Ambiorix Golden Strong Ale

Since Michelle can’t drink beer right now, I thought it would be fun to brew something that I would not ordinarily try. Yesterday I brewed my first Belgian-style beer; a golden strong ale. Since it is a partial mash recipe, the wort was a little darker than I anticipated even though I used 1/2 pale and 1/2 pilsner liquid extract. Live and learn, I guess.

  • 4 lbs light LME
  • 4 lbs extra-light LME
  • 1 lbs Carapils (steeped)
  • 1 lbs Cane Sugar
  • 1 oz Santiam (6.5% aa) @ 60 min
  • 1 oz Santiam (6.5% aa) @ 10 min
  • 1 oz Crystal (3.9% aa) @ 8 min
  • 1.5 oz Crystal (3.9% aa) @ 2 min
  • Fermentis T-58 dry ale yeast

I pitched a starter for the yeast on Friday and the stuff wasted no time turning the wort into beer – I had fermentation within 6 hours and this morning it was going crazy. I’ll be watching the temperature to see if it gets too warm, in which case I’ll move it down into the basement.

Beer from IPAnema

Brewing a test batch for a friends wedding today. Beer from IPAnema is an IPA but I’ve added a little Belgian biscuit to give it a little sweeter bread and candy flavor. It is a celebration after all, and ideally, this beer will be tall and tan and young and bitter. Think Astrud Gilberto.

The recipe?
Grain bill

  • 7 lbs Light Malt Extract
  • 1 lbs domestic 2-row
  • 1 lbs domestic Munich
  • 0.5 lbs Belgian Biscuit


  • 0.6 oz Simcoe (12.2 % alpha) @ 60 minutes
  • 0.5 oz Simcoe (12.2 % alpha) @ 30 minutes
  • 0.5 oz Simcoe (12.2 % alpha) @ 10 minutes
  • 0.5 oz Simcoe (12.2 % alpha) @ 5 minutes
  • 1.0 oz Simcoe (12.2 % alpha) @ 2 minutes
  • 1.0 oz Simcoe (12.2% alpha) dry hop

Yakima IPA #7

Last Friday I brewed a new Yakima IPA recipe (dubbed #7) that uses only Centennial hops. I have a certain affinity for Centennials (among others) and decided to do a single hop batch using just one varietal.

Alan joined me for this batch and we brewed outside on what turned out to be a nice fall evening. The brew went well and the starter really got the batch fermenting quickly and violently (woohoo!). I’ll be racking it to secondary shortly.

Recipe? I’ll add it to the collection.

Squash; My Wife. Spiced Ale

squash brew
Today I brewed my first batch at the new “brewery” on 26th. It was also the first time I’ve brewed on propane. Using part of my birthday gift, I purchased a Camp Chef single burner stove. I was pleased with how quickly it warmed the water and what a nice rolling boil it produced. The only problems I encountered were what you’d expect from a first batch brewed outside. While my wort chiller connected to the garden hose, my outlet was too short and I had to hold it and spray it around to keep water from pooling around the brewing area. Also, I didn’t have sufficient working surfaces, and it was kind of warm in long pants, but I didn’t want to brew in shorts just yet.

The batch is also my first vegetable beer. Michelle’s a fan of spiced/pumpkin ales, so I put together a squash ale recipe for her that I also named in her honor. “Squash; My Wife. Spiced Ale” is better without the punctuation, but she hasn’t seen the name yet. Baking the squash was a bit of a challenge given the size of our oven. Plus, the ambercup squash, while delicious, was hard as hell to cut open. The sweet meat squash was also quite good and much easier to work with. Because the squash preparation took so long, I had to push the brew date back. and refrigerated the squash overnight.

So as brewing time approached, we cubed the squash and put it into my grain sack with the 2 pounds of crushed barley. The contents were steeped at 170F for 45 minutes and the smell and color from the squash was excellent. The stove was also quick to heat things up.

I asked Michelle to prepare the spices, so she measured out 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, allspice and fresh nutmeg and shredded 1 ounce of fresh ginger. The hops were added at 60, 15, and 5 minutes, and the spices were added at 10 minutes, then the contents were chilled and a London style yeast was pitched. The gravity was read at 1.049, and the preliminary taste was excellent. Maybe a little hoppy up front, but an excellent mixture of spices and a nice sweet pale body with a lovely fall desert finish. Now we wait.

Alberta Arts Pale Ale

This is a modified version of Persuasion Pale ale, originally brewed to entice people to help us move 2 years ago. Since we’re moving into a neighborhood, I thought I’d dress up the recipe a bit for the occasion.


