ferment enough to hit my target gravity.

Edit: I changed the name of the beer at the last minute celebration of our friend’s newest, Maximus Charles Walz, born on Friday, October 5th. Nate’ll have get a batch as well, but a Scottish seems more appropriate.

Finally, a brew day

Scott, Joe and I were going to do a big brew day, but Scott had to go and get a job. However, Joe and my time constraints forced us to carry on and still brew today. We snagged Scott’s all grain gear, my kettle, and Joe’s new Zapap lautering setup and proceeded to brew a 10 gallon batch of ale that was split in to a Pale (or IPA… we’ll see) and an ESB, and a pilsner. I’d brewed with Scott doing some all grain, but didn’t know the specifics of what was going on, but luckily Joe, well, let’s just say he knows what he’s doing. Something about a formal brewing education…

Anyway, running two simultaneous all-grain batches wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. The beers were all racked nicely, and all finished in the 1.050 – 1.060 range with few problems. There was something satisfying about brewing 15 gallons of beer, too.

The pale ale and ESB share the same base. We brewed 10 gallons of this basic recipe:


  • 18 lbs domestic 2-row
  • 2 lbs Crystal 40L
  • 1 lbs Munich


  • 1 oz Palisades (9.7% aa) @ 60
  • 1 oz Chinook (12.5% aa) @ 60min
  • 0.9 oz Chinook (12.5% aa) @ 30 min
  • 2 oz Cascade (6.9% aa) @ 5 min

The pale will get dry hopped in secondary with Cascades. The ESB was alloyed with a tea we brewed using 3 oz of Crystal 60L and 2oz of Chocolate malt, and a small addition of hops

The pils was brewed with the following


  • 7 lbs of Pilsner malt
  • 2 lbs of domestic 2-row
  • 1 lbs of CaraPils


  • 2 oz Czech Saaz (3.3% aa) @ 60
  • 2 oz Czech Saaz (3.3% aa) @ 10
  • 2 oz Czech Saaz (3.3% aa) @ 5
  • 2 oz Czech Saaz (3.3% aa) @ dryhop

The pale and ESB were both pitched with an ale yeast from Joe’s place of work, and the Pils with a lager yeast. We already have krausen too.

Brewing all grain with Joe was slightly different than brewing with Scott. Scott knows his equipment, knows the process, and has his thermometer calibrated. Joe and I were a little more trial and error. However, this was our first unguided experience, so we both agreed that it would be largely a learning experience and we’d worry about some of the other details later. All throughout the process, Joe would point out things like “there are two schools of thought on this” and we’d quickly debate or simply default on a position before moving on to the next step. Style is largely formed on limitations.

A few lessons learned from this experience:

  1. Bazooka screens clog way to easily with pelletized hops
  2. Hand-milling 30 pounds of grain can take a while
  3. If mashing two separate batches, either mash them side-by-side, or bring two thermometers.
  4. Brewing on a lovely day is no better and no worse than doing anything else on a lovely day.
  5. 10 gallons of wort is, like, twice as heavy as five gallons. Lift with the knees.

All grain 70/-

3 tier system?
Scott brought over his new brew kettle and mash tun yesterday and we set up an ad-hoc 3-tier brewing system in my kitchen. We brewed a 10 gallon(ish) all-grain batch of Scottish 70 shilling. New equipment and new techniques slow things down a little, and this was not different. We did manage to brew the beer in just under 7 hours, though.

Scott modified a recipe we found on TasteyBrew for 10 gallons and for the hops we had on hand (I hate Northern Brewer… for no good reason) and I fired up a starter using Safale S-04. The sparge wen alright, though the wort gravity on the sparge was a little lower than expected. We deliberated and decided to stop a bit short of 10 gallons.

The boil went fairly well though there was a surprising amount of hot break, and the steam coming off the wort made it difficult to see the wort. Ultimately, we racked off around 8.5-9 gallons of beer with on O.G. of 1.036. While waiting for the boil we stood out in the cold, drank some brew, and discussed what techniques have improved our results the most and what challenges we want to take on next. Anyway, here’s the recipe.

Grain bill:

  • 15 lbs domestic 2-row
  • 1.0 lbs British Crystal 70/80L
  • 2.0 lbs German Munich
  • 0.5 lbs Roasted Barley


  • 1 oz Chinook @ 60 min. (12.2% aa)
  • 2 oz U.S. Fuggles @ 5 min. (3.4% aa)


  • Fermentis Safale S-04 dry yeast (with 1 liter starter)
  • Irish Moss

We joked about how much of the process is now second nature that we fail to include any instructions with our recipes. If you’re curious about the process, um… see a book or something.

Sweet Cheeks Stout

So I gave up on the name before actually formulating the recipe, so this isn’t a milk stout as originally intended. Anyway, brewed this on Saturday and it’s now fermenting contently in the kitchen.
Witche Brew
When I picked up the ingredients from Steinbarts, I had Ella with me and was having trouble milling the grain. One of the gentleman behind the counter was happy to assist.

Anyway, at brewing time yesterday it was clear, cold and windy. I brewed with just over 6.5 gallons of water, thinking most would evaporate. With 20 minutes left, not much had evaporated so I turned up the gas to get a turbulent boil. Seems to have done the trick as I racked just a tad over 5 gallons.

Grain bill:

  • 7 lbs LME
  • 1.5 lbs domestic Crystal 80L
  • 0.5 lbs Roasted Barley
  • 1.0 lbs Chocolate Malt


  • 1 oz Galena @ 60 min. (13.2% aa)
  • 1.2 oz Galena @ 5 min.


