Friday, December 26, 2014

Triple Red IPA

Dec 26, 2014

1 lb 6 oz. Carared
30 lb 2-row
1 lb carafoam
5 oz Biscuit

Made 16 gallons

3.5 hr boil plus 1 hr boil with hops reduced wort to 10 gallons. 

OG 1.091, 21.8 Brix
FG  1.012 est. 
ABV 10% est. 

60 min 3 1/4 oz pellet magnum, loose
40 min 1 oz pellet Simcoe
30 min 3 oz
20 min 4 oz
10 min 2 oz
Removed bag at with 5 mins left. 
Added 2 Whitlock tablets with 5 mins. 
Cool to 100F
Poured into vessel with spray spout

Add red ale yeast
Fermenting in house at 70F

Oxygen for 30 seconds on day 2 of fermentation. 

Dry hop schedule. 

Jan 11 - Simcoe 1 oz added to each 4 gal batch 
Jan 16 - large bucket 8 oz of citra and 8 oz of simcoe. 
Jan 16 In small bucket 8 oz citra only 
Jan 21- moved beer to 5 and 3.5 gallon kegs. Note that due to the large amount of hops this made a total 6.5 gallons(4 &2 .5 respectively)
- beer retained flavour and feel however after Feb aroma starts to fade. 
- This DIPA is similar to the darker one on the market I reviewed how ever mine is smother  and less heavy. Aroma was anazing for about 40 days. 

Friday, October 31, 2014

Nitro: Smoky Red Velvet (AKA stinky cheese)

10 lbs  2 row
2 lbs    Flaked Barley
2 lbs    Carared
1 lb     Peated Malt


60 mins   Carared and Peet Malt 155F
60 mins   2 Row 151F (leave above malts in mash for a total of 120 mins)


60 mins  Magnum 1 oz
20 mins  E. Kent Golding 2 oz

Irish Wyeast  Yeast

Serve on nitro

OG 1,056. 6 gallons
FG  1.010  5 gals 2 pints
6% ABV

Nov. 8 - Mar 28 - very successful and interesting nitro beer. I replaced the black roasted barley with carared and peat malt. Aroma and flavour changed from stinky french cheese to smoky peat. Mouth feel and body was perfect. Very creamy. Peat took a bit of time to mature and come through. 

Next time I would replace the black roasted barley with a mixture of black and biscuit malts and aim for a complex flavour. 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Beer tasting - Double IPA only

Propeller IIPA- From Halifax, a heavier and darker IIPA than all the rest I've tasted. It's loaded with malts. Small sips are very nice however the mouthfeel and the hop flavour place this in the category of a good try but further refinement of the malt selection and late addition hops is required for my taste. Even drinking a single pint seemed a bit of a challenge. A good IIPA but I expect more.
From the left: Propeller and Boxing Rock 

Flavour      - 2
Aroma        - 3
Mouthfeel    - 3
Drinkability - 2
Total        10/25

Mission Brewery's Shipwrecked Double IPA - Coming in a can from San Diego this was my favorite of all the beers I tried at the Mission Brewery. Crisp, hoppy and smooth. This is a bit lighter than I expected which made this very drinkable with a pleasant mouth feel. It competes toe to toe with Pliny the Elder. I also found this beer at Costco for $6. Amazing.

Flavour      - 4
Aroma        - 4
Mouthfeel    - 5
Drinkability - 4

Total        22/25

Russian River Brewery's Pliny the Elder IIPA - This beer is very distinct. A low mash temperature (148F I'm guessing) and a very low flavour malt bill (less than 5% I'm guessing) along with the abundance of Simcoe hops making this piney aroma and flavour like no other. Very light in colour. It is always a pleasure to drink but does not deserve the attention it has gotten over recent years. There are other better IIPAs on the market that are not talked about.

Flavour      - 5
Aroma        - 4
Mouthfeel    - 5
Drinkability - 4

Total        23/25

Wormtown Be Hoppy IPA - A wonder of citrus hops and red malts. Smooth and refreshing. This beer is all about the hops. The bitterness is well balanced.

Flavour      - 4
Aroma        - 5
Mouthfeel    - 4
Drinkability - 4

Total        22/25

Moylan's Hopsickle IIPA - Wow. The hops are so over the top. I would place it in the category of an IIPA that should be enjoyed on rare occasions. I'm surprised my lips did not have lupulin residue from drinking this. Interestingly the hops are not abundant with citrusy or piney falvours. A must try  beer. All other IIPAs have less hops in them. 

A Must try Beer!!!

Flavour      - 5
Aroma        - 5
Mouthfeel    - 4
Drinkability - 4

Total        23/25

Ready Topper from The Alchemist - This beer seems to be revered on the east coast much the way Pliny is on the West coast. This beer has a lot of things going for it. The hops selection is distinctively different from Pliny. Pliny is all about Simcoe's piney hops aroma and taste. This beer is about striking the right chord of hops to deliver a well balanced IIPA.

no picture

Flavour      - 5
Aroma        - 5
Mouthfeel    - 4
Drinkability - 4

Total        23/25

Boxing Rock's The Vicar's Cross from Shelburne, Nova Scotia.  I would have to say this is my favorite IIPA. The complexity of this beer seemed more refined and enjoyable than most IIPAs. The malt notes were there but not over the top and the hops balanced out the beer leaving you with a nice mouth feel. Well done. From looking at their web site they look small. They only produce two beers.

