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2021 Batch 1 - Rice Wine made with Yellow Label Angel Yeast

I've become a big fan of the Still It channel on YouTube.  About a month ago, Jesse posted a video about how he made rice wine using nothing more than water, rice, and a purported "magic" yeast from China called Yellow Label Angel Yeast. Perhaps even more amazing was the fact that he was able to make the rice wine without gelatinizing or mashing the rice.  He shows three batches in the video.  One was made by cooking the rice before adding the yeast mixture. Another was made by adding uncooked rice to boiling water.  The last was made by adding uncooked rice to room temperature water.  All three fermented out to roughly the same amount of alcohol in about two weeks. He was amazed by this, as was I. I resolved to buy some of this magical yeast from Aliexpress.com and try it out. In the Still It video, the rice is ground up in the grain mill into smaller chunks to make it easier for the enzymes in the yellow label yeast to convert and ferment.  I'm changing this up s
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Joe's Ancient Orange Mead 1.0

For some time now, I've read about Joe's Ancient Orange Mead, but I've never taken the time to actually create a batch of it.  This year, I had the time and the ingredients on hand. Ingredients 3.5 pounds of honey (mostly orange blossom, some clover) 1 large orange 1 cinnamon stick 1 clove A small pinch of freshly grated nutmeg 25 raisins Enough water to make 1 gallon 1 package of Fleischmann's bread yeast Making the must: Wash the orange and remove the zest.  Peel the orange, throw away the pith, then thinly slice the orange across the segments, Collect one gallon of reverse osmosis water Add the honey and about half of the water to a sanitized fermenter Shake to aerate the must and mix in the honey Add the orange, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, and raisins Add water to the one gallon mark Shake the fermenter again to mix in the yeast and aerate further Add an airlock and allow it to ferment until the liquid is clear Strain out the solid ingredients and bottle Post-Brew Note

Blackberry Wine 1.0

 Adventures in Homebrewing had 96-ounce cans of Blackberry Wine base on sale for $10, because they were past the sell-by date.  I decided to chance it and buy two of the cans to turn into blackberry wine.  When opened, the cans smelled perfectly fine, so I think the wine is going to turn out well.  We'll see. Ingredients (per 5-gallon batch) 1 can of Vintner's Harvest Blackberry Wine Base 8 pounds of cane sugar 3 tsp. Citric Acid 4 tsp. Yeast Nutrient (DAP + Fermaid O) 2.5 tsp. Pectic Enzyme 1/2 tsp. Wine Tannin 1 packet CR51 Vintner's Harvest wine yeast Enough RO water to reach 5 gallons in the fermenter Original Gravity: 1.086 SG for one batch, 1.077 SG for the other Final Gravity:   0.988 SG estimated Batch Size:   5 gallons per batch ABV:   13.5% estimated Fermenters Used:   Two 7.5 gallon SS Brewtech Brewmaster Buckets Preparing the must was pretty straightforward.  I heated three gallons of the RO water to about 120F and began dissolving the sugar in it.  When the su

Christmas Ale 2020

 A few months back, I saw one of David Heath's YouTube videos where he brewed a "Fast Christmas Beer" using a couple of methods to reduce brewing and fermentation time.  The recipe sounded interesting, so I decided to brew it for Christmas 2020.  Thanks to COVID-19, I won't have many opportunities to share it with others, but my wife and I will get to check it out. I deviated from the recipe in the video in that I elected to go for a 60-minute boil rather than boil the hops, orange peel, and cinnamon separately on the kitchen stove.  I also deviated slightly in using a mix of base malts that I needed to use up, rather than the straight up pale malt he used.  Otherwise, this is basically David Heath's recipe. I also decided to use Lutra Kveik yeast for half the wort and SafAle S-04 for the other half, just to see how the beer would differ with a different yeast.  Heath recommended Tormodgarden Kveik yeast, but also noted S-04 and US-05 as options if you didn't

Courage Russian Imperial Stout Clone 1.0

I've heard quite a lot about this beer over the last couple of years, so I decided to try brewing a batch with the best recipe I could locate, adjusted for my Grainfather and a three gallon batch.  This will be the first Imperial Stout I think I have ever brewed.  I don't know where I found this recipe, and I tried to locate it again on the web with no success.  My apologies to whoever originally published it, but since I've significantly altered it below (adding DME, swapping out the flavor/aroma hops, and the yeast) that may be just as well if the beer doesn't turn out. Ingredients 5 pounds 5 ounces Maris Otter malt 3.3 pounds (1 large can) Maris Otter LME 8 ounces English Medium Crystal malt 6 ounces English Pale Chocolate malt 2 ounces English Black Patent malt 2 ounces English Roasted Barley 1/8 tsp. Brewtan B (mash) 1.5 tsp. pH 5.2 stabilizer (mash, after grain) 10 ounces cane sugar (start of boil) 4 ounces Lyles Treacle (10 min.) 1 tsp. yeast nutrient (15 min.) 1

Irish Red 7.0

Thanks to the mold infection, I had to toss Irish Red 6.0 before I even got to taste it.  Since it was mostly a mash optimization experiment, it was less painful to toss it out than it might have been.  Today, I decided to brew a sixth version of the beer, as a further test of mash optimization. Ingredients 6 pounds, 6 ounces Maris Otter malt 6 ounces Caramel/Crystal 120L 6 ounces British Medium Crystal 5 ounces Chocolate Rye Malt 0.57 ounces Whitbread Golding Variety hops @ 7.1% AA 1/4 tsp. Brewtan B during boil (20 min.) 1/2 tsp. Yeast Nutrient (15 min.) 1/2 tsp. Irish Moss (15 min.) 3 gallons RO mash water 1.75 gallons RO sparge water 1 gram Calcium Chloride 0.5 grams Canning Salt 1.1 grams Epsom Salt 2.5 grams Gypsum 0.5 grams Magnesium Chloride 1 package Wyeast English Ale III yeast Brewfather estimates the batch will have the following characteristics: BJCP Category: Irish Red Ale Batch Size: 3.0 gallons, 2.7 gallons actual Original Gravity: 1.058 SG estimated, 1.060 SG actual

Heady Topper DIPA Clone 1.0

I've heard a lot of people rave about The Alchemist Brewing's Heady Topper DIPA, but I've never had the opportunity to actually try the beer.  In cases like this, I tend to default to locating the actual recipe or a generally-recognized good clone recipe and brewing that.  I've had to adjust this recipe because I didn't have as much Amarillo hops as I thought I did - and went for Mandarina Bavaria as a substitute.  Otherwise this is the recipe I found. Ingredients 7.25 pounds 2-row Brewer's Malt 12 ounces cane sugar (added during boil, 60 min.) 9 ounces Briess White Wheat Malt 6 ounces Baird's Carastan Malt 4-6 ounces of Rice Hulls (3-4 large handfuls) 3 gallons RO mash water, treated with 7.6 grams Gypsum, 2.2g Epsom Salt, 0.9g Calcium Chloride, 0.8g Magnesium Chloride, 0.2g Baking Soda, 0.2g  Canning Salt 1.9 gallons RO sparge water, untreated 0.6 ounces Magnum hops @ 12% AA (60 min.) 1 ounce Amarillo hops (5 min.) 1 ounce Apollo hops (5 min.) i ounce Cent