Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from 2021

2021 Batch 15 - English Dark Mild Ale

From the first time I tried one at The Winking Lizard Tavern many years ago, I've been a fan of the English Dark Mild Ale style. It's a nice mix of roasty malt flavors without the heaviness of a porter or stout, which makes it easy to drink year-round. The recipe below is adapted from the Hey Man Dark Mild recipe by Nic Pestel of Missoula, MT.  Nic won a gold at the 2018 NHC in Portland, OR, with the original version.  This variant changes the original recipe in the following ways: Swapped Maris Otter for the original's Montana 2-row Pale Malt Swapped Munich DME for the original's Munich 10L Malt Replaced the original's Dextrin Malt with some Pilsner (since I had no Dextrin or similar on hand) Swapped Lallemand CBC-1 dry ale yeast for the original's Wyeast 2112 California Lager Yeast, mostly because I didn't want to deal with a lager and the CBC-1 should be fairly neutral yeast Adjusted IBUs based on my hops' Alpha Acid levels Changed the first hops add

2021 Batch 14 Corn Tripel

The American Homebrewer's Association web site lists a recipe for a " Corn Tripel " (a Belgian style Tripel Ale brewed with corn as part of the grist).  I decided to brew that beer today, tweaked a little for my system and preferences. Ingredients 8.25 pounds Belgian Pilsen malt 1.25 pounds Flaked Corn (Maize) 10 ounces Clear Candi Sugar Rocks 0.25 ounces Hallertau Magnum hops 11.6%AA (FWH) 0.50 ounces Styrian Goldings hops 1.3% AA (30 min.) 0.50 ounces Hallertau Mittelfruh hops 3.8% AA (15 min.) 0.50 tsp. Irish Moss (15 min.) 0.50 tsp. Yeast Nutrient (15 min.) 0.125 tsp. Brewtan B (mash) 0.25 tsp. Brewtan B (boil, 20 min.) 1 package Wyeast 3787 Trappist High Gravity 5 gallons RO water, treated with: 1 gram Calcium Chloride 1 gram Table Salt 0.5 grams Epsom Salt 3 grams Gypsum 1 gram Magnesium Chloride 1 ml. Lactic Acid 88% solution Use 3.75 gallons for mash, 1.25 gallons for sparge Note: If I was brewing this again, I'd do 3.75 gallons mash, 1.75 sparge, for 5.5 tot

2021 Batch 13 - Belgian Dark Strong

If you've followed this blog for any length of time, you're probably aware that I'm really fond of Belgian ales, especially the Belgian Dark Strong Ale.  A few weeks back, I purchased a large container of Briess Sparkling Amber liquid malt extract (LME) at a discount.  I wondered if this extract could be used to produce a reasonable Belgian Dark Strong Ale with a relatively short brew day.  This batch is my attempt to prove or disprove that theory. Ingredients 6 pounds of Breiss CBW Sparkling Amber LME 16 ounces Crystal 80L malt 2 ounces Special B malt 12 ounces Brun Fonce candi sugar 0.5 ounces Hallertau Magnum @ 11.6%AA (FWH) 1.0 ounces Hallertau Mittelfruh @ 3.8% AA (5 min.) 1.0 ounces Czech Saaz @ 3.8% AA (5 min.) 1/2 tsp. Brewtan B (boil) 3/4 tsp. Irish Moss 1/2 tsp. Yeast Nutrients Dublin Ohio tap water According to Brewfather, the beer will have the following qualities: Batch Size:   3.0 gallons Original Gravity:   1.095 SG estimated (1.095 SG actual) Final Gravity:

2021 Batch 12 - Barleywine

As happens periodically in the home brewery, I find a lot of grain that needs to be turned into beer quickly before it gets stale.  That usually results in some crazy high-gravity beer experiment, like today's American Barleywine batch. I decided to really bump close to the limits of Lallemand CBC-1 (Cask and Bottle Conditioning) dry yeast for this batch, by aiming for a wort that would ferment out to something around 16% ABV.  It's fairly common to make a beer like this using only base malt, but I wanted a little more complexity to mine, so I'm using a small amount of Special B and English Medium Crystal. Ingredients 4 pounds Briess 2-row Brewer's Malt 12.75 pounds Maris Otter Malt 1 pound German Pilsner Malt 3 pounds Belgian Pale Ale Malt 8 ounces Special B Malt 8 ounces Medium Crystal Malt 16 ounces Demerara Sugar 1/2 tsp. Irish Moss 1/4 tsp. Brewtan B in the mash 1/2 tsp. Brewtan B in the boil (20 min) 1 tsp. Yeast Nutrient 1 ounce Bravo hops (60 min.) 1 ounce Cente