A Must try Beer!!!

Flavour      - 5
Aroma        - 5
Mouthfeel    - 5
Drinkability - 4

Total        24/25

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Trinidad Scorpion & Ghost Pepper Dry Hopping

Having grown the hottest peppers in the world I was looking forward to adding some flavour and heat to my beer.  The small pepper is the Trinidad Scorpion (1.5M scovilles)  and the other is the Ghost pepper (Bhut Jolokia, 1M scovilles). To put this in perspective a Habonero is about 0.3M scovilles and a Jalapeño only has 8k scovilles.

Not wanting to ruin 5 gallons of beer  I waded into the heat with first pouring the beer over a whole pepper and then swirled the pepper in the beer. This brought out a distinct pepper flavour more on the back of my mouth.  No heat detected. We wanting to get some heat so we cut them open and repeated the swirl test for about 10 seconds and then finally with 20 seconds. Each time the heat started to come through. The 10 second swirl gave us what we described as a warm fuzzy heat. The beer flavour was all there but they the heat of the pepper cam though through. Very pleasant. The 20 second swirl brought he heat of the beer to what I would describe as a very hot curry. Still not rushing for yogurt but this was more like a prickly heat. 

I did this experiment with a hoppy IPA and a Maple Oak Stout. I would recommend doing this with a beer with a lot of malt flavour.  The heat and the malts go together well. 

Next time I plan to push the envelop and dry hop a few liters with these peppers. There are a lot of complex flavours happening which are going to be a challenge to extract without setting the beer on fire.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Pliny the Hoser v2

Style of beer is similar to Pliny the Younger but with a different spectrum of hops. 6oz of dry hops.


  • 15 lbs. 2 Row
  • 1/2 lb 20L
  • 1/2 lb Carapil
  • 1 lb Destrose/Corn sugar

  • 148F for 90 mins
  • Sparges  with 170F h20 to make 9 gallons


70 min boil

Minutes.    Hop. (Oz)  Amt. 
70            Magnum      1
60            Magnum      1
30            HBC 342.    1 
25            Centennial   1
20            Citra.            1
15            Columbus     1
10            Centennial    1
5              Citra             1
Flameout Magnum      1

Burton Brewers salts 1/2 tsp
Fermentation nutrients 1/4 tsp
All ingredients except for dry hops. Cups contain dextrose.

  • Brix 14.2 @90F, 1.058OG, Measured with hydrometer after it cooled OG 1.059
  • Brix 7 @ 67F.  ABV 6.7%
  • OG seems low. I don't think Morebeer milled this well. 
  • Made 6 gals
  • Fermented for 2 weeks in my fridge at the lower end of the range for clean crisp beer. 

Sep 20 - Full of hop flavours with smooth bitterness. Light malt tones. 
Oct 04 - Dry hopped at 65F 1 oz each of simcoe Columbus and Citra.
Oct 08 - Moved beer to need vessel and dry hopped with 2 oz of Magnum and 2 oz of Simcoe
Oct 10 - chilled to 36F
Oct 11 - Moved to kegged,  cooled to 46F for 3 weeks.
Oct 30 - Bitter, expected aroma, correct body. Excellent beer. Will get better over next 2 weeks.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

2014 Hop Harvest

2014 hop harvest was low this year due to moles digging up my roots. The two cascades in the foreground still did well however I got moderate harvest from two Zeus and nothing else from the Chinook, Willamette and Magnum. One hop died to the right of the irrigation box due to massive tunneling from mr mole. Harvest was late, Sept 13, due to travel. The cones were dry on the vine and Cascade had mites. The lady bugs love it.

A total of 4 trays of cascade are drying at 95F for 48 hours and will be saved for a late of dry hopping.

Some Zeus (huge cones) will be used for the same. They will be dried next.

Water schedule this year was 4 minutes in the morning and afternoon. Each plant had a small sprayer.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Irish Nitro Stout (Guinness style)

Guinness Style Stout

This is my 6th Nitro Stout. I consider this an easy beer to make. This is easy due to a simple malt ingredients, minimal hops and mashing is single stage. Mashing at 156F creates harsh malt flavours and mashes at 148 makes this too thin. People have commented that they actually prefer my Guinness' done at the higher mash temperatures. I would attribute this to people generally enjoying malt flavour. IMO, Guinness is more about the mouth feel and less about the taste. This brings me to the Flaked Barley. 2 lbs is very important to create the expected mouth feel.

This will be kegged and tapped with Nitrogen. 

2 lb Flaked Barley
1 lb Black Roasted Barley
8 lb 2-Row Malt

Magnum 1oz 60 mins
Fuggle 2oz 20 mins

Mash 152F

OG 1.051
FG 1.021
ABV 4%
FG 1.019

Aug 3- bitterness is nice and mild. Fuggle hops coming through. Smooth how ever a bit thin. ABV targeting with the OG is 5%. Next time up the malt to make 6 gals. This batch made less that 5 gallons due to hop sludge.

Aug 20 - Poured into keg. Made only 4.5 gallons.

Aug 31 - Nice nitro head.  Tastes and feel like a Guinness but with more black malt flavour. Very drinkable. Winner!

