Sunday, November 8, 2015

Doppelbock - Decoc

Aecht Schlenkerla Eiche Doppelbock
The beer shown above is amazing. It can best be described as a gentle smoky malty beer that is full of flavour but medium body. Wonderful smoky beech-wood flavours with smooth malty flavours hang on your pallet from beginning to end. I hope to come close with this brew.

  • 15 lbs Weyermann Rauch Malt
  • Wyeast 2206 (Lager)

  • Bitter Hallertau 2 oz, 60 mins
  • Flavour Liberty 2 oz, 7 mins, also Whirflox, yeast nutrition

Decoction Mash
  1. 125F  30 mins,  mash temp ended at 123F, strike temp 134F 
  2. First decoction --> 20 min bring 2 large colanders of mash to boil. Added 1 gal of tap water. Boiled for about 7 mins.
  3. Added above back to mash resulting 135F mash temp for 30 mins
  4. Second decoction --> 2.5 large colanders plus 1 gal of mash liquid boiled down. Added some more mash liquid to this to raise mash temp more.
  5. Mash temp now 155F. Lid off for first 10 mins then covered for 60 mins 
  6. Sparged at 173F to make 9 gallons
The rise in mash temperature is created by removing stiff grains from the mash and bring them to a  boil for 5 mins then  adding it back to the mash. This is done to bring the temp up. 

  • 60 mins bitter hops
  • 5 mins flavour hops

  1. OG 1.076
  2. Fridge 58F until I see active fermentation then set to 54F
  3. 1/9/2016 Gravity is 1.017. Taste full of body with a mild smoky flavour.
  4. 1/23/2016 1.014 Brix 9.5. Abv 8.1%

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Back Yard Hop hop Ale. 80F+ Fermentation 9/19/2015

Heat Wave Beer
with backyard grown hops


California Select 10 lbs
Special Roast 1lb


Northern Brewer 2 oz


Turbo Yeast - Heat Wave


Mash Time: 90 mins
Yielded 7 gals


50 mins - hops addition
10 mins bark yard hops - cascade 4 oz (probable contamination)

Made 4 gals


Tastes like peanuts. After 4 weeks fermenting I finally threw this batch out due to the strong off flavours.

Most likely the hops from my back yard contaminated this batch of beer. I thought about cold distilling this beer and also dry hopping of adding adjuncts to embrace the funk. There was no saving this beer.

Best Bitter 10/17/2015

Best Bitter

This is the style of beer that pulled me into brewing. I enjoy this most served at about 62F with very low carbonation.


Fawcett Optic - 10lbs
Crystal 40L - 1lb

Hops (pellets)

Fuggle 2 oz
Kent Goldings 2 oz


Strike temp 170F
Mashed 1 hr with 6 gals @ 152F
Produced 7.2 gals


50 mins Fuggle
15 mins Goldings
Yielded about 5.5 gals

Cooled to 97F
Poured into vessel that had Red Ale Brew and yeast
OG 1.044


Tastes like the Bitter I love. ABV it expected to be about 4.6% based on 5.5 gals made.

Placed into cold storage for 1 month.

Carbonated and aged this beer is flavourful yet light and easy to drink. Perfect. 

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Irish Red Ale Oct 4, 2015

Objective and Comments

This is my recipe and method yielding an amazing ale that is balanced with darker malts.  It is  easy to drink yet full of malt falvour. I started at 1pm and finished at 7:15pm including clean up. This should have been about 1 hr faster do to a slow pour into the fermenter and a long mash. I should have hit 154F this first time for 60 minutes.


2 lbs    Carared
2 lbs    70/80 L Crystal
1 lb     40 L Crystal
1 lb     60 L Crystal
4 oz     Black Roasted Barley
20 lb   British Base Malt

Total Malts: 26 lb 4 oz

Mash tun could have taken about 2 more lbs of malt but that would be pushing it.  Strike temp was 165F. Air temperature was about 78F.