  • 0.5 lbs domestic Munich
  • 1.0 lbs domestic two-row
  • 0.5 lbs domestic Victory
  • 7.0 lbs LME


  • 0.5 oz Simcoe (12.1 α) @ 60 minutes
  • 0.5 oz Simcoe (12.1% α) @ 20 minutes
  • 0.5 oz Simcoe (12.1% α) @ 10 minutes
  • 0.5 oz Simcoe (12.1% α) @ 2 mintues


  1. 1 tbps Irish Moss
  2. California Ale Yeast (WLP0001)

Yakistan Imperial IPA

Going for a big freakin’ IPA this time. Yakistan Imperial IPA
For a 5 gallon batch, partial-mash.
Estimated OG: 1.082
Estimated IBU: 88
Estimated ABV: 8.3%


  • 10.0 lbs LME
  • 1.0 lbs Munich
  • 1.0 lbs Crystal 10L
  • 0.5 lbs CaraPils


  • 1.0 oz Centennial (10% alpha) 60 minutes
  • 1.0 oz Centennial (10% alpha) 45 minutes
  • 1.0 oz Centennial (10% alpha) 20 minutes
  • 1.0 oz Crystal (3.9% alpha) 10 minutes
  • 1.0 oz Crystal (3.9% alpha) 5 minutes


  • California Ale Yeast (WLP 0001)
  • Irish Moss

The Hop Bomb drops

My christmas gift from my father-in-law included a box full of hops. A mix of pellets, and whole cones too. I’m a little overwhelmed, and for the night I couldn’t really focus on what we were doing. All I could think about were recipes. Here’s why:

Whole cones:

  • Galena – 13.2% α
  • UK East Kent Goldings – 6.4% α (freshly imported)
  • Santiam – 6.8% α
  • Crystal – 3.9% α
  • Vanguard – 4.4% α
  • Nugget – 13.2% α

and for Pellets:

  • Cascades – 5.7% α
  • US Fuggle – 3.7% α
  • Simcoe – 12.1% α
  • Chinooks – 12.2% α
  • Centennial – 10.0% α
  • Palisades – 9.7% α

There are a couple I’ve never heard of, and one in particular makes me nervous. The Palisades are supposedly a new variety that could replace Willamettes. Willamettes are one of the most widely grown varieties here in the, uh, Willamette Valley, and the Palisade has a higher alpha acid content and a higher productivity, which could seriously hurt hop growers. Its one of those cases where the green revolution has surpassed its benefit to a large number of people and concentrated the benefit for one or two folks. You know who I’m talking about. The king of beers.

Regardless, I’m pretty damn excited because many of these hops will be very useful in expanding the variety of beer styles I can brew. I know Crystal and Galena to be favorites of Rogue, and there are several noble-style hops that rarely use.

Oddly enough – my coffee has taken on a distinctive hop flavor. Maybe I should move this box somewhere else.

Rooftop South-of-Town Brown

This weekend should include the brewing of a Nut Brown – Porter hybrid called South-of-Town Brown for my sister and her friend’s move to town, and their affinity for brown ales. Plus, its fall, and it sounds really good.


  • 6 lbs. Pale LME
  • 0.5 lbs Crystal Malt (120L)
  • 0.5 lbs Victory Malt
  • 0.5 lbs Chocolate Malt
  • 1 oz. Cascade Hops – 60 minutes
  • 1 oz. Cascade Hops – 30 minute
  • 2 oz Willamette Hops – 5 minutes
  • Irish Moss
  • British Ale Yeast – pitched to starter

OG: 1.050

If the batch goes well, I may reuse the yeast cake for another.

Hop Damn! humulus lupulus furor (hop madness)

Hop Damn! spent hops
I moved Hop Damn! to secondary today. The IBU count of 114 may be a little high, but its still bitter and has a great citrus aroma and full grapefruit flavor. The gravity is still a bit high at 1.028, but its got a week left. I’m curious how I’m going to get a bottle carbonated enough to take to Hop Madness next Saturday.

I have my doubts that it’ll win Best Damn Hoppy Beer in the Pacific Northwest, but it is good, and with any luck, it’ll get sampled near the end and will place.

Amarillo Red for Joe's Wedding

Today I brewed my second batch of Amarillo Red, but decreased the bittering hops a little since its going to be for mass consumption. The final IBU was 38.8, which is still in style, and really not that much of a change. Oh well, I tried.

The boil and such all went normally, though I noticed more hot break junk than usual. I’m not sure if that is partly due to using DME or something else, but it makes me somewhat nervous. I’m also going to use Edinburgh Ale Yeast instead of Irish Ale yeast. I think it’ll be nicer, but I’ve got a scottish bent.

OG: 1.049

The Yakima IPA #6 was popular at Michelle’s Graduation party, as was Scott’s RyePA. Though I would have been happy enough to have a palatable batch after the last couple IPA disasters, I was especially pleased how it turned out. I plan on keeping the recipe. I hope this Red works the same.