Oct 26 - Pours nicely and has a deep black malty flavour. Great beer.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Scotch Cask Ale (Pale Ale)

Scotch Cask Ale

Pale Ale

After my first use of a 5 gallon gallon keg used for single malt scotch, I'm using the water stored in this barrel to make this beer and then use this barrel to ask age this beer for 2 to 3 months. High amounts of Rauch malt are being used here along with a higher mash temp. I want smokyness. I'm expecting this to be about 6% ABV and dark golden in appearance. Magnum is used to create a smooth bitterness and Golding is used for a nice flavour typical of England bitters. Yeast will be repitched from a porter.

Water from Cask

1 lb Malt - Rauch (Smoke)
0.5 lb British Crystal 50/60L
0.5 lb Malt - Crystal 40L
8 lbs 2-Row

No active fermentation after 2 days 
Added Saf lager (yellow) set temp at 68F
Fermenting rapidly after 12 hr after 2nd pitch. Temp set to 66F.

Magnum (1 oz) Bittering 60 mins
East Kent Golding (2oz) 20 mins

Mash 153F

Ferment for 2 weeks then move to cask for 5 to 6 months.

Aug 2- refraction enter says 7.5 Brix. 1.03?  Tastes great and is dry. Moved to barrel. Next time make 6.5 gals. This did not completely full the barrel. But no worries, it's still fermenting. The head space should be CO2. 

Sep 20- Moved from barrel to keg. Tasted very oaky. Need to let this age for a month or two. Brix 5.1

Oct 26 - This has turned into a beer that is mild in flavours and could best be described as pleasant yet nothing special. The Oak barrel and the smoke malts have added little flavour. Recommendations to make this better: 155F Mash temp. More Rauch and Smoke Malts.Use a funky hop at FO.

Night Brewer's Schwartz (Dunkle Style)

Night Brewer's Schwartz

Dunkle Style

Aiming for a crisp lager with malty overtones. This is my first dunkle.

7 lbs German Munich
0.5 lb Carafa Special II
0.5 lb Dark Munich
0.5 lb Abbey Malt

White Labs Yeast (Pilsner Lager) 840

Tettnanger (2 oz)
Liberty (2 oz)


120F 30 mins then 153F for 60 mins

No Whirflox added. 

OG 1.04 (1.038 @ 95F)
FG. 1.01 @ 2 weeks at 55F
ABV 3.5%

Oct 26 - Excellent dark lager. Smooth
with nice flavour. Lite yet dark.
Mar 19, 2015 - Just finished the keg. So sorry to see this finish. Beautiful lite dark lager.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

IIPA Red Comfort Ale (June 21, 2014)


14 lbs 2-row (fermentables)
2 lbs 40 C (body and taste)
2 lbs Carapils (body)
3 lbs 9 oz Golden Promise (leftovers)
8 oz Carared (I love this grain)

Total grains 22 lb 1 oz

149F Mash 2 hours
Sparge to make 13 gallons @ 170F

Low mash is for a light ale. 

Hop schedule 

73 mins  1 oz  US Magnum         14.7%  Alpha
43 mins  1 oz  Northern Brewer   7.8%   Alpha
23 mins  1 oz  NZ Pacifia             4.5%   Alpha
13 mins  1 oz  Zythos                   10.9% Alpha
3   mins  1 oz  Simcoe                  13%    Alpha

Cooled to 95F

OG 1.056    FG 1.013     ABV 5.7%

Yeast: Sal 04

Dry hop for 3 days 2 oz Simcoe (W) using steel hop holder
Dry hop for 3 days 1 ox Simcoe (P) and 1 oz Citra (P) using steel hop holder

Keg #2. -  4 oz of Simcoe dry hopped 

July 13, 2014 - Light golden in appearance, slightly bitter, slight aroma of  green pine, nice full mouth feel, good body. Needs to age 3 more weeks.

Jul 18, 2014 - Aroma is starting to come through. 3 weeks and this should be amazing.

Aug 31 - Lite and fresh with nice ABV. Good aroma ( keg 1). Good recipe for IIPA if I raise the ABV and follow techniques for IIPA. 

Sunday, July 6, 2014

German and Belgian Kolsh

This is a lightest of the two beer. Still lots of flavour.

This is a tale of two Kolsch's. Yeast, method, mash, sparge are all the same however the Malts are different. I've only used seven  pounds of base malt to keep this beer around 3% to 4 ABV. Hops are the star with IIPAs. Yeast is the star here.

Keg #1
GR310 Malt - German Pilsner - 7Lb
GR400 Malt - German Munich - 1/2 Per Lb
OG 1.036 ABV 4.2%
Fermented at about 62F
Made total of 5 gal

Keg #2
GR340 Malt - Belgian Pilsner - 7Lb
GR410 Malt - German Vienna - 1/2 Per Lb
OG 1.040 ABV 4.5%
Made total of 4.5 gal

First day fermented at 74F then down to 62F. This started fermenting much faster than the other.


151F for 60 Mins and sparged at 170F to make 7 gallons


60 minute boil

Tetenger 60 mins (pellets with no bag)
German Spalt 20 mins (pellets with no bag)
Cooled to 90F and pitched yeast


July 22, 2014 - both have the same aroma. Keg #1's taste is sharper and thinner. Keg #2 has good body. Placed into secondary @ 60F.

Aug 20 - Poured the remaining beer from #1 into two growlers to make room for more beer in kegs. This was a great beer. It improved with lagering for 3 weeks.

Aug 31 -  keg 1 is lower in ABV and what I would consider a lite beer. Still good Kolsch flavor however a bit lite.  I think the other keg is better

Oct 4 - Aging in the made this very clear and rounded out the falvours. I would recommend aging for 4 to 6 weeks next time.