Magnum 2 oz (bittering)
Warrior 2 oz (flavour)

Magnum is a clean bittering hop. Warrior is a robust hop that should balance the malts. This is about adding enough hopes to balance but not play centre stage.


150F for 50 mins, drained 3 gallons
153F for 60 mins, drained 12 gallons (154F would be better)

Sparged at 172F.


Bittering hops 60 mins
Falvour hops 20 mins including pour into fermenter

I skimmed off the foam off the top to help prevent a boil over.

No clarifier


OG 1.064

Taste was asexpected but maybe a bit thin. Good dark color. Yielded 10 gallons plus a couple of pints in hydrometer and sprayer.

Yeast: Irish Ale WLP Labs. Yeild expired 1 week ago but was showing good life in vile.

Repitched new yeast (saf04) 1.5 days later. Morebeer sold me expired yeast (mailorder). 


Clarifier would have improved appearances. 2oz buttering was not enough. 4 oz next time. Try mash temp 154 and at dextrose next time. 

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Top 4 easiest and most rewarding Home Brews

You have four ingredients and unlimited beers styles. Some easy, some not so. I choose these four because the grain bill is very minimal and there are no special steps. Here are the most rewarding and easiest beers I've made. 

4. Guinness

Oh yes. This is a very easy to brew with the caveat that you have a nitro tap. For those of you that say that you can't recreate the original Dublin black bliss I say, not true. The grain bill is simple. The hop schedule can vary and fermentation is nothing special. Mash to mug is as fast at 10 days, but it's best rested for about 7 days. Water is again nothing special. Your water may vary from what I use but if it's not super high in minerals I would not be concerned. The reverse bubbles and creamy head are the result of a nitro tap. A simple parlour trick once you have the nitro tap.

Ingredients: 8 lbs 2-Row, 1 lb Flaked Barley, 1 lb Black Roasted Barley, Saf 04, 1 oz Magnum 60 mins, 1 oz Magnum 15 mins
Temperatures: Mash 152F, Ferment 62-67F

3. American Pale Ale

This is probably the first beer many try. Keeping the hop schedule simple is key. 2 oz of fresh hops are far better than 8 ounces of hops on sales from last years harvest. Don't key sucked in. Mashing at 152 to 154 will create a lot of malt flavour so keep your flavour malts low. Even a 1/2 lb of Crystal 40 can create a full body flavoured 5 gallon ale. Keep things minimal and simple and your Ale will be a big hit. 

Ingredients: 8 lbs 2-Row, 1/2 lb Crystal 40, Saf 04, 1 oz Magnum 60 mins, 2 oz Zeau 15 mins
Temperatures: Mash 152F, Ferment 62-67F

* Note: Zeus can be substituted with Columbus, Centennial, Cascade, Citra, Magnum, ...

2. Hoegaarden

I really enjoy this beer with a slice of lemon draped on top. Again surprising easy to brew. This does require an extra step but the rewards are there. 

Ingredients: 4.5 lbs White Wheat, 4.5 lbs 2-Row, Saf 04, 1 oz Magnum 60 mins, 2 oz Saaz 15 mins
Temperatures: Mash 152F, Ferment 62-67F
Adjunct: Add 1 oz of Coriander and 0.5 oz of sweet orange peel to 1 gallon of boiling water for 5 minutes. Add to wortz at the end of fermentation.

1. Kolsch

I originally brewed Kolsch Ale because it's similar to a traditional lager but ferments at a warmer temperature. This beer also dies bot need to be lagered and I've made it from mash to mug in 7 days with great success. This is an easy beer to make. It uses Kolsch yeast, Kolsch grain and a noble hop for flavour. fermentation should take place in the low 60's. You can ferment at a higher  temperature but you will develop some esters that require about three weeks of lagering. You want to aim for a ABV around 5 to 6.  Lower is too thin and higher bring a mouthfeel that is not as nice. I use about 8lbs to get 5% ABV. This is a great beer and very good for parties when people are looking for drinkability with flavour. 