  • Fermentis Safale S-04 dry yeast (with 1 liter starter)
  • Irish Moss

I’ve been enjoying some hoppy/spicy stouts this fall, so I was hoping the Galena could impart those characteristics. The wort tasted great, and the O.G. was on target at 1.054. I figure I got the beer started early enough that I’ll actually get it kegged before classes start again. If not, Joe can make as much fun of me as he wants. The last two did turn out though.

Squash; My wife. Again.

With Michelle’s help, I brewed another batch of Squash; My Wife, Spiced Ale. This time I only used sweet meat squash and had to skip fresh ground ginger for the dried variety. Also, I steeped half the squash for 45 minutes with the grain, and boiled the other half. The O.G. was 1.054 and the taste is delightful. Here’s the recipe:

Grain bill:

  • 7 lbs LME
  • 1 lbs domestic 2-row
  • 0.5 lbs Crystal 80L
  • 0.5 lbs Crystal 40L


  • 2 oz Vanguard @ 60 min. (4.4% aa)
  • 2 oz Vanguard @ 10 min.


  • Fermentis Safale S-04 dry yeast (with 1 liter starter)
  • 10 lbs sweet meat squash, cubed and baked
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp allspice
  • 1 Tbsp fresh ground nutmeg
  • 1 Tbsp dried ginger

Michelle cubed and baked all the squash and prepped spices, and since she enjoys the spice addition, we may add more to secondary if the flavors mellow when racking. So far it tastes great. I tried the steeped and boiled squash and both were bland and stringy – a good sign that the fermentable sugar and flavor had been extracted.

Fresh Hop Beer

A huge thanks to Joe and Lindsay for snagging some fresh hops for me while at hop madness this year. They brought me 3 bags and a small tub of Willamette and Crystal hops.

Yesterday I picked the remaining hops (which were about to lose their “fresh” status) and brewed up a low gravity pale. Because of the ingredients (a mix of stuff lying around, borrowed stuff, and wet hops), an exact, replicable recipe is impossible, but here’s the gist:

Picking fresh hops

Grain bill:

  • 4.5 lbs LME
  • 2 lbs organic 2-row


  • 2 oz fresh Willamette @ 60 min. (4.5% aa)
  • 8.5 oz fresh Willamette @ 10 min. (4.5% aa)
  • 13 oz fresh Willamette @ 5 min.
  • 11 oz Crystal @ 2 min. (5.7% aa)


  • Fermentis us-58 dry yeast (lazily pitched into cooled wort)
  • Irish Moss

Yup – that’s 34 ounces of fresh hops – almost all under 10 minutes. The kettle got rather difficult to stir by that point, but I made sure to turn the hops into the boil to extract their precious lupalin.

Fresh hops in the boil

After the boil, I had some trouble cooling the wort efficiently – even with an immersion wort chiller – because the hops were holding so much of the wort. Because of the heat (I’m guessing), one of my chiller fittings had loosened up enough to let some tap water in to the kettle. I stopped it early before it turned the beer into hop tea.

The last part of the brew included slinging around my week-old daughter. She slept through it, but I’m still giving her assistant brewer credits.

Ella the assistant brewer

I racked the wort into a poly fermenter to try it out again. I also failed to make a started so I sprinkled dry Fermentis yeast (it says you can do it on the packet) onto the wort. Krausen isn’t exactly rapid, but I think there’s a leak in the bucket around the airlock letting CO2 out. I suspect this because the corner of the kitchen with the bucket smells absolutely fantastic.

Michella IPA #2

I kegged Michella IPA #1 and on Michelle’s insistence, but I have my doubts about it’s quality. I think I may have let the wort sit on the pelletized hops for too long. So as a backup, I brewed a second IPA yesterday with a different recipe. Joe was also on hand to audit my process and just BS to help pass the time.

Grain bill:

  • 7 lbs LME
  • 1.5 lbs domestic 2-row
  • 0.5 lbs domestic Munich
  • 0.5 lbs domestic rye


  • 2 oz Cascade @ 60 min. (5.7% aa)
  • 2 oz Cascade @ 10 min.
  • 2 oz Cascade @ 5 min.
  • 2 oz Simcoe @ 2 min. (whole hops, 14.7% aa)
  • 1.0 oz Simcoe @ secondary


  • Fermentis us-58 dry yeast (with 1 liter starter)
  • Irish Moss

The wort tasted nice at pitching and had a temperature corrected OG of 1.053 and an estimated bitterness of 68IBU. Fermentation was active within 5 hours of pitching the yeast. woohoo!

Michella IPA

Here’s a slight variation on Ipanema that I’m brewing for Michelle’s postnatal enjoyment. She gave up beer and coffee without too much fuss or complaint when she found out she was pregnant, and I even gave it up for a while. Soon she’ll be able to have a little herself, so I’d better get this one brewed.

Grain bill:

  • 7 lbs LME
  • 1.5 lbs domestic 2-row
  • 1 lbs domestic Munich
  • 0.5 lbs Belgian biscuit


  • 1.25 oz Palisades @ 60 min. (9.7% aa)
  • 1.50 oz Palisades @ 10 min.
  • 1.0 oz Palisades @ 5 min.
  • 1.0 oz Palisades @ 2 min.
  • 1.0 oz Palisades @ secondary


  • Fermentis us-58 dry yeast (with 1 liter starter)
  • Irish Moss

This one will have to be fermented in the basement since it cools down to 80F in the house overnight.