Note: From the 4 Kolschs I've made 5% to 4.5% is the best for delivering a drinkable full body flavour with the Kolsch style. Any less gives a very lite yet good beer. Any heavier is too much flavour. 

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Rastpeatin Hybrid (3rd)

This is half Rastpeatin Honey an LS half Rastpeatin Maple with some Red Bastard Ale to top off the barrel (Maple Barrel).

On July 5th I added a vile of California super yeast to take the sweetness out. 

This will be aged in the barrel for at least 6 months.

Oct 2 2014 - It's dried out nicely. Still needs more time in the barrel.

Dec 5 2014 - filled one keg. Tasted dryer but a bit on the heavy side. Good flavor. Remaining stout put in 5 gallon barrel and topped off with Red Bastard Ale. Let this age for 5 to 12 months. 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Kölsch Style - Einfach Wunder - Tim's Recipe

Einfach Wunder -  Kölsch Style

The appearance is like a Pilsner: pale straw-coloured and clear. The taste is delicate and refreshing, less bitter than a Pilsner, gently fruitier and a little sweeter, often with a delightful biscuityness. A pale barley malt is used, sometimes with wheat added. The result is a refreshing cool beer (served at about 8°C), ideal for summer afternoons or perhaps with white fish. Many people would mistake it for a lager. (Source:

I've done several Kolsch style beers over this year and the results of my beers have all be great beers. I've also paid close attention to Kolsch beers at the bars. Based on my results below is what I would consider my go-to recipe for the perfect Kolsch.  All red text are potential alterations.


8 lbs German Pilsner Malt (depending on your quality, you might use 7 to 9 lbs)
0.5 lbs German Munich Malt.

7 lbs - lite body and flavour ~4%
8 lbs - medium body and flavour ~ 4.8% <--- Recommended
9 lbs - full body and flavour. ~ 6.5%

If you like wheat beers you may wish to add 0.5 lbs of White Wheat malt.


150F 60 mins
If you want a darker maltier beer then:  156F 20 mins after the above mash

If you want to simplify the mash you can mash at 152F for 60 mins. This will delivery similar results however you will a bit less flavour and a bit less ABV.

Sparge to make 7 gallons @ 170F

The Boil

1.0 oz Tettnanger hops 4.3%, 60 minutes
1.0 oz German Spalt hops 4.3%, 30 minutes

If you are unable to get Spalt hops then choose any low alpha noble hop. Hallertau and Tettnanger are great alternatives


WLP 0029 Kolsch Yeast or other brand of Kolsch yeast

Ferment for 2 weeks at 64F (±3)
Dry hop with Crystal hops for 3 days @ 68F (±3) if you want more nose to your beer
Condition for 3-6 weeks @ 48F

If you are unable to use a Kolsch yeast then you are not making a Kolsch any longer. Yeast to me is the single most important ingredient in this recipe. I've done this beer with an English Ale yeast but the flavour was much milder and took longer laugering to bring some of the Kolsch falvours to the front.

ABV target 5%

If you want more ABV up the Kolsch base malt to 9lb which will give you about 6%. More grain will change the style of the beer.

Monday, May 12, 2014

IPA Red Ale - May 11, 2014

10 gallon all grain

Aiming for a light easy drinking red IPA with about 5% ABV and a strong citra/piny hop aroma. Mash is low at 149F and the hops are being added late to enhance the aromas. Less bittering hops.

Golden Promise           16 lbs
Carapils                       1 lbs
CaraRed                      2 lbs
German Caramel Pils  1.5 lbs
Total grain 20.5 lbs

Mash 149F for 2:15 hrs
Sparge @ 170F to make 13 gallons

60 mins  US Magnum 2oz  14.7%A
20 mins  Copper coil
15 mins  Whirlfox
15 mins  1oz each of Simcoe 14.8%A and Chinook 13.8% (whole, no bag)
Cooled to 120, 1oz each of Simcoe and Chinook, 15 mins

Yeast: Kolsch yeast (used once before)

OG 1.055
FG 1.018 (May 17)
ABV 4.9% (May 17)
FG 1.009 (May 24)
ABV 6%


May 13, 2014 - We are having very hot weather this week (90's) so this fermentation vessel is sitting in a bath of water with a temperature between 62F and 67F.

May 17, 2014 - Fermentation has remained below 70F. Still sweet yet very promising. Light yet full body. Aroma is there but needs to age.

May 23. 2014 - Lighter easier drinking ale with wonderful flavour and mouth feel. This will go into two 5 gallon buckets today. Dry hopped with 2 oz of Simcoe (W) and the other Citra (W).

June 1, 2014 - Citra dry hop was ok. Simcoe is superior. Reminds me of Pliny. This is nice and light however the aroma and flavour need 3 to 5 weeks to peak.

July 5, 2014 - aroma is soft but not distinctive in any specific flavor. Mouth feel is spot on for a hot summer beer. Aroma flavor and appearance lends itself to a nice hot summer ale.  Good foam, good all around balance. 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Crystal Pils (German Pils Style)

Jan 11, 2014

15 lbs German Pils
2 lbs Carapils
6 oz Honey malt

Mash 151F for 1 hr

Sparged 9.5 gallons @ 170F

60 mins Tattenger 2 oz
15 mins crystal 2 oz, liberty 1 oz
1 teaspoon 

WLP 800 pitched to wort at 90F with fridge set to 52F

Produced 7.7 gallons at 1.063 OG
Feb 21 - FG  1.013
ABV 6.7%

Feb 21 - Tastes as expected. Needs two months of lagering.