Ingredients: 9 lbs Kolsch Malt,  Kolsch Yeast, 1 oz Magnum 60 mins, 2 oz Liberty 15 mins
Temperatures: Mash 152F, Ferment 62-67F

Top 5 Mistakes that Kill the Perfect Home Brew

Avoiding off flavours is important as you tune your techniques as a brewer. Everyone has different equipment. Everyone has different levels of experience, but these 5 areas are your top cultripes of ruining your brew.

Here are 5 top areas that can ruin your home brew.

1. Clean equipment before the boil and sanitized equipment with everything the brew touches after the boil. Sanitizing prior to the boil is a waste of time. If any contamination happens prior to the boil, the boil will take care of it. After the boil you should consider it a race to get your chosen yeast to take over your sweet wort. Yeast is responsible for many of the flavours so don't allow wild yeasts to compete. Don't let anything that would go moldy come near your wort.  From the time you cool your wort to the time your yeast kicks in you have a risk of  contamination. Once you're past this stage the lack of sugar and the presence of alcohol make the contamination risk very low.

2. Maintain a rolling boil for at least 20 minutes. Boiling gets ride of all kinds of nasties. Having a slow boil does not help. You need to get your wort to be vigorously boiling for at least 20 minutes of your 60 mins boil. Shorter boils or less intense boils leave the risk of off flavours. 

3. Mash temperature. Ever hear of the brewers window? You should have if you do all grain brews. When you mash in your grain temperature is super important.  148F will extract more fermentable sugars and mashing at 156F will produce a more malty lower ABV beer. Although this is not an off flavour it is a huge influence on the taste and mouthfeel of your beer. Calibrate your thermometer regularly and measure you mash with precision. 

4.  Fermentation temperature. All yeast stains have target fermentations. Know your range and make sure that you can maintain this temp range during fermentation. Temperatures too high will give you off flavours. Temperatures on the lower end of the range generally give cleaner flavour profiles. 

5. Lager your finished beer. This is the hardest part. You've finished your beer and you taste it and it's ok or pretty good. Lagering or resting your beer at a cool temperature for 3 to 4 weeks turns good beer in many cases into great beer.  Lagering allows your beer to rest and settle. Some off flavour disappear. Some new flavours emerge and improve the beer. Even your hoppy beers need some rest. Plan ahead and lager your brews. 

Friday, June 12, 2015

Hoegaarden 10 Gallon All Grain

Made on June 21th

10 lbs. Pilsener Malt(2-Row) Continental Eu
10 lbs. Flaked Soft White Wheat America
1.00 lbs. Rice Hulls America

Sweet Orange Peel 1/2 oz 5 mins in 1 gallon boil
Coriander (crushed) 1.0 oz 
5 mins in 1 gallon boil
Boil was done separatly and the the whole thing was dumped at flame out

Target Temp: 62F - 75F

Magnum 1.0 oz 60 mins
Styriam   1/2 oz 15 mins
Saaz         1/2 oz 15 mins

124F 15 mins rest
152F 60 mins

Produce 14 Gallons (next time make 13 gallons)
Boil to produce 12 (next time make this 11 gallons)

Coriander (crushed) 1.0 oz, 1 week


Preboil 1.043, Postboil (before 1 gallon of adjunct added) 1.048
Original Gravity: 1.048 Actual 1.046
Final Gravity: 1.010


I've made this been before about 4 times with great success. The trick is to hit you OG and then getting the flavour and ABV is easy. This recipe is the same except for the rice hulls. These rice hulls facilitated a fast mash out. Getting 14 gallons of sweet wort was pretty easy. Minor risk of a stuck mash. 

Fermentation started well after 24 hours. Vessel submerged in water tank. Started at 72F and brought downto 64F with freezer pasks. 

14 Gallons - Start of Boil

Spice Boil -  One Gallon

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Beer tasting

Wonderful stout. Crisp clean flavourful and not filling. 