2021 Batch 11 - Digital Haze IPA (kit)

In a previous post I shared  the recipe for the Digital Haze IPA kit  that was offered to attendees of HomeBrewCon 2021.  Today, I decided to brew the kit.  It was at that point that I realized the 8 ounce package of Carapils was missing from my kit. I decided to swap in some Pilsner malt I had that I wanted to use up - so what you see below is slightly different from the actual kit from Brewer's Best. Refer to the link above it you want the exact kit recipe. Ingredients 4 pounds Pilsen DME 1 pound Corn Sugar 8 ounces White Wheat Malt 8 ounces Flaked Oats 1.5 pounds German Pilsner Malt (8 oz. to replace Carapils, plus 16 "just because") 1 package Lallemand Voss Kveik yeast 1/4 tsp. Brewtan B (boil, 10 min.) - added to reduce oxidation 5.5 gallons of RO water, treated with: 1g Baking Soda 6.5g Calcium Chloride 3.3g Epsom Salt 1.5g Gypsum 2g Magnesium Chloride 1 Tbsp. pH 5.2 Stabilizer (optional, to hold pH at 5.2) Brewfather estimates the beer to have the following chara

Recipe: Digital Haze IPA 2021 Kit from Brewer's Best and Yakima Chief Hops

This was a limited edition kit announced during the Soluble Hop Compounds Tech Talk from Yakima Chief and Brewers Best at HomeBrewCon 2021.  Since you might not have a chance to pick up the kit, or you might at least be wondering what's in it, I'm reproducing the recipe below for reference.  I just received my kit today (and haven't brewed it yet, more on that later). The kit came with a bottle opener, some literature from Yakima Chief and Brewer's Best, a set of adhesive labels for the bottles, bottle caps, and priming sugar for bottling.  Unfortunately, mine seemed to be missing the 8 ounces of Carapils. Ingredients 4 pounds Pilsen DME 1 pound Corn Sugar 8 ounces Wheat (malted wheat, not flaked) 8 ounces Carapils 8 ounces Flaked Oats 3 one-ounce packages of Cryo Pop(tm) Hops 1 package of Lallemand Voss Kveik Yeast Beer characteristics from the sheet: IBUs:   16-19 ABV:   4.8% to 5.4% OG: 1.046 - 1.049 SG FG:   1.008-1.011 SG Color: Hazy Pale Straw Batch Size: 5 gal

2021 Batch 10 - High Rye Mash

While cleaning, reorganizing, and inventorying my brewing area, I discovered a bunch of rye malt that I had purchased early in 2020.  It's almost certainly stale by now, so it's not going to make a very tasty beer.  However, it will give me a chance to see what it would be like to mash a brew that contains a high percentage of rye in the grist.  I found a recipe online that is purported to be the grain bill used by Brown-Forman to make Woodford Reserve Rye.  Although I can't legally turn this into a whiskey, there's nothing illegal about making the mash just for fun and dumping it out.  In the process, I should learn something about how a whiskey is mashed and the potential problems a distiller might encounter using a high amount of rye in the grain bill.  That will be helpful in brewing beers with a fair amount of rye.  And someday, if laws in the United States change to allow home distilling, I'll have some experience mashing in a whiskey. The purported Woodford R

2021 Batch 7 - Hemp-infused Rye Pale Ale 1.0

Label Peelers had a sale on hemp for homebrewing purposes a few weeks back, and I picked up a package of their Hawaiian Haze hemp variety.  It should be noted that this is NOT a variety of marijuana, but a legal hemp product that does not contain the psychoactive compound THC which causes the "high" feeling but does contain some amount of CBD (which does not get a person high but purports to have anti-inflammatory and other health benefits).  I'd had a commercial beer flavored with some hemp compounds and thought it was interesting, so I decided to try such a beer for myself... because I can. According to the label on the package of hemp, it contains less than 0.3% THC and 14.3% CBD.  I added a half ounce to this three gallon recipe, with a small amount going in early in the boil to release CBD and the rest going in at whirlpool to release flavor and aroma compounds (and probably a lesser amount of CBD). The base recipe here started out as an American Homebrewers Associat

2021 Batch 6 - Mandarin Orange Wine 1.0

While watching an episode of Moonshiners recently, I saw Mark Ramsey and Digger Manes create a moonshine mash using nothing more than cans of Mandarin Oranges, sugar, and yeast.  Mark and Digger had a problem with their mash, however, in that they did not account for the acidic content of the oranges.  This acidity caused the yeast to go dormant or die out.  To counteract that, they added baking soda (and maybe some fresh yeast) to jump-start the fermentation.  When a nearby grocery chain had a deal on Mandarin Oranges, I decided to try making a mandarin orange wine myself. Ingredients 5 cans (15 oz. each) of Mandarin Oranges in light syrup 1/2 tsp. Gypsum 1/2 tsp. Yeast nutrient 8 pounds of table sugar (cane sugar) 2 gallons of RO water heated to 150F 2.5 tsp. baking soda (see Post-Brew Notes and Observations) 1 Tbsp. DADY (distiller's yeast) Enough additional RO water to reach 5 gallons in the fermenter Brewing process: Clean and sanitize the fermenter Begin heating the RO water