Mar 21 - poured first pint. Aroma is fruity fresh. Still cloudy but this is the first first pour which is pulling everything from the bottom on the keg. All indications that this is on track for excellence. One more month of lagering. 

Apr 1 - Looks perfect and tastes light yet a hint of honey with a nice mouth feel. Very excellent lager over all. Crystal Hop may add some "ok" aroma. I now prefer Liberty, Saaz (in that order).  Bitterness is mild and well balanced. 

Apr 4 - Flavour continues to improve. Wonderful mouth feel with silky honey tones.

Bottom of Primary Fermentation after one month.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Einfach Wunder - Kölsch style. 10 gal

Keg #1 Kolsch Yeast
Keg #2 Ale Yeast. Identical to Keg #1 except for taste 

The Recipe (10 Gallons)

Kölsch typically uses German pilsner malt. Most Kölsch recipes use Spalt hops, but other German noble hops can be used. The beer uses very soft water and is often lagered for a month after fermentation. Here’s the recipe used.
  • 15 lbs German Pilsner Malt
  • 1.0 lbs German Munich Malt
  • 2.0 oz German Spalt hops 4.3%, 60 minutes
  • 2.0 oz German Spalt hops 4.3%, 30 minutes
  • Keg #1
  • WLP 0029 Kolsch Yeast
  • FG 1.017, ABV 6.5%
  • Aroma of faint rotten eggs
  • Flavour it amazing
  • Keg #2
  • 1028 WYeast London Ale reused from Golden Promise Ale
  • FG 1.013, ABV 7%
  • Little aroma
  • Flavour is young and inferior to keg#1
Mash the grain for 90 minutes at 150°F. This should give you a good fermentable wort. Boil the wort for 90 minutes. At 60 minutes, add the hops.
OG 1.066
Ferment the beer at 60°F (acceptable yeast temperatures range: 56-70F). Once the fermentation is complete, find a cold place to store the beer for a few weeks. Cold Crashing for two day helps brighten this beer. A lagering period will help the beer.
Reinheitsgebot refers to 3 ingredients, not 4.

Keg#1 - May 5 - Lagered with great improvements. Became smoother, finer in taste and clearer. Distinctive Kolsch flavor as expected. This flavor was very pronounced right after kegging. Compared to Faultline Brewery in Sunnyvale (which I tasted today) my beer has slightly more body and more ABV. Very similar beers. 
Keg#1 - May 19, 2014 - Aged to perfection. Big winner! Improvements? Maybe add Carared and mash 1 degree cooler. Do this again. 

Keg #2 -  June 5 - Similar to Keg#1 in all ways except the Kolsch malt is much less pronounced.  This is due to the English Yeast. It created a clean fermentation that fermented faster yet there is significantly less flavor in this beer. You can still detect the "Kolsch" flavor but it's weak.

Keg #2 - June 20 - Over time the Kolsch malty flavours have increased making this a very nice beer. If I lowered the malts to create a 4% beer I would use the Kolsch yeast to deliver more flavour. Keg #2 is very good. Keg #1 is more Kolschy. Next time do Keg#1 with a target of 4%.


Definately use the Kolsch yeast. Mashing could be done a degree or two lower if you would like a more Pils like result. 

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Experiment X: Black Sludge Porter (FG 1.05)

Aromas of black strap molasses, light chocolate with a background of rich malts. Thick heavy viscosity similar to cool molasses.  The body can only be described as heavy silk. Well carbonated yet it requires a high pour to witness any head. The head is dark dark brown bordering on black.  

Despite the exaggerated amount of dark malts used in brewing this beer, this stout is not harsh or hard to drink. The bitterness is well balanced with the malts and alcohol. Magnum hops come through clean. With this heavy malt recipe none of the late hops are detectable in aroma or flavour. Overall, mild sweetness balanced with the bitterness and malts.

Why did I do this recipe? After only doing a couple of stouts which were a success but rather "normal" I decided I would increase the malts from about 20% of the grain bill to about 60% of the grain bill. More is better, right? I would be measuring these dark grains out by the pounds, not ounces.

Tasting started a few weeks after bottling and continued for about 3 months. I considered this experiment a lesson in what not to do. The malts were so harsh that I would cut this beer with soda water, 50 - 50, and it would turn into a nice dark stout.

Originally not liking this beer, I considered throwing it out and then decided to place in a refrigerator and forget it. Maybe age would help.

Moving forward 2 years

This stout has transformed into a silky black liquid that has been commented on by pros and friends as something special. Time has taken away the harsh flavours and turned this into silky goodness.
Unfortunately the recipe was destroyed since I thought this was a failure. My best guess at the recipe is:
Photo taken during the boil on Feb 24, 2012
5 Gallons of  Sludge
12 lb 2-Row Barley Malt
2 lb Chocolate Barley Malt
1.5 lbs of Biscuit Barley Malt
1 lbs of Flaked Barley
2.5 lbs of Black Roasted Barley Malt
1 lb 40 L Crystal Barley  Malt 

(This is about the maximum my cooler can mash)

60 Minutes - Magnum

Mash at 154F for 90 minutes

Secondary had French oak chips ( 2 oz) and Vanilla Bean (1) for 3 weeks

Carbonate in Bottle

Age 18 to 24 months below 50F.

