Friday, June 13, 2008

Mini - Wheat

Brewed up another 6 pack of beer yesterday. I was running a little short on time so I had to guess on a few of the amounts but I ended up with 3/4 of a pound of Wheat DME, in about 3 quarts of water. I boiled for 15 min. with around 1/4 ounce of centennial hops. Dumped it into a one gallon fermenter with foil over the top. I aerated for around 15 seconds with pure O2 and pitched in a half of a package of dry US-05 American ale yeast. It is fermenting away in the basement right now and hopefully in a few weeks I will have a tasty 6 pack of wheat beer.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

First Funky Beer

My wife and I have been talking about doing a funky sour beer for years, and now we finally have. Last year we made a Belgian dark strong on June 8th. The recipe was taken from The Jamil Show on The Brewing Network. About 6 months ago I added 6 pounds of cherry puree, and tasted the beer. To be honest, I thought it was horrible, it had a really strong sherry flavor that I couldn't stand. I ignored it for about 6 more months and was about to throw it out. Last night I went to a ZZHops meeting and some of the guys there said I should throw in some bugs and see what happens. I figured hell, I paid a lot for the ingredients and I might as well do something with them. So today I took a gravity reading and pitched in one vial of brett (which was a month past the expiration), and threw in a bag of wood chips from Vinnie Cilurzo of Russian River, that were infected with all the bugs he uses to get his beers sour.

Here is the recipe:


% Amount Name Origin Potential SRM
11.5 3.00 lbs. Generic DME - Light Generic 1.046 8
57.7 15.00 lbs. Pilsener Germany 1.038 2
11.5 3.00 lbs. Munich Malt Germany 1.037 8
3.8 1.00 lbs. Aromatic Malt Belgium 1.036 20
3.8 1.00 lbs. Cane Sugar 1.047 0
3.8 1.00 lbs. CaraMunich Malt Belgium 1.033 60
3.8 1.00 lbs. Special B Malt Belgian 1.030 120
1.9 0.50 lbs. Melanoidin Malt 1.033 30
1.9 0.50 lbs. Wheat Malt Germany 1.039 2


Amount Name Form Alpha IBU Boil Time
2.42 oz. Hallertauer Pellet 4.00 28.8 60 min.


White Labs WLP530 Abbey Ale (pitched on top of old yeast cake)

Mashed at 153 for 60 minutes. 5 gallon batch.

The Yeast and Wood Chips

Carrie About To Pitch The Crazy Stuff

A Blurry Picture of the Fermenter Full Of Wood Chips

The horrible truth to all this is that I was adding all this junk because I thought the beer was still horrible. The only problem is that after we added all the junk I decided to try the beer in the hydrometer vial. It was awesome. Just like a really good Belgian strong with a nice cherry flavor in the back. Extremely complex. I am a little sad now that I have added all that stuff, but maybe in a year it is going to be even better.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Jamil's Amber

I know that it has been forever since I posted, but that is due to the fact that it has been forever since I brewed. Work has been a bit hectic, and blah, blah, blah. Anyway, I have beer fermenting right now, and with only a 4 hour lag time too. Yeah! This beer is from Jamil's book, with only a few changes, that were all made to accommodate the availability of ingredients. ie. the fact that pale chocolate malt is next to impossible to find in Utah. The actual recipe used is here.


% Amount Name Origin Potential SRM
69.1 7.00 lbs. Muntons DME - Light England 1.046 5
9.9 1.00 lbs. Munich Malt Belgium 1.038 8
9.9 1.00 lbs. Crystal 40L America 1.034 40
4.9 0.50 lbs. Crystal 120L America 1.033 120
4.9 0.50 lbs. Victory Malt America 1.034 25
1.2 0.13 lbs. Special B Malt Belgian 1.030 120

Potential represented as SG per pound per gallon.


Amount Name Form Alpha IBU Boil Time
1.00 oz. millenium Pellet 15.00 58.0 60 min.
1.00 oz. Cascade Pellet 6.30 4.9 10 min.
1.00 oz. Centennial Pellet 9.10 7.0 10 min.
1.00 oz. Cascade Pellet 6.30 0.0 0 min.
1.00 oz. Centennial Pellet 9.10 0.0 0 min.


Irish Moss


White Labs WLP001 California Ale

Fermented at 68 degrees. I tried using a normal airlock at the beginning, but the fermentation blew it off, and I ended up having it sit open for about a half a day. Hopefully there were no infections, but we will see.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Six Pack IPA -- First Tasting

I was able to finally try the first bottle of my six pack of IPA yesterday, and was astounded by the results. I forgot to take a picture of the final beer so that you can see the color but I will definitely take and post a pic of the next one that I pop open.

The color is dark orange and pretty cloudy. The smell blew me away. Extremely hoppy, but due to the fact that I used only simcoe hops it is extremely piney, and resiney, with very little of what I would call a citrusy flavor. Usually in an IPA the citrus aroma is my favorite part so I was pretty worried that I was not going to like this one, but quite the opposite, I think I liked it more because it was so different.

Not being able to do a gravity reading before or after fermentation, I really had no idea what to expect as far as bitterness or alcohol. As it turns out I would call the final beer much more a double IPA than a regular IPA. The resiny aspect of the hops really came out but in a pleasant way. The bitterness level was extremely high, I would guess around the high 70 to low 80 IBU range, and balanced a pretty malty base very well.

In the end the beer came out better than I would have ever guessed that it would and I cant wait to make some more. Maybe a 5 gallon batch this time.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Six Pack IPA Bottled

Well, the six pack of IPA has now been bottled and is slowly undergoing its bottle fermentation in the living room right now. I hope to taste it in about two weeks, and now that I am done with this little project I have a few little observations to share. First, making 3 quarts of beer is way easier than making 5 gallons. The cleanup takes no time at all, chilling the wort is a breeze, everything is just very easy. Second, it is going to be a great way to get into wild fermentations and stuff like that. Throwing away a bad six pack of a brett beer is way easier than throwing away a full five gallon batch. Finally, I love imperial IPA's and was worried that with the hop shortage, enjoying a nice homemade Double IPA was going to be impossible. With the one gallon batch however it will be no problem. 3 ounces of hops in there will be more than enough.

All in all, it was a fun expirement that I would definitely recommend to anyone considering it.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Amarillo Pale

With the coming hop shortage, I figured I would take advantage of the hops we have in our local shop now and not wait until they were totally gone. I am not sure what the availability of Amarillo hops is going to be, but I love them so much I decided I would make a beer using only them in case they did disappear. The recipe is amazingly simple, and I have to admit that I stole most of it from The Homebrew Chef, Sean Paxton. His recipe was all grain so I converted that, and am going to dry hop where he didn't, but those are really the only changes I made.

My starting gravity was about 1.063, and the sample I took was totally green from the hops. I made a 2 L starter a day before and this picture was taken just before it really took off. The smell and the taste of the wort were amazing. Just all hops and nothing else. I may have fudged some of the amounts and numbers just a little bit as I brewed this at a group brew and was having a great time socializing. For the most part the amounts though should be pretty close to accurate.


8.5 pounds pale DME
.5 pounds cara pils
7 ounces Amarillo(9% AAU) for 10 min.
White Labs 001 Cal Ale (2 liter starter)

Steep Grains for 30 min at 150 to 155
60 min. boil
Fermenting in glass at 68 degrees

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Lego Beer

Just thought this was funny.