This page is a running review of interesting beers I drank in 2015. I place low value on the overall appearance of a beer since this is much to do about how it is poured, the lighting and, personal preference. For example how can you tell me that a cloudy wheat beer is not as nice as a sparkling blonde ale. 

Little difference in the two brews and niether is exciting. 

Name:     Hop Craic
Brewery:  Moylan's
Style:    XXXX IPA  
Location: Novato, CA
ABV:      10.4%


Super high hop expectations coming from the brewery that makes Hopsickle. This beer is light refreshing and full of hops. Unlike most double IPAs this is cleaner crisper and better. The hop flavours are not overbearing and the malts are not distinctive. This is all about the hops. Very nice. If I was comparing this to RRB's Pliny the Younger I would have to tell you that this is so much better. There is none of the harsh hop flavour in this beer.

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

Total        19/20

Name:     Double Chocolate Porter
Brewery:  4 Mile Brewing Co.
Style:    Porter  
Location: Victoria, BC
ABV:      7%

Thanks again for the beer Steve! A beautiful roasted barley stout with many delicious flavours including chocolate and coffee. The mouth feel on this hints at some lactose added to this beer which worked out well. It took this beer from a dry stout to more of a yummy stout. This is still very drinkable and not heavy. 

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

Total        16/20

Name:     L'Alsacienne
Brewery:  Alsacienne Sarl
Style:    Blonde  
Location: Mulhouse, France
ABV:      7.8%

Thanks for the beer Steve! I've had several beers from France and never been too impressed when compared to German and Belgian beers. This beer is light crisp with an ever so taste of spice on the backend. As this beer opened up (warmed up a bit) bitter flavours seemed to take over. Very simple beer best served very cold. 

Flavour      - 4
Aroma        - 3
Mouthfeel    - 4
Drinkability - 5

Total        16/20

Name:     Victory at Sea
Brewery:  Ballast Point
Style:    Stout 
Location: California


What a great coffee stout. Not too heavy but with plenty of coffee flavour from room temperature coffee brewing. The coffee profile is smooth and different than a hot or cold brew. Great coffee profile. This 10% ABV goes down smoother than most 5% stouts. 

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

Total        17/20

Name:     RARE BIRD
Brewery:  Authentic Seacoast Brewing Company
Style:    STOUT
Location: Nova Scotia

Dark stout with plenty for ingredients to increase flavour including licorice root, cocoa, coffee, and molasses. I'm all for increasing flavour in a stout but this beer missed the boat. Tasting this beer starts off with a lovely all round flavour that is not too heavy and then it ends with a harsh bitterness. Licorice root may be responsible for this. Licorice root is entirely different flavour profile that the licorice candy.

Paired with spicy foods this would be good. A good vindaloo or a hot curry. 

Flavour      - 2
Aroma        - 4
Mouthfeel    - 3
Drinkability - 3

Total        12/20

Style:    SAISON
Location: Nova Scotia


All the way from Shelburne Nova Scotia comes Boxing Rock's Session Ale. It boasts full robust falvour. Really? Isn't a session beer supposed to be on the light side? 

Pouring this in the glass it is dark and full of hoppy aroma. This is a great start. My first taste is something I've never experienced before. It starts off full of hops and malty flavour and quickly turns into a very dry after taste. Very good Boxing Rock. This 4% ale is able to be full of flavour yet light and refreshing. Nailed it. 

I wish they exported to California to challenge the brewers there. 

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

Total        18/20

Name:     Curieux
Brewery:  Allagash
Style:    Ale aged in Oak Bourbon Barrel
Location: Portland, ME

Everything I've had from Allagash has been impressive. This beer is no exception. This beer starts off a bit thin on the palette but then builds with a complex flavour profile. The bourbon is more like a background flavour profile and the maltiness and hops still shone through. Oak is there but is well balanced with the overall flavour. As bourbon barrel beers go this is very nice but if you're looking for a beer that shouts bourbon this is not it. This is more about the malt than the bourbon.To me a great bourbon barrel beer delivers a bourbon blast. This beer went in a different direction. 