OG (est) 1.12
FG  1.050 (yes really)
ABV (est) 9%

Tetley Bitter Clone

Style: 4A Ordinary Bitter
Method: All Grain 5 gallon

8.0 lb     Pale Row Malt
1.5 lb     Flaked Barley
1.0 lb     Brown sugar
2 oz       Chocolate Barley
5 oz       Crystal 80L

Mash @ 151F, 90 mins
Sparge @ 170F to make 7 gallons

Boil intensely for 60 mins

Had to add about 3 cups of water to keep volume up. 

Used white diffuser to aerate wort. 

Pitched yeast at 90F.

Hop Schedule
1 oz 60 min Fuggle
1 oz 20 min Fuggle
1 oz FO Willamette

Safale 04

OG 17 Brix, 1.070
FG 8.5 Brix, 1.011 April 15
FG 8 Brix. 1.08 May 5
ABV  8.1%

Serving at 62F with very low CO2 carbonation.

May 17, 2014 - Strong caramel than expected. Excellent mouth feel. Bitterness is tame and the flavour is good. More ABV than expected happens to balance out with the caramel flavours. All in all an excellent bitter. One of my best. No noticeable hop aroma but hops seems to round this out. If I was to aim for the original style I would decrease base malt to get 3.6% ABV and mash at 150F.

June 20, 2014 - Good in all the right ways however the caramel flavour is still a bit harsh. This is a winner of a beer but my favourite bitters are lighter. I consider this beer a winner as it delivers on the style of a darker best bitter. Slips down the throat with the greatest of ease.

July 13, 2014 - This has not improved with age. The appearance and taste is a bit muddy. The chocolate barley just did not do it for me. Still in search of a great bitter recipe.

Aug 2 - This has turned into a brown ale. People like it a lot however it's not my cup of tea.

Rastpeatin (Honey Oak Barrel)

Raspeatin Feb 1, 2014

(Rasputin with Peat/Smoked Malts)

Tragedy. Dry Barrel delivered leaked 2 gallons of precious stout.

10 gallon recipe with the additions of Rye and Peat malts. Carafa replaced Brown due to availability. Higher quality 2-Row yield a higher ABV. This is going into a fresh Rye barrel to add rye overtones. Brew day was a total of 10 hours due to the two mashes. In the future I can reduce time by purchasing malt extract and eliminate the 2-Row.

Malts (from Brew Brothers inc. Glacier Hops)

1 lb    Briess Malt Chocolate, Organic (US)$1.85
1 lb    Great Western Malting Crystal 40 (C-40), Organic (US)$1.55
0.5 lb Great Western Malting Black, Organic (US)$0.80
1 lb    Great Western Malting Crystal 15 (C-15), Organic (US)$1.55
2 lb    Briess Malt Caramel 120 (C-120), Organic (US)$3.50
1 lb    Weyermann Malts Carafa, Organic (German)$2.34 &&
1 lb    Bairds Malt Peated, Heavy (British)$1.80 (Smelled great!!!) **
1lb     Thomas Fawcett Malting Rye, Crystal Light (British)$1.64 **
36 lbs Great Western Malting 2-Row Pale, Organic (US) ($47.50 for 55 lbs)

Total malt = 44.5 lbs

** Additional ingredients from previous Rasputin clone recipe.
&& Replaced Brown Malt due to availability

Mash / Sparge

Due to the large amount of malt this was done in two batches.

Batch #1

152F @ 60 mins

19 lbs of 2-Row
Most of flavour malts
Sparged at 170 to produced 8 gallons

Batch #2

150F @ 90 mins
17 lbs of 2-Row
Some Flavour malts plus Rye and Peat
Sparged at 180F to produce 7 gallons
(stuck sparge due to batch #1 grain underneath false bottom)


Long boil to reduce 15 gallons to 11 gallons. Started 60 minute boil after about 2 gallon reduction.

Hop additions (Chinooks Hops from Hops Direct)

60 minutes    Chinook 14% 2 oz (pellets, fresh and smelled great)
20 minutes    Glacier  5.1% 2 oz (older hops, delicate flavour)
10 minutes    Cascade(backyard) 3 oz (last of 2012 yield, smelled great)

Fermentation / Preparation

Cooled with coil to 90F. Poured into large vessel. Added 45 seconds of oxygen with wand/O2 tank. This resulted in a think head on the wort so I had to sprinkle and then slosh the vessel to get the yeast into the liquid.

OG 1.111
FG  1.024, Feb 12

Targets - FG 1.02, ABV 12%

Yeast added was Safale 05 (one pack). Alcohol Tolerance 12%.

1lb   Wyeast Lab Wyeast 1084  will be pitched if needed.

March 1, 2014 - The barrel I've purchased from Woodinville Whiskey Co in WA has been a rocky road. The barrel initially leaks over 2 gallons of beer taking about 24 hours to seal. Five days later I moved this barrel to a barrel stand where I noticed it is still leaking. I'm unable to top this off with beer so I will resort to sanitized marbles soon. Also, the beer was filled with bourbon whiskey and honey. I've noticed that the outside in places are crusted with crystalized honey. I tasted this beer for the first time since it went into the barrel. It has greatly sweetened the beer. This is more like a port wine than a beer. The yeast most likely will not ferment any longer due to its lack of alcohol tolerance (12%) so I will age the beer and look to add a high alcohol tolerant yeast. Unfortunately I would consider the beer a failure due to the barrel. I'm pretty bummed.