2021 Batch 5 - Rice Wine 5.0

I'm doing yet another batch of Rice Wine since I still have plenty of rice and Angel Yeast on hand.  I had some issues with the last batch that I want to be sure I've sorted out. Ingredients 15 pounds of Kroger-brand long-grain White Rice 40 grams of yellow-label Angel Yeast 1/2 tsp. Gypsum 1/2 tsp. yeast nutrient (Fermaid O) 3 gallons of RO water, heated to 177F Additional RO water to get to 5 gallons of fermenter volume As with previous batches, the process for this one is: Heat 3 gallons of RO water to 177F Place 15 pounds of rice in a sanitized fermenter Pour the heated water over the rice and let it sit for at least one hour (I did overnight) Add cold water to the 5-5.5 gallon mark in the fermenter When the temp is 90F, add the Angel yeast and stir well Clean and sanitize your stirrer, you'll need it later Seal the fermenter and hold temp at 90F For days 1-3, stir the contents of the fermenter twice daily with the cleaned and sanitized spoon.  After day 3, leave the fe

2021 Batch 4 - Rice Wine 4.0

Since I've still got plenty of rice on-hand and plenty of yellow-label Angel Yeast, I decided to do a few more batches of rice wine.  I'll look for something fun to do with it later.  I've about got this down to a science.  Sanitize a fermenter, load it with 15 pounds of rice, add 178F water, wait until the temperature drops down to around 90F, and pitch the Angel Yeast. Ingredients 15 pounds Nishiki rice 3 gallons of water at 178F 1/2 tsp. Gypsum 1/2 tsp. Fermaid O yeast nutrient 1 tsp. Alpha Amylase 1.5 gallons cold water 40 grams Angel Yeast Note:  Gypsum is added for water conditioning.  Fermaid O and Alpha Amylase are not strictly necessary, but I've been adding them because I have a good supply of both.  I add the Amylase when I add the hot water, to help break down the rice some before I pitch the yeast mix. Brewing process: Begin heating 3 gallons of water to 178F Sanitize 7 gallon fermenter Dump 15 pounds of rice into fermenter Add Gypsum, yeast nutrient, and a

2021 Batch 3 - Rice Wine 3.0

Decided to do a few more batches of rice wine with the Angel Yeast to see how well it continues to work. This will be the strongest batch yet (or at least the one with the biggest grain bill). Ingredients 15 pounds Happy Belly (Amazon) Calrose Rice (uncooked, fresh from the package) 3 gallons of water at 177F 1.25 tsp. Alpha Amylase powder (not needed, really) 1/2 tsp. Gypsum 0.50 tsp. Fermaid O yeast nutrient (also probably not needed) 1 gallon cold water 40 grams yellow-label Angel Yeast "Brewing" Process: Heat 3 gallons of water to 177F using The Grainfather (or your preferred method) Place 15 pounds of rice, alpha amylase, gypsum, and yeast nutrient in sanitized fermenter Put 177F water into fermenter, which should mellow out to about 155F depending on ambient temperature and rice temperature Stir rice and water well to ensure all rice gets in contact with water Let sit for 1 hour to hydrate the rice a bit Add cold water to the 5.5 gallon mark Wait for temp inside ferment

Yellow Label Angel Yeast vs. Typical Brewing Yeast

I currently have my second batch of rice wine fermenting with the "magical" yellow-label Angel Yeast from China, and wanted to share some of the more unusual aspects of using it.  If you've never seen or used this yeast, I suspect you're not alone.  It ships in a 500 gram package that looks like this: What makes it "yellow label" is that yellow box you see in the upper left corner of the package.  This implies that it's yeast for distilling (though you do not need to have a still or distill the output to use it).  As I understand it, inside the package is a mix of yeast and other materials which will convert starch into sugar and directly ferment it, without the need for a traditional mash step.  This can radically shorten your brewing time.  For my most-recent batch of rice wine, I heated 3 gallons of water to 155F, poured it over 13+ pounds of uncooked rice straight out of the bag, let that soak for an hour, rehydrated some of this yeast in warm water,

2021 Batch 2 - Rice Wine 2.0

The last batch of rice wine turned out OK.  It was very thin-bodied and fairly low in alcohol (an estimated 7% ABV). The flavor was fairly non-descript with a slight tartness.  I decided to do another, stronger batch to put the yellow-label Angel Yeast through a bigger challenge. Ingredients 13.4 pounds (uncooked) medium grain rice 3 gallons of water at 155F 36 grams yellow-label Angel Yeast 1 tsp. Gypsum Additional cold tap water, about 1 gallon The entire "Mashing and Brewing" process: Heat water to 155F.  While the water is heating, sanitize a fermenter and dump the rice into it. When the rice hits 155F, pour it over the rice in the fermenter and stir to ensure the rice gets wet. Cover the fermenter and leave to sit for an hour or more. Add cold water to the 5.5 gallon mark and stir well. Add the Angel Yeast to about 5-6 ounces of 90F water and stir well to rehydrate. Add the rehydrated yeast to the fermenter and stir well again. Seal the fermenter Fermentation plan: Days

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