Flavour      - 4
Aroma        - 3
Mouthfeel    - 4
Drinkability - 5

Total        16/20

Name:     Double Reserve
Brewery:  Allagash
Style:    Double Belgian Ale
Location: Portland, ME

Another great beer from Allagash. This Double is surprising a bit thin and hollow. This makes the Ale very easy to drink but seemingly less satisfying.. The falvour is still there giving you the experience of something special. I would hesitate from purchasing this again because it seems too light bodied for a double. 

Flavour      - 3
Aroma        - 3
Mouthfeel    - 4
Drinkability - 5

Total        15/20

Name:     Modern Romance
Brewery:  Midnight Sun
Style:    Belgian Dark Ale
Location: Alaska

This was recommended by the store as a great beer to try. This is one of the few beers that has hot pepper and cocoa added to it. 

The beer hits the palate as a light stout. Then the hot pepper kicks in. The hot peppers are well done and do have you running to cool your mouth. As I continued through the bottle I was impressed with the overall flavour and hotness but not enough to try it again. Nice experiment.

As of 6/25/2015 this is still available at Whole Foods.

Flavour      - 3
Aroma        - 3
Mouthfeel    - 4
Drinkability - 5

Total        15/20

Name:     Maudite
Brewery:  Unibroue
Style:    Belgian Red Ale
Location: Quebec

Crisp nice red ale that again is on the light side. Nice overall flavour and mouthfeel. Solid beer but does not pull me in for more.

Flavour      - 3
Aroma        - 4
Mouthfeel    - 3
Drinkability - 4

Total        14/20 

Name:     Blanche de Chambly
Brewery:  Unibroue
Style:    Belgian White
Location: Quebec

Wooo doggy. This is a Belgian Beer brewed in Quebec?  Can they do this shit? Ah, yes they can. This brewery continues to deliver great beers that remind me of Belgians better beers. Are they as good?  Well I can't answer that but I have to say these guys consistently deliver great beers and all you can really quibble on is if you like this style. 

To me this was a bit light and did not make me wish for more. The spice and the malt are nice. Nothing wrong with the beer but then again nothing to write home about.

Flavour      - 3
Aroma        - 3
Mouthfeel    - 4
Drinkability - 5

Total        15/20 

Name:     Vicinity
Brewery:  Trillium Brewing Company
Style:    IIPA
Location: MA, USA


Wow! This beer is amazing. It purrs into the glass like a fluffy cloud of hops and then hits you like a pillow of happiness. It's smooth and beautiful hop aroma says drink me. Truly a beer to be treasured. 

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

Total        19/20 

Name:     Black
Brewery:  Allagash
Style:    Double Belgian Ale
Location: Portland, ME


This stout is clean crisp and one that all others are measured. Not that this is the best, it's just damn good and has no frills. This is a stout that delivers everything good and asks the question, are you ready to try something more challenging? 

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

Total        19/20  

Name:     La Resolution
Brewery:  Unibroue
Style:    Belgian Red Ale
Location: Quebec

Easy drinking and sharp on the taste buds. A fine beer but nothing that stands up to more fuller bodied Ales. Excellently executed but I have to say I think this beer is trying to deliver more to the main stream. 

Flavour      - 3
Aroma        - 3
Mouthfeel    - 4
Drinkability - 4

Total        14/20

Name:     Mikkeller Årh Hvad?!
Brewery:  De Proefbrouwerij
Style:    Belgian Ale
Location: Copenhagen

Shared at dinner the magnum was a bit gutsy to order since I had never tasted it before. It paid off nicely. This Belgian beer was a bit lite and ever so fruity. It was a bit like bubbly wine with a pleasant aftertaste. Dry and refreshing. No hop flavour and the maltiness was lite. As my friend and I enjoyed this beer it began to grow on us. At first I was wondering how we were going to finish this and towards the end we were starting to ask if we could get another. 