March 2, 2014 - Transferred from leaky barrel to the year old barrel from Woodinvile Whiskey. This barrel had my original Irish Red for 4 weeks, A Pale Ale for 4 months and water to keep it moist for about 6 months. The water came out was redish and oaky.

March 5, 2014 - Barrel has mild fermentation happening with air lock. I will top off with Red Bastard Ale.

May 17, 2014 - Poured first 5 gallons into a keg marked Rastpeatin #1. Full  body, lots of flavour, honey tones. Rich red ruby colour in lines. Remaining 3 gallons will get added to Rastpeatin #2 in the Maple Barrel tomorrow.

June 1, 2014 - thick flavorful but will improve with 3 months. No peat detected now. Received very well at party at house.

June 12, 2014 - Smooth with nice tone of peat. Potent.

June 20, 2014 - Serious great stout. wicked ABV 12%+. Peat is in there but not pronounced. The carbonation took a while. PSI at about 17 which seems high but still only give a medium head. 

Foam after adding O2

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Rastpeatin (Extract Method) 1st

Note the maple syrup crystals.

For the last 4 or 5 years I have only done all grain brews. Today I'm doing an extract to save mash and boil times to prepare for a new Rye Oak Barrel expected within 2 weeks.

Time All Grain Method Time Extract Method
15 mins Equipment setup 5 mins Equipment setup
90 mins Mash 60 to produce 7 gallons with half the grain bill 90 mins Mash flavour grains
90 mins Mash 60 to produce 7 gallons with half the grain bill 45 mins Boil with hops in kitchen
60 mins Boil 20 mins Boil with added hops and extract
60 mins Boil with hops 20 mins  Cool
20 mins Cool 30 mins Equipment cleanup
20 mins Equipment cleanup
6 hrs Total 3.5 hrs Total
12 hrs Actual duration 4.5 hrs Actual duration

Back a month ago I did this brew using an all grain method. It took a all day. No messy extracts just pure grains. This beer has attempted to create Old Rasputin with significant short cuts. See the table above for a comparison of times.


Malts are the same as previous but the base malts have been replaced with 18 lbs of  liquid extract and 4 lbs of dextrose. This still did not raise the OG to 1.123. In hind sight I would add 2 more lbs of dextrose.

I feel the grains from Brew Brothers are superior to More Beer based on the efficiency of extracting fermentables. Most of the grains I order from Brew Brothers are organic. MoreBeer does not sell Organic grains.

Malts were created with a temperature at 150F for 2 hours.

MoreBeer #  Description            Qty     Price$ Total$
ME10G 9 LB Ultralight Malt Extract Bag     2.00    25.65    51.30
GR600 Malt - Chocolate - Per Lb                1.00    1.89      1.89
GR540 Malt - Crystal 40L - Per Lb              1.00    1.69      1.69
GR610 Malt - Black Patent - Per Lb            0.50    2.09      1.05
GR515 Malt - Crystal 15L - Per Lb              1.00    1.69      1.69
GR562 Malt - Crystal 120L - Per Lb            2.00    1.69      3.38
GR691 Malt - Carafa Special II - Per Lb       1.00    2.29      2.29
GR440 Malt - Peated - Per Lb                    1.00    2.59      2.59
GR455 Malt - Rye - Per Lb                         1.00    2.29      2.29
NA                Dextrose                              4 lbs

Sparge created 7 gallons of wort. It seemed thin. We will see. Total wort was 11 gallons.

The Boil

The boil was shortened to 20 minutes however the the hops were boiled separately in the kitchen. 45 minutes with magnum (2 oz)  making the kitchen smell like weed and 5 minutes with  Willamette. This cooled down to make a paste which was added to the boil. No bags used.

Cooled and poured at 90F.

8 hours after yeast was pitched. Shear madness!

The wort was poured directly on top of the yeast left over from the Red Bastard Ale.I had drained this vessel just an hour before  into a keg.  I stirred for about 10 seconds.  This got things off to a huge fermentation start.

OG 1.094
FG  1.025
ABV 9%

Apr 5 - Tastes harsh and bitter. Needs barrel aging. 

May 3 - taste smooth and wonderful.  Aging in primary made a big difference. Placed into a new barrel that had rye and maple syrup. Leaked 2 cup during the first 18 hrs then all seems fine. Expecting secondary fermentation due to maple syrup in barrel.    

May 18, 2014 - Kegged 1st 5 gallon and then transferred last 3 gallons to barrel with other Rastpeatin #1. Then added 3 gallons from other Rastpeatin to this barrel and topped out with about 2 gallons of Villious Stout from the fridge keg. (This freed up a keg for Kilt Lifter)

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Red Bastard Ale

March 5, 2014

Thick dark  malt flavours with balanced ABV and hops. Flaked wheat added to create greater head. Lots of dark malts for flavour. Lower base malt for an estimated 5% ABV. 

