Tag Archives: ale


Brewed up an amber based on this Irish Red. I have been using this recipe for a while, but I finally managed to find brown malt.


  • 10# two row
  • 0.25# crystal 40L
  • 0.25# crystal 60L
  • 0.25# brown
  • 0.5 carapils
  • 0.75 oz Fuggles for 60 min
  • 0.5 oz Goldings for 60 min
  • 0.25 oz Fuggles at flame out
  • 0.5 oz Goldings at flame out

20160123_150442I got all of the grain and about 7 gallons of water in the mash tun. I am again doing a no-sparge method, but I only mashed for 90 minutes in stead of 3 hours. The gravity reading was about 1.041 with both instruments. About 5 gallons went into the brew pot and 1.5 gallons of heated water went back into the mash tun for a mini-sparge. I stepped out to get an adapter to properly connect my wort chiller to my faucet. I needed a 3/4″ to 13/16″ adapter, I had been having a difficult time finding, but Ace was the place. After a side trip to Brew & Grow for a new fermentor and some DME, I got back home to drain off the mini-sparge which had a gravity reading of about 1.020 at 128 deg F. 20160123_150434I started boiling the main brew pot and the liquid from the mini-sparge separately. After 40 minutes of boiling, I added the remain 1 gallon from the mini-sparge into the main brew pot and added 1# of DME.

Then stuff started to go to hell. I broke the tip off of the floating thermometer. Of course that happened after I went to the brew store. I also again had trouble with the wort chiller. I am now using the correct intake tubing which has a garden hose (3/4″) attachment. The 3/4″ to 13/16″ adapter I bought at Ace fit the tubing to the faucet correctly, but when I turned the faucet on water went everywhere. I eventually minimized the leakage at the connection, but I could not get the tube clamped down tight enough on the chiller to stop dripping at that point. I also tore up my hand trying to tighten up all of the connections, so into the bathtub the brew pot went.

I pitching White Labs Irish ale yeast into 5.5 gallons of wort in the fermentor with an OG of 1.060.

Update: FG was 1.010. Which should give it a 6.5% abv. 20 IBUs



Leave a comment

Filed under Brewing

Winter Ale 2015

20151025_090641Time to brew up my Wicked Winter Ale  using my base red ale grain bill. This is an homage to Pete’s Wicked Winter which has long been out of production. I ended up getting 32 quarts in the mash tun. On the third vorlauf, I got a gravity reading with the hydrometer of 1.032 at 135 deg F and 1.043 with the refractometer. I decided to lower the amount of nutmeg this year to 1 tsp, and I used fresh ground. Unfortunately, I only ended up with starting gravity of 1.047.

  • 5/8 oz Fuggles (5.3% AA) at 60 min
  • 3/8 oz East Kent Goldings (5.7% AA) at 60 min
  • 5/8 oz East Kent Goldings (5.7% AA) at 0 min
  • 2 tsp cinnamon at 0 min
  • 1 tsp nutmeg at 0 min


Leave a comment

Filed under Brewing

Basil IPA 2015

I got the recipe from Homebrew Talk Forums. It is on I’ve done and blogged about many years before, but the post has been lost to HBTF’s blogging format change. I had saved a bottle for several month’s after it was first ready and it received some rave revies at a homebrew club. This is the first time I’ve tried to repeat the recipe. Originally I had used fresh basil from my backyard that I had just torn of the plants and thrown into the boil. However, I’ve been having a difficult time growing basil, so for this recipe I used local organic basil that came in a box. Some basil lime hand soap also inspired me to add lime zest to the wort. I forgot to properly identify the types of grain that I bought at Brew & Grow, but I did record their codes. I am planning to have this ready for HoPS! Oktoberfest at the end of September.

11# Two row
1.5# Honey malt ? (Brew & Grow #129)
1.5# Victory malt ? (Brew & Grow #105)

Hop and spice schedule

  • 2 oz. Northern Brewer (7%) FWH
  • 1 oz. Cascade (5.7%) 30 min
  • 1 oz. Cascade (5.7%) 15 min
  • 1 oz. fresh basil leaves 15 min
  • 0.5 oz. Amarillo () 8 min
  • 5/8 oz. fresh basil leaves 8 min
  • 0.5 oz. Amarillo () 2 min
  • 1 oz. fresh basil leaves 2 min
  • 1 lime, zested 2 min

I ended up with a final gravity in the 1.050-1.051 range, and pitched London Ale yeast.

Update (10/25): I left the fermenter on the first floor for a day after brewing. It was a hot day, so I moved to the basement. Despite this move the vigorous fermentation still blew the air lock and made a mess. After 2 weeks I kegged it up and placed it in my slowly failing refridgerator. It ended up at 5% ABV and 68 IBUs.

The beer was served at Oktoberfest three weeks after kegging, but it had a very yeasty flavor to it and had a bit too much lime. A couple weeks afterwards a HoPS member had his own O-fest party with leftovers from the club event. My beer had a definite band-aid flavor likely the result of an out-of-control, too hot fermentation.

Right now I’m trying to fine what is left of it with gelatin. Tomorrow I’ll transfer it to another keg to see if that helps.

Leave a comment

Filed under Bottling/Kegging, Brewing, Drinkin

Bottling, Kegging and Tasting

This week end I took care of my brews from two weeks ago.