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

Total        17/20

Name:     Temptation
Style:    Red Ale
Location: Nova Scotia

This beer is amazing. What is it with these guys at Boxing Rock. This beer is crisp refreshing but it hits you with a beautiful malt flavour not found in other beers.  Highly drinkable yet flavourful this beer is a treasure. Hops and malt are balanced. Matter of fact I'd have to say the malts are very well delivered. As a brewer I'm wondering, how'd they get this amazing flavour profile. 

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

Total        19/20

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Coco Arabia Stout

5/15/2015 10 gallons full grain

I'm aiming for a dry chocolaty stout that is smooth and easy to drink. 10 gallons. Half on Nitro. Half on CO2.

Amt              Grains
16 lbs           Castle Belgian Pale Malt(GR342)
2 lbs              Flaked Barley
1.5 lbs           Bairds Chocolate Malt(GR600)
1 lb               Simpsons Coffee Malt(GR630)
0.22 lbs         Black Patent Malt(GR610)
0.13 lbs         Black Prinz(GR692)
0.44 lbs         Castle Abbey Aromatic Malt(GR402)
0.43 lbs         Bairds Black Roasted Barley(GR620)
0.5 lbs           Great Western Crystal 60 (GR560)


1 lb               Dextrose


  • Reused Belgian yeast (very little)


  • 151F for 60 Mins
  • Sparged @ 170 to produce 12.5 gallons
  • OG 18 Brix or 1.074 (Target 8% ABV)
  • FG 8. brix or 1.006
  • ABV 9%

  • 60 mins 3.25 oz of Magnum hops
  • Tablet with 15 mins left

  • Cooled with coil to 92F and pitched yeast. Next monthly strong fermentation. House is at 67F.
  • This fermented slow and steady for 3 weeks resulting is a very refresh dry drinkable stout. Probable the driest stout I've ever tasted. And at 9% this it dangerous since it so easy to drink. I would put this beer up against and german lager when it comes to a refreshing brew. 
  • Naturally the Nitro version is creamier and the CO2 version has more flavour including a considerable bitterness.
  • Great chocolate flavour and aroma. Coffee is faint. Extremely dry stout. More drinkable that a lager. As this ages the flavours are becoming more refined. I enjoyed the CO2 more than the nitro. Wonderful brew. 
Drinkability:   - 5
Taste:           - 4
Aroma:          - 5
Mouthfeel:     - 4

Coco Arabia Stout 10/24/2015.  (#2)

Recipe slightly changed from #1 due to missing GR620 Malt. 

  • Bairds Chocolate Malt(GR600) replaced with Breis Chocolate. Lighter in mouthfeel I'm told.
  • Black Prinz(GR692) 0.2 lbs (more than #1)
  • Sparged to make 15 gallons
  • Boiled down to make 11 gallons
  • 1 tsp of yeast nutrients
  • 2 whirlfloc tablets added
  • Mashed at 152F
  • WLP550 Yeast
  • Oxygen added for 20 seconds
  • 9 oz of Dextrose
  • 2 lbs of brown sugar

Cooled to 95F with pitched yeast
OG 1.058 @ 95F, Calculated to be: 1.063 @ 60F
FG 1.015 @ 60F
ABV 6.3%


Tasted wort from hydrometer and is had a wonderful surprising punch of chocolate and after flavor of brown sugar. Compared to #1 this is more chocolaty and smoother. 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Red IPA (dry hop heaven) 10 gallon all grain 4/19/2015

This is from a brew I did in 2011 which was a very successful beer. Since I have a conical for the next few weeks I'm going to dry hop like mad!

Aiming for a light IPA with some Red Malts and lots of hop aroma.

Name                                   Lbs
Malt - Rahr 2-Row               20
Caramel/Crystal Malt - 40L 1.0
Malt - CaraRed                     1.0

Mash 60 mins @ 153F

Reused Kolsch Yeast - small masonary jar.