Wyeast 1024 Irish Ale

Fuggle 2 oz @ 60 mins 
Citra 4 oz @ 20 mins

2 lb  British 50/60
1 lb Flaked  wheat
2 lb 40 Crystal
0.5 lb Black Roast Barley
2 lb British 70/80
15 lb Golden Promise


148F 40 mins
157F 40 mins

Sparged to make 12 gallons
60 minute boil, last 20 mins was at a high-pitched rolling boil.
Cooled with cooper coil 
15 gallons in 12 mins down to 98F (1st 5 gals - 150F, 2ed 5 gals 120F)

Pitched at 90F

OG 1.065
FG (March 9) 1.029

March 13th - I have moved this to the honey keg (leaky) in hope that it will not leak and the added honey will allow this to ferment. I tasted this beer and it seemed thin. Thin for a stout. This is more like a tasty red . It created several extra bottles which I'll use to top off this barrel and Old Rasputin. This vessel had yeast which I used for Rasputin Extract + by just leaving it in the vessel.

March 15th - Barrel continues to leak. Mopped it up and will top of the barrel in hope that this leak will stop.

March 31st - Bung blew off last night a spewed a few ounces of frothy goodness. The honey continues to ferment in the barrel. 

July 5th - still in barrel. Taste like a flavorful ale not heavy.

Oct 3, 2014 - Full of bourbon falvours but not over bearing. Moved into a 5 and 3 gallon kegs.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Kilt Lifter - Scottish Ale

Kilt Lifter
Scottish Ale - March 1, 2014

Recipe taken from Fred Bonjour (1/2/2005). Changes made on availability of ingredients and equipment. I plan to age this in an Single Malt Scotch Barrel.

I tasted this beer at Long Yard a few months ago and loved the tasty malty full bodied ale. Comparable to Rasputin in ABV and body this beer is packed with flavour.

Golden Promise was added due to a shortage of Pale Malt 2-Row. This grain is grey when compared to 2-Row. I would think Golden Promise adds more flavour than 2-Row so this may add a better outcome to the ale.

I used small amount of Citra hops based on their high AA%. I'm not concerned that this hop has an abundance of fruit punch flavour since there is so many malts adding flavours. 

Amount    Item                                           Type

14.00 lb    Pale Malt, 2-Row, Organic             Grain
2.00 lb     Golden Promise Organic, base malt Grain
6.00 lb     Munich I  (7.1 SRM)                       Grain
1.00 lb     Caramel/Crystal Malt - 15L             Grain
1.00 lb     Caramel/Crystal Malt - 75L             Grain
1.00 lb     Caramunich I  (51.0 SRM)               Grain
1.00 lb     Caravienne Malt (22.0 SRM)            Grain
4.00 oz    Smoked Malt (2.0 SRM)                  Grain
1.00 oz    Citra (55 min)                               Pellets  15% AA  
1.00 oz    Citra (20 min)                               Pellets  15% AA
1 Pkgs     Scottish Ale (Wyeast Labs #1728)   Liquid

Mash / Decoct

Two stage mash is aiming to do two things. Maximize the fermentables 
with 145F and then bring out lots of the malty flavours at 156F. 
  • 40 mins 145F
  • 40 mins 156F

Sparging to Pitching of Yeast

  • Boiled down to 6 gallons in about 3 hours.
  • 170F H2O Produced 9 gallons. Slow sparge run off. 
  • Run off ended with SG being 1.025.
  • Added O2 vigorously via red tank for 20 seconds. 
  • Cooled to 100F with yeast. Fermenting at about 65F.

OG 1.125
FG 1.025 Estimate
ABV 13% Estimate
FG 1.035 going into barrel on Macrh 15th, 2014 (11.8% ABV)

March 6, 2014 - yeast is very consistently
Bubbling away as pictured. Much more than Saf 5 or Saf 4
March 11, 2014 - yeast still consistent (a bubble every 6 second)

March 15, 2014 - Fermentation has slowed and I've kegged this. 
The batch almost filled the 5 gallon Single Malt Scotch Barrel. Taste
was sweet gentle malty yummy and a noticeable alcohol taste, not bad. I feel the fermentable either ran out of O2 or died due to alcohol production. I expect some fermentation to continue in the barrel.

May 18, 2014 - Kegged. Filled this barrel with water (and original Woodinville keg too). Taste is super rich  with tones of toffee and smooth malts. Still has lots of sugars.

June 1, 2014 - still sweat and malty with
toffy. Needs to carbonate and age for two months.

June 18, 2014 - Super sweet and super tasty. Serve is a sherry glass, this is a wonderful dessert beer. Not what I intended but this will be a joy to drink. 

Barrel details - Balcones Oak 5 gallon Barrel that has stored Single Malt Whiskey. 

Thanks Adam for the logistics

Hi All,

I am thinking about arranging another barrel order and wanted to gauge interest. These are 5 gallon barrels that were previously used for whiskey and in a couple cases distilled honey. The barrels available have generally held Blue Corn whiskey, but some may have held Balcones Single Malt, Balcones Oak Smoked whiskey, or Rumble their distilled honey spirit. All barrels I have previously received form them have seen two uses with the second always being the Blue Corn whiskey. Also, previously the vast majority of the barrels received have held Blue Corn whiskey and nothing else. You can read more about their products here:

In the past the barrels were $45 + shipping and came to about $65, but they informed me that they raised the price to $55 and are considering raising the price further in the near future (hence the desire to order soon). I believe the price will fall in the $70 - $80 range after shipping. I will arrange to have the barrels delivered to a club meeting or they will be available to be picked up at my house in Oakland or work in Mountain View. 

Barrels come in pallets of 27, so I will reach out to interested parties in a first come, first serve manner. If there is enough interest in more than 1 pallet I can order more. I am using a Google Form, so please fill out if interested. Also, this is not limited to the people on these distribution lists so feel free to pass onto other interested parties.

Adam Holter