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Showing posts from February, 2018

Salsbury's ESB v1.2

My last Extra Special Bitter (ESB) used continual hopping with Styrian Goldings. This version abandons that (primarily because the Zymatic can't simulate it) in favor of four hop additions.  This version also includes an ounce of Special B to bump up the malt complexity slightly. I'll also use Wyeast Thames Valley Ale Yeast this time around because I'm already using half the package for the Manny's Pale Ale clone I'm brewing and it'll shave a little off the cost of this batch. According to Wyeast's web site, this is an appropriate ESB yeast.  I've also decided to add a few pellets of East Kent Goldings to bring a little bit of a familiar flavor to the beer without overwhelming it.

3.5 pounds Maris Otter Malt
10 ounces Crystal 40L
7 ounces Crystal 60L
5 ounces Crystal 10L
5 ounces Victory malt
1 ounce Special B
0.30 ounces Styrian Goldings @ 6.3% AA (60 min.)
2 pellets East Kent Goldings @ 5.3% AA (60 min.)
0.30 ounces Styrian Goldings @ 6.3%…

Cloning Georgetown Manny's Pale Ale

One of my relatives spent time in Seattle and fell in love with Georgetown Brewing's Manny's Pale Ale. Now that he is here in Central Ohio, he can't get the beer anymore. I thought it would be nice to try to brew a clone of the beer for him.

I started with a visit to the Georgetown web site, which yielded the following information:
2-row Pale malt and Caramel malt are usedSummit and Cascade hops are usedOriginal gravity is 1.051 SGFinal gravity is 1.009 SGABV is 5.4%IBU rating is: 38English Ale yeast is used For the next step, I formulated a tentative recipe based on the image of the beer on their web site and the above information. I asked the brewery by email if the brewers would offer any advice.  All I learned was that they recommended using the Wyeast 1275 Thames Valley ale yeast.
Searching on the web, there are various forum posts out there that suggest possible clone recipes which include: 80% 2-row Pale, 10% Caramel 60L, and 10% Cara-Pils - with a 20% hopping of Sum…

Two Months with the PicoBrew Zymatic

I received my PicoBrew Zymatic in late December 2017.  Since then, I have brewed 12 batches of beer in it.  I've developed a reasonable understanding of its good and bad points.

On the positive side, it's insanely easy to brew with it.  Measure your ingredients, load them into the system, load the recipe, hit a button, and wait.  It's mostly a hands-off process from there.  When it's finished (and because I don't want to ferment in the corny keg), I transfer the beer to a kettle, chill it, then transfer to a fermenter. This process takes about 20-30 minutes.  Cleanup is easier than with my previous system, and parts of that are automated as well.  The Zymatic gives off a "brewery" aroma if you're within about 10-20 feet of it, but is undetectable outside that range (at least to me).  The beer coming out of the Zymatic is as good as any I've made elsewhere.

On the negative side, the machine has its limits. Compared with other brewing systems, it…

2018 Saison v2.0 (Salsbury's Saison)

Probably my favorite Saison out there is Saison Dupont.  I recently read Jeff Alworth's The Secrets of the Master Brewers and reviewed his notes about how Dupont's beer is made.  I used this to inform my own Saison recipe which will hopefully come close to it.

A few notes from Alworth's book, for those thinking of making a Saison: Dupont uses untreated (but very hard) hard water from their well to brew the beer, and they don't consider it to be a crucial element in the beer's flavor.Although Dupont uses a 90-minute boil over an open flame (to deepen the color), you should be able to use a 60-minute boil if you add a color malt to the grist.Dupont's strain of yeast was the basis for Wyeast 3724 and White Labs WLP565).  This strain doesn't do well at low temperatures and needs good aeration to avoid stalling out. Dupont uses 100% pilsner malt.Dupont mashes in at 113F, then raises the temperature slowly over the next 1.75 hours until it reaches 162F.  Then the…

Tripel Karmeliet Clone 1.0

Bosteel's Tripel Karmeliet is one of the best Belgian Tripels on the market. The official web site (linked earlier) claims that what makes the beer unique is its blend of three grains, which they claim is a recipe dating back to 1679. Roel Mulder, on his Lost Beers web site, researched the original recipe and shared it with the world.  I scaled that recipe to the 2.5 gallon capacity of the Zymatic and gathered the ingredients to brew it.

The photo at the right is of the actual finished home brew and of a bottle of the real Bosteel's beer, poured within seconds of one another.

6 pounds Belgian Pilsen malt
2 pounds White Wheat malt
1 pound Flaked Oats
1.5 ounces Hallertau Mittelfruh hops @ 4.0% AA (60 min.)
0.5 ounces Hallertau Mittelfruh hops @ 4.0% AA (30 min.)
3.5 gallons water
1/2 vial Clarity Ferm
1 packet Wyeast 1388 Belgian Strong Ale yeast

Note:  I have since read an unsubstantiated report that Bosteels uses a Goldings hop variety in their Tripel rather than the Hal…

2018 Saison v1.0

This post starts with a shout-out to the good folks at Adventures in Homebrewing.  I recently ordered two batches worth of ingredients from them, one that became 2018 Belgian Dubbel v1.0.  The other was intended to be this beer.  Unfortunately, there was a mix-up and only about six ounces of the grain was shipped. When I contacted them to report the issue, they shipped replacement grain immediately and it arrived quickly. No hassle, no argument, nothing.  That's the way to earn customer loyalty.

The recipe below is from Beer & Brewing Magazine, dating back to July 2016. It's purported to be "in the style of" Saison Dupont.  I've modified the recipe slightly, both to fit the Picobrew Zymatic and to remove the East Kent Goldings hops, which I don't care for.  I recently read that Dupont most likely uses a Belgian Goldings variety rather than East Kent, and I prefer Styrian Goldings to East Kent Goldings.  I've also modified the mash schedule to mimic w…