Magnum 2 oz 60 mins
Cascade 2 oz 15 mins

Dry Hops with Conical, 2 oz of each. Drained 80% of the hops after 4 days. Remaining hop slug stayed until I kegged on 5/16/2015.

  • Columbus 
  • Centennial
  • Citra
  • Simcoe
With all the hops this produced a total of 8 gallons of beer. Second keg has only 3 gallons. Smells and tastes great. 

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Belgium Golden Ale - 10 gal All Grain 3/27/2015


8 oz Special B
8 oz Belgian Aromatic 
15 lb Belgian Pil
5 lb Castle Belgian Pale Malt


80 mins @ 152 

Yeast. Belgian Golden Ale. WLP570


2oz Magnum 60 mins
1 oz Willamette 20 mins
1 oz Magnum 20 mins


80 mins

OG 1.070

-Day 2. Using the conical I removed about a pint and a half of hop trub from the bottom. Good strong steady fermentation. 
-April 4 - Fermentation still happening. Pop every 4 seconds on the airlock. Dump all hops that settled to the bottom and a little dead yeast. Still a thick head of head on the beer. OG yesterday was 10 brix. 

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Root Beer

Instructions for 4 gallons of Root Beer. 

  • Heat .5 gallon water 212 F. +/-
  • Dissolve in 1.5 lbs sugar
  • Dissolve in 2.75 lbs honey
  • Add 4 oz. Morebeer extract #2 Soda Extract
  • Transfer to Corny tank
  • Fill tank up to 4 gallons with tap water
  • Fill tank up with 12 psi CO2
  • Pour when you can create a big head of foam

My objective was to recreate the A&W root beer I had at the drive ins growing up. Frosted glass mug. Frothy and full of the amazing flavour. I would give the results of this a 8/10. Frothy was fine after about 5 days of carbonation. The flavour is very good but still not spot on.

I will enjoy drinking this however since this is my first Root Beer I'm going to try other recipes.

5/16/2015 - Finished the soda. Overall very good but only a 7/10 for creamy sudsy. Flavour and sweetness was 9/10. 

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Guinness 5 Gal All Grain March 21, 2015

Easy to make and very enjoyable on Nitro. Should be ready to drink in 3 weeks.


8.5 lb of 2-row maris otter milled
1 lb black roasted barley milled 
2 lbs of flaked barley. Not milled


152F 60F


170F to produce 7,4 gals


Pre boil:      11 Brix / 1.044 OG
Post boil:    13.7 Brix / 1.056 OG

March 24 - brix 7. 1.010
March 25 - brix 6.7 1.009

Target 1.012 / 5.8% ABV
Actual ABV 6.0%

Counter coil cooled 5 gals in 10 mins to 95F. Added reused english yeast. The yeast did not seem active when I opened the jar. We will see.


70 mins
60 mins 2 oz Magnum pellets
20 mins 2 oz UK Target pellets

April 6 - While moving to keg i saw a mold growing on the top. Mild funk with socks and cheese. I dumped the whole batch. First batch in 7 years I've dumped.   I blame this on the reuse of yeast. It did not look healthy when i added it. I should have avoided this yeast. Arg!  See photo. 

Sanitized Counterflow Chiller
15 gallow kettle

Hops and yeast
Pour off of mash. Sweet wort!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Kolsch + 10 gal all grain. 2015-03-14

Making a Kolsch ale today. This beer typically only has Kolsch malt in it however I am mashing at a very low temperature so I plan to add a little bit of Carapils and 20 Levi-bond malt to increase the flavor profile.

20 lbs Kolsch
8 oz of 20L
8 oz of Carpils

149F for 70 mins

170F to make 13 gallons


70 min strong boil
All hops are from my back yard
Cascade 2 oz 60 mins
Cascade, Zeus 6 oz 15 mins

Cold crash

First time using couter flow cooler. Cleaned with 15 mins of boiling brewers cleaner then rised with hot water then sanitizer with tap water. 