I checked the gravity of my Pumpkin Strong Ale, and it read 1.018. After checking similar recipes and much hemming and hawing I decided to bottle it. This was kind of late on Saturday. I was so focused on not sucking up the sediment at the bottom of the carboy that I forgot to check the valve on the bottling bucket. Much beer was lost that night, and many curse words were uttered. I ended up getting 2 gallons in the bottling bucket. This provided me with 9 bombers and 3 twelvers. As for the flavor and aroma, I definitely detected pumpkin and spices on the nose, however, those aromas faded quickly. It was definitely boozey (8%), but it had a malty taste to it. I may crack on of the twelvers in a few months just to test, but I plan on saving this until next September at the earliest.

On Sunday I tasted the Belgo-American Pale Ale I brewed back in mid-September. It had that bubble-gummy Belgian yeast flavor, but it did not seem out of place. There was a little hop bitterness, but not the hop aroma that I was looking for. All in all, it seems like this will turn out good.

Today I checked the Brown Ale. The hydrometer read 1.010. The flavor was a bit bland at first taste, so I dry-hopped it with 1 oz of Cascade pellets. After sitting around sipping on the sample I noticed that it had a hint of roastiness and a bit of spiciness. I will keg this on this up-coming weekend.

Until then, cheers.

Leave a comment

Filed under Bottling/Kegging, Drinkin

Labor Day Weekend… Drinking and Brewing

Got some catching up to do.

“Mint Julep” Ale tasting

Oak Aged Amber labelOn Sunday, I went to a croquet tournament that was hosted by my wife’s family. I brought a six pack of Oktoberfest commercial beer as well as my Mint Julep Ale. Now mind you, the mint really did not turn out in the final product, so I’ve re-branded this as an oaked America amber. I even taping a label on the bottles. This can be a pain, but it really encourages people to try your beer. The ale poured a deep amber with a nice creamy head. The carmelly, boozey nose combined with a malty flavor that contained a touch of vanilla and oak. I found that the aromas are magnified by a snifter-style glass. A friend of mine told me to age it on oak for two weeks instead of just one. I got a couple positive comments from crowd at the croquet party. This will definitely be a repeat; perhaps in the winter.

Celebrate Great Ale!

Time to brew up my SN Celebration Ale clone again. This is one of my favorite beers. Grain and 7.5 gallons filled the tun. I only got 5 gallons in the pot, however. I managed to squeeze another 1.5 gallons out of the tun while I was starting the boil. A half pound of DME helped bring the gravity up a bit. Gravity was 1.049 at 144 degrees with hydrometer; 1.058 with refractometer which is probably closer to reality.

Created with Nokia Smart Cam

Backyard hop cones in the boil.

Here is my hop schedule

  • 1 ounce of Chinook at the start of boil
  • 1 ounce of Cascade at 30 minutes
  • generous helping of Cascade hop cones from the garden at 15 minutes

Got 5.5 gallons at the end. OG was 1.075 with the hydrometer and 1.065 with the refractometer. My my, that is quite a difference. Pitched American Ale yeast. This is destined for some dry hopping in a couple weeks.

Leave a comment

Filed under Brewing, Drinkin

Wicked Winter Ale 2014

For double-brew weekend day 2 I’m going to brew up my Wicked Winter Ale, but I’ll be using my base red ale grain bill. This is an homage to Pete’s Wicked Winter which has long been out of production. I ended up getting 32 quarts in the mash tun. On the third vorlauf, I got a gravity reading with the hydrometer of 1.038 at 120 deg F and 1.054 with the refractometer.

  • 5/8 oz Fuggles (5.3% AA) at 60 min
  • 3/8 oz East Kent Goldings (5.7% AA) at 60 min
  • 5/8 oz East Kent Goldings (5.7% AA) at 0 min
  • 2 tsp cinnamon at 0 min
  • 2 tsp nutmeg at 0 min


While the wort was cooling I also racked my Hoppy Amber to a glass carboy so I could dry hop it with an ounce of Citra. And man, did it smell awesome! The hydrometer reading on it was 1.008, but the refractometer read in the 1.020’s. I also noticed that the yeast had clumped together kind of like yesterday, but it wasn’t floating. Maybe this is a characteristic of Omega Labs yeasts.

Back to the winter ale: I racked it on to the yeast cake of the Hoppy Amber. The OG was 1.054 according to both instruments. I will secondary this with some raspberry puree in two weeks. See you then.

Leave a comment

Filed under Brewing

Mint Julep Ale Secondary

On Saturday the 8th, I put some toasted oak cubes in a cleaned out salsa jar, and filled it with mint infused whiskey. This evening I dumped those whiskey soaked oak cubes into a carboy, and racked the Mint Julep Ale on to them.

Wow, the whole kitchen smells like vanilla and booze. Intoxicating. The mint is barely noticeable, so I doubt it will come through in the final beer. However, standing there racking the ale over to the carboy was heaven.

As for the beer itself, the gravity reading was about 1.002. It started at 1.058, so that should be in the neighborhood of a 7% beer. Even so, the sample tasked a bit sweet, and I did not get a noticeable hop aroma or flavor. I thought I had about 6 AAUs at the start of the boil, but I guess I’ll have to wait and see. I will probably bottle this on Sunday. Happy brewing.

Leave a comment

Filed under Bottling/Kegging