Cooled to 100F with 13 gallons of tap water. Next time try to use 15 gallons of tap water to get wort to 90F. 

Stats and Comments

OG 1.55 (13.5 brix) take the morning after pitching yeast. 

- Hop flavour really comes through on day 2
- Fermentation is at about 76F today. This will make it a bit fruitier.
- March 22, 2015 - FG 6.2 Brix, 1.024
- April 5 - great beer however do to high fermentation temperature the beer is fruitier, dark ( light caramel) and, cloudy. 
- April 10 - amazing Kolsch. Fruitiness has settled down and the flavour and mouth feel is too knotch. Still hazy but this will clear up with lagering....if it lasts. 

My sculpture! Burner is bolted to the table for safety.
Last of my 2014 backyard Hop harvest.

Due to the warm wort this fermentation took off within hours.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Pliny the Younger

After hearing all the hoopla over the last few years we made the pilgrimage to Santa Rosa for Pliny the Younger. I've been looking forward to this over the last few months. I'm a big fan of hops and appreciated Pliny the Elder, Moylands Hopsicle, Sierra Nevada hoppier beers and  many others. Although some bars do serve the Younger, it's generally an opportunity you line up for and the bar typically runs out after rationing in 10 oz glasses within an hour. Considering all the demand for this beer and my appreciation for Pliny the Elder I had high hopes.

Arrived around 3:00pm on Friday we were greeted with rain in Santa Rosa.  We headed directly to RRB. The line up was pretty impressive. It was about 2 blocks long and were told it was a 4 hour wait. Most of the people in line were from out of town. Earlier in the day the line up wrapped around the block for a 5 + hour wait. Several people camped out the night before. We were told that the people near the front of the line at 3:00pm had been there since 7:00 AM. Line ups were said to go 'more smoothly' due to the 3 hour time limit once in the bar (this was self policed and soon forgotten by everyone inside). We skipped the line and headed inside to purchase some RRB beer at their bar store. Sadly no Younger is available to purchase.  We loaded up on Blind Pig and Pliny the Elder then headed back to the hotel.

After a great dinner at Jackson's, which we enjoyed  immensely, we headed back to try our luck in line. We found a 2 hour line that was relatively short to what we experienced earlier in the day so we stuck it out. The wait was not too bad in the rain since RRB placed awning to shelter us.  Prior to getting in you get a pink bracelet with three Pliny the Younger tickets.

So we ordered our Pliny the Younger and prepared to be amazed. Served in a 10 oz glass. 10.5 ABV, low to no aroma, clear lite and very dry. Heavy hop flavors with no dominant citrus or piney. What I was drinking was a very dry very hoppy flavored beer. No malt flavors. I was really disappointed in the lack of flavor and complexity. This beer to me was about delivering a well rounded hop flavor in a high ABV low malt profile. Compared to the Elder this beer lacks flavour and seems unbalanced. With other triple IPAs I taste a better balance of malts and hops. Is this a bad beer? No it's just a style that to me was not worthy of a second glass. I gave my two remaining tickets to our line mates and proceeded to begin to taste some of the other beers RRB serves.

Is this beer really up to the hype? I don't think so. Is there anything else on the market similar? I don't think so. Would I get in line for this beer again. No.

I really enjoy RRB. Their selection of beers, their pizzas and the atmosphere make this a great bar. However I would recommend coming when Younger is not served. This will let you get in without a long line up.

As a brewer myself I'm glad to see the awareness build with craft beers however I believe this beer is over hyped because of three things. 1) It's scarcity, 2)  peoples expectation that it's better the Pliny the Elder and 3) 10.5 ABV.

Well done RRB but I'll stick to your other beers which I feel deserve more attention than Pliny the Younger.

Want to try Triple IPAs that I think are better. Check out Stone, Moyland and Knee Deep.